The Board of Education and I are so appreciative of the staff, parents, and community members who enthusiastically support Kirby School District 140 each year. In 2018, the District focused on curriculum enhancements and celebrated numerous student achievements and service learning opportunities.
Curriculum, Technology and Construction Updates
In District 140, we strive to create a rich learning environment that provides students of every ability level with multiple avenues for acquiring knowledge and demonstrating what they know. This year, we implemented a new district-wide Social Studies curriculum. TCI: Social Studies Alive! (K-5) and History Alive! (6-8) use multi-faceted activities to teach students about the world. We also began multisensory handwriting instruction using Handwriting without Tears (K-3), and we taught keyboarding and digital citizenship using Keyboarding without Tears (K-5).
Technology initiatives included a Interactive Flat Panel Display (IFPD) pilot aimed at possibly replacing our 10-year-old Promethean boards. Select teachers experimented with incorporating the IFPD’s in their classroom instruction and provided push in/pull out activities for all students. Evaluation of the pilot will continue through 2019.
On the maintenance front, building infrastructure upgrades to mechanical systems were completed at Millennium while Grissom’s science labs received new work stations and added research space.
Succeeding in Academic, Athletic and Co-Curricular Activities
In 2018, more than 3,200 D140 students participated in more than 140 athletic and co-curricular clubs and activities. Highlights included 110 students inducted into the National Junior Honor Society with cumulative GPA’s of 3.80 or better and over 3,100 hours of community/school service.
Ten students received Awards of Excellence for character, leadership, and academics from the Illinois Principals Association. Congratulations to Sophie Coleman, Anna Cornfield, Devin Goss, Kaitlyn Gudyka, Lauren Kulig, Elliana Matz, Madalyn Napoli, Scott Oftedahl, Isabella Rogers and Brady Tanquilut. Seven individual medals and three team medals were earned at the South Cook Math Bowl. D140 MVP’s were Erin Kammerzell and Christin Sanchez. Our 2018 District Spelling Bee Grand Champion was Serena Naji.
Eight Southwest Interscholastic Conference (SWIC) first place titles were earned by Grissom Boys’ Softball, Grissom Girls’ Softball, Grissom 6/7th Grade Boys’ Volleyball, Grissom 8th Grade Grissom Boys’ Volleyball, PV 6th/7th Grade Boys’ Volleyball, PV 8th Grade Boys’ Basketball, PV Girls’ Soccer and PV Declamation. Twenty-four athletes received All-Conference honors. Sixteen students participated in five Special Olympics competitions and brought home thirteen individual gold medals and one team medal. Seven athletes attended the State Games.
D140 musicians and vocalists enjoyed an outstanding year. Our Concert and Symphonic Bands received Division 1 Superior ratings at the Illinois Grade School Music Association (IGSMA) State Band Festival. For the third consecutive year, Isabella Podewell was selected by audition for the Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) Honor Chorus. In addition, D140 musicians Abigail Cunico, Ryan Kolacki and Alex Procajlo were selected for the ILMEA Honor Band. Vikram Karra was selected to perform in the ILMEA Honors Jazz Band.
Promoting Community Involvement
D140 integrates meaningful community service with instruction to enrich our student’s learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen community ties. In 2018, our students’ service learning projects incorporated over 20 local and national organizations including Lurie Children's Hospital, Crisis Center for South Suburbia, KEA Scholarship honoring Abby Ohl, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Matthew Kocher Foundation, Orland Township, PAWS, Special Olympics, St. Baldrick's, and the T.P. Food Pantry.
Lastly, it gives me great pleasure to announce that our Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Shawn Olson as the next Superintendent. Dr. Olson will assume leadership of the District upon my retirement in July. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve the D140 community for the past 30 years.