TOPe Focus Header
January 2013 
In This Issue
Facebook Coming to District 200
Lights! Camera! Auction!
Project Mistle-Toes Exceeds Expectations
Reduce the Spread of Influenza
Guys Night Out
D200 Staff Members Recognized
Healthier US School Challenge
D200 Seniors Named Illinois State Scholars
WHS Junior Wins County Contest
Fasliu Earns Speech Honors
Parent University 2013

Virtual backpack logo

Don't Forget to check the Virtual Backpack

 Remember to check the Virtual Backpack on the district's website for informational flyers on 

a wide variety of programs and events 

for D200 families.

Each year, more than 146,000 Illinois high school juniors take the ACT exam, which is scored on a 
36-point scale.  The following District 200 students scored a 30 or better on the exam, placing them among the best of the best in the nation.  
Woodstock High School
Henry Gantner
John Gogolewski
David Green
Brian Hess
Mariglen Isufi
Jorie Karafa
Gabriel Klinefelter
Phillip Krueger
Hannah Little
Wyatt Meyer
Peter Papadopoulos
Grant Stec
Josh Taylor
Jack Uidl
Woodstock North HS
Marina Besserud
Zachery Brokaw
Martin Chakkalamuri
Hanna Dort
Rachel Hammer
Josiah Killam
Hannah Konopinski
Josephine Lindsey-Robbins
Alec Mitchel
Tyler Roemisch
Rebecca Smith
Samantha Reis

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



Camille Goodwin



Bob Birchfield


Russ Goerlitz


Dr. Kathy Lechner


Marcy Piekos


David Shinherr

Stars Spiral  



Ellyn Wrzeski 


Looking Ahead

 One Hour Late Start

Wednesday, Feb. 6


Bd of Education Meeting 

Clay PDC, 7:00pm 

Tuesday, Feb. 12    


Half Day Attendance

Parent-Teacher Conferences 


Thursday, Feb. 14


No School 

Parent-Teacher Conferences 


 Friday, Feb. 15


No School 

Presidents' Day

Monday, Feb. 18


Go to the Calendar or Upcoming Events sections of the district website for a detailed listing of all events by school, month, day or type.



D200 Logo on Gray 

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






Mary Endres second graders, pictured here with their PE teacher Steve Ryan, enjoy wearing Chicago Wolves hockey jerseys during their floor hockey games.  The Wolves organization donated 30 jerseys to the school, and upon completion of the floor hockey unit, each student receives a voucher for a free ticket to a Wolves game.

Facebook Coming to District 200 on February 4

facebook logo Look for Woodstock School District 200 on Facebook beginning February 4.  We are excited to be able to bring you information about school events, activities, achievements, opportunities to get involved - and any emergency closings. Whether you are a parent who needs a quick and easy way to get the latest news about your child's school, a staff member whose work might be featured in a post or link, or a community member without children in our schools who wants to stay connected with us, please like the District 200 Facebook page.


We are eager to provide this source of information for our community.  This is a new tool that will be used to supplement the communication avenues we currently use such as the District 200 website, e-Focus newsletter, email and school newsletters.   Social media will allow us to create additional opportunities for positive dialog throughout the community. Our guidelines for posting on Facebook encourage constructive conversation:


"The District 200  Facebook page informs parents, staff, and community members about our achievements, events and activities. Information posted from District 200 will be direct, open and honest; we hope comments posted on the page will be respectful, factual and constructive.

Personal insults against any individual will be deleted, as will posts that violate the privacy of others or Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Examples include unauthorized commercial solicitations; posts that bully, intimidate, or harass; content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or contains violence; or any post that is unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory. If more than one post by the same individual must be deleted, the District reserves the right to block that individual from the page.

We hope this page becomes a source of valuable information and positive dialog within the community."


If you have any questions, please contact Carol Smith, Director of Community Services at



Lights! Camera! Auction!

The District 200 Education Foundation will host its annual Groundhog Day banquet and auction on Saturday February 2, 2013 from 5:30 p.m. until approximately 11:00 p.m. at Donley's Village Hall Banquets, Route 20 and South Union Road in Union, Illinois.   


Founded in 1994, the Foundation received its original funding from the auction of donated Groundhog Day movie props and memorabilia. Since then, the Foundation's volunteers have raised money and funded $405,000 in annual competitive grants for projects that benefit District 200 students.  "The grants provide books, field trips, equipment, and funding for extra curricular clubs," said Rick Amundsen, Chairman of the Foundation.


The banquet will feature dinner, a cash bar, a live auction, a silent auction and a reverse raffle.  In addition to the auction, guests will enjoy music provided by a DJ. The evening will culminate with the presentation of the third annual District 200 Award of Excellence to this year's recipient, retired D200 principal William Schuette. 


Dinner tickets and reverse raffle tickets may be purchased at the District office. Tickets for the event are $50 per person, which includes dinner.  Only 100 reverse raffle tickets will be sold at a cost of $100 each.  Donations are also welcome, and may be sent to the District office in care of Carol Smith.

For more information, please contact Carol Smith at 815/337-5147 or Rick Amundsen at 815/337-5406.



Mistle-Toes 2012 Exceeds Expectations 

In 2009, Creekside Middle School student Hope Fuller was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Her courageous battle ended 224 days later. 


Although Hope was a typical 12-year old in many ways, she was also extraordinary in her ability to help and care for others who were in need.  She was a friend to many and raised funds for the local food pantry, as well as other causes in the Woodstock community.  


Hope hosted a party for her friends at her home during the Christmas break before she passed away that involved a Christmas sock exchange.  Hope's friends kept her spirit alive by creating Project Mistle-Toes, aimed at collecting holiday socks that are donated to local hospitals, the Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago and St. Jude's Research Hospital in Memphis. 


In December, ten District 200 schools, two McHenry Schools, one Chicago School, one Crystal Lake School and three area businesses collected socks that would be donated.  As of December 14, Project Mistle-Toes collected 2130 pairs of socks! One thousand pairs were donated to Lurie Children's Hospital, and approximately 500 were given to patients at Mercy in Woodstock, Harvard and Janesville. In addition, another 200 pairs were sent to St. Jude Research Hospital. On Saturday, December 22, the group delivered more socks to  NIMC and Centegra Hospitals. 

Pictured, from left, are Project Mistle-Toes founders 
Nora Brown, Grace Beattie and Tess Devinger.
The group collected 300 pairs in 2010, and 900 pairs in 2011.  The group had a goal of collecting 1000 pairs this year.  That goal was exceeded by 1130 pairs of socks that brought joy to children and adults alike!


Mistle-Toes received a message from the coordinator at Mercy that said, "I wish you could all see the happiness these socks are bringing to people here at Mercy. These patients are in pain and to be given a pair of Christmas socks, especially the funny ones, just lights up their lives.  Hope is watching from Heaven and loving every minute of the happiness these socks/project brings."



Ways to Reduce the Spread of Influenza    

Over the last few weeks, the media has reported that there is widespread influenza A throughout most of our country. Recently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) called it an epidemic, and reminded people that they will still gain benefits from the influenza vaccine if they receive it now. 


While we have not seen a large number of cases in District 200, we know that the flu season peaks during January and February.  We would like to provide you with some guidelines to
help reduce the spread of flu in our schools:

  • Teach your children to wash their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. 
  • Teach your children to cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue, arm or elbow.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of the flu - fever of 100 or more, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache and feeling very tired.
  • Do not send children to school if they are sick.
  • Keep sick children at home for at least 24 hours after they have been fever-free without the use of fever-reducing drugs.

YouTube has several instructional videos posted that are helpful when talking with your child about hand washing and coughing and sneezing into one's sleeve.  Those links are listed below:


"The Singing Nurse":


Basic hand washing:


Why don't we do it in our sleeves? Discusses coughing and sneezing:


School personnel continue to remind students about the ways they can prevent the spread of germs in school.  In addition, our custodial staff members are disinfecting the common hard surfaces known to transmit germs, sanitizing the common hard surfaces daily and performing a full sanitation process once 

a week.


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the nurse at your child's school


Guys Night Out 

The sixth annual "Guys Night Out" was held at Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center on January 17.  Both Pre-K and Kindergarten students invited their favorite "guys"  to  come to school for an evening of fun.


The school had seven stations set up that provided students with the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities such as throwing and catching games, jumping, hopping, balancing and yoga.   


In an effort to get students to try new foods, the Two Bite Club offered tastes of celery, cauliflower, broccoli, kiwi, pears and apples.  When students tried two new foods, their names were posted on the bulletin board and they became members of the Two Bite Club. 



District 200 Staff Members Recognized on National and International Levels

On January 8, the Board of Education recognized two staff members for their upcoming achievements on both the national and international fronts.   


Laurie Crain, Drug Free Project Coordinator, and 10 of her students are accompanying Mayor Brian Sager to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) National Leadership Forum in February.  There, they will make a presentation on how to establish and improve communication between coalitions, local government agencies and law enforcement agencies in an effort to reduce youth access to drugs and alcohol. As part of her role in District 200, Mrs. Crain works in conjunction with the Community Partnership Coalition, which identifies local resources whose mission supports the goals of the Drug Free Community Support Grant that was awarded to District 200 in 2003. 


Woodstock High School science teacher Bill Donato has been selected to participate in the National Science Teachers Association US-Sweden Teacher Exchange Program. 

The Inquiry-to-Insight (I2I) climate change science education project is a collaboration of scientists, educators, and media designers at Stanford University and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden dedicated to bringing high quality, interactive, free online resources on climate change and ocean acidification into the classroom.  Mr. Donato and WHS will host teachers from Sweden in the spring prior to the National Science Teachers Association conference in Texas.  In the fall, Mr. Donato will travel to Sweden to reciprocate school visits.  Because of Mr. Donato's excellent work within an exemplary science program, he has been awarded a full scholarship for all expenses related to attending the conference in Texas as well as the trip to Sweden.    



All D200 Schools Awarded Healthier School Challenge Certification

The Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program.  It recognizes schools that are creating healthier school environments through their promotion of good nutrition and physical activity.


Earlier this month, HUSSC announced 246 award winners from 17 states and the District of Columbia. All Woodstock public schools were included with the winners that are valid December 2012 - December 2016.  D200 is one of the few districts in the state to have all of its schools recognized. 


District 200 food service managers, school principals, and food service director, Sue Malley are pictured after receiving recognition at the January 22 Board of Education meeting.


District 200 Seniors Named Illinois State Scholars

Woodstock and Woodstock North High Schools have announced that 45 D200 high school students have been recognized as 2013-14 Illinois State Scholars.  The prestigious award, given annually by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), recognized 18,863 high school students from across the state as this year's State Scholars. Since 1979, over 582,000 Illinois students have been honored as State Scholars.

Illinois State Scholar winners rank in the top ten percent of high school seniors from 749 different high schools across the state. Selection is based on SAT, ACT and/or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of the junior year. High school guidance counselors work in conjunction with ISAC to determine the winners.

"We're pleased to honor this year's Illinois State Scholars," said Eric Zarnikow, ISAC Executive Director. "Not only do they represent the best in educational excellence in Illinois, they also are key to the state's future economic well-being. The Commission applauds their success and salutes their families and teachers on this achievement."

While the prestigious recognition does not include a monetary award, recipients are encouraged to cite the honor on applications for college admission and scholarships in addition to completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1 to determine eligibility for federal and state aid, including Illinois' $387 million need-based Monetary Award Program (MAP).

"Each of these students should take pride in their accomplishment and what it says about their commitment to academic attainment," Zarnikow concluded.


2013 Illinois State Scholars from Woodstock High School are: Anna Blaho, Jessica Doyle, Kai Eldridge, Henry Gantner, John Gogolewski, David Green, Sydney Haulotte, Brian Hess, Mariglen Isufi, Phoebe Jarman, Jorie Karafa, Gabriel Klinefelter,

Phillip Krueger, Rachel Kubacha, Hannah Little, Kara McCaughrean, Samantha McLaughlin, Wyatt Meyer, Peter Papadopoulos, Grant Stec, Joshua Taylor, Paul Tempin, Jack Uidl, Katy Watt and Kerstin Wolf.


2013 Illinois State Scholars from Woodstock North High School are: Emily Albertz, Marina Besserud, Zachery Brokaw, Martin Chakkalamuri, Kaitlin Chamberlain, Robert Davis, Hanna Dort, Madison Fant, Rachel Hammer, Amy Kierna, Josiah Killam, Hannah Konopinski, Christine Krieger, Josephine Lindsey-Robbins, Alec W. Mitchell, Samantha Reis, Tyler Roemisch, Sarah Singer, Rebecca Smith and Marta Sobey.



Ellinghausen Message to be Used County-Wide

Last fall, the McHenry County Health Department advertised its 9th Annual Media Design Contest for high school and college aged students.  The theme for the contest was, "The Cost of Smoking."  Woodstock High School graphics teacher Sandi Brainard assigned contest submission to her Advanced Level Graphics students. WHS junior Graham Ellinghausen won the contest with his depiction of a crushed cigarette wrapped in a ten dollar bill with the words, "Quit Smoking, Your Wallet Will Thank You." Graham's design, pictured above, will be used on billboards around McHenry County during the spring and summer months.  



Fasliu Earns High Scores in Speech Tournament 


Congratulations to Woodstock High School senior Arlinda Fasliu, who earned four medals, and a special honor for her cumulative individual scores at a recent speech tournament at Lake Forest High School.  Arlinda's accomplishment is the best ever for a WHS student in a single speech tournament.    



Free Seminar Offers Excellent Resources to Parents

Parents in District 200 and surrounding communities will have a
unique opportunity on Saturday, February 2, 2013 to learn successful strategies for helping their children deal with the challenges confronting today's youth.
 District 200's third annual Parent University will be held at Woodstock North High School from 8:00 a.m. to noon on the 2nd and is open to parents of students in elementary through high school.


The half-day seminar, which is presented at no cost to participants, will feature a keynote speaker and numerous workshops on topics including Parenting in the Millennium, bullying, alcohol and drug use, ADHD, and the Kyuki-Do Martial Arts Verbal Defense Program.  All workshops are conducted by experts in their fields.  The day will also feature opportunities to network with other parents and to learn about a variety of resource agencies in the area.  Once again this year, there will also be presentations in Spanish.


Keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Feld, will kick off the event at 9:00 a.m. with a presentation titled "Parenting in the Millennium."  Dr. Feld is a child/adolescent psychiatrist who is community psychiatrist for Alexian Brothers Behavioral Hospital, and who maintains a private practice in Northbrook, Illinois.  He is considered an expert in ADHD and has done workshops for physicians across the United States on the topic, as well as more than 500 presentations on parenting in the millennium, medication issues for children and adolescents, and ADHD.


Every participant will be able to attend two workshops of their choosing. In addition to the workshop presentations, participants will also have the opportunity to meet and talk with representatives from a variety of service agencies in the area. These include McHenry County Department of Health, Volunteer McHenry County, Rosecrance Health Network, Gateway Foundation, D.A.R.E., The Mathers Clinic, PFLAG, Jailbrakers and many others, including resources within District 200 schools. 


A continental breakfast will be served and free child care will be provided to those who are interested.


For more information about Parent University, contact Julie Jennett, D200 Special Services Coordinator, at (815) 337-6038 or visit the Parent University webpage



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 c