Stay connected with LTHS. Enjoy this edition of The Porter.

Game On!

IHSA sports are back! Girls and Boys Bowling, Girls and Boys Basketball, Boys Swimming & Diving, Dance, Cheerleading, and Badminton kicked off the winter season. Football, Boys Soccer, Girls Volleyball, Boys Gymnastics, Boys and Girls Water Polo have moved to the spring. A limited number of family members have the opportunity to attend games and see their student-athletes compete.  Fans can watch the Porters compete on the LTHS Athletics YouTube channel.

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Maroon Apple Award

The Lockport Township High School Foundation presented the Maroon Apple Award to Todd Elkei, Karli Morrone, DeAnne Koran, Marisa Dressler, and Tracy Rumchak. Physical Education Department Chair Elkei has done phenomenal work throughout the pandemic to lead his staff and transition the department’s curriculum to meet the physical and emotional needs of students. The Foundation also recognized the first responders of LTHS—Nurses Karli Morrone, DeAnne Koran, Marisa Dressler, and Assistant Tracy Rumchak. They have worked tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic to ensure the health and safety of the students and staff.

 
LTHS Student Equity Action Committee

Making the Connection with LTHS STEM Alumni

In the words of Albert Einstein, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” That’s what LTHS science teachers Mr. Bob Champlin and Ms. Karen Murphy saw back in September when they were teaching virtually and challenged with giving students the best learning experience possible during the pandemic. In particular, they contemplated how to make the most of Friday afternoons when students weren’t really engaged. How could they encourage students and capture their interest from behind those computer screens?

Champlin and Murphy found just the thing—online seminars for students featuring former Lockport Township High School students who had gone on to pursue careers in STEM fields. Reaching out through social media, by November the teachers had assembled a full lineup of guest lecturers. The project, which would not have been considered or so easily arranged prior to the current norm of virtual meetings, has been a success. Students are enthusiastic about exploring various STEM career opportunities through people who actually work in the field. Career fields highlighted so far have included software engineering, pharmaceutical lab technician and quality control, pharmacy, speech therapy, medicine, engineering, and dentistry.  

The experience has also been rewarding for the alumni presenters. Software Engineer William Bafia was honored and thrilled to meet with current students and share his experiences with them in the technology industry. Bafia was most impressed by “how many students were interested in the field not just because they were aiming to find a career in technology, but also because they knew the importance technology plays in every career.”  In addition to details about his profession, students were interested in learning more about how to prepare themselves for college, how to impress with a resume and at an interview—things not taught in a classroom, like interpersonal skills, leadership, and goal setting. 

How has hearing from LTHS STEM alumni impacted the students? Nicole DeAngleo for one is very grateful to the LTHS alumni for sharing their career stories. As a senior, she is often asked the big question, “What’s your major?” She says, “Of course, I’ve had ideas about what I plan to study and essentially do with the rest of my life, but it seemed to be a big decision that I was basing off of very little knowledge of the field I was applying into. This is where the seminars came into play." She now feels she has better insight into a variety of career paths. After listening to Bafia, DeAngleo was even motivated to download coding software onto her computer at home to start teaching herself a coding language. 

Champlin and Murphy are excited about how well this concept has worked and plan to continue to host virtual alumni seminars for their students. To Champlin, this is proof that "even though the school year is much different than normal, there are unique educational opportunities that can be implemented for the Lockport students."

 

Nothing is Half-baked in the LTHS Culinary Program

The culinary students have enjoyed being back in the kitchens at Central and East Campuses during hybrid learning. They have their own workspace, where they cook individually and prepare smaller portions. What about when they are on a remote schedule? How can virtual cooking classes work? With a good measure of planning, preparation, and resourcefulness. Over the summer, teachers planned what recipes the students could do at home and they compiled a list of non-perishable ingredients for every class. They also surveyed the students to find out what basic equipment they needed, such as measuring spoons, dry measuring cups, and cutting boards. The staff provided equipment for the students who needed it. The department also purchased and provided all the non-perishable items for all the culinary classes. These items were sorted and sent home with students. If a student has had a hardship, such as a kitchen appliance breaking down or challenges buying an ingredient, the teachers adjusted the recipes to accommodate the student. The virtual instruction has focused on developing cooking skills, such as knife cuts and proper measuring. Students video record themselves at home to show their work and to present their final product. Students aren’t the only ones in front of the camera this year. The department introduced “Celebrity Chef” in the fall, giving staff members from throughout the school a chance to share tips and techniques with students virtually from their own kitchens. It’s also been a great way each week for students to get acquainted with LTHS staff members, building connections as they learn new skills. 

 

Board of Education Student Recognition

Senior Anise Puckett was recognized in December by the Lockport Township High School Board of Education for being named Miss Black Illinois Talented Teen 2021. 

Growing Skills

Students from LTHS Career and Community Connections have formed a partnership with a new Lockport business, Second City Greens. The students have worked throughout the year by planting for the hydroponic grower. With limited opportunities within the community for these young people, Second City Greens has provided them work they can all safely perform in-house, giving them valuable vocational experience and pride in their work as they see the fruit of their labor. 

 
LTHS Student Equity Action Committee

LTHS Choir Achievements

The Illinois Music Educators Association selected 27 choral students as all-district musicians, outperforming all other area schools. Senior Aidan Callahan was also selected as the top Bass II in the entire district. Ten vocalists were selected for the ILMEA All-State Choirs. This ties for the most ever from LTHS and is the most of any school in the state.

Illinois Music Educators Association District 1 Chorus Selections 2020: Ryan Adolf, Will Adolf, Michael Albrecht, Tammer Ali, Jenna Andler, Ethan Bocatcat, Reilly Bresnahan, Aidan Callahan, Henry Cichowski, Kyra DeNormandie, Angie Dominguez, Ashley Gibbs, Norah Gillogly, Jersie Joniak, Emilia Jurzyk, Olivia Minogue, Zakari Navarra, Aneesa Ortega, Kenadee Pitchford, Ethan Rudman, Trevor Salutric, Madeline Sanford, Paige Svoboda, Megan Tanquilut, Aaron Vales, Ronan Vales, Charlotte Vollmer

All State Vocalists: Ryan Adolf*, Michael Albrecht, Ethan Bocatcat* Aidan Callahan* (Top Bass in District 1), Jersie Joniak, Emilia Jurzyk*, Olivia Minogue*, Zakari Navarra*, Ethan Rudman, Aaron Vales*

*Honors Chorus

 

Notable Recognition Award

In this unusual year with such difficult challenges, the LTHS Foundation acknowledged another dedicated individual, Assistant Superintendent Anthony Cundari. During the pandemic, Cundari has taken on the overwhelming task of managing the effects and strain that COVID has put on the district. He received the Notable Recognition Award for his tremendous efforts that have kept the LTHS staff healthy and working.

 

Attitude of Gratitude

The Student Focus Group kicked off an initiative to enable students to send a small message of appreciation to those for whom they are grateful during these challenging times. The group designed a postcard and made them available in several locations throughout both campuses. As the Porter Postcards go out in the coming weeks, students hope to spread the attitude of gratitude not only within the school but beyond campus into the community.

 

 

Lockport Township High School District 205
1333 E. 7th Street  | Lockport, Illinois 60441
815-588-8364 | Foundation@lths.org

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