Friday, April 21, 2017

The Mile 20 Edition

Finishing Strong
Whenever I talk to someone who recently ran a marathon, I am interested to find out the point at which the race became difficult for them. Many runners are quick to point out the 18-20 mile mark as both a physical and psychological hurdle for them. Next, I like to ask them how they were able to push on after this point in the race. As common as their answer of 18-20 miles may be, their answer to the next question is anything but consistent or common.

Some people say that they just had to trust that their training prepared them for this moment. Others say it’s just a gut check after Mile 20. Once, a runner even told me that he “literally had to think about moving one foot in front of the other.”

Lastly, I try to find out if they accomplished what they set out to accomplish. As expected, many first-timers say they just wanted to finish, while some vets pointed to setting a new PR as their motivation.

So here we are, five weeks away from the end of the school year, Mile 20 of this marathon of a school year. How will you (or your student) push on toward the finish line? We are all vets with multiple years of experience. Set your sights on a new PR. Trust your training. Finish strong!

Highlights and Successes:
Congratulations to Coach Ray Roth and the Girls Water Polo Team on finishing in 2nd place at the Fremd tournament with 2 wins and 1 loss!
Congratulations to Grace Wiltgen, Hannah Jaros, Jackson Hirsch, Michael Riccardo, Annemarie Clooney, and Alison Gauvreau on being selected to exhibit artwork at the The Illinois Institute of Art at Schaumburg - D211 Art Show. In addition, awards were earned by Tessa Bley – Best of Show, Stephanie Dodgen - 2nd Place , Mitchell McConnell - 3rd Place.
Congratulations to Coach Jim Aikens and the Boys Track Team on beating Palatine High School  in the Crosstown Classic Dual Track Meet 76-70!
Congratulations to Boys Gymnast Eric Barnd on his success at the Conant Varsity Invite:  1st place Pommel Horse,  2nd Place Vault and  3rd Place All Around.
Congratulations to the Fremd Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, and Wind Symphony for their performances at the “Chicagoland Invitational Concert Band Festival” on Saturday April 8th.  The Wind Ensemble (under the direction of Jeremy Figlewicz) and Symphonic Winds (under the direction of JT Teichert) were both awarded overall “Division 1/Superior” ratings in their divisions from the panel of collegiate band director adjudicators.  In addition to their performances, the three bands also participated in an educational clinic with the college band directors.
Congratulations to this week’s Viking Pride winners: Gabrielle Aranza, Tom Cao, Alexis Cortez, Paige Dirkes-Jacks, David Dziobon, Colleen Kennedy, Alec Liautaud, Cooper Michalak, Arthur Szacik, and Hope Yates.

Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

April 21
Girls Track & Field Invitational @ Glenbrook South H.S. - 4:30 p.m.

Boys Baseball @ Wheeling H.S. - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Softball vs. Conant H.S. - 4:45 p.m.

Boys Volleyball Invitational  @ Schaumurg, H.S. - 5:00 p.m.

Boys Track & Field @ Lake Zurich H.S. - 5:00 p.m.

Boys Gymnastics Invitational @ HEHS - 6:00 p.m.
April 22
Boys Tennis Invitational @ Downers Grove South H.S. - 8:00 a.m.

Boys Water Polo @ Lincoln Way West - 8:30 a.m.

Girls Softball vs. Lake Park - 12:00 p.m.

Girls Soccer Invitational @ New Trier H.S. - 12:00 p.m.

Girls Lacrosse @ Warren Township H.S. - 12:30 p.m.

Boys Baseball Double Header @ Glenbrook North H.S. - 10:30 a.m.

Boys Lacrosse vs. Lyons Township - 1:00 p.m.

Boys Track & Field @ Palatine H.S. - 7:00 p.m.
April 24
Girls Softball @ Palatine H.S. - 4:30 p.m.

Boys Baseball @ Hoffman Estates H.S. - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Water Polo @ Schaumburg H.S. - 5:30 p.m.

Boys Water Polo vs. Schaumburg H.S. - 5:30 p.m.

Girls Lacrosse @ Libertyville Brainerd Campus - 5:30 p.m.

Girls Soccer vs. Elk Grove H.S. - 7:00 p.m.
April 25
Academic Teams Reception - Cafeteria, 7:00 p.m.

Girls Track & Field Divisional @ Schaumburg H.S. - 4:45 p.m.

Boys Track & Field @ FHS - 4:45 p.m.

Boys Water Polo vs. Mundelein H.S. - 6:00 p.m.

Boys Volleyball vs. Palatine, H.S. -6:00 p.m.

Girls Water Polo @ Mundelein H.S. - 6:00 p.m.

Boys Lacrosse @ Hinsdale Central H.S. - 7:00 p.m.
April 26
Boys Baseball vs. HEHS - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Softball vs. Barrington H.S. - 4:30 p.m.

Boys Tennis vs. Wheaton Warrenville South H.S. - 4:30 p.m.
April 27
Boys Tennis vs. HEHS - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Soccer @ FHS - 5:00 p.m.

Boys Volleyball @ Conant H.S. - 6:00 p.m.

Girls Water Polo @ Naperville Central H.S. - 6:30 p.m.

Girls Soccer @ FHS - 7:00 p.m.

For a more complete list, please visit our Athletics Page.

Staff Spotlight

Name: Nick Mamula

Position: English Teacher / Head Boys Lacrosse Coach / JV2 Boys Soccer Coach
Years at Fremd: 4 years teaching English / 4 years coaching lacrosse / 2 years coaching soccer

Life Before Fremd: Graduated from Downers Grove South High School, earned a degree in English Education from Illinois State University, earned a Master’s Degree in Reading from National Louis University, student taught and coached at Minooka High School, subbed in District 99 for one year, taught and coached at Hoffman Estates High School.
Hobbies/Interests: Spending as much possible time with my son, Nicholas (2 yrs.), and daughter, Dahlia (1 yr.), playing golf, reading, working on our house, playing and watching anything sports related, cooking, and writing
Insider Tip for Parents: Make and eat dinner with your child and without your phones/technology.

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, March 10, 2017

The Booster Scholarship Edition

Booster Craft Fair Volunteers
The Fremd Booster Club will be hosting its annual Spring Craft Fair on Saturday, April 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Once again, we are reaching out to Fremd students to ask them to volunteer some time to help us make this event run smoothly.  We'll be needing volunteers for Friday evening, April 7th, for the set-up (taping out booths, putting up signs, etc.).  We will also need students on the day of the event with two time slots available.  Our biggest need on Saturday is from 6:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. helping the vendors bring all of their items into the building. Throughout the day, we'll also need help with concessions, providing general information, and helping vendors take items back to their vehicles.
The Fremd Booster Club benefits all Fremd students and activities, and we are grateful for your help in previous years.  Listed below is a link to the Holiday Craft Fair Volunteer sign-up page.  Please take a few moments to let your students know about this volunteer opportunity and encourage them to help out at the Craft Fair.  Your help is truly appreciated.  We know this is the same day as the ACT so that will make it impossible for some students to volunteer on Saturday.  That's why we really need your help to get the word out to all the students.

Link to Spring Craft Fair Sign-up page:

Viking Booster Club scholarship applications are now available!  The Viking Booster Club is proud to announce we will be awarding between 15-20 scholarships for $1,000 each to outstanding members of the senior class to help pay for educational expenses.  The recipients will be chosen on the basis of their accomplishments in the areas of Fremd Activities, Leadership, Community Service, and an All-Around category.  We encourage ALL seniors that are planning to further their education at a four year college/university, community college or trade school to apply.  Financial need and academic accomplishments are not a consideration for any of these scholarships, but the student’s family must be a member of the Fremd Viking Booster Club.  Applications must be submitted to the Fremd Student Services Office no later than 3pm on Friday, April 7, 2017.  The application can be found on the Fremd Viking Booster Club Scholarship webpage.

Media Center Photo Update

Tear-down is nearly complete, and new walls are being built. These studs are lining the wall adjacent to Rm 129 and will be part of the new Tutoring Center.

Highlights and Successes:
  • Congratulations to Chris Grattoni and the Fremd High School Math Team for earning first place at the ICTM Regional Competition at Harper College.  Kinlenn Peng, Nipun Velupally, and Edward Li were recognized for their perfect scores on the written event. The following teams earned first place: Freshman Algebra I Team (Alice Chen, Eileen Peng, Kinllen Peng, Sean Randunne, Nipun Velupally, Sharon Wu); Sophomore Geometry Team (Hannah Chen, Kristina Chen, Kevin Li, Anthony Mu, Abhy Venkat, Flora Zheng); Junior Algebra II Team (Kevin Chen, Rose Dinh, Jesse Huang, Edward Li, Advay Mahajan, Elizabeth Perez); Freshman/Sophomore 8-Person (Alice Chen, Eileen Peng, Kinllen Peng, Sean Randunne, Ed Guo, Kevin Li, Michael Murakami, Flora Zheng); Freshman/Sophomore 2-Person teams (Kinllen Peng and Kristina Chen); Junior-Senior 8 Person (Gretchen Coleman, Jesse Huang, Edward Li, Adhith Palla, Lucy Cho, Andrew Hwang, Airi Nakayama, Jun Sung), Junior-Senior 2 Person (Kevin Chen and Adam Quinn); and Oralist Competition (Kevin Chen and Adam Quinn).
  •  The following teams earned second place:  Senior Pre-Calculus Team (Lucy Cho, Andrew Hwang, Airi Nakayama, Adam Quinn, Alvin Shanmugam, Jun Sung); Calculator Team (Nipun Velupally, Anthony Mu, Rose Dinh, Alvin Shanmugam, Akash Mukherjee) 
  • Fremd’s first place finish at ICTM Regionals has qualified the team for the ICTM State Competition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Saturday, May 6.
  • Congratulations to the Fremd Jazz Ensemble (Matt Moore - director), Jazz Combo (JT Teichert – director) and Jazz Lab Band (JT Teichert, Jeremy Figlewicz – directors) who all received straight “Division 1/Superior” ratings in their categories at Saturday’s “Jazz in the Meadows” Festival.  The Jazz Ensemble was awarded first place in the 4A School category, which included a second performance at the Grand Finale Concert!  The Jazz Combo also had an incredible performance, being awarded first place in the Large School Combo category.  This was the first time that the Fremd Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo were awarded top honors in their categories.
  • Congratulations to freshman bassist Joey Ranieri who was awarded the top overall soloist award for the 4A Jazz Band division and the Large School Combo division!
  • Congratulations to the following State medalists in Boys Swimming: Medley Relay: Tony Lee, Alex Schillinger, Nick Seroni and Nick Nevins - 9th place medal; 50 FR:  Nick Nevins (and a new school record); 10th place medal: 100 Breaststroke - Alex Schillinger; 10th place medals:  400 FR Relay: Nick Nevins, Danny Konishi, Nick Seroni and Arnas Maciunas.
  • Congratulations to Coach Martin Zacharia and the Fremd Debate Team on winning two team awards: 2nd Place Invitational Sweepstakes and 3rd Place Championship Sweepstakes at the ICDA State Debate Tournament. Award winners are as follows: Nabeela Syed, All-State, 2nd Place, Best Presiding Officer; Breity Breitenstein, 3rd Place, Best Presiding Officer; Sarah Yoon, 3rd Place, Best Presiding Officer. Bill Gao, Best Presiding Officer. 
  • Congratulations to Anniemarie Clooney (’17), Stephanie Dodgen (’18), Sara Hill (’17), and Jackson Hirsch (’17),  on being selected to have their work shown at the 2017 Illinois High School Art Exhibition.  More than 100 Illinois Schools were represented and of the over 2500 individual pieces on exhibit, Sara Hill received Honorable Mention in the category of Sculpture.
  • Congratulations to Fremd’s competitive showchoir, Soundscape, and director Christina Collins.  They received 1st place and Best Vocals in their division at their final competition at John Hersey High School.  Allison Nakazawa was also recognized as an outstanding performer from the group.  They are in their second year as a competitive group and had a very successful season with two 1st place ratings and two 2nd place ratings.  The group involves 41 singers/dancers and 9 instrumentalists in their combo.
  • Congratulations to the following medal winners at the State HOSA Competition:  Shravya Chanamolu – 1st Place on Knowledge Test:  Human Growth and Development; Gabrielle Balek – 2nd Place on Knowledge Test:  Transcultural Healthcare; Samruddhi Ayachit, Anjali Devabhaktuni, Shreya Gosh, and Pragya Kansal – 3rd Place for Community Awareness event; Top Ten winners include:  Pragya Kansal – 4th Place in State for Medical Spelling; Shreya Mukherjee – 6th Place in State for Medical Math; Vineela Yetrintala and Sanjana Manne – 6th Place in State for Health Education; Kashif Javid, Adhith Palla and Surya Veeravalli – 6th Place in State for Biomedical Debate.
  • Congratulations to the following State BPA  Award Winners:  5th place Yulia Odinokova - Advanced Interview Skills and 3rd place Entrpreneurship (National Qualifier); 1st place Lydia Hahm - Banking & Finance (National Qualifier); 8th place Katherine Wu - Banking & Finance; 5th place Tim Okonek - Business Law & Ethics - Pilot (National Qualifier); 2nd place Maegan Jong - Prepared Speech (National Qualifier);  8th place Priyal Gosar - Presentation Management - Individual; 6th place Nathan Stevens - Presentation Management - Individual; 
  • Congratulations to Coach David Yates and the Girls Basketball Team on placing 4th at the State Competition.
  • Congratulations to Coach Bob Widlowski and the Boys Basketball Team on winning the Sectional Semifinals.

Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

March 10
Boys Basketball Sectional Finals - Robert Morris University, 7:00 p.m.
March 11
Scholastic Bowl Sectional Tournament

Boys Water Polo Quad @ Stevenson H.S. - 1:00 p.m.

Girls Track & Field Invitational @ Huntley H.S. - 2:00 p.m.
March 13
Girls Softball vs. Fenton @ Redmond Park - 4:30 p.m.

Boys Water Polo vs. HEHS - 5:30 p.m.

Girls Water Polo @ HEHS - 5:30 p.m.

Girls Badminton @ Glenbard H.S. - 5:30 p.m.
March 14
Boys Basketball Super Sectional

Girls Badminton @ Hinsdale South H.S. - 4:30 p.m.

Boys Gymnastics vs. Conant H.S. - 6:00 p.m.

Girls Soccer vs. St. Charles East - 7;00 p.m.
March 15
Girls Water Polo vs. Barrington H.S. - 5:30 p.m.

Boys Water Polo @ Barrington H.S. - 5:30 p.m.

Boys Lacrosse @ Maine South H.S. - 7:30 p.m.
March 16
Girls Softball Quad @ Heritage Park - 5:00 p.m.

Girls Soccer vs. Lake Zurich H.S. - 7:00 p.m.
March 17
Boys Basketball State Finals

Girls Water Polo @ Naperville Central H.S. - 5:00 p.m.

Girls Badminton Quad @ FHS - 5:00 p.m.

Boys Gymnastics Invitational @ Hinsdale Central H.S. - 6:00 p.m.

For a more complete list, please visit our Athletics Page.

Staff Spotlight

Name: Bob Widlowski
Position:  Social Studies Teacher/Varsity Boys Basketball Coach           
Years at Fremd:  22 years @ FHS; 26 years coaching Basketball and 15 years Head Coach @ FHS
Life Before Fremd:  4 1/2 years -  Taught @ Lake Zurich H.S.

Hobbies/Interests: Exercising , watching sons sports/ activities

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, February 24, 2017

The Good Sport Edition

On the Court & In the Stands
A positive school culture and success in athletics/activities often go hand in hand. If this winter season is an accurate barometer, then our school culture is very strong and positive. As you can see in the “Highlights and Successes” section of this week’s blog post, great things are happening weekly in the gyms, in the pool and in our competitive activities. In fact, Fremd has sent competitors to almost every possible state competition in the activities we offer during the winter:
Photo courtesy of Michael O'Brien's (Sun-Times) Twitter account
  • Boys Swimming (competing this weekend, check out Friday’s Daily Herald article about our team)
  • Gymnastics
  • Wrestling
  • Cheer
  • Dance
  • Speech
  • Chess
Several competitive activities are nearing their state competition, such as HOSA, BPA, Debate and Scholastic Bowl. Additionally, both the Boys and Girls Basketball teams’ hopes are alive for a state tournament berth.

I want to both thank you for your support of our competitive teams, and to encourage your attendance during the culminating events and tournaments. Not only do our students appreciate seeing lots of familiar faces in the stands, but your presence can also provide a competitive advantage to our teams.

Here are some things that you can continue to do to make sure you (and your student) are representing Fremd in the best possible light in the stands:
  • Honor the game--Act in a way that makes others proud of our team and our fans.
  • Let the refs, coaches and players do their jobs...they all have tough jobs, and they are doing them to the best of their ability.
  • Be a Culture-Keeper--You know what it means to be a good sport. Do your part to make sure that others are also showing good sportsmanship.
  • “How you play a game shows some of your character. How you win or lose a game shows all of it.” - Bart Starr 

Highlights and Successes:

  • Congratulations to Directors Matt Moore, Marla Caballero, and Christina Collins and the following ILMEA All-State Student Musicians:  Band: Bethany Sorman; Orchestra: Lauren Cardoza, Andres Carrero, Daniel Choi, Hannah Lin; Chorus: Lauren Berryhill, Kay Petrie, Ria Ravi, Collin Schroeder and Allison Gile.
  • Congratulations to IHSA Chess State Medalist Anthony Mu on taking 6th place on Board 6 at the State Meet.
  • Congratulations to the following State Medalists at the State Speech Competition:  Impromptu Speaking, 5th place Jack Rosenwinkel; Radio Speaking, 6th place Devin Dionne and Humorous Duet Acting, 6th place Brian Rosenwinkel and Pagie Dirkes Jacks.
  • Congratulations to Coach David Yates and the Girls Basketball Team on winning the Regional Championship.
  • Congratulations to Coach Kristen Newby and the following Boys Swimming & Diving State Qualifiers:  1st place and New School Record Medley Relay -  Tony Lee, Alex Schillinger, Nick Seroni, Nick Nevins; 2nd place 200 Freestyle: -  Nick Seroni; 5rh place 200 Freestyle - Arnas Maciunas; 2nd place 200 Individual Medley - Alex Schillinger; 2nd place Diving - Zach Mega; 1st place 50 Freestyle - Nick Nevins; 2nd place 50 Freestyle - Danny Konishi; 2nd place 100 Butterfly - Nick Seroni; 2nd place 100 Freestyle - Danny Konishi;4th place 100 Freestyle - Arnas Maciunas; 5th place 500 Freestyle - Paul Ponte; 1st place 200 Freestyle Relay - Nick Nevins, Danny Konishi, Tony Lee, Arnas Maciunas; 3rd place 100 Backstroke - Paul Ponte; 6th place 100 Backstroke - Tony Lee; 1st place 100 Breastroke - Alex Schillinger and 1st place 400 Free Relay - Nick Nevins, Danny Konishi, Nick Seroni, Arnas Maciunas.
  • Congratulations to Swim Coach Kristen Newby on being named Sectional Coach of the Year!
  • Congratulations to Fremd’s competitive showchoir, Soundscape, for placing 1st in their division at El Paso-Gridley High School.  The group involves 41 students in grades 9-12 along with 9 instrumentalist in the combo.  Annie Yamamoto and Luke Madden were acknowledged as outstanding performers from the group and Nicole Calvaresi was a finalist in the solo competition for singing “She Used to Be Mine” from the musical, Waitress.
  • Congratulations to wrestler Zach Nemec on winning 3rd place (285) at the State Competition.
  • Congratulations to Coach Bob Widlowski and the Fremd Boys Basketball Team on winning the MSL Championship!
Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

February 24
Boys Swimming & Diving State @ New Trier H.S.
February 25
Girls Track & Field Triangular @ Glenbard West H.S. - 9:00 a.m.

Boys Swimming & Diving State @ New Trier H.S.
February 27
Girls Basketball Super Sectional @ Dundee Crown H.S. - 7:00 p.m.

Orchestra Chamber Night - 6:00-9:00 p.m.
February 28
Boys Basketball Regional @ Hoffman Estates H.S. - 7:30 p.m.
For a more complete list, please visit our Athletics Page.

Staff Spotlight

Name: Rob Berki

Position: Business Education Teacher

Years at Fremd: 2

Life Before Fremd: Born in Oregon, raised in Nebraska (go big red!), I’ve been gradually working my way east across the country. I worked in higher education, primarily in enrollment, for about 10 years. I also was an adjunct faculty member teaching economic courses. When I was in college my advisor told me it would take an extra semester to finish my education degree so in a moment of self-righteousness I balked and changed my major. There I was 10 years later still finishing my ed. Cert. program. I thought my previous professional experiences were a wasted part of my life, but I look back now and realize how much I learned and experienced that I’m able to use in the classroom.

Hobbies/Interests: Primarily sports, although these days as a parent to two daughters, we are basically just super busy with life. I still play basketball in leagues when I can, and I love sports and movies. I wish I had more time to work on my golf game, but I never seem to get any better anyway! I also love technology, I spend a lot of time tinkering around my house with tech, much to the annoyance of everyone else!

Insider Tip for Parents: Make sure you are checking in on the Infinite Campus portal to see how your student is doing, and make sure to join the Schoology pages of your students classes. All the information you need to know how your student is doing academically can be found there in real time, it’s really unbelievable how much is available online now, you don’t need to wait for a midterm report or a call from the teacher.

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.