TOPe Focus Header
June 2012 
In This Issue
Projects prepare 8th graders for life
Hooping to be Healthier Friends
Congratulations to our retirees
Dual language celebrates first "graduates"
Westwood wins recycling competition
To the rescue
Class of 2012: Then, Now and the Future


Proudly Presenting the Top 10 Grads from WHS & WNHS


Arzo Alimohd

Univ. of Minnesota


Rebecca Andersen

Augustana College


Jennifer Bartlett

Marquette University


Isabell Brodzinski Loyola University 


Jennifer Dillon

Univ. of Wisconsin


Kara Dwyer

Northeastern Univ.


Stephanie Goldberg

University of Illinois


Andrew Hughes

Iowa State Univ.


Abigayle Huntley

University of Chicago


Kathleen Knox

Drake University


Alexandra Krueger

Purdue University


Dana Lewellyn

McHenry County College


Karla Navarro

Marquette University


Christine Orndahl

University of Miami


Timothy Semmen

Luther College


Carianne Sobey

Grace College


Lisa Sullivan

University of Iowa


Eric Sutcliffe

University of Illinois


Luke Versten

University of Chicago


Marlena Wojcik

University of Illinois at Chicago


Senior Stats

 430 = Number of Graduates

44 = 4.0 GPA or Better

68 = Graduates with Honors (3.75 GPA or Higher)

118 = Attained Cum Laude Status 

38 = Illinois State Scholars

24 = AP Diploma Graduates

19 = Board of Education PRIDE Awards 

$2,948,000 = Est. Scholarships/Grants Awarded   


Welcome Home,
Northwood Corn Stalkers!
Open European Robotics Championship Logo

Great Job for

D-2oo, Illinois and the USA!


Open European Robotics Championship


June 4-10

Manheim, Germany  

Many thanks to our

Cool It in the Sun Sponsors!


Gavers Community Cancer Foundation


Woodstock Recreation Center


WNHS Garden Volunteer Days 


9:00 a.m. - Noon

June 23

July 14 & 28

August 11 & 15


Tools, water and snacks provided.  The garden is located on the east side of the school.  Drive through the north entrance and follow

the signs.

Learn More About Our Schools

 Verda Dierzen


Dean Street 

Elementary School



Elementary School


Mary Endres

Elementary School



Elementary School



Elementary School



Elementary School



Middle School



Middle School



High School


Woodstock North 

High School


Clay Academy

Quick Links


Board of Education


Paul J. Meyer



Sue Palmore

Vice President


Camille Goodwin



Bob Birchfield


Russ Goerlitz


Dr. Kathy Lechner


Marcy Piekos

Stars Spiral  



Ellyn Wrzeski 


D200 Logo on Gray 

Use the QR reader on your smartphone for quick access to the district website.



Have a safe and

 happy summer! 


NWMS Project May 2012
Northwood Middle School student Ariel Granat presents her 8th grade project about the Walter Lawson Children's Home to a panel of judges on May 8.  Granat was one of over 400 eighth graders who successfully completed the capstone language arts experience.  See story below.

Projects prepare 8th graders for life after

middle school

For the past 14 years, eighth graders in the language arts classes of District 200's middle schools have been expected to complete a culminating project that others may not experience until high school or even college. Known as the '8th Grade Projects', the students begin in mid-March by choosing a topic they would like to know more about. They then embark on an indepth research and information-gathering process which culminates in mid-May with a 10-15 minute speech about the topic in front of a panel of adults who evaluate their presentation skills.


While the main components of the project are the same at both schools, the types of topics sometimes differ. This year Creekside students explored a variety of subjects including future careers, hobbies, special interests, and social issues. Northwood followed a theme, "Volunteering: How Can You Do Your Part", and asked students to pick an organization where they would like to volunteer. 


Once a topic is chosen, the students use the Internet and other tools to learn everything they can about it. This research also includes a personal interview. The students learn how to make a phone call and set up an appointment and how to ask good interview questions. One of the requirements of the Northwood project was for each student to also volunteer at the organization they chose. Parents assist by getting their students to and from the site.


Northwood students delivered a public service announcementNWMS Project Student # 2 (boy) about their organization to their classmates, and all wrote a lengthy reflection paper sharing their reactions to their experience. Each also created a three-fold poster depicting key aspects of their subject. All of these activities helped the students prepare for the final step of the project - a presentation before a panel of 3-4 adults who evaluated them on 12 different criteria. The students learned how to do note cards and practiced the basic elements of public speaking such as eye contact, volume, rate, length, appearance and the use of visual aides.


Not surprisingly, most students think the public speaking component is the most challenging aspect of the project. At the same time, most also report it is their greatest source of pride and personal accomplishment. Many Northwood students also intend to continue volunteering at the organization they studied. 



Hooping to be Healthier Friends

With the nation's childhood obesity rate at an all time high, District 200 educators are continually looking for ways to stress the importance of regular exercise and healthy eating to students and their families. One innovative approach used at Olson Elementary School this year is the Buddy Hooping Program. First grade teacher Kelly Steele and fifth grade teacher Kim McLaughlin, both avid hula hoopers themselves, were awarded a grant from the District 200 Education Foundation to make exercise hula hoops with their students and to use the hoops in a workout program with their two classes. The teachers ran a weekly Buddy Program for their 47 first and fifth grade students.


While not all students are athletes or enjoy traditional exercise activities, children of any age are generally eager to try to swing a hula hoop. Besides being fun, research shows hooping also tones the core muscles, arms, glutes, thighs, increases flexibility, and provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. 

Because the weight and circumference of traditional store-bought hula hoops prohibits children from achieving the maximum benefits, the teachers helped each student build and decorate their own hula hoop customized to the student's size and weight.


The first and fifth graders enjoyed working together to make their hoops and finished taping and exercising with them during the last week of school. Many were able to do tricks with their hoops by the end of the year.


 Olson 1st and 5th grade buddies demonstrate their hooping skills.



Congratulations to our retirees

With sincere appreciation and gratitude for a combined 367 years of service, District 200 says goodbye and good luck to 19 employees who are retiring this year. The Board of Education and Superintendent Ellyn Wrzeski paid tribute to these staff members at a special recognition dinner on Thursday evening, May 17 at the Woodstock Country Club which was attended by over 100 family members, friends and colleagues.


Congratulations and best wishes to this year's retirees: Kathy Algrim, Olson Elementary School; Judy Apgar, Transportation; Barbara Banker, Director of Community Services; Bonny Cassutt, District Literacy Coach; Edwina Friedel, Woodstock High School; Carol Galliett, Mary Endres Elementary School; Maureen Korabik, Westwood Elementary School; Lynnette Ludwigsen, Northwood Middle School; Sue Mairet, Westwood Elementary School; Gay Mather, Greenwood Elementary School; Arlene Nizzi, District Office; Roger Oberman, Woodstock High School and Woodstock North High School; Linda Pribla, Mary Endres Elementary School; Angela Rahn, Woodstock High School; Mary Rousey, District Office; Teri Selzer, District Office; John Silker, Woodstock High School and Woodstock North High School; James Sprengelmeyer, Woodstock High School; and Georgiana Zielinski, Woodstock High School.



Dual language celebrates first 'graduates' 

In 2004, 51 excited first graders embarked on a very special journey at Mary Endres Elementary School. These students, half of whom were native English speakers and half native Spanish speakers, were the first class of dual language students who would have their academic instruction delivered in both English and Spanish. Last month, 31 of those original dual language "pioneers" celebrated the successful completion of 8 years of English/Spanish instruction.


From that original pilot group, District 200's dual language program has grown to approximately 1,200 students in grades K-8. Next year, the program will be expanded to PreKindergarten and to 9th grade with over 1,400 students participating in the program. The curriculum incorporates all academic areas of the general education program and follows a program model that includes the core academic areas of reading, language arts, science, math and social science. At the middle school level, classes taught in Spanish include literacy, science and social studies. As high school freshmen, the dual language students will have the opportunity to continue their instruction in Spanish by taking "Vistas del Mundo Hispano" - a Spanish language class - and biology. District 200 is believed to be the only public high school in Illinois to offer a dual language program next year.


District 200's dual language program is a program of choice offered to both dominant English and dominant Spanish speaking students. Its academic success is well-documented in the results of standardized achievement tests which show that students in the dual language program score as well or better than their monolingual peers.


Keely Krueger, D-200 Director of Grants, Language & Culture, says, "We are very excited about the success of our 8th grade dual language students and the expansion of the program to the high school level. It's a program that truly prepares students to work and live in a global society."



Westwood wins recycling competition

For their efforts in recycling over 750 pounds of aluminum cans during the month of April, Westwood Elementary School students, staff and families have won $1,000 for their school. The amount was higher than any other school that entered the "Erase the Waste" Earth Day competition sponsored by Behr Iron and Metal, a recycling facility in Woodstock. Representatives from Behr presented a check to the school on May 4 at an all school assembly during their annual Wide World of Wonder day. The money will be used to improve technology for students.



To the rescue

Since 2004, the staff of the Woodstock Fire Rescue District (WFRD) has provided CPR, AED and first aid training for District 200 staff members at no cost to the district. This year, Chief Webster and his staff provided the district with 17 CPR/AED classes from December through April. A total of 117 staff members completed the training including all of the district's school nurses as well as members of each building's emergency response team and the District Office. Upon successful completion of the course, each participant is certified to perform CPR and to use the automated external defibrillator (AED) in their building if needed. In addition to the CPR classes, the WFRD also provided four first aid training classes for selected staff members. In keeping with American Heart Association guidelines, District 200 staff members are re-certified every two years. A very special thank you to Chief Ralph Webster for his ongoing commitment and support of this partnership, to Firefighter/Paramedic Jeff Randecker who worked with D-200 Health Services Coordinator Lisa Tate to coordinate this year's training program, and to all the WFRD employees who have provided this valuable training experience. 



Class of 2012: Then, Now and the Future 

When members of the Class of 2012 began their school careers in 1999-2000, Woodstock High School was entering its final year of a major 4-year renovation and remodeling project, Northwood Middle School just launched a new Tech Lab, and Mary Endres Elementary School had been open for one year. Nine schools housed a total enrollment of 5,334 students including 230 students in the morning kindergarten program and 165 in the afternoon program. Data from the State School Report Card showed that 15.8% of D-200 students were from an ethnic minority and 15% were from families who met low income guidelines. The graduation rate was 80.1%, and 45.5% of District 200 teachers had master's degrees and above.


Today District 200 has over 6,600 students, 37.3% of whom come from ethnic minorities and 40.5% whose families meet low income guidelines. The kindergarten program alone has grown to almost 500 students who will all attend for a full day next year. Twelve schools now house students ranging in age from 3 to 22. The number of teachers with master's degrees and above has risen to 69.5%, and the graduation rate has increased to 85.7%.


While their school district has grown in the amount and diversity of students as well as the number of schools, the members of the Class of 2012 have had the opportunity to grow and develop in many other ways. They have had the chance to choose from 23 Advanced Placement and 24 honors course offerings. They could learn one or more of four different world languages, as well as skills for occupations in 16 different career clusters. If they took courses in Basic Nurse Assistant, Criminal Justice, Culinary Skills, Fire Science or Strength and Conditioning Principles, this year's grads could get high school credit and credit from McHenry County College. They could also expand their creative talents through a wide of variety music, art and fine arts performances and gain valuable life experiences through athletics and extracurricular experiences. Throughout their school careers, each student has been continually challenged to make the most of their school experience. District 200 now wishes every graduate a very successful future.


Class of 2012 Future Plans 

A recent survey conducted among 424 WHS and WNHS seniors shows that most of this year's graduates intend to continue their education beyond high school. 

  • Attend a four-year college - 33.3%
  • Attend a two-year college - 39.4%
  • Attend a trade or technical school - 2.1%
  • Enter the military - 2.1%
  • Work in an apprenticeship or internship - 1.4%
  • Work full time or part time - 12.7%
  • Undecided - 9.0
227 W. Judd St. | WOODSTOCK | IL | 60098 | 815-338-8200 


e-Focus is published online every month by Woodstock Community Unit School District 200. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions. Please contact the editor by
phone at (815) 337-5147 or by email at