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College Grads

The following area residents graduated Dec. 15 with bachelor's degrees from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights. Crystal Talbot of Chicago Ridge; Kimberly Malloy, Angela Miceli and Molly Ricker of Evergreen Park; Jon Anderson, Jennifer Cruz, Veronica DeLaMora, Brendan Heffernan and Jessica Zubrzycki of Oak Lawn; Jeannette Perez and Maureen Rodak of Palos Hills; and Sarah Kattalia of Worth.

D123 talking teachers' contract

By Laura Bollin

The Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 board of education met in closed session last week to discuss negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement with the district's teachers.

The special meeting was called by board president Joseph Sorrentino, who declined to comment on the negotiations but said the district wants to have a balanced budget by 2016. The current teachers' contract expires in August.

District 123 business manager Mike Loftin said the district has adopted two balanced budget since the 2007-08 school year - that year and again in 2008- 09. The district is projecting a short fall of $2 million for the 2012-13 l year, Loftin said.

Negotiations will be in regard to the district's 230 certified staff members including teachers, social workers and speech pathologists. All of those positions are part of the same salary schedule, Loftin said. First-year teachers with bachelor's degrees who started their careers at District 123 last school year made $42,012 last year and $44,912 this year, Loftin said. Projections for what a teacher who started working at District 123 this school year would make next year have not been finalized because the contract is under negotiation, Loftin said. The district's highest paid teacher, according to the salary schedule, would have to have a master's degree, 45 additional hours of continuing education or college credit courses and 34 years in the district. That teacher would make $101,626 according to the current contract, Loftin said.

The average salary for all certified staff positions is $68,000, and the annual salary increase for all union staff members is 5 percent, Loftin said.

The district expects to spend $15.1 million in salaries this year for its certified staff members. Teacher's aides will cost the district an additional $737,168, and technology aides will cost another $152,960. The district pays $3.1 million in medical benefits toward all of its staff members, Loftin said. Salaries and benefits make up 80 percent of the district's budget.

Big shots


The winners from 4th Grade are Worthwoods School fourth-graders Eric Longfield and Asmaa Qabalawi won a hoop shoot competition held by physical education teacher Pat Kebr. Winnersf Rom fifth grade were Randy Miller and Neda Yacoub.

Scholarly state


Thirty Oak Lawn High School students have been recognized as 2013 Illinois State Scholars. State Scholar winners rank in the top 10 percent of high school seniors from 773 high schools in Illinois. Selection is based on SAT, ACT and/or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of the junior year.

Scholars from Oak Lawn High are Amuel Bernier, Cathal Burke, Joseph Cartolano, Kyle Cheng, Nicholas Contino, Kathleen Cortes, Jessica Cosenza, Nicholas Demas, Sean Dunne, Jamie Evtuch, Zachary Frazier, Nathaly Gal, Dominik Gorecki, Miranda Gray, Lorenzo Gudino, Rana Hamad, Jenna Hurckes, Omar Jaber, Marcin Krzysiak, Ronald Luce, Thomas Mallon, John Morgan, Connor Niemiec, Jeries Nino, Barbara Pajor, Carley Psik, Christine Richter, Isabella Sanchez, Yusra Sarhan and Jessica Schlesser.

Campus Leaders

The following area residents made the dean's list at Western Illinois University in Macomb for the fall 2012 semester.

Joshua Leonard, Emily McCormick, Steven Moran and David Van Ngo, all of Evergreen Park; Michelle Klutcharch and Christina Makropoulos, both of Hickory Hills; Colleen Krasichand.

Meagan Lindemulder of Oak Lawn; Joshua Gentile of Palos Hills; and Amanda Vanoskey of Worth.

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Julia Volk, an Oak Lawn resident and student at Walther Lutheran High School, has been admitted to Concordia University- St. Paul for the fall 2013 semester. Volk was awarded the Presidents and Lutheran Heritage scholarships.

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Lewis University graduate Ashley Ellis of Oak Lawn received the Father Aquinas Colgan Award during the university's undergraduate commencement ceremonies held Dec. 16. The award is given to a graduating senior at each of undergraduate commencement ceremony held in May and December. Ellis graduated with a bachelor's degree in criminal social justice.

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Krystle Conrad of Chicago Ridge made the dean's list at the Rochester Institute of Technology for the fall 2012 semester. Conrad is studying in the university's Center for Multidisciplinary Studies.

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Queen of Peace High School student Michelle Frederick, a graduate of St. Gerald School in Oak Lawn, earned the Cook County Sheriff's Youth Service Medal of Honor. The award is given annually to Cook County residents in grades nine through 12 who have provided meaningful volunteer service to their communities. Frederick served more than 100 hours to achieve the honor.

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The following Oak Lawn residents made the dean's list for the fall 2012 semester at Monmouth College. Jeffrey Kelleher, senior psychology major; Angela Peradotto, senior business administration major; and Mark Roepke, senior business administration major.

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University of St. Francis (Joliet) student Kenny Mason, of Oak Lawn, is part of a group of students who are helping to raise money intended to help feed starving children around the world. St. Francis student leaders are teaming with nonprofit Christian organization Feed My Starving Children to host a "mobile pack" event on the university's campus this spring. Feed My Starving Children works to feed malnourished children in more than 70 countries around the world through a meal-packing program in which "MannaPacks" - scientifically formulated, dehydrated meals that are measured to provide the right amount of nourishment for starving children - are manually packed by volunteers. The committee's goal is to raise $22,000 in order to provide 100,000 meals.

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Oak Lawn residents Robert Dee, David Janet, Madalyn Phillips and Catherine Smith made the dean's list for the fall 2012 term at North Central College in Naperville.