Headlines / Features
“Senior Citizen Luau,” offers an evening of entertainment, social fun and snacks for “golden-agers” on Sunday, Feb. 28, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at Washington Community High School.
Many of the senior attendees are planning to wear luau skirts, shorts and other “island clothing/props” at the first-ever Senior Citizen Prom, hosted by Washington Community High School’s IMPACT students.
The event is open to senior citizens who reside in the community and local nursing homes. They may be accompanied by a guest.
The popular Jim Markum Band, a 10-person swing band that focuses on 20’s music, will provide the musical entertainment. Admission is free; donations will be accepted. Refreshments will be served. A photographer will be present to take pictures of attendees against a special backdrop.
WCHS’s IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, Pride, Achieve, Commit and Trust) program has been in place for two years. The program helps students connect with their school and community.
The IMPACT students have attended two Senior Citizen Proms in other areas to gather ideas for their own Feb. 28 prom. They have raised over $5,000 in sponsorships to help with prom costs and other community projects.
Two Washington Community High School graduates – Katherine L. Mulvey and Ambra Haake have been named to the 2015 Class of “40 Leaders Under Forty,” a celebration of young leadership in Greater Peoria that is sponsored by InterBusiness Issues magazine.
Katherine Mulvey is a senior transportation engineer in Farnsworth Group’s Peoria Transportation Section. She has more than 15 years of experience in transportation and development projects ranging from state highways and municipal infrastructure to educational and religious facilities to commercial sites.
Mulvey has been active in inspiring young women in the Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM) arena. She played a leadership role in hosting the 4G STEM Camp for Girls, in addition to serving as a leader with the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and American Heritage Girls, a faith-based character development organization.
In addition to being active in numerous professional organizations, including the Society of Women Engineers, Mulvey is an active member of her church and volunteers with Dream Center Peoria and Midwest Food Bank. She has also organized and participated in numerous fundraising events to benefit Children’s Hospital of Illinois and the United Way.
Ambra Haake is an organizational development specialist for RLI Corp. She develops and coordinates learning initiatives to enhance employee performance and engagement. She manages all employee training and leadership development programs, continuing education/professional accreditation program and the company’s employee recognition program.
Haake is active in her community, serving as a mentor for Heart of Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters and as a member of several organizations, including the Peoria Public Radio Associate Board and the Rotary Club of Peoria-North. As a board member of Family House, she serves on the HR and Volunteer committees, manages the organization’s strategic plan and participates in a variety of fundraising events. Haake lives with her husband Shane and four children in Groveland, IL.
Desiring to meet others interested in language and different cultures, 28 students and four foreign exchange students from Washington Community High School traveled to Oswego East High School to attend Global Fest, a celebration of global culture and language for junior and senior high school students.
WCHS students Joshua Volmer, Jess Earl and Noah Hahn competed in the Global Connections Bowl that day and placed second, missing first place against Central A&M in Moweaqua, Ill., by one question.
“The Global Connections Bowl is a trivia competition with world language, culture, geography and news as its theme,” Nathan Sidwell, WCHS French teacher, said. “It is done in the format of Scholastic bowl with questions and bonus questions.”
WCHS played three rounds in the Global Connections Bowl before facing Central A&M.
The question WCHS lost on was “What is the fastest-growing social site — Instagram, Pinterest or Google Plus?’
“The answer was Google Plus, but our students answered Instagram,” Heather Sandy, WCHS Spanish teacher, said.
“Students who attended had the opportunity to immerse themselves in a language, attend performances related to a culture or attend a discovery room related to a cultural aspect,” Sandy said. “The schedule is full of many options throughout the day, and students attend sessions for which they have an interest.”
Many students enjoyed hands-on activities, such as creating “Day of the Dead” ornaments and New Orleans masks, according to Spanish teacher Polly Fuller.
The Washington students and teachers participated in the Parade of Schools, and Sidwell presented a session on the French Automobile. Each school presented a Discovery Room session.
Fuller said she hopes the experience broadens student horizons.
“I hope students realize that there are opportunities for them outside of Washington, Ill.,” Fuller said. “I hope they realize that by speaking another language and appreciating other cultures, you can meet so many other people in this world.”
Junior Joshua Volmer valued his experience at Global Fest.
“I was more culturally aware after I left, having met people from different places. That is what it is all about,” Volmer said. “The outside world doesn’t seem so foreign when we realize we are all alike in someway, whether we realize it or not.”
Sidwell said Global Fest is an extension of the foreign language curriculum at WCHS.
“I think it enhances what we teach in foreign language, not only through language instruction but also by raising student awareness of the world and thus counteracting the extremities of ethnocentrism and nationalism,” Sidwell said.
WCHS RECOGNIZED FOR CHARITY CONTRIBUTION— Two officers of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council — senior chairperson Corinne Zimmerman (right) and junior secretary Devki Kasture (center) — present Dr. Kyle Freeman, Washington Community High School superintendent, with a Week No. 4, winning trophy in Peoria’s WMBD “Goodwill Drive to Victory” contest. WCHS, in both contest and football competition with Metamora High School, won the broadcast station’s weekly charity challenge by filling their movable storage POD with more pounds of donations than their Metamora opponent did during Sept. 14-17. WCHS also won the football game, 35-0. The school that collected the greatest weight of donations to Goodwill Industries at the end of the football season will receive a $500 donation from Citizen’s Equity First Credit Union and a SMART board donated by Bradfield’s computer store. PODS is another sponsor of the drive.
We are excited to share some of the 2014-15 highlights of Washington Community High School! Please read the attached document to see the great things happening!
Helping students in need connect with their school and community is a primary goal of IMPACT at Washington Community High School. Coordinators of the program are seeking local sponsors to help provide critical support for the 2015-16 school year.
The program, launched at WCHS in March 2014, involves about 18 students in projects that benefit both the participants and the Washington community. The projects provide experiences that sharpen student skills, improve their intrinsic motivation and increase their self-confidence. The peripheral effects of the projects boost community interests and the welfare of citizens.
See the full article below!