Friday, February 16, 2018

The School Safety Edition

A Few Words About School Safety

After a national tragedy like the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, it’s normal--and necessary--for communities to ask, “Is my school safe?” There are 3000 people that walk into Fremd High School every day, and safety is our top priority for each of these people.If students don’t feel safe, they cannot learn. If teachers don’t feel safe, they cannot teach. As principal, I spend a lot of time paying attention to the teaching and learning going on in our school. There are very few topics that will divert my attention away from learning, but safety and security command my full attention every time.

Luckily, Fremd High School is an extremely safe school. In fact, on last year’s Comprehensive School Climate Inventory, “Sense of Physical Safety” received the highest ranking on the report, followed closely by “Safety Rules and Norms,” according to both students and parents’ survey responses. For the 100+ days of school this year before Wednesday’s tragedy in Florida, school safety may not have been as great of a concern as that upcoming test, volleyball game or Debate tournament.

In the last 48 hours, I have spoken with several parents, teachers and students about school safety. A prevailing thought has stuck out to me: While the safety measures we employ at Fremd are quite familiar to me, these measures may be unknown or invisible to most students, parents and staff. So, because information often brings comfort, here are just some of the many safety measures that are taken on a regular basis at Fremd that you might not know about:

  • Officer Derek Bahn from the Palatine Police Department is stationed every day during school hours in our school.
  • We have a staff of 20 hall monitors who are tasked with supervising our school’s common areas, hallways, and entrances.
  • Almost 40 staff members carry walkie talkies, so safety issues can be reported in real time.
  • Routine entrance and restroom checks are performed every class period to secure exterior doors and ensure safe behavior in the restrooms.
  • There are over 60 surveillance cameras in our hallways, common areas and parking lots.
  • In the morning, there are two approved entrances for students to enter. Both are staffed with multiple hall monitors who check student IDs. (All visitors must enter through the main entrance.)
  • During the school day, all entrances are locked except the main entrance, which is supervised by at least one person, but often with 3-4 people.
  • There is a Safety Concern Form located on the right-hand side of our main website to report anything about student safety. Although the form allows anonymity, please understand that a thorough report with a contact name helps us to answer follow-up questions and fully investigate reports.
  • We hold many safety drills each year, including at least two lockdown drills.
  • The Palatine Fire and Police Departments are active collaborators in our school safety plans, which are reviewed annually.

Highlights and Successes:
  • Congratulations to Coach Kristen Newby and the Boys Swimming and Diving Team on  winning the MSL Varsity Conference Championship.  Individual award winners include:  2nd place medley relay - Evan Stegall, Alex Schillinger, Yoochan Lee, Danny Konishi; 2nd place 200 IM - Alex Schillinger; 5th place 200 IM - James Steininger; 3rd place 50 free - Yoochan Lee; 1st place diving - Zach Mega; 3rd place 100 fly - Yoochan Lee; 5th place 100 fly - Evan Stegall; 3rd place 100 free - Danny Konishi; 4th place 100 free - Yoochan Lee; 1st place 200 free relay - Yoochan Lee, Alex Reed, Derek Warnstedt, Danny Konishi; 1st place 100 backstroke - Evan Stegall; 1st place 100 breaststroke - Alex Schillinger; 6th place 100 breaststroke- Ethan Schillinger and 2nd place 400 free relay - Danny Konishi, Alex Reed, Evan Stegall, Alex Schillinger.
  • Congratulations to the following two wrestlers on qualifying for the state meet.  Cole Riemer took second in his weight class and Adam Kemp qualified in 3rd place.  Good luck to both these individuals this weekend!
  • Congratulations to the following Girls Gymnastics State Qualifiers:  Abby Moran placed 1st on the balance beam and 3rd on the floor exercise.  Melanie Ng took 3rd place on the balance beam and 5th place on the uneven bars.  Gianna Christodoulopoulos was an at-large qualifier on uneven bars and in the all-around competitions.  Annika Waller qualified on the uneven bars.  Good luck to these ladies in the state meet!
  • Congratulations to Coach Kevin Palmer and the Fremd Varsity Scholastic Bowl Team on winning 3rd place at the Illinois NAQT State Tournament.

Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

February 16
Early Dismissal - 11:50 a.m.

Boys Track & Field Quad @ Glenbrook S. H.S. - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Gymnastics State Meet @ PHS - 6:00 p.m.

Boys Basketball @ Barrington H.S. - 7:30 p.m.

Boys Wrestling State Meet @ State Farm Center, Champaign
February 17
Boys Swimming & Diving Sectioanl @ Stevenson H.S. - 1:00 p.m.
Girls Bymnastics State Finals @ PHS - 6:00 p.m.

Boys Wrestling State Meet @ State Farm Center, Champaign
February 19
President’s Day - No School

Girls Basketball Sectionals @ FHS - 6:00 p.m.
February 20
Late Start - 8:50 a.m. start time

Boys Basketball MSL Crossover @ FHS - 7:30 p.m.
February 21
Boys Basketball MSL Crossover @ FHS - 7:30 p.m.
February 22
Girls Basketball Sectional FInals @ FHS - 7:00 p.m.

For a more complete list, please visit our Athletics Page or the Athletic Department Blog.

Ask the Principal

Are you curious about something at Fremd but have never asked? Email me at If your question is pertinent to a wider audience, I will include it in the next blog post.

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Seal of Biliteracy Edition

Seal of Biliteracy

Township High School District 211 students have the opportunity to earn the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy by demonstrating high levels of proficiency in English and an additional language.  Interested students should pick up an application in the Student Services Department to find out school-specific testing details.  Applications are due February 23, 2018 to the Student Services Department.   Illinois public universities will accept the State Seal of Biliteracy as equivalent to 2 years of foreign language coursework taken during high school if a student's high school transcript indicates that he or she received the State Seal of Biliteracy.  Current languages available are Arabic, Chinese (Traditional or Simplified), French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

Students interested in taking the APPPL or STAMP exam will take it the week of March 12 - 23, 2018 during the first four periods of the day.  The exam consists of four modules and lasts two – four hours. There is a $20 fee associated with the administration of this exam. Payment and registration will need to be submitted by the end of the school day February 24, 2017.  For more information on how to earn the Illinois Seal of Biliteracy please go to the D211 website on Seal of Biliteracy.
Please contact the Student Services Department at 847-755-2630 with questions.

As part of our continuing effort to keep parents informed about important educational issues, Fremd High School will offer a College Planning Seminar for students and their parents. This evening program will be held on Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. in our auditorium. The presentation will conclude in about one hour.  We conduct the program at this time to help families who wish to begin the college visit process during the spring break of junior year. Our presenter this year is Julie Nelson of Xavier University.  Julie has over 20 years of experience in college admissions.  There will be no handouts so please bring something to take notes.

Some of the topics to be discussed at this seminar will include:
  • College application procedures
  • Admission policies and standards (in-state and out-of-state schools)
  • ACT and SAT college entrance tests
  • Financial aid and scholarship search process
  • Questions to ask when visiting colleges
  • Factors involved in choosing a college
  • Rating the colleges
  • Selective v. competitive college admissions
  • Resources available to help parents and students
  • Student/ Parent/ School responsibilities

Highlights and Successes:
  • The Fremd Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band, and Jazz Combo were all awarded "Division 1/Superior" ratings at the Glenbrook South HS 41st annual "Northshore Jazz Festival".  All three ensembles received unanimous "Division 1/Superior" ratings in their division from the collegiate adjudicators.  Addition honors include Jazz Ensemble - third place in Band 1 division, Jazz Lab Band - second place in the Band 2 division, and Jazz Combo - second place in the Jazz Combo division.  Outstanding soloist awards were awarded to Joey Ranieri (bass - Jazz Combo), Kevin Nakajima (trumpet - Jazz Ensemble), Ariette Kaberlein (alto sax - Jazz Lab Band), and Abby Svec (piano - Jazz Lab Band).  The Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band are co-directed by Matt Moore and JT Teichert.  The Jazz Combo is directed by JT Teichert.  
  • Congratulations to the Fremd Congressional Debate Team for earning 1st Place Sweepstakes at the ICDA tournament at Wheeling High School. The following debaters earned individual awards:  Shruthi Kumar, 3rd Place TOC Finalist, Arash Abbas, 6th Place TOC Finalist and 3rd Place TOC Chamber Award, Shreya Mukherjee, TOC Finalist, Swathy Karthikeyan, TOC Finalist, Asad Ukani, 1st Place Chamber Award, Andrew Son, 1st Place Chamber Award, Varun Kompala, First Place Chamber Award, Austin Mei, Second Place Chamber Award, Satej Sukthankar, Second Place Chamber Award, Varsha Krishnan, Third Place Chamber Award, and Nithika Karthikeyan, Third Place Chamber Award.
  • Congratulations to the Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas Debate Team on their performance at the Carl Sandburg High School tournament.  In Lincoln-Douglas: Andy Ruan, 2nd place Varsity, Kylie Zhang, 5th place Varsity. Speaker awards were won by Ji Eun Kim (8th) on the novice level, and Kylie Zhang (9th), Kashif Javid (4th) and Andy Ruan (2nd)on the Varisty Level. In Public Forum: Nikhil Sriram and Sharon Wu, 5th place Varsity, Abhi Balu and Adhith Palla, 1st place Varsity,  Miguel Mercado and Andrew Kim, 3rd place JV, Speaker awards in PF were earned by William Zhong (1st) in novice, Andrew Kim (7th) and Miguel Mercado (1st) in JV, and Adhith Palla (5th) in Varsity.
  • Congrats to Coach Dana Musinski and the Varsity Cheerleaders for placing 5th at the Lake Zurich & Lincolnway Central Invites, 2nd at the MSL Conference Competition, and 7th out of 34 teams at the Huntley Invite.
  • Congratulations to Coach Kacey Kronforst and the Girls Gymnastics Team on winning the MSL Conference title.  Award winners include:  Vault - 5th place, Samantha Shirmer and 6th place Loanna Christodoulopoulos; Uneven bars - 2nd place Melanie Ng and 5th place Loanna Christodoulopoulos; Balance Beam - 1st place, Melanie Ng and 2nd place Abby Moran; Floor Exercise - 1st place Abby Moran and 6th place Samantha Shirmer and All Around champion Melanie Ng.

Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

January 26
Boys Swimming & Diving @ Barrington H.S. - 4:45 p.m.

Boys/Girls Basketball @ Conant H.S. - 6:00 / 7:30 p.m.
Janaury 27
Girls Bowling Conference Meet @ Arlington Lanes - 8:30 a.m.

Boys Wrestling MSL Championship @ Rolling Meadows H.S. - 9:00 a.m.

Competititve Cheer Sectional @ Niles West H.S. - 4:00 p.m.

Boys Basketball @ Fox lake (Grant) H.S. - 7:00 p.m.
January 30
Scholastic Bowl MSL Meet @ FHS

Girls Gymnastics Regional @ FHS - 6:00 p.m.

Girls Basketball @ Barrington H.S. - 7:30 p.m.

For a more complete list, please visit our Athletics Page or the Athletic Department Blog.

Staff Spotlight

Paul Radek

Art Teacher, AP Capstone Teacher, Art Department Chair, Assistant Bowling Coach
Years at Fremd:
I have taught at William Fremd High School for 17 years

Life Before Fremd:
After undergrad at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, I taught at Schaumburg High School before transferring to Fremd.
Going to dinner with my wife, playing board games with my 8 and 10 year old sons, coaching rec-league soccer, mark-making, and novice quilting

Insider Tip for Parents:
From preparing for a test, to giving  a presentation, demonstrating a new learned skill, trying out for a team, or asking a peer on a date, students are faced with moments that have consequence of perceived success or failure  multiple times a day.  Be mindful of and empathetic to the frequency with which our kids are asked to manage a variety of emotions and stressors with results that have significant gravity in their high school lives.

Ask the Principal

Are you curious about something at Fremd but have never asked? Email me at If your question is pertinent to a wider audience, I will include it in the next blog post.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Booster Scholarship Edition


The Fremd Viking Booster Club is pleased to announce they will be awarding up to twenty (20) $1,000 scholarships to deserving students of the 2018 senior class!

These scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors of Booster Club members who have demonstrated outstanding involvement, leadership, and service at Fremd High School and in our community. These scholarship opportunities are not based upon financial need or academics.  We encourage ALL seniors that are planning on furthering their education at four year colleges/universities, 2 year community colleges, or trade/vocational schools to apply.

The scholarship applications will be posted online on February 1st, 2018 and must be submitted to the Fremd Student Services Office no later than 4:00pm Friday, April 6th, 2018. Instructions will be found on the Viking Booster/Scholarship webpage. Recognition of these awards will be presented on Monday, April 30th at the Honors Convocation.

Please join the Viking Booster Club today on the Viking Booster webpage if you would like the opportunity to participate in this scholarship.    

Highlights and Successes:
  • Congratulations to science teacher Brad Schroeder on winning the 2018 I.T.C.C.C.A (Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches Association) Dave Pasquini Assistant Coach Award!
  • Congratulations to the Fremd Congressional Debate Team for earning 1st Place Sweepstakes among large schools at the ICDA tournament at Elk Grove High School. The following debaters earned individual awards:  Swathy Karthikeyan, 1st Place Chamber Award, Shreya Mukherjee, 2nd Place Chamber Award, Nico DeConcilis, 2nd Place Chamber Award and Best Presiding Officer, Aditya Prathap, 3rd Place Chamber Award, Varun Kompala, 3rd Place Chamber Award and  Faithan To, 3rd Place Chamber Award.

Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

January 19
Boys Swimming & Diving vs. HEHS - 4:45 p.m.

Boys/Girls Basketball vs. HEHS - 6:00 p.m./7:30 p.m.
January 20
Girls Bowling Invite @ Brunswick Zone Mount - 9:00 a.m.

Boys Basketball @ Bartlett H. S. - 5:30 p.m.
January 21
Competitive Cheer Invitational @ Huntley H.S. - 7:00 a.m.
January 22
Girls Bowling vs. Prospect @ Arlington Lanes - 4:30 p.m.
Janaury 23
Late Start - 8:50 a.m. start time

Girls Basketball @ Palatine H.S. - 7:30 p.m.
Janaury 24
Girls Bowling vs. Schaumburg H.S. @ Arlington Lanes - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Gymnastics Conference Meet @ Elk Grove H.S. - 6:00 p.m.

For a more complete list, please visit our Athletics Page or the Athletic Department Blog.

Staff Spotlight

Name:  Brad Schroeder
Position:  Science teacher, Boys track coach, Recently named
Years at Fremd:  18th year at District 211;  13th year at Fremd
Life before Fremd:  Born and raised in Jerseyville Illinois (southern Ill).  Graduated college at Eastern Illinois University.  Moved to and have lived in Huntley Illinois since 1999.
Hobbies/ Interests:  Visiting and hiking the National Parks of the U.S...  Boating and spending time outside...  I love sports; favorite sport is baseball, Go Cardinals!
Insider tip for parents:  Remind children to enjoy every day of High School.  Get involved with sports and activities.  Enjoy their high school moments with their peers and teachers.

Ask the Principal

Are you curious about something at Fremd but have never asked? Email me at If your question is pertinent to a wider audience, I will include it in the next blog post.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Happiness Edition

Happy Students are Successful Students

Have you ever thought: “If only I could lose ____ pounds, I’d be happy.” Or: “Once I get this promotion/grade/recognition, I’ll be set!”

It turns out that happiness doesn’t work that way. People who lose those ____ pounds may experience short-term happiness. It’s great to get promoted at work or to score well on a test, but this happiness doesn’t last. In short, success doesn’t produce happiness. It’s the other way around; happiness leads to success!

Image result for happiness and successI recently read The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. It interested me for both personal and professional reasons. In the book, Achor explains that happy employees are more productive and better problem-solvers. That’s why Google has ping pong tables and gourmet meals

But can I become happier? And if so, how?

Achor asserts that our attitudes play a huge role in creating more happiness. If you want to find the bright side of life, you can! And happiness, like a muscle, needs to be built up over time. Here’s one way to do it:

Every day for 21 straight days, reflect on three things for which you are grateful. You cannot repeat anything on your list. People who have completed this activity report greater happiness, both immediately and over a longer span of time.

What do you have to lose? This exercise may or may not lead to better grades, but I guarantee that you will learn just how much is going right in your life!

Want to know a little more about this topic? Check out Shawn Achor's TED Talk about his book.

Take the 5Essentials Survey

Recently, D211 sent you correspondence about participating in the 5Essentials Survey. While this survey is mandated by the state of Illinois, it also provides a wealth of information that staff and administrators use to shape the culture and climate of the building. If you haven’t done so already, please complete the survey by clicking on the following link:

Highlights and Successes:
  • Congratulations to Coach Kacey Kronforst and the Girls Varsity Gymnastics Team on taking 4th place at the Holiday Invite at New Trier High School with a team total of 141.30.  Melanie Ng tied for 3rd on bars with a 9.20 and Gianna Christodoulopoulos took 5th on beam with a 9.40.
  • Congratulations to Coach Kristen Newby and the Boys Swimming and Diving Team on winning the Buffalo Grove Frosh-Soph Invite.  They won the Freshman level, Sophomore level and the Invite.  Dan Narey – 1st place in Diving (sophomore level), John Ponte – 1st place in 50 Freestyle (freshman level), Evan Stegall – 1st place in 100 Freestyle (freshman level), Evan Stegall – 1st place in 100 Back (freshman level), and Evan Stegall, Shoya Yamazaki, Thomas Brinckerhoff, Joseph Farrell – 1st place in 400 Freestyle Relay (freshman level).
  • Congratulations to Hannah Lin on achieving a perfect score on the ACT exam.
  • Congratulations to Daily Herald Leadership Team Honorees (2017-2018) Abhinav Balu and Sophia Mavromatis.  
  • Congratulations to Coach Dana Musinski and the Varsity Cheer Team on taking 7th out of 29 teams at the Rolling Meadows Invite.
  • Congratulations to Fremd HOSA on qualifying 23 students through the Preliminary Round for the State Leadership Conference in Decatur.  Qualifying students include:  Clinical Specialty - Samruddhik Ayachit, Shreya Ghosh, Shreyah Prasad; Community Awareness - Ayushi Balan, Shravya Chanamolu, Shreya Ghosh, Shreyah Prasad, Claire Athanas, Molly Schreiner; Dental Terminology - Michelle Ganzorig; Epidemiology - Advay Mahajan; Extemporaneous Writing - Shravya Chanamolu; Forensic Medicine - Michelle Ganzorig, Yoonseo Kim; Health Career Photography - Muskan Bhatia; Health Education - Nithika Karthikeyan, Sanjana Manne; HOSA Bowl 2018 - Kashif Javid, Advay Mahajan, Adhith Palla, Gaurav Nitin Prabakaran; Behavioral Health - Shravya Chanamolu; Human Growth and Development - Shreya Ghosh, Srishti Saxen; Pharmacology - Claire Athanas. Molly Schreiner; Transcultural Healthcare - Shruthi Krishna, Amanda Randunne; Medical Math - Nithika Karthikeyan, Shreya Mukherjee; Medical Spelling - Pragya Kansai; Prepared Speaking - Medha Prodduturi; Researched Persuasive Writing - Shreya Mukherjee.
  • Congratulations to Coach Suzanne Adamski and Coach Ashley Krippinger and the Fremd Competitive Dance Team on winning 2nd place at the MSL Conference Competition.

Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

January 12
Orchesis Show - Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.

Boys Swimming & Diving Meet @ Prospect H.S. - 4:45 p.m.

Boys/Girls Basketball vs. Barrington H.S. - 6:00/7:30 p.m.

Boys Wrestling @ Barrington H.S. - 6:00 p.m.
January 13
Competitive Cheer Invitational - Linoln-Way Central

Boys Swimming & Diving Invitational @ Glenbrook North - 8:30 a.m.

Girls Basketball Tournament @ DeKalb H.S. - 9:00 a.m.

Girls Gymnastics Invitational @ FHS - 1:00 p.m.
January 15
Martin Luther King Day - No School

Girls Basketball Tournament @ Dekalb H.S. -  9:00 a.m.
January 16
Girls Gymnastics Triangular @ Palatine H.S. - 6:00 p.m.
January 17
Girls Bowling vs. Barrington @ Arlington Lanes - 4;30 p.m.

Competitive Cheer MSL Championship @ HEHS - 7:15 a.m.
January 18
Girls Bowling vs. Buffalo Grove @ Arlington Lanes - 4:30 p.m.

For a more complete list, please visit our Athletics Page or the Athletic Department Blog.

Staff Spotlight

Name:  Katie Johnson

Position:  Family & Consumer Science Teacher

Years at Fremd: As a student – 4; as a teacher – 12 (just about half my life has been spent in this building! 😃

Life Before Fremd:  Well, I was 14 so trapper keepers, scrunchies, making mixed tapes, and playing M.A.S.H.…kid things! 😃 The 4 years I spent away from FHS following graduation, I spent in Peoria, Illinois at Bradley University where I double majored in Education and Family & Consumer Sciences.  While at Bradley I was involved in student activities and a social sorority.  My first year teaching in D211 I split my time between Palatine and Fremd.

Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy baking, reading, traveling, dancing with my two daughters, telling bedtime stories, and volunteering (I’ve taught Sunday School, walked shelter dogs, worked with babies at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in their nursery, served as the Education Chair for the Women’s Club of Inverness).

Insider Tip for Parents: Actually listen to your children when they talk to you.  Put down the electronics and get to know your kids.  Drive the carpool…that’s where you can learn SO much insider information just by listening to them talk to their friends.  Be open with your kids.  Talk to them like they are adults.  Ask them open ended questions…but be specific…don’t just ask them how their day was…ask them something specific about their day.  Enjoy being with them…all too quickly they will be out of your house!

Ask the Principal

Are you curious about something at Fremd but have never asked? Email me at If your question is pertinent to a wider audience, I will include it in the next blog post.