Hononegah School Board starts off new year on right track with student, staff activities


Hononegah Community High School's January 18 Board of Education meeting began by spotlighting students who are setting an example of how to excel.

“Two Hononegah students are among the nation's best, qualifying for the Certiport 2023 National Championship,” Principal Chad Dougherty said.

Amelia Bronnimann has qualified as a Certiport 2023 Adobe Certified Professional. Kaleb Brien has qualified as a Certiport 2023 Microsoft Office Specialist.

Dougherty added, “They will compete with students from across the nation in Orlando this summer, and we wish them the best of luck!”

At the board meeting, Jessica Starr and Stephanie Broege reported on the Physical Education department. Nathan Loft spoke about the Special Education department. Each outlined current and future plans for their departments.

As part of the SAT Skills: Schoolwide Growth Initiative, twelve dedicated Hononegah teachers, representing six different departments, sacrificed two days of classroom time with their students this fall to analyze SAT data, identify areas of growth, and present information and strategies to their peers to help students achieve their maximum potential on the upcoming SAT. 

The SAT is a standardized test, managed by the College Board, that has been commonly used for college admissions since 1926. Though many colleges do not insist on standardized tests for admissions, the State of Illinois requires all high school juniors to take the SAT in order to graduate.  Younger students take the PSAT, which provides practice for taking the SAT later.

Staff recognition was given to the 2023 SAT Data Team, which involved Sandy Blum, Brad Christoff, Liz Eiss, Brett Erxleben, Lassen Fleege, Stephanie Marsh, Maggie Moore, Beth Schroeder, Matt Simpson, Chad Smith, Angela Stone, and Jeremiah Zachwieja for these efforts.

The group's service and commitment, which were greatly appreciated, will help all departments develop a better understanding of the SAT assessment. That will lead to the development and implementation of SAT-style questions for passages that students already read in their lessons. They want teachers across all curriculum areas to understand the importance of the assessment and how they can contribute, relatively easily, to HCHS's effort to increase student outcomes this spring.

Student council representative Riley Dick gave the Student Council report. “We have completed our drive to construct bags of activities for young patients at Swedish American,” Dick said. Chairperson Zoey McGuire delivered 90 packages the week of the board meeting.

The Council is planning a semi-formal dance for February 25. The cost is $15 and they hope to test online ticketing for this event.

Several Hononegah students serve on the board of NCD (the North Central District of Illinois Association of Student Councils). The group is planning its leadership event in March. Hononegah is hoping to have candidates to run for the board at this event to continue their role at the state level.

The "All Clubs Committee," led by Student Council Second VP Abigail Bergstrom and Chairwoman Katie Jones, met for the first time in January 2023. The committee will work to open channels of communication between school organizations and find ways to work together more effectively. The organization also hopes to help clubs increase their social media footprint.

Auditions were held this month for the cast of the spring musical, Mary Poppins.

Grace on Campus hosted a warm winter drive. They collected lightly used or new winter clothing to be donated to those in need of winter apparel.

The Writers Club is having a creative writing contest, with a prize to be determined. Student submissions were taken until Jan. 20.

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