TOPe Focus Header
October 2014
In This Issue
Veterans to be Honored at Annual Northwood Event
Congratulations to National Merit Commended Students
Staff Spotlight: Woodstock North's Miguel Rodriguez
"Mug Shots" at NWMS Help Generate Books Discussion
WHS Students Give Back to Community
Adopt-A-Chair at WNHS Performing Arts Center
Efforts Earn New Sign for Westwood Elementary
October's Focus on Preventing Bullying Behaviors
Charlotte's Web Opens November 14
Olson Mustangs on the March
Thank You to Gary Lang Auto Group

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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. 

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Looking Ahead 


One Hour Late Start

Wednesday, Oct. 22


Half Day Attendance

Tuesday, Oct. 28


Board of Education Mtg

7:00 p.m. at Clay PDC

Tuesday, Oct. 28 


No School

(Veteran's Day)

Monday, Nov. 10 


Board of Education Mtg

7:00 p.m. at Clay PDC

Tuesday, Nov. 11


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.


Board of Education


Camille Goodwin,



Paul J. Meyer,

Vice President


Russ Goerlitz,



Bob Birchfield

Carl W. Gilmore


Bill Nattress 


David Shinherr

Stars Spiral  



Dr. Mike  Moan 


Please Remember! 
Not only is it school policy, but it is Illinois State Law 
as well:

 All children under the 
age of 8 years or a 
weight of 40 pounds 
must be in a child safety (booster) seat.

* Cell phone use is
prohibited while driving 
in a school zone.

* Smoking is not 
 allowed anywhere on 
school grounds.


We appreciate your cooperation in following these important laws 

meant to help keep our students safe.


D200 Logo on Gray

WHS and WNHS students work together on the 
Building Trades house as it gets closer to completion
in the second year of the two-year project.

Northwood Middle School to Honor Veterans


The students and staff at Northwood Middle School would like to invite all veterans to attend their Veteran's Day assembly on November 6 at 2:00 p.m.  The annual assembly showcases student work, and honors veterans from our community.  If you would like to attend, please contact Tami Zinnen at Northwood Middle School by calling (815) 338-4900.



National Merit Students Named


Three Woodstock High School seniors and one Woodstock North High School senior have been named National Merit Commended students in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.  The students are Mia Eldridge, Dillon Nerland and Olivia Schuette of Woodstock High School, and Samuel Reuter from Woodstock North High School.


These talented scholars are four of the 34,000 seniors from across the nation who entered the scholarship program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (SAT/NMSQT).   

Left to Right: Mia Eldridge, Dillon Nerland,
Olivia Schuette and Samuel Reuter

Staff Spotlight Shines on Miguel Rodriguez


In 1978, Miguel Rodriguez and his wife came to Woodstock to visit his brother, and they never left. 


Born in Mexico, Miguel attended the University of Mexico and played soccer until he graduated with a business degree at age 21.  Over the course of the next 10 years, Miguel spent time working and living in Mexico, Europe, Central and South America.


Miguel began working for District 200 in 2004, and moved to his current Supervisory Associate position at Woodstock North High School in 2010.  During his time in the District, he observed that some of our Latino students were not achieving the way that they should be.  In addition, many families did not think that going to college was a possibility for their children.  


Miguel Rodriguez is a well known (and well loved) presence at WNHS.

In the summer of 2012, Miguel and other Woodstock North staff

members began forming a student group called Future Latino Leaders.  The purpose of the program was to identify Latino students with good grades and leadership qualities, and help them plan their futures, including attending college.  As a way to get students thinking about their strengths, they write "brag sheets" that highlight their academic and extracurricular activities, solicit letters of recommendation from teachers and employers, write resumes and do mock interviews with community members.


Miguel researches colleges and makes a chart that includes the price, academic programs, entrance requirements and scholarship opportunities. He then shares that information with parents and students so they can begin the process of mapping out their futures. In addition, Miguel takes families to visit college campuses during his free time.  Miguel has helped students get accepted into schools such as Notre Dame, Clarke College and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


Woodstock North counselor Jessica Telander described Miguel's commitment to students by saying, " During the course of the last two years, Mr. Rodriguez has developed and nurtured the Future Latino Leaders program. He takes a personal interest in each of the students in the program. He challenges students to be responsible, respectful, and honorable citizens."


In 2013, Woodstock North High School created a scholarship in Miguel's name that was presented to Liliana Cruz, who is now studying nursing at Clarke College.  Students who receive the scholarship must exemplify leadership qualities, achieve academically, be involved in the school community, have a plan for the future, and give back to others as selflessly as Miguel. 


Always humble, Miguel summed up his work with students by saying,  "I was put here for a reason."



"Mug Shots" Lead Northwood Students to Thoughtful Discussions on Books


This Northwood student was "caught" reading a great book!

Each year the American Library Association holds Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read and builds awareness of the value of open access to information.  The association lists books that have been or currently are banned and encourages libraries to prominently feature the books for public use. 


Northwood Library Media Specialist Melinda Parrent and Library Resource Center Associate Dara Turnball  created a display of books in circulation at Northwood that have been banned in school or community libraries around the nation.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling,  Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain were banned titles included in the display. 


When students browsed the shelves and chose a banned book to read, the library staff  took their "mug shots" with the books to be displayed in the library. 


Sixth grade social studies teacher Bob Rivera and his students began a conversation about banned books after several students asked,  "Why are the books banned?"  "Why can't we read them?"   The conversation centered around freedom of thought, expression, and the reasons people would want to ban a book or idea.  The students were excited to learn that they were invited and encouraged to read all of the books on the banned book list.



WHS Students Give Back to the Community


Each year the WHS Student Council community service committee plans events and programs that benefit organizations and individuals in our community.  On September 30, a group of high school students prepared and served dinner at the PADS shelter in Woodstock.  Dinner consisted of bratwurst, hot dogs, corn, potato salad and chocolate chip cookies that were baked by students in the foods classes. 

WHS Student Council members gather in the kitchen
to prepare dinner for the Woodstock PADS shelter.

Freshman Grecia Morfin said that her experience working at PADS made her feel good about helping other people. She said that the 20 people who ate dinner that night really appreciated it. 


At a recent community services meeting, committee chair Fernando Orozco worked with students to plan service projects for the remainder of the year that include Rake for Life, a blood drive, Care4 Breast Cancer Walk and a Thanksgiving meal at PADS. 



Adopt-A-Chair Program Raises Funds for WNHS Theater Department

Woodstock North High School Theater Department is giving the community the opportunity to  honor a family member, celebrate a child's success, promote a business or congratulate a graduate through its Adopt-A-Chair Program.  For a donation of $100 to the Theater Department, your message will be engraved on a small plaque that will be attached to the back of a chair in the Woodstock North Performing Arts Center.  Each donor will also be recognized in playbills that are distributed at all programs and will receive two complimentary tickets to opening night of Charlotte's Web on Friday November 14, 2014.  


For more information, or to make a donation, contact Shannon Martin, President,  Woodstock North Friends of the Theater at



Cooperative Effort Brings New Sign to Westwood Elementary


During a particularly bad autumn storm in October 2013, the school sign in front of Westwood Elementary School was blown down.  Soon after, plans began to purchase and install a new one.  Principal Jason Eggert enlisted the help of the PTO to raise funds and help design the sign. 


The PTO began planning the Westwood Fun Fair and advertised

Thanks to much generosity and hard 
work, Westwood visitors are greeted
by this beautiful new sign.

the fact that all proceeds would go to purchasing a new sign.  This marketing resulted in a record profit for the Fun Fair.


In August, local mason Bob Freund did the brickwork for the sign, which incorporated bricks that match the school addition.  In September, the District Buildings & Grounds crew installed the new sign and, earlier this month, the landscaping was complete with plants provided by S & S Landscaping. 


The Westwood school community would like to thank everyone who assisted with this project! 



October Focus is on Prevention of Bullying

October is National Bullying Prevention Month and District 200 schools are raising awareness and educating students about bullying prevention in many different ways: 

  • Creekside Middle School 6th graders are taught the importance of being "upstanders."  An upstander is someone who stands up for others and works with peers to stop bullying.  
  • Students in the Dean Street Elementary School Peace Makers Club participate in activities and discussions about ways to identify bullying behavior, and learn strategies to keep the school free from those behaviors.
  • Students in the Gay/Straight Alliance group at Woodstock High School promote the belief that schools should be safe and supportive places for all students. 
  • During the Rachel's Challenge assembly at Northwood Middle School, the school is kicking off its second challenge of the year, Keep Calm and Make Good Choices.  The focus of this challenge is to respect yourself and the people around you.  
  • Prairiewood Elementary School art teachers created a banner in the cafeteria that says, "It Starts With Me. Stop Bullying," that all students will sign as a pledge to not bully.

Charlotte's Web Opens November 14th 


The Woodstock North Theater Department is proud to present Charlotte's Web on November 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 7:00 p.m. and November 16 at 2:00 p.m.   Come early on opening night and meet the characters.  You may purchase tickets by calling the box office: 815-334-2127 or visiting the ticket website at: 



Annual Mustang March Encourages Fitness and Raises Funds at Olson 


Each year the Olson Elementary School PTO hosts a fundraiser with proceeds going toward field trips, assemblies and iPad purchases.  This year the week of September 22 proved to be a beautiful time to host this outdoor fitness / fundraising event.  Students were challenged to walk, run and skip around a 1/16 mile course set up in the back of the school during PE classes and an all school march.  Students walked 22,370 miles and raised $4,570.00.


As an additional incentive for students to raise funds this year, the PTO asked for teacher volunteers to participate in a "Bucket Dump." Students were told that for every $1000 raised, one teacher would have a bucket of water dumped over them at the all-school assembly on October 17.  Volunteers' names were randomly drawn, and the students' fundraising success led to five brave Olson staff members facing the bucket!

Olson students total their collected bands, 
which represent the number of laps completed.



Thank You, Gary Lang Auto Group! 


Many thanks to the Gary Lang Auto Group for their very generous donation of cars to the District's Driver's Education program.  Pictured below are WHS PE Department staff members with the newest car in the "D200 fleet."


L to R: Bobby Mickey, Steve Beard, Rebecca Goers, 
Matt Prill, Meghan Mullaney and Jonathan Brown
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