Category Archives: Kaneland

Harlem Wizards face ‘Kaneland Dream Team’

Kaneland—The Kaneland John Shields PTO will present an exhibition featuring the Harlem Wizards basketball entertainment group on Thursday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m. at Harter Middle School.

The highlight of the basketball group’s exhibition will be an actual game against the Kaneland “Dream Team,” which will feature various students, teachers and staff from District 302.

Advanced tickets to the event can be purchased at under the “Events Schedule” tab before Nov. 10. Any tickets purchased on the day of the show must be bought at the door. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. The Kaneland Middle School PTO will be on hand to offer concessions and Knights spirit wear.

All proceeds from the event will benefit John Shields Elementary School students and staff.

Kaneland lunch menu for Nov. 8-12

Kaneland—The menu for both Kaneland Harter Middle School and Kaneland High School for the week of Nov. 8-12 is as follows:
Monday, Nov. 8: Grilled ham and cheese, veggie soup, gelatin
Tuesday, Nov. 9: Hot dog on a bun, macaroni and cheese, fresh carrots with dip
Wednesday, Nov. 10: Chicken salad sandwich, pretzels, tossed salad, celery, carrots
Thursday, Nov. 11: Cheeseburger, oven fries, mixed veggie
Friday, Nov. 12: Baked fish, cheesy rice, coleslaw, broccoli, frozen yogurt

Tickets on sale for performance series

Kaneland—Tickets will go on sale Monday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 8 and 15 at the Kaneland High School Box Office for the next event in the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival’s next Festival Performance Series.

The event, Jazz Spectacular, will be held 6:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19, in the Kaneland High School Auditorium.

The concert will begin with jazz dance by the critically acclaimed State Street Dance Studio, followed by the Kaneland High School Jazz Band, who will have enjoyed a workshop with the NIU Jazz Ensemble and its director, Ron Carter.

The highlight of the concert is the Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble with guest soloist and jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon.

For reserved tickets, adults pay $10 each, students and senior citizens pay $8 each, and family members who currently live in one household can purchase the Family Ticket for $23, admitting all of the members for one price.

Please contact Maria Dripps-Paulson at if you have questions. Order forms are available on the festival website

K-5 Konnect draws positive reviews so far

KANELAND—At the beginning of this school year, Kaneland School District implemented its online parent portal, Konnect, for grades K-5. At the Oct. 25 School Board meeting, board members received an update on the new initiative.

Konnect is a way to provide a range of information, such as PTO news and classroom newsletters, paperlessly that would usually be sent home with students.

“On the first night, we had 12 e-mails with positive comments regarding Konnect,” said Tim Wolf, Director of Technology.

In the future, Wolf also plans to implement enhanced communication services, as well as the ability for students to be able to access learning materials from anywhere.

Wolf stressed that K-5 Konnect is at its first stage, and he plans on improving the system even more.

Conferences get parents, teachers on same page

by David Maas
KANELAND—The Kaneland School District held parent-teacher conferences Thursday, Nov. 4.

“At Kaneland, we have parent-teacher conferences once a year, for all students,” said Martne McCoy, principal of McDole Elementary School, “However, teachers and parents are able to conference at any point throughout the year, if needed.”

While it isn’t mandatory that all parents attend these conferences, it is recommended that they do.

“We do highly encourage all parents to attend,” said principal of John Stewart Elementary, Laura Garland, “Our goal is to have 100 percent attendance. Our conference schedule includes both day and evening time slots to meet scheduling needs.”

The conferences serve as a means for parents to communicate with teachers about aspects of their child’s academic and social progress. Parents may also inquire about the district’s curricular and behavioral expectations, as well as provide information to the teachers that may have an impact on their child’s school performance.

“Parent-teacher conferences is a time when parents can ask specific questions about their child’s learning, as well as an opportunity for teachers to share the individual learning to their parent,” McCoy said.

Parent-teacher conferences can also help establish a positive working relationship between teachers and their student’s parents.

“Research shows that when parents and teachers partner in the education of a child,” said Shelley Hueber, Principal of Kaneland John Shields Elementary, “That child shows greater gains socially and academically.”

Veteran, active service officials wanted

Kaneland—Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School will hold a Veterans Day celebration on Thursday, Nov. 11. The school will host a morning celebration near the flagpole at 8:55 a.m., as well as an afternoon assembly at 2:45 p.m.

The district is seeking veterans who are available that day to go to classrooms to do a short question-and-answer period. In addition, veterans and community members are invited to the end-of-day assembly.

If you are a veteran, please contact Bonnie Whildin at (630) 365-8170, ext. 119, or e-mail

Dealing with bullies best done with others’ help

by Kaneland Krier staff

Dear Edi,

As a parent and a teacher, I have a question. We often talk about bullying in schools, but usually the bullies aren’t what we’d think of as our friends or teammates. How should kids handle a situation where someone on their team is making fun of them in front of other people, telling them they stink at the sport and that they shouldn’t be on the team? I know what I’d say as a parent, but I’d be really interested in how you’d respond. (Like—how far out of touch from reality are we as adults?)


Dear Wondering,

In nearly every teen movie created, the big, mean bully torments good, innocent characters. Every day, the same situations occur throughout school, ranging from mild teasing to downright cruelty.

But the reality that often isn’t portrayed is that everyone is potentially a bully and victim at some point.

Before students consider themselves victims, they must decide whether the person giving them grief truly fits the description of a bully and how serious the situation really is. In sports, underclassmen and those new to a team are the most likely targets, and they should remember that teammate’s respect must be earned. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes: all the seniors feel superior to everyone else, the benchwarmers are frustrated and the superstars feel on top of the world. It’s not fair, but it’s sports.

If the bully’s comments and actions are tolerable enough to ignore, do just that—teens can’t be so sensitive that every remark leaves them in tears. Work on earning respect by practicing hard and contributing to the team, and the remarks will probably fade.

But sometimes the bullying is severe and ignoring the problem doesn’t work. In such cases, teens should ask for help. First try a trusted friend or the team captain, if the captain seems approachable. Captains especially often have peers’ respect, and they may be able to help put an end to it, sometimes even subtly.

If all attempts to handle a situation independently have failed, those still being tortured should bring it to the coach’s attention. Bullying rarely occurs in front of adults—precisely why we recommend trying to solve the issue independently first—but sometimes coaches can help.

Have a question? Write to “Edi,” the Kaneland Krier’s 12–member editorial board! Questions can be about anything—how to deal with situations with friends or school, how to improve a relationship between parents and teenage children, or even general questions about things happening at Kaneland. All answers are discussed, researched and agreed upon by all 12 members of the Krier editorial board.

Questions can be submitted to the editorial board at, to our adviser at, to the drop boxes in the KHS library and counselors’ offices, or to the silver mailbox outside Room B111. While all submissions must include a name and may be verified, all letters will be printed anonymously. Questions will be picked up by our adviser, and the name will be taken off when given to the editorial board, so even the Krier editors will not know a letter writer’s name. The only reason we would break confidentiality is in situations where harm is imminent, such as suicide threats or child abuse, which our board feels ethically bound to report.

Veterans, active service personnel wanted

Kaneland—On Thursday, Nov. 11, Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School will hold a Veterans Day celebration near the flagpole at 8:55 a.m. and at an afternoon assembly at 2:45 p.m.

During the event, area Boy Scouts will raise the colors, and veterans will speak. In addition, Kaneland Harter Middle School will present the Morning Brass Ensemble, a collection of Kaneland School District students who will perform patriotic songs led by director Dan Zielinski.

Kaneland is seeking veterans who are available that day to go to classrooms to do a short-question-and-answer period. The district is also inviting veterans to join them at the end of the day for the assembly.

If you are a veteran or are in active service, please contact Bonnie Whildin at (630) 365-8170, ext. 119, or via e-mail at

Tickets on sale for next Festival Performance Series event

Kaneland—Tickets will go on sale Monday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 1, 8 and 15 at the Kaneland High School Box Office for the next event in the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival’s Next Festival Performance Series.

The event, Jazz Spectacular, will be held 6:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19, in the Kaneland High School Auditorium.

The concert will begin with jazz dance by the critically acclaimed State Street Dance Studio, followed by the Kaneland High School Jazz Band, who will have enjoyed a workshop with the NIU Jazz Ensemble and its director, Ron Carter.

The highlight of the concert is the Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble with guest soloist and jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon.

For reserved tickets, adults pay $10 each, students and senior citizens pay $8 each, and family members who currently live in one household can purchase the Family Ticket for $23, admitting all of the members for one price.

Please contact Maria Dripps-Paulson at if you have questions. Order forms are available on the festival website

To our veterans, active service personnel
To participate in the Kaneland School District’s schedule of events to commemorate Veterans Day, call (630) 365-8170, ext. 119, or e-mail

District 302 seeks committed candidates

by David Maas
KANELAND—Prospective candidates for the Kaneland School Board should know that if elected, they face a significant responsibility, Board President Cheryl Krauspe said.

On Tuesday, April 4, 2010, four School Board seats will be up for election.

The four-year terms set to expire April 4 currently are held by Teresa Witt, Lisa Wiet, Deborah Grant, and Diane Piazza. The members have not announced whether they will seek election.

A School Board election takes place every two years, but not for all seven board positions.

“Terms are staggered so that there are three or four seats contested at each election, and not a total turnover at once,” Krauspe said. “That’s a good thing.”

Krauspe said board members must spend an average of 10 to 20 hours a month working on board matters.

“There is a significant amount of reading and studying, and overseeing the dashboard gauges of the district progress,” Krauspe said.

“It is a big responsibility that all the members of the current Kaneland Board of Education take most seriously.”

In addition to attending regular meetings, board members act as liaisons to other committee meetings each month. That work load can be challenging, Krauspe said.

“I find it satisfying, but also stressful,” Krauspe said, “Providing the best education possible for our community’s children within the budget constraints that we are experiencing in this economic climate involves a strong commitment.”

Board members do not receive pay for their service.

Krauspe suggested that people who have served the School District in some capacity, such as volunteering or committee work, would be the best people to run for the board.

“Although it is not a requirement, I would value the prior experience and service of Kaneland candidates to the district,” Krauspe said.

According to the Illinois School Board Association, an effective school board member should be able to work on a team, become informed to take part in an effective meeting, have a desire to serve students and the community, respect the needs and feelings of others, and recognize that the school district is one of the largest businesses in the town.

To run for School Board
Those interested in running for the board must be at least 18 years old, have lived in the Kaneland School District for at least one year and be a registered voter.

Start by obtaining a nominating petition from Beth Sterkel at the district office on any business day between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Prospective candidates must file nominating petitions at the district office, 427W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park, between Monday, Dec. 13, and Monday, Dec. 20. For more information, contact Beth Sterkel at the district office at (630) 365-5111.

KHS schedule change may be postponed

Officials consider waiting another year for 8-period days
by David Maas
KANELAND—Kaneland School District officials have set a plan in motion which, if carried out, will push the change to an eight-block schedule at Kaneland High School to the 2012-13 school year.

District officials recently announced their plan to change the KHS school day to eight periods from the current four-block schedule, starting in 2011-12. However, after surveying the sophomore and junior classes, the administration determined that the scheduling change would adversely affect the four-year plans of 10 to 15 percent of students.

“That’s too big of a number to negate,” said Dr. Greg Fantozzi, interim principle at KHS, during Monday’s School Board meeting. “The extension will provide greater communication with parents to make decisions on accomplishing a student’s four-year plan.”

The School Board did not make any decision on postponing the scheduling change Monday, but discussion took place on both sides of the issue.

Board member Deborah Grant questioned whether waiting a year until the number of students affected would decrease was the right decision, but also saw the importance of a delay.

“There is a want for the extension so we can deliver the best possible product at the end,” Grant said.

The extension would not postpone the district’s planning process for the change to the eight-block schedule, district officials said.

“We’re not going to be sitting on our hands for the next year,” Fantozzi said.

District officials said they would use the extra time to ensure that KHS counsels all students to prepare them for the change.

“If we do this wrong, that’s a year of their education they’ll never get back,” board member Lisa Wiet said.

Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler said in a letter to the board that how the district implements and utilizes the schedule will be the most important factor in supporting student learning.

School Board nominating petition forms available

Kaneland—Nominating petition forms for the April 5, 2011, School Board election in Kaneland Community Unit School District No. 302 are now available. Forms may be picked up from Beth Sterkel in the Superintendent’s office at 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park on any business day between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

A School Board candidate’s petition must be filed in the same office no earlier than 8 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 13, and no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20. Petition forms will not be accepted after 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20.

Candidates’ names will appear on the election ballot in the order in which their nominating papers are received in the secretary’s office. If two or more candidates file simultaneously on the first day (Dec. 13 at 8 a.m. or in the first mail received that day), the district will conduct a lottery to determine which name is first on the ballot. The lottery will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 28, at 9 a.m. at the Milnamow Administrative Center in the Kaneland District offices at 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park. Attendance at the lottery is not mandatory; a representative may attend if desired. Note that Dec. 28 is also the last day for filing objections to a candidate’s nominating papers in the office of the board secretary and the last day for a candidate to withdraw nomination.

Nominating petitions must contain at least 50 signatures of registered voters in the district and must be securely bound together with pages numbered consecutively. Each page must carry the notarized signature of the petition circulator. A Statement of Candidacy must be turned in along with a receipt from the county clerk showing that the candidate has filed the Statement of Economic Interest. The loyalty oath is optional.

Four seats on the seven-member Board of Education will be filled at the April 5, 2011, election. Candidates elected will serve four-year terms expiring in April, 2015. To be eligible to serve, a School Board member must be, on the date of election, a U.S. citizen at least 18 years of age and a resident of Illinois and the Kaneland district for at least one year preceding the election, a registered voter, not be a child sex offender, not hold another incompatible public office, not have a prohibited interest in any contract with the district, not be a school trustee and not hold certain types of prohibited state or federal employment.

For more information about the nature and duties of serving on a school board, contact the Illinois Association of School Boards for a free booklet, “Your School Board and You.” Write: IASB, 2921 Baker Drive, Springfield, IL 62703. The booklet also is available at the Association’s web site, resources.cfm.

MP mulls intergovernmental agreement

Discussion with Kaneland focused on handling growth
by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—A lot has changed in the six years since Kaneland School District and the municipalities in the district signed their first intergovernmental agreement (IGA). In 2004, growth was omnipresent; today, well, not so much.

The IGA is an agreement specifying that the villages will charge developers the same capital-impact, transition and land-use fees. With all district towns agreeing to a standard rate, developers cannot bargain for better impact fees in one town than in another.

“The agreement protects villages from development, especially at a time when developers are hungry,” Kaneland Assistant Superintendent of Business Julie Ann Fuchs told the Maple Park Village Board on Monday. “By uniting through the intergovernmental agreement, you are telling developers that if you come to Kaneland, you are paying Kaneland fees.”

When a family moves into a new development in the district, the students begin attending school right away. But the district doesn’t see impact fees from the development for six to 18 months. With the cost to educate every student being $9,000, regardless of what community they come from, the district wants to ensure that the villages collect appropriate fees, Kaneland officials said.

The tables in the updated agreement are the same as in the previous two agreements. For a three-bedroom, $200,000 house, the villages collect $6,148.

Five of the eight municipalities in the district have signed the agreement so far. Virgil, Maple Park and Sugar Grove are in the decision-making process.

“The School District is the equalizing force in the district, but there is great disparity among the communities,” Trustee Terry Borg said. “It’s a conversation. As we think about this conversation (among the communities), we need to have you as partners at our table, too.”

Schuler stressed that he wanted to avoid a situation where villages in the district are competing with one another for developers.

“This is the time to make the agreement, not when developers are knocking and decisions are based on emotions,” Schuler said. “What I fear is if you have seven to eight municipalities all cutting deals individually, it’s not going to fall equally. If you have a referendum, then it will hit everybody squarely.”

Trustee Mark Delaney said future impact fees must not only help the School District, but the village, too. He said development cannot take place without costly major infrastructure improvements.

“In order to build houses, we have to have a wastewater plant that will help us build the houses that will bring the kids. We’ve got a $13 million obligation on our hands,” he said.

Dog’s visit educates about consequences of drugs

by Morgan Buerke
Kaneland Krier Reporter

Kaneland—A visit from Dakar, a police dog trained to sniff out drugs, helped Kaneland High School health teacher Cindy Miller educate students about the consequences of drug possession and use on Oct. 1.

“Drug dogs have found children (and) they have confiscated thousands of drugs,” Miller said. “They have made students and faculty aware that we are a drug-free school and that we will not tolerate the use of drugs.”

Deputy Terry Hoffman brought his canine companion to the high school library, where he gave a presentation about drug dogs to students in Miller’s Contemporary Health class. Dakar, who was born in Hungary in 2007, has been with Hoffman since last November. All of Dakar’s commands are in Hungarian so that Hoffman can command him without anyone knowing what he’s been told to do.

Hoffman said that he has to watch closely for signs made by the dog because Dakar understands what his job is better than the police do. He points his nose and stares at any drug that he finds, but Hoffman knows Dakar’s just playing when he isn’t completely focused on the drug.

Hoffman said that he trains Dakar every day.

“I spend more time with this dog than my family,” Hoffman said. “Police dogs are probably one of the most valuable tools to officers.”

Junior Danielle Micek was one of the students at the presentation.

“It was interesting. I thought the dogs were a good idea,” Micek said.

Dakar is trained in narcotics detection, tracking, building searches, evidence recovery area searches and handler protection, but Hoffman said that there were signs of Dakar being trained wrong when he went into a crime scene and didn’t bite a stationary person.

As a new method of training, Hoffman got police officers into bite suits and told them to stay completely still and Dakar would have to go bite them.

“We have to train the way we go out into the street,” Hoffman said. “I have no doubt, now, that he will bite a stationary person.”

Farm Bureau awards grants to FFA Chapters

Kane County—The KCFB Foundation recently awarded a $500 grant to each of three local FFA Chapters to recognize the continued contributions of students from Kane County FFA Chapters in the success of Farm Bureau programs and encourage these and other community service efforts.

For 2010, the foundation selected three programs to help promote leadership development skills in FFA members. FFA Chapters from Central (Burlington), Hinckley-Big Rock and Kaneland high schools provided volunteers for the Farm Bureau’s Ag Days at Mooseheart, Touch-A-Tractor event, and activities at the Kane County Fair. Each of the three chapters in Kane County qualified for the full grant amount of $500.

Participation in two or more of the selected programs earned FFA Chapters a minimum $250 Chapter Grant. Participation in all three earned $400, and they received $100 for completing and reporting a community service activity by July 31, 2010.

The Kaneland FFA Chapter helped feed their neighbors in need with a community service project. The chapter has a corn test plot just east of Kaneland High School to test the characteristics of different varieties of corn hybrids. It has pledged the proceeds from an acre of the harvest from that field to KCFB’s Harvest for ALL hunger relief effort and named Between Friends Food Pantry in Sugar Grove as the beneficiary.

Nominations sought for Kaneland Hall of Fame

Kaneland—To celebrate and commemorate the many accomplishments and achievements of Kaneland graduates, Kaneland CUSD #302 formed the Kaneland Hall of Fame. New Hall of Fame recipients will be inducted at the Academic Awards Ceremony in the auditorium on May 2, 2011.

All community members, staff and friends of Kaneland are encouraged to nominate individuals or groups for one of the Hall of Fame categories. The categories include:

• Service—Kaneland High School graduates who have contributed significantly to their community, state or country and have been out of school for at least 10 years.

• Personal achievement—Kaneland graduates who have been honored or recognized by their college/university, profession or peers for their success and achievements and who have been out of school for at least 10 years.

• Extra-curriculars—Former extra-curricular participants in non-athletic or athletic activities who were recognized for excellence by their organization or team for at least two years. In addition, the participant(s) received honors in one or all of the following: All-Conference, -District, -Sectional, -State or -American. These nominees must have graduated from Kaneland High School and have been out of school for at least 10 years.

• Commitment—Past or present staff members who worked at Kaneland for a minimum of 10 years and who, through their employment at Kaneland, have demonstrated their deep commitment to Kaneland students, parents, and/or staff.

• Friend of Kaneland—Those who have given meritorious service to Kaneland and/or one or more of its schools for many years or have been a loyal friend to Kaneland and/or one or more of its schools. Kaneland staff members are not excluded from this category. However, nominations of Kaneland staff members in this category shall be for something other than what they achieved as an employee.

• Teamwork—A Kaneland High School team or organization that demonstrated outstanding achievement, which may include record status or state recognition, at least 10 years prior to selection.

Any member of the community, alumni or staff member can submit names for nomination to the committee. The submission deadline date is Dec. 1. A nomination form can be obtained from Beth Sterkel in the Superintendent’s Office at (630) 365-5111, ext. 109, or online at Individuals making nominations should send the nomination form, resume and/or biography of the individual or group and their achievements or contributions to:

Hall of Fame Committee
Kaneland CUSD #302
47W326 Keslinger Road
Maple Park, IL 60151

Kaneland offers preschool screening

Elburn—Kaneland School District will offer a preschool screening from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 22, at Faith Assembly Church, 44W555 Keslinger Road, Elburn.

Kaneland parents are encouraged to bring their children ages 3 to 5 to be screened. They will be checked for developmental milestones including speech, hearing and vision.

To schedule an appointment, call (630) 365-5111, ext. 158.

JEA names Charles McCormick ‘Administrator of the Year’

Maple Park—Dr. Charles McCormick was named Administrator of the Year by the national Journalism Education Association on Sept. 27.

According to Linda Drake, the JEA Awards Committee Chair, McCormick was one of eight top-notch candidates from across the country who the committee considered, and he was selected for his strong support of scholastic journalism education and students’ free speech rights. McCormick stood out particularly because of his open support of Tinker rights, which give student publications free speech without administrative prior review.

While the high school’s student newspaper, the Kaneland Krier, has always had Tinker rights in practice, one of McCormick’s final acts at Kaneland was to work with the District 302 School Board to officially change the publications policy to match the practice, thus codifying student’s free speech rights. The school board voted to implement a Tinker policy at Kaneland in April, 2010.

McCormick, who retired from his position as District 302’s superintendent on July 1, has also promoted a culture of openness within the district. Editors described McCormick as having an open-door policy, always making time to explain district policies to them, and creating an atmosphere of mutual trust between the administration and the various editorial boards over the years.

“He trusted the editorial board to make responsible editorial choices and therefore allowed us to continue with our Tinker practices, even when the School Board policy said we were Hazelwood,” Jessica Corbett, Kaneland Krier executive editor, said. “That level of trust, combined with his continuous support of all students in the district, pushed us to make ethical choices and encouraged us to capture the culture of Kaneland in the Krier. As he’s watched the Krier grow in his own time at Kaneland, he’s seen it evolve into a very professional atmosphere. He helped create that atmosphere by always encouraging other administrators and staff to welcome reporters into their offices, and his own office was always an open door. He always made time for students from the Krier to interview him. His consistent presence in our stories added to the quality of our work as student journalists. Not only did his quotes answer my interview questions, they challenged my own beliefs and allowed me to better grasp all the topics I interviewed him about.”

That open-door policy created learning opportunities for the students of Kaneland High School.

“Instead of having an adversarial relationship with the student newspaper, as so many administrators do, Dr. McCormick instead cultivated a strong relationship with student editors over the years, always extending a helping hand,” said Cheryl Borrowdale, journalism teacher. “He values students’ journalistic rights, and he saw supporting those rights as a way he could enhance their learning, develop their judgment, and encourage them to think critically. He has been a model of the kind of strong relationship administrators everywhere should try to build with student journalists, and in doing so, he also provided extraordinary and authentic learning opportunities for the students of Kaneland.”

McCormick’s support of student journalism remained steady, even during times of controversy, which is one of the things both Borrowdale and retired Kaneland journalism teacher Laurie Erdmann wrote about in their letters of recommendation to the JEA.

In her letter, Erdmann praised McCormick for his unflagging support, even when news cameras appeared outside Kaneland High School after a cover photo considered controversial was published. Borrowdale also praised McCormick for helping students cover controversial content in responsible ways, rather than trying to inhibit it, by providing students with resources, putting them in contact with expert sources they might not otherwise be able to reach, and offering background and perspective during interviews.

“His philosophy was always to provide students with as much information as possible, under the idea that giving students access to background, facts and expert sources would inform them, challenge them and encourage them to make thoughtful and responsible decisions,” Borrowdale said. “It has been an extraordinarily successful approach at Kaneland, and it shows that Dr. McCormick was always, first and foremost, an educator who had students’ best interests at heart.”

McCormick will speak at the JEA’s national convention in Kansas City, Mo., on Nov. 13, where he will lead a session for advisers and administrators on how to support students’ free speech rights, critical thinking and responsible decision-making.

file photo

KHS announces AP Scholar Award-winners

Kaneland—Three students at Kaneland High School earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on AP exams.

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP) provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school, and to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on the AP Exams. About 18 percent of the more than 1.8 million students worldwide who took AP Exams performed at a sufficiently high level to also earn an AP Scholar Award.

The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on students’ performance on AP Exams.

At Kaneland High School, three students qualified for the National AP Scholar Award by earning an average score of 4 or higher on a five-point scale on all AP exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. The students are Joseph Garlinsky, Kasey Ostarello and Micaela Lane.

New School Board member sworn in

KANELAND—New Kaneland School Board member Teresa Witt was sworn in on Tuesday.

Witt, mother of three children in the Kaneland School District, replaced longtime board member Bob Meyers, who resigned in early September.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to serve with the board,” said Witt.

Witt will hold the board position until the end of Meyers’ former term on April 5, 2011, at which time she can run for election to the seat.

District names new-schedule impact areas

by David Maas
KANELAND—Kaneland School District’s director of educational services Erika Schlichter presented the School Board a report Tuesday naming specific areas that the planned high-school schedule change from four-block to eight-period days next year will impact.

“We are going to stay focused on the things that are the most important,” Schlichter said.

Those areas of impact are School Board policy, the high school handbook, operational schedule details, curriculum, collective negotiations, and finances.

The board will learn more from district staff in the future about the impact of the scheduling change. On Monday, Oct. 25, staff will discuss the impact on one of the impact areas, the operational schedule. They will see a draft of the schedule that Kaneland administrators produced.

Board members on Tuesday expressed some concern with the new scheduling, including athletes leaving early for sporting events and the increased number passing periods possibly leading to more behavioral issues.

Schlichter reassured the board that these issues have been the topic of staff discussion, and the district will implement the best actions to ensure students’ well-being.

“The board appreciates all the work being put into this,” Board President Cheryl Krauspe said. “We know it’s a lot of work.”

Photo gallery: Fine Arts Fest: Take 1

Brandon Fox is Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School’s Music Specialist and member of the Cor Cantiamo Choral Ensemble.

Dr. Eric Johnson directs the ensemble, which kicked off the Kaneland Fine Arts Festival at Kaneland High School on Oct. 9. The ensemble was founded in the Spring of 2009 by Dr. Johnson and has received accolades for their performances.

Photos by John DiDonna

Students sound off on plan

Proposal for 8-period days has opposition
by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The average class period will be much shorter for Kaneland High School students under a more traditional schedule slated for 2011-12.

Kaneland officials plan to change the high-school class schedule from four, 80-minute blocks per day to an eight-period day beginning in the next academic year. School officials said the move will provide students with a more balanced and complete curriculum, and perhaps even boost ACT scores within the School District.

“We have found that the four-block (schedule) poses a challenge to student learning because it creates gaps in learning, especially for sequential classes,” Kaneland Curriculum Coordinator Erika Schlichter said. “For example, freshmen who enter high school and take a math class first semester could have a gap of up to nine months until they have another math class.”

While School District officials said they have students’ best interests in mind, some of those students are not exactly enthusiastic about the scheduling change, including KHS freshman Madison Hester.

“I really don’t think it’s going to help us, and I think it’s going to make it harder for us to get better grades because we’ll have homework (from more classes),” Hester said. “I think we have more time for teachers to explain the material (in the four-block schedule), and that gives students a better understanding of everything in class.”

According to Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler, district officials touched on the idea of changing back to a traditional schedule last year when they put into place four-year improvement plan. One of the plan’s strategies was to assess the impact of schedule on student achievement at the high school level.

“What I have a concern with is, when you have a big lapse of time between math classes you’re taking,” Schuler said. “We feel that moving to a more traditional schedule will create a more sequential and consistent learning experience for students.”

Although district officials designed the new schedule to keep students more in touch with subjects such as math and science, some students are concerned that more classes will mean more homework.

“I am a two-sport athlete who goes from one sport to the next, two or three times a week,” Kaneland freshmen Lanie Callaghan said. “And even with four classes, it’s really hard for me to get all my homework done. I’m worried this will affect my GPA. Also, what about the kids in the Fox Valley (Career Center) classes? Those kids won’t be able to travel to their classes without the block scheduling.”

Callaghan recommended that the district require additional ACT prep classes, instead, to improve student test scores.

Despite the apprehension of some students, Schuler believes the decision to change back to the eight-period day will ultimately benefit the entire school district.

“This decision came out of our desire to improve academic achievement for our students,” he said.

Are you ready to make a difference in the life of a child?

Kaneland—The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) works with volunteers who are 55 plus and have a lifetime of experience and knowledge to share.

Recently, a partnership was formed between RSVP and the Kaneland Harter Middle School. The goal of this relationship is to recruit individuals willing to work with middle-school students as tutors, mentors or sharing specific skills.

Volunteer tutors and mentors make an incredible impact on youth through their efforts working to support parents and teachers in communities across the nation. By connecting children with adult tutors and mentors, volunteers help broaden their expectations, build their learning skills, and prepare and motivate them to excel in school and beyond.

If you are ready to make a difference, contact Debbie Danitz, your local RSVP Program Director, at 1-800-339-3200 or (815) 344-3555.

Krier launches advice column

by the Krier Editorial Board
Krier—Need advice on how to deal with a teenager? Just want a student perspective?

The Kaneland Krier is starting an advice column, Ask Edi, and will answer questions about teenagers and provide advice from a teenage viewpoint to the Kaneland community.

Questions about any teenage issues—from relationships to school to discipline—can be submitted, as can more general questions about teenagers, school or college. Any resident of the Kaneland area can submit a question, including students, parents and community members.

“Edi’s” answers will be jointly discussed by the Krier’s 12-member student editorial board, a group of high-achieving teenagers ages 15 to 18, and then published in the next issue. Copies of the column will also be published on the Krier’s website at and sent to the Elburn Herald, Kane County Chronicle, Aurora Beacon-News and TribLocal for possible publication.

To submit a question, students and community members can e-mail the Krier editorial board directly at Drop boxes have also been placed in the high school’s counseling office and library for student use.

Letters and questions will be published anonymously to protect privacy, but all submissions must include a name so that the Krier can verify it, which means one editorial board member will know the identity of the writer. Community members who prefer that none of the editorial board members know their identity can e-mail the Krier adviser, Cheryl Borrowdale, at with questions; she will verify the letter and remove names before giving the question to the editorial board.

While the Krier pledges confidentiality to all those who submit questions, the editorial board is ethically required to report any situation where there is a strong likelihood of imminent harm, such as suicide threats or child abuse, to the appropriate authorities.

Kaneland Krier wins Quill and Scroll International first place award

by Sarah Arnold
Kaneland News Bureau Editor

Krier—Kaneland High School’s newsmagazine, the Kaneland Krier, was awarded a Quill and Scroll International First Place Award last month, earning its highest score in several years.

“We had a very hardworking staff last year who put their whole heart into the Krier, and the judges saw that and rewarded them for it,” journalism teacher Cheryl Borrowdale said.

The judges commended the 2009-2010 Krier, giving it high scores for policy guidelines, coverage, writing and editing, display and design, and business practices.

“I think the judges saw the staff had good story topics, high quality in terms of writing and research and an attractive paper design,” Borrowdale said. “The Krier is a completely student-run paper and publishes without censorship or prior review, and the editorial board has set very high standards for itself, both in terms of production and ethics. They are perfectionists, and it shows.”

In the critique, the judges offered both praise and some constructive criticism.

“The judges commented they really liked our designs, ads and in-depth stories. It feels good because that is what we worked hard on last year. They want us to improve our captions and use our space wisely,” executive editor Maria Kernychny said.

The overall score of 950 placed the Krier in the superior achievement category, giving the staff the International First Place Award.

“It feels good to win Quill and Scroll because it goes to show the success of all of our staff’s time and effort throughout the year,” web editor Megan Nauert said.

Schools from 49 countries compete in Quill and Scroll, the largest of the journalism honor societies. Quill and Scroll, which is run by the University of Iowa’s Communications Department, has college journalism professors and professional journalists judge student newspapers from around the world each year. Over the Krier’s 37-year history, Quill and Scroll has distinguished the Krier many times. The newsmagazine also received an International First Place Award last year and won the 2010 Golden Eagle from the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association, which is given to the best student newspaper in its class.

The current Krier staff is working on making the judges’ suggested improvements to ensure another win next year.

“We are working to develop our layout even more, involve more Kaneland students, continue to make sound editorial board decisions, and maintain our journalistic integrity. Our goal is to receive an even higher score,” head copyeditor and advertising manager Jessica Corbett said.

Photo: The 2009-2010 Krier editorial board, which recently won a Quill and Scroll’s International First Place Award. Melanie Mazuc (front, left to right), Hope Zegiel, Ali Boan, Erin Rodway, Megan Nauert, and Jessica Raines. Zach Brown (back, left to right), Jessica Corbett, Sarah Arnold, Maria Kernychny, and Anthony Sperando. Courtesy Photo

School Board names Kaneland mom, volunteer as newest member

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Tuesday announced the appointment of Teresa Witt to the board.

Witt was one of 10 candidates whom the board interviewed since longtime board member Robert Myers stepped down Sept. 3 because he is moving out of the School District.

Board President Cheryl Krauspe said the level of experience of all of the candidates was impressive. During more than four hours of interviews, the board had an opportunity to explore the applicants’ reasons for wanting to be a board member, the strengths they would bring to the role and the process each candidate would use to make decisions, Krauspe said in a press release on Tuesday.

Witt has been involved in a wide variety of Kaneland community volunteer activities. She currently serves as a member of the Kaneland Finance Advisory Committee and is the communications director for the Sugar Grove Food Pantry. Previously, she served on Citizens for Kaneland, the John Shields PTO and the Gifted Advisory Committee, and was a classroom and library volunteer.

Witt is a parent of three Kaneland students.

In her letter of application she stated, “As a mother of three children in the Kaneland School District, I have experienced all levels of the Kaneland educational system …Throughout all levels of their education, I have been an active participant and have worked hard to stay informed regarding all matters affecting Kaneland students and the community as a whole.”

Witt will be seated and sworn in on Tuesday, Oct. 12, and will fill the unexpired board term until April 5, 2011.

Unmixing the message

Photo: The Get Movin’ mascot, Movin’ Max, encourages the kids as they participate in the All School Fun Run at John Shields Elementary School on Sept. 29. Photo by John DiDonna

PTO holds Fun Run instead of candy sales fundraiser
by Lynn Meredith
SUGAR GROVE—Instead of selling candy or other catalog items for its fundraiser this year, the John Shields Elementary School PTO sponsored a Fun Run on Sept. 29. More than 600 students participated, from kindergarteners through fifth-graders.

“We are trying to get away from the mixed message we felt we were sending,” PTO member Laura Sigrist said. “There is a healthy message being promoted in the schools, yet we were selling candy and other unhealthy items.”

This year, rather than asking friends and neighbors to buy something, the students asked them to sponsor an activity.

Every child in the school participated in the Fun Run, whether they collected pledges or not. They all received wristbands as a souvenir. Those who collected $50 before the event received a pedometer to wear the day of the race.

“Over 100 kids made the goal,” said Amy Sullivan, fundraising vice president. “Our goal was to raise $17,500, and we think we made $13,000.”

Each hour on the day of the event, a different grade came out to the fields behind the school to join in the fun. The Original Get Moving Crew, based in Milford, Mich., provided music and motivation. They began with a lively warm-up including the Cha-cha Slide, led by volunteers, and Fun Run Max, led by a character dressed as a yellow cheetah with black spots.

When the race began, the students started sprinting around the marked-out course.

“It gets them excited about moving,” John Shields physical education teacher Lorrie Hamblen said. “It’s been fun. The kids are excited. They are making their brains stronger. Exercise grows brain cells.”

Luke Weetz, a fourth-grader, enjoyed the event.

“I like it because we get to exercise,” he said. “Lots of kids don’t like to run in gym class.”

Fun Runs are catching on in the area. McDole will host one next month. Bryan Lederhouse of the Get Moving Crew said the company will coordinate 14 events in the Chicago area this fall.

“What really makes it great as a PTO fundraiser is that we take care of the leg-work,” Lederhouse said. “We use some volunteers, but they don’t have to pull the event together. I can’t believe schools wouldn’t want to do it.”

The John Shields PTO will use the money the students raised at the Fun Run to help pay for Family Fun Knights Out.

Kaneland arts festival announces opening event

Kaneland—The Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival will bring the fine arts to the community for a 12th year. While the festival is set for April 2011, the Festival Performance Series will begin on Saturday, Oct. 9.

Tickets are on sale to see Cor Cantiamo at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9. Cor Cantiamo, a newly formed choral ensemble, was conceived and initiated by Dr. Eric A. Johnson, Director of Choral Activities at Northern Illinois University. The ensemble is comprised of professional musicians in the Chicagoland and Northern Illinois area, brought together by a love of fine choral music. The group’s vision is to perform contemporary choral compositions of the highest quality and promote the continued creation and success of such compositions and the composers who write them. While the music for this concert may appeal more to middle school and older students, elementary students may enjoy seeing Mr. Brandon Fox, music teacher at Kaneland’s Blackberry Creek Elementary School, sing bass in the ensemble.

For information, call (630) 365-5100, ext. 180, e-mail, or visit

Kaneland middle, high school lunch menus

Monday, Oct. 4: Soft taco, Spanish rice, refried beans, fruit bar
Tuesday, Oct. 5: Meatball sandwich, tossed salad with dressing, corn
Wednesday, Oct. 6: Chicken patty on a bun, pretzels, celery and carrots with dip
Thursday, Oct. 7: Corn dog, tri-tater, carrots, gelatin
Friday, Oct. 8: Cheese pizza, tossed salad, yogurt parfait