BSD2's Community Newsletter | June 28, 2019
ONWARD & UPWARD: Blackhawk's eighth graders are ready to head to high school.
Blackhawk Middle School’s eighth graders celebrated the completion of their District 2 careers during their promotion ceremony held June 6 at Fenton High School.

Among the more than 247 eighth graders who participated in the ceremony, the following students were recognized with special awards:

  • HAWKS RECOGNITION: Giselle Sarabia and Reagan Dakins
  • PRINCIPAL’S AWARD: Christopher Aylward and Lailah Stevens
  • SERVICE ABOVE SELF AWARD: Christopher Aylward and Reagan Dakins
  • BLACKHAWK FACULTY MEMORIAL AWARD: Alexander Marquez Jr. and Ariana Hurtado
  • FENTON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION AWARD: Alexander Marquez Jr. and Kaitlyn Hoffing
PRINCIPALS' PICKS: Six BSD2 students honored at DuPage Chapter of the Illinois Principals Association Student Recognition Breakfast.
Congratulations to the following fifth- and eighth-grade students. Before completing their careers at their respective schools, these students were selected by their principals from among their grade-level peers to attend the DuPage Chapter of the Illinois Principals Association Student Recognition Breakfast on April 29 at the Abbington Banquet Hall in Glen Ellyn:

  • BLACKHAWK MIDDLE SCHOOL: Eighth graders Christopher Aylward and Lailah Stevens
  • W.A. JOHNSON SCHOOL: Fifth graders Emir Yabukoglu and Isaiah Ibarra
  • TIOGA SCHOOL: Fifth graders Osmany Funes and Diyanara Malpica
IGNITE: District 2 among select few awarded prestigious Full Service Community Schools grant.
This fall, Bensenville School District 2 was named one of just 15 recipients of a U.S. Department of Education Full Service Community Schools grant.

The $2.5 million Full Service grant will provide District 2 $500,000 a year for the next five years to support the following:
  • High-quality early childhood education programs.
  • High-quality school and out-of-school time programming.
  • Support for children's transitions into elementary, middle, and high school, and on to post-secondary education and the workplace.
  • Family and community engagement supports for at-home student learning.
  • Social, health, nutrition, and mental health services and supports.

“The grant is allowing us to develop specific programing not just for students, but for families as well,” said Dr. James Stelter, District 2 Superintendent of Schools. “Research shows that when families are involved in their children’s education, they are much more likely to succeed in school. Transportation, parent education, and teacher home visits are just a few strategies outlined in the grant that will help create a stronger home-to-school connection, ultimately leading to academic success.”

Check out the following issues of the District's new Full Service weekly newsletter, IGNITE , to learn how our grant implementation efforts are already providing improved services:
Johnson students program Cozmo robots to draw pictures during an after-school program.
BMS sixth graders play a game of "Zip! Zap! Zop!" during a brain break.
Tioga pre-kindergarten students enjoy a yoga activity lead by Mindful Practices.
  • IGNITE - Issue 2: Meet the Full Service Arts Integration Cohort, and see some of the new ways they’re infusing artistic activities into their day-to-day instruction.
  • IGNITE - Issue 3: Meet the Full Service SEL Cohort, and see how they are developing and implementing social,health, nutrition, and mental health services and supports.
  • IGNITE - Issue 4: See how the Full Service grant is bringing Mindful Practices and more home visits to the District’s early childhood program.
  • IGNITE - Issue 5: Meet our new partners providing mental health supports for our students and families.
ENDURING CONTRIBUTIONS: Vince Gaudio recognized for his 35-year teaching career and continued service to BSD2 students
District 2’s Founders’ Award is only presented “for enduring contributions of exceptional quality and for sustained commitment to the educational well-being of the children in Bensenville School District 2 schools.”

It is not awarded every year, but this year was given to Mr. Gaudio at the BSD2 Board’s May 15 meeting during a surprise ceremony before an auditorium packed with many of his admiring colleagues.

Mr. Gaudio joined District 2 in 1980, and taught at Chippewa, Tioga, and Blackhawk schools before retiring in 2015.

However, he never really retired.

Mr. Gaudio continues to serve District 2 (this year at W.A. Johnson School) by providing part-time support for students in the District’s English Learners program, sponsoring after-school clubs, and volunteering at school and community activities.

Congratulations, Mr. Gaudio, and thank you for your dedication to Bensenville School District 2!
CONGRATS ... AND BEST WISHES: District 2 welcomed two new members to its Board, and thanked two departing members for their service.
Collage of portraits of BSD2 Board members elected in 2019
Voters sent two incumbents and two newcomers to the Bensenville School District 2 Board of Education following the April 2 General Election.

Chris McCullough and James Stoltman were elected to their first four-year terms on the Board. Mr. McCullough is an associate professor in the Education Department at Rockford University, and Mr. Stoltman works in the IT department at Elgin Community College.

Additionally, Bob Laudadio and Katie Krajecki were also re-elected to the Board and chosen to serve as president and vice president, respectively, when these newly elected members were seated during a special May 2 reorganizational meeting.

During that meeting, the District also thank departing board members Matthew Vassar, who served four years, and Jorge Sanchez, who served 11 years, for their service to District 2.
Photo of a Project CARE mentor and a student smiling for a photo
THEY CARE: Thank you to the 'Super Heroes' in the Project CARE program for their hard work and dedication to BSD2 students.
Project CARE is an academic mentoring program in which members of the District 2 community volunteer to help students refine skills they’re being taught by their classroom teachers. CARE volunteers give just one hour of their time each week to mentor K-8 students in reading, math, science, and other subjects.

This year, more than 300 Project CARE mentors volunteered to provide more than 7,000 hours of academic support. Together, they touched the lives of about 2,200 BSD2 students.

District 2 celebrated their service during a special thank you luncheon held May 21 at Salt Creek Golf Club.

During the luncheon, the District thanked key CARE partners, such as Bensenville Community Public Library, College of DuPage, Elmhurst College, Fenton High School, and Semblex Corporation.

The District also honored three students for their outstanding service as CARE mentors -- Belen Nunez of Elmhurst College, Nicholas Rogers of College of DuPage, and Annalisa Bomicino of Fenton High School.

It also recognized CARE mentors George Kaepplinger and Todd Switzer for their 20 years of service in the program, and Marlene Albiani and Wanda Kondziolka for their 15 years of service as CARE mentors.

To volunteer with Project CARE or for more information, please contact Lara Schwarz, Community Liaison and Project CARE Plus-Coordinator, at 630-766-2605, ext. 3202 or .
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW: District 2 and the GardenWorks Project partner to build vegetable gardens for Head Start families at Tioga.
This spring, Bensenville School District 2, Metropolitan Family Services, and the GardenWorks Project worked together to build 15 food gardens for families of Head Start students attending the Bensenville Early Learning Center at Tioga School.

A local non-profit organization founded in 2012, the GardenWorks Project aims to increase access to fresh, organic vegetables in west suburban Chicagoland by providing families in need with the resources to grow their own food.
The new 4-foot by 8-foot raised garden plots were built in mid May by GardenWorks Project volunteers. GardenWorks volunteers then returned to Tioga on May 21 to help plant the new gardens alongside the Head Start families. The volunteers also taught the Head Start families how to maintain the plants throughout the summer and harvest the vegetables as they ripen, and they even provided the families with a nutrition curriculum that follows their gardens' seasonal harvest schedules.

“Children facing food insecurity are much more likely to face chronic health conditions in the future," said Jeannie Iseman, The GardenWorks Project’s Executive Director. "Our hope is that these gardens serve as a vehicle towards empowerment, education, and health promotion.” 

More than 100 of these food gardens have been installed for food-insecure families by The GardenWorks Project this spring. All families referred to the organization come from the GardenWorks Project's 45 food assistance partners within the western Chicagoland region.
Bensenville School District 2
210 S. Church Street
Bensenville, IL 60106