Monday, December 4, 2017


Upcoming Calendar Events:

December 8 - Guitar Concert 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
December 20-22 - Semester Finals
December 23-January 8 - Winter Break - NO SCHOOL
January 9 - School Resumes after Winter Break

District 207's Best for Fine Arts - Helaine Ilacio

Described by one teacher as a “Renaissance Woman”, Helaine plans to combine her passion for the visual arts with her family’s legacy in the healing arts, by pursuing studies to become an art therapist. With her positive outlook on life and her demonstrated work ethic, she is well situated for future success.

On behalf of Maine East, we are happy to recognize Helaine Ilacio as one of “207’s Best”!

​Message from R-Code Team


As we get close to the end of the first semester, we would like to share some of the R-Code statistics we have so far for the 2017-2018 school year.

Student of the Month

This fall, our staff has recognized more than 150 students as Students of the Month.  While not every nominee makes it to our photo shoot, many do and we usually try to get them to have some fun.  Below are the pictures from August, September (taken on Wacky Wednesday) and October.




Demon Dollars
As of today, over 1500 Demon Dollars have been used in exchange for more than 600 freeze pops, 300 mini chocolate bars, 200 lollipops, and various raffle prizes.  

Students can now use their Demon Dollars to purchase a pop-socket for their phone as well.  If you have any ideas for incentives (or would like to donate a prize), please let us know!

And lastly, 

Chance to Give Thanks
The "Chance to Give Thanks" campaign generated more than 600 thank you notes to faculty and staff, including a special thank you that we wanted to be sure everyone gets to see.

World Languages: Each year, the World Languages Department has its Honorary Societies Induction which acknowledges its top performing students! In addition, Maine East students that study more than one language  are inducted into Phi Lambda Kappa. This celebration is unique to Maine East and we are VERY proud of our students! Please see the Foreign Language Honorary Society Program 2017 for student names, and additional information about the individual language societies.

English: Seven Maine East students earned very high scores in the WordWright Challenge, a national literary analysis competition.  In the October competition, more than 65,000 high school students from 48 states tested themselves with challenging literary texts and subtle comprehension questions.  Within this pool, freshmen Hiba Samad and Cecylia Selwocki each made just one mistake, placing in the top 34 ninth graders in the country!  Other high scorers include freshman Arianeth Cespedes-Sandovar (who placed in the 127 highest-scoring 9th graders nationwide); sophomores Elly Guzman and Emilio Kehm (within the top 145 sophomores); junior Parth Patel (within the top 109 juniors); and senior Ashley Abraham (within the top 121 seniors).  Congratulations to all these students, as well as their current English teachers: Don Miller, Kate Lee-Chin, and Maria Garvy.  Bravo!!  The success of these students speaks to the strong teaching of reading and literature happening at Maine East!  We are looking forward to our next competitions in the winter and spring.

Fine Arts: Freshmen Bella and Nicole Piekut went undefeated in the preliminary rounds at the prestigious Glenbrooks Novice Debate Tournament November 18-20.  They won their semi-finals Debate, and then completed the tournament winning the Finals Round and taking First Place-Novice.  Additionally, Bella Piekut was awarded 3rd place novice speaker, and Nicole Piekut was awarded 1st place novice speaker. The novice division consisted of the top first year debaters from over 10 states.

L-R Bella and Nicole Piekut

Six senior Art students (Parisah AbestehTrinidad DiazStephanie HernandezHiba HussainHelaine Ilacio, and Armina Tolentinorecently completed a series of 2-week internships in Art Therapy with the Expressions program at Lutheran General Older Adult Services. The students were placed in teams of 2, and worked directly with adults with early-onset dementia each afternoon during their scheduled art class for two weeks. Under the supervision of Art Therapist Angela Scalisi, they were immersed in the program; helping the participants with art projects and interacting with them socially. This pilot program will be offered next semester to juniors, and will be expanded next school year with the new schedule for both upper level Art and Photo students.  

Program director Gwynne Chovanec and Art Therapist Angela Scalisi recently came to Maine East to debrief with the students and have asked them to return December 8 with their teacher Magdalene Eisenberg to visit with the participants again. Students have shared written and conversational reflections that have displayed a significant impact their experiences have had on their vision of themselves and their futures as well as their understanding of people with dementia.

We are honored to have two guests artists from “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in Washington DC join the Maine East Band and Orchestra for rehearsals this week, as well as the Winter Concert Sunday at 2 PM. Founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress, the Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. In March 1801 the Marine Band performed for Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration. Jefferson, an avid music lover and amateur violinist, is credited with giving the Marine Band the title “The President’s Own.” Since that time, the band has played for every Presidential inaugural. Today, “The Presidents Own” is celebrated for its role at the White House and its dynamic public performances, which total more than 500 annually.  Trumpet soloists Staff Sergeant Brandon Eubank and Gunnery Sergeant Brad Weil have also been discussing with students their work in the Marine Band and the various roles members play in the organization. The performance is scheduled for 2 PM this Sunday, December 3, in the Maine East Auditorium.

Special Education: On November 27th the Educational Life Skills students participated in a Hop on the Bus Workshop here at Maine East.

The Hop on the Bus to Independence Workshops help individuals with disabilities feel safe, comfortable, and confident using public transportation to get to work, go out with friends, and be more independent and involved in their community. It was an interactive and fun lesson.

Pace brought a real bus that became a “classroom” in which students learn all of the features of the bus; including using the ramp and other accessibility features, getting acquainted with the bus driver, knowing when to get off and how to pull the cord, as well as using a Ventra card to pay a fare. Back in the classroom a professional trainer works with students teaching them what they need to know about public transportation, including helpful videos, online resources, and trip planning.