A group of students from Chicago Christian High School’s Astronomy Club, under the direction of Barry Latham, recently built a telescope. Pictured are Chicago Christian students Tommy Findysz (Worth), Matthew Orsic (Crestwood), and Lauren Guth (Mokena).
The telescope is an Orion Starblast 6i. It has a database of 14,000 celestial objects, and combined with the “push to programming”, time can be spent looking at rather than finding objects in our suburban skies. Although an out-of-the-box telescope, the students had to disassemble it using simple tools, install the electronics, and then reassemble it. Alignment will take place each night the telescope is used. The Astronomy Club meets every Thursday after school to explore some aspect of astronomy. Evening viewings using the telescope will take place near or on campus, but will also be a part of an out-reach program to local community and church groups.
Kelly CollinsMarist High School junior Kelly Collins finished second in the nation at the National Catholic Forensic League Grand Tournament, which was held in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend. Collins competed in qualifying tournaments to advance to the national level, and was also the Chicago Catholic Forensic League Grand Champion.
Collins of Blue Island has been involved with speech and acting since sixth grade, including her first two years at Marist. Speech—or forensics—competitions include a variety of categories that can be individual or duet and span a range of styles. Competitors are judged by a panel of coaches and experts. To prepare, Collins says she meets with her team and coaches two to three days a week and practices on her own.
During the year, Collins competed in dramatic duet acting, but oratorical declamation is what brought her to the top at Nationals. In this category, competitors must memorize a speech and are critiqued on style, delivery, and other factors. Collins memorized Brené Brown’s “Ted Talk Listening to Shame, ’’which addresses moving past the feelings of shame and helping others do the same, using empathy. Next season, she plans on competing in oratorical declamation and original oratory—where she will get to write her own speech.
Queen of Peace High SchoolWoman of Peace winners Tiara Moore and Jessica Doyle pose after an awards ceremony. Submitted photo. recognized students during a ceremony May 8. For the first time in Queen of Peace history, the most coveted award, the Woman of Peace Award, went two recipients – Jessica Doyle and Tiara Moore. Awards included the Illinois State Scholars, given to those who finished in the top 10 perent of all students statewide. Jenna M. Buche, Doyle, Michelle L. Frederick, Natalie M. Palm, Allison Trendle and Stephanie M. Vaccaro earned the honor. Also notable are those students who maintained at least a 4.0 Grade Point Average throughout their entire high school career: Doyle, Palm, Trendle, and Vaccaro. Vaccaro was named valedictorian and Vaccaro salutatorian. Queen of Peace also produced several scholarship recipients; The Burbank Chamber of Commerce Scholar was Burbank resident was Vacarro, the Marquette Bank Education Foundation Scholarship went to Moore and the Chick Evans Scholarship which rewards full tuition and housing to a deserving caddy went to Doyle.
Oak Lawn - District 123 invites golfers to ‘Beat the Pro’ The District 123 Education Foundation Golf Outing will take place Saturday, June 28. “Beat the Pro” and many more contests will be running throughout the day. The deadline to register is Friday, June 6. For more information and to register, visit d123.org/golf-outing-cfm. Registration starts at 7 a.m. with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. Dinner and awards will take place shortly after golfing at approximately 12:30 p.m.
Moraine Valley The Moraine Valley Community College Foundation is seeking notable alumni, who have achieved success in their careers or through work in the community, for its new Hall of Fame. Between five to eight inductees will be honored at the inaugural Hall of Fame reception in November. Candidates must have completed any amount of credit or noncredit coursework at Moraine Valley, achieved success in their chosen field and made a positive impact on the community through volunteering or leadership. They also must agree to attend the reception to accept the award, and return to campus at least once within the year to be a guest speaker and/or participate in a student engagement activity.
Nominees can self-nominate (must include a letter of recommendation) or be nominated by someone else. All nominees are encouraged to submit up to three letters of recommendation and a maximum of three pages of supplementary materials such as news articles, brochures or photos highlighting the applicant’s accomplishments and contributions.
Nominations, which must be accompanied by a current resume or bio, are due by midnight Sunday. Application forms are online at morainevalley.edu/alumni. For more information, contact Kari Pantol at
or (708) 974-5551.
In a meeting long on congratulation and short on deliberation, Moraine Valley Community College trustees sat back and watched a parade of accolades at their May 14 meeting, held at the school, 9000 W. College Parkway, in Palos Hills. “We have quite a few students that we are recognizing tonight, and this is always the time of year that we do that [at Governing Board meetings],” said Sylvia M. Jenkins, MVCC president. “It is important to recognize their hard work and achievements.” Like a commencement exercise, the meeting was long and included awards for dozens of students, a live performance demonstrating student excellence in forensics, and reminiscences and other observations from faculty and staff as they accepted praise from their colleagues upon their retirement. Health Sciences Department Chair Susan Phelan offered an anecdote about the reach of MVCC’s positive impact. She recalled a time when she was asked to share her phlebotomy training expertise with a group in Bangor, Maine. “So I went, and it was great,” she told the board. “Two or three years later, they called me and asked me to come again. So I said, ‘Sure, what would you like me to speak about this time?’ and they said, ‘Well, the same stuff you talked about last time.’ I thought, ‘Well, that’s a little redundant, but it’s your dime and I’ll talk about whatever you want.’ “So when I got there, I quickly realized that they didn’t really want me to go over the same ground again,” she continued. “They wanted to let me know that they had implemented some of the [phlebotomy training techniques] we had talked about the last time, and all of their quality indicators didn’t just rise, they skyrocketed. And it may sound silly, but for the first time I realized the impact of quality training and education on health care in a region. “I realized that what we do here [at the college] is bigger than all of us, and I have been very proud to be a part of this,” she concluded, as board members and the audience of several dozen burst into applause. David Deitemyer, Dean of Academic Services, echoed the sentiment. “I’ve been in education my whole career—as a teacher for many years, as an administrator for many years, and now in higher education,” he said. “This is my fifth stop, and I’ve been here for 11 years. “All school districts of all kinds have a mission statement,” he continued. “I want to tell you, though, that this place, in my experience, comes the closest, every day, to manifesting its mission statement. I’ve worked in school districts that were fun places to work, but the gap between what they say they value and what we did every day was huge. Here, there’s not much of a gap—and I have benefitted from being able to spend, really, a pivotal part of my career here.” A lighter moment was provided by Joyce Mufich, the retiring grants and scholarship clerk at the school. “I just want to say that I’ve handled more of the college’s money over the years than [MVCC Chief Financial Officer] Bob Sterkowitz will ever know,” she began as the room broke up in laughter, including Sterkowitz himself. “And that’s the truth.” She described a list of duties and programs that took her “all over the community and all over the college community.” It was a dizzying array of programs, and Mufich stopped short, saying it was getting boring, but the point was made about the challenges to keep it all straight. “And they’re good sports over in Accounting,” she deadpanned, triggering another wave of laughter and applause from her peers. “Seriously, though, it’s been great, and I’m happy I’ve had the chance to work with so many wonderful people,” she added, as she headed into a retirement expected to include her antiquing hobby. “But I am happy that I’m leaving in 10 days.” After the procession, the meeting shifted into hyperdrive, with trustees approving a 34-part consent agenda in mere seconds, without a whisper of discussion or debate. A rumored discussion of an employee pay raise was nowhere to be found.