November 20, 2023

Photo: Thanksgiving elementary artwork at the Winkelman household

Dear Barrington 220 Community, 

My family has a Thanksgiving tradition where we decorate our home with Thanksgiving artwork that my two daughters created while they were students at Countryside Elementary School. This year as we take out the decorations, I have mixed emotions. As many of you know, one of my daughters graduated from Barrington High School in 2022, and the other will graduate from BHS at the end of this school year. This means it will be our last Thanksgiving with a Barrington 220 student in our household.

I can’t help but reflect on their journey in our schools, and all of the wonderful opportunities that were afforded to them. As a parent in this district, and as Superintendent of Schools, it is incredible to watch our students grow throughout their time in Barrington 220. I know that the education and experiences we provide to them would not be possible without the support of our wonderful staff, families, and so many community organizations. 

I am reminded now more than ever of that as I visit our school buildings this year. They sure look a lot different from when I started working at Barrington High School as a special education teacher in 1997! We have now completed nearly all of the major construction projects made possible by the $147 million referendum Barrington area voters approved in March 2020. This includes: 

  • Improved safety and security measures at all schools 
  • Dedicated STEM labs at all elementary schools 
  • Dedicated sensory rooms at all elementary schools 
  • State-of-the-art additions at Prairie, Station and Grove that replaced all mobile classrooms 
  • Outdoor and indoor athletic/physical education complex at BHS that rivals those seen at small colleges and universities 
  • Renovated parking lot at BHS that improves traffic flow and safety 
  • Dedicated students services wing at BHS (health services, counseling, attendance, dean’s office, wellness) 
  • New front atrium addition at BHS which provides students with flexible learning spaces that mirror tech startup offices
  • State-of-the-art culinary arts lab at BHS

These improvements will have a significant positive impact on the overall well-being and success of our students. I can’t thank the Barrington area enough for investing in our kids, our community, and our future. 

I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving this week! Please remember to savor the special moments. It all goes by too fast!

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