#1StudentNWI: Recognizing disability awareness month at River Forest

#1StudentNWI: Recognizing disability awareness month at River Forest
By: Hailey Bianco Last Updated: April 9, 2019

The River Forest student-athlete leadership team and National Honor Society teamed up with the school’s special education program for an inclusive basketball game against Hobart High School. The event was made possible by Mallory Bacon, the high school special education teacher, with the continuous support of administration.

Student-athlete leadership team members Sam Bowen, Hailey Bianco, and Destiney Pratchett, worked for weeks with the students to teach them the game of basketball. With the help of peer tutors and teachers, the group was able to successfully teach them how the game is played. On March 14, Hobart and River Forest fans filled the stands in the Bill Logan Gymnasium to support these student athletes. Fellow classmates ran alongside them as they played the game and fans cheered for them every chance they had.

“This gave the kids an opportunity to be treated like the rock stars that they are,” Bacon said.

The energy in the gym was heart-warming. Everyone involved couldn’t help but smile. Regardless of what color jersey they were wearing or who made a basket, the fans, and even coaches, cheered for everyone.

Student Spotlight: disability awareness poster contest winners

During March, River Forest students recognized Disability Awareness Month by having a friendly poster contest. The contest was hosted by Mrs. Shepard and Mr. Duron, and the top-voted poster was awarded a prize pack. The winners were: first place, Allura Nikollaj; second place, Mikayla Hall; and a tie for third place, Haley Burdeau and Brooke Peters.

Participants submitted a poster that promotes inclusion and disability awareness, but allowed for participants to have free range on design. Creativity shined through as the winning posters were hung throughout the school.

Teacher Spotlight: Mallory Bacon

Mallory Bacon is the head of the special education program at River Forest and has also been the student council advisor for the past two years. Bacon continues to work closely with her students to help them succeed. She demonstrates selfless leadership by always organizing events that bring joy to the student body.

“The things I do at the school are truly to bring joy to each and every one of my students. Whether they are in my classroom or not,”  Bacon said. “They fuel my passion for education. I am so happy and blessed they have a community that comes out and supports them.”

River Forest is grateful to have Bacon as an active member of the community.

Adventures on Navy Pier at The Chicago Shakespeare Theater

On March 20, 50 of River Forest's honors English students ventured to Chicago to see a performance of William Shakespeare's Macbeth. They joined about 400 students from other schools packed into the Shakespeare Theatre at Navy Pier. The River Forest English Department makes this trip every year to see a different show.

Following the performance, all the students were able to ask the actors questions about the performance or acting experience. Actors shared everything from the audition experience to the day of the show.

After an enjoyable performance, students were able to discover Navy Pier on their own. Whether it was tasting Chicago deep dish pizza for the first time or seeing the city from a new angle on the classic Navy Pier field trip, everyone had a great time and made some lifelong memories.

Congratulations to the Advanced Band on another gold rating at ISSMA

The high school advanced concert band competed recently at the ISSMA organizational contest at Hanover Central High School. The band performed three pieces and received a gold rating from the judges, along with a gold in sight-reading. After the competition, the band continued their tradition of lunch at Dairy Queen to celebrate a job well done.

“It was a wonderful performance and we are so proud of all the kids,” Band Director Bridget Flory said.

The band’s percussion ensemble, under the direction of Julie Jachimczak, continued their strong showings at the ISSMA State Solo and Ensemble Contest back in February. The group of multi-instrumental musicians competed two different pieces and both received a gold rating, one with distinction. The band program at River Forest continues to prosper because hard work by students, directors, Bridget Flory, and James Wasmundt.