Friday, August 28, 2015

Back to School!

Off and Running!
Welcome to Principal Tenopir’s Blog, Season 2! Like last year, I will be sending you a weekly update of the past week’s successes and a look ahead at some upcoming events. Your kid isn’t telling you about school, so somebody’s gotta do it, right?

As the year progresses, I will try to highlight different areas of my vision for Fremd High School, as well as any other helpful information that you may find interesting. There will also be a Staff Spotlight, where you will learn about one of our staff members every week. And finally, the blog provides an opportunity for you to submit questions that I will answer in the next blog entry.

I’m looking forward to another great year at Fremd, and I can’t wait to work with you to provide positive school experiences for all of our students.

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Highlights and Successes
Each week, this section will be reserved for major events and varsity contest results. The entries are submitted by coaches and sponsors. Since we are just getting underway, I thought you’d like to see an overview of the highlights from the 2014-2015 school year.

  • Fremd High School has been recognized by Newsweek as one of “America’s Best High Schools” and by U.S. News & World Report as one of 99 outstanding high schools in the United States.
  • Fremd High School was ranked 21st by The Daily Beast for their Best in the Midwest High Schools.
  • Fremd High School is the home of the 2014-2015 Those Who Excel Illinois Teacher of the Year, Applied Technology teacher Steve Elza.
  • Fremd had 57 Academic Scholars representing the highest grade point averages in the Class of 2015.
  • Eight students were National Merit Finalists in 2015.
  • There were 194 seniors named Illinois State Scholars in Fremd High School’s Class of 2015.
  • Ninety-one percent of the Class of 2015 planned to further their education by enrolling in a post-secondary educational program.
  • 822 students wrote 1977 Advanced Placement Exams and 90% received grades of 3,4 and 5.
  • Five Fremd students achieved a perfect score on the ACT test.
  • Two Fremd students were named to the Daily Herald Leadership Team (First Team).
  • Fremd is an official Beta Testing Site for Motorola Incorporated.  Advanced Physics students have tested various products since 1997, resulting in many design modifications.
  • The Social Studies Club offered several opportunities, both in-school and out-of-school, to supplement our students’ interest in the social sciences.  Among our many offerings were trips to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Oriental Museum, the Field Museum, as well as, a visit with over 50 students to the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie.  We also offered several in-school movies celebrating Black History Month and Women’s History Month.  Over 25% of our Fremd students participated in events promoted by the club.
  • The Fremd Social Studies Department held a successful Poverty Awareness Week with donations including 1151 cereal boxes to the Palatine Township Food Pantry, $375 raised from a hunger banquet for the pantry and 19,872 meals packed during the Service Night at Feed My Starving Children.  Social Studies staff members also planned a successful Veteran’s Day Tribute.
  • Student Council hosted a variety of activities throughout the school year including:  Homecoming Dance, Powder Puff football game, Winterfest dance, blood drives, clothing drives, American Education Week, Teacher Appreciation Week, and various community service projects.
  • Over 1100 elementary school children enjoyed a Trick or Treat festival sponsored by Fremd pre-school lab and activity groups.
  • National Honor Society assisted many charities this year to help needy children and families.  NHS contributed gifts for 300 needy children in Chicago through the Grant-A-Wish program, contributions of $2000 to YHOP through a bake sale fundraiser and donations to the Palatine Food Pantry by the NHS members.
  • The Fremd Music Association generously raised funds to donate to the music department in support of its many programs.
  • The Fremd Booster club annually raises funds to finance wish list grants that go toward the purchase of equipment, supplies, and apparel for our athletic and activity teams.  Funds are also allocated to provide our students with an alcohol-free post prom experience at Navy Pier.
  • The Fremd orchestra hosted a music festival with Palatine and District 15 orchestra students.  Over 350 musicians were in attendance.
  • The Fremd Band traveled to San Antonio, Texas to participate in various clinics/workshops and to perform at the Alamo Bowl.
  • Eighteen Fremd music students were selected to participate in the Illinois Music Educators’ Association All-State Festival this past year.
  • 2015 marks the 25th District 211 Orchestra Retreat.  While most schools are competing against each other, these musicians are coming together to create musical performances.
  • Every Fremd student experiences Writers Week, which has featured nearly 200 professional writers and dozens of student and faculty writers since 1995.  This year featured 16 professional writers, 18 faculty members from 4 departments and over 100 student writers and performers.
  • Fremd Social Studies teachers have worked with the Cook County Clerk’s office to train students as Deputy Registrars who then register over 500 Fremd Seniors to vote.
  • Approximately 50 Fremd juniors and seniors were trained through the Cook County First Judge Program and then served as election judges at precincts throughout Cook County.
  • World History students in R.I.S.E. experienced Inside Ancient Egypt cultural exhibit at the Field Museum. They also toured the many artifacts and history of the The Ancient Americas at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.
  • Fremd High School inducted 27 students into the International Thespian Society for 2014-2015.
  • The graduates of the Class of 2015 received over 6 million dollars in scholarship awards.
  •  Business Department Chair Ron Cregier was voted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in the category of career coaches.
  • Eighteen Fremd music students were selected to participate in the Illinois Music Educators’ Association All-State Festival this past year.

2014-2015 Activity Team Awards include:
  • Auto Club:  won the State Championship in the Ford/AAA Autoskills Competition.
  • Chess Team :  finished their MSL season undefeated.
  • Speech Team:  took first place at the IHSA Regional Competition.
  • Scholastic Bowl:   team placed 3rd at the IHSA State Final.
  • Group Interpretation:   won the IHSA State Championship.
  • The PAVE club was named Operation Click’s Club of the Year.
  • Seven students took home State medals in the IHSA Debate Competition.
  • Fourteen journalism students placed in the top six at the IHSA Sectional Journalism tournament.
  • Two Fremd students won BPA State Award medals.
·         2014-2015 Athletic Team Awards Include:
  • David Yates, Girls’ Basketball Coach was named West Division Coach of the Year.
  • Senior Haley Gorecki was named Chicago Tribune Illinois Miss Basketball, Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year, West Division Player of the Year and named to the Max Preps All American High School Basketball Team
  • Girls Basketball: MSL Champs, Regional Champs, Sectional Champs, Super Sectional Champs, 2nd place State
  • Girls Gymnastics:  MSL Champs, Regional Champs, 2nd place Sectional, 3rd place State
  • Badminton:  MSL West Champs, Sectional Champs, 5th place State
  • Boys Soccer:  MSL Conference Champs, Regional Champs, Sectional Champs, Super Sectional Champs, 3rd place State
  • Girls’ Swimming & Diving:  Conference Champs, Sectionals Champs, 6th place State
  • Boys’ Gymnastics: MSL Conference Champs, 2nd place Sectionals
  • Girls’ Cross Country:  3rd place Conference, 3rd place Regionals, 3rd place Sectionals
  • Boys’ Swimming:  2nd place Conference, 3rd place Sectionals

Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

August 28
Fremd Football vs. Lake Zurich - 7:30 p.m.

Girls Varsity Invitational vs. New Trier @ Nielson/Northfield - 3:00 p.m.
August 29
Girls Tennis Invitational vs. New Trier @ Nielson/Northfield - 8:30 a.m.
August 31
Boys Golf Invitational @ Inverness Golf Club - 2:00 p.m.
September 1
Girls Golf vs. Wheeling, Schaumburg @ Chevy Chase Country Club - 3:30 p.m.

Boys Golf  vs. Schaumburg, Wheeling @ Hilldale Golf Club - 3:30 p.m.

Boys Soccer vs. Naperville Central @ Naperville N.- 7:00 p.m.

Boys/Girls Cross Country vs. Elk Grove @ Elk Grove - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Tennis vs. Rolling Meadows - 4:30 p.m.
September 2
Girls Swimming & Diving vs. Prospect @ PHS - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Volleyball vs. Naperville Central @ Naperville Central H.S. - 6:00 p.m.
September 3
Boys Soccer vs.Naperville Central @ Naperville N. - 5:00 p.m.

Girls Golf vs. Stevenson @ Palatine Hills Golf Course - 4:00 p.m.

Girls Tennis vs. Hersey - 4:30 p.m.

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

Staff Spotlight
Name:  Kurt Tenopir

Position:  Principal

Years at Fremd:  4

Life Before Fremd:  Fremd is my fourth school. I also worked at Deerfield HS, Belvidere HS, and Grand Island Senior High (in Nebraska, where I’m from originally).

Hobbies/Interests: Golf, BBQ (I took 3rd place in a rib contest this summer! And yes, there were more than three teams.), playing piano and guitar, and spending time with my wife, Christy, and three boys, Jameson (8), Dylan (6), and Ty (4).

Insider Tip for Parents: You are not bugging teachers if you reach out and ask about your student’s performance. Proactive communication is important to help all parties understand each other’s expectations for performance.

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.