Superintendent's Message

A message from District 230 Superintendent Dr. James M. Gay about happenings at Sandburg, Stagg and Andrew High Schools
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School Board Meeting Highlights:
Honoring students for unique achievements
At the School Board meeting last night we celebrated the stories of four unique and accomplished students from Sandburg, Stagg and Andrew High Schools. Each of these students have embraced the gifts and talents that make them distinctive and have found great success in doing so. Celebrating our students is always a highlight of these meetings.
Corlin Leonard, Andrew High School
Illinois State Board of Education Student Advisory Council
Andrew High School Senior Corlin Leonard was honored for his selection to the Illinois State Board of Education Student Advisory Council. Of the more than 900 school districts across the state, Corlin was selected as one of 20 students to serve on the Council. He will begin his duties next month with a meeting at the Governor's Mansion to meet his fellow representatives and then a sit down with State Superintendent of Schools Tony Smith and members of the State Board of Education. Setting Corlin apart from other nominees for the Council is his passion for both music and service. He plans to study music production in college as well as establish a nonprofit organization that serves the homeless in our community.
Carson Krol and Aristotle Vainikos, Sandburg High School
Perfect 36 scores on ACT
Sandburg High School Seniors Carson Krol and Aristotle Vainikos were honored for both earning Perfect 36 scores on the ACT. These highly intelligent, committed and involved Eagles are true examples of well-rounded students who take advantage of the many opportunities available in our schools. You may remember Ares from his video appearance at Institute Day where he shared that his story includes being is a triplet which has shaped his life experience in a very unique way.
Peter Gordan, Stagg High School
Founder Homes4Monarchs nonprofit organizations
Stagg High School Senior Peter Gordan was honored for his passion for saving Monarch Butterflies. At the age of 5, Peter organized his first stint in activism when he and his brother protested their mother's plan to remove milkweed from their yard. He had read in a picture book that milkweed was the only place that Monarch butterflies lay eggs. He knew immediately he needed to save the plants. This action has spurred a lifetime passion for saving the Monarchs and led to his creation of a nonprofit organization, Homes4Monarchs, that enlists the help of his fellow students, service organizations and community volunteers to package and distribute milkweed seeds. He also is organizing a community event in January to educate the public and engage them in his mission. Peter is saving the Monarchs, one milkweed seed at a time.
Each month, the Student Council Presidents from Sandburg, Stagg and Andrew High Schools share the stories of their schools at the School Board meeting. Last night, we were introduced to  Sandburg's Aristotle Vainikos, Stagg's Senior Class President Sylvia Syp (who was filling in Ruaa El Kareem) and Andrew's Amy Kowal and Gina Canavan. Amy and Gina should be familiar from sharing their What's Your Story at Institute Day. I look forward to hearing their reports regarding the happenings at the schools each month.
Dororthy Guzy, 
Jay Jakocko
Ramis Habboub,
 and E
dgar Palacios 
EL Culinary Summer Class
We heard the story of creating a new English Learner summer class that centered on food as a teaching tool. These English and Math teachers 
and Special Projects Coordinator 
truly embraced a growth mindset to step out of their comfort zones to develop a unique learning opportunity for English Learner students. They incorporated communication, mathematical and social skills into lessons about meal planning and shopping, food preparation and cooking, and ultimately the celebration of students' unique cultures. Students engaged with a professional chef, took field trips to grocery stores, farmers markets, and restaurants, all in the name of learning. The culminating activity was planning, preparing, and demonstrating the creation of a dish that celebrates the students' unique perspective in the world. The teachers reported that the students readily jumped in to assist each other with clean up and doing dishes because there was such a strong sense of community in the class. The enthusiasm and passion from these three teachers filled the room with excitement.

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