Marie Murphy School Snowflake Workshop

The Snowflake Workshop was held on December 2nd at the Skokie Valley Baptist Church in Wilmette for the Marie Murphy School 7th grade students. Snowflake is a all day youth/adult partnership workshop providing awareness and prevention of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, while encouraging healthy decision-making in an active community of caring.  It is also a time where students are encouraged to look at themselves and recognize their strengths as well as others’. Small group discussions were lead by Marie Murphy teachers, 8th grade Snowflake Council members, and New Trier H.S. students who formerly attended the school. There were great guest speakers throughout the day.  Breakfast and lunch were provided by the Avoca Parents & Teachers Council and served by 7th grade parent volunteers.

Marie Murphy School and Avoca West Elementary School Winter Choral Concert

The Avoca Choirs consisting of the Marie Murphy Boys Choir, Marie Murphy Girls Choir and the Avoca West Elementary School Choir will be performing the Winter Choral on Thursday, January 12, 2012.  The evening performance will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Marie Murphy Gymnasium, 2921 Illinois Road in Wilmette. 

The performance is a culmination to the Fall/Winter choral season.  “In the Voices of our Children”, music from different Countries, Irving Berlin favorites, Leon Dubinsky, Charles Tindley and Don Besig will be amongst the program for the evening.

The Public is invited and admission is free.

Girls’ JV Volleyball Team Wins Conference Title

The Marie Murphy School girls’ junior varsity volleyball team recently won first place in the North Shore Independent Conference games, with a record of seven wins and three losses.  The team’s overall record for the season, including several non-conference games, was eleven wins and three losses.  Five other teams competing in the conference came from Winnetka District 36, Sunset Ridge District 29 in Northfield, Christian Heritage Academy in Northfield, Glencoe District 35 and Kenilworth District 38. 

The 13 members of the junior varsity volleyball team include YeJi An, YeSol An, Jaine Archambeau, Alex Boltz, Bella Brazovan, Angela Lee, Xochitl Mondragon, Lauren Pingad, Rachel Price, Cara Savin, Kailyn Scobie, Michelle Vasiliadis and Chelsea Ye.  Coach Dana Allen said, “The team showed up at the games ready to play some of their best matches of the season and were really pulling together all of their skills as a team.”

Marie Murphy School Student Council Members Elected

Marie Murphy School Student Council Advisor Robert Schnurlein announced the council’s newly-elected officers and cabinet members for the 2011-2012 school year as follows:  Kelly Milan, president; Jonah Wolfe, vice president; Nick Zhou, secretary; Lauren Newmark, treasurer; and cabinet members Regina Madanguit, Sam Petrakis, Victoria Zibart and Ben Redemann.

Avoca West Students to Participate in Tech Demonstration in Springfield

Avoca West Elementary School in Glenview is among approximately 80 schools statewide that will have student representatives participating in the annual TECH 2011 Students for the Information Age event on Thursday, May 5, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield. 

TECH 2011 is a non-profit initiative presented by Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) and is supported by a broad range of education and business organizations.  The purpose of TECH 2011 is to show how Illinois is preparing students to succeed in the Information Age.  The importance of this event lies in making the public aware of the central role technology has come to play in our schools and generating support for its adequate funding.  Without the understanding and support of the public and the legislature, adequate public funding for education technology is hard to come by, and, without it, Illinois cannot remain competitive in the global economy. 

Students from the participating schools will be on hand to show the public and elected members of the Illinois State Senate and the House of Representatives how technology is being used in classrooms to improve achievement.  Computer workstations will be set up in the Capitol Building Rotunda, where the students will demonstrate how technology has helped them with their schoolwork. 

Taking part in the demonstrations are Avoca West Elementary School fourth graders Keara Bellino, of Glenview, and Cameron Rowe, of Wilmette.  They will be accompanied to Springfield by Avoca West Elementary School technology facilitators Kim Zimmer and Beth Haugeberg.  Keara and Cameron will be demonstrating how they use blogs in school to learn editing skills, publish their work to a larger audience, reflect on their schoolwork and use commenting to share ideas and feedback with the other students.

Boys’ JV Volleyball Team Conference Champs

The Marie Murphy School boys’ junior varsity volleyball team recently won the North Shore Independent Conference title with a record of 7-1.  Four other teams participating in the conference were Christian Heritage Academy, Glencoe Central, Sears and Sunset Ridge.  The Marie Murphy School team also won the tournament and finished the season with an overall record of 11-1.  The fourteen team members include:  Arif Ahmad, Michael Altman, Greg Chan, Richard Dominic-Giordano, Max Elghanian, Jack French, Joe Lim, Sam Lim, Brandon Morales, Scott Parra, Ben Redemann, Antonio Sorano, Chase Thomas, and Adam Zelinsky.  Their coach, Heather Snyder, said, “I was most impressed with the boys’ composure on the court and the way they continued to play their game and kept improving.”  She adds, “It has been a very enjoyable and exciting season, and I feel very lucky to have had such great kids on the team.”

Science Olympiad Team Wins 1st Place at Regionals

On Saturday, February 26, the Marie Murphy School Science Olympiad team celebrated their tenth straight regional victory at New Trier High School’s freshmen campus in Northfield after coming in first place in 12 out of the 23 events.  The team won with a final score of 40 points (10 points ahead of next best team) and only 17 points away from a perfect score of 23.  Marie Murphy School’s junior varsity team also won a decisive victory in their division with a final score of 33, taking first place in 15 out of 23 events.  Each team has 15 students participating in the competitions.  In addition to Mr. Gravagna, Mr. Ogden, Mr. Persino and Ms. Wright, this year’s coaches include five parents:  Dr. Anne Nagle, Dr. Gerri Newmark, Rory Wolfe, Hui-Chen Li and Herng-Jeng Jou.

Varsity team first-place medal winners were:  Anatomy – Sahar Bhai and Lauren Newmark; Awesome Aquifers – Michael Rivkin and Solena Rizzato; Battery Buggy – Jonah Wolfe and David Yan; Dynamic Planet – Michael Rivkin and David Yan; Experimental Design – Rene Chen, Stephanie Chen, and Josh Park; Fossils – Alexander Chen and Clara Yam; Meteorology – Vivian Jou and Solena Rizzato; Ornithology – Rene Chen and Josh Park; Science Crimebusters – Sahar Bhai and Leah Rivkin; Shock Value – Jason Lee and David Yan; Solar System – Josh Park and Stephanie Chen; and Storm the Castle – Alexander Chen and Aiyappa Kodendera.

Varsity team second place medal winners were:  Bottle Rocket – Jason Lee and Vivian Jou; Compute This – Leah Rivkin and David Yan; Ecology – Lauren Newmark and Jonah Wolfe; Junkyard Challenge – Michael Rivkin and Jonah Wolfe; Optics – Alexander Chen and Rene Chen; Road Scholar – Leah Rivkin and Solena Rizzato; and Towers – Jason Lee and Clara Yam.

Varsity team third place medal winners were:  Can’t Judge a Powder – Alexander Chen and Rene Chen; Microbe Mission – Sahar Bhai and Vivian Jou; and Write it Do It – Stephanie Chen and Vivian Jou.

Junior varsity first place medal winners were:  Awesome Aquifers – Katherine Ho and Regina Madanguit; Battery Buggy – Regina Madanguit and Chelsea Ye; Bottle Rocket – Paul Farcasanu and Tony Xu; Ecology – Paul Farcasanu and Andrew Wei; Experimental Design – Jamie Knippen, David Pollak, and Ethan Wirth; Fossils – Danny Belknap and Chelsea Ye; Junkyard Challenge – Danny Belknap and Andrew Wei; Meteorology – Paul Farcasanu and Tony Xu; Microbe Mission – Paul Farcasanu and Chelsea Ye; Optics – Youngjin Kim and Ethan Wirth; Ornithology – Katherine Ho and Jamie Knippen; Road Scholar – Andrew Wei and Ethan Wirth; Science Crimebusters – Carissa Yang and Samantha Yang; Solar System – Katherine Ho and Ethan Wirth; and Storm the Castle – Youngjin Kim and Tony Xu.

Junior varsity second place medal winners were:  Can’t Judge a Powder – Samantha Mori and Samantha Yang; Compute This – Samantha Mori and David Pollak; Disease Detectives – Regina Madanguit and Carissa Yang; Dynamic Planet – Katherine Ho and Chelsea Ye; Shock Value – Danny Belknap and David Pollak; Towers – Regina Madanguit and Samantha Yang; Write It Do It – Jamie Knippen and Regina Madanguit.

The Marie Murphy School Science Olympiad team will now go on to the state Science Olympiad competitions, which will be held on Saturday, April 16, at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Avoca District #37 Names Dr. Kevin Jauch to Replace Retiring Superintendent

The Board of Education of Avoca School District #37 announces the appointment of Dr. Kevin M. Jauch, currently principal at the district’s elementary school, to the position of District Superintendent.  Dr. Jauch will assume the post on July 1, when Dr. Joseph M. Porto retires. 

 “After completing an eight-month, comprehensive search that attracted more than 70 candidates from all over the country, we are truly delighted to name Dr. Jauch as our district’s next leader,” states Board President Jeffrey Greengoss.  “He has been an outstanding principal for us at Avoca West Elementary School, and we have great confidence that, as superintendent, Dr. Jauch will build upon the stellar standards that we have come to expect under Dr. Porto’s direction.” 

A principal for six years at Central Road School in Rolling Meadows before becoming Avoca West principal in 2006, Dr. Jauch has signed a three-year Avoca Superintendent contract at a salary of $185,000 in addition to the superintendent’s statutory Teacher Retirement System (TRS) contribution, a $3,000 auto allowance and full family health/dental, life and disability insurance. At a December 21 special session, the Board voted unanimously to approve the contract.