Friday, September 25, 2015

Harper's Promise

It’s All About Options

Last week I gave you some information about the Power of 15, which is the idea that students are more successful if they leave high school with 15 college credits in their pocket. This week, I’d like to tell you about another way that Harper College is working with Fremd High School and District 211 to provide options for our students.

Targeting freshmen, it’s called the Promise Scholarship. Essentially, Harper College will provide free tuition to students who meet prescribed requirements for attendance, rigor, quality, persistence, and community service throughout their career at Fremd.

You will be receiving more information from us about this opportunity. The application period begins October 15. For now, take some time to explore the hyperlink above, and talk to your freshman student about this wonderful opportunity.

Highlights and Successes

I often list the most recent highlights at Fremd. I thought you might also enjoy seeing the season-at-a-glance highlights for each of our varsity sports teams.

Girls Swimming and Diving:
4-1 in dual meets
Undefeated in MSL
Boys Cross Country:
Conference Record 3 – 1
Crystal Lake Invite Record 1st out of 17 teams
Peoria First to the Finish Invite 11th out of 45 teams

Girls Tennis:
4-0 in Conference
4-1 Overall for Duel Meets

Girls Golf:
2nd place at the Rockford Invite

Girls Volleyball:

Boys Soccer:

Boys Football:
Last week broke 2 school records.
52 yd. field goal
59 pts scored in a game

Boys Golf:

Girls Cross Country
Conference Record 1-2
Peoria First to the Finish Invite 25th out of 40 teams
Warren Invite Varsity 7th out of 21 teams

  • Congratulations to Coach Joe Marcin and the Girls Cross Country Team on their 7th place finish at the Warren Blue Devil Invite:  Nora Finegan 11th, Linda Varela 17th, Monica Zawisza 38th, and Megan Benka 40.  Varsity finished 7th out of 21 teams.
  • Congratulations to Coach Lauren Hall and the Girls Varsity Tennis Team on taking  2nd place at the Rolling Meadows Invite.
  • Congratulations to Coach Christine Vlaming and the Girls Golf Team on placing 2nd at the Guilford Golf Invite.  Haezi Jung placed 4th with a score of 72  and Jaehee Hur took 5th place with a score of 74.
  • Congratulations to the following 2016 National Merit Program Commended Students:  Michael Arbour, Akcan Balkir, Jenny Chu, Karishma Desai, Nathan Du, Mark Guo, Kellie Halloran, Isabella Iaccino, Alexander Johnson, Veronica Jung, Kartik Kansal, Byungjun Kwak, Lauren Lin, Melissa Nakazawa, Nathan Narasimhan, Vibha Panthasarathy, Bradley Posdal, Nicole Ricken, Corey Shultz, Colleen Sweeney, Caleb Vail, William Wang and Michael Zhou.

Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

September 25
FMA Trivia Night - Student Cafeteria, 7:00-10:00 p.m.

Fremd Football @ Conant - 7:30 p.m.
September 26
Student Congress Tournament - 6:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

Girls Tennis Invitational @ Prospect High School - 8:00 a.m.

Boys Cross Country vs. Bartlett @ Sunrise Park - 9:00 a.m.

Boys Soccer @ Buffalo Grove - 11:00 a.m.
September 28
Band Fall Showcase Concert - Cafeteria, 6:00/7:30 p.m.

Boys Golf vs. Prospect @ Mt. Prospect Golf Club -3:30 p.m.

Boys Soccer vs. Schaumburg H.S. - 7:00 p.m.
September 29
Boys Golf @ Makray Memorial Golf Club - 8:30 a.m.

Girls Conference Meet @ Fox Run Golf Course - 8:30 a.m.

Girls Tennis @ Palatine H.S. - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Volleyball vs. Conant - 6:00 p.m.

Boys Soccer @ Rolling Meadows H.S. - 6:30 p.m.

Powder Puff Game - Stadium, 7:00 p.m.
October 1
Girls Golf Invitational vs. Maine South @ Willow Hill Golf Course - 4:00 p.m.

Boys Cross Country @ Harper College - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Swimming & Diving @ Schaumburg H.S. - 4:30 p.m.

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

Girls Cross Country @ Harper College - 4:45 p.m.

Girls Volleyball @ Palatine H.S. - 6:00 p.m.

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

Staff Spotlight

Name: Colene Brockman

Position: Assistant Principal
Years at Fremd:3 years
Life Before Fremd: I grew up in a suburb of Detroit, MI and attended the University of Michigan for undergrad. I moved to the Chicagoland area in 2012 and earned my Masters in Administration and Leadership at DePaul University. Prior to arriving at Fremd, I spent three years in Katy, TX teaching English and coaching tennis.
Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy reading when I can find the time, working out, and traveling. I am also a serious Michigan Football fan, and I am hoping that Harbaugh can turn the program around in the next few years.
Insider Tip for Parents: Follow @FremdVikings on Twitter. It is a great way to stay up to date on all academic, athletic, activity, and event related things at Fremd!

Ask the Principal

Q: What improvements have you seen as a result of the parking lot renovation?

A: The renovations addressed several issues with our parking lot: flow in/out of the lot, limited student parking, and a wall that caused access and safety issues (especially in the winter months). It is definitely an upgrade compared to our former setup: I have only received positive comments from parents about the traffic flow. We were able to add roughly 20 more student spots and 7-8 more Visitor parking spots. And we got rid of the wall and stairs. Next on the agenda: figure out a way to triple our parking.

Q: Last week you mentioned that Fremd has over 40 AP and/or Dual Credit courses. Where can I find a list?

A: Good question. This list is currently under construction, and I hope to be able to provide something for you soon. In the meantime, you can search for AP and dual credit options in our Curriculum Guide, which is organized by departments.

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, September 18, 2015

The Power of 15

College and Career Ready

Synergy. Thinking outside the box. Run it up the flagpole. Low-hanging fruit. Most of the time, buzzwords and phrases, when overused, lose their impact. In education, the phrase, “college and career ready” has been widely used, but it may never become cliche. Why? Because it is the root of everything high school is about--it’s our driving goal, our, ahem, hedgehog concept.

One of the ways that we are trying to make students ready for college or a career is through The Power of 15. This is the idea that students will have accumulated 15 hours of college credit in high school through the successful completion of AP and dual credit courses.

What’s the big deal about 15 credits? Students who enter college with 15 credits under their belt:
  • Are twice as likely to graduate from college on time.
  • Earn a higher GPA in college.
  • Report higher motivation to earn their degree.
  • Save money! How much? Look at this chart that shows the value of 15 credit hours through different means:

Power of 15.jpg

While every student may not go on to college, we want to create an environment where college is at least an option. Regardless, AP and dual credit classes offer the following benefits:
  • Solid work ethic to tackle rigorous coursework
  • Preparation for college-level classes
  • Vocational training and certification
  • Time and money savings

Fremd High School offers over 40 AP and dual credit courses across a variety of subject areas. Needless to say, there are offerings to suit everyone! As long as we get our ducks in a row and give 110%, we can provide our students with a low-risk, high yield strategy to move the needle on their future without drinking water from a hydrant. That sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Enough with the cliches. It’s time to table the conversation.

Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

September 18
Girls Volleyball @ Glenbard West H.S. - 5:00 p.m.

Fremd Football vs. Buffalo Grove - 7:30 p.m.
September 19
Boys Golf Invitational vs. Dundee Crown @ Randall oaks Golf Club

Girls Volleyball @ Glenbard West H.S. - 8:00 a.m.

Girls Tennis Invitational @ Rolling Meadows H.S. - 8:00 a.m.

Girls Golf vs. Rockford @ Ingersoll Golf Course - 9:00 a.m.

Girls/Boys Cross Country vs. Warren @ Gowe Park - 9:00 a.m.
September 21
Boys Golf vs. Barrington @ Ivanhoe Country Club - 2:00 p.m.

Girls Golf vs. Glenbrook North @ palatine Hills

Girls Tennis vs. Hoffman Estates - 4:30 p.m.
September 22
Girls Golf vs. Barrington @ Palatine Hills - 3:30 p.m.

Boys Golf vs. Barrington @ Makray Memorial Golf Club - 3:30 p.m.

Boys Soccer @ Hoffman Estates - 4:30 p.m.

Late Start - 8:50 start
September 23
Girls Tennis vs. Lake Zurich - 4:30 p.m.
September 24
Collage Concert - Cafeteria, 7;00 p.m.

Boys Golf vs. Rolling Meadows @ Hilldate Golf Club - 3:30 p.m.

Girls Golf vs. Rolling Meadows @ Palatine Hills - 3:30 p.m.

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

Girls/Boys Cross Country @ Schaumburg, Hoover Elementary - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Swimming & Diving @ Barrington -5:00 p.m.

Girls Volleyball @ Hoffman Estates - 6:00 p.m.

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

Staff Spotlight
NAME: Ken Hester
Ken Hester at last year's Veterans Day assembly.

Position: Custodial/Maintenance

Years at Fremd: 14

Life Before Fremd: Military/Vietnam, Business Owner, Sales and Marketing

Hobbies/Interests: Golfing, Fishing, Horses and Family

Insider Tip for Parents: Listen, guide and
have patience because they are smarter than you think.

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, September 11, 2015

Getting Connected

More Ways to Stay Connected

Since you are reading this, chances are pretty good that you go above and beyond to learn about what is happening at Fremd High School. Besides this blog, there are several other ways for you to stay connected to our school.

Infinite Campus and Schoology
Most parents already take advantage of Infinite Campus to check on their student’s grades and attendance. Many parents have also activated their Schoology account, which allows them to receive updates from their student’s teachers, coaches and sponsors. (Since these services are not new, I won’t go into detail about how to log in. Please contact Keith Sorensen, our Technology Coordinator, at for more details.

Athletics and Activities Calendars
We have recently switched to a new platform, rSchool Today, to host our calendars. The cool feature of this system is that you can specify certain activities to be “pushed” to the calendar of your choice, such as iCal or Outlook. Whenever a school official makes changes to these items, they are updated in your calendar without any management on your part.

The Viking Logue
Last year our school newspaper, Viking Logue (pronounced “log”), went paperless. You still have access to our students’ quality journalistic efforts by going to Or better yet, subscribe to the Logue for real-time notifications about new content. I subscribe to the Logue by email, which means that I receive an email whenever new information is posted. Don’t worry, you won’t get overwhelmed with emails; much of their content is published at the same time, so you only get one email for several articles.

Blog Stats

  • Average number of weekly pageviews: 1850
  • All-time history of pageviews: 37,000
  • Number of blog subscribers: 291
  • Browser used most to view blog: Safari (52%)
  • Countries with the all-time most pageviews, besides US: Germany (413), France (179), Ukraine (165)

Highlights and Successes
  • Congratulations to senior violinist, Brian Lin, who was selected for the NATIONAL Honors Symphony Orchestra.  Brian will be rehearsing and performing with musicians from around the country during the National Association for Music Education conference in Nashville, TN at the end of October.  Brian is the first student from Fremd to be selected for this honor.
  • Congratulations to Coach Darius Sanchez and the Boys Varsity Cross Country Team on taking 1st place at the Cross Country Invitational.   Danny Peterson took 5th place.
  • Congratulations to the 2016 National Merit Semi-finalists:  Julia Cai, Amy Chen, Daniel Classon, Melinda Coleman, Chloe David, James Feng, Bissem Gill, Jiamin Huang, Abigail Iuorio, Chiranth Kishore, Eshwar Kishore, Alexander Knox, Shijie Li, Jessica Lu, Rohan Menon, Anqi Peng, Ann Rajan, Varshini Ramanathan, Kevin Stevens, Anusha Thotakura, Daniel Tokarz, Daniel Xu, Nathan Xu, Xuemeng Yin, and Annie Zheng.

Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

September 11
Fremd Football vs. Prospect - 7:30 p.m.

Girls Swimming & Diving @ Glenbrook South - 5:00 p.m.

Boys Soccer @ Peoria-Notre Dame - 7:30 p.m.
September 12
Boys Golf @ Zion-Benton - 7:30 a.m.

Girls Tennis Invitational @ FHS - 8:00 a.m.

Girls Swimming & Diving @ Lyons Township - 9:00 a.m.

Girls/Boys Cross Country @ Peoria Woodruff Detweiller Park - 11:40 a.m./12:20 a.m.

Boys Soccer @ Peoria-Notre Dame - 6:30 p.m.
September 14
Girls Golf @ Palatine Hills Golf Course - 3:30 p.m.

Girls Volleyball vs. Lake Zurich - 6:00 p.m.
September 15
Girls Golf @ Elk Grove Fox Run Golf Course - 3:30 p.m.

Boys Golf @ Elk Grove Hilldale Golf Club -3:30 p.m.

Girls Volleyball @ Barrington High School - 6:00 p.m.

Boys Soccer @ Prospect High School - 6:30 p.m.
September 16
Girls/Boys Cross Country @ Barrington Ron Beese Park - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Tennis @ CHS - 4:30 p.m.
September 17
Girls Golf @ Palatine Hills Golf Course - 3:30 p.m.

Boys Golf @ Prospect - 3:30 p.m.

Girls Swimming & Diving vs. HEHS @ Palatine - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Tennis @ Buffalo Grove - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Volleyball @ Schaumburg H.S. - 6:00 p.m.

Boys Soccer vs. Hersey - 7:00 p.m.

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

Staff Spotlight
Name: Judy Paez

Position: Student Supervisor

Years at Fremd: 17 years

Life Before Fremd: Graduated high school and married my high school sweetheart.  I was a stay-at-home mom with our 2 sons most of their young years - my most rewarding job!

Hobbies/Interests: I love gardening, baking and cooking.  My absolute most favorite ways to spend free time is sharing good times with family - my 2 sons, 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

Insider Tip for Parents: Teen years can be very challenging and get a little crazy at times for parents and the teen.  I have experienced positive results with the teens by respecting them as individuals and always having a listening ear when they need to express themselves.  Kids realize they need us.  They just don’t want to admit it.  I love my job!

Ask the Principal

Q:  Why did you change the date of prom?????
A:  It had to do with a scheduling conflict created by the Renaissance. There are not many venues that can accommodate 1000 students for their prom, so any alternative plan was going to mean a sacrifice of some kind. May 7 emerged as the best possible option. For those of you worried about your student’s performance on AP exams, let’s look at Palatine High School, whose prom landed between AP weeks last year. The number of AP exams they administered last year increased slightly from the previous year, yet there was no drop-off in the number of students who received a passing score. As we switch to a new calendar in the 2016-2017 school year, prom will move to an entirely different weekend. Prom 2017 is set for May 20.

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.