Community Consolidated School District 146
The Horizon
Introducing the Horizon

District 146 is excited to reintroduce our newsletter, the Horizon. With it, the District will offer an additional means of communication with families and community members. 

The Horizon features exciting news like recent student and staff awards, updates on alumni, and stories from the classroom. Each edition will also include information provided by members of the District Administration. 

Instead of being a source of information to only parents and guardians of District 146 students, the Horizon is now available to all members of the community. By expanding the circulation, community members will gain easier access to District information. 

With the increase in circulation, the Horizon will be distributed primarily via email. Please be sure to add this email address to your address book so the Horizon isn't directed to the Spam folder. 

Thank you for your continued interest in and support of School District 146

Dr. Jeff Stawick

Early Learning Excellence 

In January, District 146 received word that its Early Learning/Pre-Kindergarten program had received the Award of Excellence for Inclusion of Children with Special Needs. This is the highest level of recognition in Illinois’ quality rating and improvement system.

The District’s Early Learning/Pre-Kindergarten Program was awarded for its successful implementation of high-quality programming and inclusion practices for preschool-aged students with disabilities. 

The Award of Excellence rating will be in effect for up to three years. District 146 congratulates its Early Learning team on a top-notch program!

Community Teaches at CMS
Central Middle School teacher Patti Schusterman is enlisting the help of the community in teaching her sixth grade Family and Consumer Science class. When the class begins talking about careers, Mrs. Schusterman invites community members to come in and share their experiences. 

The interactive approach of bringing in community members in the prime of their careers is more interesting to students than what can be found in a book or on a video, according to Mrs. Schusterman. 

Students are required to submit three questions for the presenter. The questions are uploaded in advance to the app-based platform Schoology.

Presenters are encouraged to bring in tools they use or samples of their work. Many of the presenters have left students with messages of encouragement and words of advice that have been resonating with students. 

Visitors have represented a variety of careers. Those talking to the class have included a martial artist, pediatrician, baker, police officer, and mechanical engineer. The diversity of the presenters shows students that their passions can become their careers. 

Many of those speaking to the sixth grade class are parents and family members of CMS students. 

“Parents love to be a part of their child’s education and students are always excited to have their parents visit the class,” Mrs. Shusterman said. “The connections created are beneficial not only to the school, but also to the students, community, and families.”

There were a lot of games at the Fall Kruse Fun Fair!
Registration Dates

Returning Students: May 1, 2017
New Students: June 5, 2017

For registration information, contact  Karen Jemilo at (708) 614-4500 or visit

Ready for Kindergarten

These parent classes are free to District 146 families with proof of residency. 

Birth to One: April 18, 2017
One to Two: April 19, 2017
Two to Three: April 20, 2017
Three to Four: April 26, 2017
Four to Five: April 27, 2017

For more information, contact Carmen Ford at (708) 614-4547.
Learning for All...With All
Dr. Princy Abraham, Director of Student Services

The Student Services department has the privilege of assuring all students learn in a supportive and inclusive environment in which every student feels a sense of belonging. 

Student Services is specifically composed of the District’s Special Education Department, Bilingual Department, and Early Learning programs. A common thread among these programs is the emphasis on addressing individual student needs, and embracing individual differences, in an inclusive environment to the greatest extent possible.  

Inclusion is an educational practice in which all students, including students with disabilities, learn together in the same classroom. An inclusive environment is also one in which all students are an important part of a greater community. Inclusive classrooms develop students who are comfortable with differences, skilled at confronting challenging issues, and aware of their interconnectedness (Sapon-Shevin, 2008).

Consistent with our vision, Learning for All, when inclusive education is implemented appropriately, all students benefit (Power-deFur and Orelove, 1997). Inclusive programs celebrate children’s similarities as well as their different abilities and cultures (Illinois Early Learning Project).  

The District embraces the value of individual differences, the obligation to meet unique learning needs in an inclusive environment, and the importance of every child knowing they belong in the District 146 family.  

Arguably, inclusion is not just a legal requirement, philosophy, or best practice, but rather a basic need and a fundamental obligation of schools and society. Historically, the District 146 community has consistently been supportive of inclusive practices in our schools, which has allowed the District to serve as a leader in the areas of inclusion and educational best practices.  

Student Service Programs
Special Education

Some students have unique learning needs that may require additional supports such as accommodations, modifications, related services, and direct services from a special education provider.

The District follows procedures established by Federal and State legislation to identify, evaluate, develop, and implement an individualized educational plan to support students found eligible for Special Education services

ELL/Bilingual Program
The English Language Learning (ELL) program is designed to help students develop English language proficiency and achieve academic success. The District serves over 240 students from 15 different language backgrounds and 16 different countries; 67 percent of the District’s ELL students were born in the United States.

Students requiring ELL support are identified through a screening process consisting of the Home Language Survey and an assessment of English proficiency. The ELL/Bilingual program also supports culturally relevant and sensitive practices. 

Early Learning

The District’s youngest people are served by the Early Learning programs: Bridges (Birth to age three Prevention Initiative) and Early Learning/Pre-Kindergarten classes (ages three to five). 

Funded by a grant from the Illinois State Board of Education, the Bridges program focuses on serving the whole family in partnership with the community; the Early Learning/ Pre-K program is a half-day inclusive preschool for children between the ages of three and five. 

Alumni Spotlight
Ryan Lavin, Jacob Kopczyk, Kyle Lavin

District 146 alumni Ryan Lavin, Jacob Kopczyk, and Kyle Lavin received the opportunity of a lifetime when they were selected to march in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade.  

The three were selected by the nonprofit Music for All to join the Bands of America Honor Band at the annual parade. 

Ryan (Fulton, CMS ‘14), Jacob (Memorial, CMS ‘15) and Kyle (Fulton, CMS ‘16) spent a week in southern California to take part in rehearsals and various performances prior to the parade.

Ryan, Jacob, and Kyle are all current students at Marian Catholic High School. Although they do not have concrete plans after graduation, none ruled out including music in their future.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with the young musicials to learn more about their trip and time at District 146. 

How many years have you been involved in band? 

Ryan: I am in my seventh year of playing trombone in band. I spent 4 of those years at District 146 performing in the Marching Band, Concert Band and Symphonic Band.  

Jacob: I have been in band for six years now. Four of those years had been with District 146.

Kyle: I have been in band about five years now, going from 5th grade to 9th grade. I spent four years in District 146 bands, going from 5th grade to 8th grade.

What was the most memorable part of your trip to the Tournament of Roses Parade?

Ryan: Being able to learn from a world-class staff of accomplished music educators from across the United States is something I will never forget, and I plan to use their teachings in my future endeavors.

Jacob: The most memorable moment from my time with the Tournament of Roses Band was at Bandfest. This was a standing performance at Pasadena College. I enjoyed this most because of the adrenaline that this powerful performance caused to flow through me.

Kyle: The most memorable moment was the last night everyone was together. A bunch of the people I got to know over the week came over to our room, and all we did for hours was talk and laugh about the fun things that happened over the week. It was such a good feeling to have all of the people you just met in one room and being able to talk to them one last time.

What is one of your fondest memories of District 146?

Ryan: Performing with the CMS Symphonic Band at the Illinois SuperState competition at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 2014. The Krannert Center’s acoustics were absolutely fabulous and our band was extremely well prepared for the performance we had that morning. We had to arrive at school at 3 a.m. in order to arrive for our concert by 8:30 a.m.

Jacob: Winning SuperState in 7th grade. It was such an amazing performance that was truly inspiring.

Kyle: I would have to say my favorite moment of District 146 is when you would have a bad day, you could just walk into the band room and feel like you’re in your own home. It was such a good feeling walking in the band room and always feeling welcome.

Do you know someone to feature in an upcoming Alumni Spotlight? Contact Keegan at

Student Achievements
So far this school year, a number of District 146 students and teams have received awards and recognition by the District, SWIC, and community organizations.

Congratulations to these students on their hard work and accomplishments!

List of Awards and Recognitions
We are on Facebook!

Upcoming Events

13: Board of Education Meeting
14: Fulton/Memorial Concert
20: Choir Festival/Fine Arts Night
23: End of Quarter 3
27: Spring Break Begins

3: School Resumes
10: Board of Education Meeting
11: End of CMS Quint 4

3: Vogt Artist Showcase
8: Board of Education Meeting
11-12: South Cook Math Bowl
22: CMS Recognition Night
24: CMS Graduation
29:Memorial Day- NO SCHOOL

Our Schools

Central Middle School
18146 S. Oak Park Avenue
Tinley Park, IL 60477
(708) 614-4510

Fierke Education Center
6535 W. Victoria Drive
Oak Forest, IL 60452
(708) 614-4520

Fulton School
6601 W. 171st Street
Tinley Park, IL 60477
(708) 614-4525

Kruse Education Center
7617 W. Hemlock Drive
Orland Park, IL 60462
(708) 614-4530

Memorial School
6701 W. 179th Street
Tinley Park, IL 60477
(708) 614-4535

Board of Education

John Malloy

Julie Jackson
Vice President

Darcy Nendza

Vince Aiello

Julie Berry

Dean Casper

Rick Lloyd

Dr. Jeff Stawick

Mrs. Nancy Schwab
Director of Curriculum

Dr. Princy Abraham
Director of Student Services

Mr. Vern Bettis
Director of Technology

Mr. Jeff Charleston
Director of Business Services/CSBO

Mrs. Joanne Clyde
Director of Bilingual Education

Mr. Scott Slager
Director of Buildings and Grounds
Community Consolidated School District 146 | 708.614.4500  | Website