The District Digest The Official Newsletter of Orland School District 135

April 2021

Sara Kash - Assistant Principal of the Year!

Sara Kash, Assistant Principal at Liberty School , was named the Illinois Assistant Principal of the Year by the Illinois Principals Association. Kash was surprised by members of the Illinois Principals Association, coworkers, members of the Board of Education, and her family on Friday, March 12th. Check out the video below of the surprise!

Kash with Superintendent John Bryk and members of the Board of Education.

Background Picture: Assistant Principal of Liberty School, Sara Kash when she found out she was the Assistant Principal of the Year!

March District Wide Challenge

For this month's District Wide Photo Challenge, we asked our families "Why District 135?" We wanted to know what they loved about Orland Park and Orland Hills! Check out the video below and go on a tour around the area to check out some favorite spots.

Celebration of Stars- Sandy Sotzen

In a new segment to the District Digest, we will be honoring the OSD135 staff members who are retiring at the end of this school year. The first spotlight is on Sandy Sotzen, a resource teacher at Liberty School who has spent 30 years with D135. Check out the video below to hear all about Sandy's favorite memories and what she is going to miss most about Orland School District 135.

Leprechaun Hunting!

Students and staff across the District participated in various St. Patrick's Day activities, many including capturing the elusive little leprechauns who cause chaos in the classrooms!

Students in the STARS Program designed different leprechaun traps!

Some lucky students may have even seen a leprechaun on Wednesday the 17th if they ran into Robin Garcia, the Director of Quest Food Services for the District. She wore another handmade costume to celebrate the holiday as she handed out lunches to remote learning families!

Robin is on the hunt for leprechauns!

Background Picture: Lexi, along with other students in Ms. Feltman's class, designed rainbow bridges and tested how much weight they could hold for a STEM activity.

Amazing Hair Donation!

The orchestra teacher at Meadow Ridge and Century Jr High, Katherine Bern-Gordan, donated 19 inches of her hair to Wigs for Kids this week! Thanks Katherine for donating your hair to such a worthy cause, we couldn't be more proud! Check out the before and after pictures below.

The before picture!
The after picture!

Dates to Remember

  • April 2: No School
  • April 12: Return to Full day In-Person Learning
  • April 12: Board of Education Meeting @ Orland Jr High; 6:00 pm

Background Picture: Jimmy, a remote learning student at Jerling Jr High, was selected as a Student of the Month for March!

April District-Wide Photo Challenge

For this month's District-Wide Photo challenge we want to see how your families are celebrating spring and the warm weather! Earth Day is on April 22nd so in preparation for that, show us how you are enjoying the outdoors! Maybe it's riding a bike, starting a garden, taking a walk, or playing a sport outside. Send photos to Allison Kaleta at akaleta@orland135.org by April 14th and include your child's name and their school. All submissions will be entered into a random drawing to win prizes!

Staff Shout-Outs!

Congratulations to all staff members who have been recognized by their peers during the month of March!

Kathy Michaelsen, Bret Maus, Lisa O'Brien - Liberty

Kathy, Bret and Lisa are recognized by Jennifer Hayes, "We would like to thank our three permanent substitute teachers at Liberty, Kathy Michaelsen, Bret Maus, and Lisa O'Brien for being so flexible, helpful, and exceptional. Having to switch roles repeatedly and keep the ship afloat is a lot of work, and we appreciate their effort. Thank you!"

Nancy Heuser - Center

Nancy is recognized by Lenore Garoufalis, Mary Ann Cox, and Betsy Noort, "Nancy goes above and beyond inspiring her students and colleagues everyday. It's not uncommon to see her in the building before and after hours. Nancy has put forth so much effort this year beautifying Center's hallways with words of inspiration and colorful student artwork. From creative student lessons, to the exquisite details in the District Digital Art Show (and everything in between), Nancy's commitment to her students, colleagues, and District 135 is immeasurable! We are so lucky to have her!"

Bill Pluta - Liberty

Bill is recognized by Jennifer Hayes, "I would like to send a shout out to Bill Pluta, our maintenance man, for helping me prepare the outside and inside of our school building for the return of in person physical education class. I appreciate his assistance in helping create an environment for safety and fun."

All Teachers

Karen Clifton recognizes all teachers, "I would like to send a shout out to ALL the classroom teachers who are rolling with the many changes this school year. Despite the craziness, I continue to see them working as a school team, greeting their students each morning with a smile, engaging & motivating their zoomies & roomies each day, and staying positive. You are doing amazing things and your efforts are being noticed…KEEP IT UP!!"

Kim Cunningham - Liberty

Kim Cunningham is recognized by Jennifer Hays, "Kim Cunningham handles lib-help tickets left and right with ease and patience!"

Don Seropian - Technology

Don Seropian is recognized by Jennifer Hayes, "for helping with a projector/Apple TV for me to create fun ways to incorporate in person as well as e-learning students."

To recognize a colleague, email Allison Kaleta at akaleta@orland135.com. Please include the following items in your submission:

  1. The staff member's name
  2. Their position within OSD135
  3. What they are doing that deserves recognition (please be as detailed as possible)
  4. Who is nominating them

Background Picture: Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Lynn Zeder and Liberty teacher Eleni Kolliniatis check out the selection of Bundt cakes for staff appreciation!

Special Recognitions - ABCDE

Congratulations to the following OSD135 employees for being nominated for an ABCDE Award during the month of March:

  • Nicole Detres: Liberty, Outstanding Achievement
  • Brittany Feltman: Liberty, Inspiration
  • Brittany Feltman: Liberty, Effective Communication
  • Sandy Kulak: Board of Education, Compassion
  • Jen Madsen: High Point, Compassion
  • Sylvia Olivo: Liberty, Compassion
  • Suzanne Owens: District Office, Outstanding Achievement
  • Colleen Panega: Jerling, Compassion
  • Faith Swanson: Jerling, Compassion
  • Carolyn White: Centennial, Compassion
Brittany Feltman was nominated for two ABCDE Awards during the month of March!

Background Picture: Beth Hayden and Lindsay Reipsa, along with Ethan and Callan show off their matching outfits during Spirit Week at Centennial School!

Want to share good news? Promote a peer? Bring attention to a topic?

The District Digest is always looking for positive stories to share from around the District! Reach out to Allison Kaleta at akaleta@orland135.org or call 708-364-3335 with information that you believe should be shared.

Created By
Allison Kaleta