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Around and About in West Chicago - 11 Jan 2012

Around and About

  • Negotiating at West Chicago Elementary School District 33

  • Thorium Action Group/Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation Scholarship

  • College of DuPage Free Citizenship and English Classes

  • Kwasman Classic

              The negotiating teams of West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Board of Education and Elementary Teachers Association of West Chicago met Thursday and Friday, January 3 and 4, 2013 and have scheduled another meeting at 5:00p.m. Wednesday, January 9. According to the District press release the major focus of the meetings was healthcare. “There remain substantial unresolved issues related to attaining agreement on healthcare.”

              “Based on assurances from the teacher’s union, the District expects there will be the normal schedule….without disruption at least through January 10.” Detailed guidelines and procedures will be provided to parents via the district’s emergency notification system, email, regular mail, and posted on the district’s website

              In the event of a strike, the West Chicago Park District offers childcare for District 33 students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade at Wegner School. For information on the sessions, call the Park District office at (630) 231-9474. Also in addition to its regularly scheduled children’s programs and activities, West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street, is offering a special “Kid Zone” from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. An adult must accompany children age nine and under. For further information, call the Youth Services Department at (630) 231-1552, extension 3.

              At the Monday, January 8, 2013 City Council meeting, Dr. Chris Scheck, district board president, said Dr. Ed Leman is now home, but has a long road to recovery. The district superintendent suffered a massive stroke October 10, 2012. Scheck also reported the interim superintendent Dr. Kathy Wolfe is doing a wonderful job.


              The first in the West Chicago Public Library District series “Great Movies Made from Amazing Books” is at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, January 10, 2013 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. The featured film, rated PG13, is “The Help,” based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett. It is based on the stories of three African American women working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s. The book was published in 2009 and the movie came out in 2011. Registration is not required. For further information, call the Library adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.

              “South Elgin Advanced Photography Exhibit” is the display during the month of January at Gallery 200, 200 Main Street. Students in the high school advanced photography class present works that represent them both technically and conceptually as artists. This is highlighted through their mastery of both traditional darkroom techniques and contemporary digital processes. Alyse Tesche, a new member of Gallery 200 and South Elgin High School student, coordinated the display with her teacher Barbara Bernard. The artists’ reception is from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, January 10, 2013. Light refreshments are served.

              In conjunction with the artists’ reception, Late Night at the Museum takes place during the same hours at West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street. The current exhibit is “Rites of Passage,” which looks at pivotal events that are milestones in life’s journey, such as birth, graduation and retirement. There are hands-on activities for children.

              College of DuPage offers free citizenship and English classes for Spring 2013 at St. Mary’s Parish, 140 North Oakwood Avenue. It takes approximately three hours for registration and placement testing.

  • Registration for citizenship classes is at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, January 12. Classes are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Saturdays with the first class starting January 19.

  • Registration/testing for morning English lessons is at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, January 10, and Monday January 14. Classes are from 8:30 to 11:20 a.m. Monday through Thursday. The first class meets Tuesday, January 15.

  • Registration/testing for afternoon English lessons is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, January 10, and Tuesday, January 15.  Classes are from 5:30 to 9:20 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. The first class meets Wednesday, January 16.

              For further information, call (630) 942-3697.

              WeGo Wildcat Special Olympics Club holds the Kwasman Classic at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, January 12, 2013 in Bishop Gym at Community High School District 94, 326 Joliet Street. Teams are members of West Chicago Police Department and West Chicago Fire Protection District. Members of the Special Olympics team play with the firefighters and policemen for the first three quarters.  Acting Mayor Ruben Pineda is the honorary coach.

              The crowd favorite, WeGo Steppers, perform at half time again this year. Last year they won first place in the DuPage Valley Conference Spirit Spectacular Competition last year. This is a competition for cheer, dance and step teams.  Dance Club coaches are Emma Garcia and Melissa Gonzales.

              The event was held for the first time last year featuring the West Chicago Police Department and a small contingent from the Winfield Police Department, explained club president Dave Hempe. It is named after Mayor Mike Kwasman, who passed away April 17, 2012. “He was the driving force and expressed the spirit to get our fledgling club restarted.”

              As the game is the main fundraiser for the club, the charge is one dollar or more as a donation.  “The club is supported by the high school, but not in a financial way. We strive to keep the club affordable to students with Special Needs.” Hempe added, “There are many benefits, seen and unseen, from the events. Our athletes gain self-esteem and a feeling of belonging. The general education population learns to interact and become friends with those that have different abilities.” In addition to Hempe, other coaches are Dirk Gunderson, Dick Doremus, Katie McCall, Diana Gunderson and Kylie Gunderson.

              Persons wanting to donate, but unable to attend may contribute by writing a check payable to WeGo Wildcats Special Olympics Club and mail to the attention of Kathe Doremus at State Bank of Illinois, 600 E. Washington St., West Chicago, IL 60185.

              West Chicago Park District Softball Winter Training clinics for boys and girls ages 7 to 14 take place during nine sessions January through March in the Field House at Community High School District 94, 326 Joliet Street, Entrance C.  Hours and dates are from 11:00 1:00 p.m. Sundays, January 13 and 20, February 3, 17 and 24, and March 3, 10, 17 and 24. No-preregistration or attendance at each session is required. The purpose is to add further development to the fundamentals of pitching, fielding and hitting. For further information email Phil Graf, one of the coaches, at or call athletic supervisor Joe Urban at (630) 231-9474 or email at

              Local Music night is at 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 18, 2013 in Gallery 200/STUDIOO, 203 Turner Court. Performers are Keith Peters, Crystal Michaels and Christian Bradley.

              Open mic is at 8:30 p.m. Light refreshments are served. There is no charge, but donations are welcome.

              West Chicago Elementary School District 33 once again participates in the Scripps Spelling Bees, which take place at the end of January 2013.  Maureen Navadomskis, who organizes the bees, needs one pronouncer and two judges for each of the five spelling bees held at 6:00 p.m. in the cafeteria at West Chicago Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street. The third grade semi-final is Tuesday, January 22; fourth grade semi-final is Thursday, January 24; the fifth grade semi-final is Tuesday, January 29; and the sixth, seventh and eighth grade semi-final is Thursday, January 31. The final bee is Thursday, February 7.

              Pronouncers receive the official word lists in advance in order to practice reading each word and each alternate pronunciation. They keep the bee moving along and have the responsibility of making certain each student receives a fair chance to hear the words pronounced properly in order to do the best in spelling the word.

              Judges make certain the students are pronouncing the word correctly and listen to the students spell the word, writing down each letter the students say. Then the two judgers confer with each other to determine whether the student spelled the word correctly. It is necessary for judges to read the rules in advance to make certain that they are being followed as closely and fairly as possible. “West Chicago business owners, community members, library, police & fire department staff, we would love to have you come help out and support our kids! ”

              For further information or to volunteer, email Navadomskis at or call (630) 596-3729.

              The Thorium Action Group/Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation Scholarships, administered by the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, are available to graduating high school seniors who reside within Community High School District 94. Students planning to further education on a full-time basis at an accredited college, university, vocational or trade school during the 2013-2014 academic year are eligible.

              Students with a grade point average of “C” or better are encouraged to apply. The awarding of the scholarships is not solely contingent upon grades and grade point averages, nor is financial need a requirement.
Application forms are available online at The deadline date for applying is Monday, February 4. For more information email the Community Foundation Scholarship coordinator at or call (630) 896-7800.

              Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Gallery Theater production of “Barefoot in the Park,” scheduled for the second weekend in February, is cancelled.

              Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Henry Frederick “Hank” Schlaeger, Jr., who passed away at the age of 59 Tuesday, December 25, 2012.

              Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services offers ten Managing Anger Productively classes on a rotating basis from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Wednesdays at Wayne Township, 27W031 North Avenue. Topics in the MAP program include defining and understanding anger, identifying anger triggers, relaxation skills and behavioral and thought provoking skills. For more information or to schedule a required pre-group consultation, call WAYS at (630) 231-7166.

              In the filing for candidacy for the Consolidated Election, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, there are updates for the City of West Chicago and Benjamin School District 25. Robert Wegner withdrew his name as a candidate for mayor. In the lottery held Thursday, January 3, Melissa West is first on the ballot and Jack Buscemi is second on the ballot for the School District 25 Board of Education.  Conducting the drawing was District Local Official Officer Karen Olson. Drawing the name was District Office Secretary Cheryl Laabs.  Signing as witnesses were Business Manager Dr. Shelley Clark and Accounting/Payroll Specialist Lora Abruscato.  Also witnessing were Superintendent Dr. Philip Ehrhardt, and Building and Grounds Manager Gus Gonzalez.

              The newly elected officers of West Chicago Garden Club are Keith Letsche, president; Dick Darrah, vice president; Barb Darrah, treasurer; Pauline Briggs and June Luther, program co-chairs: Melissa Birch, information director/publicity.

              More than $400 was raised for Neighborhood Food Pantries and Wayne Township Food Pantry at the Wayne and Winfield Township Republican Committee Christmas Party.

              At the Monday, January 7, 2012 meeting, City Council approved the appointment of Lewis Achenbach to the Cultural Arts Commission for a term ending April 30, 2016.

              Also City Council approved the second extension to the temporary occupancy of 139 West Washington Street. This is the location of the Marathon Gas Station.

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