Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 8 Issue 14
Monday, May 1, 2017
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Celebrate your District 58 teachers and staff

District 58 schools and PTAs will celebrate their dedicated teachers and staff in May during Teacher Appreciation Week! Check with your PTA or school to see what activities are planned. 

Thank you, District 58 teachers and staff, for your incredible commitment to fostering your students' education and natural curiosity!

Indian Trail teacher Janice Conboy named Teacher of the Year

Janice Conboy, center, poses with DGEEA Rep Kate Nickell, Indian Trail Principal Robin Bruebach and Indian Trail Teachers and Teacher of the Year nominees Whitney Cavanaugh and Cindy Gates.
The DGEEA teacher's union recently surprised Janice Conboy, Indian Trail sixth grade teacher, naming her the 2017 Teacher of the Year!

The union invited teachers to nominate colleagues who went above and beyond for the Teacher of the Year designation. A committee formed and scored each nomination using a detailed rubric. 

Mrs. Conboy will be recognized with her fellow Teacher of the Year nominees, the 2017 retirees and 2017 Golden Apple nominee Deanna Jacobs during an evening banquet on May 5.

Congratulations to Mrs. Conboy and all of the 2017 Teacher of the Year nominees, including:

Joanna Carney, Fairmount reading specialist
Whitney Cavanaugh, Indian Trail sixth grade teacher
Patti Cepeda, District behavior specialist
Cindy Gates, Indian Trail resource teacher
Kathy Kostelny, Fairmount second grade teacher
Sarah Pinkus, O'Neill seventh grade science teacher
Barb Potocki, Fairmount kindergarten teacher
District 58 earns State's top financial honors for 16th consecutive year

The Illinois State Board of Education awarded District 58 with a Financial Recognition rating on the District's 2017 School District Financial Profile. Financial Recognition is the highest financial strength rating that ISBE awards, and this year marks the 16th consecutive year District 58 achieved this status.

All Illinois school districts receive an annual rating from the ISBE, which considers account financial indicators including fund balance to revenue ratio; expenditure to revenue ratio; days of cash on hand; percent of short-term borrowing ability remaining; and percentage of long-term debt margin remaining.

Christine Clavenna appointed principal of Pierce Downer School

Christine Clavenna
The Board of Education appointed Christine Clavenna to principal of Pierce Downer School, starting July 1, 2017.

Clavenna currently serves as the assistant principal at Pierce Downer and Hillcrest schools, a position she has held since 2015. She previously served as the assistant principal of O'Neill Middle School for three years and as a principal and assistant principal in Mokena School District 159 for two years. Clavenna also worked as a fifth grade teacher for 16 years prior to entering administration.
"We are thrilled to be able to recommend Chris for this position and are confident that she will continue to serve District 58 and Pierce Downer School with distinction for many years to come," said Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli.
Clavenna will replace current Pierce Downer Principal Justin Sisul, who will become District 58's assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction starting July 1.
In Our Schools
Two Herrick seventh graders advance to State Science Expo

Natalie Mall

Sydney Fleming
Next weekend, more than 1,400 seventh-through-12th grade students from across Illinois will descend upon Northern Illinois University to present meticulously-researched science fair papers and presentations during the prestigious State Science Expo.
Herrick Middle School seventh graders Sydney Fleming and Natalie Mall will be among those students. Both girls excelled at the District 58 and Regional Science Fairs, earning an invitation to the State Science Expo.

Natalie's project focuses on DNA extraction and manipulation, while Sydney's project explores color contrast and readability. 

District 58 wishes both students the best of luck at the State Science Expo!

Henry Puffer's "Reading Buddies" creates mentors, promotes reading

Henry Puffer recently launched this year's Early Morning Reading Buddies Program. The program provides older students with an opportunity to mentor younger students, twice per week before school.

Older and younger students pair up and take turns reading together. Older students practice modeling proper reading fluency and younger students develop listening comprehension. In addition, this program offers a strong social-emotional learning component!

"The program instills a sen se of helping community in our older students while giving the younger children an older student to look up to," Principal Todd McDaniel said. "Often times you'll find our younger buddies spotting their older buddy in the hallway. A smile appears on their face and they wave excitedly at their buddy."

Six children's authors and illustrators visit District 58 for Author Fest
Author Fest highlights at Indian Trail, Fairmount

Troy Cummings teaches fourth graders how to draw a story map to guide their writing.
District 58 welcomed six popular children's authors and illustrators:
Troy Cummings, Kate Hannigan, Michelle Schaub, Miriam Busch, Larry Day and Chris Rylander  to District 58 for Author Fest, April 19-21.
The annual PTA-sponsored Author Fest event alternates each year between north side and south side schools. This year, El Sierra, Fairmount, Indian Trail, Kingsley and Whittier hosted the event. Authors visited classrooms and shared exciting presentations about their books and the writing process!

For example,  Kate Hannigan, author of the Cupcake Cousins series and the The Detective's Assistant novel, talked about the writing process with Indian Trail fourth graders. She also shared an important message of resilience. Before getting published, she received so many rejection letters that, when glued together, the letters totaled 65 feet. To illustrate this, she literally brought all of her rejection letters with her. They spanned the entire Indian Trail LRC!

Troy Cummings enthralled Fairmount fourth graders with upbeat and creative drawing exercises that demonstrated how authors (and students!) can create a story map using visuals. Cummings has written the children's books "Giddy-Up, Daddy!" and "The Notebook of Doom" series.

Belle Aire fifth and sixth graders learn biomechanical engineering

Tricia Miller, a Belle Aire sixth grade teacher, earned an  Education Foundation  grant this school year for the "Put a Lid On It" kit.  This STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) resource teaches students how helmets work.  Students use biomechanical engineering to design their own helmet for a crash test dummy. 

"These STEM guides ignite learners to think widely about not only the arena of engineering but but also about the design process," Mrs. Miller said. "This particular guide, called, 'Put a Lid on it,'  focuses on bicycle helmet safety and the biomechanical discipline of engineering.  Within the curriculum the students learn about different designs that were used with the help of biomechanical engineers. The culminating project has a team of students create their own with the provided materials."

Fairmount's "Pie in the Face" assembly celebrates school donation 

This funny 20-second video shows Fairmount Principal Mr. Coglianese getting pied during the "Pie in the Face" assembly celebrating the school's Feed My Starving Children donation.

#58DoingGood: Last month, the Fairmount Student Council challenged students and families to volunteer at Feed My Starving Children and/or donate money to help the nonprofit provide meals to impoverished children. Fairmount promised that if the school raised $400, they would host a school-wide "Pie in the Face" assembly, with 18 teachers getting pied! 

Fairmount not only met the challenge, they exceeded it, raising $560!  Fairmount teachers kept their end of the bargain, and on April 25, they hosted the "Pie in the Face" assembly.

Afterward, Principal Mr. Coglianese bragged to students about not getting pied. Just then, teacher Mr. Bob Luciano snuck up and pied Mr. Coglianese in the face. The children loved it! It's captured in the 20-second video above.

Herrick raises $1,650 to support local non-profit Ride Janie Ride

#58DoingGood: Herrick students recently raised $1,650 to support the Ride Janie Ride Foundation, a local non-profit that helps cancer patients pay for critical life-saving cancer treatments.

"It was really great to see how open Herrick students were to helping others in need," said organization co-founder and chairman Janie Bawel. "When (Herrick instructional assistant) Emily Honn suggested the fundraiser to the Herrick Student Council, the students were very receptive and positive about the idea."

The Ride Janie Ride organization has very close ties to Herrick Middle School. Janie Bawel is a Downers Grove resident, Herrick alumna and cancer survivor. 

Lester's Environmental Club leads Earth Week activities 

The Lester Environmental Club

Several District 58 schools, including Lester, celebrated Earth Week from April 17-21! Lester's Environmental Club brainstormed daily themed Earth Week activities that students and families alike could enjoy, such as walking to school, reducing water usage and packing recyclable lunches. Thank you for your commitment to the environment and sustainability!

Henry Puffer's Talent Show features surprise cameo by teachers

Henry Puffer recently hosted its annual Talent Show at Downers Grove North. Hundreds of students (41 acts in total) dazzled the crowd with their many talents. However, the biggest surprise of the night occurred when Puffer's very own teachers took the stage and performed a hilarious dance. Check out their performance above!
Families get active at annual Fit Fair

District 58 hosted its annual Fit Fair on Thursday, April 13 at O'Neill Middle School. 

Families enjoyed free kickboxing classes, Irish dancing classes, healthy snacks, fitness demos, hip hop dance classes, bowling and more!

Plus, the Fair raffled off several fantastic prizes, including free personal coaching sessions, massage gift certificates and free seasons of lacrosse and wrestling.

Hillcrest volunteer presents MVP Kris Bryant with Championship Ring

Hillcrest volunteer and Cubs superfan   Amy Liss  was selected to be a Cubs ring bearer during the April 12 Cubs Championship Ring Ceremony!

She enjoyed the honor of presenting National League MVP Kris Bryant with his Championship Ring. SportsCenter ran a fantastic story on the ring bearers, prominently featuring Amy! Her segment starts around the 2 minute mark, but Amy is featured throughout the video. Amy's passion, joy and dedication to the Cubs is evident through this video. 

Community E-flyers
E-flyer logo

District 58 emailed new community e-flyers to all parents on  Monday, April 17. The District will send the May 1 e-flyer email to parents later this afternoon.  E-flyers are also posted on the  District 58 e-flyer page at and listed below.

Celebrate Downers Grove culture and history during 2017 Founders Day (April 29, May 6-7)

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County announces 2017 summer camps

DG High School Lacrosse invites families to Lacrosse Youth Night on May 1


Downers Grove South Drama presents Cinderella and The Little Mermaid

Noah's Hope Cupcake Classic 5K is May 21

Chicago Chinese Folk Arts Camp starts this June in Westmont

Roadrunners Soccer Club will hold tryouts this May


Avery Coonley School shares its summer program

Panther Junior Football & Cheer opens registration for 2017 season

North Central College announces summer boys' basketball camps

Engineering for Kids offers summer STEM camps

Butterfield Park District school newsletter - spring edition

University of Illinois - Extension announces summer short-term 4-H programs

DGS will hold wrestling summer camps starting June 26


The mission of District 58, in partnership with parents and community, is to challenge and engage each child by providing quality educational programs and support services in a safe, nurturing, and child-centered environment in order to prepare all students to be lifelong learners and contributing members of a global society.  

Communicate 58 shares timely, relevant information about District 58 with parents, community members and others who are interested in how we are living out our mission. If you have any questions/comments regarding Communicate 58, or have an article/photo idea for the publication, please contact Community Relations Coordinator Megan Hewitt at or 630-719-5805. 
In this issue
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
Indian Trail teacher Janice Conboy named Teacher of the Year
District 58 earns State's top financial honors for 16th consecutive year
Christine Clavenna appointed principal of Pierce Downer School
Two Herrick seventh graders advance to State Science Expo
Henry Puffer's "Reading Buddies" creates mentors, promotes reading
Six children's authors and illustrators visit District 58 for Author Fest
Belle Aire fifth and sixth graders learn biomechanical engineering
Fairmount's "Pie in the Face" assembly celebrates school donation
Herrick raises $1,650 to support local non-profit Ride Janie Ride
Lester's Environmental Club leads Earth Week activities
Henry Puffer's Talent Show features surprise cameo by teachers
Families get active at annual Fit Fair
BOE Budget Workshop
BOE Regular April Meeting
Upcoming Board meetings
Upcoming District and community events
Correction: Student fees for 2017-18
District 58 on social media

Like us on Facebook Follow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube
BOE Budget Workshop -
April 24, 2017

The Board of Education held its spring Budget Workshop on Monday, April 24. Meeting highlights include:

- District 58 recognized and celebrated this year's retiring Board members: President John Cooper, Roberta Diehl, Chris Heppner and Sallie Lupescu.

- The Board appointed Christine Clavenna to be principal of Pierce Downer School, starting July 1, 2017.

- The Board approved Friday, June 9 as the last day of school. It will be a half day of school for students.

- The Board approved a revision to the 2017-18 calendar, which added two half-days to the calendar.

- The District shared a comprehensive budget presentation analyzing the tentative 2017-18 budget, future facility needs, a recap of the 2016-17 budget, Lester School space needs and more.

BOE Regular April Meeting - 
April 11, 2017

The Board of Education held a regular business meeting on Tuesday, April 11. Meeting highlights include:

- Lester's Student Council and PTA gave a school update.

- The District shared a technology update with the Board. How are students using technology? View this video to find out!

- District and Lester administrators and the District's architect, Wight & Company presented a Lester feasibility study.

- And more!

Upcoming Board meetings

BOE Reorganization Meeting
Monday, May 1
7 p.m.
Longfellow Center

New Board of Education members officially will be sworn in.

Regular Board Meeting
Monday, May 8
7 p.m.
Longfellow Center

The meeting will include a spotlight on Report Card Committee progress.

Meet & Confer Strategic Plan Committee Meeting
Thursday, May 11
7 a.m.
Longfellow Center

Policy Committee Meeting
Tuesday, May 16
7 a.m.
Admin Service Center

Register for 2017-18 by
May 12


District 58 asks parents to register their children for the 2017-18 school year by Friday, May 12. This will help District 58 plan its staffing and resource needs for next school year.

The District sent parents personalized registration information via email on April 12 and printed information with report cards on April 13. These messages included your child's snapcode, a password that lets you log onto your child's registration page. 
To register, click here and enter your child's snapcode.
If you would prefer to register your child using paper forms, please visit your child's school to register, or download the forms online on your child's school webpage.

Upcoming events

Elementary Band and Orchestra Year-End Movie Event
Tuesday, May 2
3:30-5:30 p.m.
Tivoli Theatre

Herrick Sixth Grade Parent Night
Tuesday, May 2
7-8:30 p.m.

Select 58 Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, May 10
6-8 p.m.

Distinguished Service Awards Ceremony
Tuesday, May 16
3:45-5:30 p.m.
Ashyana Banquets

Memorial Day -
No School
Monday, May 29

Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony
Thursday, June 8
5-6 p.m. (O'Neill)
7-8 p.m. (Herrick)
Downers Grove North

Last Day of School (Half Day for Students)
Friday, June 9

Correction: Student fees for 2017-18
The April 11 issue of Communicate 58 included a link to 2017-18 student fees. We regret that this link didn't work! 
Click here to view the correct link for 2017-18 student fees!