Community Consolidated School District 146
The Horizon
Fall 2018
Dr. Jeff Stawick, Superintendent
From the Superintendent

Welcome back! We've had a great start to the new school year. It is safe to say our students and our staff are now into the swing of things. I am quite impressed.

If you know me, you understand that even when I'm impressed, I'm not satisfied. Safety is always on your mind and mine. Our schools have already conducted drills to be sure our students are aware of emergency procedures and exits. We will continue to conduct these drills throughout the school year.

You will see a piece in this issue of the Horizon from Dr. Princy Abraham, our Director of Student Services. She writes about a recent District safety audit, District policies and procedures, and the social and emotional supports we have in place for our students.

This month’s entry in my blog, Speaking with Stawick, is also focused on safety. It includes definitions for some of our frequently used terms like lockout and lockdown. You can click the link below to visit the blog. Please remember to subscribe to receive email alerts so you never miss a new post.

On Thursday, October 18, I will be hosting my first Superintendent's Breakfast of the year to further discuss safety. If you would like to attend, please contact Laura Bachman at or by phone at (708) 614-4507.

As exciting and eventful as the 2018-2019 school year has already been, I am sure it is only going to get better. Wishing you all an educational, fun, and safe school year.


Dr. Jeff Stawick
Music to our Ears!
Band members spell out Pride on the field after marching band practice.
Our CMS band has already had an amazing year! Over the summer, the band performed the National Anthem at the Joliet Slammers game. The marching band has also performed in the Worth Days, Palos, and Corn Festival parades.
CMS Band plays at the Slammers game.
Full-Day Kindergarten Takes Off
The new full-day kindergarten program has begun and is off to a great start! Kindergarten utilizes play and discovery-based learning to keep students excited, interested, and learning throughout the day. Our half-day program began using these types of learning exercises a few years ago with excellent results.

“District 146 already has a strong academic program in place,” said Julie Lingl, a kindergarten teacher at Fierke. “Giving children a full day to learn allows us to integrate more time for purposeful play and exploration, which helps children internalize what they are learning as well as sparks curiosity.”
Kindergarten students use toys to learn numbers.
Kindergarten students work at a table.
The Board of Education, administration, teachers, staff, and parents worked together to produce a play-based, student-centered, whole-child approach to learning.

Play-based learning is teacher-facilitated and based on essential skills and state learning standards. The developmentally-appropriate activities will also teach students conflict resolution, social skills, communication, problem-solving, and turn-taking.

Discovery-based learning is student-led and interest driven, prompting students to ask “Why?”, “What?”, and “How?”. With discovery-based learning, students’ curiosity, interest and wonderment lead the discussion and learning.
A kindergarten student uses gears to learn.
Kindergarten students talk about their class turtle.
Kindergarten classrooms are separated into various learning areas including building, literacy, dramatic play, art, writing, sensory, science/discovery, and math. Each area contains activities that teach students in a context that is meaningful to them. For example, students will retell a story using puppets, action figures, or dramatic play to strengthen their vocabulary, communication, and writing. 

Nancy Schwab, District 146 Curriculum Director, said the new program allows students to play an active role in learning, fostering their natural curiosity and wonderment. Teachers use student-driven interests stemming from nonfiction books, open-ended activities, and live specimens, including tarantulas, bearded dragons, and a tortoise, to help students learn in new and exciting ways.
Ready for Kindergarten
Ready for Kindergarten Classes are available for parents of children from birth to five years old in District 146.

Classes are held three times per year: fall, winter, and spring. Visit the District website for upcoming dates.

All classes are 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. at Central Middle School, 18146 Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park.

For more information or to register, contact Carmen Ford at (708) 614-4547.
Safety and Supports
Dr. Princy Abraham, Director of Student Services
Dr. Princy Abraham, Director of Student Services
District 146 takes the safety of our students, staff, and families seriously. Many safeguards, including safety clerks, locked doors, and video cameras, are in place to assure our buildings are secure throughout the day. We have plans in place in the event of a crisis, but also strive to curb the chances of violence or emergencies before they occur.

Every year, the District reviews our Crisis Plan, which is designed to respond to crisis situations. As part of the plan, we have a shared understanding of terms to communicate the intensity of the crisis and the procedures to follow. Dr. Stawick touched on these terms in his September blog post. You can click here to visit his blog and learn about the terminology most frequently used by the District.

As part of our Crisis Plan review, we recently worked with an independent auditor to assess our processes, safety equipment, and physical plants to ensure our practices are aligned with those recommended by the experts. We are currently reviewing the recommendations from the audit to make sure we continue to build on our strengths and address any areas that may require improvement. 

The District recognizes that school violence is often connected to emotional wellness. We have implemented proactive ways to support the social and emotional needs of our students. We value our relationships with students, and utilize practices developed by Safe and Civil Schools, to address behaviors and build relationships.

Similarly, the District implements a research-based social/emotional curriculum (Second Step) to prevent and address bullying, abuse, and other factors affecting the well-being of our students. Counseling teams are available at every school to support our students, and our staff is trained to identify and respond to students who may require additional supports.

As Dr. Stawick indicated in his blog, our students' safety is of utmost importance to you and to us. We constantly strive to make sure our practices are conducive to a safe and welcoming learning environment. As part of our D146 community, you remain our greatest partner and we welcome your feedback. Please don’t hesitate to say something if your see or hear something. 
Tag, You're Fit!
The Tag, You're Fit newsletter, brought to you by the D146 Wellness Committee, is now included in
The Horizon!

Click below to read this quarter's edition!
Alumni Spotlight:
Dani Carlson (Fierke, CMS '98)
Headshot for Dani Carlson.
Dani Carlson is an award-winning journalist who has had a number of experiences many have only dreamed of. However, she stresses that the work she has done that makes a difference in peoples' lives is the most important to her.

After graduating from Central, Dani went to Andrew High School, and then on to Northwestern University in Evanston. Dani has worked for a number of television stations, earning an Emmy for a story involving education in Michigan, and multiple Associated Press awards.

Currently, Dani is the Director of Communications and Digital Strategy for The Center for Community Solutions. The 105-year-old nonprofit researches and advocates for health and human service issues. Dani works with reporters and lawmakers, and promotes the organization's research.

When did your interest in journalism begin?
I’m not quite sure when it first began -- my parents watched the news every night at dinner time and I remember always being very interested in the news reporters and anchors. When I was in third grade, at Fierke, I had my birthday party downtown at the Museum of Broadcast Communications and a couple of friends and I all did a mock newscast. My mom still has the VHS tape of the three of us in ill-fitting ‘MBC’ jackets reading the news.

I think I really decided that I wanted to pursue journalism for a living when I was in high school, though. I got a tip that the school district planned to privatize cafeteria services and lay off all of the current cafeteria workers. I reported that story, and as a result the employees were able to keep their jobs. I really fell in love with the idea that my stories could help people and make a difference. 
What are some of the highlights of your career?
I’ve gotten to do some very cool things as a reporter. I lived in South Africa and reported for a television station there. I’ve been on Dateline, and covered wildfires in California, and the White House in Washington D.C. I went bungee jumping, marched with protestors and met Will Smith (yes THE Will Smith).

But I think the most important things I’ve done involved actually making a difference in the lives of real people. Just one example, my reporting got carbon monoxide hoses in firehouses fixed and replaced after I did a story about how broken hoses had the potential to make firefighters sick. I was the first reporter in the state of Ohio to successfully sue a city for public records they illegally withheld, without the assistance of an attorney. I’ve been a shoulder to cry on, I’ve helped people get their money back, and saved jobs. It’s these stories that make the most impact on me because they had the most impact on real people.
Dani Carlson on assignment.
Dani Carlson at the Anchor Desk
Were there any staff members who who left a lasting impression on you?
Ms. Beer and Mrs. Hoffman at Fierke both always made me feel like everything was going to be ok. My dad was very sick for most of my time in District 146, and without their support and understanding I know it would have been a lot more difficult. Mr. Broccolo really changed the course of my time in school, and possibly my life, by encouraging me to go out for the girls basketball team. Mr. Gardner, the principal at Fierke for the entire time I was there, also always went out of his way to make sure everything was going all right – and even gave me a summer “job” at school one particularly difficult summer.  

While in school, what was your favorite subject?
History! History was always my favorite subject – I loved learning about the stories behind the people in the history books. I think this is another reason why I gravitated towards journalism – being able to tell the stories of people I met, or as one professor said, “Journalism is the first draft of history.”  

Did you participate in any extracurriculars at District 146?
I did! I was in band and choir. But, one of the biggest things I participated in while I was at Central that really shaped my time there was being on the basketball and track teams. Despite being very tall, I had never even thought about playing basketball until Mr. Broccolo, the girls basketball coach, saw me and said I should play on the team. Although I was never very good (I mainly sat the bench) being a part of the team – especially what turned out to be a winning team – really shaped my time at Central and made me feel a part of something special.  

How did Fierke and Central help shape the person you've become?
I learned that it’s ok to not be the best at everything, but it’s important to try things that you aren’t good at. I was always very successful academically – physically – not so much, and I think that being (one of, if not the worst players) on the basketball and track teams really helped me learn to be a more well-rounded person than I would have been without this experience. 

What is your favorite memory from District 146?
I’m sure there were many that I’m not thinking of right now but I remember my favorite day of basketball practice each year was the one day Mr. Broccolo let us watch Hoosiers instead of actually practicing (remember I was not physically fit). I also very much enjoyed being able to speak at our graduation ceremony and represent the student body on that stage – it was one of my first big audiences – just setting me up for my time as a television reporter!

Do you have any advice for current students?
Be kind and treat others as you would like to be treated. Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough because of who you are or where you’re from. The education you get at Fierke and Central is a great foundation to succeed in life. I was a National Merit Scholar and went to one of the top universities in the country. You can too! 
Do you know someone to feature in an upcoming Alumni Spotlight? Contact Keegan at .
Construction has begun at all four elementary schools!

Click below to follow the process of District construction projects.
Art students work on a mural.
Upcoming Events

9: Board Committee of the Whole Meeting
10: Walk to School
11: Early Learning Family Education Night
15: Board of Education Meeting
19: No School- School Improvement Day

5: Board Committee of the Whole Meeting
9: End of Trimester 1
12: Board of Education Meeting
16: Report Cards Issued
19: Fall Break Begins
19: Parent/Teacher Conferences
20: Parent/Teacher Conferences
26: Classes Resume
30: Early Learning Screenings

3: Board Committee of the Whole
6: Early Learning Family Education Night
10: Board of Education Meeting
13: CMS Band Winter Concert
24: Winter Break Begins

January 2019
7: Classes Resume
A student poses with his grandparents during special persons day.
Our Schools

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

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

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

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

6701 W. 179th Street
Tinley Park, IL 60477
(708) 614-4535
Board of Education

John Malloy

Dean Casper
Vice President

Darcy Nendza

Vince Aiello

Julie Berry

Julie Jackson

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. Matt Shanahan
Director of Buildings and Grounds
Community Consolidated School District 146
Phone 708-614-4500 | Fax 708-614-8992