School News

Four D155 Students Named National Merit Semifinalists
Rochelle LeBreck

The National Merit® Scholarship Program named four District 155 seniors as 2019 National Merit® Semifinalists. The semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and are the highest-scoring students in each state.

Carissa Hufford- Crystal Lake South
Daisy Kucharski- Prairie Ridge
Robbie Nollett- Cary-Grove
Vad Patel- Cary-Grove

Carissa Hufford is a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. She is involved in choir and theatre and volunteers at BraveHearts, a therapeutic horse barn. Carissa plans to study animal science with a concentration in equine therapy and production. She credits her parents for the National Merit® Semifinalist recognition.

 “I wouldn’t anywhere near where I am right now without their constant love and support and how much they were willing to sacrifice to show that dreams really can come true,” said Carissa Hufford, a Crystal Lake South senior. 

 Daisy Kucharski is a senior at Prairie Ridge High School. She is involved in madrigals, math team, science olympiad, scholastic bowl, and set-crew. During her junior year, she earned a perfect score on the ACT. After graduation, Daisy plans to study finance.

Robbie Nollett is a senior at Cary-Grove High School. He plays the trumpet and sits first chair in the wind symphony, conducts the marching band as a drum major, and is a member of the Cary-Grove swing choir. He also participated in WYSE and is an active member of the National Honor Society. Robbie earned a perfect score on the ACT in February 2019. Robbie plans to attend a four-year university and study materials, chemical, or biomedical engineering. 

Ved Patel is a senior at Cary-Grove High School. He participates in the marching band, math team, WYSE, National Honor Society, and is the captain of scholastic bowl. The senior received a perfect 1600 on the SAT in April and also earned a perfect score on the ACT his sophomore year. Ved plans to study biology or biomedical engineering and wants to eventually go to medical school. For the past year, Ved has volunteered at the Good Shepherd Infusion Center. 

High school students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). The exam serves as an initial screening of about 1.5 million students each year. 

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2020 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.

Crystal Lake South Theatre Presents: Leaving Iowa
Rochelle LeBreck

Crystal Lake South Theatre presents: Leaving Iowa. The fall play is October 10, 11, 12 at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. The Crystal Lake South activity pass will be accepted at the door. Tickets are now available to purchase. You can buy them by clicking HERE.

D155 High Schools Rank in Top 4 in McHenry County
Shannon Podzimek

Chicago magazine recently named the best public schools in the suburbs and all four District 155 schools earned the top four spots in McHenry County. Crystal Lake South High School ranked first, followed by Crystal Lake Central, Prairie Ridge, and Cary-Grove. The top 200 best public schools is featured in Chicago magazine’s September issue.

The methodology used included spending per pupil, SAT scores, 5Essentials, attendance, and graduation rate. Data from the Illinois State Board of Education’s 2017-18 school year was used to determine performance measures.

All four District 155 high schools also have been ranked in the top 10 percent nationally by U.S. News & World report and

Class of 2019 Pursues Education in 28 States
Melina Weil

Eighty-nine percent of graduates will continue their studies at four-year colleges, two-year community colleges, and vocational and technical schools. More than 57 percent of students are pursuing degrees at four-year colleges and universities. The class of 2019 will continue its studies at post-secondary institutions in 28 states.

McHenry County Community College, Illinois State University, and William Rainey Harper College are the top three schools the class of 2019 will attend this fall. Students are most interested in studying health/non-medical science, business, and engineering. Seventeen students plan to serve in the armed forces. 

Ninety-three percent of students say their experiences in school allowed them to learn more about themselves and their personal aspirations. 

Ninety percent of the class of 2019 participated in at least one extracurricular activity. 

  • 22% - Arts

  • 45% - Academic 

  • 64% - Athletics 

Fifty-nine percent participated in volunteer/community service project not sponsored at Crystal Lake South. There were 372 graduates in the class of 2019. 

Community High School District 155 has conducted a uniform, district-wide senior survey for the last 12 years.


District 155 Summer Construction Wraps Up
Melina Weil

All District 155 schools opened successfully on August 14 after substantially completing 22 construction projects this summer. The Board of Education approved $14,552,000 in capital projects for the summer of 2019, including kitchen classroom remodels, tennis courts replacement, air conditioning, and parking lot replacements. 

"We want to thank the community and taxpayers for their support as we continue to enhance our learning spaces to give our students and staff the opportunity to be successful in their future endeavors,” said Steve Olson, D155 superintendent. “We understand the importance of showcasing these projects with our community so they can see how their tax dollars are being spent.”

The district communications office in collaboration with the operations department produced 10 videos to highlight construction updates which were viewed more than 24,000 times and totaled more than 79 hours. Videos are available to view on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @CHSD155 or visit the website to view the projects that were completed.

District 155 Ranks First in McHenry County for Best School District
Melina Weil

Community High School District 155 was named best school district in McHenry County by Niche. Rankings are based on data from the Department of Education, the US Census, and multiple reviews from parents and students. D155 earned the top spot out of 15. 

A senior who wrote a review said, “District 155 cultivates students to be great, and consistently demonstrates excellence. All of the staff are amazing, they always encourage students to do our best.”

Nationally, the district ranked in the top nine percent for best school districts, and placed in the top four percent for the best teachers. In the state of Illinois, D155 ranked eighth out of 638 schools for having the best teachers and placed in the top three percent for the best district. 

One parent review said, “The districts fundamental approach to the student’s education is constantly challenging the teachers and staff to put forth our ideas and experiences to better the way education is presented.” 

Every month, millions of people use Niche to choose the right schools or neighborhoods. Niche has report cards, rankings and reviews that are calculated from public sources along with reviews from parents, students, and residents.  

D155 Board Approves Balanced Budget
Shannon Podzimek

Community High School District 155 held a public hearing and approved a balanced budget at its regularly scheduled August 20 board meeting.  

"We've managed to produce balanced budgets now for five consecutive years," said Jeremy Davis, assistant superintendent of finance & operations. "We've been able to do that while holding our operating tax levy flat multiple times. We're proud of our record with regard to responsible taxation and money management."

District 155, like most Illinois school districts, receives the bulk of its revenue from property taxes. District 155's 2019-2020 budget forecasts $101,163,396 in operating fund revenue. Property taxes make up about 72.7 percent of that revenue. State and federal revenue comprise approximately 15 percent of district operating revenue. District 155's budget also forecasts $100,073,742 of operating expenditures. Salary and benefits make up 77 percent of those expenses.

The full budget and budget presentation can be viewed on the district website at in the finance section.  District 155 first discussed and tentatively approved its 2019-2020 budget in June 2019, prior to the beginning of the district's fiscal year on July 1.

New Award Presented at Honors Night
Rochelle LeBreck

A new award has been added to Crystal Lake South High School’s Honors Night list, the Christopher Keyes Band Award. It was created to honor the legacy of long-time band director Chris Keyes, who impacted generations of music students at Crystal Lake South. Keyes passed away in September.

The first two recipients of the Keyes award are both students who display the love of music Mr. Keyes taught to generations of band students. Jared Reiling and Tyler Stumo were chosen to be the first recipients of the award based on the enthusiasm and passion they have displayed during their high school career.

“It was truly amazing and humbling to be a recipient of an award named after someone whose love for music was unparalleled,” said Tyler Stumo.

Stumo plans to attend McHenry County College and then transfer to Eastern Illinois University on the Louise Lundemo Memorial Music Scholarship. He wants to play trumpet professionally and perform as part of a “big band” ensemble. He is currently playing with the MCC Concert Band, and he plans to play with the Dixieland Jazz Band after graduation.

“It’s a true honor to be recognized. I have always looked forward to attending band each day, and I have so many great memories that I have built being a member of the CLS band,” said Jared Reiling.

Jared Reiling plans to attend Augustana College and double major in music and physics.

CLS Earns Spot on List of Illinois' Best Public High Schools
Rochelle LeBreck

All District 155 high schools earned a spot in the top 100 of Illinois’s Best Public High Schools for 2019. The annual list conducted by U.S. News and World Report is determined based on six factors, including how well students performed on state exams and college preparedness.

Cary-Grove earned the no. 41 spot, Prairie Ridge landed at no. 59 in the state, Crystal Lake South sits at no. 62, and Crystal Lake Central is at no. 70 in Illinois rankings. More than six-hundred schools in Illinois were evaluated for the 2019 list.

“We are proud to have all schools represented on this list,” said Steve Olson, D155 Superintendent, “The results reflect the passion of our teachers and staff as well as the dedication of our students. We hope to continue to instill valuable skills into our students so they can enter our schools with promise and leave with purpose.”

To view the Illinois’ Best Public High Schools list, and further detailed results of D155 high schools, please click here.

Crystal Lake South’s Production of Newsies Nominated for Best Choreography
Rochelle LeBreck

Crystal Lake South High School’s production of Newsies earned a nomination for Best Choreography from Broadway in Chicago’s Illinois High School Music Theater Awards.

“This particular award, Best Choreography, represents the collective, dedicated effort taken by our choreographer, Colleen Cameron, her three dance captains, Grace Adcock, Elizabeth Johnson, and Emily Young, and every member of the ensemble who worked tirelessly to learn, practice, and polish these challenging routines,” said Ben Stoner, Crystal Lake South theatre director.

The choreographer and dance captains started leading workshops last summer that continued into the fall, long before auditions were held.

“I wanted to be a dance captain for this musical because I have wanted to do Newsies since I saw it in Chicago when I was in 6th grade,” said Grace Adcock, Crystal Lake South junior, “I have always had a passion for dance, and I wanted to be able to share my passion with the cast as we continued our production.”

Crystal Lake South High School’s musical department has been recognized by the Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards before. In 2018, their production of Peter Pan won the award for Best Scenic Design.

The IHSMTA awards are on Monday, May 6, 2019 in Chicago.

D155 Students Earn Over $2.7 Million in Art Scholarships
Rochelle LeBreck

Twenty-three District 155 students earned $2,732,272 in scholarships from various art schools and the Illinois High School Art Exhibition (IHSAE). Fourteen Cary-Grove students were awarded $1,848,916, five Crystal Lake South students received $$471,120, and three Crystal Lake Central students received $412,236 in scholarships. The sixth annual IHSAE featured the best student artists from more than 125 Illinois high schools.

“Receiving scholarships has given me the ability to think about going to different schools and choose the best one for me, not just settling for one I can afford. I can now invest more studying art, increasing my skill, and preparing for my career,” said Avery Eskildsen, a Cary-Grove senior.

She plans to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design this fall.

Cary-Grove is one of only 25 schools that had scholarships total over one million dollars in scholarships. Kelsey Anderson, Mickey Dotson, Avery Eskildsen, Quintin Gilbert, Hannah Harvey, Alexandra Kasch, Holly Kopacek, Carlyn Krautsak, Stephanie Kretschmer, Hayden O'Mahoney, Calea Sowell, Ann Talerico, Aislinn Tuminaro, and Constance Ulaszek were selected to showcase artwork at Bridgeport’s Zhou B Art Center and Bridgeport Art Center from February 11 - March 8. Calea Sowell earned an Honorable Mention for her work in the show.

“The positive reaction I got by being a part of both the general exhibition and awarded scholarships through the senior scholarship program has given me more confidence. Attending art school has been a goal of mine, and my family would have found a way to make it happen, but having financial help motivated me,” said Hayden O'Mahoney, a Cary-Grove senior.

Crystal Lake South students Allyn Barnett, Nia-Maya Donka, Hallei Jensen, Lindsey Klotz, and Wilhemina Voegeli from Crystal Lake South High School had artwork featured in show.

Nicole Costantini, Shail Patel, and Elena Starcher from Crystal Lake Central High School were selected to have their art featured in one of eight categories in the exhibit.

Four thousand students, teachers, college representatives and school district administrators attended the state’s largest high school student art exhibition. The Illinois High School Art Exhibition is a not-for-profit corporation with a mission to advance visual arts education through exhibition. It was developed by teachers for students in 2014 and the organization is run by full-time art educators who collaborate with corporate sponsors, art colleges and universities and high school students.

Crystal Lake South Students Qualify for National Business Competition
Rochelle LeBreck

Crystal Lake South High School’s Virtual Enterprise, Unwind, will travel to New York City next month to participate in the National Business Plan Competition as part of the VEI Youth Business Summit. The group qualified for the event after they won first place at the Illinois Business Plan Competition in December.

Unwind was formed during the fall of 2017 and consists of 24 juniors and seniors. The goal of the company is to reduce stress and anxiety in high school students by selling a variety of products. Every student in the organization has specific job, including CEO, COO, CFO, and VP of Product Marketing. 

“For all of us, Unwind has had a huge step in our development, not only as business minded individuals, but as leaders and people,” said Mariano Caballero,Crystal Lake South senior at Unwind.

At the Illinois State Business Plan Competition, the students had to write a 28-page business plan, pitch their company, and answer questions from a panel of judges who acted like potential investors. 

The stakes will be even higher at the the National Competition. Unwind will compete against more than 30 firms for a $10,000 check.

“We are allowed and have worked to improve both our written and oral presentations of Unwind’s business plan,” said Caballero. “We really are working to stand out even more with what we’ve done since the state competition.”

The Unwind group is grateful for having the opportunity to explore the business world in the classroom and some students plan to continue their passion for business when they attend college in the fall.

“I am very excited and thankful for this opportunity in VEI. Who knows, maybe I’ll be a real CFO someday with the experience from this extraordinary organization,” said Julia Lavorata, Crystal Lake South senior. 

The National Business Plan Competition takes place April 15 through April 17 in New York City. 

Register for Summer School
Rochelle LeBreck

Registration is now open for summer school courses. The deadline to register for semester one is April 26 and the second semester registration deadline is May 31. With the exception of driver’s education courses, all summer school courses will be held at Crystal Lake South High School located at 1200 S. McHenry Ave, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. The main office number is (815) 455-3860. Driver’s education courses meet at the student’s home school.

For a full list of courses and registration information, please download the 2019 Summer School packet.

Unless otherwise noted, a ½-credit may be earned from successful completion of each semester of summer school coursework. Students may repeat courses they have previously passed, with the higher of the two grades entered on their permanent record. However, the student will only receive credit for the course once. Regardless of the course, all students must be present for the final exams.

The schedule for summer school is as follows, first semester begins Monday, June 3 and concludes Friday, June 21. Second semester begins Monday, June 24 and concludes Tuesday, July 16. Classes meet Monday through Friday. School will not be in session on July 4 or July 5. A daily class time schedule can be found below.

Daily Class Time Schedule
Period 1 . . . . . . 7:30 - 8:20 a.m.
Period 2 . . . . . . 8:25 - 9:20 a.m.
Period 3 . . . . . . 9:25 - 10:20 a.m.
Period 4 . . . . . . 10:25 - 11:20 a.m.
Period 5 . . . . . . 11:25 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

D155 Board of Education Approves Two New Vice Principals
Rochelle LeBreck

The Board of Education approved Lori Ratliff as vice principal at Crystal Lake South High School and Kevin Koeppen as vice principal at Prairie Ridge High School on Thursday, January 24. They will begin their roles on July 1.

“Beyond the experience both Lori and Kevin bring to these positions, they believe in and demonstrate District 155’s mission to inspire, empower, and nurture our students,” said Steve Olson, superintendent. “Their strengths align with our strategic planning goals specifically in the areas of student well-being and collaborative partnerships, which will benefit our students and move District 155 forward.”


Lori Ratliff is a proud alum of Crystal Lake South High School, and she will transition from her role as assistant principal for educational services into the vice principal position. She also has served as a humanities division leader and English teacher at South since 2002. Ratliff has worked to implement new social-emotional supports for students, create a new model of professional learning for teachers and help students connect career paths to course selection.


“I am so proud of the progress we are making to ensure that social-emotional learning is at the heart of our curriculum. I’m humbled and excited to serve my school and my district in this way,” said Lori Ratliff, Crystal Lake South vice principal.


Kevin Koeppen joined District 155 in 1999 and has served as a division leader of industry and careers and wellness for the last five years and department chair prior to that. He also served as an assistant athletic director and coach. Koeppen has initiated various partnerships with educational stakeholders and community members in an effort to connect curriculum to real life applications and expose students to career opportunities.


“Preparing young adults socially, emotionally, and academically for future endeavors beyond their high school years has always been a passion of mine. I believe it is imperative to give students opportunities to learn college and career-specific skills through all content areas in order to prepare them for their future endeavors,” said Kevin Koeppen, Prairie Ridge vice principal.


Joe Cole, vice principal at Crystal Lake South High School, and Lisa Connell, vice principal at Prairie Ridge High School, will retire later this year. Connell began her career in District 155 in 1986 and Cole joined the district in 1987.

D155 Parent University
Rochelle LeBreck

D155 will host its 11th Annual Parent University on Saturday, February 16 at Prairie Ridge High School from 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Click here to download the Parent University Packet & Registration Form.


Walk-in Registration              8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Schedule Pick-Up                  8:15 - 8:30 a.m.

Keynote Address:                 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Breakout Session A               9:40 - 10:30 a.m.

Breakout Session B               10:40 - 11:30 a.m.

Breakout Session C               11:40 - 12:30 p.m.

About the Keynote Presentation

We are responsible for raising a future generation of healthy, resilient adults.  Developing confidence, problem solving strategies, distress tolerance and communication skills are fundamentals that are imperative for our children to learn before launching into adulthood.  We also want our children to have confidence that they can handle difficult situations, overcome adversity, and even bravely face failure.  In doing this, we prepare our youth to move beyond their physical and emotional boundaries, recognize their capabilities, know their strengths and weaknesses, and learn that failure is just as important as success.

About the Keynote Presenters

Jacqueline A. Rhew, LCPC and Dr. Robin Choquette have combined over 35 years working with professionals and parents clinically and have provided over 400 trainings both locally and nationally on a wide array of topics relating to parenting strategies and raising resilient children through goal directed parenting. Their approach

of purposeful parenting has helped hundreds of parents develop plans unique to their families, and gain confidence in their parenting strategies to help raise healthy and successful young people.

Eighty Business Law Students Participate in Mock Trial
Melina Weil

Eighty Crystal Lake South and Cary-Grove High School students participated in a Mock Trial on December 7. Students prepared, planned, and organized this event by working with State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally and his office staff. Each year the cases are written by the Illinois State Bar Association for High School Mock Trials. Students from both Crystal Lake South and Cary-Grove took on roles of defense and prosecutor attorneys, as well as witnesses and jurors from each school.

Student attorneys and witnesses prepared with a State's Attorney for one class period prior to the event and one hour before the event. During the trial, a State's Attorney sits with them and guides them during the opening statements, direct examination and indirect examination of witnesses as well as during the closing statements. This year, the Assistant State’s Attorneys Theresa V. Kaman and Brette Dunbar helped with Cary-Grove, and Michelle Clesceri and Bobby Zalud helped with Crystal Lake South.

This has been a very successful and rewarding learning experience for our students and we hope to continue it in the future,” said Theresa Miller, Cary-Grove’s Business Education Teacher.

For the past three years, District 155 Business Law classes have been participating in Mock Trials at the McHenry County Government Center. 

260 D155 Students Named ISAC State Scholars
Rochelle LeBreck

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) recognized 260 D155 students from the graduating class of 2019 as Illinois State Scholars, a prestigious honor.

Illinois State Scholars represent approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors from 757 high schools across the state. Students are selected based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT test scores and sixth semester class rank.

“Our students take pride in their learning and our teachers are committed to providing engaging lessons. This prestigious honor recognizes our students’ hard work and academic achievements,” said Steve Olson, superintendent.

The full list of D155 students named 2019-20 Illinois State Scholars are listed below:

Cary-Grove High School (70 Scholars)

Anderson, Bailey

Anderson, Erica

Angeles, Lizbeth

Anthony, Samantha

Aulert, David

Berg, Calvin

Bivin, Kayla

Boldwyn, Emma

Brackett, Sarah

Bragg, Alyssa

Bright, Abigail

Calhoun, Kristen

Camargo Quintero, Juan

Clesceri, Dominick

Cook, Kimberly

Coronado, Matthew

Cortes, Oscar Martin

Cotting, Michelle

Dale, Danielle

Dickson, Ronald

Dodge, Jacob

Eidukeviciute, Gabriele

Feuerhelm, Trey

Forney, Tyler

Freeman, Brian

Gahan, Ethan

Geist, Emily

Glowinski, Katelyn

Gourdie, Carson

Harbeck, Megan

Harding, Samuel

Harrington, Olivia

Harvey, Hannah

Hicks, Lilly

Hill, Emma

Hintz, Renee

Howdeshell, Sarah

Ireland, Nessa

Jannusch, Maddie

Kmiec, Henry

Kreutzer, Kyle

Kroll, Daniel

Larry, Elsa

Magnini, Miles

Naatz, Lucas

Nolan, Stephanie

O'Brien, Thea

O'Rourke, Tarryn

Patel, Deep

Pokorny, Sara

Puhar, Natalie

Rathe, Nicole

Roth, Thomas

Saini, Karina

Schmidt, Cooper

Sepeczi, Alex

Shannon, Olivia

Sheehan, Kailyn

Smith, Andrea

Spillane, Allison

Steinkamp, Bailey

Stelzer, Stephanie

Taczy, Benjamin

Thallemer, Alyssa

Ulaszek, Constance

Wageman, Nicholas

Walter, Madison

Warner, Ava

Watkinson, Parker

Wozniak, James


Crystal Lake Central High School (54 Scholars)

Agress, Bridget

Arndt, Madison

Burgess, Olivia

Camacho, Nicholas

Collins, Thomas

Davis, Alison

Dillon, Neil

Fenton, Daniel

Fisher, Taylor

Fogel, Amy

Giberson, Leah

Gladson, Morgan

Goze, Austin

Haney, Gavin

Heffernan, Colin

Heidt, Robert

Hildebrandt, Lily

Hudon, Shelby

Irwin, Eden

Janis, Megan

Jones, Alexis

Kershaw, Alexander

Khandeshi, Aditya

Kohls, Annika

Korn, Benjamin

Larsen, Anna

Livergood, Brittany

Locascio, Michael

Montford, Brock

Moore, Joshua

Mordi, John

Mugler, Abigail

Munn, Jack

Naughton, Madeline

Opal, Alexa

Orvis, Rebecca

Pipitone, Hannah

Podpora, Arden

Power, Megan

Revnew, Jacob

Schoepel, Brandon

Shuman, Ian

Sprandel, Bridget

St. John, Alyssa

Starks, Cecelia

Sysol, Gabrielle

Timmerman, Alexander

Vanscoyoc, Grace

Vesely, Keegan

Vito, Abigayle

Weckerlin, Carl

Welder, William

Wrbanek, Matthew

Zukowski, Frances


Crystal Lake South High School (71 Scholars)

Amoruso, Jacob

Becker, Angela

Beckwith, Olivia

Bernabe, Emily

Bogacz, Dominik

Bolin, Brooke

Bregenzer, Eric

Campbell, Scott

Campion, Joshua

Castro, Cameron

Castro, Connor

Chingakham, Ridhi

Ciavarella, Jakob

Dabrowski, Tiffany

Dunteman, Brooke

Edge, Andrew

Ellers, Mallory

Fisher, Hannah

Foydl, Grant

France, Jacob

Freeman, Alexander

Geske, Benjamin

Gray, Liam

Hall, Tyler

Hausch, Benjamin

Helm, Michael

Hunter, Casey

Hunter, Nora

Huq, Sania

Jenkins, Benjamin

Jewson, Evan

Kleiner, Ethan

Klotz, Lindsey

Klotz, Stephanie

Kocemba, Jacob

Koh, Nathanael

Kossoff, Seth

Kubitz, Matthew

Langdon, Nicholas

Lavorata, Julia

Lawson, Kate

Lawson, Ryan

Leva, Kailynn

Mathews, Haylee

McMonigal, Shane

Meissner, Samantha

Michaels, Aaron

Minogue, Daniel

Mutka, Katherine

Newton, Lindsay

O'Connor, Trevor

Ogawa, Sora

Olsen, Skylar

Palmer, Samuel

Patel, Akshat

Pfeifer, Clayton

Poulos, Jacob

Reall, Matthew

Reiling, Jared

Reter, Mackenzie

Schumaker, Jamison

Simon, Benjamin

Smith, Keegan

Smith, Kelsey

Stotz, Mairead

Stripp, Brian

Szczepanski, Noelle

Wiese, Elyse

Wittig, Brandon

Woodlock, Macey

Wruck, John


Prairie Ridge High School (65 Scholars)

Abushamma, Sarah

Adrowski, Christopher

Anderson, Nicole

Beadell, Cassandra

Bradshaw, Kaitlyn

Burseth, Matthew

Carey, Madeleine

Carpenter, Gabrielle

Carr, Samantha

Collins, Halie

Cook, Timothy

Dooley, Logan

Dorn, Nicole

Emery, Megan

Farnam, Emelia

Fredrick, Hunter

Gasparov, Angelina

Gende, Drew

Gentges, Samuel

Greetham, Camron

Greiner, Jared

Gunwall, Abby

Hahn, Melanie

Hensley, Sylvia

Hering, Michael

Jackowski, Mia

Jensen, Grant

Johnson, Amber

Keaty, Chloe

Kim, Madelyn

Klimkowski, Abigail

Kochmanski, Adrian

Kolodzik, Ann

Lim, Ruth

Lindahl, Julia

Maguire, Timothy

Manley, Jacob

Mathes, Liam

Michalak, Michael

Munk, Ethan

Murawski, David

Noorullah, Adnan

Pascente, Sophia

Pieroni, Michaela

Popovich, Margaret

Relic, Ross

Rider, Hannah

Saini, Aneil

Salvatore, Sarah

Schwallie, Trevor

Shorten, Jillian

Shutters, Nathan

Sitzberger, Jacob

Sureshkumar, Akash

Sveden, Carolyn

Switzer, Hannah

Teegen, Skyler

Theil, Kaitlyn

Trigo, Sera

Walls, Jonathan

Walsh, Rachel

Waterson, Kenneth

Willis, Jackson

Wren, Eliza

Yeomans, Hope

Register for the 2019 GEMS Conference
Rochelle LeBreck

The fourth annual GEMS conference is at Cary-Grove High School on January 26, 2019. Parents are invited to participate in the college and career expo as well as the opening activity. At 10 AM, the students will participate in small group activities. Parents are invited to return at noon for the closing activity. The conference will conclude at 12:30.


For more information, please visit the GEMS webpage​.

D155 Culinary Program Offers Certifications and College Credit
Shannon Podzimek

District 155 students are one step ahead of their peers gaining valuable certifications and college credit in the Culinary Arts program at Crystal Lake South High School. The program offers students the opportunity to earn two certifications, the Food Handler Certification and Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification, which gives students the advantage when applying for jobs.

Last year, 134 students earned the Food Handler’s Certification, and five earned the Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification. In addition to earning certifications students can earn college credit. Five students received dual credit through McHenry County College (MCC).

Culinary Arts I & II Commercial were offered during the 2017-18 school year and focus on nutrition and food preparation including food service and meal management. This school year, students have the option to enroll in Advanced Culinary Commercial. Students cook regional and ethnic dishes, gourmet desserts, cater, and have experience with a mock-restaurant. These courses will provide valuable insight, skills, and knowledge for students.

South’s commercial kitchen is a state-of-the-art facility featuring six food preparation stations, a classroom that also serves as a dining room, a dry storage room, a walk-in cooler, and a wash and storage area.

The culinary program at South continues to grow, enrollment is up in the culinary arts commercial classes by nearly 30 students for the 2018-19 school year. Students district-wide are eligible to enroll and travel to Crystal Lake South for these classes. Seven students will travel from other D155 schools to Crystal Lake South during the 2018-19 school year. ​



Rochelle LeBreck

The National Merit® Scholarship Program named thirteen District 155 seniors as 2019 National Merit® Semifinalists.


Dominik Bogcaz- Crystal Lake South

Scott Campbell- Crystal Lake South

Oscar Cortes- Cary-Grove

Aditya Khandeshi- Crystal Lake Central

Daniel Minogue- Crystal Lake South

Joshua Moore- Crystal Lake Central

Casey Mutka- Crystal Lake South

Trevor O’Connor- Crystal Lake South

Arden Podpora- Crystal Lake Central

Matthew Reall- Crystal Lake South

Ross Relic- Prairie Ridge

Akash Sureshkumar-Prairie Ridge

Dominik Bogcaz is a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. He is on the student council executive board, president of National Honor Society and is the founder and president of the Crystal Lake South pre-medical society. He is also part of the math team. Dominik hopes to attend the University of Michigan, New York University or the University of Washington to study neuroscience. Dominik volunteers through NHS, Kiwanis Key Club, and the Crystal Lake Food Pantry.

Scott Campbell is a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. He is the Gator Nation Leader for the Crystal Lake South hockey club and participates in track and field in the spring. Scott plans to study either biomedical engineering or cinematography. Scott has volunteered for Immanuel Lutheran Middle School and CLS aevidum.

Oscar Cortes is a senior at Cary-Grove High School. He is involved in math team, science olympiad, and WYSE. Oscar plans to attend a four-year-college after graduation, with his top choices being Stanford University, MIT, and Harvard University. He plans on studying physics with a possible minor in math.

Aditya Khandeshi is a senior at Central Lake Central High School. He is involved in science olympiad, math team, WYSE, scholastic bowl, and the VEX robotics team. He is currently exploring what college he will attend and what subject he will study.

Daniel Minogue is a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. He is involved in math team, WYSE and the tennis team. Daniel wants to receive his doctorate in physics and work at a privatized tech company or conduct research at a university or work at CERN. Daniel volunteers at the Crystal Lake Food Pantry, Helping Paws, and Feed My Starving Children.

Joshua Moore is a senior at Crystal Lake Central High School. He is involved in symphonic band, marching band, the VEX Robotics Club, WYSE, and the computer club. He also performs with the McHenry County Youth Orchestra and the Crystal Lake Community Band. Joshua is considering a variety of colleges with the hope to study computer science.

Casey Mutka is a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. Casey is involved in variety of extracurricular activities, most notably, the Crystal Lake South Gender and Sexuality Alliance and marching band. After graduation, Casey plans to attend college and become a licensed high school history and/or psychology teacher. Casey participates in a number of volunteer opportunities, from giving out rainbow bracelets at lunch with GSA, to traveling to Denver to learn about homelessness with a youth group.

Trevor O’Connor is a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. He helped launch the bass fishing club during his freshman year with the help of Mr. Wolke and Mr. Nobilio. In addition, he is a part of the tennis team, National Honor Society, intramural basketball, and science olympiad. Trevor plans to attend the University of Alabama, and hopes to complete a dual-degree program and receive both an MBA and his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Trevor is an AVID tutor and sometimes volunteers his time at the Crystal Lake Food Pantry.

Arden Podpora is a senior at Crystal Lake Central. She is a part of the golf team and is involved in scholastic bowl, National Honor Society, WYSE, and is on the leadership board for Interact Club. Arden plans on attending a four-year-university after graduation and wants to study economics, and pursue a career in actuarial or data science. Arden volunteers through the clubs with school and on her own. Her passion is supporting environmental projects such as clean-up days and seed collection with the local conservation district. Over the course of her high school career she has logged over 100 volunteer hours.

Matthew Reall is a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. He is involved in basketball, track, National Honor Society, the gator link crew executive board, an AVID tutor and a member of Spanish Club. Matthew plans to attend a four-year-college where he will study Biology. He is an Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America and does volunteer work for Home of the Sparrow.

Ross Relic is a senior at Prairie Ridge High School. He is involved in theatre, madrigal choir, speech, ILMEA for choir, and math team. Ross plans to attend college to study physics, and plans to receive his PhD. During his free time, Ross tutors others in mathematics and science.

Akash Sureshkumar is a senior at Prairie Ridge High School. He is involved in math team, science olympiad, scholastic bowl, WYSE, National Honor Society and is the co-president of German National Honor Society. After graduation, Akash would like to attend John Hopkins University and study cellular biology and computer science. Akash volunteers through NHS and also offers his free time at Goodwill.

High school students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). The exam serves as an initial screening of about 1.6 million students each year.  The semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and are the highest scoring students in each state.

Students will find out if they have advanced to Finalist standing in February. Beginning in April, National Merit Scholarship winners will be awarded.

***One student’s name was withheld due to media permission.***​