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Aurora Weekly Times

Aurora Weekly Times

Clayton Muhammad named Aurora's Outstanding African American


life around and when you are able to correct or touch the heart of a child, you have touched the heart of a family. Clayton is a clear example that we all should follow.” “Clayton is a proven, passionate and dedicated leader who cares deeply about Aurora,” said Mayor Tom Weisner. “His work in this community has improved the lives of countless young people and made a significant impact on the entire City.”

City of Aurora press release

Clayton Muhammad, newly appointed Director of Communications for the City of Aurora and leader of Boys II Men, has been named Aurora’s Outstanding African American for 2013. Muhammad will be recognized at the 9th annual African-American Heritage Advisory Board (AAHAB) Celebration at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Gaslight Manor, 2485 Church Road. The AAHAB annually presents an award to an African-American leader that has lasting impact in Aurora and who has made significant achievements in his or her field and the community. Toussaint Smith, Chairman of AAHAB said, “Mr. Muhammad has a wonderful gift of turning a child’s

Previous Outstanding AfricanAmerican Award recipients include Judge Keith F. Brown, Alderman Scheketa Hart-Burns, Fred Rodgers, Cynthia Latimer, Donnell Collins, Archie Needham, Lillian Perry and Henry Cowherd. The breakfast also will honor four community leaders with Nia Awards. (Nia is “purpose” in Swahili), and will feature a performance by a local jazz band and scholarship presentations to local African-American high school seniors. Tickets are $20 per person, with a portion going to the Henry Cowherd Scholarship Fund. Tickets can be purchased by calling Ken Maurice at (630) 256-3402. Checks can be made payable to the City of Aurora - AAHAB and mailed to the City of Aurora’s Community Service Office,

5 E. Downer Pl., Suite A, Aurora, IL 60505. The African American Heritage Advisory Board for the City of Aurora was started in 2003 and is a non-partisan advisory board that is community based and funded by the City of Aurora. Its purpose is to provide education to the community and act as a bridge between the African American community and all other communities within the City of Aurora.

Volunteers needed as adult literacy tutors The Aurora Weekly Times and MJF Communications strongly encourages volunteerism and adult literacy programs.

Waubonsee Community College’s Adult Literacy Project is seeking volunteers to tutor adult students in reading, writing and speaking English, as well as math and other basic skills. All training and materials are free. Located at the college’s Aurora Campus at 18 S. River Street, the Adult Literacy Project will offer a tutor training program that meets Saturday, March 9 and Saturday,

Outstanding African American Muhammad


March 16 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Prospective tutors must complete both sessions before working with adults one-on-one or in a classroom environment. Tutor applications are available online at or by calling (630) 801.7900, ext. 4221.

City names new director of communications Courtesy of the City of Aurora

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner announced the hiring of Clayton Muhammad as the City of Aurora’s new Director of Communications. Muhammad, who currently serves as the Director of Community Relations and the District Spokesman of East Aurora School District 131, will transition into the new position later this month. A lifelong resident of Aurora, Muhammad is a community advocate and seasoned public relations professional whose communications techniques and community relations initiatives have been recognized by the Illinois National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA) with multiple awards of excellence. “Clayton is a proven leader who cares deeply about Aurora,” said Mayor Tom Weisner. “With crime down to record low levels, Aurora’s story is radically different today than it was a few years ago. People are beginning to take a fresh look at our City, and I believe Clayton brings


the right combination of experience and enthusiasm to help us position Aurora as a great City in which to live, do business and raise a family.” The City restructured its Public Information Division as part of the 2013 budget process late last year after the Mayor’s Business Roundtable recommended the development of strategic marketing communications plan as one of the top business priorities for 2013.

Aurora Weekly Times

national impact,” Muhammad said. After graduating from East Aurora High School, Muhammad matriculated to the University of Illinois and then Lewis University as he pursued a career in education. He began his career in education at Waldo Middle School as a sixth-grade teacher where he taught for three years. He then transitioned into administra-

Aurora Schools for nearly a decade. His work ethic and commitment speak for themselves. While his move is a loss for our district, I am personally happy to know that Aurora will gain an advocate for the entire City. We support him in his new endeavors and look forward to collaborating in the very new future,” said Dr. Jerome Roberts, Superintendent of East Aurora School District 131.

As Director of Communications, Muhammad will oversee day-today communications including media relations, public affairs, Aurora Community Television, digital and social media. He will also spearhead the development of a citywide marketing communications plan to support economic development, plus handle the coordination, management and implementation of various communication strategies across City departments.

The Aurora Public Art Commission will unveil its new “Art at City Hall” exhibit featuring the artistic talents from students at five Aurora high schools.

The “Art at City Hall’ series was established in 2005 by Mayor Tom Weisner to create a more dynamic environment in Aurora’s City Hall. The Aurora Public Art Commission, a civic organization dedicated to the preservation of public art in all of its forms, is seeking twodimensional works in all mediums for this ongoing series. Artists who are interested in participating may send a CD of 10 to 15 works, a resume and self-addressed stamped envelope to the Aurora Public Art Commission, Art In City Hall, 44. E. Downer Place, Aurora, IL 60507.

With a passion for bringing Aurorans together, Muhammad collaborated with West Aurora School District 129 to establish the Aurora 360 Student Exchange Day, with Communities in Schools to plan programming for the MyTime Citywide AfterSchool Program, and with the Illinois Math and Science Academy to motivate youth in the Aurora Leadership Institute, among many others.

“Aurora is on the cutting edge in so many areas. The more I travel, the more I see just how unique and powerful our community is. Others are inspired by what is happening here. It’s exciting to be a part of an administration that is having a local, regional and

Courtesy of the City of Aurora

The free display is posted on all five floors of City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place, and will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, Feb. 15 to Oct. 11. The walls of City Hall will be adorned with more than 100 paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and digital works from students at Aurora Christian, East Aurora, Marmion Academy, Rosary and West Aurora high schools.

During Muhammad’s tenure at East Aurora School District 131, he instituted a communications plan that resulted in a dramatic increase of print and television media coverage, substantial growth in the school district’s business partnership program, a revised website, a social media campaign that reaches thousands per day, a regular column in the Aurora Beacon News, and stronger internal and external communications of the district’s priorities, programs and positive news.

“I am very excited and honored to serve Aurora in this capacity,” Muhammad said. “There is a bevy of great things happening and even more on the horizon. We want to make sure that as many people as possible know about it, from residents in Aurora to people all over America.

Teen artwork to be showcased at City Hall

For more information on the Commission or the gallery, visit the City’s website at or call the Customer Service Center at 630-256-INFO.

Waubonsee named national finalist Courtesy of Waubonsee Community College

tion as Vice President of the Quad County Urban League where he supervised the Aurora Middle School Academy and all Urban League programs for four years. In 2004, he was appointed as District Spokesman of East Aurora School District 131. “We are very proud of Clayton and the work that he has done for East

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* Note: The staff at the Aurora Weekly Times is pleased to welcome Clayton to his new role and we look forward to working with him and the City.

Waubonsee Community College is among a select group of finalists in a prestigious new program designed to recognize innovation and promising practices among two-year colleges nationwide. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) established the Awards of Excellence this year and will award them annually. Winners in each of five categories will be named April 23 in San

Aurora Weekly Times



Francisco during the AACC annual convention, an event that attracts close to 2,000 educators, policymakers, corporate and foundation representatives each year. Waubonsee’s President Dr. Christine J. Sobek was recognized in the Emerging Leadership category, which honors AACC member CEOs who have developed exemplary systems of leadership and professional development and created a campus culture that proactively supports employee career and leadership advancement for all campus personnel. Other categories include Student Success, Exemplary CEO/Board, Advancing Diversity and Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership. Under the leadership of Dr. Sobek, Waubonsee has developed a culture of engagement that proactively supports administrator, faculty and staff professional development. She promotes leadership through the development and expansion of the Center for Teaching, Learning

Aurora Weekly Times

and Technology, administrative inservices, growth of cross-functional teams, expansion of the President’s Cabinet membership and ongoing resources for active participation by administrators, faculty, and staff in local, state, regional, and national associations and conferences. Dr. Sobek regularly mentors new Illinois community college presidents and makes leadership presentations throughout the district. Waubonsee also launched an innovative Leadership Academy for employees in 2011 that fosters leadership development throughout the college community. Criteria for the Awards of Excellence are designed to reflect best practices in areas that relate to recommendations of the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, a national, blue-ribbon group of education experts that issued its report last spring. In the report, members of the commission described a redesigned community college of tomorrow, one that would

“reinvent the student experience” and help “reclaim the American dream.” “Over an 18-month period, the 21stCentury Commission provided a bold and forward-thinking blueprint for the community college of the future,” said Marie Gnage, chair of the AACC Board of Directors. “With these new awards, AACC intends to elevate community colleges that are in the vanguard of progressive practices. The awardees will receive national visibility, but the spotlight on their exemplary practices will ultimately benefit all community colleges.” Finalists for the AACC Awards of Excellence were chosen by a specially appointed committee of the association’s board of directors, based on specific criteria. The American Association of Community Colleges is a national organization representing the nation’s more than 1,100 community, junior and technical

colleges and their 13.5 million students. Community colleges are the largest sector of higher education, enrolling almost half of all U.S. undergraduates.

WV High School Constellation Hop Courtesy of School District 204

Join the Waubonsie Valley High School planetarium staff at 7 pm on March 1 for an exploration of how to "Constellation Hop" through the night sky to find planets, stars, and other celestial objects of interest in March. Admission is $2 and seating is first-come, first-served.

Aurora Weekly Times

Mobile Vet Center to Visit WCC Courtesy of Waubonsee Community College

On Tuesday, Feb. 26, local veterans and their families are invited to Waubonsee Community College’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive, to get information, resources and counseling. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Mobile Vet Center will visit the Student Center to provide a variety of free, private, one-on-one counseling sessions, including readjustment counseling, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder counseling, bereavement counseling, and marriage and family counseling. There will also be information on suicide prevention services and VA benefits. A representative from the Illinois State Approving Agency will present a seminar on educational benefits for veterans at noon in room 106 of the Student Center.


For more information, contact Transfer/Veterans Advisor Heather Watson at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2361. For the past two years, Waubonsee has been named a Military Friendly School by “G.I. Jobs,” the premier magazine for military personnel transitioning into civilian life.

FAFSA Friday Financial Aid details courtesy of Aurora University

Stop by the Financial Aid tables in Alumni Hall, Room 136 to get answers to your questions and assistance in filing the FAFSA. Be sure to bring: - US Department of Education Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) - Your 2012 federal tax return (all schedules) and W-2s. If you are a dependent student, please bring your parents' 2012 federal tax return (all schedules) and W-2's. - If you have not filed your 2012 federal tax return yet, bring your 2011 return. <continued on page 15>



Aurora Weekly Times

Aurora Weekly Times

Virtual job fair: see page 15.



Congratulations to Richard for his adminission into Loyola's Graduate Program.

Aurora Weekly Times

Aurora Weekly Times

The Times is pleased to welcome Ellen as a contributor. Enjoy!



For your social networking needs, follow Brian at:

Aurora Weekly Times

Aurora Weekly Times



Aurora Weekly Times

Aurora Weekly Times

<continued from page 6> FAFSA on the Web Worksheets Reservations are encouraged due to limited space, but walk-ins are gladly welcomed. Register online or contact the Office of Financial Aid at 630-844-6190 or Location: Alumni Hall, Room 136 Sponsor: Office of Financial Aid Contact: Office of Financial Aid Email: 630.844.6190


4th Annual Intelligence Community Virtual Career Fair Tuesday, February 26, from 1-7 p.m. Central Time

The event is FREE, but you must pre-register at

virtual-career-fair * U.S. Citizenship Required The 2013 fair will highlight hundreds of internship & career opportunities available nationwide in a wide array of disciplines including the following: Accounting, Budgeting, Auditing, Contracting, Financial Management Administration – Human Resources, Logistics, Public Affairs, Clinical Psychology, etc. Clandestine Services Computer Science, Computer

Engineering Cybersecurity, Information Assurance Data Scientists Engineering – Electrical and Electronics Foreign Language* – Language Analysts and Officers, Instructors, Contract Linguists Information Technology Intelligence Analysis – Economic, Cultural, Imagery, Military, Open Source, Regional and Technical Mathematics and Physical Science Mission support Program/Project Management Security, Police Special Agents Special emphasis will be placed on recruiting diverse candidates proficient in mission-critical foreign languages with cultural expertise from our Nation's many heritage communities. Priority languages include: All African languages * Arabic (all dialects) * Cambodian * Dari * Farsi * Hebrew * Hindi * Indonesian * Japanese * Korean * Mandarin and other Chinese languages * Pashto * Punjabi * Russian * Tajik * Turkish * Urdu * Vietnamese Participating intelligence components include: Central Intelligence Agency * Defense Intelligence Agency * Federal Bureau of Investigation * Federal Bureau of Investigation Language Services Section * National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency * National Security Agency * National Virtual Translation Center Attendees will be able to live-chat with recruiters, learn about career opportunities and how to apply to open positions, watch video presentations, participate in live question and answer sessions, upload/manage documents in their virtual briefcases, and create avatars of themselves, all in a 3-D environment.


West inducts Hall of Fame members Courtesy of School District 129

On February 8, West Aurora High School inducted four new members into the West Aurora Sports Hall of Fame. The 2013 inductees are Brian Brooks (class of '73), Randy Norman ('84), Greg Miller ('97), and Jim Pittman (Coach).

Aurora Weekly Times

Local high school basketball scores More results available at: www.

>> (February 9) The Waubonsie Valley Warriors basketball team scored 76 points and restricted the host Metea Valley Mustangs to 62 in the Warriors league victory on Saturday. The Warriors now sport a 18-8 record. They put it on the line next when they host Hersey/Buffalo Grove/Prospect/Elk Grove/Rolling Meadows/Libertyville/Lake Park for a non-league contest on Friday, February 15.

The Mustangs (14-8) will now prepare for their contest against Oswego East. The Wolves come into the nonleague contest with a 12-12 record. In their last contest, Oswego East prevailed over Plainfield Central, 7165, in a league contest. >> (February 12) Fans at Tuesday's non-league challenge between the Metea Valley Mustangs and the visiting Oswego Panthers, saw Metea Valley's basketball squad overcome Oswego by a tally of 51-43. With the victory, Metea Valley improves its record to 22-6 on the campaign. The Mustangs host Neuqua Valley (Naperville) to confront the Wildcats in a non-league challenge on Friday, February 15. The Wildcats come into the challenge with a record of 25-2. Neuqua Valley won 72-16 in their recent non-league challenge against Lockport.

almost 50 years now, and I can’t remember a season where the Hawks started out so dominating and not just against weak opponents either— they started out against the Stanley Cup champs, dominating them. They beat the Coyotes twice now, and have a nice little fight with Raffi Torres to send a message for the terrible hit he put on Marian Hossa during the playoffs last year. The Hawks of started the season on fire with the entire team hitting on all cylinders from scoring to defense to great goaltending, they’re getting it all. After 11 games the Hawks have yet to lose in regulation. Getting 20 points out of a possible 22 puts

>> (February 9) The East Aurora Tomcats basketball team, was overwhelmed 68-36 in Saturday's league battle with the host Bartlett Hawks (Bartlett). The Hawks now possess a 17-8 record. They put it on the line next when they host Metea Valley for a Upstate Eight battle on Friday, February 15. The Tomcats (3-19) will now prepare for their battle against South Elgin. The Storm come into the Upstate Eight battle with a 4-16 record. >> (February 13) In Wednesday's non-league match, the host Plainfield East Bengals basketball team scored a decisive 68-34 triumph over the Aurora West Blackhawks. The Bengals now possess a 21-4 record.

Blackhawks start the season on fire By Ron Bartlett

I’ve been down with the flu for two weeks, but I’m back and so are the Hawks. I’ve been Hawks’ fan for

the Hawks at the top of the Western Conference. If this play continues, this could turn out to be a very special season, so keep your eyes on the Blackhawks as they look poised to make another run at the Stanley Cup. Here come the Hawks!

Aurora Weekly Times



Aurora Weekly Times

Aurora Weekly Times




Aurora Weekly Times

Aurora Weekly Times Vol.1, Is.3  

Independent online biweekly community news magazine covering the great city of Aurora, IL.

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