Bear Necessities founder and CEO Kathleen Casey addressing the assembly

HIGHLAND PARK – Highland Park High School kicked off its 20th annual Charity Drive fundraiser with an emotional assembly on January 30th. HPHS’s School Chest is a Student Senate-led initiative, which over the past two decades has raised $2.9 million for various charitable causes.

“The impact we have had on our local community has been profound, and has positioned us as one of the best high schools in the nation,” said HPHS Principal Tom Koulentes. “Charity Drive serves not only to help others, but to remind ourselves that there is no greater good than joining with others to serve those in need.”

This year’s Charity Drive recipient is Bear Necessities, a pediatric cancer foundation created in 1992 by Kathleen Casey in honor of her son Barrett “Bear” Krupa, who lost his battle with cancer in 1993 at age eight. Before he died, Bear had the idea to start an organization to help kids fight cancer.

The mission of Bear Necessities is “to eliminate pediatric cancer and provide hope and support to those who are touched by it.” Bear Necessities helps children via two major programs: Bear Hugs and Bear Discoveries. A Bear Hug is a special experience that brightens the life of a child going through cancer, and Bear Discoveries gives money to young researchers nationally who are trying to find creative ways to cure cancer.

“You really are spectacular. Thank you for everything that you’re doing to be doing. … You are our future, and the children who are diagnosed are our future. Never underestimate the power of youth to make a difference,” Casey, who also serves as the organization’s CEO, told HPHS students and staff. She added that only three percent of research funding goes towards pediatric cancer.

A 14-year-old cancer survivor, who serves as a Bear Ambassador, received two standing ovations as she told the story of her battle with the disease after being diagnosed at age 12.

This year’s Charity Drive activities and events, which are organized and hosted by numerous clubs, groups and individual students and staff, include a Battle of the Bands competition, taping a dean to the wall, Taste of Highland Park, a dance clinic for young local dancers, several shop/dine and share events in partnership with local businesses, a pancake breakfast, Giant Buddies bake sale, silent auction art bazaar, polar plunge, chili cookoff, student vs. faculty soccer game, HP Idol and a fashion show.

On Friday, February 27, HPHS students and staff, as well as staff from District 113 sender schools, will take on the Harlem Wizards to benefit Charity Drive. This event kicks off at 7 p.m. in the Main Gym at HPHS. Doors open at 6:30. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets also can be purchased online at www.harlemwizards.com.

HPHS ends season on winning note, looks ahead to state tournament

Highland Park High School’s chess team hosted the North Suburban Chess League Conference Tournament on January 31. The team finished in sixth place in conference, with several players notching individual victories. Jeffrey Guerrero won all of his matches, earning first place among 7th boards. Eamon Moore won third place among second boards, winning three matches and tying his last.

The team ended its season on a winning note, 4-3, and looks forward to proudly representing HPHS at the IHSA Chess Tournament February 13 and 14, as well as the USCF High School National Chess Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, in April. The state roster consists of Jonathan Hrach, Eamonn Moore, Eric Starkman, Julio Deyta, Kevin Czajka, Patrick Tippens, Jeffrey Guerrero, Andrew Barnett, Joey Harrigan, Edgar Lara, Dulguun Amgalan and Ben Pacheco.

Come and hear the people sing: HPHS to stage ‘Les Miserables’ Feb. 13, 14, 20 and 21

“Les Miserables” is coming to the Highland Park High School stage! Performances of the award-winning epic musical are set for 7:30 p.m. February 13, 14, 20 and 21 in the Main Auditorium. Tickets are $10, and are available for purchase in the HPHS Bookstore beginning February 4.

In 19th century France, Jean Valjean is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a life-long struggle for redemption as he is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert, who refuses to believe Valjean can change his ways. Finally, during the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert must confront his ideals after Valjean spares his life and saves that of the student revolutionary who has captured the heart of Valjean’s adopted daughter. His world-view shattered, Javert commits suicide, and Valjean at last attains the peace he has sought for so long.

District 113 to host evening presentations for pre-K through 12th grade parents and guardians on anti-bullying

As a continuation of ongoing efforts to stand together against bullying, Township High School District 113 — in partnership with the Park District of Highland Park, City of Highland Park, Highland Park Public Library, Family Service, North Shore School District 112 and Deerfield Public Schools District 109 — will host internationally recognized speaker and consultant Barbara Coloroso for two evening talks with parents/guardians this month.

Presentations will take place on the following dates:

• 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 17th at Highland Park High School, 433 Vine Ave., Highland Park (Spanish translation will be provided)

• 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 18th at Deerfield High School, 1959 N. Waukegan Road, Deerfield

Coloroso will talk about what parents/guardians should know, do, and look for when it comes to bullying. Both presentations are free and open to all parents/guardians of children in preschool through 12th grade in the Highland Park, Deerfield, Bannockburn, Highwood and Riverwoods communities.

Coloroso is an international bestselling author and for the past 38 years an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice. Click here for Coloroso’s full biography.

She will also speak to all District 113 staff and conduct several break-out sessions during the District’s upcoming February 17th Institute Day.

District 113 community invited to meet new superintendent

District 113 students, staff, parents and community members are invited to meet the incoming District 113 superintendent, Dr. Laurie Kimbrel, during two receptions hosted by the Board of Education. Both are open to all. Receptions are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

• Wednesday, February 18 from 7-8:30 p.m. in Student Commons at Highland Park High School, 433 Vine Ave., Highland Park

• Thursday, February 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. in Student Cafeteria at Deerfield High School, 1959 N. Waukegan Road, Deerfield

The District 113 Board of Education voted unanimously January 12 to approve Dr. Kimbrel’s employment effective July 1, 2015. She will succeed Dr. George Fornero upon his retirement.

Dr. Kimbrel has spent seven years as Superintendent of Schools for Tamalpais Union High School District in the San Francisco, California area. Tamalpais is a high-performing district serving approximately 4,000 students in three high schools in an active and supportive community.

Additional information about Dr. Kimbrel is posted on the Leadership Updates page of the District 113 website, www.dist113.org/leadership.

HPHS set to take on Harlem Wizards Feb. 27

for Charity Drive 2015

Highland Park High School is ready to take on the Harlem Wizards on Feb. 27 with a dynamic team of students and staff from HPHS, as well as staff from District 113’s sender schools! This fast-paced, exciting game benefits HPHS’s Charity Drive fundraiser, which this year is raising money for Bear Necessities (a Pediatric Cancer Foundation). Last year’s Charity Drive brought in $160,000 for the Les Turner ALS Foundation.

“At the Wizards game, fans see amazing basketball talent combined with hilarious comedy. The

athleticism, tricks, fancy teamwork and ball-handling wizardry, plus wild dunks not even seen in NBA games, engages and wows the most avid hoops fans. The comedy is for everybody. The Wizards look to push the envelope on fun, combining pre-planned comedic acts with spontaneous humor that fans of all ages will find laugh-out-loud funny,” according to the team’s website, www.HarlemWizards.com.

The event kicks off at 7 p.m. in the Main Gym at HPHS, 433 Vine Ave. Doors open at 6:30. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Only 1,000 tickets are available, so get yours now! Advance tickets can be purchased at the HPHS Bookstore for cash only. Tickets can also be purchased via the Harlem Wizards website, www.harlemwizards.com, for $10 plus a $0.99 per ticket fee.

Please join us for what promises to be a fun-filled evening of basketball and comedy in support of Charity Drive and Bear Necessities! Full concessions will be offered at the game, including pizza. Harlem Wizards merchandise will be available for sale, and the Wizards will stick around after the game for free pictures and autographs. For more information, e-mail dburke@dist113.org.

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