School News

PR World Studies Teacher Named Teacher of the Month
Kari Firak

Prairie Ridge World Studies teacher Sarah Dunker has been named October 2022 Home State Bank/Star 105.5 Teacher of the Month.

Nominated by a current student, Mrs. Dunker is being recognized for her fun and interactive learning activities.

"She makes learning about the world so fun and I love to be in her class! Usually by the end of class I want to stay longer!"

Star 105.5 & Home State Bank representatives gathered with Mrs. Dunker virtually to make the announcement and celebrate live on the Star facebook page.

Prairie Ridge Student Earns Perfect Score on ACT
Kari Firak

Sarah Lanza, a Prairie Ridge High School junior, earned a perfect score on the ACT the first time she took it. Only around three-tenths of one percent of all test takers earn the top score.

“I am very proud of this achievement because it shows me that diligence and hard work do pay off and that if I set my mind on something I have the work ethic to get there,” said Lanza. 

To prepare, Lanza used prep books from the library to get practice tests and review concepts, noting that she began taking them in the summer, “So I had time to take multiple practice tests until I was comfortable with the exam,” said Lanza.

Lanza, a junior at Prairie Ridge, is still looking at different post-high school options, but is currently interested in studying biochemistry or neuroscience in hopes of becoming a clinical researcher or doctor in the future. She is involved in Science Olympiad, Big Brothers Big Sisters, math team, Spanish National Honor Society, and is the co-president of the environmental club in addition to her current course load of AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP English Language and Composition, Dual Credit Calculus III, and Dual Credit Spanish III.

“I hope that this score will enable me to get accepted at my dream university and help me further my education,” said Lanza.

All D155 Schools Nationally Ranked in the Top 8 Percent
Kari Firak

District 155 schools have all ranked in the top eight percent nationally and the top 12 percent in the state according to U.S. News and World Report's Best Public High Schools 2022 list. Twenty-four thousand public high schools throughout the country were evaluated, with results based state exam performance and college preparedness. 

All D155 schools ranked in the top 100 in Illinois; with Cary-Grove earning the no. 54 spot in the state, Prairie Ridge earned no. 55, Crystal Lake South sits at no. 66, and Crystal Lake Central is at no. 83 in Illinois rankings. More than seven-hundred schools in Illinois were evaluated for this prestigious list.

"This type of prestigious recognition is a testament to the supportive families in District 155 along with the staff and students' determination and dedication towards learning." said Steve Olson, D155 Superintendent, "Our mission is to empower students to Enter with Promise and Leave with Purpose. These rankings are proof of our commitment to excellence and preparing students for the future."

To view the full Best Public High Schools list, and further detailed results of D155 high schools, please click here.

Prairie Ridge Junior Secures State Title in High Jump
Kari Firak

Prairie Ridge junior Rylee Lydon wins the state title in the high jump, clearing 1.68m. Rylee placed in more than one category at the girls track and field state championship, also earning 3rd place in the long jump and 7th place in the 400 meter dash. 

"I’m just super thankful I was healthy and feeling like myself again by the time state came around, and coming home with another state title is a great feeling," said Rylee, "Next year, I’m really looking forward to not only choosing a college to compete at, but also widening my variety of events."

The Prairie Ridge girls track and field team has a great season overall, with Rylee's teammates Rachel Soukup and Haylee Yelle also placing in the state competition. 

D155 Incubator Program Receives Carl E. Wehde Award
Kari Firak

The Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce awarded the 2022 Carl E. Wehde Award to the D155 Business Incubator Program! The business incubator program provides students an opportunity to learn business and entrepreneurship skills in partnership with local businesses.

Carl Wehde served as school board president where he championed the connection between community involvement and student enrichment. D155 is honored to be recognized for this commitment to personalized education and community relationships. 

Prairie Ridge Industry & Careers and Wellness Division Leader Bryan Peckhart and Business Education Teacher Ryan O'Neill attended the annual dinner and award ceremony to accept this award.