December 2018 - In This Issue:

Memorial for Evan Gerstein at Payton HS 

Some of you have known that Evan Gerstein, one of our seniors, has recently been tending to significant physical health challenges. I am sad to report that Evan passed away this week. Those of you who know Evan can attest that Evan has been a vibrant person and has positively touched the lives of many students and faculty members at Payton. He was good and kind person who lived fully. He displayed and enhanced his intelligence, good spirit, athleticism (he loved playing soccer and the comradery of the Payton soccer team), and his strong values in his time at Payton. To be sure, our community was better because of him. He will be truly and dearly missed. Evan is survived by his loving and ever-supportive family, which includes his younger brother, Jackson, who in a Payton sophomore.    
Mark Twain remarked:  "For youth, death is but a rumor."   And I suppose that that is true for most of us.  Death is but a rumor until someone that we know dies and we suddenly become conscious of the fragility of life. For those that knew Evan, amongst your grief, also reflect on the goodness and beauty that he brought to our lives. For all of us, please take a moment to reflect on the radical goodness that is the gift of life and recommit ourselves to living lives filled with value and meaning, compassion and service, lives that bear scrutiny in the face of death.
Please be thoughtful and sensitive to those among us who grieve and offer your support.   Our Counselors, Social Worker, and Psychologist will be available to any student who feels that they need some help dealing with this loss. 
While this is a sad time, I am buoyed that our community will wrap our arms around each other and Evan's family, and recall fondly the gifts he so liberally bestowed in his years amongst us. And it is important to thank each one of Evan's Payton friends and faculty who added purpose and happiness to his life. I know that a number of you did much to send love and support to him in recent weeks by visiting him and/or sending him notes, emails, and texts. I know he was so warmed by your friendship.
Please take care of yourself in these times, and please keep Evan and those who love him in your thoughts.
Mr. Devine
December 7
Winter Instrumental Concert, 7pm
December 10

College Planning Night: Junior Parents, 6:30pm
December 11
Local School Council meeting, 6pm
December 11

Beginning Choirs Winter Concert, 7pm
December 12
Friends of Payton Meeting, 6-7PM, Payton Library
December 13
Advanced Choirs Winter Concert, 7pm-9pm
December 24 Winter Break Starts, No School through January 5
January 7

School Resumes after Winter Break

F or more information on calendar items, visit   FOP's Participate page  or email us .
Principal Tim Devine

Payton Parents,
This is a time of year when we celebrate Thanksgiving...a time of family and friends, a time of reflection and rejuvenation, and a time to give thanks for the bounty of our lives.  As I reflect on the world that is Payton, there is so much for which to be thankful.  Payton is a place where intrigued and intriguing students, expert faculty, and supportive parents abound.  We are so fortunate to have such a collection of people.  The German poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote: 'I'm so glad that you are here, it helps me to realize how beautiful the world is.'  These lines remind me of all of you, our Payton parents. 
It is an honor and a privilege to serve with so many talented, dedicated, and loving people.  You remind me time and time again of how beautiful the world actually is: a world of dreaming and hoping youth, and a world of kind and committed adults. 
I am so glad that you are here.
Simply...thank you,

Tim Devine

Opportunities to get involved in December

Annual Appeal
 Friends of Payton ("FOP") recently kicked off its largest fundraiser of the school year, the Payton Annual Appeal. The money raised by our community through the Annual Appeal funds essential services and programs not covered by the school's current budget from CPS: 
  • 5 teaching positions that sustain smaller class sizes and our AP and honors course offerings
  • Student textbooks, technology & equipment
  • SAT test prep and Global Connections travel funding for students eligible for Reduced or Free Lunch
  • Teacher professional development
  • Wednesday seminars, the Wellness Fair and other student events
  • Support for athletics and academic teams (buses, event fees, referees) 
Contributing to the Payton Annual Appeal not only makes these important programs possible, it also shows our faculty that we appreciate and support all they do for our children. Donations to Payton through FOP are tax deductible. For more information, visit our  Annual Appeal webpage or  contact Chris Killackey. Please   DONATE  t o Payton's Annual Appeal today.

Thank you to Zoe Huo for translating the Annual Appeal letter into Chinese and to Maria Carrion for translating the Annual Appeal letter into Spanish.

CPS Volunteer Application
All volunteers MUST have a CPS Level 2 certification and approval from Payton.   If you have CPS Level 2 certification from another CPS school, Payton MUST be  added to your CPS profile and Payton needs a copy of your Photo ID on file.  Bring your ID to the main office or upload it using the link below.  Please go to  Information Page on   Volunteering Level 2 Certification  for steps to register.  See   Payton Volunteer page  for more information and to  submit your Photo ID For questions, please contact .

Spirit Wear Sales:  Thursday, December 20, 2-6 pm  (volunteer hours 2pm to 6pm, 2 hour shifts)
Just in time for the holiday season.  Come help sell all Payton Spirit Wear during the Alumni visit.  Click here to Volunteer to Sell Spirit Wear. Email  with questions. 

Teacher Wish List 
The Teacher Wish List provides an opportunity for parents and community members to give all or part of the cost of an item to enhance a faculty member's class, a department program or any item not covered in the budget. The teachers have provided a list of more than 91 items this year, from classroom ink, bus fares and novels to a new dance floor and stationary bike. Gifts of all sizes go a long way to enhance Payton classrooms and curricula. Be sure to check out the Teacher Wish List and donate online using the following link:

Opportunities to help Payton students and families in need this Holiday Season

Payton Cares is a group of parents and guardians who have volunteered to provide financial support for students who have short-term physical needs. When a student's counselor becomes aware of a student's physical need, the counselor will first determine if the school has the necessary resources to meet this need. If the school is not able to provide the necessary resources, a request is submitted to Payton Cares for review. If Payton Cares agrees to fund the request, the Payton Administration works with Payton Cares to ensure the student receives the appropriate supports.

Over the years, Payton Cares has provided funds for students who cannot afford bus cards, do not have enough food to make it through the weekend, or are not able to secure warm clothing during the winter months. Payton Cares parents are called on when needed, as needed, to support Payton students with physical needs, which ultimately supports their education. Please email  for more information or to get involved.

Editor & Reporter Wanted
Payton Community News is still in need of a Newsletter Editor and a parent-guardian reporter for Music. It's a fun way to contribute at Payton while staying well-informed. We are still looking for a reporter for the Music Groups at Payton to r eport on choir, band and all things musical.  Both positions include lots of support and training.  Join the journalistic side of volunteering!

If interested or if you have any questions, write to Heather Bennett at

Payton Community Meetings
Principal Tim Devine kicks off each Payton Community Meeting with an informal talk about what's happening at school. All parents and guardians of Payton students are welcome and encouraged to attend our monthly meetings.
Where : Literacy Center (Payton's library on the first floor)
Time : 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
2018-2019 Upcoming Meeting Dates
    • Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018
    • Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019
    • Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019
    • Wednesday, March 6, 2019
    • Wednesday, April 10, 2019
    • Wednesday, May 8, 2019
    • Monday, June 3, 2019
Thank you
To all the Volunteers that made the Open House and Report Card Pickup a success.  These events are important for helping Payton thrive and your time is greatly appreciated!
Need to update your email address? --  Be sure to include student(s) name and year  of graduating class  and send to Heather Bennett at Thank you!
Dr. Erica Bauer, Director of Student Engagement.
This year, our students have decided to focus on allyship. I recently read that "to be an ally is to take on the struggle as your own; stand up, even when you feel scared; transfer the benefits of your privilege to those who lack it, acknowledge that while you, too, feel pain, the conversation is not about you" (from Guide to Allyship by Amélie Lamont). Our students, unfortunately, have had many opportunities to engage in allyship in response to violence and hatred against our Jewish, LGBTQAI, Latinx, Immigrant, and Black communities, to name a few.
Our last school-wide meeting, Compass, kicked off by Mr. Oren Jacobson, a community leader and civic activist committed to fighting hate in all its forms. He shared the "statistical improbability" of his own existence, as a descendant of a Polish Jew, and challenged our community to reflect on the following questions.
  • What is it that I have to do [in relation to the pain experienced within and beyond my community]?
  • What obligation do I have to the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, not to mention the millions of lives that never were?
  • What duty do I have to other communities that face persecution and discrimination?
You can view Mr. Jacobson powerful speech here.  These are not easy questions nor do they lead us to easy answers. These questions do, however, propel us further down the path to embodying the 4Cs, Payton's Vision, curiosity, character, courage, and compassion.
In the coming months, your students may be coming home excited about allyship and eager to make an impact. If you are finding that you have more questions than answers, a Google search of "How to be an ally?" will provide you with many websites and videos about the topic. I am so proud of our students and energized by their desire to change themselves and the world in which they are meant to thrive. I also find myself challenge to remain committed to do the same.

Join us on Wednesday, Jan. 23rd, in the library from 6:15 PM - 7:30 PM for the next We are Payton Parents gathering - "Is this normal? Really?!
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at

We are different. We are one. We are Payton.

2018-19 Payton Family Directory Available
Mobile app with contacts

Friends of Payton (FOP) has just released the Payton Family Directory, a mobile app providing contact info for current students' families. The app is free and automatically accessible to Payton teachers and staff. 

How to Get the Directory:  If you used the DirectorySpot app last year, then the school's new directory is already on your device and no further action is required.
For new teachers and others who haven't downloaded the mobile directory yet, please follow these instructions:
  1. Go to Apple's App Store or to Google Play and download an app called "DirectorySpot."
  2. At the log-in screen, enter your email address as the username. You must type in the same email address at which you received this email.
  3. Click the RESET PASSWORD link.
  4. Check your email for a message from DirectorySpot with a link to create your account password.
You can also access the directory from DirectorySpot's website.

About the Directory
  • To make changes to your directory listing -- faculty are in the directory, too -- please email FOP's directory volunteer, Tein Atkerson, at
  • Friends of Payton (FOP) updates the directory regularly. When changes are made, the new info is automatically delivered to all users within seconds.
  • The directory is made available ONLY to current faculty and family members of Payton students. FOP does not provide the directory to anyone not directly affiliated with our school.
  • Learn more about the DirectorySpot app in the user FAQs.

Walter Payton College Prep 
has its own therapy dog named

Cared for by
Ms. Spencer & Best Buddies

Celebrate the Holidays with the always outstanding  Winter concerts from Payton Performing Arts!
Instrumental Concert, December 7 at 7pm
featuring the Jazz Orchestra, Chamber Strings, & Concert Band

 Beginning Choir Concert, December 11 at 7pm

Advanced Choir Concert, December 13 at 7pm
Grizzly Athletics

The  Varsity Girls Basketball Team  is off to a great start at 3-1.  They tipped-off the season with their annual overnight trip to Milwaukee and are ready to start conf erence play in the competitive Red North West division.  We will welcome back our proud Alumnae on Wednesday Dec. 19 with a non-conference game against Chicago University @ 5:00 pm

Girls Basketball opening tip off

The  Boys Varsity Basketbal l team kicked off their season with a big win against De La Salle 73-67 in the St. Patrick/Glenbrook North Thanksgiving Tournament. The Grizzlies finished the tournament in fourth place after a close loss to Glenbrook North 54-52. Congrats to Jabari Chiphe (JR) and Ryan Trotter (SR) who were named to the All-Tournament Team.  Join us for the first home game on Friday 12/7 at 5pm vs. Schurz.

Jabari Chiphe (JR) takes it to the hoop in the St Pat's Thanksgiving tournament 

The JV Boys Basketball team kicked off their season with a strong presence in the Turkey Challenge Hoopfest at Whitney Young High School. The team fought hard but ended the tournament with losses to good teams from Curie, Hyde Park and Proviso West.  Brendan Ricketts (FR) was the team's leading scorer at the tournament.

JV boys compete against Whitney Young 

The Varsity Boys Bowling Team  started the season strong with wins against Admundsen, Jones, Shurz, and Lane Tech.  Last Monday, the pins were not in their favor for the first game, but they managed to win the second two in style.  The meet finished with Payton scoring 4 out of 7 points.  Individual game season high scores, include Jonathan Howell (JR) 248, Daniel Bishop (SO) 207, Matthew Moy (SO) 209, Zach Gee (JR) 235 and Stephen Whitacre (SO) 229. Way to go, Grizzlies!
Payton Boys Bowling Team after a successful meet at Waveland Bowl:  
Left to Right Daniel Bishop (SO), Marshall Bennett (SO), Jonathan Howell (JR), Stephen Whitacre (JR),  Zach Gee (JR), Matthew Moy (SO), Leon Summerfield (SO)

The Varsity Girls Bowling Team had their first meet on November 26, which they sadly lost against Lane Tech.  The team looks to bounce back lead by Captains: Aviva Kaplan (JR) and Madeline Marland (SR).  New to the team this year is dynamic freshman, Cameren Sullivan who bowled an individual game high score of 205 which is the highest in the last 4 years.  Looking to get the season ROLLIN in the right direction.  

Payton Booster Association
Our next meeting is Monday, December 17th in the school library at 6pm.

Payton Booster Association is a 501©3 organization with a mission to support Payton's interscholastic teams via fundraising, awareness, and school spirit. Join us every 3rd Monday of the month at 6pm in the library. Our next meeting is 6PM Monday,  in the school library.  All are welcome, if you are a team parent, or interested in being a team parent, especially for a fall sport, please make every effort to attend.   Follow us on Twitter @PaytonBoosters for all the team updates!

Season Passes and FREE T-Shirts
Payton Boosters Association is offering FREE GRIZZLY NATION T-Shirts with the purchase of Season Passes, while supplies last. Season Passes get purchasers into all regular season home football, basketball and volleyball games and are sold two ways:
1. Family Pass ($200): Includes a FREE t-shirt for each of your Payton Students, season passes for the whole family and 2/3 of the money goes directly to your team of choice.  
2. Student Pass ($15): Includes a FREE T-Shirt and season pass for your student.

Pay via:

-- Square
-- or PayPal or ChasePay at

News & Photos from the past month shared by the Payton community
Novice Debaters Confidently Make Tournament Debut
The Chicago Debate League's 1stHigh School Tournament for CPS High Schoolers was held the weekend of November 9that Jones College Prep. This tournament was utilized for Novice members to participate in their 1stcompetitive tournament. 
Varsity members successfully prepared their Novice Teammates for competition.  The Novice Debaters accomplished a 14-6 tournament record. 
Congratulations to Adriana Matesanz-Rodriguez & Alex Ivanyshyn-Ugryn for a great first tournament. Lily Gies & Ana Carpenter went 4-1 and broke to quarter finals. Sedona Kessler & David Armendariz went 4-1 and advanced to quarter-finals. Sedona was 4thbest speaker amongst Novices! Jack Goodman & Griffin Jones, also went 4-1, and advanced to semi-finals.  Novice Jack Goodman was 1stPlace Novice speaker at the tournament! 
Freshmen Novices David McDermott, Cole Weese, and Janah Richardson were compelled to debut as JV due to their middle school debate experience. Stacia Konow, varsity, partnered with Janah for her JV debut and accomplished a winning record.  David & Cole accomplished a winning record against stiff JV competitors and David McDermott was recognized as 18thTop Speaker.  
The Novices' results, and the Varsity commitment to their less-experienced teammates, are commendable and hint at future success.
Return to Payton Day
Payton is inviting all our graduates to come back and say hello to their friends and teachers on the Thursday before winter break. The program will include a short presentation, a tour of the new west building, and the reception with refreshments. Please spread the word to any Payton alums in your circle. Register for Return to Payton Here. . This event is co-supported by FOP and PIE.

Walter Payton College Prep, 1034 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60610 
Thursday, December 20, 2018 from 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Save the Date for the GALA 
When: March 15, 2019 
Where: Moonlight Studios
Theme: Chicago Music Festivals
"The Sweet Sounds of Chicago"

Share Your News with the Payton Community

To share your news with Payton families, please contact FOP's newsletter editor.

Heather H. Bennett, FOP VP Communications & 
Interim Newsletter Editor at

Include your article as a Word attachment or type the text into the body of your email. Please keep articles shorter than 200 words and send photos as separate attachments. Submissions are due the 25th of each month.
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