School News

Prairie Ridge Presents "Curtains"
Shannon Podzimek

Prairie Ridge will be streaming a recording of its 2021 Musical "Curtains" on March 19, 20, and 21 at 7:00 p.m. 

Stream passes will go on sale on Friday, February 26. Click the link below to purchase stream passes:

Purchase Tickets Here

Once you have your stream passes, you can use the code to stream the musical here.

It’s the brassy, bright, and promising year of 1959. Boston’s Colonial Theatre is host to the opening night performance of a new musical. When the leading lady mysteriously dies on stage the entire cast & crew are suspects. Enter a local detective, who just happens to be a musical theatre fan! Packed with glorious tunes and a witty, charming script filled with delightful characters, CURTAINS is a hilarious journey for both performers and the audience. The Broadway production garnered 8 nominations at the 2007 Tony Awards® including Best Musical.

Rosecrance Presents Coffee and Coping: A Virtual Parent Discussion Group
Alex LeMoine

Rosecrance has announced the 2021 schedule for Coffee and Coping: A Virtual Parent Discussion Group. Sessions are held virtually and links will be provided upon registration. 

Each session will begin with an informational presentation followed by an open, honest discussion to deal with the challenges of parenting in the pandemic. All meetings are confidential.

January: Isolation & Engagement
Facilitator: Meghan Chamberlain

Tuesday, January 19, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 21, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Tuesday, January 26, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 28, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

February: Conflict Resolution 
Facilitator: Shawn Garry

Tuesday, February 2, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 11, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Tuesday, February 16, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

March: Emotional Support
Facilitator: Melissa Walton

Tuesday, March 2, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 11, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Tuesday, March 16, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 25, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Rosecrance is a leading provider of treatment services for individuals with substance use and mental health disorders. Nearly 50,000 children, teens, adults, and families receive help each year.

Prairie Ridge Student Interns at D155 Alum’s Local Woodworking Shop
Alex LeMoine

Devin Lessner, a junior at Prairie Ridge High School, was able to secure an internship position during Hybrid Learning this semester at Little Board Woodworking in Lake in the Hills. The local business specializes in creating custom pieces of furniture for clients and is owned and operated by Matt Kebr, a District 155 alum.

Kebr graduated from Crystal Lake Central High School in 2014. After high school, he worked for a general contractor before realizing his passion for making custom furniture and founding his business here in the community. This year, he connected with Prairie Ridge staff to offer a current D155 student in Steve Karlblom’s career internship course a hands-on learning experience at his shop.

“I decided that the standard job hours were not for me and I wanted to kind of build my own and take on the jobs that I wanted to take on,” said Kebr. “I think if you want to pursue this, definitely trial and error is helpful...or just starting small at the local community college.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Lessner is one of the few students enrolled in the career internship course at Prairie Ridge who was able to be placed on site for his internship.

“Steve Karlblom helped me out, my internship teacher. He asked Matt to take me along with him and just teach me a few things, get comfortable with the tools and stuff,” said Lessner, who plans to pursue a career in the trades after graduating from high school. 

Watch the video below to hear from Devin about his experience finding hands-on learning opportunities during hybrid and remote learning, and to see some custom-made furniture pieces from the Little Board Woodworking workshop.

Two D155 Students' Work Featured in IAEA Art Show 
Alex LeMoine

Two art students in District 155, Kaitlyn Ellison and Kaitlin Martin, had their artwork selected to appear in this year’s Illinois Art Education Association (IAEA) state-wide student art show. Ellison submitted an original photograph and Martin created a piece using colored pencil.

“The piece of artwork that was selected for the show was a photograph I took of my sister through a sheet of ice. I took it in February of this year after the ice on our pool had started to melt. When I found out my piece won, I was very excited and honored I had won such an award. Everyone had such amazing pieces!” said Ellison, a sophomore at Crystal Lake Central.

Ellison is currently enrolled in Art and Design with Crystal Lake Central Art teacher, Kerry Parrish and has previously taken Visual Art & Technology and Photo I. She is interested in pursuing a career in photojournalism. 

“She is a very hardworking, and talented photographer, the honor is well deserved. She is also a Scholastic Art and Writing Gold Award Winner, so other agencies have recognized her work,” said Parrish of Ellison.  

Martin, a junior at Prairie Ridge, was one of three 11th graders whose artwork was selected for the art show.  She has taken several art classes at Prairie Ridge, including Studio 1, Studio 2: 2D, Studio 2: 3D, and AP® Studio.

“I am thrilled to have Kaitlin's artwork selected.  Kaitlin is a hard working student with lots of great ideas.  Although the piece selected highlights Kaitlin's drawing abilities she has also had 3d work selected for the IHSAE as well.  She is a very skilled artist and an all around great person,” said Aaron Cummins, Art teacher at Prairie Ridge.

Students across Illinois in grades kindergarten through high school submitted their work at the end of last year and over 40 pieces of artwork will be featured on the IAEA’s website all year. Elementary, middle school and high school teachers served as judges for the art show. Submissions were judged on creativity, originality, craftsmanship, and personality. 

Crystal Lake Central and Prairie Ridge are the only school in the district that enters to be in the art show. To see D155 students’ artwork and view the IAEA student art show in full, click here:

Five D155 Students Named National Merit Semifinalists
Alex LeMoine

The National Merit® Scholarship Program named five District 155 seniors as 2020 National Merit® Semifinalists. The semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and are the highest-scoring students in each state.

Max Beck - Prairie Ridge

Luke Kim - Prairie Ridge

Alexander Kitchen - Crystal Lake South

Henry Ryerson - Crystal Lake Central

Sajiv Shah - Prairie Ridge

Max Beck, a senior at Prairie Ridge, is part of the FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team that was founded last year, along with the math team and the EIU Academic Challenge team. Outside of school, he is part of an international community of people writing music for retro computers and game consoles, for which he has written songs, helped build a website, and run a few livestreams. Beck is on track to graduate from Prairie Ridge in December 2020. Afterward, he plans to spend time in the workforce before attending college to study computer science and 3D graphics.

Luke Kim has also been selected from Prairie Ridge High School. Kim is a senior involved in National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Student Council, LINK Crew, Spanish Club, and Varsity Academic Challenge (ACES) team. This spring, he established an outreach program called Fútbol for Hope partnered with HOPE's IN, a nonprofit based out of Barrington, which sends supplies and staple foods to Guatemala City, an impoverished community that was deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kim also volunteers at TOP Soccer, a local organization that works with children with special needs and allows them to develop teamwork and soccer skills in a safe and supportive environment. 

“I hope to study at a university after high school, specializing in incorporating sociology and medicine to help make the world a better place. I'm not sure what college exactly I will be attending, but hope to go to one that fits my interests and allows me to really grow,” said Kim.

Zander Kitchen is a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. He has been recognized as a National AP scholar and is involved in National Honor Society, Student Council, drumline and band, the Crystal Lake South math team, and is a student member of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME). Kitchen is also a varsity wrestler and has served as an AVID program tutor. After high school, Kitchen plans to study engineering and eventually serve in the military as a fighter pilot.

Henry Ryerson attends Crystal Lake Central High School. The senior is passionate about anything to do with computers. He is involved in Computer Club at Crystal Lake Central and his hobbies include coding, video games, and working independently on projects. Ryerson’s plan is to attend college in the future.

Sajiv Shah is the Co-President of National Honor Society, plays football for Prairie Ridge, is a Life Scout in Boy Scouts, is in German National Honor Society & German Club, and competes in Math Team, Scholastic Bowl & the ACES team. He plans to attend a 4-year university, to study economics and mathematics. Shah hopes to pursue a career in finance and eventually move into politics.

High school students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). The exam serves as an initial screening of about 1.6 million students each year.  The semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and are the highest scoring students in each state.

Students will find out if they have advanced to Finalist standing in February 2021. Beginning in March 2021, National Merit Scholarship winners will be awarded.