TOPe Focus Header
April 2013 
In This Issue
WHS Artist Earns Fox Valley Conference Honors
WNHS Senior is Golden Apple Scholar
Summer Programs Available at Challenger Center
New Board Will be Seated on May 7
Week of the Young Child
Award-Winning Author Visits D200
WYSE Students Excel in Competition
Olson Mustangs "Give Big"
Prairiewood Students Join Fight Against Cancer
PTO Fundraiser Supports New Playground Goal
Building Trades House is Almost Complete
D200 Staff Plans Spring Ride

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.

Earth Week 
Recycling Fundraiser
A great way to get rid of unwanted items such as 
old cell phones and
inkjet cartridges. Help protect our environment AND support the WNHS Science Deparment Scholarship Fund. 

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


In recognition of National Teacher Appreciation Day, Apple Creek Flowers is sponsoring an essay contest to honor outstanding D200 teachers. A dozen roses will be presented on May 7 
to one winning teacher from each of District 200's twelve schools. Contest entries 
are due April 29. 

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

Registration Forms and Fees Due

(Elem & Middle School)

Friday, May 3


WNHS Graduation

Saturday, May 18, 

7:00 p.m.


WHS Graduation

Sunday, May 19, 

2:00 p.m.


Creekside 8th Grade Promotion at WHS

Tuesday, May 21, 

7:00 p.m.


Northwood 8th Grade Promotion at WNHS

 Tuesday, May 21, 

7:00 p.m.


Last Day of School

Wednesday, May 22


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.





Olson Elementary students in Ms. Salas' 2nd grade 

Dual Language class eagerly respond 

as they study "la geografía."


WHS Artist Earns Fox Valley Conference Honors

Henry Gantner at FVC Art Show
Woodstock High School senior Henry Gantner won Best in Show at the Fox Valley Conference Art Show with this acrylic painting.

At the March 12th Board of Education meeting, WHS senior Henry Gantner was among those students honored as a winner of the Winter 2012-13 D200 Student Art Show.  The accolades for Henry's work continued to grow recently as he received "Best in Show" at this year's Fox Valley Conference Art Show. 


The FVC show, held annually at McHenry County College, showcases the work of high school students representing all 15 high schools in the conference.  Henry's work was chosen from more than 1000 pieces of artwork entered into the juried show.  The acrylic painting is part of a series of 24 that Henry has created for his Advanced Placement Studio Art class under the direction of Dr. Dave Bliss. Twelve of the 24 pieces are based upon a theme. Henry explained that his theme is expressionistic paintings of the elderly, saying, "I am doing a series of paintings portraying the age of the subjects through expressionism. The lives they've led through their faces give me the inspiration for color and texture."


In addition to Henry, two other WHS students were recognized at the all-conference show.  Senior Rachel Zurawski and junior Brianne Fudala both received Honorable Mention awards for their work - Rachel for digital media, and Brianne for acrylic painting.



WNHS Student Named Golden Apple Scholar
The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program recruits and prepares a diverse group of bright and talented students who show promise as successful future teachers in high-need schools throughout the
Golden Apple Scholar
Rebecca Einspahr
state.  The organization describes this year's class of Golden Apple Scholars as "a group of 135 dynamic young people who have clearly demonstrated passion and commitment to pursuing a career in education."  
Woodstock North High School senior Rebecca Einspahr is one of these exceptional students. 


Each year thousands of seniors across the state apply for the distinction.  Nominees must submit a written application, test scores and transcripts. Three hundred students then advance as finalists who undergo an intense interview process. The 135 scholarship recipients represent both public and non-public high schools in the state of Illinois.


Rebecca will receive a scholarship totaling $15,000 to be paid toward her undergraduate tuition.  She also earns a $2,000 stipend for each summer of Summer Institute where she will receive advanced teacher preparation.  Rebecca will attend Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois in the fall of 2013.  She plans to major in elementary education with a minor in Spanish.  Her hope is one day to teach in a dual language classroom. 


Challenger Learning Center Offers Summer Programs


This summer, thanks to a generous grant from the McHenry County Community Foundation, The Challenger Learning Center in Woodstock is offering a free one week summer camp program called

Students are actively involved in hands-on activities during a 

space mission at the Challenger Center.

Astronaut Training Camp with a Bit of Mars Mania.  Students will be selected based on criteria set by the Challenger Learning Center.  


The center has a strong partnership with Aurora University which holds graduate level courses in the evenings and on the weekends.  The enrollment for these classes has significantly increased in the last three years the courses have been offered.


The center also partners with the Museum of Science & Industry with a NASA grant that provides space missions via teleconference with Chicago Public Schools and local McHenry County schools.  NASA scientists from Marshal Space Flight Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Johnson Space Center also participate in this inspirational program for middle school students.


For more information on summer programming or other public programs please visit the Challenger Center website at or contact Chantel Madson at 815-338-7722 ext. 10 (



New School Board to be Seated on May 7

Four incumbent members of the D200 Board of Education retained their seats at the April 9th election, and they will be joined by newcomer Carl Gilmore. Incumbents Camille Goodwin, Katherine Lechner and Paul Meyer were re-elected to four-year terms.  Incumbent David Shinherr, who joined the Board following the death of Sue Palmore last November, ran unopposed and was elected for the remaining two years of that seat's term.  Board member Marcy Piekos' decision not to run for re-election left one additional seat open and that four-year position will be filled by Gilmore. The Board will be formally seated at the May 7th meeting.



Week of the Young Child 

The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The purpose of the Week of the Young Child™ is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families, and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.


District 200 recognizes that parents are their children's first teachers and we offer a variety of educational activities that emphasize language and literacy activities for parents and their children.


Activities sponsored by the district include home visits, playgroups, family nights and regular developmental screenings for children from birth to 3-years old.  If you would like to be involved in any of these activities, please contact the Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center at (815) 338-8883.
A young participant in the Birth to Three program explores a new toy while behind her, others try watercolor painting.


Students Enjoy Sessions With Author

New York Times bestselling author Blue Balliett visited Woodstock on April 5th and shared her love of books and writing with D200 students.  Author of award-winning children's books, including Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3 and The Calder Game, Balliett gave two school presentations to 5th and 6th grade literature students.  A third presentation, sponsored by the Woodstock Fine Arts Association and the Woodstock Public Library, was open to the public at the library on April 6th. 


Balliett spoke about her research and the people, places and things that inspire her.  Many of her settings are in and around Chicago and are familiar to many D200 students.  Her newest book, Hold Fast, tells the story of a South Side Chicago family involved in a mystery as they face homelessness.  A former classroom teacher, Balliett relates extremely well to students and was able to help them gain some perspective and understanding about the lives and lifestyles of people very different from themselves. 


Students enjoyed question and answer sessions with the author

Author Blue Balliett greets students and 

signs books following her presentation 

at Northwood Middle School. 

following her presentations, and were especially interested in the book writing process and how one becomes involved in writing.  Balliett advised students to write as much as possible - through journaling, short stories, poems - whatever ideas they would like to write down.  She shared her personal notebook with the students, showing them how she jots down notes and ideas wherever she goes. She reminded students that writing is an evolving, creative process and told them to be patient in the beginning and not to demand perfection from themselves. Assistant Superintendent Nancy Reczek noted that Balliett clearly loves to visit schools and reach out to students, saying, "She truly inspired our students to become writers."



WYSE Students Excel in Competition


District 200 students from both high schools excelled this year in the annual Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) competitions.  WYSE is an international program, headquartered at the University of Illinois, offering the annual Academic Challenge competition, summer camp, and other programs.  The Academic Challenge is a competitive series of tests created and administered by WYSE. Test material is drawn from senior high school and freshman level college curricula, and written by teams of college and university faculty, in subjects including biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, mathematics, and physics.


On February 1st teams from both Woodstock High School and

WNHS senior Josiah Killam placed 6th in the State in WYSE physics competition. 

Woodstock North High School participated in the regional competition at McHenry County College, where the WNHS team took 3rd place as a team and received a trophy for its excellent effort.  WHS senior Grant Stec took 2nd place in chemistry and junior Graham Ellinghausen finished 3rd in computer science.  From WNHS, senior Hanna Dort placed 2nd in English, and senior Josiah Killam took 2nd in math and 1st place in physics. 


Stec, Dort and Killam advanced to sectional competition on March 8th, where Killam earned 2nd place honors in math and 1st place in physics, advancing to the State competition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on April 9th.  At State, Killam ended the year's competition with an impressive 6th place finish.  Congratulations to all these fine competitors on an outstanding season.


Olson Mustangs "Give Big" in Annual Service Project


Each year, fourth grade students at Olson Elementary School participate in a service learning project called the Mustang Big Give.  The purpose is to teach students that they can make a difference in someone's life. 

The students research charities and decide where the money they

Olson students raise funds at the Mustang Big Give marketplace.

raise will be donated.  Students are asked to bring a $5 donation from home that will be matched from the District 200 Education Foundation.  They may donate the $10 to an organization of their

choice, or use it to purchase items to be sold at the Big Give marketplace in order to raise additional funds.  Not only do students learn about the value of giving back to the community, but they also gain experience in research, letter writing, money handling and organization.

Over the last 4 years, students at Olson have raised over $5800, awarded to 15 different organizations.   

Prairiewood Students Join in Fight Against Cancer


Prairiewood Elementary School participated in the Relay Recess, which is part of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. The program provides students, teachers, and administrators the

Prairiewood students collect markers to
track their laps during Relay Recess.

opportunity to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that has taken too many lives.  Prairiewood students braved the rain, wind, snow and cold weather during their lunch recess to run laps on the track.  Over the course of a week, students ran a total of 1008 laps (252 miles!). The school Wellness Committee asked students to help raise awareness and collect donations to ensure that individuals diagnosed with cancer are provided with funding to help with their medical needs.  While the school goal was to raise $400, Prairiewood students surpassed their goal and collected $562 in less than a week. Members of the student council presented the donations to the American Cancer Society at Woodstock North High School on Saturday, April 19.


PTO Fundraiser Supports New Playground Goal

The Verda Dierzen PTO has been working hard to raise $6,000 for new playground equipment. The PTO wants to thank everyone who has helped them already raise $4,100 toward that goal.  Please join the PTO at a family event on Saturday April 27th at Offsides Restaurant, 680 S. Eastwood Drive.  Activities include face painting, games, bean bag toss, balloon animals and performances by Karen Slavin and Blue Shield Band.  A $5 donation is requested at the door.  


Building Trades House Nears Completion 

The District 200 Building Trades House, located at 1411 Sandpiper Lane, will be open to the public on May 17 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and May 18 from 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m.  Students from both high schools work with professionals to build the home over a two year period.  The two-story 2600 square foot home has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.  


4th Annual All-Staff Bike Ride
The 4th Annual All-Staff Spring Bike Ride will take place on Wednesday, May 1st at 4:00 p.m., departing from Woodstock North High School. Rain date is May 7th. District 200 staff members are invited to join Kathy Rickard and Bob Teuber as they lead a leisurely 10 mile route to the Bake House Restaurant in Hebron.  The group will stop for dinner before returning to WNHS. Interested participants should contact Bob Teuber by Monday, April 29th.  


227 W. Judd St.| WOODSTOCK | IL | 60098 |815-338-8200


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