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East High students qualify for National History Day competition

A documentary created by three East High students was recently selected as one of two national qualifiers at the Illinois History Expo held at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield.

The students and their project will now advance to the National History Day (NHD) competition at the University of Maryland-College Park outside Washington DC (June 11-15).

History students at East High began working on their projects back in September. Students must choose a topic from local/state history that fits the national theme. This year’s theme was “Taking a Stand in History".

Students must conduct research in both primary and secondary sources, compose an original thesis, and present their findings in one of the following mediums: Exhibit, Media Documentary, Research Paper, or Live Performance.

Competition began in December, when East High's annual school History Fair was held. Social Studies teachers judged projects and selected those that advanced to the Suburban Regional competition, held in February. Projects from there were selected to advance to Chicago Metro Finals held in April at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC).

Two groups of students qualified for the Illinois History Expo (State Finals) and one of the groups was chosen as a national qualifier for the National History Day (NHD).

Illinois History Expo (State Finalists):

- Adriana Nava Villanueva (Grade 11), Abigail Ramirez (11), and Fatima Rodriguez (11) – Media Documentary – “Chicago’s Chicano Movement: Chicanos al Grito de Guerra”

- Emma Blackmon (11) and Marlena Cannon (11) – Media Documentary – “The Chicago Black Panthers: Taking a Stand for Equality”

National History Day (National Qualifiers):

- Adriana Nava Villanueva, Abigail Ramirez, Fatima Rodriguez

East High Social Studies teacher Matthew Caylor is the Social Studies Club Advisor for East Aurora High School. East High has a strong tradition of success in this competition with students qualifying for NHD in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2015 and now in 2017.

PHOTO CAPTION (attached): National History Day qualifiers from East High, from left to right: Adriana Nava-Villanueva, Fatima Rodriguez and Abigail Ramirez.

District 131 summer maintenance and improvement projects scheduled

As the school year draws to a close, East Aurora School District 131 will take the opportunity to maintain and improve many of its school buildings.

In addition to the high school construction which continues on-schedule, several school buildings have work scheduled to be completed this summer. Projects include roofing, asphalt and patching, entry improvements, window replacement, masonry tuck-pointing, as well as interior improvements.

Estimated project dates, schools, projects and notes are listed below, as supplied by contractor Cordogan Clark. Estimated start and target completion dates are subject to change, due to weather and unforeseen conditions.

Dates (approximate) School Project
June 7-30 Krug Roofing
June 7-30 Oak Park Roofing
June 7-30 Cowherd MS Roofing
June 8-30 Hermes Roofing
June 8-30 Gates Roofing
July 5-21 Allen Roofing
July 5-28 Johnson Roofing
July 5-31 Waldo MS Roofing
July 5-31 Simmons MS Roofing

Project notes: Tar used on roofing projects may produce an unpleasant but harmless odor.


Dates (approximate) School Project
June 12-16 Multi-site* Asphalt patching
July 5-28 Gates Asphalt
July 5-28 Johnson Asphalt
July 5-28 Hermes Asphalt

Project notes: Parking lot access may be altered during pavement projects.

*Patching work will be performed at Allen, Bardwell, Beaupre, Brady, Cowherd MS, Dieterich, Magnet Academy, B&G, Krug, O'Donnell, Rollins and Simmons MS.


Dates (approximate) School Project
June 7-31 Brady Entry improvements
June 7-31 Waldo MS Entry improvements
July 11-31 Dieterich Interior improvements
July 11-31 Gates Interior improvements
June 26-July 10 Dieterich/Gates Abatement

Project notes: Student entrances during these projects may be altered and have been coordinated with the schools. Interior improvements include gym ceiling and lighting renovation. Areas have been coordinated with school administration to prevent occupancy. Abatement areas will be segregated from any occupants to prevent exposure.


Dates (approximate) School Project
June 26-July 10 Oak Park/Gates Abatement
July 5-31 Oak Park Window replacement
July 5-31 Gates Window replacement

Project notes: Abatement areas will be segregated from any occupants to prevent exposure.


Dates (approximate) School Project
June 7-July 31 Waldo MS Masonry tuck-pointing
July 5-July 28 Magnet Academy Masonry tuck-pointing

Project notes: Masonry tuck-pointing will create noise and dust at times in the surrounding areas


Dates (approximate) School Project
July 7-August 18 Waldo MS Science rooms
July 7-August 18 Simmons MS Science rooms

Project notes: Interior science lab renovations; minimal impact on surrounding areas.


Dates (approximate) School Project
June 7-July 14 Allen Mechanical improvements
June 7-July 14 Bardwell Mechanical improvements
June 7-July 14 Child Service Center Mechanical improvements
June 7-July 14 Oak Park Mechanical improvements
June 12-July 28 Simmons MS Mechanical improvements

Project notes: air conditioning may be disrupted in certain areas


Free summer meals served to children 18 and under

East Aurora School District 131 will offer free summer breakfast and lunch to children 18 and under during summer school session.

Only children 18 and under eligible to receive free meals. Enrollment in summer school is not required. Small children must be accompanied by an adult or older sibling. Meals must be eaten in the school and cannot be taken home.

Meals are generally offered only during summer school session. Dates and times are as follows:

Elementary and middle schools

Monday through Thursday

June 14 -July 20th

No school or meals served on July 3rd or 4th

Breakfast served 8 - 8:30 a.m.

Lunch served 11:30 a.m. 12 noon

East Aurora High School

Monday through Friday

June 8 - July 26th

No school or meals served on July 3rd or 4th

Breakfast served 7:30 - 8:00 a.m.

Lunch served 12 noon - 1 p.m.

See the main door of each East Aurora #131 school for the exact dates and hours that meals will be served at the school.

Summer Hours for the Tomcat Garden

The Tomcat Garden will be open this summer.  Students are invited to volunteer thier time working in the garden.  Working in the Tomcat Garden is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, learn a new skill, and earn community service hours.  Volunteers are often able to take home the literal fruits of their labors, having access to fresh grown produce from the garden.  

Summer Hours

Wed June 7th – Fri Aug 25th

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

8am – 10am

Email VNA Nutritionist Sandra Meister smeister@d131.org for more details OR call the

Tomcat Health Center 630-299-8023

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @TomcatGarden

VNA FreshFirst program

 The VNA FreshFirst program offers participants weekly cooking classes, nutrition education, and $25 vouchers to spend at the Aurora Farmer's markets. Classes are taught by a Registered Nurse, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Clinical Pharmacist and are held at the VNA Highland location on Wednesdays starting June 7th.  Past FreshFirst participants have accomplished significant weight loss, improved blood pressure and improved blood sugar by participating in this program. Cooking with fresh vegetables really works!  This program is currently fully enrolled.

District 131 receives grants to develop educational native habitat gardens

 East Aurora School District 131 recently received two grants from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources through the Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Program.

Two schools each received $1,000 to develop a native habitat garden to be used for educational purposes.

One grant was awarded to East High, where science teacher Karie Nash is managing the grant project. The garden was installed by students and teachers on May 10 in a courtyard located in the northeast corner of the school.

The second grant was awarded to Cowherd Middle School, where science teacher Cathy Evans managed the project. Their planting day took place on May 31.

“The Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program provides children and educators with an opportunity to develop wildlife habitat and increase the use of native plants in Illinois landscapes,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal. “By participating in these projects, students learn that their efforts can make a difference in the world, and they gain experience in problem-based learning by planning, developing and maintaining the habitat.”

"The habitat garden really supports our curriculum in a lot of ways," said Evans. "The kids study cycles of matter and energy, interactions between organisms, there are so many things we can do."

East High graduates 667 students at Northern Illinois University

East Aurora High School celebrated the Class of 2017 on Friday, May 26, 2017 at 7 p.m., as 667 graduates walked across the stage in the Convocation Center at Northern Illinois University. Congratulations to all our graduates and their families!

The broadcast of the graduation ceremony will soon be available on tv.d131.org. Photos from the ceremony can be found on the district’s Facebook page.

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.


Marina Kosak

       East Aurora HS

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