Page 1

Volume 3, Issue 2 | Winter 2014



contents 05 Letter from the Superintendent 08 GMS Gains Cutting-Edge Technology Middle school students get hands-on experience in engineering design


PROJECT Lead the Way Southwest Elementary pilots new science curriculum


Not Your Mother’s English Class



on the cover We love art!

“Art is an escape from everything. It has made me a more confident person.” Kailtn Hanshew, senior The cover images spells A-RT in sign language.

GHS English curriculum uses computers to expand their classroom relationships

18 23

LEAFS in the Community

We love art!

A K-12 overview of the masterpieces created in District 228


Beyond the Score Family and Consumer Science programs offer hands-on lessons for real life skills that prepare our students for success in their adult lives.


Green Machine: 4A State Championship Runner-Up

46 Board of Education: ProjectLEAF Update, Advanced District Placement Honor Roll Become a fan - Geneseo, IL School District 228

Art Director Laura Kashner, Communications Coordinator Writer Teri Ford, media Relations Coordinator Producer Creative Images Center 309.944.4429 For more copies of Leafprints Magazine, contact the Geneseo Schools Unit Office at 309.945.0450 To subscribe online, visit the WebStore at leafprints | 3

4 | leafprints

Advertising executive Leo Burnett once said, “Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people”. In this issue of ‘Leafprints’ you see wonderful examples of our student work across art classrooms at all levels. And it would be easy to stop there and appreciate these images of creativity, without realizing that creativity is sprinkled through this entire magazine. Continue through this issue and think about the creative thought and energy involved in preparing to play in a football state championship game. Coaches creatively putting together a game plan and players being forced to adjust “on the fly” to strategy imposed by the opponents. Think also about the creativity involved in student use of the GMS 3-D printer. The movement from an idea that can be sketched out on paper and then becomes the reality of a small, plastic train engine is one that is more complex than you may realize upon first blush. The creativity of both students and civic leaders to put together such amazing volunteerism programs outlined in this issue speaks to how innovation and some adventuresome thought shifting makes our community better each day. We are also quite proud of the creative flair exhibited by our cheerleaders who successfully performed in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl. Be curious about what District 228 has to offer. Get involved with ProjectLEAF as we try to engage community stakeholders in ways to best use the new sales tax revenues to improve our school facilities. While education reform may be trying to measure student success through testing, here in District 228 we will continue to inspire, motivate, and expect creativity and innovation to the fullest extent that a child can think and feel. We Dream Big! We Teach, Learn and Care! We Create, Innovate and Celebrate!

Best, Scott Kuffel, Superintendent leafprints | 5


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GMS Gains Cutting-Edge Technology Middle school students get hands-on experience in engineering design

Prototype, CAD software, extruder alignment…… these sound like terms you might hear in engineering or manufacturing…..but in an eighth grade classroom? Surprising, maybe, but these are exactly the kinds of things our Geneseo Middle School students are becoming familiar with this year. Through a special grant for innovative technology, Kent Wolfe, Science and Technology teacher at GMS, has been able to add a 3-D printer to the list of equipment he is able to incorporate into his curriculum. While he admits to still learning about all the intricacies that go into a project from start to finish, he is excited to be able to offer his students the opportunity to get hands-on experience with such cutting-edge technology at an early age. “It is extremely rare for a school to have this kind of resource available for its students, especially at the middle school level,” acknowledged Wolfe. The addition of the 3-D Printer has allowed Wolfe to add an Engineering Design Module to the list of subjects his students can choose to explore. Those who select Engineering Design learn about each stage of the engineering process with the goal being a tangible, finished product at the end of the module, which only lasts about eleven days from start to finish. Students begin by deciding on a model they wish to create and then go through the stages of creating a 2-D design, converting it to a 3-D design, and, if necessary, redesigning their model. These steps allow students to work through the “bugs” in their design and help them be successful with their final product. The Engineering Design module, combined with the 3-D printer, offers students exposure to high-level technology at a critical point in their education, and also provides leafprints | 9

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“Being able to use technology like this really lets you show just how creative you can be. I like the challenge of working through my design and watching it all come together.”


ce Beef e Pork

Eva Schmitt, 8th grade

od and rvice

real-life application of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math). They must learn to use the computer-aided design software (CAD), understand the complex make-up of the printer, and exercise aSundays variety of problem-solving skills, all of . to 9 p.m. Closed which can be invaluable for those wishing to pursue careers in design and engineering. “Some of the kids are really connecting with this technology,” D_Leafprints 9/27/13 8:26 AM Page said Wolfe, “and it’s1exciting that they have this opportunity before they even get to high school, which will hopefully allow them to explore those areas even more.”

eo (Just off Rt. 6)

“I think if a student has the chance to work with CAD software and 3-D model design, it is important to take that opportunity,” stressed Eva Schmitt, an eighth-grader participating in the Engineering Design Module. “Being able to use technology like this really lets you show just how creative you can be. For me, I also liked the challenge of working through my design and watching it all come together.“ Wolfe hopes that as he becomes more proficient with the printer it can be incorporated into other subjects, such as the seventh grade Design Tech class. While he admits to initially being apprehensive about whether middle school students would be able to handle the technicalities of the CAD software in 11 days, he is pleased with what he has seen in this first year. He realizes that not all students will take to the technology, but noted, “Overall, I am happy that kids can design simple things and then print a plastic 3-D model, which to me is success.” leafprints | 11

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PROJECT Lead the Way Southwest Elementary pilots new science curriculum Students at Southwest Elementary will be taking a more active approach to science this year thanks to a new curriculum being implemented through Project Lead the Way (PLTW). PLTW is an organization that specializes in developing hands-on, project based Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curriculum. PLTW has previously offered programs at the middle and high school levels, but this is the first year elementary curriculum is being implemented. When Southwest Principal Tom Ryerson learned about the expansion, he applied for Southwest to be considered as a pilot school for the program and was pleased when they were selected as one of only 44 schools across the country to participate. Recognizing a need to engage students in STEM fields early was a factor in Southwest’s interest in the curriculum. “My eyes have really been opened into the need for more STEM initiatives and programs at the elementary grade levels,” said Ryerson. “Last year I saw the positive impact the First Lego League had on the elementary students who were involved. The excitement, collaboration, higher order thinking, creativity, and learning that took place really motivated me to ask how we could do that on a larger scale and reach more of our students K-5.”

working through the lessons, learning that it’s okay to take risks in the design process, make mistakes, and then move on to brainstorm solutions to fix their problems. West feels that offering programs like this to students K-5th grade is essential today, due to the increasing demand for STEM-based skills in the job market. “Getting students more interested in these fields at earlier ages is so important,” she stressed. “Most students decide what they’re good at by second grade,” West pointed out. “One of the biggest assets to offering positive exposure to this type of material so young is that they don’t develop a negative feeling about it too early and shut down.” It is the hope that by engaging students in STEM at the elementary level, it will build confidence, grow interest and give students the skills they need to be successful as they move on into middle and high school. “We are fortunate that we have been selected as a pilot school,” said Mr. Ryerson. “After this year, we will be able to provide PLTW feedback from our staff on how to improve the science modules when they roll this curriculum out to even more schools in 2014.” Southwest teachers and administrators will also have the opportunity

“The excitement, collaboration, higher order thinking, creativity, and learning that takes place [with the First Lego League] motivated me to see how we could reach more of our students K-5.” Tom Ryerson, Southwest Principal Callie West, PLTW Lead Teacher at Southwest, is excited because rather than just being textbook and worksheet focused, the work students will be doing through PLTW is project based, emphasizing critical thinking, and problem solving skills. “These are skills students need in all subjects, and will use throughout their lives,” she stressed. She feels students will gain valuable life lessons in the process of

to decide whether they wish to apply to participate in the program for another year. “We will evaluate the process and curriculum and make an informed decision on how to best proceed, “ Ryerson said. “That being said, we are extremely excited and see great benefits to both students and staff already!” leafprints | 13

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Not Your Mother’s English Class GHS English curriculum use computers to expand their classroom relationships

When we recently asked our students and teachers in the English Department at Geneseo High School how their new Chromebooks were working out, we expected a positive response; but we were simply blown away by the many ways this simple laptop has been incorporated into the classroom and beyond.

Student Dalton James Bridges shared Schneden’s appreciation for the “real time” interaction, adding, “Now we can write essays in class using Google Drive, share it with our teacher and she can proofread it and tell us what we need to fix immediately. With the use of Chromebooks our teachers can track our progress to see if we’re on task.”

For those of you overwhelmed with all of the “smart” devices out there (and who isn’t?), a Chromebook is a basic laptop that has Internet capabilities that allow access to any Google application. Students are able to work on assignments, have class discussions and work on group projects all through the Chromebook. Because students save all work within personal accounts, they are then able to access it later, from any computer, making homework much easier. Each student is also assigned a Google Email (Gmail) address through the school so they can communicate with teachers and other students.

Collaboration is a word that came up often as we were learning about the Chromebook. Teachers like Michelle Schneden and Alyson Anton have found that the device lends itself well to more group work among students. They are now able to “chat” with each other and share thoughts and ideas with little disruption to the rest of the class. “The only noise in my class is the typing noises on a keyboard,” Anton noted. Teachers and students both mentioned how classroom discussion and interaction have evolved since the addition

“All students are now given the same ‘voice’. Everyone’s responses are heard, analyzed and appreciated.” Hannah Goldenpenny, freshman

During class time, the English teachers are using Google Drive to share assignments and information with students, which previously was handed out in paper form. Using the Chromebooks, students are able to work in class and correspond back and forth with the teacher to ask questions and get input. Teachers can then make comments and suggestions on a student’s writing directly on the file. English Teacher Michelle Schneden remarked, “My favorite part of using the Chromebook is that it affords me the opportunity to ‘see’ my students’ thinking as it is occurring. I can make comments in real time and have an online conversation about writing and how to improve it.”

of the computers. “The use of Chromebooks has changed everything,” expressed Hannah Goldenpenny, a freshman. “Now everyone is given the same ‘voice.’ Everyone’s responses are heard, analyzed and appreciated. Even the kids that are shy can respond without actually having to say anything in front of the entire class. The use of Chromebooks levels the playing field for everybody.” The online connection has also enabled more interaction between students and teachers outside of class, which Mrs. Schneden values. “Being available at night for student questions is important to me,” she stressed. Students really leafprints | 15

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“My favorite part of using the Chromebook is that it affords me the opportunity to ‘see’ my students’ thinking as it is occuring.” Michelle Schneden, English teacher

seem to appreciate the after-hours connection as well. Jessica DuBois, a freshman, remarked, “The Chromebooks let the teacher comment on your work at any time. The student can fix the problems with his or her work and not lose any points like they would if the assignment was on paper and they couldn’t get any teacher feedback until the next day.” Mrs. Schneden does point out that while some students appreciate the technology and may even become more engaged because of it, students are given the choice for what works best for them. “For example,” she said, “as we are reading Homer’s Odyssey, some students choose to take their notes in Google Docs using Chromebooks, while others will stick with paper and pen.” Overall, however, response to the technology has been overwhelmingly positive. Both students and teachers attributed better organization, communication and collaboration to the Chromebooks. Mrs. Schneden was quick to credit all who helped this become a reality for their department. “It was only through the generosity of the GEEE and forward thinking of our administration, and James Roodhouse (District Technologist) that this came to fruition,” she expressed. “We now have a Chromebook lab in all English classrooms at the high school except two at this point. That’s pretty awesome.” Well, we think what you and your students are doing with these devices is pretty “awesome” Mrs. Schneden. leafprints | 43

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LEAFS in the COMMUNITY We have noticed that our students are quite visible in our community, and we don’t just mean catching a movie at the theatre or grabbing something to eat at Culvers - they are really involved. We see them out helping, serving and doing some really good things around town. This month we feature some students who are giving their time to some really valuable causes, the Junior Firefighter Program, and the Long Term Care Center at Hammond Henry Hospital. Linda VanDerLeest, a counselor at Geneseo High School pointed out that by volunteering, these students are not only developing skills which will make them more successful in their adult lives, but they are also expressing a generosity to their community, which is exceptional to see at their age. We think you’ll agree that these students are demonstrating a maturity and commitment beyond their years.

Geneseo is a community known for its volunteer spirit. If you look around you will see residents pitching in and helping out in a variety of ways, whether it is fixing up homes for Rebuilding Together, packing boxes at the Food Pantry, or quietly helping a neighbor in need, we take care of each other here, and our kids are paying attention. If you look around town, you will notice that many of our young people are continuing this tradition and sharing their time and talents as well. Recently, for example, we discovered some of our Geneseo High School students helping out in the Long Term Care Living Center at Hammond Henry Hospital. Julie West, Volunteer and Auxiliary Manager at the hospital shared that this group of young ladies faithfully provide muchneeded personal care to the residents who call the unit home. Each volunteer spends three hours, one or two Saturdays a month, assisting in a variety of ways. The duties vary with each visit, but can include participating in organized activities, such as bingo; visiting over a meal; or helping residents get around with wheelchairs and walkers. “By assisting with some of the interpersonal care, these volunteers allow our nurses and other staff to do the more technical aspects of their job” West said. “The staff is wonderful, but without the volunteers, a lot of the ‘extras’ just wouldn’t happen.” She shared that in addition to the physical things the volunteers help with, even more important, they help “create a positive personal experience for the residents, which means a lot to their families.”

Part of that personal experience is simply building relationships and really showing care for the residents in the unit. West acknowledged that many of the people living in Long Term Care don’t necessarily want to be there and it can be a challenging stage in a person’s life. The volunteers go through some orientation before they begin working to help them be sensitive and understanding about what the patients are facing. Some of the training is hands-on and really helps the students understand how physically challenging aging can be. One exercise, for example, involves wrapping the volunteer’s knuckles with tape, and then having her count change, button a button, or look up a number in a phone book. This helps show the difficulty an older patient may face just doing everyday tasks teens may take for granted. In another exercise, they put on tinted glasses to help demonstrate how an elderly person might see their surroundings so the volunteer can get a sense of what impaired vision may feel like. Other teaching is more interpersonal and helps the girls become comfortable interacting with the residents. Because many high school students have limited encounters with senior citizens, they were initially given ideas to help start conversations with the residents. West said it didn’t take long for the residents and volunteers to really start connecting and building their own relationships though. “Over time,” West said, “the residents begin responding to the students who come in each week and really open up to them.” leafprints | 19

“Volunteering makes me feel like I’ve touched someone’s heart.” Jenelle Wilson

When asked, the volunteers all agreed that the personal interaction and conversations with the residents were part of what they enjoyed the most about their time spent together. “I absolutely love talking to the residents about their younger years and the crazy stories they share,” said Jenelle Wilson, a senior.

For volunteer Katelyn Despain, it is a combination of the volunteering and the connections she makes with each visit that mean the most to her. “It feels good to give back to my community, especially when I can help other people,” she shared. She went on to say that she was surprised by how much the senior residents could relate to what she is going through at her age, and then how much she learns in return from their life experiences. 20 | leafprints

There is just so much we can learn from the compassionate, generous spirit of these young volunteers. While they can see senior citizens in TV shows, or read a book that includes an older character, these young women are actually doing something. They are choosing to share time and connect with a generation they don’t cross paths with very often. “Volunteering here makes me feel like I’ve touched someone’s heart,” Jenelle Wilson shared. Maybe we can all follow the example of these young volunteers and take time to touch a heart ourselves.

Students in Geneseo all remember Fire Prevention week from their elementary years. Your class would sit out on the pavement in front of the huge red truck while the firemen did all their impressive “firemen tricks.” Remember them testing out the siren, climbing the really tall ladder, and oh yeah, sneaking in some important lessons in preventing and staying safe around fire? For many students, these were just fun breaks in the routine school day. For a few, however, these visits planted seeds; seeds that rooted and continued to grow over the years into dreams of becoming that fireman dressed in full gear on top of that ladder one day. Now, through a new partnership between the Geneseo Fire Department and the Geneseo School District, these students are able to make those dreams a reality. The

“This isn’t something we want to miss. We want to be here for everything.” Jake Morgan, junior

Junior Firefighter program, just beginning its first year, is designed for young adults, ages 16-18, who are interested in exploring the field of fire and rescue with the possibly of making it a career. Dusty Olson, a firefighter with the Geneseo Fire Department, along with High School Counselor Linda VanDerLeest worked very closely to find the right group of students to participate in this inaugural year. Interested students first completed an extensive application and interview process. Despite an overwhelming response, it had been determined that the group would be kept to only five students. Olson, who oversees the program for the fire department explained that this was to ensure quality management of the group. “We really want the guys to take something from it, and we felt a smaller number would allow them to learn more and be more involved,” he explained. While these students all share a passion for fire and rescue, they also commit to a strict code of conduct and agree to adhere to tough eligibility requirements once accepted. Olson stressed that the students’ performance in school is the top priority. He works closely with VanDerLeest to ensure all students are keeping up with their academic responsibilities in addition to the training obligations required on the department end. “We really want them to succeed in school. If they’re struggling, we’ll make a phone call to see how we can help,” Olson said.

This group of Junior Firefighters, which includes four juniors and one senior, receive comprehensive training in all areas of fire and rescue. They meet four times a month for two-hour training and work sessions. While the time commitment might seem difficult in addition to keeping up with school work and just being teens, these young men

don’t seem to mind one bit. “I have always wanted to do this,” stressed Colin Lyon, a junior, “ever since I was a little kid I told myself I was going to be a firefighter one day.” “This isn’t something we want to miss,” added Jake Morgan, a junior, “We want to be here for everything.” While these students are not permitted to respond to “calls” on their own at this point, when a call does goes

leafprints | 21


out for an emergency, the Junior Firefighters receive a notification text message. They then report to the fire station and are driven to the scene by a crew member. Once on scene, the Junior Firefighter plays an integral part of the firefighting team, assisting in areas such as manning exterior hose lines, supplying equipment, overhaul, and then assisting with cleanup back at the station. A key benefit of this program is that it allows these students to make a possible career decision early. The experience gained in this program during two years as a high school student can either help a student realize this is not something he wishes to pursue postgraduation, or it can allow him to step into a career ahead of the game with a near completion of the Leafprints Magazine State Certification for Firefighter 2, which puts him Fallalmost 2013two Issue years ahead of someone walking in off the Size: 1/4“This pageis horizontal 3.625” 3.25” street. like a scholarship for xus,” said Morgan, Proof: “Everything we do is paid for, we just have to learn. All Questions: Ward 944-1673 the trainingCall andDenise everything they@ teach us is huge!” So while this may have all begun in the mind of a first grader sitting on a playground watching a fireman climb a ladder, the real world benefits to this program are immeasurable. The skills, career lessons, and relationships they are building, along with the responsibility required at such a young age will benefit these Geneseo students in any career they choose to pursue.

Are you inspired and looking for a place to serve? Here is a great opportunity for those in grades 8-12. Every summer, Hammond Henry Hospital welcomes students for its Junior Volunteer Program. The program is an excellent way to become acquainted with health care fields, assist hospital staff with a variety of duties, and provide valuable pre-employment experience. Students who participate will complete an orientation, at which time they learn about responsibilities and expectations for them while they are serving at the hospital. Junior volunteers primarily assist with delivering water and juice, and getting mail and deliveries to patient rooms. Occasionally, they may assist with preparing mailings or patient materials; filing; working at the information desk; and various other duties as needed. Interested students can email Julie West, HHH Volunteer Manager, at and an application will be mailed to them in April, or they can watch for information at the middle school and high school in the spring.

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We love art. turn the page to see our masterpieces.

leafprints | 23

KI N D ERGARTEN - LI O NS WITH LI N E M AS KS Medium Mixed media

Project Guidelines

The students learned about lions and African art. They learned about where they live, what they eat, and how we need to protect their declining population. The students first drew a lion and recreated the lion three dimensionally. The students used the process of collage to create an interesting and unique creation. We created Lions with line! 24 | leafprints

FI RST GR ADE - B I R DS O F CO LO R Medium Tempera Paint, Colored Pencil & Sharpie

Project Guidelines

The students learned about the following concepts: expression, space, color spectrum, primary colors & secondary colors.

leafprints | 25


Tempera paint, newspaper, tape (eyebrows), oil pastel, construction paper crayons and yarn

Project Guidelines

The students studied an artist named Laurel Burch. She was an artist who overcame great obstacles in her life to create art. Burch was born with a rare bone disease that caused her bones to break easily, sometimes just by chewing her food. Despite being in and out of the hospital and in a wheel chair later in life, she created an explosion of color on canvas and had work produced on jewelry, purses, tea pots, etc. When students created their art, they explored value (a color from light to dark.) They chose a color for the top of their cat face and painted a lighter value of that color for the bottom half (called a tint.) Students took inspiration from Burch’s designs and created their own version using oil pastel and construction paper crayons. 26 | leafprints

TH I R D GR ADE WHAT’ S U P GN OMI E! Medium Paper Mache

Project Guidelines

Students used their imagination and created paper mache gnomes. The students used paper mache, felt, buttons, and yarn to convey different textures. The students used collage techniques to create their gnome sculpture. The students learned about installation art. Their gnomes are a traveling bunch and have many places to visit. You never know where they may end up!


Aluminum Can, Foam Board, Tempera Paint, Pipe Cleaners, Sharpie

Project Guidelines

The students learned about Cubism, Picasso, Geometric Shape, Expression and Sculpture


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FI FTH GR ADE - MO RTO N SALT PARO DY Medium Tempera paint, sharpie, colored pencil

Project Guidelines

While studying the color wheel/color theory, students learned a little bit about commercial art and what a parody is. 5th graders had to mix all 12 colors on the color wheel from the primaries. Underneath the umbrella, they chose a cartoon character to illustrate. With the help of iPads, they drew their character. Without the iPad, students had to shade their character and blend more than one color to achieve these great results. leafprints | 29

SEVENTH GR ADE - GRI D Po RTR AIT DR AwI N G Medium Pencil, Value Scale, Ruler, Magazine Photo

Project Guidelines

Grid drawing provides a tool to help students draw correct proportion, especially for portraits. Students used grid lines as a guide and matched the outline of the person in the photo to their own drawing on 12x18� paper. Students were to place facial features on drawing according to grid on photo. Using a self-made Value Scale, students repeated values recognized in the photo and applied them to their own pencil drawing.

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EIGHTH GR ADE - AB STR ACT SCU LPTU R ES Medium Wooden Blocks, Wire Coat Hangers, Pantyhose, Gesso, Acrylic Paint, Gloss Medium

Project Guidelines

Students focused on creating an organic form by bending the wire in a way that created a variety of curvy and wavy contours. The students needed to take all views of the sculpture into account when bending the wire. The pantyhose were stretched tightly over the wire and painted with gesso. The students could paint it any one color they wanted. To give it a nice gloss finish, a transparent gloss medium was applied. The students learned about organic form, free standing sculpture, abstract sculputre, smooth painting techniques and how to up-cycle or repurpose items found around the house. leafprints | 31



Mixed media on canvas board

Project Guidelines

Students were to use a found object to create a unified composition in the style of urban graffiti art.

32 | leafprints


{Top} Sydney McCright {Bottom} Bibiana Curry


Acrylic paint on canvas

Project Guidelines

Students were to create an autonomous painting that was non objective and allowed their mind to wander and be playful.


{Top} Aubree Burgess {Bottom} Catherine Witmer

leafprints | 33


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Packaging Tape

Project Guidelines

Students were to make a public art sculpture in using the casting style of artist, Mark Jenkins. Students were tasked with casting an object(s) and creating a composition that interacts with a chosen environment to evoke a response from the viewer.


{Left} Sam Ritter, Josh Morton, Taryn Conard & Kailyn Hanshew {Right} Ryan Pitra, Katelyn Konvicka Dakota Westfall & Cassidy Barr

leafprints | 35

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Clay, copper and acrylic paint

Project Guidelines

Students were to make a press mold in which to cast a clay mask. Masks were designed to reflect and tell a story about something the student values.


{Left page} Sam Ritter {Top left} Kendra Fobert {Top right} Gabe Johnson {Bottom left} Karah Bos

leafprints | 37

kailyn hanshew

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is an escape from everything. It has made me a more confident person. ARTIST SPOTLI GHT K AI LYN HANSH EW “My love of art came at a very young age. I was never very interested in sports, but art was something I felt I was good at. Even in elementary school, my favorite time of the day was going to art class. While everyone else was outside playing, I enjoyed being creative. I don’t really have a favorite kind of art. It depends on the project I’m working on. I fall in love with each and every one of them as I am working. Painting and drawing seem to be what I’m best at. I often sit on the floor of my bedroom with paints scattered around me and music playing. It’s a way to relieve stress built up from a long day of school. Art is an escape from everything. When I’m working on a new project hours go by and I don’t even realize it. As I move onto college, I know I’ll find my calling. I plan on starting off at a smaller community college and moving forward to a larger technical school, maybe even move to a new state! I know for a fact that I would not be the same without art. It has made me a more confident person and wherever I go in this crazy world, I know art will be a big part of me.

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Beyond the Score Our Geneseo coaches have had the opportunity to hear the teaching of Rod Olson, President of the Coaches of Excellence Institute, on more than one occasion now. Something Olson stresses in his message is how important it is for a coach to care about his team as individuals and not just as athletes. Here are two of our coaches who are clearly implementing this philosophy into their own coaching style.

Building relationships with his team has led Scott Hardison, Geneseo Varsity Girls Basketball Coach, to some pretty unlikely places. For example, sitting in the audience of a beauty pageant, or watching a teenage girl show pigs are probably two of the last places you would expect to find this guy, but that’s exactly where his coaching career has led him at times. “I try to support the girls in their other activities because I think it’s important they know I care about them not just as an athlete on the basketball court, but as a person too,” he shared. “I’ve coached both girls and boys basketball over the past thirteen years,” he said, and I’ve learned that the key, especially to the girls team, is in building relationships and showing them you care. The girls will run through a wall for you as long as they know you have their back.” Hardison did share that valuing relationships has been a bit of a process for him. There was a time he admits he was more “old school” in his philosophy, and not necessarily concerned with the feelings of his players. All that changed about a year and half ago when he became a dad for the first time, which gave him a whole new perspective. “Being a dad has changed how I look at the team 110%,” Hardison said. “When I tell a girl she’s not going to play, it’s a little like telling my 16-month old daughter ‘no.’ It breaks my heart, but eventually she is going to learn and understand why.” 40 | leafprints

Coach Hardison believes that once he became more relationship-focused the entire attitude of his program changed. He now works hard to make sure each girl feels like a valued member of the team, and often reminds them that no matter how good a player is, it is impossible for her to win a game without her teammates. And while he admits to “not being a very good loser,” he does believe he has matured as a coach and now hopes that the wins are not the most important thing his team takes with them when they leave. “I know they’ll think about the wins and losses, but what I hope they really remember are the experiences we all shared- the dinners, the bus trips, that’s what I hope they’ll remember in the end.” Darren Hall

Team Photographs taken by Photographic Arts

Putting people first. When we asked Jon Murray, Geneseo’s Wrestling Coach, about his coaching style and philosophy, one thing was consistent- it was all about the young men who make up his team and his role in helping them become the best they can be, both on and off the mat. He described what he calls the “art of coaching” and pointed out a successful coach knows how to coach a team while coaching individuals at the same time. “You have to get to know your athletes and what motivates them,” Coach Murray stressed. Part of that, he said, is really getting to know each personality. Every team member is different and has his own breaking point. Murray understands how critical it is that difficult situations are handled in the best way possible. “Timing is important,” the coach emphasized, “we have to wait for the right moment. Immediately following a loss is not the time.” Ultimately, Coach Murray hopes there is a good balance between hard work and fun team interactions. “A positive atmosphere created by positive relationships leads to more wins,” he stressed. When asked about handling the balance between caring for his athletes as individuals with that drive for a winning record, he

“I have learned not to take anything for granted. I have learned to take time to appreciate our accomplishments and have fun along the way. I have learned that there is always more to learn.” Jon Murray, Wrestling Coach

explained, “You put people first either way because if you do, you get more wins- maybe not immediately, but in the long run.” Murray has seen much success during his twenty-two years of coaching in Geneseo, most recently leading his team to a second-place state finish last year. He admits each year has been a learning experience. When asked to share the most valuable lesson he has gained as a coach, Murray had trouble naming just one. “I have learned how to better balance between wrestling and the rest of my life. I have learned not to take anything for granted. I have learned to take time to appreciate our accomplishments and have fun along the way……..I have learned that there is always more to learn.” leafprints | 41

Congratulations Champion. This year’s Geneseo Football Team learned that a final score doesn’t necessarily define a Champion. While the official record books of the 2013 4A State Championship Game may not list our Green Machine as the winning team, that is the designation they have been given by those who know their character, dedication and love of the tradition that got them to the State Final in the first place. “I’m going to say it right now,” Superintendent Scott Kuffel told a packed gym of supporters, “this is not a runner-up group. This is not a runner-up team. This is a group of champions. Champions are more than just wins and losses and trophies. Champions are people who understand humility. Champions understand sacrifice, commitment, and teamwork. This is a group of champions.”

ConGrATulATIonS FroM A proud SChool, dISTrICT And CoMMunITy To our ChAMpIon FooTbAll TeAM.

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In the words of an athlete This football season was something truly unbelievable. As kids, we grew up dreaming of making it to the State Championship Game and playing on the big stage, but never truly imagined it could really happen. This year it really did happen. I still cannot fathom that football is over, but we left our mark on Geneseo. I’m really proud to say I played for the 2013 Green Machine and shared this season with them. Yes, 4 teams in Geneseo history came away with a title, but they weren’t part of this special team. This group of guys was so fun to be around, I can’t imagine it any other way. Although there were many ups this season, there were also some downs for me. Not only losses, but especially when I sprained my MCL. The Dixon game was truly great to me, because it showed me how much I truly loved football after missing 2 games due to injury. I never wanted to play so bad when I was out, and luckily I was able to come back quickly. There are truly some things that make this team special though. The guys on this team respected each other, and worked hard for each other. One of my favorite things about this team was knowing that the guy next to me was going to have my back. We didn’t want to let each other down, whether it be in the games or even practice. Heck, these guys didn’t want to let another guy down in the weight room. That’s what I love. I’ll never forget that either. We had a great season on the gridiron, but nothing can replace the bonds we made as teammates and friends. It truly is something special as was this season. For a senior year, except for losing in the Championship game, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll remember this whole year for the rest of my life that’s for sure. Jeremy May, senior

MEMORIES To view and purchase photos from the State Championship game and reception, scan this code with your smartphone. leafprints | 45

Christy Coleman Member since 1989

Heather DeBrock Member since 2013

Doug Ford President Member since 2003

Geneseo schools named to Placement district honor roll

Jackie Mickley Vice President Member since 2003


Geneseo School District 228 has been named to the 4th Annual AP District Honor Roll. Geneseo is one of only 477 districts from across the United States and Canada, and the only district in the immediate area, to be recognized. Districts are honored for their efforts to increase student access to Advanced Placement course work while also maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. “It is our goal to provide motivated students with challenges and higher level opportunities to prepare them for their future endeavors. To be recognized with this distinction indicates we are seeing success in those efforts,” said Geneseo School Superintendent Scott Kuffel.

Project leaf “The entire school community has an opportunity to work together to enhance a ‘Legacy of Excellence Aiming for the Future’ through this process.” As a response to the successful Sales Tax for School Facilities referendum in April, 2013, the Board of Education has embarked upon a community engagement process to involve members of the school community to provide input, feedback, comments and questions that will lead to the planning, prioritizing and preparing for best use of the sales tax revenues. 44 | leafprints

John Puentes Member since 1999

Barry Snodgrass Alan VanDeWoestyne Member since 1989 Member since 1997

PROJECT LEAF Geneseo school district 228

Legacy of Excellence Aiming for the Future

The process has begun with the formation of a Facilitating Team of community members working with architects from Richard L. Johnson, Inc. and BLDD, as well as consultants from UNICOM-ARC. The facilitating team members have been meeting over the past several weeks to prepare for the upcoming Community Engagement Meetings.

The schedule for the Community Engagement Meetings February 10, 2014 6:30-8:30 p.m. St. Malachy’s February 24, 2014 6:30-8:30 p.m. St. Malachy’s March 10, 2014 6:30-8:30 p.m. St. Malachy’s April 14, 2014 6:30-8:30 p.m. St. Malachy’s We invite all community members to attend and participate! The members of the Facilitating Team are Clark Barnes, Wyatt Brieser, Barney Gehl, Judith Gilbert, Sue Gray, Cindy Hoste, Gloria Miller, Justin Miller, Mark Mosbarger, Dr. Matt Nelson, Janice Roome, Ken Werner

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Shopping locally keeps your favorite shops in business and supports the overall local economy. That’s good news for the entire community as we strive to develop a climate in which businesses can create jobs and operate at a profit. We realize that it is not always possible to buy what you need locally, but ask that you please think local FIRST.

Leafprints Magazine Volume 2, Issue 2  
Leafprints Magazine Volume 2, Issue 2