Bardwell Elementary

School Day
(Horario escolar):
8:30 am - 3:00 pm

Office Hours
(Horario de oficina):
7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Address (Dirección):
550 S. Lincoln Avenue
Aurora IL, 60505

Phone (Teléfono central):

Attendance (Asistencia):

Bardwell high expectations assemblies on May 27

Bardwell will honor students for excellence in academics, citiezenship, and achievement in specials classes on Friday, May 27 in the Bardwell Auditorium. The schedule is as follows: 3rd grade- 8:45, 1st grade- 9:45, 2nd Grade- 10:15, 4th Grade- 10:45, 5th Grade- 1:30pm. For more information, please contact the main office at 630-299-5300. 

Bardwell Field Day on May 23

Bardwell will host its annual field day on Monday, May 23. All students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of physical activities outside. Please be advised, that students should wear comfortable and weather appropriate clothing. 

For more information please contact Bonnie Keller or Joe Hughes at or or 630-299-5300. 

Bardwell School performs Disney's 101 Dalmatians on May 20

Bardwell's drama club presents their spring musical Disney's 101 Dalmatians on Friday, May 20, 2016. Three perfomances will take place at 9:00 am, 1:30 pm. and 6:00 pm. All performances are free and open to the public and will take place in the historic Bardwell Auditorium. Please use door 1 for entrance to Bardwell Elementary School. This presentation is sponsored by the Aurora East Education Grant. Disney's 101 Dalmatians tells the tale of Cruella De Vil's plan to steal all of the dalmatians in the city of London. For more information, please contact Eliseo Martinez at or Nancy Griffin at or 630-299-5300.

Bardwell science fair on May 17

Bardwell will host its annual Science Fair on Tuesday, May 17 at 6:00 PM. All students at Bardwell have been tasked with completing an experiement and creating a visual representation of their data. Friends and families are welcome to attend this free event and get a taste Bardwell's love for science. For more information, please contact Bardwell School at 630-299-5300. 

Upcoming golf outings will support Tomcat Golf Team (June 1), Cuba trip (July 2), Aurora East Educational Foundation (July 7)

   Golfers will have three opportunities to hit the links while supporting East Aurora students this summer. On June 1, the East Aurora boys golf team will host a fundraising tournament at Phillips Park Golf Course in Aurora. On July 2, the General Mills Annual Golf Outing at Orchard Valley Golf Course will support the East Aurora High School student trip to Cuba. Finally, the Aurora East Educational Foundation will host its 15th annual golf outing on Thursday, July 7, at the Phillips Park Golf Course.

   More information about each outing is below.

June 1: Tomcat Golf Outing at Phillips Park to support boys golf

   The Tomcat golf team will host a four-person, best-ball, 9-hole tournament on Wednesday, June 1, at Phillips Park Golf Course. Tickets are $36, which includes a golf cart. The event will celebrate the end of the school year and support the East Aurora High School boys golf team.

   To sign up, contact Coach Megan Rodriguez in room 149 in East Aurora High School or at A flier for the event can be found here. Any individuals who sign up will be put into a four-person group. The deadline to register is May 27.

   Phillips Park Golf Course is located on Ray Moses Drive in Aurora, near the intersection of Hill Avenue and Montgomery Road.

July 2: General Mills Golf Outing at Orchard Valley Golf Course to support student trip to Cuba

   On Saturday, July 2, the General Mills Annual Golf Outing at Orchard Valley Golf Course in Aurora will support a 2017 East Aurora High School student trip to Cuba. The deadline to register is June 18. For registration and payment information, contact East Aurora High School teacher Simon Rodriguez at or (630) 299-4462. A flier is available here.

   The $78 entry fee includes unlimited range balls, a round of golf, lunch at the turn, two hours of open bar, and appetizers. There will be prizes for long drive, closest to the pin, and longest putt. There will also be a one-year golf membership raffled off, as well as vacation prizes for a hole in one.

   Rodriguez is leading a group that is hoping to bring a dozen students to Cuba for nine days in 2017. The tour will be paid for by students and community fundraising. While in Cuba, the students are expected to visit community organizations, meet University of Havana students, and participate in cultural experiences. The tour will be run through EF Educational Tours.

   To donate to the trip, go to:

July 7: Aurora East Educational Foundation Golf Outing at Phillips Park

   The Aurora East Educational Foundation will host its 15th annual golf outing on Thursday, July 7, at the Phillips Park Golf Course.

   The golf outing is a major fundraiser for the Educational Foundation, which supports teachers and students in East Aurora School District 131. Proceeds from the golf outing will be used to benefit literacy projects and programs in the District.

   The entry fee for a single golfer begins at $125, or $450 for a foursome. The entry fee includes: 18 holes of golf, a cart, a box lunch, refreshments, and dinner.

   Reservations are due July 1. The registration form and more information can be found here.

   There are also opportunities to be an event sponsor, or buy a place for your sign to be put near one of the golf holes, driving range, putting green or on the beverage cart.

   Check-in for the golf outing begins at 11 a.m., with lunch to follow, and a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at the conclusion of the golf rounds and prizes will follow dinner.

   Phillips Park Golf Course is located on Ray Moses Drive in Aurora, near the intersection of Hill Avenue and Montgomery Road.

   For questions about the Golf Outing, contact Rhonda Mont at (630) 896-4678 or go to .

Student performances, new theatre and art installation highlight East Aurora Fine Arts Festival on May 14

  Actors, singers, artists, and musicians from elementary through high school will showcase their talent from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14 at the East Aurora School District 131 Fine Arts Festival. The Festival will take place throughout East Aurora High School, 500 Tomcat Lane. Admission and parking are free.

  The choir performances will begin at 9 a.m. in the Hawks Auditorium, theater performances start at 11 a.m. in the Little Theatre, and the band programs begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Kivisto Gymnasium. Student paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and illustrations will be on display in the building throughout the day. Among the highlights will be the live installation of a new 3-D art piece in the cafeteria.

   Schedules and programs will be available at the event to guide visitors.

   “We hope that a lot of people visit,” said Assistant Director of Athletics and Student Activities Nestor Garcia. “It’s phenomenal to see these students sing and act, and to see their artwork.”

   The Fine Art Festival will also be the unveiling of the high school’s refurbished Little Theatre.

Cafeteria art installation

  The Fine Arts Festival has been a tradition in East Aurora School District 131 for more than 25 years. In the last decade, it has expanded to incorporate work from all grade levels.

   “You should see the entire event as an experience,” said East Aurora High School art teacher Susan McCarron. “Look at elementary, then look at middle school, then look at our high school work. See where it starts and where it ends. It’s amazing.”

   The East Aurora High School 3D Art students will be completing a permanent art installation. Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space which, in this case, is the school cafeteria.

   This high school installation was inspired by ceramic artist David Hicks who uses oversized objects hung in a cluster to give a sense of a still life. East Aurora students have fabricated oversized objects that are commonly seen in the cafeteria, and will be hanging clusters of these objects off a 6-foot copper pipe.

Performance schedules

Choir performances

  East Aurora High School choirs will start at 9 a.m. in the Hawks Auditorium. Performances include: “I Won’t Give Up”, “Shake It Out” by the Concert Choir, “Keep Your Lamps” and “Bless the Broken Road” by Soave Cantando, “Shut Up and Dance” by Honors Vocal Ensemble.

   The high school singers will be followed by the middle school choir. Performances include “Hava Nashira” by Cowherd Middle School; “Ain’t That Good News” and “Ode to Beethoven” by Simmons Middle School; and “Sing, Sing, Sing” by the Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy.

   Following the middle school performances, elementary school choirs will perform. Performances will include: “Brave” by Hermes Elementary School; “Count on Me” by Gates and Brady elementary schools; “Dynamite” by Dieterich Elementary School; “Home” and “Fireflies” by Beaupre and Oak Park elementary schools; “The Best Day of My Life” by Krug and Beaupre elementary schools.

Drama performances

   Drama performances will begin at 11 a.m. in the Little Theater.

   The drama performances will begin with the East Aurora High School honors performance of a scene from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”; followed by a “Bearly Scene”, written and performed by the Simmons Middle School Drama Club. The final performance will be “Law & Order: Fairy Tale Unit” by Cowherd Middle School students.

Band concert program

   The band concert programs will start at 12:30 p.m. in the Ernie Kivisto Gymnasium, also known as the main gym.

   All fifth-grade elementary school bansds will perform together. The performances will start with “Sousa’s Cadets”, followed by: “Alpha Squadron”, “The Tempest”, and “Rock Your Bones”.

   The middle school performances will start with “Battlestar!” by Simmons Middle School, followed by “Harbinger” by Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy.

   The East Aurora High School Wind Ensemble will then perform “Pas Redouble”, “Loco Motion”, and “Of Sailors and Whales”.

   Finally, all band members will play the Star Wars main theme in a unified concert for all students.


Preschool teacher Vivi Luna, Principal Dr. Twila Garza earn Educator of the Year honors

Two veteran East Aurora educators earned recognition as the county’s best at the recent Kane County Educator of the Year Banquet held in St. Charles. Bardwell Elementary School Principal Dr. Twila Garza was named Administrator of the Year, and Oak Park Elementary School teacher Argelia “Vivi” Luna was named preschool teacher of the year.

   Additional East Aurora nominees include: Krug Elementary teacher Jaime Calvo, Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy teacher Mary Rebecca Carver, Waldo Middle School social worker Sherrill Dodson-Lewis, Cowherd Middle School band director Tony Garcia, and Hermes Elementary parent liaison Rocio Ibarra.

Dr. Twila Garza, principal, Bardwell Elementary, Administrator of the Year

  From an early age, Twila Garza knew the difference a teacher can make. As a fourth grade student, she couldn’t read. She was terrified to be called on in class. That’s when Mrs. Contance decided young Twila needed reading lessons more than recess, and kept her inside. For four months.

“I hated her. Really hated her,” Garza said. “But I came out of fourth grade and I could read. I got to seventh grade, and they put me in gifted. After that, I realized a teacher can make a difference in a child’s life.”

   As a principal, Garza has changed the lives of thousands of students (without banning them from recess). She has been a part of East Aurora School District 131 for eight years, as principal of Krug and Bardwell elementary schools.

   Her staff praises her incredible work ethic. She is often spotted at school early in the morning, late at night, and on weekends. Staff said she shares her knowledge and high expectations with others, and always finds a positive and optimistic solution.

   “We have developed a vision of where we’re trying to get our kids to and we need to have a constant focus,” Garza said. “With that focus, the changes we can make academically with our kids will be outstanding. Change is good. But change without focus is not good.”

   The halls of Bardwell are filled with student artwork, accomplishments, and inspirational messages. Garza hopes the parents feel the school is a hub for their family.

   “I’m so honored to work with our parents, our kids, our community,” she said. “Our students might live in an underserved community, but they are not under-loved. Every one of my kids have parents at home who love them immensely.”

   Garza was shocked to find out that she had been nominated as Administrator of the Year, and stunned to be selected as the county’s winner. She heaped praise on the teachers in her building, who inspire her to continue developing as a leader, as well as the District’s educational leaders.

   “It’s really an award that’s for all the administrators in East Aurora,” Garza said. “We have a very dedicated group of administrators here. It’s not everywhere you get people to collaborate and text each other with ideas at 6:30 at night. It was very awe inspiring to think that my colleagues looked at me and saw one of them.”

Argelia “Vivi” Luna, Oak Park Elementary, Pre-school Teacher of the Year

  Like many teachers, Argelia “Vivi” Luna has pictures of her students displayed prominently in her classroom. Her “Tiny Tomcats” bulletin board is filled with the cheerful, silly smiles of East Aurora’s youngest learners. But Luna has recently added a new wrinkle to the display: alongside the preschool photo, she added pictures of those same students 12 years later, wearing graduation gowns or college gear.

   It’s a message meant to inspire her students to set their sights on these big goals. But if they miss the bulletin board message, they can look to the role model standing right in front of them.

Luna grew up on the East Side of Aurora, attending Bardwell, Brady, and Beaupre elementary schools; Waldo Middle School; and graduating from East Aurora High School in 1994.

   On the day she walked across the stage at Roy E. Davis Field, she already knew she wanted to work as an early childhood education teacher. She was inspired by working in the daycare at the high school.

   “When I found out that was an actual career, I said: this is what I’m doing,” she said.

Colleagues say Luna, who has two daughters in East Aurora schools, serves as a mentor to new teachers is always happy to share and collaborate. She works tirelessly to involve her students’ families in their education.

   “I believe that teaching is best when done in collaboration with the students, parents, school and community. Mutual respect, open communication, interdependence, and transparency will help a child reach their full potential,” Luna said. “I attempt to create an atmosphere of excitement about what we are learning and I find joy in discovering and learning alongside my students.”

   Luna said she works with so many great teachers and it was incredible to think they felt she was outstanding.

   “I feel like I’m walking on a cloud,” Luna said this week from her lively classroom. “I work with awesome people. Just that that they would even think to nominate me, that’s a huge honor.”

   Luna said her biggest reward is being in her community and having parents or previous students walk up to hug and greet her.

   “The fact that they would even know who I am so many years later lets me know that I was able to leave an imprint on their life,” Luna said.

   Luna is still collecting photos of her former preschool students who have graduated. Any alumni who want to send one for the bulletin board can reach her at

Other Kane County Educator of the Year nominees from East Aurora School District 131 included:

Krug Elementary teacher Jaime Calvo, nominated as elementary school teacher

  Jaime Calvo, who has been teaching for 17 years, is a dedicated kindergarten teacher who is often seen working from dawn to dusk and on weekends. Colleagues says Calvo cares deeply about each child, and has high expectations for all students. She is a member of several school leadership teams. Last year, her student’s growth was among the highest in the District.

Cowherd Middle School band director Tony Garcia, nominated as Middle School Teacher

  Tony Garcia draws on many resources to ensure that all students, regardless of their financial situation, can participate in band with a quality instrument. His program has grown to 180 students and performs regularly throughout the community. He has also been a successful coach and athletic director. Garcia has raised funds to improve and beautify the school.

Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy sixth grade math and science teacher Mary Rebecca Carver, nominated as Early Career Educator

  Rebecca Carver’s room is regularly filled with swamp water, meal worms, and other slimy tools that help students see science in action. She has become a certified Fermilab instructor and arranged field trips to the science lab. Staff says her students have shown significant academic growth. Carver sponsors several clubs with a global outlook. One colleague said her compassion for students and people throughout the world is contagious.

Waldo Middle School social worker Sherrill Dodson-Lewis, nominated at Student Support Personnel

  Sherrill Dodson-Lewis embodies the qualities of a social worker who goes above and beyond. She has been teaching in the District for 13 years, and currently teaches students self-management in the DREAMMS program. She has been extremely involved in her community: collecting donations, supporting students in need, and organizing community projects. She mentors African-American students and works as a team leader in her school.

Hermes Elementary parent liaison Rocio Ibarra, nominated as Educational Service Personnel

  Rocio Ibarra is a tireless advocate for families in her school. From Zumba classes to English lessons, she plans regular activities to engage families. Co-workers say she has played a huge role in making Hermes feel like a welcoming, neighborhood school. She has helped grow the PTA and started new school traditions. A colleague called Ibarra the heart of Hermes - a person who helps make the school special.

Fifth-grade intramural softball tournament will be played May 6-7 at Krug Elementary

  The public is invited to see fifth-grade softball teams compete on Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7, at Lebanon Park and Krug Park. Lebanon Park is near the corner of Douglas and Ashland avenues. Krug Park is at Krug Elementary School, 240 Melrose Avenue. The full bracket can be found here.

  The elementary school teams will begin their tournament as follows:

   - Bardwell vs. Beaupre, 5 p.m. Friday, at Lebanon Park Field 1

   - Allen vs. Rollins, 5 p.m. Friday, at Lebanon Park Field 2

   - Bardwell/Beaupre winner vs. Johnson, 6 p.m. Friday, at Lebanon Park Field 1

   - Allen/Rollins winner vs. Brady, 6 p.m. Friday, at Lebanon Park Field 2

   - Dieterich vs. O’Donnell, 5 p.m. Friday, at Krug Field 1

   - Gates vs. Magnet, 5 p.m. Friday, at Krug Field 2

   - Dieterich/O’Donnell winner vs. Hermes, 6 p.m. Friday, at Krug Field 1

   - Gates/Magnet winner vs. Krug, 6 p.m. Friday, at Krug Field 2

   - Dieterich/O’Donnell loser vs. Gates/Magnet loser, 6 p.m. Friday, Krug Field 3

   Teams will then advance to Saturday games that start at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7.

   The All-Star game will start at 8 a.m. on Saturday, followed by the home run derby starting at approximately 8:30 a.m.

   The championship, third-place, and fifth-place games will all be played at 1 p.m., in the fields near Krug Elementary School. Awards will be handed out at Krug School at the conclusion of those games.

   If it rains on Friday, there will be a single-elimination tournament on Saturday, May 7.

Twila Garza

Paula Ek

Assistant Principal

Jill Zapata

Assistant Principal

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