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MORTON CONNECTION Both Morton East and Morton West started the school year with three renovated science labs. The new chemistry labs have a customized periodic table featuring “Manganese” as one of the elements.


A Message from your leaders:

Developments in Academics


continue to receive national recognition for increasing our graduation rate and student performance. District Administration magazine featured J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 to highlight our new grading system, community involvement, and our success in expanding access to Advanced Placement (AP) courses while improving AP Exam scores. Also, we’ve received national recognition for our commitment to the well-being of our students before and after school. Morton West earned a 2016 Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award, the nation’s top physical education distinction for K-12 schools. Only one other high school in Illinois has this distinguished award. We appreciate our faculty and staff members’ involvement, as well as family and community engagement for contributing to this effort. On October 26th, the school held its annual Mustang 5K run at Navy Pier. In other news, Morton East Librarian Sarah Lorraine was recognized as a recipient of the ISLMA/LBSS Endowment Fund’s Read for Information Grant on November 4th. She will work with Social Science teachers to support students when they use new informational books while working on research projects. Thank you to all the parents and guardians who participated in parent-teacher conferences on November 8th.

Jeff Pesek School Board President

Morton District 201 Board of Education Members Are Morton Pride​

At the November School Board meeting, I recognized our outstanding

District 201 Board Members for their commitment and contributions to our district. Our school board members are volunteers who serve without monetary compensation to make public education the very best it can be for every student in District 201. During these trying fiscal times, they develop policies and make difficult decisions on complex educational and social issues that affect the entire community and the lives of individual students. They bear responsibility and oversight in District 201 for an annual budget of $116 million; 8,400 students in grades 9 through 12; more than 900 employees; and 4 separate campuses. Often we take for granted the service that these hard working education advocates provide. Taking timeout to say ‘thank you’ is the least we can do as they provide vision and leadership for student achievement, academic programs, district funding, and maintaining/improving school facilities. You have witnessed the positive changes made possible by our District 201 Board Members and they deserve recognition and thanks for their unfailing commitment to the continuing success, of our students, now and in the future. Please join me in thanking the men and women serving the J. Sterling Morton H.S. District 201 community: Mr. Jeffry Pesek Mr. Kasumba Lwanga Mrs. Jessica Jaramillo-Flores Mr. Lido Manetti Dr. Margaret Kelly Mr. Mark Kraft Mrs. Sandra Tomschin

President Vice-President Secretary Member Member Member Member

Dr. Mike Kuzniewski Superintendent

Your Board of Education | La Junta de Educación Jeff Pesek Kasumba “Kal” Lwanga PRESIDENT


Jessica Jaramillo-Flores Mark D. Kraft SECRETARY

Lido Manetti MEMBER


Margaret Kelly MEMBER


Sandra Tomschin MEMBER

Thank You to Our Dedicated Morton District 201 Board Members November 15th marks the eighth annual “School Board Members Day” in Illinois. They’re committed to listening to the needs of the community so together they can ensure every student succeeds. The district’s goals are the following: 1. Accountability 2. Enhanced learning opportunities for all children 3. Ensure parents and the community are active, strategic partners in the educational process 4. Provide safe and well-maintained school to enhance learning 5. Run an efficient business operation

A Morton Student Earns a Perfect Score on an AP Exam The College Board sent a letter to inform Karla Salcedo that out of all the 2016 Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish Language and Culture Exam takers, she is “one of only 108 in the world to earn every point possible on this difficult assessment”. That’s the second Morton student in the last three years to earn a perfect score on an AP Exam. The Morton West Senior plans to pursue a biological engineering major in college and possibly minor in Spanish. More than 154,000 students took the AP Exam this year. El College Board envió una carta para informar a Karla Salcedo que de todos los tomadores del examen AP Idioma Español y Cultura, que es “una de solamente 108 en el mundo para ganar todos los puntos posibles en esta evaluación difícil”. Ese es el segundo estudiante de Morton en los últimos tres años para obtener una puntuación perfecta en el examen AP. Karla planea llevar estudiar ingeniería biológica en la universidad y posiblemente estudiar mas español. Más de 154,000 estudiantes tomaron el examen AP este año.

Morton Presents AP Symposium K

arla’s achievement is one of many reasons why our AP Program is the best in the nation. The American nonprofit College Board joined educators from Morton and nearby schools on Saturday, October 15th, to attend Morton’s AP Symposium highlighting our school district as a leader in higher education. During the welcome ceremony, the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica President, Lucero Castañeda, shared her inspiring story of turning difficulties into opportunities as an AP student. Attendees were also impressed by Morton’s community culture and level of technology. We had National Honor Society members register and direct visitors throughout the day. Everything started off smoothly with the help of the Morton West stage crew during performances by the Morton Mariachi and Folkloric Dancers. Culinary students spent all morning preparing delicious salad, rice pudding, and desserts for lunch. Also, Technology Service Internship students made sure all devices worked properly and assisted in correcting technical issues. It was a great day for learning and Morton Pride with staff, faculty, and students working together to support our mission: every student succeeds. Morton teachers, including Martina Brockway, James Conley, Benjamin Dobes, Michael Doherty, Niki Gamboa, Matthew Horvath, and Kevin O’Toole led workshops allowing teachers to learn strategies to increase student achievement. We plan to continue the discussions and collaborations that took place on this day. English Language Learners (ELL) Director Melody Becker organized the event with the help of other staff members. Thank you to all the coordinators, volunteers for their hard work, and O’Reilly’s Flowers for donating floral arrangements.


l logro de Karla es una de las muchas razones por las que nuestro programa de AP es el mejor en la nación. El Comité Universitario Americano sin fines de lucro se juntó con educadores de Morton y de otras escuelas cercanas el sábado 15 de octubre para asistir el Simposio de AP de Morton que destaca nuestro distrito escolar como un líder de educación superior. Durante la ceremonia de bienvenida, la presidenta de la Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, Lucero Castañeda, compartió su historia inspiradora de convertir dificultades en oportunidades para estudiantes de AP. Los asistentes del simposio también estaban impresionados por la tecnología y la cultura comunitaria de Morton. Tuvimos miembros de la Sociedad Nacional de Honor (NHS) registrando y dirigiendo los visitantes durante el día. Todo comenzó tranquilamente con la ayuda del equipo de escenario de Morton West durante las presentaciones del Mariachi y Grupo Folklórico de Morton. Los estudiantes culinarios se demoraron toda la mañana preparando ensaladas deliciosas, arroz con leche, y postres para el almuerzo. Además, los estudiantes del grupo de servicios tecnológicos se aseguraron de que todos los aparatos estaban funcionando y ayudaban arreglar problemas de tecnología. Fue un buen día de aprendizaje y de Orgullo de Morton con la facultad y los estudiantes trabajando juntos para apoyar nuestra misión: cada estudiante triunfa. Maestros de Morton incluyendo a Martina Brockway, James Conley, Benjamin Dobes, Michael Doherty, Niki Gamboa, Matthew Horvath, y Kevin O’Toole impartieron talleres permitiendo que maestros aprendieran estrategias para incrementar los logros de estudiantes. Planeamos continuar las discusiones y colaboraciones que se llevaron a cabo ese día. La directora de ELL, Melody Becker, organizó el evento con la ayuda de muchos otros miembros de la facultad. Gracias a todos los coordinadores y voluntarios por su trabajo y gracias a O’Reilly’s Flowers por donar los arreglos florales.

Morton Lives for the Day of the Dead The Morton Freshman Center brought to life an ancient Mexican holiday celebrated

on November 1st and 2nd. It’s a day rich in culture and colored in orange marigolds: the Day of the Dead or better known to many as El Dia de los Muertos. Decorated with sugared skulls and student art work, we invited the community to continue a sacred tradition honoring those who have passed away. Community members, parents, and students enjoyed a handcrafted feast prepared by the school’s very own staff and culinary students. The night continued with high energy when the Freshman Center Rock Stars, Morton Mariachi, and the folkloric dance group took the floor, moving like dancing skulls thanks to a little creative face paint. The community also had some time to participate in arts and crafts while enjoying the event. Thank you for the hard work and dedication of Morton staff, parents and students who continue to be the strength of the school.

Morton Students Attend West Suburban Leadership Conference First-year students from Morton West and the Morton Freshman Center joined several other schools at the West Suburban Conference (WSC) Young Leaders Workshop in early October. The leadership seminar held at Addison Trail High School taught students valuable skills to become effective leaders within their communities. Sophomore and junior leaders also attended the WSC Leadership Conference at Lyons Township High School on October 28th. Seniors from the participating schools led the workshops. Morton East and Morton West sent three of its strongest leaders to additional training to proudly represent our school as they carried out presentations throughout the month.

The Morton Music Department Presents its Annual Fall Concert Audience members enjoyed an evening of fine music during Morton’s annual Fall Concert showcasing brilliant performances by the Singers Unlimited, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and String Orchestra. A reception hosted by the Morton Music Parents Association concluded the event. Please join us for our yearly Holidays Concert on Thursday, December 8th at 7 p.m. in the Morton West Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public. Thank you to the Morton West Music Department and talented performers for putting on a great show.

Carpentry Students Build Maze of Terror Ten years ago, Morton East Carpentry Teacher Bryan Revor came up with the Maze of Terror, a Halloween-themed project to get his students excited about learning how to frame metal stud walls. The project was so successful that it has continued to engage students year after year. Carpentry students start by designing a maze, then frame it with metal studs, and at the end hang the drywall followed by the special effects. New to this season is the spinning vortex. As visitors enter the maze, they cross a bridge in a spinning vortex with black lights and strobe lighting. The Maze of Terror opens its doors three days before Halloween for teachers to bring their students for free during the day, and after school, there’s $1 entrance fee. The funds raised are for the student-led Bible club which uses the money to help feed the homeless living on the streets of Chicago.

The High School Nation Tour Visits Morton West Morton West was one of the few schools across the nation to have the honor to host the High School Nation Tour on October 11th with American actor Drake Bell as a special guest. The event featured opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers in the arts, such as theater, music, video, and journalism. The High School Nation Foundation offers hands-on experience, scholarships, internships, product packages, and a network of professional connections.

Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage PAID Chicago, Il Permit No.3631

Morton High School District 201 5041 W 31st Street Cicero, Il 60804

Morton Board of Education Recognizes AP Teachers and Students

The Morton Board of Education Recognized teachers and students for achieving high scores on Advanced Placement Exams. Teachers Freshman Center: Eileen McCormack, Jim Conley, and Matt MacDougal. Morton East: Robert Bays, Mary O’Donnell, Erika Zacarias, Eloy Hernandez, and Barbara Kane. Morton West: Jill Obermaier, Peg Frigo, David Rose, Stefano Crancich, and Donita Ries.


Students AP Scholar — granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams. Morton East: Jasmine Alvarez, Marco A. Arcos, Marcoantonio Cervantes, Alice C. Cosajay, Anayeli Crisantos, Paulina M. Giron, Adriana N. Gomez, Lorena Guzman, Mhaylee Jimenez, Katherine Leyva, Fabiola Lopez, Fernando Lopez, Jennifer A. Lopez, Angelina J. Lyons, Gerardo Medina, Brian Mendoza, Manuel Meraz, Kimberly Padilla, Luis B. Ramirez, Evelyn Salgado, Marcos F. Salmoran, Joel P. Sandoval, Catherine Santoyo, Omar Scarpetta, Guadalupe Valle and Abraham Verdin. Morton West: Ashley Ahumada, Marcos Duran, Geovani Gonzalez, Karina Gonzalez, Sienna Gudino, Nataly Hernandez, Sean Hussain, Crystal Ibarra, Zynovia Jaen, Viviana Mendoza, Jocelyn Hernandez Moreno, Sean Navarrete, Jenifer Navarro, Isabel Siguenza, and Maria Villalobos


AP Scholar with Honor — granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams completed and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. Morton East: Guadalupe C. Blanco, Jessica Bucio, Ariel Leon, Daniela Ortega, Yasmeen Ragab, Katherine Solarte and Linda Urbina. Morton West: Christopher Archuleta, Vanessa Garza, and Karla Salcedo. AP Scholar with Distinction — Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams completed and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. Morton East: Maria Anzures, Yoselin Castillo, Lucero Contreras, Maria J. Diaz, Mariana Maldonado, Imelda Nuno-Garcia and Aida E. Revilla. Morton West: Michael Ghuneim, Nicolas Lynn, and Anahi Ruiz.

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Morton Connection #23  

Both Morton East and Morton West started the school year with three renovated science labs. The new chemistry labs have a customize periodic...

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