Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 6 Issue 17
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Greetings from Dr. Cremascoli
Have a happy summer! 

Dear Families,


Summer is off to an exciting start here in District 58! Summer school and middle school sports camps began last week, many book clubs met for the first time, and students have already begun their summer learning and enrichment programs. We are excited to support such a wide variety of fun this summer!


As students started completing their Summer Learning Charts, a few parents and students have asked if they are filling them out correctly. For your convenience, please click here to view a photo of a sample reading log. This chart is just a simple tool to help you keep track of and celebrate all your reading and math practice this summer. Remember, 20 minutes a day of reading and 10 minutes of math practice will feed your brain all summer long! Be sure to visit to review our summer learning expectations and view more summer learning opportunities.


We look forward to connecting more with our students over the summer and to celebrating our students' hard work when they return from summer break. Thank you to everyone who is helping to make these opportunities possible for our students. Have a wonderful summer!




Kari Cremascoli, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Eighth grade promotion highlights

Congratulations to our Herrick and O'Neill eighth graders on their June 4 promotion to high school!

O'Neill's promotion began with the Pledge of Allegiance by Student Council Vice President Srushti Desai and a speech, titled "Life's a Journey," by Student Council President 
Matthew Perry. 


Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli presented the Pride of O'Neill certificates to Erica Alves and Trevor CasmereDick Rooney of the American Legion presented this year's American Legion Award to Abigail Carlson and Abigail Casmere.


Herrick's promotion opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and Class of 2015 Address by eighth grade student Mia Marconi.


The American Legion's Ed Ludwig was joined by Social Studies Teacher Dave Bolton to present this year's American Legion Award to Mia Marconi and Noah Maguigad. Assistant Principal Amy Gray presented the Barb Blumenschein Awards to Mary Kate Wilson, Julia Kramper, Liam Johnson and Cooper Marks.


View more photos from both Eighth Grade Promotions here.

District celebrates 2015 retirees


District 58 retirees Tianna Kurko, Kathleen Tice, Paula Thomas, Gloria Tatar and Lynn Putz enjoy the Board of Education's Retiree Luncheon.

District 58 wishes its 10 retirees a happy retirement and best of luck in their future endeavors. Each retiree has made a meaningful impact on the District 58 community and will be missed greatly!


Brad Patterson, night custodian at Herrick, 39 years

Tom Sheber, maintenance mechanic at Longfellow Center, 37 years

Steve Boughton, head custodian at Herrick Middle School, 35 years

Kathleen Tice, third grade teacher at Indian Trail, 34 years

Tianna Kurko, first grade teacher at Indian Trail, 25 years

Leslie Brouillet, instructional assistant at Whittier, 23 years

Paul Sheber, night custodian at Kingsley, 21 years

Gloria Tatar, speech therapist at Fairmount and O'Neill, 18 years

Lynn Putz, instructional assistant at Herrick, 16 years

Paula Thomas, principal at Hillcrest, 9 years


In honor of Principal Paula Thomas's retirement, the Hillcrest PTA awarded her a Lifetime PTA Achievement Award. Congratulations!

The Grove Foundation recognizes fifth graders for good character

The Grove Foundation recognized 26 District 58 fifth graders with Helping Children Grow awards this school year. The Foundation selected students who displayed extra effort, good character and a willingness to help others.


Award recipients were recognized at an all-school assembly, and they each received a certificate and a gift from Anderson's Book Store.


Congratulations to this year's Helping Children Grow award recipients!

Summer facility projects get going 

When school lets out, crews move in! Over this summer, crews will be busy with the following District 58 summer facility projects:

  • Asphalt at O'Neill
  • Flooring at Belle Aire and El Sierra
  • Playground safety - Swing replacement and border improvements at Belle Aire, Highland and Lester
  • Optional Kindergarten Enrichment and Enhancement Program preparations at El Sierra, Henry Puffer, Highland, Indian Trail and Kingsley
  • Miscellaneous interior painting at 10 schools
  • Ten-Year Life Safety Surveys at 12 schools
Education Foundation News
Green Apple program recognizes 64 employees, raises $2,530


Dr. Cremascoli presents Fairmount fourth grade teacher Kate Matson with a Green Apple.

The Education Foundation thanks everyone who made a donation to its Green Apple Teacher/Staff Recognition program in winter and spring 2015.


The program accepts donations in honor of a special District 58 employee. So far this calendar year, the program recognized 64 employees and raised $2,530. All funding will directly support District 58 students through the Foundation's annual teacher grants program.


Congratulations to our Winter and Spring 2015 Green Apple Award recipients!


Susan Anderson

Nicole Baca

Meghan Barclay

Jennifer Barriball

Julie Batkiewicz

Meghan Beard

Deanna Bloom

Emma Bolam

Catherine Boyce

Jackelyn Cadard

Kristen Cantrell

Kris Ceas

Brittany Cerny

Diane Claver

Janice Conboy

Jennifer Conyac

Shor Costello

Elynn Cunningham

Tracy deBuhr

Michele Doose

Megan DuPass

Marla Gilbert

Trish Hoffman

Katie Hurckes

Julie Iaquinto

Kathy Kostelny

Kris Krumwiede

Theresa Lee

Matt Leiser

Kathleen Mahay

Katie Main

Kate Matson

Michele Maycan

Alison Mitchell

Pamela Mizek

Louise Modine

Carrie Murphy

Kimberly Musial

Carin Novak

Jill Oakley

Diane Peterson

Christine Poggensee

Barbara Potocki

Stephanie Quigley

Carrie Redpath

Richard Resh

Diana Rhodes

Ann Russ

Maggie Sanders

Jean Schue

Mary Scott

Cathy Seiden

Lauren Snyder

Sharlyn Sombeck

Diana Springer

Mark Stange

Colleen Sullivan

Patricia Szczurek

Belle Aire Staff

Nicole Trezzo

Linda Vandeyacht

Christina Wallace

Cori Walter

Julie Walters

View our Fall 2014 Green Apple recipients.

View our Holiday 2014 Green Apple recipients.


View more photos.

58 Doing Good
Herrick eighth grader inspires school to bite back to fight malaria
Recent Herrick grad Mia Marconi

Mia Marconi's perspective on life changed dramatically last March. The Herrick eighth grader (and now, recent graduate) took a mission trip to Haiti, where she learned how many Haitians lack adequate shelter at night, making them at risk for malaria-infected bug bites.

When she returned home, she inspired her entire school to make donations to non-profit Compassion International's Bite Back campaign, which funds mosquito bed nets and malaria treatment for Haitians. Thanks to her efforts, the Herrick community raised $2,000 for Bite Back! Thank you for your generosity, Mia and the Herrick community! 

Learn more about Mia's amazing efforts here. 

Hillcrest donates $8,000 to
future inclusive playground
Hillcrest's generosity keeps going and going. This spring, they donated
Hillcrest kicked off its "FUNding for Fun" playground fundraiser May 1.

more than $15,000 to build a well in South Sudan, an area that lacks good access to clean water.

But they didn't stop there. Instead, Hillcrest's Student Council announced its annual spring fundraiser to raise money for Hillcrest's future all-inclusive playground.Thanks to their generosity, Hillcrest raised $8,000!

Once built, the Hillcrest all-inclusive playground would be the first of its kind in DuPage County. The playground would be accessible and fun for all children -- those with and without disabilities. Peg Chaidez, a Hillcrest parent, is leading a crowdfunding effort to make the Hillcrest all-inclusive playground a reality. She started a non-profit called The Dream Build Play Experience to coordinate the effort. All donations are tax-deductible. Donate online at

Learn more about Hillcrest's fundraising efforts here.

Kingsley charity walk nets $3,900 for juvenile diabetes research

The Kingsley Student Council hosted a fun charity walk this spring to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Their efforts paid off -- they raised more than $3,900 for the charity! The fundraiser also taught students about juvenile diabetes and offered them a good time to get some exercise outside.


"The entire school walked around the building together the number of timesbased on your grade level," said Ashley Bidlencik, Kingsley's Student Council moderator. "For example, fifth graders made five laps and second graders walked around two times."


Thank you for your generosity, Kingsley! 

Lester Brownies make blankets, pillows for hospitalized children

Lester's third grade Brownie Girl Scouts recently made more than 17 Cuddle Comfort blankets and pillows for hospitalized children at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.


The project's idea originated from one of the Girl Scout's personal experience: she recently had a surgery and received a similar cozy blanket afterward, which brought her much comfort. To give back, she asked the troop to make blankets for their service project. Nice work, girls!


Thank you, Troop Leader Kelly Dahle for providing the photo and information!

School Spotlight
Pierce Downer fifth graders share coding skills


A Pierce Downer fifth grader demonstrates the Sphero's capabilities with first graders.

What happens when you teach fifth graders how to code with creativity? As Pierce Downer fifth grade teacher Kelly DeMarco discovered, AMAZING things! 


Using an Education Foundation grant, DeMarco purchased several Spheros, which are small, white spherical robots. Her students spent fourth quarter learning how to program (or code) the Spheros to move and behave different ways.


At the end of the school year, the students hosted a Sphero Showcase Day, during which they demonstrated their final Sphero coding projects with students in other classes and administrators.


"I was truly amazed and impressed by all that the students have accomplished," said Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli. "Their ingenuity, creativity and collaboration was eclipsed only by their engagement and passion for their work. It was so wonderful to see how proud they were of all they had accomplished through this project." 


Read the whole story and view more photos here.

Grove Preschool 'Counts to 100'



This year, Grove preschoolers learned a lot about numbers, colors and exercise by singing and dancing to the song "Count to 100!" while holding colored water bottle "weights." They celebrated the end of a great school year by performing the song for their parents.

Preschool teacher Mrs. Nancy Hildreth and her kindergarten helper, Andy, directed the performance. Andy is one of Mrs. Hildreth's former students. He enjoyed singing "Count to 100!" so much last year, that he asked to help lead this year's performance.

The students did a great job!

El Sierra earns DuPage Water Quality Flag

El Sierra's gym proudly displays two DuPage County Earth Flags, signifying the school's dedication to recycling and sustainability. Last month, El Sierra received yet another impressive flag: the DuPage County Water Quality Flag. El Sierra is only the third school in DuPage County to receive this designation. 


Representatives from DuPage County and SCARCE, a local organization dedicated to environmental issues, presented the Water Quality Flag to El Sierra during an all-school assembly on May 27.


"Thank you El Sierra for being such wonderful stewards of water and the environment!" said Kay McKeen, founder and executive director of SCARCE.


Learn about El Sierra's water conservation efforts and view photos here!

More than 400 grandparents visit Highland


Highland students enjoyed a fun opportunity to share their learning with their grandparents or other special adults during the school's recent Grandparent's Day celebration! 

For the first time, Highland spread out Grandparent's Day over a three-day period, attracting more than 400 grandparents and VIPs! Both students and their grandparents reported enjoying a great day of learning with each other.
Legendary St. Joe's coach visits Belle Aire

Belle Aire second graders enjoyed a very special visit June 2 with legendary St. Joe's High School Basketball Coach Gene Pingatore and two of his players! The Westchester, Ill., team won this year's state basketball championship, and the second graders followed the team's season. Coach Pingatore and his players shared important lessons on working hard and punctuality with the students.

O'Neill receives Follett Challenge 'Big Check'

O'Neill students had lots to celebrate during its end-of-school-year assembly June 3. The school's Conquest of the Realm reading program recently won the national Follett Challenge competition - which included a $60,000 prize! O'Neill received the "Big Check" from Follett, and enjoyed beautiful performances by O'Neill's musical groups. 

Indian Trail dresses up for Medieval Day

Kings, queens, serfs and horses paraded around Indian Trail School on June 3.

That's right, Indian Trail sixth graders hosted their annual Medieval Day, complete with decorative costumes, a parade, feast, music and a play! 

Sixth grade teachers Janice Conboy and Whitney Cavanagh even got into the mood and dressed up as Medieval royalty!

DG Museum displays Hillcrest students' work

Planning a visit to the Downers Grove Museum this summer? When you visit, you'll notice that District 58 is featured!


Hillcrest second graders studied Downers Grove's history this past school year. Their teacher, Lauren Moravecek, helped them design mini-replicas of historic Downers Grove places and people. When put together, the replicas created a mini museum!


The Downers Grove Museum was so impressed with the second graders' work that they invited Moravecek's class to display their projects at the museum all summer long!  Nice work!

Main Street Starbucks displays Puffer artwork

If you visit the Starbucks on Main Street this June, be sure to check out the walls! It's adorned with artwork from our very own Henry Puffer students. Nice job, students!

Featured artists:

June, kindergarten
Georgia, first grade
Audrey, third grade
Aubrey, fourth grade
Board of Education news
The Board of Education held a Regular Meeting on Monday, June 8 at the Administrative Service Center. Read the Board Briefs to learn highlights from the meeting.
Community e-flyers
E-flyer logo
  District 58 logo
The mission of District 58, in partnership with parents and community, is to challenge and engage each child by providing quality educational programs and support services in a safe, nurturing, and child-centered environment in order to prepare all students to be lifelong learners and contributing members of a global society.  
Communicate 58 is designed to share timely, relevant information about District 58 with parents, community members and others who are interested in how we are living out our mission. If you have any questions/comments regarding Communicate 58, or have an article/photo idea for the publication, please contact Community Relations Coordinator Megan Hewitt at or 630-719-5805. 
In this issue
Greetings from Dr. Cremascoli
Eighth grade promotion highlights
District celebrates 2015 retirees
The Grove Foundation recognizes fifth graders for good character
Summer facility projects get going
Green Apple program recognizes 64 employees, raises $2,530
Herrick eighth grader inspires school to bite back to fight malaria
Hillcrest donates $8,000 to future inclusive playground
Kingsley charity walk nets $3,900 for juvenile diabetes research
Lester Brownies make blankets, pillows for hospitalized children
Pierce Downer fifth graders share coding skills
Grove Preschool 'Counts to 100'
El Sierra earns DuPage Water Quality Flag
More than 400 grandparents visit Highland
Legendary St. Joe's coach visits Belle Aire
O'Neill receives Follett Challenge 'Big Check'
Indian Trail dresses up for Medieval Day
DG Museum displays Hillcrest students' work
Main Street Starbucks displays Puffer artwork
Board of Education News
Community e-flyers
District 58 on social media

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