Good News Sunday: Hersey science and theater teachers pair up for real-world lesson

  • John Hersey High School theater instructor Lara Becker, second from right, got the idea to have her acting students be patients and colleague Kelley Pataky's science students be doctors for an interdisciplinary learning experience.

      John Hersey High School theater instructor Lara Becker, second from right, got the idea to have her acting students be patients and colleague Kelley Pataky's science students be doctors for an interdisciplinary learning experience. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted3/13/2022 7:20 AM

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald:

Chairs lined either side of the hallway outside Room 137 at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, while inside the classroom, an old sewing room that's since been converted to a health sciences lab, students readied their stethoscopes and doctor's charts.

 

In walked student actor Cameron Foote, clutching a cane in one hand and the arm of classmate Gina Raimondi in the other.

"Watch your step, Dad," she says.

They walk to the table stationed by Vicky Filatov.

"Hi, my name is Dr. Filatov. How are you feeling today?"

On this recent Wednesday morning, hallway served as waiting room and classroom was doctor's office in a scene more reminiscent of a "Seinfeld" episode than a public high school in Arlington Heights.

It's the creation of Kelley Pataky, who teaches Introduction to Health Care, and Lara Becker, who teaches Acting I-VIII. Both have spent most of their careers at the school and aren't afraid to take creative chances with their teaching in ways that could benefit student learning.

Becker got the idea to have her acting students be patients and colleague Pataky's science students be doctors for an interdisciplinary learning experience.

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For the full story, click here.

Carpentersville police's Polar Plunge raises $10,000 for Special Olympics

Carpentersville police took the plunge to raise money for Special Olympics athletes in Illinois.

On March 5, the police department's Polar Plunge drew about 25 plungers, including Chief Patrick Hoey, Village President John Skillman and Trustee Humberto Garcia. In all, the group, composed mainly of Carpentersville police officers, raised nearly $10,000 for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois.

Carpentersville Village President John Skillman jumped in for his first Polar Plunge last weekend. Skillman joined with the Carpentersville Police Department to raise nearly $10,000 for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois.
Carpentersville Village President John Skillman jumped in for his first Polar Plunge last weekend. Skillman joined with the Carpentersville Police Department to raise nearly $10,000 for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois. - Courtesy of the Carpentersville Police Department

The Carpentersville Fire Department loaned out its Porta-Tank so participants could take the plunge. The 3-foot-deep portable pool was filled with about 3,000 gallons of 50-ish degree water and roughly 40 pounds of ice cubes for added measure. Although it was not as cold as lake water, the pool was cold enough, Hoey joked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I was a little nervous," said Skillman, who did a Google search to prepare for his introduction to the Polar Plunge, "but it was fun, and we had a good turnout."

For the full story, click here.

Gurnee crossing guard praised for positivity

If you've driven by Washington Street and Almond Road just before the day starts at Gurnee's Woodland Middle School, you've likely been on the receiving end of a friendly wave, a big smile and a greeting from crossing guard Angelo White.

He's even gotten fan mail. Last month a letter addressed to "Radiant Morning Crossing Guard" showed up at Woodland written by a resident who identified herself as Elizabeth.

"It's been a difficult time for folks in health care, in education, in most service fields," the letter read. "Your wave and radiant smile help me start my day on a bright note. Thank you for your daily spot of sunshine."

White, a Gurnee resident, said the letter touched him.

Gurnee resident Angelo White, who works as a crossing guard near Woodland Middle School, was recently praised for his positive attitude.
Gurnee resident Angelo White, who works as a crossing guard near Woodland Middle School, was recently praised for his positive attitude. - Photo courtesy Gurnee Police Department

"It brought me to tears really; it got to my soul," White said.

The Gurnee Police Department posted a picture of the letter on its Facebook page last month, and many more people who appreciate White shared their gratitude in the comments.

For the full story, click here.

Wheaton Park District collecting donations for Bridge Communities

The Wheaton Park District has launched a donation drive on behalf of Bridge Communities, a Glen Ellyn-based organization that provides transitional housing, mentoring, employment counseling and other services for DuPage County residents.

Donations are being accepted through April 7 in boxes at the following park district locations: the Parks Service Center, 1000 Manchester Drive; Arrowhead Golf Club, 26W151 Butterfield Road; Community Center, 1777 S. Blanchard St.; Mary Lubko Center, 208 W. Union Ave.; Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave.; and the Central Athletic Complex, 500 S. Naperville Road.

Suggested donation items include: laundry and dishwasher detergent, bathroom and glass cleaner, cleaning sponges, zip-lock bags, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, paper towels, light bulbs, toilet paper, sunscreen, band-aids, antibiotic cream, hand and body lotion, baby wet wipes, sanitary pads, deodorant, and razors.

For information, visit bridgecommunities.org.

• Good News Sunday will run each weekend. Please visit dailyherald.com/newsletters to sign up for our Good News Sunday newsletter.

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