On Religion, The Media and Life as a 20-something in Chicago

Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2011 at 9:17 am

was about to ask what QILF met. I’m going on very little sleep…RT @mashable Top 10 Royal Wedding Twitter Trends http://t.co/C5ya1Kt


In Uncategorized on April 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Your local bride’s perspective on the royal wedding

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2011 at 9:52 am

RT @royalwedding Video of Prince William and Kate proclaimed royal man and wife: http://on.msnbc.com/kGYAE1 #royalwedding #cnroyalwedding

ALGONQUIN — The secondary school restructuring options Superintendent-elect Michael Bregy presented Wednesday night could be cost-neutral. At a school board meeting earlier this month, he said they could cost more money. But all meet the terms of the current negotiated agreement between the Community Unit School District 300 Board of Education and its teachers union, Local Educators Association of District 300, or LEAD, he said Wednesday. And while all the options would change the structure of the Carpentersville-area district’s middle and high schools, none would be so dramatic as the set of reorganization options the superintendent and his teaching and learning team presented at the April 11 school board meeting. “Our charge from the beginning — with financial issues in front of us, obstacles — was to improve what we have,” Bregy said. For the rest of the story, visit The Courier-News.

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2011 at 4:32 pm

D300 lays out more restructuring options (Sun-Times Media)

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm

For an update on more options for restructuring @CUSD300’s secondary schools, check out tomorrow’s @couriernews!

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Wow: AOL’s Patch Adding 8,000 Bloggers in ‘Full-On Course Correction’ http://t.co/fuJ4xa3 via @forbes #commentz

ELGIN — When the Elgin School District U46 observatory and planetarium celebrated its 100th birthday last year, more than 500 people turned out for the party. That’s when Jennifer McDonnell knew people were interested in the observatory, built in 1910 to time Elgin National Watch Co. watches by the stars. The Elgin school district later bought the building — located along Watch Street on the city’s east side — and expanded it in 1963 to include a planetarium. “There’s so much interest in it,” said McDonnell, U46’s coordinator of math, science, planetarium and instructional technology. “A lot of people in the community had family members who worked there, and the kids all get to come.” And that interest is why this school year, U46 has increased programming at the observatory and planetarium, and brought more people through the building than it has since the 1980s. For the rest of the story, visit The Courier-News.

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2011 at 12:00 am

U46 observatory eyes new programs, visitors (Sun-Times Media)

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2011 at 1:06 am

RT @couriernews Having a party to watch the royal #wedding? We want to write about it! Tweet @couriernews or email dgathman@stmedianetwork.

This was my first “Town Talk” column in the three years I’ve been at The Courier-News. And my editor made it the cover story. For more photos of my day as principal of Sunnydale Elementary School in Streamwood, Ill., check out the Courier’s photo gallery. I need to work an approximate number, a sentence with fewer than five words and a fraction written as a word into this column. That’s because the sixth-graders in Joanna Kadlec’s classroom at Sunnydale Elementary School in Streamwood are working on a newspaper scavenger hunt, and those are the things Leslie Robles said Thursday she and her classmates were having trouble finding. And I owe Leslie one. Leslie had won a raffle earlier in the school year to be principal for an hour. And since I was at Sunnydale to shadow Principal Denise Lockwald as part of Elgin School District U46’s third Principal for a Day program, I was looking for advice. Especially when the first thing I saw at Sunnydale was a big banner: “Hanover Township’s Principal of the Year.” That’s a hard act to follow. “Print out more horseshoes,” Leslie suggested. “Horseshoes” are tickets that teachers, principals and visiting community members can give out to students upholding the school’s values of being responsible, respectful and safe. They can be redeemed for snacks and other small prizes, such as the ever-popular Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, or entered into raffles for opportunities such as becoming principal for an hour. Leslie said that as principal, she “just walked around school. I got tired.” I gave her a horseshoe. She was right. There was a lot of walking around during the one-half of a day I spent shadowing Lockwald at Sunnydale. There also was one student who had thrown up on the bus, one who had thrown up in the hallway, one with a nosebleed, and a cracked drain tile that flooded the parking lot to take care of first thing in the morning. “It’s different every day — like your job,” Lockwald said. “I never know what’s going to happen. There is a schedule, but the kids make the schedule.” Lockwald has being doing this for 30 years — 19 years as a teacher and 13 as a principal (seven of those at Sunnydale). She had always wanted to be a teacher but never a principal — not until one of her principals encouraged her to give it a go, she said. “There are days I miss the classroom, but I get to be in the classroom whenever I want to be,” she said. On Thursday, we stopped in the kindergarten classroom to see the eggs students were hatching. We planted a tree with students for Earth Day. We also visited a fourth-grade classroom so I could answer questions the students had prepared, and a first-grade classroom to read students’ favorite book, “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale,” by Mo Willems. The fourth-graders asked really thought-provoking questions, such as “Who is your inspiration as a reporter?” I had to think about that one until one student suggested, “Is it Sherlock Holmes?” Yes. Isn’t Sherlock Holmes everybody’s inspiration? The first-graders’ question-statements were easier to answer: “I think! Reporters! Are nice!” Answer: “Thank you. We don’t get to hear that all that often.” A total 65 community leaders participated in the Principal for a Day event, according to U46. They included Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda, state Rep. Keith Farnham, state Sen. Michael Noland, Elgin Community College President David Sam, Judson University President Jerry Cain, financial advisers, foundation members and others. U46 Superintendent Jose Torres said he got the idea for the event from his time working in Chicago Public Schools. And he hoped, he said, we Principals for a Day would “walk away with firsthand knowledge of what it takes to run a school.” It takes a walkie-talkie, a lot of singing stuffed animals, comfortable walking shoes, long hours, a sense of humor, patience and flexibility, I learned. Melody Huisinga, retiring principal of Sycamore Trails Elementary School in Bartlett, explained why. She echoed Lockwald: “I don’t think there is such a thing (as a typical day as principal). Every day is completely different. You talk to children. … But every day is different, and that’s what makes it so exciting.” To the 30 or so students in Ms. Kadlec’s class, I hope this helps.

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2011 at 12:00 am

What it takes to be principal (Sun-Times Media)

ALGONQUIN — The Community Unit School District 300 Board of Education had planned to give the oath of office to new and returning members Joe Stevens, Chris Stanton, Susie Kopacz and Steve Fiorentino at its meeting Monday. It also had planned to hear a second presentation about the possible restructuring of its middle schools. But that meeting has been postponed until Wednesday, District 300 announced late Monday afternoon. “The canvassing of election results for the recent District 300 school board election has not yet been finalized and signed by the Kane County Clerk,” according to a written statement from the Carpentersville-based district. And that means the board members chosen in the April 5 election could not be sworn in Monday. For the rest of the story, visit The Courier-News.

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2011 at 12:00 am

Vote results delay; D300 holds up meeting (Sun-Times Media)