FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Exemplary Business-Education Partnerships
Receive State Awards
Seventeen business-education partnerships
have been recognized as 'exemplary" by the State Board
The awards were presented at the annual Business-Education
Partnership Awards Dinner, held this year at the Fairmont
Hotel in Chicago February 1.
In addition to the partnership awards, the dinner included
the presentation of four Education-to-Career Champion of the
Year awards to Debbie Ahlden of West Aurora for Educational
Champion, Sharon Slover of Lockport for Educational Champion
Serving All Learners, Michael L. Nylen of South Holland for
Private Sector Champion and Regional Superintendent of Schools
Joe Vermiere from Rock Island County for Elected Official
of the Year.
Ahlden is with the West Aurora School District and
Valley Education-to-Careers partnership in Sugar Grove. As
professional development director, she was recognized for
activities in the partnership, including serving as the District-wide
Career Exploration Coordinator, Chair of the Jefferson Jr.
High School E.T.C. Curriculum Committee, and Coordinator of
the elementary schools "Careers on Wheels" program.
Slover is Coordinator of the Education and Career
Department and E.T.C. facilitator for the Lockport Area Special
Education Cooperative. She was recognized for expanding career
opportunities for students with disabilities. With E.T.C.
support, Slover created a new program, Pathways to the Future,
and provides career assessment and exploration, job shadowing
opportunities and actual work experiences for more than 120
students with disabilities in grades 7 through 12 from 15
Nylen is Vice-president and Trust Officer for the
South Holland Trust and Savings Bank and chair of the Southland
E.T.C. Partnership in Harvey. He was recognized as an outstanding
advocate for the success that can be achieved through private-sector
partnerships. Specific recognition was given for the instrumental
role he played in providing a CEO/Superintendent Swap, an
Employer Expectations Panel and the Business/Education Symposium
I and II.
Vermiere is Regional Superintendent of Schools for
Rock Island County and was recognized with the Elected Official
of the Year Award. He has been instrumental in involving schools
in E.T.C. activities by working with local superintendents,
principals and other school staff. He helped establish the
E.T.C. Partnership in 1994 and served on more than 45 boards
and committees, either directly or as an advisor, to ensure
that the goals of E.T.C. are integrated into educational policies
Business-Education partnerships recognized with "exemplary"
Gage Park High School, Associated Equipment Distributors'
Foundation, Daley College
Education Contact: Katherine O. Smith (773) 535-9230
Business Contact: Frank P. Giannelli (630) 574-0650
This partnership has established the Equipment and Technology
Institute. The focus is to prepare students for a variety
of career paths in the high-tech construction equipment industry
by replicating the tripartite partnerships prevalent in other
The institute includes honors level classes, a Certificate
of Initial Mastery and the opportunity for high school students
to complete up to 30 hours of college credit in manufacturing
technology. The program integrates academic and vocational-technical
curriculum with computer and manufacturing technology courses
at Daley College.
Work-based learning includes field trips to business and
manufacturing facilities, presentations from various business
and technical schools, mentoring and job shadowing opportunities.
The institute graduated its first class in 2000, with 12
of the top 20 Gage Park High School graduates being institute
students. One student was awarded a Bill Gates Millennium
Scholarship. This year there are 55 seniors, 56 juniors and
54 sophomores in the program.
Little Company of Mary Hospital and Evergreen Park Community
Education Contact: Ray Schellenberger (708) 424-7400
Business Contact: Karen Sus (708) 229-5063
This partnership seeks to provide students with career exploration
activities in the health care field to aid in the career decision-making
process. The emphasis is to increase students' awareness of
the many careers available in this high demand field.
Evergreen Park High School District 231 has partnered with
Little Company of Mary Hospital for the past four years. Last
year, 200 students participated in the health care program.
Career day alone served 100 students interested in the health
field, with five to ten guest speakers from the hospital on
hand to assist students in developing a career plan.
Activities sponsored by the partnership include an annual
tour of Little Company of Mary Hospital and job shadowing
at the hospital. Students are also able to meet one-on-one
with professionals at the hospital to discuss questions they
may have about career options in the health care field.
Prairie State Waste Services, Casey-Westfield School District
#C-4, Workforce Opportunities Resource Consortium
Education Contact: Debra Sherrik (217) 932-2175
Business Contact: Rich Galloway (217) 345-7414
Business partners Workforce Opportunities Resource Consortium
and Coles County Landfill/Prairie State Waste joined with
Casey-Westfield CUSD #C-4 to develop the Virtual Teacher Trek
program. The program's objective is to demonstrate to other
educators how to develop effective lesson plans that incorporate
real-world concepts learned through visits to local businesses.
The program is based on the experiences of the Casey-Westfield
teachers' participation in their local Teacher Trek's activity.
Teachers toured the landfill and incorporated some facet of
the information into a lesson plan to apply real-world concepts
in the classroom. From these experiences, business partners
and educators joined to develop the Virtual Teacher Trek program
that is being presented at various workshops and conferences.
High school students involved in the program also toured
the landfill, took notes and used digital images to design
a PowerPoint presentation about the construction and environmental
aspects of the facility. Participating 6th grade students
studied recycling and constructed a landfill. Over 1,300 students,
50 educators, 60 community members and 20 workers have been
served through the program.
Valley View Business and Education Partnership
Education Contact: David B. VanWinkle (815) 886-2700
Business Contact: Joseph D. Taylor (630) 679-3730
The goal of this partnership is to create a lifelong learning
experience that provides encouragement and support for continual
improvement and innovation of education in schools, business
and the community.
The partners include Joliet Junior College, Lewis University,
McDonald's Innovation Center, Sprint PCS Customer Care, Tellabs
and Valley View District 365U. One of the key success factors
for the partners is to understand the relationship between
business and education quality processes, including the Baldridge
criteria, Higher Learning Commission (NCA) Academic Quality
Improvement Project and the NCA Commission on Accreditation
and School Improvement. They hope to increase their effectiveness
by sharing knowledge, expertise, innovation and best practices
for continuous improvement of education. This will be measured
by events, surveys and interviews.
Achievements thus far include:
- Exchanged information among all partners on quality improvement
- Developed a Balanced Score Card
- Established a common vocabulary using quality principles
- Developed a future vision
- Expanded the nature of collaboration and systemic improvement
Potential for involvement includes 5,600 employees in partner
organizations, 30,000 students and 150,000 extended community
Health Science Academy
Education Contact: Linda Mitchelle (217) 525-3019
Business Contact: Various Health Care Facilities
The Health Science Academy, part of the Springfield Public
School District, is committed to providing students with the
skills and educational background employers and postsecondary
education require while allowing students to explore careers
in the health care field.
The academy is made up of area health care business partners
and the academy teaching team. Examples of partnership activities
are many. Memorial Hospital produced an academy recruiting
video that aired on the local access channel and placed an
article in a local magazine. Many long-term care facilities
offer training positions to juniors completing their Certified
Nursing Assistant Certification. St. John's Hospital's four-year
mentoring program hosts a monthly breakfast for 9th and 10th
graders. Team mentors representing various health care fields
meet with students monthly to help them clarify career interests.
Juniors spend one day each month with a second-year medical
student at the Southern Illinois University Medical School
Each year academy students teach district 5th graders about
the body systems, volunteer for fund drives and local health
screening efforts and actively participate in the Health Occupations
Students of America organization.
Eighty students are enrolled in the academy this school year,
with 580 enrolled since the academy's inception.
Three Rivers Partnership for Science Education Consortium
Education Contact: Susan K. Dowse (815) 577-6760
Business Contact: Jerry Caamano (815) 727-4609
The purpose of the Hands-On-Science Program is to ensure
that students are prepared to function successfully in the
marketplace of the future.
The partnership includes Troy CCSD-30C and the ETC Partnership
for the Joliet Junior College Region, which is made up of
13 local businesses and five school districts: Channahon School
District 17, Elwood Community Consolidated School District
203, Minooka Community Consolidated School District 201, Morris
School District 54 and Troy Community Consolidated School
The Hands-On-Science Program strives to capture students'
curiosity, stimulate their interest, cultivate critical thinking
and foster scientific problem solving in the classroom. Developed
under the direction of the National Science Research Center,
the program encourages students to understand scientific concepts
by "doing" science in the same manner in which scientists
conduct experiments and analyze data through the use of science
kits and curriculum materials.
The partnership believes that quality science instruction
provides a strong foundation for building a community of thinkers
and learners. Last year, 77% of 4th graders and 82% of 7th
graders tested on the ISAT met or exceeded the Illinois Learning
Standards in science.
The program began in 1996 with 1,025 students at four participating
school districts and has grown to serve 4,122 students in
five districts. The number of participating teachers has grown
from 32 to 161.
Law and Public Safety Academy
Education Contact: Heather Jackson (773) 553-2469
Business Contact: Paul Chester (312) 745-5803
The goal of the partnership is to establish a four-year Law
& Public Safety Academy at four high schools to increase
student exposure to careers in the fields of law and law enforcement.
The partnership includes the Chicago Police Department; Chicago
City Council Committee on Education; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms; Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern
District of Illinois; judges, attorneys and community organizations
in the city; and the four participating high schools in Chicago
Public School District 299.
The academy assists students by allowing them to see police
officers as mentors and positive role models in their communities,
improving students' sense of civic responsibility and understanding
their rights and responsibilities in the legal system.
Academy achievements include freshman students participating
in mock trial competitions, students participating in the
Groundhog Job Shadow Day with law enforcement organizations,
summer internships with the Illinois Trial Lawyers' Association
and vacation internships/job shadowing with the Board of Education's
Four full-time Chicago Police Department officers serve the
academy, teaching law enforcement and organizing guest speakers
and field trips. Two hundred students are currently participating
with a goal of 400 when the program is fully implemented.
The Collins Law Firm and Naperville North High School
Education Contact: Mary Ann Babosky (630) 420-6815
Business Contact: Jennie Gates (630) 355-4141
The partnership's objective is to educate high school students
enrolled in business law classes about the practical expectations
of a law career through hands-on experience.
Participating students receive original cases from the Collins
Law Firm to research, study and present in mock trials. Attorneys
visit the school to speak to classes and help students understand
and prepare cases. In addition, they spend lunch hours discussing
everything from the LSAT to the skills required to be a lawyer.
Working with lawyers has improved students' attitudes, ambition
and confidence. The students' sincere enthusiasm and interest
have impressed both teachers and parents. The program has
also helped some students to realize that law is not for them,
while others have reinforced their intent to pursue a career
in law. Many students report that the business law class and
the mock trials have offered the most valuable experiences
of their education.
More than 230 students have worked with attorneys on mock
cases and at least 400 additional students have heard the
attorneys speak about the prospects of a career in law.
Science and Math Excellence Network
Education Contact: Michael Sailes (773) 553-2460
Business Contact: Reginald "Hats" Adams (312) 942-5961
The Science and Math Excellence Network (SAME) was formed
to encourage high school students to pursue careers in the
fields of math, science and technology by providing hands-on
experiences that help them make better informed career choices.
SAME is coordinated by Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical
Center in conjunction with Chicago Public Schools.
SAME is a cohesive four-year program that coordinates an
annual science fair that allows students to showcase their
knowledge and skills; facilitates teacher enrichment programs
in science and math; provides up to 60 work-based experiences
for students; coordinates periodic student workshops in job
readiness, test-taking and college preparation; and provides
at least five field trips per year. Students are exposed to
knowledge of careers in the health care field and are connected
with mentors who follow them throughout the program.
Other business and industry partners are joining the program
and providing training and curriculum development, uniforms,
supplies, equipment, instructional materials and scholarships.
Twelve students have been hired at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's
Medical Center and neighboring health care institutions.
The program serves 60 students each year, based on a competitive
entrance process from schools on the west side of Chicago
and in close proximity to the hospital facility. Eleven schools
are participating in SAME, with 140 students served since
Elk Grove High School/Convergys
Education Contact: Frank E. DeRosa (847) 718-4414
Business Contact: Patricia E. Robinson (630) 775-8820
Convergys, a local billing service corporation, and Elk Grove
High School Township District 214 joined together to provide
at-risk students in the Freshmen Integrated Team (FIT) with
opportunities and activities that foster adult mentoring,
increase community ties and promote career and life planning
The mission of the FIT program is to provide integrated and
experiential instruction in English, reading, social studies,
biology and information processing to at-risk freshmen as
a way to keep these students from failing classes and dropping
out of school.
- Achievements of students in the FIT program include:
- FIT students scored above the average growth in reading
from the Explore to Plan (ACT)
- 30% of students moved to the average ability group for
- 12 failing students met weekly with Convergys staff;
all but one passed
- FIT students earned passing grades at a rate of 94.2%,
higher than the student body average
- FIT students earned .5 additional credit in Career and
Life Planning through participation in Convergys partnership
This year over 100 students and 54 Convergys staff participated
in the partnership with 150 senior citizens and veterans assisting
through service projects.
Monee Friendship Garden
Education Contact: Mardie Tuttle (708) 672-2885
Business Contact: Holly Milburn (708) 672-9520
The objective of the Monee Friendship Garden is to help students
learn about horticulture while building meaningful relationships
among Monee 4th graders, Crete high school students and community
Crete-Monee School District 201U is made up of five very
different villages. The owners of the Finishing Touch Florist
wanted to help students feel a part of the community and to
also share their business and floral expertise.
Partners include the Finishing Touch Florist, Dutch Valley
Landscaping, Crete Custom Cuts and Crete-Monee School District.
In August of 2000, 4th graders planted bulbs in a renovated
school flower bed. Then in December, they decorated holiday
plants with the high school horticulture students. The 4th
graders then held a contest estimating when the bulbs would
emerge and planned and implemented a Mother's Day flower sale.
The program has allowed students to apply academic concepts
to the real world and increase performance related to the
Illinois Learning Standards. During this second year of the
program, involvement of horticulture students has increased,
additional bulb gardens are being planted and one high school
student is working at the Finishing Touch, creating the possibility
of future internships.
IVVC Community-Based Fire Science Program
Education Contact: Philip Colgan (815) 786-9873
Business Contact: Richard Kell (815) 786-9241
The Fire Science program began as a means to educate, recruit
and train students in firefighting in a geographic area that
relies on a volunteer fire department.
The Indian Valley Vocational Center (IVVC) started the program
in 1997 for juniors and seniors in IVVC's 11 feeder school
districts. It was created in collaboration with the Sandwich
Community Fire Protection District and Waubonsee Community
College. The Fire Science class is taught by state-certified
firefighters from communities located within the Sandwich
Fire Protection District. The program is located at the Sandwich
In addition to lectures and videos, students receive hands-on
training in fire suppression techniques, firefighting apparatus
and equipment and basic emergency medical procedures. Students
also learn skills such as advancing and connecting hose lines,
setting up ladders, using different fire streams and extricating
autos. The "Ride Along" program allows students
to observe an actual emergency.
Fire Science students receive 450 hours of training during
the school year, with some becoming cadets at local fire departments.
After completing two years of the course, students can take
the State Firefighter exams. The program is articulated to
Waubonsee Community College, where students can receive credit
for their high school training. Since 1997, 65 students have
taken the course. This year 17 students are enrolled, the
highest number to date.
Joliet Region Business/Education Summit
Education Contact: Paul Swanstrom (815) 727-6972
Business Contact: Jerry Caamano (815) 727-4609
In 1999, a summit was held to determine and clarify skills
important in the workplace. As a result, Joliet Township High
School began a collaborative effort with the Three Rivers
Education Patnership and the Will County Center for Economic
Development to identify opportunities and challenges to developing
those skills, to create new business and education partnerships
and to coordinate existing efforts to develop a prepared area
The primary objective of the summit was to bring business
and education representatives together to enhance communication
between schools and businesses while identifying strategies
for workforce development. Over 75 members of the business
community and 75 members of elementary, secondary and postsecondary
institutions participated. Students also participated as an
integral part of the summit. Attendees prioritized competencies
and skills in the Illinois Learning Standards and selected
communicating on the job, problem-solving, critical thinking
and demonstrating workplace behavior and ethics as objectives
that best aligned with previously identified needs. Three
action teams have designed, developed and implemented staff
and student activities into all curricular areas. A second
summit was held a year later, with plans made to host a 2002
county-wide institute with a potential of 2,000 to 3,000 educators
and business/community members attending.
Achievements include integrating workplace skills and career
competencies into many classrooms through resource lists,
sample lesson plans, classroom activities and professional
exchange opportunities. The partnership has established a
regional forum for an ongoing exchange of ideas.
Leadership Development Partnership
Education Contact: Pat McMahon (815) 626-5050
Business Contact: Joseph L. Bittorf (815) 622-9195
The objectives of this program are to develop in students
lifelong qualities of leadership, goal setting, interpersonal
communication and stress management skills; extend classroom
learning; help students compete for opportunities; and foster
The Leadership Development Program consists of eight weekly
sessions of two and a half hours each. A facilitator from
the corporate world and student mentors lead the sessions,
using Dale Carnegie Generation Next program materials. Sessions
are held outside the regular school day and require a time
and financial commitment from students and parents. Scholarships
are available based on need.
The partnership includes Sterling High School, Newman Central
Catholic High School, National Manufacturing Foundation, Dillon
Foundation and the Dale Carnegie Organization. During the
past three years, 53 students have received training and scholarships
totaling $26,500 with an additional $20,000 in scholarships
anticipated for 2002.
Parent evaluations of the program show students have increased
self-confidence; improved leadership, communication, interpersonal
and stress management skills; and a more positive attitude.
Students have developed new relationships which have led to
collaboration between the public and private schools on projects
of mutual interest.
Provena St. Joseph Hospital and School District U-46
Education Contact: Karen Fox (847) 888-5000
Business Contact: Julie Lichtenberg (847) 622-8289
This partnership strives to promote physical and mental health
and wellness for students, their families and staff and encourage
collaboration within schools and throughout the community.
Local needs being met by the partnership include:
- providing the most current course content and expertise
related to health education to improve both teaching and
- responding to the Elgin area's growing at-risk population
of children and families in need of medical resources
- providing real-world opportunities and career exploration
- creating community collaborations designed to enhance
instruction and inspire young people to acquire a foundation
for lifelong learning, health and wellness
The partnership began with Larkin High School, then was joined
by Sheridan Elementary and Highland Elementary. Two years
ago, Elgin School District U-46 and Provena staff established
a Touchpoints program in the Elgin area to train 150 English
and Spanish-speaking professionals from all agencies working
with parents of children birth to three.
Provena has provided funding at two elementary schools for
Project FIT, a nationally recognized state-of-the-art fitness
playground which includes fitness games and lessons.
Other activities include providing clinical sites for the
U-46 CNA program, assisting with service learning for the
Larkin High School Healthy Snack Shop, hosting trips to the
Provena Wellness Center for three elementary schools and providing
career opportunities such as speakers, health and career fairs
and job shadowing. The Illinois Learning Standards provide
focus for partnership activities.
Anderson's Bookshop and Hill Middle School
Education Contact: Mike Raczak (630) 428-6200
Business Contact: Jill Brooks (630) 355-2665
The goal of this partnership, which began four years ago,
is to foster literacy and promote a lifelong love of reading,
not only in school, but also in the community. In the process,
students are improving their reading skills and are meeting
the Illinois Learning Standards in reading.
Students are encouraged to read through enjoyable activities.
Anderson's Bookshop conducts "Book Gossips" where
students discuss their favorite book. Students receive summer
reading lists along with book discount coupons. The "Book
Angels" program brings students to the store at Christmas
to gift-wrap books for needy children. Students participate
in a "Mock Newberry Award" where they select a newly
published book for the award. In addition, various authors
visit the school and meet with students.
Anderson's offers the community discounted books for breakfast
and evening book discussions, conducts workshops for parents
that outline ways to encourage students to read, publishes
student book reviews in the company newsletter and displays
student show board presentations in store windows. A new community-wide
program, "Naperville Reads Gary Paulsen," is bringing
people together to read one of the author's books and participate
in a community event relating to the selection. The Naperville
Public Library and School District 203 have joined in the
Hill Middle School's enrollment averages 950 students, with
literacy activities also serving parents, siblings, teachers
and the community-at-large.
Hella Regional Training Academy
Education Contact: Kathleen A. Pampe (618) 393-2982
Business Contact: Mike Knapp (618) 662-4402
Partners in the Hella Regional Training Academy include Hella
Electronics in Flora, five area high schools (North Wayne,
Clay City, North Clay, Flora and West Richland) and Illinois
Eastern Community Colleges/Olney Central College. The intent
of the academy is to provide area high school students innovative,
highly technical occupational programs in Industrial Maintenance
Technology and Robotics. Both programs are taught on-site
at Hella, with students having the opportunity, through dual
credit, to obtain the first level certificate for the Olney
Central College Industrial Maintenance Program prior to their
graduation from high school. In addition, students learn workplace
skills and have the opportunity for job shadowing on a day-to-day,
Achievements include building a robot for entry in a national
robotics competition, in which participating students learned
a great deal about design and construction. Two of last year's
students completed the first level certificate for Industrial
Maintenance Technology and are now attending Olney Central
College. The academy and program have become models for both
industry and education and have received recognition throughout
the southeastern Illinois area.
Currently 20 high school students are enrolled in the Hella
Regional Training Academy.
"Honorable Mention" awards were also presented
to the following business-education partnerships:
- Bradley-Bourbonnais Chamber of Commerce Business-Education
- DuPage County Airport and Thompson Middle School Business
and Education Partnership, St. Charles
- FACETS at Harper/Buffets Incorporated Job Training Program
and Harper High School, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago
- Highland Business/Education Alliance, Highland
- Kankakee County State's Attorney's Office and Kankakee
Area Career Center Business/Education Partnership, Bourbonnais
- Mt. Carroll High School and Law Excavating, Mt. Carroll
- N.E. Finch Co./Washington Gifted School, Peoria
- Nicholson Elementary and Willamette Industries School
Business Partnership, Montgomery
- Protective Services Education and Training: A Community
- WSEC-TV and Glenwood High School High-Technology School-to-Work
Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777