Showing posts with label schools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label schools. Show all posts

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Hennepin Vocational Trade Grant Notice


The Hennepin Village Grant and Scholarship Committee would like everyone to know that the deadline for the Hennepin Vocational-Trade Grant has been extended to September 15th.

There are two grants still available. Examples of Vocational or Trade programs are, but not limited to: Cosmetology, Nursing, Horticulture, Early Child Development, Truck Driving, Welding, Electrician, Plumber, Dental Hygienist, Computer Technician, etc.

Please check out the Scholarships & Grants page for guidelines and applications. You may also email or call the Village Hall at 815-925-7138 for more information.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Preschool Screenings to be Held on August 5

The LaSalle/Putnam County Educational Alliance for Special Education (LEASE) Cooperative and the Putnam County School District will offer a preschool screening on Monday, Aug. 5.

The screenings will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Putnam County Primary School in Granville. A parent must accompany their child to the screening.

Putnam County children who will be 3 years old on or before Aug. 5 are eligible for screening for fall enrollment. If a child turns 3 after this date, they will need to be screened at a different location after their third birthday.

The screening will cover small and large muscle development, speech, language, hearing, vision, cognition and social skills. Parents who have other developmental concerns about their child can discuss those during the parent interview. All Putnam County families with age-eligible preschoolers are encouraged to take advantage of this screening. The results of the screening will be used to determine eligibility for the early childhood program at PCPS. Students not eligible will be placed on a waiting list.

The preschool program (Preschool for All) is a state-funded grant program from the Illinois State Board of Education, and all rules and regulations are followed for the grant support. The preschool program offers developmentally appropriate experiences for young children to strengthen their skills for success later on in school. The program includes hands-on activities presented in a positive and encouraging learning environment.

To make an appointment for the preschool screening, call the school at 815-882-2800, option 5.

Source: Putnam County Record


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Hennepin American Legion Selects Candidate to Attend Girls State

Image credit: Putnam County Record
Hennepin American Legion Auxiliary Post 1044 has selected Molly Boyd to attend the American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State. The event will be held June 16-22 on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

Girls State is one of the most respected and coveted experiential learning programs presented in the United States. The program epitomizes the mission to honor those who’ve brought freedom through enduring commitment to develop young women as future leaders grounded in patriotism. The young women become knowledgeable of the democratic process and of how our republic form of government works at the state and national levels.

The attendee is selected from the Putnam County High School junior girls, must reside in Hennepin, show high academic achievement, and be involved in extra-curricular activities and the community.

Source: Putnam County Record


Thursday, April 18, 2019

PCHS Student Honored at Hennepin Village Meeting

Image credit: News Tribune
A Putnam County High School senior was honored with a scholarship Wednesday night.

Hennepin Mayor Kevin Coleman honored Justice Petersen as the second place 2019 recipient of the Adam and Ida Deck College Scholarship. She attended the monthly board meeting Wednesday.

She’ll receive an annual $1,000 sum for four years from the village.

Although not able to attend the board meeting, Madelyn Dzierzynski is the first place 2019 recipient for the same scholarship and will receive an annual $1,200 sum for four years from the village.

Scholarships still are available

There’s still an opportunity for high school seniors who live in Hennepin or Hennepin Township to receive a scholarship from the village of Hennepin.

The village gives away three one-time scholarships to high school seniors who are going into a vocational career, said Coleman, mentioning no one has applied yet.

If interested, call the village office at (815) 925-7138.

Source: News Tribune


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

IVCC Hosts Third Annual STEAM Conference

Image credit: Shaw Media/Dave Cook
Hundreds of students and staff from schools across the Illinois Valley gathered Tuesday at IVCC to participate in the third annual STEA²M Conference presented through the efforts of the LaMoille School District.

Featuring many presentations in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, art, agriculture and math (STEA²M), both students and educators were given the opportunity to explore their interests throughout the day.

"The elements of STEA²M have become so important to the future of our students. We hope what they're exposed to today will inspire them towards a future and career they're both interested in and enjoy," LaMoille teacher Carol Darveau said.

"This conference has also been of tremendous help to my students because it's taught them how to work together to successfully organize a complicated event," she added.

Participating in the campus-wide event were attendees from Hall, Lostant, LaMoille, DePue, Putnam County, Oglesby, Waltham, Bureau Valley, JFK, Holy Cross, Princeton, Neponset and St. Mary's schools.

"This event is helpful in that it helps our students to learn how to collaborate and use their brains in different ways than they do in school," Maricelle Ellena, a teacher at Putnam County Junior High School, said.

The morning's keynote speaker was Jason Marquis, of Marquis Energy. He shared his family's history in the area, guided the students through a series of challenging puzzles, and gave them advice on what's needed to be successful.

"Having a growth mindset and knowing how to learn is important, and resilience is a key factor," he said.

Following the presentation and mental exercises in the IVCC gymnasium, the students split up and selected a variety of different concurrent presentations to attend throughout the campus.

Some of the topics featured included physics, photography, scientific method, the Civil Air Patrol, zoology, problem solving, wellness and fitness, mathematic design, crime scene investigation, community planning, computer design, environmental science, coding, video editing, and more.

Schools also often take what they've seen at the STEA²M Conference and return home to use it in their curriculum.

"This is my first time here, but this is a great opportunity for our students to participate in hands-on presentations and explore different areas of science and technology," JFK teacher Julia Toller said.

"I enjoy how our students can explore hands-on activities, and it helps them think outside of the box," Lostant teacher Tricia Haynes said.

Jay McCracken, interim superintendent for LaMoille and the former superintendent for Putnam County and Hall High School, said education has had to adapt in order to provide more direct pathways for students, particularly those not bound for college.

"We believe STEAM education is immensely important for our young people, and this conference wonderfully compliments our Career Start program that's intended to equip our students with the skills they need to successfully enter into a well-paid career," he said.

Source: Putnam County Record


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Learning Skills for a Lifetime

Image credit: News Tribune
Students at Putnam County Elementary School in Hennepin are getting some firsthand gardening experience by planting, maintaining and harvesting small gardens at the school.

The U. of I. Extension offers the class so students learn how to garden and hopefully carry the knowledge to their adult life, said Master Gardener Sharon Gallup.

One of the sections involves letting the students taste fruits and vegetables, and gardeners are surprised by how many kids have never had some of the foods, like a blueberry, she said. The gardeners are happy the kids enjoy the foods. The gardeners have gone to other schools as well, like Spring Valley, Toluca, Fieldcrest and others. If interested in having the program at your school, contact the Extension office at (815) 433-0707.

Source: News Tribune


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Adam and Ida Deck Scholarships Awarded

Image credit: Putnam County Record
The Hennepin Village Board awarded the Adam and Ida Deck Scholarships during its April 18 meeting.

The first-place recipient was Emma Cyr, daughter of Christian and Jamie Cyr. The scholarship will provide her with $1,200 each year for four years.

The second-place recipient is Cameron Colby, son of Julie and Dane Colby. He will receive $1,000 each year for four years. These scholarships are subsidized through proceeds from the Adam and Ida Deck Scholarship Fund and are awarded on the basis of scholastic ability.

Congratulations, Emma and Cameron!

Source: Putnam County Record


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Marquis Energy Supports Food Program for Students

Image credit: Putnam County Record
Marquis Energy LLC is helping combat hunger in students by contributing to a local non-profit whose mission is to provide needy children with snack packs on days when school is not in session.

Princeton Buddy Bags serves the local children in Princeton and Malden school districts, by providing breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks to students on weekends and school break days.

“Princeton Buddy Bags provides an incredible service to the families in our area,” Mark Marquis, CEO of Marquis Energy, said. “These students receive tremendous nourishment through this program, while taking some financial burden off the families.”

Marquis is thankful for the wonderful people at Princeton Buddy Bags who provide this service and wholeheartedly support this cause.

Marquis remains committed to bettering the community through service and producing homegrown ethanol for cleaner air and more affordable fuel.

With a production capacity of one million gallons of fuel grade ethanol per day, Marquis Energy is the largest dry-mill biofuels production facility in the United States.

Source: Putnam County Record


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Marquis Energy Donates $250,000 for Five Area High Schools

Image credit: News Tribune
Marquis Energy of Hennepin gifted five local high schools with $250,000 in cash contributions, to be used in advancing the fields of science, math or agricultural studies.

The local schools being awarded $50,000 each are: Bureau Valley High School, Hall High School, Princeton High School, Putnam County High School and St. Bede Academy.

“The success of our local students is a major priority to Marquis and we hope this investment makes a lasting impact in the lives of our future leaders,” said Mark Marquis, chief executive officer of Marquis Energy. “Our students have big aspirations and we look forward to seeing these future generations better the world.”

Also, the Marquis Energy-WI, LLC plant in Necedah, Wis., is also gifting the three local high schools in that area with cash contributions to be used toward science, math and agricultural advancements.

Marquis remains committed to bettering the community through service and producing corn-starch ethanol for cleaner air and a higher-octane, more affordable fuel, a press release asserted.

With a production capacity of one million gallons of fuel grade ethanol per day, Marquis Energy is the largest dry-mill biofuels production facility in the United States.

Source: News Tribune


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hennepin Fire Truck Gives Ride to School for Children with Best Escape Plans

Image credit: News Tribune
It’s not every day you get to be picked up for school by a fire truck.

Monday, two members of the Hennepin Fire Department picked up three Putnam County elementary students to bring them to school in a fire truck.

“This is unbelievable!” said third-grade winner Marley DeWolfe of Magnolia, who said she’s never ridden in a fire truck before Monday.

The department teaches the students about fire safety during Fire Prevention Week, which was Oct. 8-14, but the department wants the messages to stick with the students, said Quentin Buffington, firefighter/fire prevention officer/public information officer. Buffington drove the fire truck Monday with Dan Zilm, assistant fire chief.

The department then introduced an optional project to the students.

To be eligible to win the ride, the students had to complete and return a drawing of their home that included two ways of exit from each room and indicate the location of smoke alarms. The students also had to write down an emergency phone number and a meeting place outside the home in case of an emergency. After seeing all those pieces of information, the firefighters narrowed the completed entries down to the best plans.

“This is way better than riding the school bus,” said fifth-grade winner Brooklyn Brester of Mount Palatine. “Can you guys pick us up after school too?” Brester asked Buffington and Zilm.

Buffington said this has been going on for years, and he doesn’t know of any other local departments that do this for the students.

After dropping the kids off at school, an assembly was held to remind the students about fire safety.

“I’m very proud of you,” Buffington told all the students at the assembly. “You remembered everything I taught you.”

“The students not only enjoy it,” said principal Courtney Balestri, “it also has an effect on their safety, which is priceless to us.”

The three winners also received a $25 Amazon gift card, and three students were honorable mentions who got $15 Subway gift cards.

Buffington said more than 100 students submitted escape plans.

Source: News Tribune


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

PCES Students Raise Money to Help IVAR’s Animals

Image credit: Putnam County Record
When Courtney Balestri, principal of Putnam County Elementary School (PCES), was approached by a group of students wanting to do something to give back to their community, she had no idea it would end with a pie in her face.

The students were fifth -graders Maggie Spratt, Madison Wasilewski, Hannah Taliani and Kaden Nauman. After helping the group decide which project to develop, Balestri then involved the entire school in the charitable effort.

“They had several ideas and we helped scale it down to what we thought we could realistically accomplish. It was a teachable moment as they were forced to consider the many details of what would have to be done in order to reach their goal,” Balestri said.

The group eventually decided they wanted to raise money to help the animals at the Illinois Valley Animal Rescue (IVAR) in LaSalle. The students of each class collected whatever they could and as a reward, their principal announced a lucky few from the class raising the most money could throw a pie at her.

“It doesn’t matter if you gave five cents or five dollars, your efforts have made a difference and you’ve helped these animals,” Balestri told her students.

The school raised a total of $160 and the final morning of the event found Balestri a bit nervous.

“I’ve spoken in front of hundreds of people many times and I’ve never been nervous, but for some reason my hands are shaking this morning,” she said.

To help celebrate the success of the fundraising, IVAR volunteer and PCES alumnus John McKirgan attended the Oct. 31 assembly. He also brought a four-legged representative in Laya, who was appropriately dressed in a hamburger Halloween costume. Laya is a two-time IVAR rescue who McKirgan adopted after she was returned to the shelter a second time.

McKirgan told the students the funds will help provide medical care to the shelter’s 35 dogs and more than 100 cats. He later spoke about why he likes taking shelter dogs to visit schools.

“I like getting the kids to enjoy the dogs and when they see a bit of the sadder side of pets, it helps give hope for the future because they’ll see how important their compassion is and that they can make a difference,” he said.

After the students were assembled in the gym, Balestri reviewed the school’s “Six Pillars of Character,” an ongoing exercise designed to help instill positive behavior and decision making. The pillars consist of truth, responsibility, respect, caring, fairness and citizenship.

Following that, Laya was introduced. When the students learned she’d had puppies while in the shelter, they asked how many babies she’d had. McKirgan’s answer of “Nine,” resulted in a roar of approval.

Balestri then drew three names from Valerie Peterson’s fourth-grade class: Brayden Zuniga, Jonathan Avila and Vincen Dobson. As their principal assembled the pies which she’d soon be wearing, the student body grew increasingly louder as they encouraged her to make them as big as possible.

Through each of the three pies, everyone in the gymnasium was laughing, including Balestri. Following the issuance of the pies, Balestri, as she wiped the cream from her hair, announced they were rather cold and wet.

As the PCES student body filed from the gym, many stopped briefly to pet Laya. Before heading back to class the organizers were asked which they enjoyed more, their principal wearing pies or helping the animals in the shelter.

The answers were unanimously “Helping the animals,” which shows Balestri’s students have been paying attention to their “Six Pillars of Character.”

Source: Putnam County Record


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

State Provides Some Support to Schools

It was a short meeting, but it mostly contained good news, at least for a school district in Illinois.

While the Putnam County School District is still owed $609,721.23 in mandated funding from the state, they have received a payment of $448,298.99. This raises the total Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax payments for the year to approximately $3.1 million.

Superintendent Carl Carlson said he wasn’t sure if any additional payments would be received because the court has ruled Medicaid payments take a precedent over other state obligations, which may put future categorical payments in jeopardy.

Carlson is also still a member of a group of 419 Illinois superintendents who are speaking as a group to bring attention to the negative impact the state’s financial problems are causing the 1.2 million students they represent.

As the state’s financial troubles deepen, the Putnam County District has continued to exercise financial prudence. Last fiscal year, 91 percent of the budget was spent. This year the district improved that figure and spent only 87 percent of its budget, partially achieved by a $25,000 savings in the transportation budget. While a significant savings, a portion of the money still owed by the state includes more than $267,000 for transportation costs.

Also at the meeting, Carlson was happy to report the Illinois State Board of Education’s required Life Safety inspections resulted in all four Putnam County School buildings passing with 100 percent compliance.

Source: Putnam County Record


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Putnam County Board Changes Grading Scales for Continuity

The Putnam County School Board on Monday agreed with the administration and voted to change the grading scale.

The current scale sets A grades from 100-94 percent, B grades from 93-87, C grades from 86-77, and D grades from 76-70, with anything below in the failing range. Now 100-91 will be an A, 90-81, a B, etc.

High school principal Clay Theisinger explained the current system puts students behind other districts search for post-secondary scholarships and entry.

“They are competing for the same scholarships. They are competing for entrance to the same colleges, but they are being evaluated with different scales,” Theisinger said. “If anything, our (current) scale is harder.”

Because Putnam County is a unit district, the 10-point system will carry down through the junior high and elementary schools. 

Source: News Tribune


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Slowing the Summer Slide

Image courtesy of the Putnam County Record
Putnam County Schools considering change to summer school program

The “Summer Slide” is a well-documented decline of learning skills many students suffer from while they’re away from school during the summer months. Putnam County educators are looking for a way to help keep their students engaged.

Typically, students attend summer school in a series of consecutive half-days just before school resumes. Putnam County Primary School Principal Ronda Cross said although they’ve tried repeatedly to document the benefits of this format, they’ve been unable to show any conclusive results.

Cross, along with Putnam County Elementary School Principal Courtney Balestri and Putnam County Junior High Principal Mike Olson, proposed to the school board a restructuring of summer school. While many details remain to be worked out, the general idea is to hold summer school one half-day per week throughout the summer.

She said it would help to keep students more fully engaged while also making it easier to find teachers to participate and to work around scheduling problems. It was also proposed to hold the classes at one location, while using one bus to transport students to limit expenses.

The board approved a budget of $10,157 for the summer school program and encouraged their principals to continue developing their proposal.

Cross also discussed an idea for a mobile library stocked with donated books to travel throughout the county during the summer to help encourage children to continue to read during their vacation.

Funding concerns continue

The state now owes more than $783,000 in mandated funding to the Putnam County School District.

Superintendent Carl Carlson said he’s joined with a group of 179 other superintendents in a call for the state to fully fund schools and also said State Sen. Sue Rezin has given her support. Carlson said they will continue to publicize the information, so the public remains aware of the problems the two-year budget gridlock is causing.

While some schools are joining in a developing lawsuit against the state in regards to the lack of mandated funding, Carlson and the Putnam County School Board discussed the risks of joining the legal action because of the unknown costs.

Student projects

The six students whose science fair projects advanced to the regional competition shared their work with the board. Of those six, two will be advancing to the state competition which will be held at Northern Illinois University.

Six fourth-grade students presented their social studies projects with the board. The fourth-grade classes recently studied Putnam County history. Along with a visit to the Putnam County Ag Museum, the students visited with local judges who shared the local connection to President Abraham Lincoln.

The students were also visited by storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis. His visits covered three days and were sponsored by the Putnam County Education Foundation. During one visit Ellis played an assistant to Lincoln as he helped the students understand the time the future president spent in Putnam County.

The fourth-graders also took part in a project at the museum which allowed them to create artifact labels after researching items of their choice.

“I’m incredibly proud of the students and thankful they were able to be part of such a meaningful project within our own county,” Balestri said.

Source: Putnam County Record


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Putnam County Board Members Hear Regional School Report

The regional superintendent of schools, Chris Dvorak, stopped by the Putnam County Board Monday morning to discuss the annual report for the La Salle, Marshall and Putnam Region.

Dvorak was happy with the regional merger that brought in Marshall and Putnam counties, as well as programs going on in the region, including the work study program and the area’s truancy program.

He also discussed the funding issues going on with local schools.

“When you hear we’re fulling funding education, well, no we’re not,” Dvorak said.

He explained that while the state has set a budget for the schools, it is not providing categorical funds, like special education and transportation, and also took other funding sources, like the corporate personal property replacement tax, from districts like Putnam County.

Dvorak also discussed the lack of teachers and substitutes available in the district.

N0 all-clear signal for you

Sheriff Kevin Doyle told the board there had been some talk at other boards in the county about an “all clear” signal after tornado warning sirens have been blown.

Doyle said he didn’t know of any counties that currently used those types of signals, mostly for liability reasons, and told the board he would not be using them either.

Source: News Tribune


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Observations From The Field of Dreams

Image courtesy of the Putnam County Record
The Putnam County Rotary Club has presented the Putnam County Elementary School’s third-grade students with dictionaries since 2005. When Putnam County Rotarian Adriane Shore asked the Rotary to buy dictionaries for Putnam County elementary students, the club was pleased to do that.

The first year in 2005, they gave dictionaries to the third, fourth and fifth grades. Since then, they have only given them out to the third-graders, so in total, the Rotary has given them to 14 classes.

This year four PC Rotarians met at the PC Elementary School in Hennepin to hand out dictionaries to this year’s third-grade class. Superintendent Carl Carlson was there also to speak.

Rotarian Karen Karczewski started the event by saying, “We are here today to bring each of you a special gift from the PC Rotary Club. Our club does a lot of things to help a lot of people, and today we want to give you each a dictionary to help you learn and grow. Reading and writing are very important skills for students and adults, and learning new words can be a lot of fun. Maybe you can learn one or two new words every day using your new dictionary.

“This will be yours to keep forever, to use at school and to take home with you, so your teacher will have you put your name on the Rotary sticker inside the front page of your dictionary,” she continued. “If you look at that sticker it has something else written on it. It’s a test, but not the kind you take in school. It is a four-way test that Rotary members use, and you can use too when you are making choices you have to make in school, at home, or anywhere. You will find these are very similar to the Character Counts ideas that you apply at school and at home.

“So when you are thinking about what you are going to say or do, think first about whether it’s the truth. We should always be truthful — with your friends, your teacher, your parents, and everyone else. Second, we should consider whether it’s fair. We should always play fair, and act fairly toward others. Third, we hope everything we do will build better friendships with those we see every day, and even with people we have just met. If we treat people right in return, as a result, we make new friends.

“Fourth, we ask if what we are about to do or what we are about to say will be beneficial to others. Some of you may already know what beneficial means,” she said. “It means that what we do or say should be helpful, like helping your teacher clean up after a project is beneficial to everyone in the classroom. If you want to learn more about the word beneficial, now you can look it up in your very own dictionary. We hope you’ll enjoy your gift from the Putnam County Rotary Club.”

PC Rotarians then handed out the dictionaries to the students. They were Ron McNeil, Adriane Shore, Karen Karczewski and Darrell Alleman. Carlson, also a PC Rotarian, had the three classes have a contest for who could discover the most words that he gave them to look up. It was very spirited by the third-graders.

The International Rotary Club’s goal is to reach every third-grade student in the United States. So far they have reached an estimated 1,075,952 students. Of these, 876 were sponsored by the Rotary Club of Granville.

Source: Putnam County Record


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Students Visit Pulsifer House

Image courtesy of the Putnam County Record
Editor’s note: This article was submitted by Debbie Ward.

The Pulsifer House was built in 1844 by Edward Pulsifer. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Houses, and is located on the north edge of Hennepin. Here are the highlights from our tour:

On the outside of the house, there are stars between the windows. They’re important because the rods help to hold the building together. This house is very big and had many windows for that time.

On the first floor is the ladies’ parlor. It is hard to believe that the flowers that were made out of wax had not melted. There was a wreath hanging on the wall that was made out of hair. It was made to remember the people in their family. In between the ladies’ and men’s parlors was a sliding pocket door with a traditional door that swings open.

The men’s parlor had a large desk with many different drawers, even a secret one. There was a game table that the men used after they were done eating. Today, there is an ostrich egg on the table. The egg was painted with pictures on the inside.

Upstairs there was a bedroom. The mattress sat on ropes. If they weren’t tight enough your bed would fall down.

The middle room on the top floor contained many different toys. The dolls seemed creepy because they were made out of china and their faces were cracked. The dolls’ eyes stared right at you.

The last room we went to had a staircase that the servants used. The stairs had thin railings and were very long and narrow. Our class went down them very carefully on our way back outside.

Thank you to the PC Historical Society and Mrs. Campbell for teaching us about what it was like to live way back then.

Source: Putnam County Record


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hennepin to Fix Boat Docks

Hennepin will donate $100 to the Peru homeless shelter, fix boat docks instead of replacing as discussed at a previous meeting, and award the Hennepin Vocational Grant to Jordan Hatton, Riley Morris and Katelyn Leitner. Hatton will get the first place grant, with Morris receiving second and Leitner third.

Also Wednesday, the village board heard from village engineer Bill Shafer on a proposed drainage issue on 11th Street, and Shafer also told the board he would be semi-retiring, only working part-time, but would continue to be the head engineer for the village.

After returning from closed session, the board directed village clerk Diana Brandstatter to place an ad to hire a new part-time street department worker, after the resignation of the current part-time employee.

Source: News Tribune


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hanna Hundley Attends Girls State

Image courtesy of the Putnam County Record
Hennepin American Legion Auxiliary Post 1044 selected Hanna Hundley as top candidate to attend this year’s Girls State on the campus at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

Hundley is pictured with her mother, Melanie Hundley.

Girls State activities were scheduled for the week of June 19-25. Hanna joined the American Legion Auxiliary during its July meeting and summarized the events she experienced while attending Girls State. She is anticipating a return to Girls State as a counselor.

Any Hennepin girl, who is a high school junior, interested in levels of government should complete the Illinois Girls State form offered during the spring school year.

Congratulations, Hanna!

Source: Putnam County Record


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hennepin Teen Chases Dream of Going to West Point

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
Five years ago, when most kids were dreaming about becoming the next Ryan Braun or Kobe Bryant, the now-17-year-old Owen Mallery, of rural Hennepin, was practicing his marching skills and looking up West Point information online.

Mallery, who recent traveled to the famed United States Army Academy for the week long Summer Leaders Experience, has been hoping for his chance to attend both the prestigious camp and academy every since.

 “It’s always been a dream for me. When I was in seventh grade, I signed up for their notifications and I had seen in your junior year you could apply for the SLE, and then when I saw that, I knew when I got to that point I was going to apply,” Mallery said. “I applied in January, and a week later I got accepted.”

Only 1,000 high school students attended the prestigious camp this summer.
Owen’s parents, David and Denise, knew of their son’s desire to attend West Point, a point of worry for Denise and for Dave, an Air Force vet, something to try to talk Owen out of.

“I’m trying to get him to do the Air Force Academy,” Dave joked.
“Plus knowing my wife always wanted to move to Colorado (the location of the academy), not that we’re going to move, it would be vacation spot.”

All joking aside, Dave and Denise said they are both very proud of their determined son.

Owen is hoping that participating in SLE will lead to his admission to West Point, something that has historical precedence.

“It does help to an extent. It more validates the fact that you’re their, that you’re a good candidate, that you’re there and you should keep trying, and keep working hard and keep improving physically and academically,” Owen said. “It gives you information on protocols and things. About 50 percent of the people who go to the SLE go on to be a cadet.”

Owen said going into the week he had some reservations and questions on attending the academy, and all of those were answered during his week-long camp.

“I had been a little worried that you were a robot out there,” Owen said. “But the third- and fourth-year cadets served as sergeants and LTs at the SLE, and you got to know them and you got to see they were still kids. They still joked around, they still played pranks on each other, they still did everything a normal kid would do. I mean they’re adults as well, and they can be really serious, but for the most part, they are like a college kid. I was able to get all my questions answered and all my worries went away.”

His parents agreed, to a point, and just hope he will take the time to evaluate all his opportunities, including local colleges.

“The thing we liked about him going for that week was that it’s a huge commitment going to West Point, and to do that without ever having been there and experienced it, it’s just like, how do you make that decision as a seventeen-year-old kid? For us it was like thank God he got in,” Denis said. “We figured he would come home and say ‘yeah I can se myself doing this or no way this isn’t for me.’”

At the camp, Owen said he was able to experience the physical training, classes, weapons training and military discipline.

While Owen has high hopes for West Point, and after attending SLE, he has a better chance than some, his long-held hopes almost faded last year, after a car accident in August of 2015 caused a back injury that required many months of physical therapy, and sitting out of all sports, one of the requirements for West Point.
“I had to get medically cleared,” Owen said. “The accident definitely held me back. I think that it will hold me back, but as long as I work really hard on working out, getting fit, strengthening my back muscles, my chest, my core, I’ll be able to perform at a high enough level. That’s my hope.”

If things don’t go as planned, Owen will also apply to the Air Force Academy, Bradley, Benedictine or Northwestern.

Source: News Tribune