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Archive for October 24th, 2011

ISBE names sixth-grade teacher from Naperville as the 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year

Posted by Admin On October - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on ISBE names sixth-grade teacher from Naperville as the 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year

Josh Stumpenhorst teaches language arts and social science
at Lincoln Junior High School in District 203


Bloomington, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education named sixth-grade language arts and social science teacher Josh Stumpenhorst as the 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year. Stumpenhorst teaches sixthgrade at Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville Community School District 203 and was chosen from nine finalists. Stumpenhorst received the honor at the 37th annual Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year banquet in Bloomington.

“Josh is a student-centered teacher who focuses on creating effective learning that will help every student be successful. His ability to reach students of all skill levels engages them and inspires his colleagues,” said State Superintendent Christopher A. Koch. “Josh also shares his teaching strategies via an online professional learning network that he created. His educational blogs reach thousands of educators across the globe and demonstrate his leadership skills as well as his continuous efforts to be the best for his students.”

Now in his ninth year of teaching, Stumpenhorst is energized by his students. Their enthusiasm for learning inspires Stumpenhorst to deliver lessons that are engaging and connected to the real world.

From a young age Stumpenhorst knew he wanted to be a teacher. He credits his upbringing, educational and athletic experiences with helping him realize the impact relationships play in every aspect of life. Stumpenhorst strives to ensure that his students establish positive and lasting relationships with peers and teachers.

Stumpenhorst graduated from North Central College and holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. He is also National Board Certified in Early Adolescent Social Science. Stumpenhorst coaches basketball and track and works closely with the student council and computer club.

Stumpenhorst is described by parents and colleagues as a passionate teacher who constantly develops innovative ways to motivate students. Parents also appreciate his ability to help students navigate the social and emotional challenges of junior high.

When administrators realized that the current grading system was not working, Stumpenhorst played a pivotal role in the transition to standard based grading. He read, researched, developed and sought feedback on a standard based grading model he designed. Armed with the thoughts of others, he set about retooling the system and sharing his analysis with team members. He helped colleagues understand the new process and encouraged them to participate in the creation of the end result.

Stumpenhorst saw potential in the computer club and brought creativity and purpose to it. Discussions with students sparked creative ideas that bred enthusiasm and excitement. Drawing on the collective talents of the students, Stumpenhorst led them in developing a successful bi-weekly, school-wide news show.

Nearly 200 nominations for Those Who Excel were reviewed and scored three times by a selection committee comprised of administrators, teachers and school board members.

The nine finalists for Teacher of the Year were interviewed and videotaped and those interviews were scored again before a final recommendation was made. Principals, faculty, parents and students submit letters on behalf of candidates as part of the nomination process.

As Illinois Teacher of the Year, Josh Stumpenhorst will have opportunities to share his knowledge and expertise outside the classroom. Beginning in the 2012 spring semester, Stumpenhorst will be available to speak at teaching workshops, educational conferences and community meetings. He will receive a lifetime tuition waiver to state universities and will represent Illinois at the NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., and in the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by Council of Chief State School Officers, ING and Target. Stumpenhorst will also receive products from SMARTer Kids.

State's Attorney Alvarez recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Posted by Admin On October - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on State's Attorney Alvarez recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

alvarezCook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez (second from left) presented awards to law enforcement and community partners for their outstanding work with domestic violence victims at a recent luncheon held in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Pictured with State’s Attorney Alvarez are (left to right):  Trinidad Birrutea from Connections for Abused Women and their Children, recipient of the Outstanding Advocate Award; Sarah McClarey, recipient of the Courage Award; and Chief Ernest T. Brown, Chicago Police Department, recipient of the Outstanding Law Enforcement Award.

Black business group seeks more members to rebuild community

Posted by Admin On October - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on Black business group seeks more members to rebuild community


By Chinta Strausberg


WE CAN, Inc, a coalition of business and community professionals, has formed an organization to shore up and support the empowerment of both existing and future African American businesses needed to stabilize, maintain, expand and grow and has set a goal of 100 members needed to help fight for an equitable slice of the economic pie on all governmental levels.

According to Florence Cox, the president, WE CAN Inc.’s goal is to boost its membership so that it can begin the awesome but doable tasks of developing African American businesses in the community.

“We need to develop and maintain our businesses and keep our money in our community because currently most of it goes outside where we live. We can and we will achieve this goal with your help,” she said.

“We are looking forward to hearing from black business people who are serious about improving the economic growth of the black community,” said Cox, a spokesperson for the group.

“We want to support, maintain and build so we can employ young people from the community and to teach them as role models how to growth their own business. We want to help the black community grow and in doing so it will empower the community because when youth have jobs, the violence will subside,” said Cox.

For further information, please e-mail your interests including contact number, the name of your business and address to Florence Cox at the following e-mail: We_can224@yahoo.com.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Opportunity Nation to release groundbreaking Opportunity Index at National Summit

Posted by Admin On October - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on Opportunity Nation to release groundbreaking Opportunity Index at National Summit

Index will Assign Every State and Almost Every County in the Country an  Opportunity Score to Provide a First of Its Kind Measure of Opportunity in America


New York – Local leaders will now have a powerful new tool to help measure how effectively they are providing their citizens with the opportunity to improve their lives. For the first time ever, data from more than a dozen different sources are being compiled and compared as part of a groundbreaking “Opportunity Index,” which is set to be released by Opportunity Nation at their National Summit, November 3-4th. The Opportunity Index, developed jointly by the American Human Development Project and Opportunity Nation, will use these data sets to assign every state and almost every county in America a first of its kind Opportunity Score. This score will provide an unprecedented picture of what opportunity in America looks like at the local, state and national levels.

This event is by invitation only and not open to the general public. For more information on the Summit, visit www.opportunitynation.org.

 In addition, the Index will provide an in depth look at the indicators that contribute to opportunity and mobility in the U.S., including median household income, on-time high school graduation rates, poverty, preschool attendance, access to high-speed internet, crime rates, civic participation, and many others. It will be issued annually, giving leaders a way to track progress and measure the effectiveness of their efforts.

The Opportunity Index will be launched as an interactive website allowing anyone to see how their community measures up and areas where their community needs to improve. It is a tool for national, state and local leaders – as well as engaged community members – to use as a guide for improving opportunity for everyone in their area.

The issue of opportunity and mobility in America is one that needs to be addressed by political leaders. In a recent survey of lower-income Americans recently commissioned by Opportunity Nation and conducted by Hart Research, an astonishing 84 percent of adults say that it is getting harder for people to achieve the American Dream. In addition, three quarters of all adults say the country is on the wrong track when it comes to ensuring all Americans have economic opportunity.

Opportunity Nation is a national coalition of non-profits, foundations, educators, business, faith-based organizations and political leaders working to put promoting opportunity, social mobility and access to the American Dream back on the national, state and local community. Their national summit will be held in New York City on November 3rd and 4th.

Father Pfleger: “Like It or Not, Rewards work”

Posted by Admin On October - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on Father Pfleger: “Like It or Not, Rewards work”


By Chinta Strausberg 


Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday announced the Faith Community of Saint Sabina has issued two $5,000 rewards for information that netted the arrest of five people who were allegedly involved in the killing of 13-year-old Darius Brown and a 17-year-old teen accused of shooting the high school freshman Ondelee Perteet who remains paralyzed.

Pfleger made the announcement after Sunday morning’s worship service. He said, “Rewards work” though some defense attorneys are reportedly trying to discredit the witnesses because they are allegedly coming forth only to receive the money.

“We started this reward fund along with then CPS Supt. Paul Vallas when a young girl was shot and killed near 79th and Carpenter. I am not pushing rewards as a solution, but in this day when we re losing so many of our children, we must be open to whatever it takes to get shooters off the street.

Teenage Darius Brown had been playing basketball at the Metcalfe Park, close to 43rd and State Streets. Brown died

Perteet, who was shot in the face allegedly by Robert Sansberry, was recently found guilty of that crime that occurred in September of 2009 after a dispute that led to his being evicted from the party. Sansberry reportedly returned and shot Perteet who doctors say will most likely remain wheelchair bound for life.

Pfleger was correct in asking the public to step forward and provide information that could lead to the arrest of these shooters who are and have taking the lives of so many children.

“If you will shoot or kill once, you will do it again,” said Pfleger. “ We must break the code of silence. Rewards work.”

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

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