Conrady poet is honored

Isabelle Nowak was honored by the Anti-Defamation League for a poem she composed on the subject of “How The First Amendment Affects My Daily Life.”
The Conrady Junior High School eighth grader won first prize and a $5,000 scholarship at a dinner hosted by the ADL and held in the Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Hilton Hotel. She attended the award’s dinner with her parents, Matthew and Sandra Nowak, and her social studies teacher Grant Griffith.
 Nowak wrote the poem as part of an extra credit assignment from Griffith, who gives his students a chance each year to submit an entry in the contest.
She read her poem in front of more than 500 guests assembled at the dinner. Numerous Chicago civic leaders judged the competition.
The Anti-Defamation League announced the 2014 First Amendment contest winners earlier this month for first and second place in the categories of writing and art for the middle school and high school divisions.
Several thousand students from the Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest Region entered their essays, works of art, and multimedia that expressed their personal beliefs and stories to the following question: “How does the First Amendment affect my daily life?”
 Nowak won first prize for penning the following poem:

 Raising people’s eyebrows,
Everyone’s a critic,
And all the one’s symptoms?
Diagnosed as paralytic.
Frozen to their spots.
Real talk, it’s parasitic.
Pen don’t fail me now,
My mind just can’t be restricted…
Freedom of Expression...
free me of oppression,
no guessin, a lesson’s to be taught…
Freedom can’t be bought,
the concept should be “re-thought.”
I’m out to prove my people’s struggle wasn’t all for naught..
Freedom of Expression,
My most treasured possession,
Vessel of transgression,
I can make my pen cry…
For when the ink runs dry,
So will the tears in my eyes..
I just pray that my honesty won’t be my demise…
Freedom of Expression..
free me of oppression,
no guessin, a lesson’s to be taught..
Freedom can’t be bought,
I will continue to speak it
and enlighten those in the dark,
through my art if they seek it..
All imperfections are perfect,
so feel free to critique it..
Please believe it..
Freedom of Expression.
—Submitted by
School District 117

Bulletin Board 11-20-14

Governors State Golf Teams Find Official Home
  The growing Governors State University athletics program entered into an agreement with University Golf Club, making it the official home facility for GSU’s men’s and women’s golf teams. Beginning with the 2015 golf season, GSU will host collegiate tournaments at the Golf Club, along with team practices.
  University students, faculty and staff who have GSU Recreation and Fitness memberships will benefit from the agreement as well, with access to the course on weekdays and available tee times on weekends and holidays after 11 a.m. The University Park Golf Club offers elevated tees, rolling fairways and water, which come into play on nine of the holes. Highlights include a 623-yard par 5 and the course’s signature 17th hole, a difficult par 3 over water.

Grammar School Students, Parents Can ‘Meet Marist’
  With the new academic year successfully underway, Marist High School, 4200 W. 115th St., Chicago, invites grammar school students and parents to visit and experience life at the school during an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
  The open house gives grade school students and their families the chance to tour the school; meet with teachers, coaches, and staff; and review the academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs available at Marist. The day will also allow visitors to see Marist’s Academic Resource Center, student activity center, technology enhanced classrooms, athletic facilities and other state-of-the-art amenities.
  Additionally, Marist will host two Meet Marist events on Wednesday, Dec. 10, and Friday, Jan. 9. Both evenings will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The events will provide students and families with a brief presentation about the school, followed by an abbreviated tour and the chance to talk with students, teachers and coaches.
  Lastly, the opportunity to shadow at Marist as part of the Fridays at Marist program is available through Dec. 12. Students can register in advance at For more information on these events, call 773-881-5330.

Moraine Valley Receives Diversity Award For Third Year
  Moraine Valley Community College is among 83 U.S. colleges and universities that received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The college has been selected for this award since the magazine started the recognition program in 2012. Moraine Valley was one of six community colleges to receive the honor and the only community college to have received the award all three years.
  Moraine Valley was selected for the award because of its “outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion,” according to the magazine, which features the colleges in its November 2014 issue.
  Magazine officials stated that Moraine Valley was selected based on the institution’s exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, and ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on its campus, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community.

Mount Carmel High School Invites Prospective Honors Students, Parents To Campus
  Academically talented students interested in Mount Carmel’s distinguished honors/advanced placement program and Curt Ehrenstrom Scholars Fraternity are invited to attend the Honors Program Preview at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mount Carmel High School, 6410 S. Dante Ave., Chicago.
  At the Honors Program Preview, you’ll hear from Dean of the Honors Program and Curt Ehrenstrom Scholars Fraternity moderator Jeffrey Enright, Principal Mr. John Stimler, President Fr. Tony Mazurkiewicz, O.Carm, Mount Carmel alumni and faculty. Prospective families can find out how graduates of Mount Carmel have earned credits from the University of Chicago, registered for their first year of college with a full year’s worth of credits already complete, earned scholarships to some of the Nation’s top colleges and universities, and take an optional tour of Mount Carmel High School.
  Prospective students who attend the Honors Program Preview are also encouraged to attend the all school open house Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m., or set up a shadow day and school tour with the admissions office.
  For more information, or to register, call Bill Nolan, director of admissions at 773-324-1020, ext. 265, or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; Phil Segroves, associate director of admissions at 773-324-1020, ext. 281, or email him This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . More information and registration also is available at

Mount Carmel Students And Faculty Participate In Blood Drive
  Mount Carmel High School students and faculty participated in a school sponsored blood drive in October, and 55 units of blood were collected. Julie Chappetto, an art teacher at Mount Carmel High School organized the blood drive.
  Mount Carmel will host two more blood drives, one on Tuesday, Jan. 13, and again in March. The donation goal is 85 units during the next blood drive Chappetto said.
  Regular donors can support Mount Carmel by registering their name under Mount Carmel High School at Life Source, a non-profit blood distribution organization and facilitator of Mount Carmel’s blood drive, and the school will get credit towards a scholarship fund of their choice.
  According to Life Source, they must see 1000 donors daily to ensure an adequate blood supply for area patients in need of transfusions in the hospitals they service. Chicago area school involvement is critical for adequate blood collection. Blood donation can help patients in severe car accidents, with bone marrow transplants, anemic patients, and cancer patients.

Bulletin Board from 10-23-14

Conrady Junior High School
Conrady Junior High School students Veronica Laurent and MacKenzie Kazin were selected from among hundreds of students representing 60 area schools to be part of
The Illinois Music Educators Association District Band that will perform in November. Both girls are members of the Conrady Band. The band will have an all-day rehearsal and a performance at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8 in the gymnasium of the Lockport Township High School’s East Campus. Tickets for the concert are $5, children 6 and younger are admitted free.

Moraine Valley
Moraine Valley Community College Music and Humanities Department will host The Many Moods of Mother Nature, Performed by the Moraine Valley Flute Choir at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24 in the Menker Theater on campus, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills. Admission is free.
The Moraine Valley Music Club will sponsor a haunted house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29 and Thursday, Oct. 30 in the student union at the college. The cost is $3 per person and all proceeds will be given to the Moraine Food Pantry.

Love from the Gov

Quinn invests $2.2 million to SXU

Governor Pat Quinn announced a $2.2 million investment in Saint Xavier University on Saturday as part of a $100 million set aside this fiscal year in the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program that will address the critical needs of the state’s private colleges and universities. This investment is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to improve higher education in Illinois while creating thousands of construction jobs.
“We are so grateful to Governor Quinn for investing in the development of a state-of-the-art science facility that will help us prepare our diverse community of students for 21st century careers,” said SXU President Christine Wiseman. “This important investment illustrates the value the governor and SXU places on contemporary science equipment, facilities, and programs that prepare our students to meet the scientific challenges of this new millennium.”
Saint Xavier University will receive $2,280,092 to help fund construction of additional chemistry and biology labs as well as innovative learning environments designed to foster creativity and collaboration that introduce students to new laboratory techniques, experimental design opportunities, and statistical analysis. To date, SXU has received a total of $8,669,187 from the state of Illinois.
“Saint Xavier University has a long history of producing graduates who have done great things for Illinois and the nation, and this investment will help the school stay competitive so current and future students can continue to make a difference in the world,” Quinn said. “We are pleased to help Saint Xavier address its needs while creating jobs and moving our economy forward.”
So far under Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, private universities have received $300 million to address their capital needs.
Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program is supporting more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest capital construction programs in the nation.
—Submitted by St. Xavier University

Ridge Lawn goes with the flow

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Changes to traffic patterns designed to improve safety

Changes to the way cars arrive at and depart Ridge Lawn School in Chicago Ridge go into effect on Monday.
The modifications are designed to improve traffic flow near the school, 5757 W. 105th St.
Beginning Oct. 20, parents won’t be allowed to enter the school’s west parking until 8 a.m. Cars that arrive earlier will be required to line up on eastbound 105th Street, along the Chicago Ridge Prairie, according to a letter written sent to parents Oct. 3 by principal Fran Setaro.
From 8-8:30 a.m. and 3-3:30 p.m., cars will not be permitted to make a left-hand turn into the west parking lot from westbound 105th Street. Cars will need to re-route so that they can travel eastbound 105th Street to make a right-hand turn into to the lot.
A traffic sign will be posted at the corner of 105th Street and Menard Avenue to indicate the change, which was implemented to improve the flow traffic.
When exiting the lot, cars will be required to turn right. “No left-turn” signs have been posted at the driveway exit, and the school already is following this new procedure, school officials said.
Additionally, cars on westbound 105th Street are prohibited from making a left-hand turn on to Menard Avenue between 8-8:30 a.m. and 2:45-3:15 p.m.
Also, cars cannot make illegal U-turns or use the private lots to turn around.
“This will greatly help the traffic situation,” said Kevin Russell, superintendent of Chicago Ridge School District 127.5. “The design of the school doesn’t lend itself to easy in and easy out.”
Additionally, Russell said, the school will enforce no-parking zones in front of the building with the help of both Chicago Ridge and Oak Lawn police.
The district also is relying on the police to enforce the speed limit near the school as well as cell phone restrictions, Russell said.
The district also is asking parents no to park in private lots across the street from the school, officials said.
Efforts to contact the police departments for comment were unsuccessful.