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D155 News

Feb 07
D155 Named to 7th Annual AP® District Honor Roll
The College Board named Community High School District 155 to the 7th Annual AP® District Honor Roll for the fifth consecutive year. District 155 is the only district in Illinois that has been honored for five consecutive years, and one of 11 nationwide for five consecutive years. The College Board recognizes districts for increasing access to Advanced Placement courses for students while maintaining a 3 or higher on AP® exams. D155 is among 433 school districts in the U.S. and Canada; only 22 districts in Illinois were identified.

“This is truly an amazing achievement for both our students and teachers. Through student feedback and our partnership with the College Board, we continue to review our AP® course offerings and expand our selection to accommodate more students and their interests in different subject areas,” said Dr. Johnnie Thomas, superintendent.

District 155 offers 29 AP® courses in eight subject areas including English, fine arts, industry and careers, math, music, science, social studies, and world languages. During the 2015-16 school year 31.5 percent of students completed at least one AP course. Students took 3,507 AP exams and 78 percent received a 3, 4, or 5.

D155 estimates that students success on AP exams in 2015 could save students and theirs families more than $4.1 million dollars.
Feb 06
Class of 2018 Meningitis Vaccination Requirements

The Illinois Department of Public Health requires that students entering 12th grade must be immunized for meningococcal disease. This vaccination will prevent your student from a severe form of bacterial meningitis as well as other illnesses caused by this bacterium.

All 12th graders will need to show proof of receiving two doses unless the first dose was administered after 16 years of age. In this case, only one dose after 16 years of age is required.

Documentation must be provided to the school nurse before Distribution Day in August 2017. You can submit documentation to the nurse anytime between now and Distribution Day. If you have questions about the meningococcal vaccination, please contact your school nurse.

Cary-Grove: Martha Manno - Phone: (847) 639-3825 or Email

Crystal Lake Central: Linda Haman: (815) 459-2505 or Email

Crystal Lake South: Colleen Wing: (815) 455-3860 or Email

Prairie Ridge: Patti Secrest: (815) 479-0404 or Email

Feb 03
Illinois Principals Association Recognizes CG Vice Principal
The Illinois Principals Association recognized Rebecca Saffert as Vice Principal of the year in the Kishwaukee Region. Saffert is in her fifth year serving Cary-Grove High School as vice principal; she has been with District 155 for 23 years, first as a teacher and then a dean. Rebecca is a proud trojan, and Cary-Grove feels like home.

“I went to Cary-Grove and have been very blessed to have my career at Cary-Grove also.  It is a very special place with a great administration and wonderful teachers and staff. It is hard to put into words what this means. I don't do my job for the outward rewards, I get my reward by helping others. ,” said Saffert.

Safferts path to becoming vice principal at her alma mater is unique.

“I received a bachelor's degree in finance.  I worked for General Electric for seven years, but did not feel like I was doing anything for others.  I had always wanted to teach, so I went back and got my teaching degree.  I taught math for 10 years, then became a dean for eight years before becoming vice principal,” said Saffert.

Principal Jay Sargeant nominated Rebecca for the award because of her dedication.

“I think she is an outstanding leader in the district, but in particular our building. She will do anything to help our staff and our kids. Rebecca routinely goes above and beyond, and she deserves some recognition for that. Our team is extremely grateful to have her as a colleague and a peer every single day at Cary-Grove,” said Jay Sargeant, principal.

Rebecca serves on several committees including Parent University, GEMS, 1:1 Vision Committee, Assessment Evaluation Committee, Parent Advisory Committee, District Instructional Team, District Operations Team, Graduation Credit Committee, and the D155 Safe Driving Program.

The Kishwaukee Aspiring Administrators and Leadership Recognition Banquet was February 1. Rebecca will now be considered to become the state’s vice principal of the year.
Feb 02
South's Student Services Department Earns National Recognition
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) named Crystal Lake South High School as a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP). The RAMP designation, awarded for aligning with the criteria in the ASCA National Model, recognizes schools that are committed to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program and an exemplary educational environment.

“I am very proud of our student services team.  I have been impressed with their desire to help our students realize their potential. Our student services team has spent countless hours improving programs and implementing new ones to strengthen the variety of services and resources we provide,” said Scott Shepard, principal.

IMG_5074.jpgThe process to be recognized included creating a mission, vision, and goals. The student services department focused on interventions, analyzing curriculum results, developing a curriculum that spans all four years of high school addressing the academic, social emotional and post-secondary domains.

We started exploring the process four years ago. We also created a parent advisory committee that has met for the last three years. Our goal aims to increase student performance in academics,” said Josh Nobilio, student services director.

RAMP applications are reviewed by teams of school counseling professionals. Crystal Lake South High School will be honored at a recognition ceremony at ASCA’s annual conference in Denver, Colorado on July 10.

“This prestigious recognition acknowledges our staff’s commitment to our students. I truly appreciate the time our staff has dedicated to ensure our students are supported and that all of our students succeed,” said Dr. Johnnie Thomas, superintendent.

Since the program’s inception, over 650 schools have been designated as RAMP recipients. Prairie Ridge High School was recognized as a RAMP school during the 2015-16 school year.

Feb 02
Ndaba Mandela to Speak with D155 Students
During Ndaba Mandela’s first visit to Chicago, he will speak with freshman and sophomore D155 students enrolled in World Studies about peace and human rights. Ndaba Mandela’s parents were absent for much of his youth and he spent a great deal of time with his grandfather Nelson Mandela after he was released from prison. He will share his story and his grandfather’s story with D155 students and teachers on Wednesday, February 15.

“We are excited to have an international speaker, such as Mr. Mandela, address our students and staff. We want our students to be aware of both the local and global community. The visit also gives us an opportunity to showcase to the world our amazing community,” said Dr. Johnnie Thomas, superintendent.

Ndaba will spend the morning at Crystal Lake South High School meeting with International Studies teachers, a small group of student leaders, and present to a large group of World Studies students in the auditorium. He will then travel to Crystal Lake Central High School for an afternoon session with teachers, student leaders, and World Studies students.

During his presentations, Ndaba will share his lessons learned from his grandfather and how one person can make a difference. He will also talk about the challenges South Africa faces today and how life compares in South Africa to life in America.

Ndaba Mandela is a global speaker and is the grandson of Nelson Mandela. He co-founded and co-chairs the Africa Rising Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting a positive image of Africa around the world and increasing growth in education, employment, and international corporate alliances for profit and partnership. He is organizing the 95th celebration of Nelson Mandela day and was instrumental in creating the International Day of Happiness at the United Nations.
Feb 01
CLS Theatre Presents Pippin
Pippin-Poster-8.5x11.pngPippin - A prince learns the true meaning of glory, love and war in this iconic musical allegory.

Dates & Times:

Feb 24 - 7 p.m.

Feb 25 - 7 p.m.

March 2 - 7 p.m.

March 3 - 7 p.m.

March 4 - 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and available to purchase online, here.
Feb 01
CGHS Music Dept. Presents EVITA
evita.pngCGHS Music Dept. Presents EVITA - Argentina's controversial First Lady is the subject of this dynamic musical masterpiece by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. As a 15 year old, Eva escaped her dirt-poor existence for the bright lights of Buenos Aires. Driven by ambition and blessed with charisma, she was a starlet at 22, the president's mistress at 24, First Lady at 27, and dead at 33. Eva Peron 'saint to the working-class, reviled by the aristocracy and mistrusted by the military' was destined to leave a fascinating political legacy unique in the 20th century. Told through a compelling score that fuses haunting chorales with exuberant Latin, pop and jazz influences, EVITA creates an arresting theatrical portrait as complex as the woman herself.

Dates & Times:

March 10 - 7:30 p.m.

March 11 - 7:30 p.m.

March 12 - 2:00 p.m.

March 16 - 7:00 p.m.

March 17 - 7:30 p.m.

March 18 - 7:30 p.m.

Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 24 at 9 a.m. and will be available to purchase online, here.
Feb 01
CLC Presents "Sister Act"
Sister-Act-Title-TIFF.jpg"Sister Act"  A Divine Musical Comedy.  A woman hiding in a convent helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she rediscovers her own. This feel-good comedy smash is based on the hit film. Sister Act is the feel-good musical comedy smash based on the hit 1992 film that has audiences jumping to their feet!

March 16 - 7:00 p.m.

March 17 - 7:00 p.m.

March 18 - 7:00 p.m.

March 19 - 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are $10 each. Tickets will be available to purchase online beginning February 15, click here.
Jan 31
A Tale of Two Cities

T2C_PosterSmall_1 (1).jpgTwo men in love with the same woman. Two cities swept up in revolution. One last chance for a man to redeem his wasted life and change the world.  Appropriate for all ages and audiences, this musical based on Charles Dickens' masterpiece is a classic story of love, revolution, and redemption and is a show the Associated Press called, "the return to the era of big blockbusters such as Les Miserables, Phantom, and Miss Saigon."

Dates & Times:           

March 3 - 7:00 p.m.
March 4 - 6:00 p.m.
March 9 - 7:00 p.m.
March 10 – 7:00 p.m.
March 11 – 1:00 p.m.
March 11 – 7:00 p.m.


Tickets are only available online and at the door. Tickets will be available to purchase online on January 31 at 7:00 p.m.

Purchase tickets, here.

If you have an issue with ordering tickets online please email

Jan 24
South Robotics Team Emphasizes Resilience in First Year
Determined to start their own Robotics Club, several Crystal Lake South students banned together to find two sponsors to support their initiative. Katie Koch and Jennifer Sowka who both teach math at South, took on that challenge. For the first time in District 155 history, Crystal Lake South High School now has a Robotics Club. Since the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, 13 students, nine boys and four girls have met twice weekly to build and reconstruct their robot, and practice the competition challenges.

6948.jpg“I thought it was a cool way to get involved. I've learned how the components go together and the mechanics to get the robot to function. There is also a lot of problem solving,” said Joe Wajrowski, a senior, who is interested in pursuing a career in the engineering field.

The team already competed at three First Tech Challenge (FTC) contests this year. Each team competes with one robot and they are paired with other teams to complete challenges. This year, robots are suppose to push a button to get it to light up, push balls up a corner vector, and lift a ball onto plastic prongs. Teams earn points for each part.

Haarisudhan Sureshkumar, a junior, programs the robot. He often times is working until 2 a.m. the day before the competition to troubleshoot any programming issues.

“I'm really interested in programming in Java. I knew the IMG_20161112_111510982.jpgplatform was Java. I've learned about programming and different methods. I’ve learned a lot about gear ratios too,” said  Sureshkumar.

The cost to initiate the club cost about $3,000. The team received a $1,500 state grant and they have sought independent sponsors. The CLS Boosters, Arctic Heating & Cooling, and Coilcraft have contributed funds which has allowed the club to purchase parts for the team’s robot. Students have been innovative and work with teachers in other departments to create parts with 3D printers and in the woods shop. Limited funds has been a disadvantage for the team, but they have preserved.

IMG_4501.jpg“Our theme at South this year is resilience; they have put in a lot of time. We were so excited when the robot moved at the first competition, and we grew so much at the second competition. The hard work has been rewarding,” said Katie Koch, CLS Robotics Club sponsor.

The final FTC, which is also the largest, is Saturday, February 11 at McHenry County College.

Sureshkumar is also the team captain. He emphasizes that it take the entire team to be successful.

“Building the frame is a team effort, and we all work together.”

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