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Cove is Celebrating 70 Cove shines on - 70 years strong! How proud we are to be celebrating 70 years of serving students with complex learning disabilities. Since 1947, the Cove School has provided an exceptional education to those who require an individualized program and has grown to become the largest school of its kind within the Chicago area. During the 2016-17 school year, enrollment began at capacity with a waiting list. Our high school served the largest number of students ever and contributed to about half of our total enrollment. The need for a Cove education remains high, and our commitment to the community remains strong. The 2016-17 school year was filled with celebrations! As you read through the articles in this edition of The Cove Chronicle, you will recognize the hallmarks of our school and understand the difference that comes from those unique experiences.

Dr. Sally Sover with Board President, Dan Dickinson, at the 2017 Cove Benefit, Cove Shines On.

Inside the Chronicle, you will read of our students’ accomplishments, and you will marvel at the ways in which perseverance led to confidence, confidence led to new opportunities, and new opportunities led to success. Whether on the basketball court, in the school play, or at an internship, our students are taking risks and are reaching their personal best.

As a school, we have collectively come together with the community to enhance our curriculum and to improve the quality of our services. Our Annual Benefit once again exceeded our expectations and demonstrated the strength that can come from a community of people who are deeply committed to our mission. The celebrations that surrounded our school have been possible thanks to the extraordinary people who have chosen to be a part of it! We couldn’t do it without you! On behalf of all of us at Cove, we thank you for believing in us and for contributing to our deep, rich history. We look forward to all that is yet to come and to the promise of a great future. With heartfelt gratitude,

Sally L. Sover, Ed.D. Executive Director


Celebrating Going the Distance Cove’s annual 5k Race, One Step at a Time, took place on June 17th at Blue Star Memorial Woods in Glenview. With a little help from Mother Nature and a lot of assistance from wonderful volunteers, the race had a fabulous turnout and it was a truly special morning. The annual run/walk fundraiser supports Cove’s Scholarship and Financial Aid fund. On this 83 degree morning, participants geared up for an early morning run! After stretches led by Cove staff member, Krystal Schrantz, and the Cove Cougar Mascot, Levi Davishoff, the runners took off. Only 19 minutes and 38 seconds later, Matt Coath of Skokie hit the finish line. Congratulations Matt! This special morning encourages Cove’s community of local businesses, corporate partners, families, and friends to come together and support Cove. Over $18,000 was raised, and almost 65% of the total was through corporate donations. The race provides Cove an opportunity to meet local businesses and runners from all over the greater Chicago area.

Participants race to the finish line

Cove Mascot, Levi Davishoff, cheers on runners

Cove alumni come together at the 5K

5K Volunteers led by YPC Chairs, Sean Regan and Ryan Lieberman

Cove student, Carlos Wojtasiak, asked friends, family and local businesses for race sponsorship, fundraising over $800 for Cove. Our top two student fundraisers were Carlos Wojtasiak and Olivia Rodriguez. Thank you Carlos and Olivia! Cove Kids Can! With another 3.2 miles in the books, Cove thanks our community for being with us every step of the way! A special shout out to our Young Professionals for Cove (YPC) who volunteer their time and effort. We especially thank this year’s chair, Sean Regan, and co-chair, Ryan Lieberman; the event would not have been such a success without them. Thank you Sean and Ryan!

Serving Community Cove alumni parent, Mindy Horne, of Glenview, invited friends and family to a Tennis Fundraiser at The Tam Tennis and Fitness Club in Niles. Proceeds from the event were donated to Cove. This was her 9th Tennis Fundraiser. The drill and play tennis event took place on Sunday, June 11th from 6-9 pm and also included dinner, refreshments, dessert, and a prize drawing. Over 40 people attended, and more than $9,000 was raised for Cove. Prizes included two Apple Watches, three tennis racquets, several gift cards and private tennis lessons. Thank you to the Horne family and all of the tennis players who supported this successful event. Do you have a community event or idea to support Cove? Call Stephanie Sanderman at (847) 562-2100, or email at

Participants listen to instructions before drill and play begins


Cove student, Jacob Horne, with his grandma

The Mejia Family came out to support Cove

Giving Back Cove Staff Members Keep Their Cool You want to see dedication and commitment amongst your Cove School staff? Invite them to go jump into freezing cold Lake Michigan in February for an incredible cause and then get out of the way! The 2017 Illinois Special Olympics Polar Plunge saw an amazing turnout of Cove School staff who truly took “freezin’ for a reason” to the extreme! The 17 member Cold Cove Cougars Team raised close to $6,000 for SO/ILL and accounted for a huge percentage of total plungers and total money raised at the Evanston plunge site, held on Saturday, February 18, 2017. Well done team! Led by team captains Daron Teske and Jeff Linforth, the Cold Cove Cougars consisted of Regina Aniolowski, Lauren Baylian, Heather Bergren, Ilyas Dagli, Kevin Farrell, Robin Johnstone, Alexandra Kocis, Talia Kohan, Barbara McKenzie, Sue Petersen (our Staff members gather before taking their plunge #1 fundraiser), Debra Prendergast, Ashley Stange, Adrienne Testa, Robert Wachowiak, and Amanda Zabel. The Hawaiian shirts theme kept everyone warm as the Cougars dominated those chilly waters! Special Olympics is a truly amazing global organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport. The mission statement of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Cove Kids Jump for Joy Over Hoops for Heart On Wellness Day, April 20, 2017, students participated in a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Elementary students participated in Jump Rope for Heart while Junior High and High School students participated in Hoops for Heart activities. While raising money for the American Heart Association, students also learned the importance and value of leading a healthy lifestyle.

This year’s Hoops for Heart and Jump Rope for Heart was a great success. The Cove School students and staff helped raise $1,538 for the American Heart Association. The largest funds raised this year were by Olivia Rodriguez, Dylan Clark and Angelina Scarlati. Congratulations to the students and families for caring about a great cause.

Student Council Elects to Give Back Did you know that Cove has an active junior high student council? Led by staff members Donna Torf and Anna Dishong, junior high student council representatives were elected each semester and met on a regular basis. During the last half of the school year, they were involved in several projects. Over the winter months they collected books for Bernie’s Book Bank. This program supports at-risk youth by donating a set of books for each individual book that is donated. They believe in “read, reuse and recycle!” The entire Cove community contributed to this effort. In addition this group collected specific breakfast products for the Deerfield Food Pantry and joined thousands of other students across the United States who participated in the Freerice program. This is a non-profit website that asks questions about various content areas, science, social studies, etc. and for every question that is answered. Grains of rice are donated to the United Nations World Food Program. Our students can feel good that a person is eating rice that they helped provide! Our senior high student council succeeded in voting in a new lunch program; the response was very favorable. The Senior High School Student Council was very busy throughout the year in leadership roles including greeting guests for special events. The year began with the annual clothing drive that supports the Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association (ESCCA). During the holidays, student council collected canned and boxed foods for the Wheeling Township Food Pantry. They also prepared small gift bags for children who have one or more parents who are incarcerated. In February, the members organized a drive to help support an animal shelter, Orphans of the Storm, in Riverwoods, IL. The students and the Cove community contributed pet food, supplies and newspaper. The end of the school year was busy with preparations for prom. With the support of Susie Gray and Marla Altshul, our students voted on the theme, contributed to ideas for decorations, provided suggestions for the music that is played and voted for the prom court. This year’s theme was a Royal Event and many of the students really dressed for the occasion! Finally, there were many discussions about goals for next year. The senior high school student council plans on starting off the year with a boost to our school-wide recycling initiative. Congratulations to the 2016-17 officers: President – Destiny Pough; Vice-President – DC Carr; Secretary – Katya Stillman; and Treasurer – Charlie Paul for a job well done!


Celebrating Cove Students Shine in the Spotlight Parent Association leader and volunteer extraordinaire, Jen Puccini, was brought to Cove a couple of years ago when her daughter started attending the school. Jen volunteers with co-workers through the Parent Association, and she also founded a Cove Girl Scouts troop. Why have you chosen to give back through your workplace? Work can be very stressful. Having something positive to give back through work can keep you motivated. In my case, I was able to leverage my work programs to help a group that I really care about. How does Cove fit into your businesses’ philanthropic values? Pearson is an educational company. We believe strongly in helping all learners. We believe strongly in helping the community. Even though we are a for profit company, we are made up of individuals who really do want to help make education better for everyone.

What is your favorite part about volunteering at Cove? Where do I start? I love giving back to the school that has given so much to my daughter and my family. From a professional perspective, it is great to get out of the office and get into a classroom to see the people that we are working so hard for directly. Can you describe a specific connection you had with a student or students? I have a thousand stories about my daughter and her classmates but when I go outside of those experiences I can think of two. When I walked into the first classroom on our volunteer day one of the boys gave me a wink and a smile and said in the most enthusiastic voice..”Hey, you’re looking great today. I’m so happy you are here.” It was great to see that smile and enthusiasm. Another time we came to help with Hour of Code. Towards the end, I was working with a young lady who really didn’t get it. We spent about 10 min trying to get a concept and make

The Girl Scouts of Cove at their Bridging Ceremony

our character move. When she finally got it, she was so happy and proud of herself. What a gift to be there to help someone through her “aha” moment. How is volunteering at Cove different from other organizations you have worked with? It’s great to work with any school but there is something very special about Cove. Everything there is so positive and inviting. I always walk out feeling so great. What would you tell someone else about the experience of volunteering at Cove? Do it! As often as you can.

Local Businesses Invest in Cove Students’ Futures Cove invited transition business partners to enjoy a delicious breakfast at Cove. These community partners help Cove students explore their strengths by hosting a student intern or job shadow. Through these experiences, students discover their passions and career path options. The Business Breakfast was a great opportunity for our students to personally thank their mentors for opening doors and offering them an invaluable experience. Thank you to: A Closer Bond Dog Community Center, Saranello’s, Lake Forest College, Walgreens, Sachs Recreation Center, Junior Achievement of Chicago, and Graeter’s Ice Cream for attending and making a difference in our students’ futures.

Business representatives enjoy a video montage of students at internships


Cove student, Matt, thanks Lake Forest College for his mail room internship

Cove student, Kyle, shakes hand of mentor from Sachs Recreation Center

Community Fine Arts For the first time in Cove history, three Cove musicals were presented. The elementary unit performed, We Haz Jazz; Junior High performed, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; High School performed, Fiddler on the Roof. The high school performance took place at the Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest. The musicals give Cove students the opportunity to shine, and for the community to see our students in action. Another way Cove students express their creativity is through our collaboration with Piven Theatre Workshop. This exciting afterschool program invites 7th - 12th graders to develop their improvisation skills and play theatre games. An acclaimed North Shore institution for 40 years, Piven Theatre Workshop has been training children and adults in the theatre arts. On a musical note, Cove has continued our relationship with Sistema Ravinia. Sistema Ravinia is an intensive and transformational orchestral music education program that fosters social development. Three of our students were honored in a final concert at Ravinia in Bennett Gordon Hall. It was an exciting morning, celebrating the hard work of our students and the dedicated professionals who support them in this endeavor.

Cove students, Charlie and Destiny, perform Fiddler on the Roof

Cove elementary students play clarinet for We Haz Jazz

From Being Dean to Painting Nails, Students Love”Time with Teacher” As part of Cove’s Annual Benefit Silent Auction, staff members donate their time for various activities to create “Time with Teacher” opportunities. This fundraiser raises nearly $6,000 for Cove, and it offers our students additional social experiences with friends and teachers. Thank you to all our students and staff who participated!

Dean for a Day Cove student, Lisa (or should we say Dean Lisa), spent the day distributing out business cards, taking pictures with friends, giving the morning announcements, meeting with Dr. Sover, and delivering treats to her friends. Quite a way to end her senior year at Cove!

Front Desk Assistant

Dean for a Day

Police Car Ride & Lunch

Front Desk Assistant

Manicure Madness

Cove student, Kyle, joined our front office team to answer phone calls, take attendance and deliver the morning announcements. His teachers were impressed with the confidence he brought back into the classroom after his front desk experience.

Manicure Madness Manicure Madness winner, Morgan, invited friends to join her for manicures with staff members Ms. Petersen and Ms. Zabel. After being pampered, they relaxed and watched a movie at school.

Police Car Ride & Lunch Cove students, Eric and Sebastian, headed out of Cove’s parking lot with police sirens blaring thanks to Officer Aniolowski. They rode in style to Barnaby’s for a delicious pizza lunch.

Scavenger Hunt Cove students walked to the mall after school for a picture scavenger hunt. Before leaving, they had a sweet treat and enjoyed looking through the pictures they took at the mall.

Scavenger Hunt


Celebrating Thank you to all of our Annual Benefit and 5K corporate sponsors this year!


on the Lake

We Invite You to be Part of Cove’s Lasting Legacy Leave your own legacy by making The Cove School part of your estate plans. This is an important way to help Cove to continue to deliver vital services well into the future. With your gift, you could also receive substantial tax and financial benefits. Development Chair, Rob Flanagan, has committed to a planned gift to Cove. As one of the first members of The Cove Legacy Giving Society, Rob stated, “Cove has had an enormous positive impact on my daughter and our entire family, and I’ve seen how it has transformed the lives of so many students over the years. I’m gratified to have an opportunity to plant seeds to support Cove so it can carry out its mission for generations to come. My hope is that legacy giving will be a strong new pillar of support for Cove that can come to fruition.” Please consider this simple way to ensure Cove will be able to provide an exceptional education for students today, tomorrow and beyond. Your personal financial advisor or estate lawyer can assist in exploring planned giving alternatives. If you have any general questions about planned giving, please contact Director of Development, Stephanie Sanderman at (847) 562-2100 or email

Become a Corporate Partner With Cove Community relationships are essential to the success of The Cove School and its students We encourage businesses to become involved with the miracles of Cove, whether by funding a school program or event, participating in career day, job shadows, or internships for Cove students, or volunteering by performing read-ins or art projects. There are endless opportunities to sponsor Cove activities and projects, in support of the school and the students. To discover more ways to team up with Cove and become a partner, please contact: Stephanie Sanderman at (847) 562-2100 or by email


If you have already made The Cove School part of your estate plan, please let us know so we can recognize you as part of the Cove Planned Giving Society.

Honoring a Loved One for Cove Our Cove community is at the core of everything we do, from our outstanding students to our wonderful parents and staff. We would like to invite you to build on that community. If the time has come to honor someone you love or someone you have lost, we hope you will consider making a gift to The Cove School in their name. Proceeds support our students, and all donations are tax deductible. Help us celebrate someone in your heart by making his or her life or memory a part of the Cove community. To make a gift call Stephanie Sanderman at (847) 562-2100 or email

Tomorrows 3 Easy Ways to Support Cove Amazon Smile Amazon Smile donates a portion of your purchase to Cove. Shop at and don’t forget to select Cove as your favorite charitable organization! You can use your existing account on

Heinen’s Tasteful Rewards Preferred You can help support Cove every time you shop! Sign up for Heinen’s Tasteful Rewards Preferred Card and select Cove as part of their Teaming Up For Education Program. Cove will receive up to 1% of your spending as a donation.

Box Tops for Education Collect Box Tops and turn them in to your student’s classroom teacher or the front desk. Every 10 Box Tops earns Cove $1.00

Celebrating Success! Thank You! Last year, our outstanding families, corporate partners and the greater community helped The Cove School raise over $935,000. From all of us at Cove, we sincerely thank you for supporting our students, our families and our mission.

Annual Fund Appeal Funds from the Annual Fund campaign impact every child, every day. They enable us to recruit specialists in the field of learning disabilities; they allow for the development of new experiential learning opportunities, and they ensure that we provide the best individualized education program for which Cove is known. Please consider making a donation to the 2017-2018 Annual Fund using the enclosed envelope. Every gift is a vote of confidence in the school. Every gift – large or small – truly makes a difference, and is recognized in our annual report. For questions, contact Stephanie Sanderman at

Presidents’ Scholarship for Tuition Assistance As part of Dean Gerber’s legacy as president of

The fund will continue in honor of each immediate

Scholarship Fund, please contact Stephanie

the Board of Directors from 2012-2015, Cove

past president of the Cove Board of Trustees upon

Sanderman at

established the Presidents’ Scholarship Fund that

the end of service as a lasting legacy. If you would

or call (847) 562-2100.

will help students in need of tuition assistance.

like to make a donation to support the Presidents’


Administrative Staff

Board of Trustees

Sally L. Sover, Ed.D. Executive Director Robin Johnstone, Ph.D. Clinical Director John R. Stieper, III Director of Education Mark Wall Dean of Students Mark Ditthardt Admissions, District Liaison Stacy Post Director of Finance Stephanie Sanderman Director of Development Jo-Ann Hoeppner, Ph.D. Clinical Consultant

Dan Dickinson President Jim Ball Scott Canel David Crosswhite Tai Duncan Lisa Flanagan Rob Flanagan Jay Goodgold David Graff Joseph Hickey Maureen Klatt

Cove Chronicle Stephanie Sanderman Director of Development Page Galassini Development Associate Matt Huppert Communications Associate

Donald Law Donald Olsen Nick Paldrmic Mark Shambo Linhard Stepf Ross Vangalis David Woodhouse Honorary Lifetime Trustees

Carey Cooper Edward Finnegan Dean Gerber Edward S. Weil

Civic Advisory Board Charlie Bobrinskoy Robert Chodos Daniel O. Dickinson Eileen Frank Joel M. Friedman Susan Garrett Jeffrey A. Hechtman Marvin Isles

Eileen Kamerick Steven Koch Mark Koulogeorge State Senator Julie Morrison State Rep. Elaine Nekritz William Pate John Pratt Michael Sachs

Changing Lives. Building Futures.

Save the Date Changing Lives. Building Futures.

The Cove School Changing Lives. Building Futures.

Saturday February 24th, 2018

jo i n u s t o c e l e b r a t e C o v e COCKTAILS DINNER LIVE & SILENT AUCTIONS DANCING

Academic Advisory Board

Jo-Ann Hoeppner, Ph.D. Doris Johnson, Ph.D.

Pearl Rieger, M.A. Warren Rosen, Ph.D.


350 Lee Road • Northbrook IL 60062 (847) 562-2100 Fax (847) 562-2112

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 100 Skokie, IL

Cove Chronicle 2017-18  
Cove Chronicle 2017-18