Friday, September 29, 2017

The Adulting Edition

Delaying Adulthood
There has been some recent interest about a newly-published study that followed teens over several decades that suggests teenagers are taking longer to hit the traditional markers associated with adult behavior. The study used self-reported information about traditionally adult behaviors, like drinking and sexual activity, as well as other proof of “adulting,” such as getting a job and driving. I all of these cases, teenagers’ participation in these behaviors is on the decline.

Another interesting finding of this study is that teenagers hang out less with their friends. While we can only speculate about the reasons, I’d venture to guess that the internet and technology are part of this trend, as well as parents taking a greater interest in their children’s lives.

So what do we do with this information?
It’s hard to say whether or not it is a good thing that teens are delaying adulthood. In this article, though, the author suggests that we need to continue to find ways to build independence in our teens, but not at the expense of weakening our bond with them. Here are some tangible things you can do to navigate this balance:
  • Encourage your teen to seek out interests and hobbies that can be done with friends. Fremd has over 60 clubs, and most clubs are actively looking for new members.
  • Give your teen age-appropriate responsibilities around the home. Fulfilling the responsibilities is one thing. Getting them to do it without constant hounding? That may be next-level parenting at its finest!
  • Consider tech-free times or spaces. Every moment of our lives doesn’t need to be SnapChatted. No phones at the dinner table or study table! Turn off app alerts. Take the steps to limit distractions caused by our devices.
  • Let your teen experience frustrations and disappointments. That’s part of the way that we build resilience.

Interested in reading more about this subject? Check out this article from CNN.

Highlights and Successes:
  • Congratulations to the Viking Marching Band for being awarded 2nd place in the AA Division at the 50th annual “Chicagoland Marching Band Festival” at Wheeling HS.  The VMB’s “Haunted Manor” show also received the second highest point total from the 13 bands performing in the A and AA Divisions.  The VMB is directed by Matt Moore and JT Teichert.
  • Congratulations to Coach Martin Zacharia and the Fremd Congressional Debate Team for earning 2nd Place Sweepstakes among large schools at the ICDA tournament at Rolling Meadows High School. The following debaters earned individual awards:  Varsha Krishnan, 1st Place Chamber Award, Arash Abbas, 1st Place Chamber Award, Abhi Balu, 2nd Place Chamber Award, Danny Lu, 3rd Place Chamber Award and Best Presiding Officer, Ben Wilson, 3rd Place Chamber Award, Shruthi Kumar, 3rd Place Chamber Award, Shreya Mukherjee, 3rd Place Chamber Award and Best Presiding Officer, Ameena Madani, 3rd Place Chamber Award, Michael Murakami, 3rd Place Chamber Award, Breity Breitenstein, Best Presiding Officer.

Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

September 29
Boys Soccer vs. Prospect -5:00 p.m.

Boys Golf Invitational @ Village Links Golf Club - 7:30 a.m.

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

Boys/Girls Cross Country Invitational @ Detweiller Park - 9:30 a.m.
October 2
Boys Soccer vs. New Trier - 7:00 p.m.
October 3
Late Start - 8:5 a.m. start time

Fall Band Concert - Cafe, 7:00 p.m.

Boys Golf Regional @ Hilldale Golf Club -9:00 a.m.

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

Boys Soccer @ RMHS - 6:30 p.m.
October 4
Girls Golf Regional @ Palatine Hills Golf Course - 8:30 a.m.
October 5
Girls Tennis Conference - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Swimming & Diving vs. Barrington - 4:45 p.m.

Girls Volleyball @ HEHS - 6:00 p.m.

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

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

Staff Spotlight

Name: Steven Balsley

Position: Building & Grounds Manager
Years at Fremd: 4 years

Life Before Fremd:  Purchasing Manager in the Housing industry (Par Development/Plote Homes) Operations Manager in the Food Service industry (Kraft Foods/Alliant Foods)       

Hobbies/Interests: Golf, Gardening, Movies and spending time with family and friends

Insider Tip for Parents: Try to know who your children friends are and know their interests.

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 22, 2017

The Six-Week Progress Edition

First Progress Report Coming Soon!
Today marks the end of the first six weeks of the semester. Under our new semester in-progress grading system, you will receive in-progress grade reports at the 6- and 12-week checkpoints of each semester.

How do I interpret the information on these reports? Remember, this grade will not be averaged into the final grade. This six-week report is only meant to give you a snapshot of your student’s overall grade on a particular day (Friday).

Want more information about your student’s progress? Be sure to visit the Parent Portal for a detailed look. Please feel free to reach out to the teachers with your performance questions and concerns.

Highlights and Successes:
  • Congratulations to Coach Joe Marcin and the Girls Cross Country Team on taking 1st place  at the Warren Invitational:   Individual award winners include:  Marisa Ban (6th), Rebecca Markham (8th), Nupur Pokharkar (9th), Hannah Ban (18th), and Clare Oehler-O’Sullivan (23rd). The Girls JV Team earned 1st Place!  Individual award winners include: Jordyn Iannuzzelli (2nd), Emily Walters (3rd), and Emily Kaphengst (5th).  The Girls Frosh-Soph Team earned 2nd Place!  Individual award winners include: Lucy Jiang (Race Champion!), and Julia LaDuke (8th).
  • Congratulations to Coach Darius Sanchez and the Boys Cross Country Team on placing 4th place out of 18 teams at the Warren Blue Devil Invite.  Individual award winners include:  Senior Ed Worthem placed 5th overall; Senior Matt Wallace placed 20th overall and Senior Keith Contreras won the JV race.
  • Congratulations to the following 2018 National Merit Commended Students:  Arash Abbas, Gautham Arun, Aksel Balkir, Shirya Bansal, Ayan Bhowmick, Jaime Chen, Gretchen Coleman, Rose Dinh, Ryan Gilski, Alex Guan, Benjamin Hung, Sohail Khan, Elliott Kim, Daniel Konishi, Shruthi Kumar, Nathaniel Lee, Yerim Lee, Aakash Lilaramani, Megan Lin, Advay Mahajan, Pragya Malhotra, John McDonnell, Timothy Moran, Karina Nance, Cameron Pace, Yeoun-Woo Park, Gaurav Prabakaran, Michael Proskin, McKenzie Sweno, Faithan To, Katherine Wu and Navin Yuvaraj.
Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

September 22
Varsity Football @ Barrington - 7;30 p.m.

Boys Soccer vs. Hersey - 7:00 p.m.
September 23
Girls Tennis Invitational @ Prospect - 8:00 a.m.

Boys Cross Country Invitational @ Sunrise Park - 9:00 a.m.
September 26
Girls Golf Conference @ Fox Run Golf Course - 8:30 a.m.

Boys Golf Conference @ Bridges of Popular Creek Country Club - 8:30 a.m.

Girls/Boys  Cross Country @ Harper College = 5:45/6:15 p.m.

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

Boys Soccer @ HEHS - 6:30 p.m.
September 27
Girls Golf Invitational @ Walnut Greens - 3:30 p.m.
September 28
Girls Golf vs. Maine South @ Mission Hills Golf Club - 4:30 p.m.

Girls Swimming & Diving @ HEHS - 4:45 p.m.

Girls Tennis @ Palatine - 4:45 p.m.

Varsity Football @ Conant - 6:00 p.m.

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

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

Staff Spotlight

Name: Kurt Tenopir

Position: Principal

Years at Fremd: 7 (4th year as principal)

Life Before Fremd: I grew up in a small town in (very) rural Nebraska, where I played three sports, and participated in band, jazz band, choir, swing choir, and two musicals. I attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, where i studied English Education and played basketball. I taught English in Nebraska and Belvidere. I was an assistant principal at both Belvidere High School and Deerfield High School before joining the staff at Fremd.

Hobbies/Interests: I have three boys--age 10, 8 and 6 (and a wonderful wife, Christy)--so my hobbies have taken a backseat to their interests (basketball, baseball and soccer). I enjoy running, playing guitar and piano, and trying to cook the perfect ribs on my smoker.

Insider Tip for Parents: Most teachers see about 150 students on a daily basis. Your student’s performance (or grade) may not stick out to them. If your child is struggling--at least according to their standards--in one of his/her subjects, please let the teacher know. It is my experience that teachers are responsive to requests for information and/or help regarding how a student can do better.

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 8, 2017

The Parent Principal Network Edition

Join the Parent Principal Network!

Throughout the year, I will be holding a series of informational meetings to educate parents about a variety of topics occurring at Fremd. Join me on September 12 from 6-7 pm in the Principal’s Conference Room (main entrance) to learn about some of the initiatives we have recently implemented.

In this first meeting, we will discuss the Power of 15, which is our goal to have every student graduate from Fremd with 15 college credits. We will also talk about some of our grading changes and improvements, including the new semester grading format and our grading scale. After the presentation portion of the meeting, you will have an opportunity to ask general questions about Fremd.

Highlights and Successes:
  • Congratulations to Coach Lauren O’Donnell and the Girls Tennis Team on winning the BG Quad and the Fremd Invite this past weekend.  Individual accomplishments include:  Diya Matta - 1st place for 1st Singles; Kyra Emmanouilidis - 1st place for 2nd Singles; Kate Bodensteiner/Julia Smiarowska - 1st place for 1st Doubles; Elsie Ha/Kellie Ha - 1st place for 2nd Doubles and Selin Parmaksiz/Jane Bodensteiner - 1st place for 3rd Doubles.
  • Congratulations to Coach Joe Marcin and the Girls Cross Country Team on taking 4th place at the Fenton Invitational.  Marisa Ban (9th), Rebecca Markham (18th) and Nupur Pokharkar (24th) all earned individual plaques for finishing in the top 25.
  • Congratulations to the following Semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition: Abhinav Balu, Kevin Chen, Varun Cidambi,Bissmun Gill, Matthew Grabianski, Kailey Henson, Stephanie Hu, Jesse Huang, Kashif Javid, Edward Li, Anna Miller, Allison Nakazawa, Adhith Palla, Nicholas Parekh, Elizabeth Perez, Andrew Ruan, Lauren Steitmatter, and Jerry Zheng.

Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events

September 8
Girls Diving @ Lyons Township H.S. - 5:30 p.m.

Boys Soccer @ Hinsdale Central H.S. - 7:00 p.m.

Varsity Football @ Maine South H.S. - 7:00 p.m.
September 9
Boys Golf vs. Zion-Benton @ Shepherd’s Crook Golf Course - 7:30 a.m.

Girls Tennis Invitational @ FHS - 8:30 a.m.

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

Girls/Boys Cross Country @ Detweiller Park - 10:20/11:00 a.m.

Boys Soccer @ Hinsdale Central - 7:00 p.m.
September 11
Boys Golf @ Ivanhoe Country Club - 2:00 p.m.

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

Girls Tennis @ RMHS - 4:45 p.m.

Girls Volleyball vs. Lake Zurich @ FHS - 6:00 p.m.
September 12
Girls/Boys Cross Country @ Harper College - 5:45/6:15 p.m.

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

Powder Puff Game - 7:00 p.m. Stadium

Parent Principal Network - 6:00 p.m. Principal’s Conference Room
September 13
Girls Golf vs. St. Charles North @ Palatine Hills - 4:00 p.m.
September 14
Girls Swimming & Diving vs. Conant - 4:45 p.m.

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

Boys Soccer @ Elk Grove - 6:30 p.m.

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

Staff Spotlight

Dana Musinski
Special Education Teacher, Head Cheerleading Coach
Years at Fremd:
First Year
Life Before Fremd:
I graduated from Conant High School in 2003.  I went on to Illinois State University where I majored in Special Education and was a member of the co-ed cheerleading team.  After graduating in 2007 from ISU with my Bachelor’s Degree, I went on to teach in the Special Education Department at Barrington High School and was the JV Cheerleading Coach at Conant High School.  I spent the following 9 years teaching in the Special Education Department at Conant High School with 5 of those years serving as the Head Cheerleading Coach.  During my 5 year coaching tenure at Conant, the Varsity Cheerleaders placed in the top 5 at the IHSA state finals all 5 years including a State Championship finish in 2010, a runner up finish in 2011, and a 3rd place podium finish in 2013.  I earned my first Master’s Degree in Reading from St. Xavier University in 2011 and a second Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Concordia University in 2014.
I enjoy hanging out with my husband Luke, my son Kaden (age 3), and my daughter Adalynn (age 1.5), going out to dinner, traveling, reading books, and volunteering in the kid church ministry at Holy Family Catholic Church.
Insider Tip for Parents:
The days are long, but the years are short.  Cherish every moment you have with your children, both good and bad, because life moves

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.