Message From The Superintendent
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
As I write my first Dear Friends column, I am reminded of how humbling it is to be in a leadership role in a vibrant and engaging school district and community that comprises Benjamin 25. I will admit that, after 30 years in education and more than 25 of those years in Cook and DuPage counties, I had not heard of Benjamin District 25. The more I researched and read about the district, the more excited I became as I applied for the superintendent position. I have not been disappointed. Everyone I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with has reinforced my excitement to be a part of such a fantastic organization.
This community cares about kids first. I have been very impressed with the dedication of the Board of Education, the Administration, staff and support staff whom I have had the opportunity to meet as I transitioned into this new role. People come together to tackle issues and set any personal differences aside to collaboratively do what is best for students. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and look forward to meeting more people and building partnerships and relationships with the whole of the community as we continue what has been set in motion as I begin my time in Benjamin 25.
Summer Wrap Up
As the summer winds to a close and we look at the start of the 2019-2020 school year, I hope that your summer has been filled with joy and some time to relax and recharge. June, July and August have seen a tremendous amount of work being accomplished. Evergreen Elementary School has a new playground with a rubberized surface and new accessible equipment designed for students with special needs.
The Benjamin Middle School band room has had additional storage added to allow for more space for student musicians. All of this work was accomplished by in-house staff and was of minimal cost as we continue to be fiscally responsible with district resources. Both Evergreen and Benjamin Schools have had their public address, call and clock systems replaced and upgraded to enhance communication and student safety in case of emergency.
175 Years Strong
The Carol Stream Fourth of July parade kicked off a series of celebrations and activities intended to celebrate Benjamin District 25’s 175th year. Students along with board members, parents and district employees marched in the Carol Stream Fourth of July parade and carried a special banner.
Who knew your hands could actually get sticky handing out pre-wrapped Jolly Ranchers? It was a great day and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting many parents and greeting people along the way. Several activities have been planned throughout the year including a giant 175th anniversary birthday party on Sept. 22. New signage has been posted on Birchbark Trail recognizing Evergreen Elementary School as a National Blue Ribbon Award recipient.
Our Future Focus
Benjamin District 25 is at the forefront of engaging students in the learning process. The incorporation of S.T.E.A.M. programs at both Benjamin Middle School and Evergreen Elementary demonstrate a commitment to remaining current in the incorporation of technology as a learning tool in our classrooms.
Students are learning to code at a young age and apply what they learn to solve real world problems. A focus on inquiry and collaborative problem solving are skills that must be learned as students prepare to make a difference in the world.
Michael Fullan, noted educational researcher and author, talks about 21st century skills in six areas: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, citizenship, character, and communication. These six areas are already at the forefront of the Benjamin 25 educational model.
I look forward to meeting those of you whom I have not yet had the opportunity to greet. In continuance of being open and transparent, I welcome any feedback about our schools. Please utilize the communication connection listed on the last page of our SUMMER 2019 district newsletter located at https://4.files.edl.io/5d60/08/01/19/140500-e30ce3e7-acd2-4d63-8896-7d67a9a3b8b3.pdf
Jim Woell, Ed.D, superintendent