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District 65 News Archives 2014-2015
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At a special meeting held on May 12, the Lake Bluff School District 65 Board of Education appointed Lake Bluff resident Philip R. Hood to fill the position left vacant by the April resignation of Christine Letchinger. 

Mr. Hood is Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations at Lake Forest College. In that post, he leads a staff of 18 professionals who plan and develop relationships between the college and its constituents. He also serves as College Secretary to manage the quarterly meetings of the Board of Trustees. Previously, he served as Vice President at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, and had professional fundraising positions at Mayo Clinic, the University of Illinois Foundation, and Gustavus Adolphus College.

“My professional and personal background is grounded in service and committed to the development of resources and strategic operations which promote strong student achievement and best outcomes,” said Mr. Hood. “To this end, I believe that I can serve as a collaborative Board team member and effective steward of the District’s resources.”

Mr. Hood and his wife, Lorelee Hood, are parents of two children in the Lake Bluff schools, and have been Lake Bluff residents for two years.

Commenting on the process by which the seat was filled, Board of Education President Mark Barry said, “I so appreciate how the community stepped forward to help us fill this position. Eight great candidates applied, and this made our job very difficult. But now, in addition to an outstanding new Board member, we have a list of highly qualified candidates to invite into committee work and to encourage to run for office in the future.”
Posted by comm  On May 12, 2015 at 10:41 PM
Lake Bluff Elementary School 3rd Grade teacher Amanda Willey is one of 30 finalists for the 2015 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching. The awards recognize and honor outstanding teachers for their role in building a stronger, better-educated society. This year’s finalists were selected from a pool of more than 600 nominations, and represent Pre-K through 3rd grade teachers throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Golden Apple is a leading nonprofit committed to celebrating and developing great teachers with the ability and passion to make life-changing differences in the lives of students. For a full lists of finalists, visit www.goldenapple.org/2015-award-finalists

Willey, a Libertyville resident, was nominated for her passion and dedication to teaching, her commitment to her students, and her mentoring of other teachers. “From the moment that I met Amanda Willey, I knew that she was an exceptional teacher, school leader and mentor,” said Lake Bluff Elementary School Principal Margaret St. Claire in her letter of recommendation for the award. “Wise beyond her years, Amanda’s warm, compassionate and positive spirit is apparent in every aspect of her school responsibilities. I have observed Amanda in a variety of roles:  in her classroom, at building and team meetings and as a district mentor leader. In all of these roles, Amanda’s first and foremost priority is to make a positive difference in the lives of her students and colleagues… In over 20 years in education, I have found that a teacher like Amanda is a rarity.  Her talent in creating a nurturing, compassionate classroom community is second to none. ”

The 30 finalists will experience a final round of review and classroom observations prior to the selection and announcement this spring of the ten award recipients. Golden Apple’s award selection committee is comprised of college and university professors, administrators and former Golden Apple Award recipients. Committee members utilize industry and research based professional standards to identify teachers who exemplify the best of the teaching profession. As part of the final selection process, the finalists will be observed in their classrooms and the selection committee will conduct interviews with the teachers’ colleagues, supervisors, students and parents.   

“All of the selection committee members are so impressed by the dedication, passion and drive for excellence in teaching that these finalists have demonstrated. They exemplify the powerful role that an outstanding teacher can play in transforming students’ lives – and at Golden Apple, we believe exceptional teachers deserve the highest honor,” said Dominic Belmonte, president and CEO of Golden Apple. 

Each Golden Apple Award recipient receives a tuition-free, spring quarter sabbatical to study at Northwestern University. Each recipient also receives a $5,000 cash award. Perhaps most importantly, award recipients become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, giving them a stronger voice and a larger stage from which to make a difference in education within Illinois and nationally. 


About Golden Apple
A Celebration of Excellence in honor of the 30 finalists will be held on Saturday, April 11 at the Chicago O’Hare Marriott. Event details and tickets are available at http://www.goldenapple.org/2015-Celebration

For 30 years, Golden Apple has recognized outstanding teachers throughout Illinois each year. Created by founders Mike and Pat Koldyke, Golden Apple’s mission is to inspire, develop and support teacher excellence in Illinois. Golden Apple award recipients play a critical role in furthering the programs of Golden Apple, particularly as members of the faculty who help prepare Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program participants to be future teachers within schools of need. 

2015 marks Golden Apple’s 30th year of innovating teacher preparation to transform both the careers of teachers, as well as the lives of students in Illinois, with a focus on advancing educational excellence for Illinois’ most under-served students. The organization begins by recognizing high school and collegiate talent with a passion for teaching and a drive to create positive change for students and their communities, and enhances their college education with exemplary advanced teacher preparation, game-changing resources and lifelong support, through our Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program.  
Golden Apple is composed of recognized superior educators, including Golden Apple Award recipients and finalists, leading a passionate team of devoted staff with technical and program expertise, as well as a connected and committed board of directors charged with overseeing the organization’s strategic vision. Visit http://www.goldenapple.org for more information.

Posted by comm  On Mar 19, 2015 at 1:20 PM
3-4-2015: The Math Counts Video Challenge is on, and every vote counts! In order for our video to be evaluated by the Math Counts judges, we need to be one of the top 100 vote getters. You can vote once every 24 hours from now until March 13 at 5 pm. We need your vote and the vote of everyone you know! For directions, click HERE>>.
Posted by comm  On Mar 14, 2015 at 11:24 AM
Fifth graders spent five days at the Atwood Environmental Center in November. They experienced a variety of outdoor learning activities. Photo album>>
Posted by comm  On Dec 19, 2014 at 2:23 PM

With a goal of improving literacy and fostering cross-cultural friendships between children of neighboring communities, on December 11th 3rd grade students from Clearview Elementary (Waukegan) and Oak Terrace Elementary (Highwood) will visit with 4th and 5th grade Reading Buddies at Lake Bluff Elementary School.


During their 50 minutes together, the reading buddies will greet each other, share a snack, discuss the various interests they’ve shared through postcards, read the selected book together, and complete a related reading/writing/thinking activity. At the end of the program, the third graders from Highwood and Waukegan keep the book they've red with their mentor.


Now in its fourth year, “Read With Me!” brings children of neighboring communities together for an hour several times a year to improve literacy and foster cross-cultural friendships. It is a large reading/mentoring program that combines the efforts of teachers, students, principals, and volunteers from Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Knollwood, Highwood, and Waukegan. Students at Lake Forest Country Day School also participate in the program and host Reading Buddies from neighboring communities.


"Read With Me!" is sponsored by the Lake Forest-based nonprofit Lake County Cares with additional support from the Alliance for Excellence foundation which supports programs and services in the Lake Bluff Schools. "Read With Me!" is an outgrowth of the Sarah’s Dream program, which collected and distributed thousands of books to children in neighboring communities.

Online photo gallery>>

Posted by comm  On Dec 19, 2014 at 1:29 PM
Chorus photo

Chorus photo

At their concert on November 6, the Lake Bluff Elementary School Choir performed a variety of songs, including a folk song medley, a patriotic tune for our veterans, a song based on a children's story written in the 1800's, and music by Irving Berlin.

The 63-member choir meets after school one day a week and is open to every student in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. The next concert is Monday, January 26 at 6 p.m. and will include songs in ragtime style, more children's literature set to music, and as always, folk songs.
Posted by comm  On Nov 10, 2014 at 9:19 PM
Imagination 2014 artwork

artwork by Tom Beck

Third Grade students of Lake Bluff Elementary School will present Imagination 2014 on Thursday, November 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the school gym. A dress rehearsal is scheduled for 1:30 pm that afternoon, and is open to community members who might otherwise be unable to attend.

The show is made up of four original student-written one-act plays. The plays are:

The Garden Problem written by Helene Gu and Kathryn Li and performed by Miss Winston's third grade class

Pumice Pandemonium written by Sydney Wang and performed by Mrs. Willey's third grade class

The Storm written by Megan Spanswick, Mya Edwards and Emma Bancila, and performed by Mrs. Scheffer's third grade class

Trouble All Around written by Eli Brezak and performed by Miss Eder's third grade classAll cast members will perform three chorus songs: “ Imagination,” “You've Got a Friend in Me,” and “Swinging on a Star.”

Imagination 2014 is directed by Tom Beck with musical direction by Elaine Ellis. Both are Lake Bluff Elementary School teachers.

For information, phone Lake Bluff Elementary School at 847-234-9405.
Posted by comm  On Nov 10, 2014 at 1:03 PM
On Tuesday, November 11, the LBES Veterans Day ceremony is scheduled for 8:05 to 8:20 a.m. around the outside flagpole. The ceremony will be led by Pack 42 Cub Scouts and LBES Girl Scouts. In case of rain, the LBES ceremony will be in the gym.

At 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday at the Gazebo, the LBMS Student Council President will read The Gettysburg Address with the entire student body in attendance. Please join us in honoring those who have served.
Posted by comm  On Nov 10, 2014 at 12:56 PM
On Monday, November 10, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., parents and families of children ages 3, 4, or 5 may have their child screened for developmental delays or disabilities. This event is free of charge to families who reside or attend school within the District 65 boundaries. Reservations are requested. Interested parents/guardians should phone the Lake Bluff Elementary School District 65 Registrar at 847-234-9400. 
Posted by comm  On Oct 28, 2014 at 6:30 PM
Statement from Dr. Jean Sophie, Superintendent of Lake Bluff Elementary School District 65:

It’s annual Principal Appreciation Week, and Friday, October 24 is Principal Appreciation Day across Illinois. 
Here in Lake Bluff, I hope you'll join me in thanking Mr. Nate Blackmer, Mrs. Margaret St. Claire, and Ms. Tracy Roehrick for their dedication to achieving Excellence in Education, Enthusiasm for Life, Every Student, Every Day. 
The quality of a school’s learning environment and the ability of a school to do what is best for its students comes as a direct result of the leadership provided by the school's Principal and leadership team. Leadership like theirs is essential to effectively educate students and to provide the resources and support that our children need to thrive in the 21st Century. 

The Board of Education and I are so proud of, and thankful for, the work our principals are doing every day on behalf of the children of Lake Bluff, and their ongoing commitment to our students, staff, and community.

In partnership, 
Dr. Jean H. Sophie, Superintendent  
Lake Bluff School District 65 
Posted by comm  On Oct 20, 2014 at 12:37 PM
Lake Bluff Elementary School District 65 will have three four-year School Board seats to be filled at the April 7, 2015, Consolidated Election. 

Petition packets
Those interested in being elected to the District 65 Board of Education may pick up candidate petition packets at the Administration Office, 900 North Shore Drive, Suite 220, Lake Bluff IL 60044 weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. beginning September 18, 2014. Packets will also be available online at www.elections.state.il.us. The first day to lawfully begin circulating nominating papers is September 23, 2014. 

Filing of nomination papers
The first day to file nomination papers is Monday, December 15 at the Lake County Clerk's Office, 18 North County Street, Room 101, Waukegan, IL  60085, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The last day to file nomination papers is Monday, December 22, 2014. In accordance with Illinois law, the County Clerk's office will remain open until 5:00 p.m. on December 22, 2014. Information is available from the Lake County Clerk>>.
Posted by comm  On Sep 18, 2014 at 5:12 PM
Community members are encouraged to subscribe to receive monthly email newsletters from District 65 Superintendent Dr. Jean Sophie, as well as a few community news updates each year from the Lake Bluff Schools. To subscribe, complete this online form>>
Posted by comm  On Sep 05, 2014 at 5:16 PM
A blended Pre-Kindergarten will be offered at Lake Bluff Elementary School this fall, with morning and afternoon sessions. 

Morning sessions are 8:05 to 10:40 am; afternoon sessions are 12:10 to 2:40 pm, Monday through Friday when school is in session.

A blended program means that there will be children in the class who are typically developing and others who have special needs. Two certified teachers will teach the class: one who is certified to teach special education students and one who is certified to teach typically developing children. 

The teachers will be teaching all of the children in the program regardless of whether or not they have a disability. Additionally, in a blended program, our speech/language pathologists, reading specialists, occupational therapists, and other support staff work with children in the classroom who require supports.

This program is perfect for a child who has an older sibling at Lake Bluff Elementary School or for a family looking to immerse their child in an environment with a highly talented staff that will teach a curriculum and program that will help to prepare them for entry into Kindergarten within the District.

Read more>>
Posted by comm  On Jul 31, 2014 at 1:17 PM