Category Archives: Kaneland

School Board reviews enrollment update

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday reviewed an enrollment update for the 2011-12 school year.

According to a document from Superintendent Jeff Schuler, the overall first-day enrollment this year is 1 percent (66 students) higher than the start of the 2010-11 school year. This is because the incoming freshmen class is larger than the graduated class of 2011.

The document also states that first-day middle school enrollment in the district is down four students from the previous school year, while K-5 enrollment is up 41 students. However, these numbers are likely to adjust by the time sixth-day enrollment is reported.

“Those numbers are going to shift slightly. We don’t additionally report out our first enrollment until sixth-day enrollment, so we almost always have a few more kids on our rolls first day than we do sixth day,” Schuler said. “There are almost always a few students that moved over the summer and do not let us know that until the start of school. So these numbers, if they move any direction, will likely come down just slightly. The trend on that is not significant-we’re talking about maybe a handful of kids … maybe five to 10 kids overall.”

According to the enrollment report, the current enrollment pattern in the district will continue for the next four years, at which point high school enrollment will taper off just short of 1,500 students, while middle school enrollment has already reached a plateau and will stay in the 1,100-1,700 during the next five years. The document states that K-5 enrollment has been stable over the last four years.

“Overall, the bottom line is that it continues to point to a very stable enrollment trend. You are not going to see great fluctuations in enrollment over the next four to five years,” Schuler said.

Preschool screening for Kaneland kids

MAPLE PARK—Kaneland parents are invited to bring their children, ages 3 to 5 years old, for a preschool screening of developmental milestones including speech, hearing, vision and motor skills. The screening takes place at Family Life Church at 44W555 Keslinger Road, Elburn on Friday, Sept. 9, and is by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call the Kaneland District office at (630) 365-5111, ext. 158.

Middle school menu

Friday, Aug. 26: Cheese pizza, tossed salad with dressing, yogurt parfait, fresh veggies, fruit and milk. Ala carte: Toronado.

Monday, Aug. 29: Chicken nuggets, baked potatoes, broccoli with cheese, fruit and milk. Ala carte: Ravioli.

Tuesday, Aug. 30: Rib sandwich, tossed salad with dressing, carrots, fruit and milk. Ala carte: Nachos.

Wednesday, Aug. 31: Sloppy Joe on a bun, sweet potato chips, green beans, fruit and milk. Ala carte: Corn dog.

Thursday, Sept. 1: Turkey sandwich, Goldfish, mixed veggies, fruit and milk. Ala carte: Chicken bites.

Friday, Sept. 2: Bean and cheese burrito, Spanish rice, refried beans, fruit and milk. Ala carte: Pizza.

Photo Gallery: Thursday Night Lights

Kaneland Knights football gets a pre-season workout in friendly territory during Thursday’s annual Knights Under the Lights event in Maple Park. The Knights’ first step to try and duplicate regular season success of a year ago occurs on Friday, Aug. 26, against Chicago’s Brooks Prep. This will be the first opening night encounter against someone other than Burlington Central since 2003, when KHS lost a 14-6 battle with defunct Driscoll Catholic. Photos by Madi Cole

School Board discusses upcoming TIF district public hearing

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board spent the first half-hour of its meeting on Monday discussing the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district public hearing that will take place during Sugar Grove’s regular board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16.

Kaneland plans to speak out against the proposed TIF district at the meeting. Superintendent Jeff Schuler previously stated that he is concerned with the the length of the TIF district (23 years), which he said could push local taxing bodies too far.

“I think it would be beneficial for the Village Board to see both district staff and members of the Board of Education (at the public hearing),” he said. “I think our best opportunity to at least have (the village) rethink it is to hear from lots of folks.”

Schuler cited other taxing bodies that are opposed to the TIF district, including the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District, Kane County Board and about 20 percent of the properties in Hinckley-Big Rock.

A TIF district is an economic tool which seeks to stimulate economic development by taking the incremental tax the village receives for improving a projected area, and then using those dollars to fund the development costs. Simply put, businesses within the boundaries of the TIF district are provided with added municipal support and infrastructure. The TIF district proposed by Sugar Grove is projected to cover the area that stretches from Route 47 (north) to an area near the Burlington Northern Railroad (south), and Aurora Municipal Airport (east) to village limits (west).

“The rationale for the TIF (district) is that any type of commercial development shifts the burden of tax dollars and increases that commercial (and) that industrial tax base,” Schuler said. “There’s a logic to that argument to some point, but when residential owners aren’t going to see that impact for 23 years? And when it’s not a contained area where you can say, ‘Well, gee, if we can at least get something going here, then all the area around it will develop outside of the TIF.’ When (the district is) 1,800 acres, there’s really no other real estate that’s going to develop outside of it … residential owners aren’t going to feel that impact.”

The Village Board meeting on Tuesday will begin at 6 p.m.

Kaneland says no adequate resources for non-resident students

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 6-0 to approve a resolution stating that no District 302 school has the adequate resources, capacity and staffing to qualify as a candidate for accepting non-resident choice students from non-district schools without doing harm to educational programs in the district.

Board member Tony Valente was absent from the meeting.

According to a memorandum from Superintendent Jeff Schuler, West Aurora School District 129 inquired last week as to whether or not the Kaneland Board of Education would consider an intergovernmental agreement that would allow students attending “choice schools” in District 129 to attend higher performing schools in District 302.

The document also states that Kaneland would need to accept the financial responsibility for all staff and material expenses associated with educating “school choice” students.

Kaneland School District registration information

KANELAND—The Kaneland School District will begin the new school year on Wednesday, Aug. 24, with a full day of classes.

Full bus service to all schools and full hot lunch service at the middle school and high school will be provided the first day of school.

Kaneland elementary schools
The starting time for all elementary schools is 8:50 a.m. Please do not bring your child to the elementary school before 8:40 a.m. Elementary school students are dismissed by 3:30 p.m. Dismissal of students that walk, are picked up by parents and ride the bus may vary slightly at each school.

Morning kindergarten classes will be from 8:50 to 11:30 a.m. Afternoon kindergarten classes will be from 12:45 to 3:30 p.m.

Kaneland elementary schools conducted a mail-in registration in April/May. Parents of students new to the elementary schools and parents who have not as yet registered their children for kindergarten (Note: Children must be 5 years of age on or before Sept. 1) should contact the appropriate office immediately to register for the coming school year:
• (630) 365-8170 for John Stewart Elementary School
• (630) 466-8500 for John Shields Elementary School, 85 Main St., Sugar Grove
• (630) 365-1122 for Blackberry Creek Elementary School, 1122 S. Anderson Road, Elburn
• (630) 897-1961 for McDole Elementary School, 2901 Foxmoor Drive, Montgomery

Harter Middle School,
Kaneland High School

All students, including those new to the district, are requested to register on or before Aug. 20. Registration packets for new and returning students will be available online. All students will receive fee statements in the mail.

Sixth-grade students will also receive their schedule at that time. Seventh- and eighth-grade students can access their schedules through Konnect. Parents of new middle school students are requested to call Harter Middle School office at (630) 466-8400. Middle school students may purchase PE clothes and locks the first week of school during PE or lunch.

Parents of new high school students should call the Students Services Center at (630) 365- 5100, ext. 210, in advance to arrange an appointment to register. High school students will receive their schedules online and fee statements in the mail. For high school students, PE clothes and locks are available for purchase in the Athletic Office during the first week of school.

The hours for students at Harter Middle School are 7:25 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. The hours for students at Kaneland High School are 7:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

Important information
for those new to District 302

If you are in the process of moving into the Kaneland District, please register as soon as possible. Contact the appropriate school building to be certain that you meet the state residency criteria to attend the district’s schools. You are encouraged to visit the building before school starts. Each school will have an open house for new students. Please check a school’s website via to locate this information.

Also, please note that if a student was not registered by Aug. 1, bus service cannot be guaranteed for the first two weeks of school, depending on locations and other factors.

Special Education program
and services for new students

In order to identify appropriate programming and service options, parents of children with special needs are encouraged to bring current IEP’s with them when they register their child for school. The IEP enables the district to implement services in a timely manner and is vital for providing a smooth transition for your child to his or her new school. If you need additional information or have any questions, please contact Fran Eggleston, director of special education, at (630) 365-5111, ext. 111.

Student insurance options
The district has recently added student accident insurance coverage to the district’s policy. However, in the event of an accident, the student’s primary health insurance carrier will be the first means of coverage.

School Lunch Program
This year the cost of hot lunch is $2 for students in grades 6-12. Milk sold separately will cost 30 cents.

Hot lunch is not available at the elementary schools. Therefore, students in grades 1-5 will be required to bring their own lunches on a daily basis. Milk will be available at a cost of 30 cents. An optional annual payment of $48 is also offered, along with a per-semester option (first semester—$25; second semester—$24). Lunches will be provided to students eligible for free lunches.

Physical examination,
health requirements

The School Code of Illinois requires that proof of both physical and dental examinations be provided at registration for all students entering the Early Childhood Program, kindergarten, sixth grade, ninth grade, and for all students who are enrolling in Kaneland District 302 for the first time.

Out-of-state students enrolling in Kaneland schools are required to have a current physical examination from an Illinois physician. Forms for the physical examination are available in the school office or online at To be valid, these examinations must have been administered by a licensed physician within one year of the entry date into the grades cited above.

Kindergarten students are encouraged to provide proof of having received lead screening, and all Kaneland students must furnish proof of having received all required shots for MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, DPT and chicken pox by Oct. 15.

In addition, students entering the early childhood program must furnish proof of having received HIB and Hepatitis B shots by Oct. 15, and students entering sixth grade must also furnish proof of having received Hepatitis B shots by Oct. 15.

Kindergarten students must show proof of having received one dose of Varicella on or after their first birthday or show proof of having had the disease by the health care provider. The school nurse may accept a parent/guardian description of the disease.

Any questions regarding health records should be addressed to the nurse of the school your child is attending. For any questions regarding immunization requirements call the Kane County Health Department at (630) 897-1124.

KHS student wins anti-text-and-drive journalism competition

Photo: Kaneland Sophomore Brin Wilk shows a copy of last November’s Kaneland Krier that included her award-winning essay about texting while driving. Photo by John DiDonna

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Kaneland High School student and Sugar Grove resident Brin Wilk was in the midst of writing an article about the dangers of distracted driving when her journalism teacher, Cheryl Borrowdale, heard about the story and suggested Wilk submit the written piece to the third annual Keep The Drive High School Journalism Awards, sponsored by the Allstate Foundation.

Borrowdale’s advice turned out to be pretty good, as Wilk was chosen the winner of the contest, beating out nearly 300 other entrants and earning a prize sum of $750.

“I have had good friends in accidents caused by distracted driving,” Wilk said. “I’ve seen firsthand how it affects the lives of people and the difficulties that follow an accident caused by distracted driving. I felt it was necessary and important for people to understand the danger of distracted driving.”

According to the Allstate Foundation’s website, auto accidents are the No.1 contributor to teen deaths in the United States, with an average of over 4,000 driving-related fatalities each year. Allstate’s Keep The Drive High School Journalism Awards is meant to inspire high school students to inform and educate others about distracted driving-a practice that includes texting, excessive socializing or making phone calls while driving.

Entrants in the competition had the option to either write an article that would be published in their school newspaper, or create a live news piece for students to view.

Wilk said her article explored the emotional and physical trauma that distracted driving can bring to people’s lives.

“When I finished the article, I wasn’t sure whether I had a winning piece on my hands,” she said. “I didn’t know what kind of competition the story would be up against, but I felt confident and proud of the finished copy.”

According to Meghan O’Kelly, Midwest region corporate relations for Allstate, 80 percent of crashes involve a form of driver inattention within three seconds of the actual collision, and texting takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds.

“At 55 miles per hour, that’s traveling the length of a football field completely blind,” she said. “Allstate realizes this is an epidemic, and it’s a behavior that we can create awareness about and help teachers and parents educate teens and bring more awareness to the issue.”

O’Kelly had high praise for Wilk’s article, and also said she hopes to have even more students enter the competition next year.

“I think the article sends an extremely powerful message about how this type of behavior can affect the lives of those around us,” she said. “By telling the personal stories of her parents, I think (Brin) really brought this issue to life and, hopefully, changed behaviors in her school for the better.”

Wilk appears to be a worthy ambassador for Allstate’s stance against distracted driving.

“It only takes one moment—whether you are looking at your phone, changing the radio station or socializing with friends—with your eyes off the road or your mind elsewhere for an accident to take place that could take not only your life, but someone else’s,” she said. “It’s smart to break the habit of distracted driving practices now, as opposed to when it’s too late.”

Another step forward

Review Board rules proposed TIF district satisfies requirements
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The second Joint Review Board meeting to discuss the village’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district proposal was held Monday at Village Hall. It allowed local taxing bodies an opportunity to ask questions that lingered after the initial TIF district proposal meeting on July 11.

Representatives of taxing bodies, including Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkel and Sugar Grove Township official Dan Nagle, expressed their concerns with the TIF district, which is an economic device Sugar Grove wants to implement in an effort to stimulate economic development by using the incremental tax the village receives for improving a specific area, and then putting those funds toward development costs.

According to a village document, the proposed TIF district is meant to spur non-residential development in order to generate local jobs and expand the tax base, and would be in effect for 23 years.

Despite the objections of a few taxing bodies, the Joint Review Board voted 5-3 to confirm that the proposed TIF district indeed satisfies the requirements, objectives and eligibility criteria of the TIF Act.

“These Joint Review Board meetings are meant to ensure that municipalities do talk to the other taxing districts so that they’re at least aware of what is going on,” Village President Sean Michels said. “It was a good forum, and I truly heard what other taxing bodies were saying, with concerns about the size of the (TIF) district. It’s probably their paramount concern.”

A village document outlines the boundaries of the TIF district, which is projected to cover the industrial area that stretches from Route 47 (north) to an area near the Burlington Northern Railroad (south), and Aurora Municipal Airport (east) to village limits (west).

The size of the TIF district is certainly an issue for Kunkel, who expressed concern during the meeting that the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District would be unable to get the taxes it needs to expand its facilities while the TIF district is in effect.

“We’ve assured him that if we get some heavy users that would require an addition to the Fire Protection District, because they need specialized equipment, then we could incorporate those as part of the TIF,” Michels said. “We’re trying to be open and work with the different taxing bodies to show them that they won’t be necessarily shut out.”

Kaneland School Board President Cheryl Krauspe said the proposed TIF district meets the letter of the law and the criteria identified in the statute, if even by the slightest of margins.

“According to the voting parameters, I felt compelled to vote ‘yes,’” she said. “That being said, I’m not sure that, although the letter of the law as required was met, if the spirit of the TIF statute—centered around redevelopment rather than new development—was met.”

Michels said the proposed TIF district will next be brought up for public hearing during the regular Village Board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16.

“I don’t know if we’ll close the public hearing that night, (as) we’ll listen to what the public has to say, as well,” he said. “I think we might have to keep it open for two meetings.”

Krauspe said Kaneland’s voice will be heard at the meeting next month.

“Kaneland will be vocal (at) the Aug. 16 public hearing, as it represents a significant loss in revenue over 23 years, when our revenues, along with those of all our taxpayers, are quite limited,” she said.

Knights baseball to get cell reception

Photo courtesy of the Kaneland Krier

Kaneland’s Class 3A State Championship winning baseball squad is going “All In” at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Knights are scheduled to be honored for on-field pregame introductions at U.S. Cellular Field on the south side of Chicago before the White Sox vs. New York Yankees contest on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at 7:11 p.m.

Pre-game introductions recognizing the champions happens at approximately 6:15 p.m.

Ticket pick-up at Kaneland High School takes place on Saturday, July 30, from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

All players, families and friends are welcome, with the seating area in the Lower Box, Section 155.

For more information and any questions, e-mail coach Brian Aversa at

Foreign exchange program needs host families

ELBURN—STS Foundation, a local foreign exchange program, needs host families for a group of foreign exchange students coming to Illinois for the upcoming school year.

The students will be staying for five to 10 months, and they come from over 30 countries. Students have their own spending money and insurance. Families can choose the country they wish to host.

Call or e-mail Dave Keating for more information at 1-800-522-4678,, or simply fill out a host family application at

Host families needed in Elburn

ELBURN—Families in Elburn are needed to host high school exchange students from all over the world. Academic Year in America is bringing hundreds of high school students to the U.S. to learn about American culture while living with volunteer host families and studying at high schools across the nation. American families have the unique opportunity to learn about the student’s culture during this mutually rewarding exchange.

AYA can help families find the ideal student for their home. The result is an enriching, lifelong relationship with a young person from abroad.

Students ages 15 to 18 arrive with full medical insurance, spending money, and stay with their host for five or 10 months while attending the local high school.

To learn more about hosting an exchange student with AYA, call 1-800-322-4678, ext. 5164, or e-mail For more information, visit

D-302 balks at proposed tax district

Sugar Grove holds first meeting to discuss proposed economic development plan
By Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove’s Joint Review Committee, created in conjunction with the village’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district proposal, held its first meeting at Village Hall on Monday.

Attendance at the meeting was high, as several taxing bodies in attendance posed questions regarding the TIF District—an economic tool Sugar Grove wants to use to stimulate economic development by taking the incremental tax the village receives for improving a projected area, and then using that money to fund the development costs. Therefore, the TIF District provides businesses in the projected area with needed municipal support and infrastructure.

A village document defines the village’s redevelopment plan as an effort to spur non-residential development that will generate local jobs and expand the tax base. The TIF District regarding the projected industrial area would be in effect for 23 years.

“The meeting was well attended, and this is probably one of the first times a TIF District has been proposed in our area,” Village President Sean Michels said. “Other taxing bodies had some genuine questions and interests (during the meeting), and I would say everybody was cautious. A couple of questions came up, and Mike Hoffman (of Teska Associates—the company that designed the Redevelopment Plan for the village) and (Community Development Director) Rich Young were going to get back to them on those questions.”

The Redevelopment Plan document states that a TIF District can attract redevelopment to the projected area by eliminating conditions that inhibit private investment, weaken the village’s tax base and hinder the village’s ability to promote a cohesive development of compatible land uses. According to the document, the TIF District is projected to cover the industrial area that stretches from Route 47 (north) to an area near the Burlington Northern Railroad (south), and Aurora Municipal Airport (east) to village limits (west).

“There’s some concern about the size of the TIF District, and one of the reasons we’re making it large is because the property has to be continuous (and with) certain conditions—an area that is in decline, and it has to be industrial property,” Michels said. “We’re trying to put (the TIF) into property where we think there will be some kind of building going on with commercial and industrial activity.”

Some of the individuals in attendance have voiced other concerns regarding the proposed TIF District.

“Our board has a concern with the length (of time) of the TIF,” Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “Given the size of the area being included in the TIF, 23 years is a very long time. Industrial growth could certainly benefit both the village and other taxing entities, but when the TIF runs the full 23 years, that impact for the other taxing districts is pushed out too far.”

Schuler said that the Kaneland Board of Education is certainly willing to work collaboratively with the village in exploring options that would encourage industrial and commercial growth, but it needs to be done in a way that allows taxpayers to realize the impact of that growth without waiting 23 years.

School Board President Cheryl Krauspe had prepared a statement for the Joint Review Board meeting but was unable to read it, as statements were not heard during the hearing.

“The Kaneland School District does not feel that its best interests are served with the formation of the TIF District proposed by Sugar Grove,” she said. “The downside for Kaneland is that when funds are diverted for improvements to this large piece of property, it is revenue which cannot benefit the School District to help fund operations, construction or improvements for the life of the TIF, as long as 23 years. Twenty-three years is a long time to promote development in one area, as the TIF proposes.”

Krauspe said the long-lasting result will deny new tax dollars to other taxing entities, and if the TIF is successful and industrial growth happens, additional revenues would not find their way to the tax base for 23 years. In that scenario, there would be no resulting tax relief to the homeowners in the nine municipalities that Kaneland serves until the year 2034.

“Kaneland District 302 is open to exploring the option of an Intergovernmental Agreement, which could work to put part of the potential new revenues back into the servicing entities,” she said. “We would also be open to a change in the definition of this TIF district, such as a smaller area of property to be identified in the TIF, or a periodic release of those captured tax dollars to the overlapping units during a scheduled review basis.”

The village’s redevelopment plan document states that Sugar Grove is uniquely situated to take advantage of access to multiple transportation options that benefit current and potential business in the area, including major regional thoroughfares, highways, rail and airport access. However, industrial development in the outlined section of the village has been very limited because of the limited availability of infrastructure.

“It’s expensive to bring in water and sewer and bring in roads, and businesses will likely go to areas where there are already roads and water and sewer unless (those businesses) can somehow get some assistance in paying for those improvements, and that’s what the TIF District does,” Michels said.

The next Joint Review Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 25.

Estimated project costs:

$15.3 million
Administration, studies, surveys, legal,
marketing, etc.

$16.4 million
Property assembly including acquisition, site preparation
and demolition, environmental remediation

$4.1 million
Rehabilitation, reconstruction, repair or remodeling

$91.0 million
Public Works or improvements and capital costs
of taxing districts

Job training and retraining

$1.0 million
Relocation costs

$128.2 million
Total Redevelopment costs

Kaneland performs ‘Bye Bye Birdie’

KANELAND—The summer theatre program of the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival brings the year-long celebration of the arts to a close with a production of “Bye Bye Birdie.”

Diane McFarlin is the director of the summer production. She serves the Kaneland School District as one of the assistant principals at Kaneland High School.

“Bye Bye Birdie” will run for two weekends on July 8, 9 ,10 and 15, 16 and 17. The production has over 80 participants.

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (630) 262-1008. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens, and $23 for a family

The Kaneland High School Box Office, located in the lobby of the auditorium, will be open for ticket sales before opening night.

Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7 p.m., and Sunday performances begin at 2 p.m.

Rep. Hatcher launches new season of her “Foxy Readers” Summer Reading Club

YORKVILLE—State Representative Kay Hatcher has launched a new season of her popular “Foxy Readers” Summer Reading Club for area students who pledge to continue reading during their summer vacation.

“Not all education is formal,” Hatcher said. “I want to encourage elementary school students in our district to spend part of their summer vacation again this year exploring where good books can take them.”

Hatcher is sponsoring her “Foxy Readers” Summer Reading Club again this year in cooperation with area libraries. The club is open to all first through fifth grade students in the 50th district. Informational flyers are available by contacting Rep. Hatcher’s office or by visiting your local library.

Summer Readers will be encouraged to read at least eight books during their vacation, then list their books on the flyer and return it to Representative office by Aug. 1. Those who complete the reading will be recognized with certificates of achievement and invited to a certificate award ceremony and party in the fall.

“Foxy Readers” participating local libraries:
• Aurora Public Library
1 E. Benton St., Aurora
• Batavia Library
10 S. Batavia Ave., Batavia
• Charles Phillips Public Library
6 N. Jackson St., Newark
• Kaneville Public Library
2S101 Harter Road, Kaneville
• Maple Park Public Library District
302 Willow St., Maple Park
• Messenger Public Library
113 Oak St., North Aurora
• Oswego Public Library
32 West Jefferson St., Oswego
• Plano Public Library
15 W. North St., Plano
• Sugar Grove Public Library
54 Snow St., Sugar Grove
• Town and Country Library
320 E. North St., Elburn
• Yorkville Public Library
902 Game Farm Road, Yorkville

Kaneland High School honor roll

High honor roll
Theresa Alef, Matthew Alfrey, Jesse Balluff, Brandon Bishop, Lauren Black, Alexandra Brenwall, Morgan Buerke, Molly Campbell, Erika Carlson, Lesly Chavez, Melissa Cherry, Jacob Cinkus, Christine Crews, Christina Delach, Megan Franklin, Spencer Good, Tatiana Guerrero, Kayla Hedgren, Madeline Heinzer, Daniel Helm, Madison Hester, Tyler Hill, Tyler Holan, Michael Howard, Casey Jacobson, Brittany Kemp, Gary Koehring, Nathaniel Kucera, Broderick Kuhar, Emily Laudont, Jennifer Lubic, Kaley Martens, Rachel Mathys, Kellyn McMullan, Carissa Miller, Megan Munyon, Abigail Needham, Brittany Olson, Reid Peters, Mary Piazza, Eileen Ruppel, Alexandria Russell, Katelyn Schmidt, Tyler Slamans, Allison Steininger, Rachel Steinmiller, Elizabeth Strang, Sydney Strang, Jin Tanizaki, Jordan Thelander, Curtis Thorson, Thomas Van Bogaert, Jessica Villafuerte, Sophie Wallace, Zachary Wielgos, Brin Wilk, Azalia Wilkerson, Ethan Witt, Lauren Zick, Nathan Zitko.

Olubukola Ayegbusi, Kami Bauer, Jason Biddle, Emma Bradford, Erica Brettman, Romina Carrano, Robert Debolt, Laken Delahanty, Natalie Dietrich, Abigail Dodis, Austin Doyle, Katelyn Dray, Brendan Dunphy, Zachary Eckhardt, Caroline Eichelberger, Christopher Farrell, Sean Flamand, Dominique Galloway, Sarah Grams, Keriann Groen, Nicole Grossman, Emily Gulanczyk, Nicole Hanlon, Brooke Harner, Tyler Hawbecker, David Hernandez, Jenice Heyob, Bradley Johnson, Conor Johnson, Kathryn Kenkel, Erin Kettelkamp, Alec Koczka, Jessica Kolzow, Taylor Krawczyk, Cara Lenhardt, Amanda Lesak, Matthew Limbrunner, Benjamin Longson, Madeline McMullen, Daniel Miller, Morgan Newhouse, Alyssa Nolte, Beau Ott, Nicholas Philips, Joseph Pollastrini, Ashley Prost, Maxim Reger, Michael Saucedo, Jessica Smith, Samantha Sparks, Savannah Stasik, Morgan Stewart, Ryan Straughn, Brianne Strobel, Manuel Tapia, Taylor Velazquez, Jemma Waldrop, Kaitlyn Wendling.

Lauren Allen, Madison Bluml, Brianna Brehm, Taylor Buri, Lauren Companiott, Ashley Diddell, Daniel Dredge, Katelyn Dudzinski, Brian Edwards, Eric Eichelberger, Ariel Geraghty, Jacob Ginther, Noelle Goodine, Kelsey Gould, Adam Grams, Malory Groen, Elizabeth Howie, Nicole Ketza, Denitza Koleva, Benjamin Kovalick, Kelly Kovasic, Alec Krueger, Kayley Larsen, Stelios Lekkas, Jacob Mazuc, Austin McElderry, Amelia Napiorkowski, Anna Novotny, William Osborne, Athanasios Pesmajoglou, Drew Peters, Jordan Phillips, Alexa Reger, Sawyer Rego, Courtney Reiss, Karyn Ribbens, Josias Rodriguez, Stephanie Rosenwinkel, Margaret Ruppel, Alejandra Salinas, Connor Sandquist, Melissa Schmidt, Dana Schultz, Ashley Shearer, Kylie Siebert, Ashlyn Slamans, Brandon Stahl, Trevor Storck, Katherine Taylor, Valerie Tockstein, Carolina Tovar, Delani Vest, Marissa Villafuerte, Savannah Webb, Nicholas Wielgos, Anders Winquist-Bailey, Elliot Witt.

Athina Ajazi, Grant Alef, Sarah Arnold, Kelsey Bishop, Kristina Bowen, Kayla Burns, Jocelyn Cabral, Josiah Camiliere, Elaine Cannell, Jessica Corbett, Emily Darrow, Cali Dickerson, Dylan Draper, Michelle Dugan, Lacey Eberle, Collin Ellingwood, Ariana Espino, Brock Feece, Drew French, Danielle Frost, Matthew Gamalski, Allison Grossmann, Megan Hanlon, Emily Heimerdinger, Andrew Hladilek, Morgan Johnson, Lindsay Jurcenko, Joseph Kenkel, Maria Kernychny, Skyler King, John Kintz, Courtney Kowalski, Kristen Krajewski, Jordan Krawczyk, Amanda Lamp, Alexandra Leonhard, Christian Limbo, Jessica Lubic, Bernice Marsala, Mark Merfeld, Katie Meuer, Abby Michels, Sarah Morgan, Kaitlin Munyon, Joshua Nahley, Megan Nauert, Nicole Ott, Keara Palpant, Angela Parillo, Brooke Patterson, Angelica Perez, Karissa Pitstick, Amber Platt, Eric Quigley, Alyson Rehr, Kendall Renaud, Alicia Robinson, Linnea Scherer, Joshua Schuberg, Hannah Schuppner, Elizabeth Smith, Charlene Steininger, Andrea Strang, Danielle Thomas, Holly Thomas, Brooke Thompson, Samantha Wantuch, Breanna White, Amanda Whiteside, Thomas Whittaker, Caitlyn Young, Cara Zagel, Kelsey Zollinger.

Regular honor roll
Christian Andrzejewski, Anna Bateman, Mitchell Bateman, Steven Becker, Michelle Bohanek, Alexander Buzenski, Lanie Callaghan, Gina Campobasso, Tyler Carlson, Agnieszka Damiec, Andrew David, Michael Deja, Kyle DiSandro, Sean Dunphy, Daniel Evers, Angelique Franks, Kristina Frohlich, Denise Gombar, Kelsy Goodwin, Caroline Heimerdinger, Mara Hernandez, Jessica Jablonski, Shane Jorgensen, Stefanos Lekkas, Nicolas Likeum, Eun Woo Lim, Ryan Longson, Meredith McCaffrey, Adam Nguyen, Casey Novak, Shannon O’Shea, Andre Palpant, Julie Panasik, Anthony Parillo, Anna Piazza, Eric Przybylski, Daisy Ramirez, Shannon Ransford, Muhammad Rehman, Alexis Roach, Brock Robertsen, Paige Robinson, Joshua Rodriguez, Teri Ruffolo, Kaleb Schuppner, Kaylee Shoaff, Alexander Snyder, Taylor Spooner, Nicholas Stahl, Ashlee Tennant, Cameron Thomas, Alexis Tonioni, Ignacio Toscano, ChristianVanDinther, Kelly Wallner, Nicholas Welz, Amber Winquist-Bailey, Lucas Wolski, Glenn Wright.

Gabriella Aguirre, Stephanie Ahrendt, Fakhria Akbari, Nicholas Albano, Julia Angelotti, Bridgett Ausbury, Lauren Banbury, Elizabeth Berland, Jennifer Bicos, Sarah Briggs, Margaret Brundige, Ashley Castellanos, Kailey Chan, Brianne Claypool, Rachael Clinton, Joshua Cohrs, Vanessa Cook, Kelsey Cotton, Anna Croft, Cynthia Delao, Hannah Dewar, Elizabeth Eckert, Ryan Euting, Marshall Farthing, Kristin Gabrielson, Alexander Gil, Jordan Ginther, Sean Glennon, Nikolas Hale, Alyson Harner, Kirstin Hinds, Kushtrim Ismaili, Brandon Johnson, Brad Kigyos, Samuel Kilgore, Esther Kong, Alexander Kovach, Joseph Kuipers, Alexis Labra-Guerra, Brittany Larsen, Tanisha Lee, Kara Leyden, Sydney Luse, Emily Maki, Stephanie Maras, Samantha Markelz, Kelsi Marko, Jay Markuson, Jacqueline McClellan, Danielle McCormack, Savanah Miles, Alyssa Nahley, Sarah Norman, Allyson O’Herron, Patrick Overmyer, Kayli Pinkston, Kyle Pollastrini, MacKenzie Powell, Natasha Ring, Lauren Rusnok, Lyndi Scholl, Christina Schrems, Collin Seidelman, Megan Selenis, Zachary Selmer, Nathaniel Snyder, Benjamin Sommers, Karizza Sotelo, Blake Sowell, Zachary Theis, Tanya Toscano, Alexandra Vickery, Alexander Willis, Jessica Woodward, Danielle Wylie

Rebecca Arnold, Lilly Berrend, Melissa Bohorquez, Quinn Buschbacher, Acalia Cleaver, Leeza Corirossi, Kelly Evers, Shane Fergus, John Goodrich, Aaronjeet Grewal, Austin Henkelman, Courtnie Holland, Seleana Isaacs, Christina Janes, Grace Johnson, Brandin Jordan, Krysta Knarr, Ryan Kolk, James Langeness, Cesar Lazcano, Nicholette LeBlanc, Sharissa Lee, Madison Limbrick, Kayley McPhee, Julianne Miller, Diana Nuno, Konstantin Paraskevov, Sierra Perteete, Edker Pope, Jari Ramos-Orbe, Nathan Rehkopf, Jake Rosko, Maria Rossi, Alejandro Salinas, Alexander Siebert, Grace Snyder, Erica Sorensen, Molly Speckman, Anthony Sperando, Michael Tattoni, Mackenzie Theisen, Catherine Tolan, Bryan Van Bogaert, Shannon Wallace, Kathleen Werrline, Samantha Williams, Jordyn Withey, Michael Withey, Maverick Wojciechowski, Erin Woodill, John Wooten.

Shanna Adams, Meredith Ament, Yesenia Ayala, Sydney Bilotta, Taylor Bradbury, Stephanie Breen, Tyler Callaghan, Francesco Cimmarrusti, Shaela Collins, Kory Crotteau, Andrea Dimmig Potts, Brian Dixon, Caitlin Ellefsen, Zachary Ganz, Damien Gilbert, Hayley Guyton, Michael Hammermeister, Amanda Helfers, Anna Henrichs, Trevor Holm, Elizabeth Hylland, Kellie Johnson, Dylan Keith, Kelsee Koehring, Nathan Krauz, Travis Lexa, Janelle McClard, John Moring, Derek Nordine, Melissa Oko, Nicholas Rowland, Colleen Ryan, Nicole Rymarz, Ariela Saltijeral, Sarah Sanetra, Christopher Sorensen, Tomasz Steliga, Kyle Stover, Melanie Thompson, Robert Thorson, Samantha Vazquez, Jacqueline Wanshek, Madison Well, Christian Williams

‘Grand’ accomplishment

The Kaneland Sports Boosters offer four $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors each year. The student write an essay with the theme “Lessons learned in victory and defeat”. These scholarships were awarded at the Senior Athletic Banquet sponsored by the boosters and the athletic office on May 25th. The winners this year were: (from left) Curtis Secrest, Andrea Strang, Kristina Bowen and Trevor Holm. Courtesy Photo

Two laptops stolen from Board of Education contractor

ILLINOIS—Two laptops were stolen from an Illinois State Board of Education contractor on June 7. The laptops contained personal information for 10,000 students and employees who are involved in special education services in 42 school districts, including Kaneland and West Aurora.

Affected families and staff may have recently received a letter from the Illinois State Board of Education on behalf of Harrisburg Project. Harrisburg Project is an external contractor for the Illinois State Board of Education that assists with the collection of student and personnel data for purposes of special education reporting and reimbursement.

According to the State Board of Education, the following information was on the laptops:

• For the personnel records: name, demographics (optional field), Social Security number and/or teacher certification number (one of these is a required field), and work assignment.
• For student records: resident school district, serving school district, serving school, fund code, birth date, name (last, first, middle), student identification number and/or social security number, gender, race/ethnicity, student’s identified disability, grade level, limited English proficiency identification (if applicable), language spoken, bilingual special education (degree of severity, if applicable), related services eligible to receive, educational environment, percent of time receiving services within the general education environment, room and board payer (if applicable), beginning and end dates, and reason for exit.

The information on the computers was password protected. However, if you are among those notified, the State Board of Education recommends that you protect yourself from the possibility of identity theft. The Illinois Attorney General’s Identity Theft Hotline, 1-866-999-5630, has resources to assist you.

The State Board of Education also recommends that you contact credit-reporting agencies to initiate a fraud-alert process. You can contact anyone of the three agencies below and that agency will alert the other two. You may also want to notify your bank in the event that anyone tries to access your accounts.

• Equifax: 1-800-525-6285,
• Experian: 1-888-397-3742,
• TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289,

International exchange students coming

ELBURN—The STS Foundation is inviting local families to host international exchange students for the 2011-12 school year.

The teenage students come from over 30 countries and will attend local high schools. The students have their own spending money and insurance. Host families are responsible for meals, a place to sleep and a nurturing environment. STS Foundation will have a local coordinator that will supervise the student and support the family throughout the school year.

For questions, contact Dave Keating at 1-800-522-4678 or

School Board approves tentative FVCC budget

MAPLE PARK—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 6-0 to approve the 2011-12 tentative budget for the Fox Valley Career Center (FVCC).

According to a document from Superintendent Jeff Schuler, the Kaneland Board of Education is required to adopt the tentative budget and final budget for the FVCC each year.

The document also states that the budget takes into consideration registration enrollment information, staffing patterns, technology, equipment needs, supplies and maintenance costs.

School Board approves budget amendment

MAPLE PARK—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 6-0 to approve a 2010-11 budget amendment.

According to Superintendent Jeff Schuler, auditors recommended that the district do budget amendments for this year to account for payments made by the state into pension systems on behalf of Kaneland employees.

“The more significant amendment was the adjustment in revenue for mandated categorical,” Schuler said. “Those are reimbursements for services we are required by law to provide, such as transportation and special education. Unfortunately the delay by the state of Illinois in releasing those numbers means that we don’t have accurate budget numbers at the time the budget is approved.”

Schuler said the budget amendment allowed the district to update the revenue numbers so that they reflect the amount Kaneland expects to receive from the state.

“To date, only one of the four payments for the 2010-11 school year have been received,” he said.

Board member Tony Valente was absent from the meeting.

School Board approves tentative D-302 budget

MAPLE PARK—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 6-0 to approve the tentative 2011-12 budget.

According to a document from Julie-Ann Fuchs, assistant superintendent for business, Illinois School Code requires boards of education to adopt an annual budget within the first quarter of each fiscal year, followed by the budget being put into tentative form and put up for public inspection for a duration of at least 30 days before the budget is adopted.

A public hearing and adoption of the District 302 2011-12 budget will take place on Sept. 12.

School Board approves health insurance renewal

by Keith Beebe
MAPLE PARK—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 4-0 to approve a health insurance renewal that will allow the board to eschew its grandfathered status within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 in order to eliminate any unnecessary financial burden.

Board Members Gale Pavlak and Joe Oberweis chose to state “present” during the vote. Board Member Tony Valente was absent from the meeting.

With the health insurance renewal, the School Board of Education approved renewal rates for 2011-12, including life insurance, medical and dental. The board will also implement a four-tier structure for health insurance premiums that will go into effect on Nov. 1, which will allow employees to have rates from the two-tier system for a third of the upcoming year. The four-tier system would be implemented for the latter two thirds of the year.

“Health insurance costs continue to challenge the School District,” Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “The amount of money allocated to health insurance benefits is something we will need to carefully monitor in the coming years, as it will impact our ability to allocate resources to other areas of our educational program.”

The reason for retaining the two-tier structure for one third of the year is to ease the financial impact that staff in the Family tier for health coverage will experience in a four-tier system (18.2 percent, or an increase of $567.60 per year).

Staff members included in the Employee and Spouse, and Employee and Children tiers will see a decrease of 52.3 percent ($1,629.84 a year) and 59.4 percent ($1,849.44 a year) in the four-tier system.

“The committee worked hard this year to explore cost containment strategies,” Schuler said. “That will need to continue as we look to future years.”

Kaneland Krier wins Golden Eagle

Photo: The Krier staff shows off its awards outside the College of DuPage, where the NISPA conference was held. Front row: Editors Elaine Cannell, Julia Angelotti, Jessica Corbett, Kylie Siebert, Amanda Schiff, and Rachael Clinton. Second row: Krier adviser Cheryl Borrowdale, reporters Emily Gulanczyk, Emily Ferrell, Alex Vickery, Sara Laurie, Kaprice Sanchez, Taylor Phillips, Casey Jacobson, Heather Shelton, Kaley Martens, and Kelsy Goodwin. Back row: Reporters Lexi Roach, Lanie Callaghan, Jake Razo, Tyler Keenum, Matt Wahlgren, Shane Fergus, Brittany Larsen, Kate Anderson, Ryan Noel, Morgan Buerke, Nick Phillips, and Nick Stollard. Courtesy Photo

by Kaneland Krier staff
Kaneland—The Kaneland Krier took home the Golden Eagle, a trophy for best student newspaper in its class, for the second year in a row at the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association conference.

The NISPA conference represents high school journalism programs located north of I-80 in Illinois, including all Chicago-area schools, and is the most competitive region in the state.

“We’re very proud to have won the Golden Eagle again this year,” said Cheryl Borrowdale, journalism teacher at Kaneland High School. “We had some stiff competition, and the judges looked at seven consecutive issues from this year, which was virtually everything the staff had written thus far this year when we entered in February. To win two years in a row is an indication that the Krier staff is doing consistently excellent work.”

The staff scored 370 out of 400 possible points, the highest of any newspaper in its division, and received a perfect score in the advertising category.

The judges praised the publication for having “lots of good reporting and research in your cover stories, where the quotes went beyond just a one-sentence response to a question, which is great reporting,” for its use of documentary photography, and for the appearance of the paper. “You obviously spend a lot of time and put a lot of effort into making every page look good,” one judge wrote. “Really great use of graphics and alternative story forms. The design of your publication has personality.”

Krier staff members also took home individual awards in several categories.

Individual winners were sophomore Maggie Brundige in news writing; freshman Morgan Buerke in news writing; senior Maria Kernychny in editorial writing; sophomore Heather Shelton in editorial cartooning; senior Jessica Corbett in column writing; sophomore Julia Angelotti in feature writing; junior Kylie Siebert in feature photography; freshman Casey Jacobson in individual in-depth; senior Jessica Corbett and freshmen Kelsy Goodwin, Kaley Martens, Morgan Buerke and Sara Laurie in team in-depth; freshman Alexis Roach in sports writing; senior Amanda Schiff in graphics; and senior Megan Nauert in advertising.

“The Krier did well in many different categories, from the writing ones to the photography, graphics, and cartooning ones. It shows that the Krier is a well-rounded publication and that the students on staff have a wide variety of talents,” Borrowdale said.

When the Golden Eagle was announced, the Krier staff let out a huge cheer at NISPA, which was held at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

“We’re number one,” junior Ryan Noel, a reporter, shouted as he high-fived those around him.

Positively perfect

Krafft attends 1,980 consecutive days of school, and counting
by Kaneland Krier
Kaneland—Steven Krafft has never missed a day of school in his life. He’s never even been tardy to a class. The Kaneland High School junior has 1,980 days of perfect attendance so far, and he plans to keep it that way.

“He hasn’t missed a day of school ever,” Dr. Greg Fantozzi, Kaneland’s principal, confirmed. “That takes a lot of dedication.”

Krafft is the only student at Kaneland High School with a perfect record. Yet a mix-up last year almost spoiled it.

As a musician in the school’s jazz band, Krafft has his physical education class and his jazz band class on alternate “A” and “B” days at Kaneland. His P.E. teacher accidentally marked him tardy on a day that Krafft was scheduled to be in jazz band, not in physical education.

That black mark was something that Kraftt simply couldn’t handle.

“It was heartbreaking,” Krafft said.

When he went home, he said, his father was so upset that he actually shed a few tears.

The next day, Krafft went to Assistant Principal Ian Smith, who straightened the record out.

Yet even though he cared about his spotless record, Krafft never told his classmates about it, he said, until he got a letter from Kaneland High School congratulating him for it last week. Then, he posted about it on his Facebook wall, letting his friends know about his lifelong perfect attendance.

What did they say?

“Thirty people ‘liked’ it,” Krafft said. “My dad said ‘good job.’”

Krafft hadn’t been going for a record until he reached sixth grade and suddenly realized that he had never missed a day.

“I was just never sick,” Krafft said. “But then I realized what I had. I realized that I had something no one else does. It’s unusual. It’s cool.

“Plus,” he added, “I just don’t like doing make-up work.”

KHS recognizes students with perfect attendance

Photo: Sophomore Brett Evola helps himself to some pancakes, sausage and fruit salad at the perfect attendance breakfast. Courtesy Photo

They never missed a day of school; and their numbers are increasing.
by Kaneland Krier staff
Kaneland—Kaneland High School honored 42 students with perfect attendance on May 24 with a pancake breakfast and awards ceremony. The number of students with perfect attendance is on the rise, attendance secretary Cathy Mathews said, and is up nearly one-third from the 33 students who achieved it last year.

The students received a certificate of perfect attendance from Counselor Andrew Franklin, and administrators spoke about the students’ achievements.

“You’re every teacher’s dream,” Principal Greg Fantozzi told the assembled students. “To have someone in class every day, not missing tests or homework, that’s the ideal educational experience.”

He pointed out that future employers would appreciate people who showed up to work every day, on time, like clockwork.

“It’s a really important attribute that your boss will appreciate,” Fantozzi said.

And, occasionally, employers do check someone’s attendance with the high school, Mathews said.

“One of the most interesting calls I ever got was from Wal-Mart, asking about the high school attendance of an 82-year-old woman,” Mathews recalled. “It was such a long time ago, but they still wanted to know whether she was someone with a good attendance record. And I went through the old records and told them.”

Mathews particularly praised the Kaneland freshmen class, which had the largest number of students with perfect attendance: 18.

“The freshmen are working on their attendance,” Mathews said.

Freshman Jordan Thelander, who was among those students with a perfect record, said she was proud of her accomplishment.

“I think it’s pretty great because I’ve missed a day of school every year except this year,” Thelander said. “It’s pretty cool to be able to do that. I guess the freshmen class is very determined not to miss school, maybe because it’s really annoying to do the make-up work.”

The sophomore class also had high numbers of students with perfect attendance, with 13 students who had never missed a day. Among them are siblings Brett and Breanna Evola, both sophomores.

The siblings said they were surprised to learn they had both had perfect attendance.
“I knew I had it,” Breanna Evola said. “But I wasn’t trying to get anything, so it was kind of shocking. I didn’t know Brett had it to until he told me he got the letter.”

Brett said the two had not coordinated their accomplishment.

“After third term, I noticed I had perfect attendance and thought I’d keep it going,” he said. “I’ve only gotten perfect attendance one other time, in eighth grade. It’s ironic because we weren’t really trying, and I wasn’t really paying attention until we both got the letter.”

The Evola siblings said that their father had inspired them to strive in school.

“My dad, he’s always impressed with our accomplishments, and he pushes us,” Brett said. “He says, ‘Don’t stay home unless you need to, not unless you’re absolutely dying sick.’ And because he strives, I push and strive too.”

Nine juniors had perfect attendance, including Steven Krafft, who has never missed a day of school in his life, and three seniors had achieved perfect attendance.

Senior Kari Pitstick joked about being one of the only seniors with perfect attendance.

“Even senior skip day, I just came because it was so late in the year, and I didn’t want to ruin it,” she said with a laugh.

Pitstick said she wanted to do it for herself.

“For me personally, it’s all myself. If I wanted to miss a day of school, my parents would let me,” she said. “But I don’t want to miss.”

At the banquet, 37 of the 42 students received a certificate and a $25 gift certificate to Geneva Commons, as well as a pancake breakfast served by the culinary arts students.

The other five students?

They did not want to attend the banquet, which was held during second block, and miss time in class, Mathews said.

“I told them it was okay, but they didn’t want to miss anything,” she said. “I’ll bring their certificates to them.”

Students with perfect attendance at Kaneland High School this year are freshmen Anna Bateman, Steven Becker, Melissa Cherry, Megan Franklin, Mattie Garrison, Lauren Grim, Bailey Harvell, Mara Hernandez, Tyler Hill, Brandon Lewkowich, Joseph Mendoza, Alec Pope, Eileen Ruppel, Rachel Steinmiller, Jordan Thelander, Cynthia Vasquez, Zachary Wielgos and Nathan Zitko. Sophomores were Sarah Briggs, Zachary Eckhardt, Breanna Evola, Brett Evola, David Hernandez, Zachary Jones, Alec Koczka, Matthew Limbrunner, Joseph Pollastrini, Kaitlyn Wendling, Christopher Wido and Nicholas Yankula. Juniors were Bridget Hankes, Steven Krafft, Adam Olderr, William Osbourne, Alexa Reger, Josias Rodriguez, Stephan Rosenwinkle, Margaret Ruppel and Marissa Villafuerte. Seniors were Patrick Bratschun, Kari Pitstick and Amanda Whiteside.

Scholarship winners

by Kaneland Krier staff
Kaneland—These four Kaneland seniors earned over $600,000 in academic scholarships between them. Here’s how they did it:

Taylor Andrews
Senior Taylor Andrews chose the college he will be attending next fall for reasons most don’t: the history, the challenge and the leadership position.

Andrews will be attending the West Point Military Academy in the fall on a full scholarship that covers tuition, room, board and fees.

“While I was looking for colleges, I was looking at the service academies mainly because of the benefits that followed, but as I got to researching, I found that it wasn’t all about the benefits. It was something deeper: the legacy that follows and all the history behind it. I also want to challenge myself and my leadership abilities. What better way to do that than as a US Army officer?” Andrews said.

West Point has an acceptance rate of just 15 percent, which makes acceptance there as competitive as at many Ivy League universities. Candidates must be academically, physically and medically qualified and must receive a nomination from an approved source, such as a member of Congress.

“I think (Taylor’s) academics were above average, his athletics were above average and so was his interview. He also had glowing recommendations. It is very difficult to get into West Point; it’s a huge achievement,” counselor Cynthia Violett said.

Andrews has not yet selected a major, since West Point cadets don’t choose a major until the second semester of their sophomore year. He has an eight-year commitment after schooling, which includes five years of active duty in the Army and three years on reserve. He will become an Army second lieutenant after graduation, with a starting salary of $69,000.

“I feel that this is the best thing for Taylor, but I will miss him a lot because we’re so close to each other. We’re like best friends,” said sophomore Tanner Andrews, Taylor’s brother.
–Emily Gulanczyk, reporter

Abby Michels
With a huge smile on her face, senior Abby Michels gave her mom a hug after finding out that she received the Golden Apple Scholarship.

The Golden Apple, a scholarship awarded to 110 education majors in Illinois, is designed to provide scholarship funds for bright future educators. The Golden Apple provides $2,500 in financial assistance for the first two years of college and $5,000 for the final two years.

“(It’s) the perfect scholarship for a perfect student,” said Michelle Jurcenko, Spanish teacher.

Michels has been interested in being a teacher since elementary school.

“I like helping other people. The one way to stay young internally is to be surrounded by kids,” Michels said.

Michels, who is a senior this year, will attend the Lewis University next fall. Lewis has supplemented her Golden Apple Scholarship with a scholarship of its own—and Michels will attend there on a scholarship worth $33,000 a year.

Golden Apple Scholars enter the classroom with three times the experience that graduates of traditional education programs do. The program watches students for seven years and provides training over the summer.

“Scholars are surrounded by professionals and mentors. They’re like a big happy family. They also work in poor districts that are economically challenged, and they are committed to work in (a high-needs) district,” Counselor Andrew Franklin said.

Michels, who is majoring in special education, was a good candidate for the Golden Apple because she has done so much, from early childhood occupation classes to P.E. Leadership classes, Franklin said.

“It’s a huge blessing. I am so excited. It will open more doors for me to become a better teacher,” Michels said.
–Emily Ferrell, reporter

Hannah Schuppner
Senior Hannah Schuppner has been awarded a Northwestern University Scholarship. The scholarship is worth around $30,000 per year, and she has also been awarded grants to pay for the remaining tuition, room and board, including $2,000 in work study and private grants from the school. Her estimated family contribution is only $5,000 per year.

“The scholarship made it possible to go to my dream school. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to go there,” Schuppner said.

Northwestern was her first choice, over DePaul University or the University of Chicago. She plans to study psychology and then possibly attend law school.

“It’s not the number-one psychology school, but it’s ranked highly in the nation,” Schuppner said.

“I’m happy that she’s going to stay in Illinois, so she’ll be relatively close,” said Kaleb Schuppner, Hannah’s brother. “I was very excited for her, but I was not surprised at all. She is a very excellent student and works very hard.”

AP Literature teacher Patty Welker said she is certain that Schuppner will be very successful because of her great analytical skills and critical thinking skills.

According to both Schuppners, their father was extremely excited at the news that Hannah would have the money to go to a good school.

“Northwestern has always been my dream school,” Schuppner said. “After I visited the campus, I just fell in love with it. It just felt right.”
–Brianne Strobel, reporter

Jessica Corbett
It’s what all high school students strive for: receiving a full-ride scholarship to a dream college. Many students work hard to meet this ultimate goal, but ordinarily it never progresses past a tedious application process. What happens when things take a turn for the extraordinary?

Senior Jessica Corbett received a full scholarship, worth $51,000 a year, that covers tuition, room, board and fees, to Ithaca College in New York. Corbett found out she was a finalist for the scholarship when she received a phone call from Dr. Matt Fee at Ithaca, who invited all 26 finalists to the campus for a two-day interview process.

“I later found out that there were over 500 applicants,” Corbett said.

Corbett, who has worked on the Krier for four years, including two years as an editor, is an exceptional journalism student, journalism teacher Cheryl Borrowdale said.

“She has developed a lot of poise in interviewing and thinks critically enough to ask tough questions,” Borrowdale said. “She has also developed into an excellent writer, capable of taking on in-depth pieces and difficult subjects. She knows every part of producing a paper inside out, and beyond those journalistic skills, she is an outstanding student with a strong work ethic. In every way, she was the perfect candidate for a journalism scholarship.”

On March 30, Corbett found out that she was one of the lucky 13 who had received the scholarship.

“I was really excited for Jess because she deserved it. Then it finally hit me that she was going to be leaving,” said freshman Taylor Corbett, Jessica’s younger sister.

Although her family was ecstatic, Corbett could not actually share the news with friends and other relatives for several days, until all candidates were contacted about the scholarship.

Corbett will double major in journalism and politics at Ithaca, where she is also a member of the honors program.

“They have all of the opportunities that I wanted, such as dance groups, Model UN and a lot of different volunteer opportunities,” Corbett said.

Photo gallery: Class of 2011

The 2011 graduates of Kaneland High School were all smiles as they received their diplomas at NIU’s Convocation Center in DeKalb. Speeches, a slideshow and the new location highlighted the Class of 2011 Kaneland High School graduation ceremony, held Sunday. The KHS Class of 2011 graduated 286 students.
Photos by Ben Draper

Vocal quintet performs for KMS students

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Chicago-based vocal ensemble Table for 5 performed for Kaneland Harter Middle School students on May 18, belting out a handful of musical numbers while also teaching students the importance of emphasizing the visual aspects of performance while singing for an audience.

Halfway into the quintet’s performance, KMS students proved to be no vocal slouches themselves, either, and performed Toto’s “Africa” for their guest singers, stomping the floor to emphasize percussion and mimicking the song’s keyboard parts with vocals.

The visiting vocal ensemble was clearly impressed.

“The kids were great,” Table for 5 member Jeff Duke said. “(Kaneland Harter Middle School music teachers) Lori (Grant) and Brian (Kowalski) do an excellent job in motivating their students and helping them experience the joy of making music.”

Grant said it was a wonderful opportunity for the students to hear and learn from professional musicians.

“Table for 5 has a ‘New York Voices’ sound, but they are right here from the heartland,” she said.

The current line-up of Table for 5 has been together for three years, and consists of Jeff Duke, Heather Braoudakis, Amy Pickering, Roger Anderson and Kathryn Kemp. However, only four members of the group performed for KMS, as Kemp was unable to attend the concert.

Table for 5’s musical repertoire includes classical, jazz, pop and broadway, and four of the group’s members (Duke, Braoudakis, Pickering and Kemp) sing with the Chicago Symphony Chorus. So it’s not surprising that the quintet’s song choices for the Harter Middle School concert ranged from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” to ’60s music, as well as some Wizard of Oz-inspired vocal histrionics. Despite the diversity of the performed material, the group’s strong vocals and complex harmonies weaved effortlessly throughout each song.

“Since we were missing one of our members on Wednesday, we picked arrangements that we thought would not suffer from having a smaller ensemble,” Duke said. “Also, we wanted to pick music that would show the kids how to act and perform a song and let their personalities shine through.”

Duke said the quintet has a variety of music in its catalogue, and will sometimes perform themed concerts when they feel arts series presenters are looking for a particular genre or era of music.

“We try to pick interesting and complex arrangements that will keep the audience’s interest,” he said. “We have had a lot of arrangements written just for us, and that is always helpful to help a group create its own identity.”

Table for 5 doesn’t perform many concerts for schools, but relished the opportunity to perform for Harter Middle School students, talking and giving advice to students between songs, and really hamming it up for students, in an effort to demonstrate the importance of a singer injecting some personality into the performance.

“We don’t do a lot of schools but when we get a chance we always have a great time,” Duke said. “Occasionally when we do a concert series in a community or university, they will coordinate a time for us to get together with students that are interested in the performing arts. It is really fun to share some of the knowledge that we have gained by being working professionals in the arts.”