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East High students win awards, scholarships at FCCLA competition

Twenty-four East Aurora High School students who are members of the after school club FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) recently participated in the regional competition at College of DuPage.

Qualifiers from the regional competition traveled to Springfield, IL to compete in the state level of competition for FCCLA. Students competed in fashion construction, cake decorating, both with frosting and fondant, salad and menu production, relish tray production, cookie decorating and food innovation.

In the Culinary division, five students competed at the regional level, and all five advanced to the state competition held at Kendall College at the end of March. In all, Tomcats earned $25,000 in scholarships for Kendall College.

State Results

• Natasha Rossi – Gold, Decorating Cookie

• Barakat Adekola – Gold, Decorating Cookie

• Natasha Rossi- web design - qualified for nationals

• Barakat Adekola - web design - qualified for nationals

• Jasmine Garcia – Silver, relish trays

• Anthony Martinez – Silver, salads

• Michael Rojas – Silver, salads

• Andrea Castillo – Silver, relish - $1,000 scholarship to Kendall College

• Christopher Cuahuizo - Silver in relish - $1,000 scholarship to Kendall College

• James Armstrong – Silver, frosted cake

• Alexis Marrufo – Silver, relish trays

• Joseline Carbajals – Silver, salads

• Galilea Huerta – Gold, frosted cookies

• Sandy Orozco – Bronze, fondant cakes

• Diana Arciga – Gold, fondant cake

• Angel Alegria – Silver, salads

• Enrique Aguirre – Silver, food innovations, “Most Outstanding in State of Illinois” - $12,000 Kendall College scholarship

• Elisa Gonzalez - Gold decorating cookie, “Most Outstanding in State of Illinois” for decorated cookie, Junior level - $6,000 Kendall College Scholarship

• Josue Delgado - Fashion Construction Formal "Gold"

• Makayla Henry Fashion Construction Formal "Gold"

• Pahola Soriano Fashion construction Formal "Gold"

• Tashiria Littleton Fondant Cake Decorating "Silver"

State Culinary Competition –

East Aurora students made it in the regionals round and did very good at the state level, but didn't qualify to go on. (There are four levels for this competition)

• Alexis Marrufo - $1,000 scholarship to Kendall College

• Anissa Ramos - $1,000 scholarship to Kendall College

• Christopher Cuahuizo - $1,000 scholarship to Kendall College

• Andrea Castillo- $1,000 scholarship to Kendall College

• Anthony Martinez- $1,000 scholarship to Kendall College

Regional Competition Most Outstanding Results

• Christopher Cuahuizo, Most outstanding in region for salads

• Enrique Aguirre, Most outstanding in region for food innovation

• Galilea Huerta, Most outstanding in region for decorating cookies

Two students proudly competed at regionals but did not qualify for state:

• Zemirah Mack, Fashion clothing construction Formal, Bronze

• Glen Fowler, Culinary cookie decorating, Bronze

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America is the Career and Technical Student Organization for Family and Consumer Science students. FCCLA is a national student organization that helps young men and women become better leaders in their families, careers and communities. Students learn skills for life: planning, goal setting, problem solving, decision making and interpersonal communication.

Students were led by Ms. Peggy Thayer, East Aurora High School FCCLA Advisor, and Ms. Kristin Doucette, East Aurora High School HERO Adviser and Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management Instructor.

Summer enrichment camp available to students entering grades 1 through 5

 In partnership with the City of Aurora and Community In Schools, East Aurora School District 131 will offer a Summer Enrichment Camp for students entering grades 1 through 5.

The Summer Enrichment Camp will take place from June 19 through July 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy. Camp will meet each Monday through Thursday, with no camp held on Fridays. Camp will not be held the week of July 3.

The camp is designed for students not attending academic summer school but who are still looking for enrichment this summer. Students must be entering grades 1 through 5.

The fun-filled enrichment camp is open to any District 131 student, and will include educational enrichment activities related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); sports activities and field trips; fun hands-on science activities, and more. Breakfast and lunch is included.

Enrollment is free and open to a maximum of 100 students. Students can register by using the enrollment form in English and Spanish, found on the district website.

For more information contact Mr. Alfred Morales at (630) 299-7266 or (630) 345-2027.

East Aurora High School 2017 graduation to be broadcast live on District website

Family and friends of the East Aurora High School class of 2017 will be able to watch the ceremony live if they are unable to attend the ceremony in person. The live stream broadcast of the graduation ceremony will be found at tv.d131.org.

The high school’s graduation ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Friday, May 26, in the Northern Illinois University Convocation Center, 1525 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb.

Only visitors with graduation tickets will be allowed into the Convocation Center. Students will receive tickets at Thursday’s mandatory graduation rehearsal.

Graduate transportation to ceremony

It is mandatory that all East Aurora High School graduates ride buses to Northern Illinois University together. Graduates must report to Door #1 of East Aurora High School for the bus. The bus will depart at exactly 5 p.m.

Students will have the option of riding back to the high school on buses or with their families. Any students who want to return on the bus needed to pre-register for the return trip.

There are no more friends and family bus tickets available. Every person who is going to ride the family bus needed to purchase a ticket. Those tickets are good for a round trip to and from the Convocation Center. The friends and family buses will pull away from Door #15 at 5:30 p.m. sharp on Friday, May 26.

Free busing will be provided for all band, chorus, and NJROTC cadets who are part of the graduation ceremony.

Graduates must attend a graduation rehearsal on Thursday, May 25 at 4 p.m. Graduates are asked to arrive for rehearsal on Thursday by 3:45 p.m.


Dunham Fund Grant Puts S.T.E.A.M. into East Aurora Educational Curriculum

Educational efforts in East Aurora School District 131 are picking up momentum — or, more accurately, gaining S.T.E.A.M.

EASD 131 is in the process of realigning its curriculum and programs to be more focused on science, technology, engineering, art and math. With a $550,000 grant award from the Dunham Fund, the vision will become a reality beginning with the 2017-18 school year.

The "Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow" initiative will focus on kindergarten and first-grade students and be headquartered at the Benavides Kindergarten Center at 250 E. Indian Trail in Aurora. Two adjoining buildings will be utilized as well for creation of the Benavides S.T.E.A.M. Academy.

"We are delighted to learn about this important grant from Dunham Fund," said Dr. Mark McDonald, interim superintendent for District 131. "Mr. Dunham's generosity will once again greatly benefit young people who will become tomorrow's leaders."

The Academy anticipates it will educate 475 students in 2017-18 with the potential of adding 800 preschool students in 2018 that would result in over 1,200 students enrolled in a S.T.E.A.M.-based curriculum.

"Our vision is to provide passionate and collaborative educators, strong partnerships, and relevant curricula so that our young learners will build a strong foundation to a successful future," said Beatrice Reyes-Childress, assistant superintendent for educational services.

Experts agree that increasing students' knowledge and understanding in S.T.E.A.M. curriculum is a national imperative. A Carnegie Foundation commission of leaders concluded the nation's capacity to innovate and thrive in in the modern workplace depends on a foundation of math and science learning.

Nationwide, S.T.E.A.M. jobs are projected to grow 13 percent in the next five years, with the anticipated increase slightly higher (16%) in Illinois. However, data also indicates the East Aurora community does not have the skilled workforce necessary to meet the increasing demand—a shortcoming that much of the country is experiencing and beginning to address.

"By encouraging scientific innovation and collaboration in the educational and community development programs, we help effect positive change," said Dunham Fund board member Mark Truemper. "The research is clear that this kind of learning builds skills and interests that serve children throughout their school years and beyond the classroom to a brighter future."

Students can view course requests on May 25 & 26

Attention all Tomcats: The Infinite Campus portal will be open for you to view your course requests for next year on Thursday and Friday, May 25 & 26.

You need to login and view your requests. If you would like to make any changes, you have until 3:15 on June 1st to discuss this with your counselor.

East High biology students attend field study as part of a $1,000 biodiversity grant from department of natural resources

 Two East Aurora High School educators recently accompanied 100 freshman students to the Le Roy Forest Preserve in St. Charles for a Biology Biodiversity field study. East High collaborated with the staff from the Kane County Forest Preserve.

Biology teachers Karie Nash and Stephanie Malon arranged for the field study, which was funded in part through a $1,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“In freshman biology, we teach an ecology unit in which students study various ecosystems,” said Nash. “The field study gave our students the opportunity to observe natural, local ecosystems. It really helps shift their understanding of ecology topics from conceptual to real.”

Groups of students rotated through four stations. The students participated in a brush clean up to help the forest preserve maintain its natural ecosystem. They also participated in a guided hike led by a forest ranger, while they observed different environments at the park.

Students were able to see how each environment has different biodiversity levels and were able to identify invasive species.

“We are grateful for our students to have this unique opportunity,” said Nash. “Generous grants like the one provided by the INDR provide our students with meaningful experiences.”

Dual language student identification lottery to be held May 18

 East Aurora School District 131 will hold a student identification lottery for admission to its dual language program.

The lottery will take place on Thursday, May 18 at the Benavides Kindergarten Center at 4 p.m. The lottery allows for a random placement of students entry to the program for the 2017-18 school year.

For questions or more information, please contact Diane Argueta, Director for Bilingual Services at (630) 299-7281.

East Aurora District 131 newsletter moves to online publication

 With its current edition, the District 131 newsletter Enlightener moves to an online publication.

In doing so, the district saves tens of thousands of dollars each year in printing and postage costs while continuing to provide information about the district to the community.

The district will continue to print a small number of copies and make them available in district buildings and in the community.

Readers can now view the publication online at the district website, and community members can sign up to receive an email each time Enlightener is published.

Parents and guardians of District 131 students will automatically receive an email link to the newsletter if they provided an email address to their school. Parents and guardians who have not provided an email address can do so through the Infinite Campus portal, or by calling their school directly for assistance.

Staff members with District 131 email will also receive a link with each new edition.

Community members and alumni who do not have children enrolled District 131 can receive Enlightener by signing up on the district website at www.d131.org/email. Community members will receive email each time Enlightener is published.


Marina Kosak

       East Aurora HS

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