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Elmhurst Public Library Receives National Five Star Rating

by Thomas Makinney

Elmhurst residents know just how amazing and special our library is—with its vibrant atmosphere, depth of materials, stunning views, and friendly staff, it’s consistently ranked among the best in the area. But it has officially been once again recognized as one of the best in the entire country.
 
For the second year in a row, the Elmhurst Public Library received a five-star rating from Library Journal’s prestigious national review of public libraries. Out of 7,361 public libraries rated across the country, only 257 qualified as star libraries. In Illinois, 21 libraries were given star ratings, but Elmhurst is one of only three that received the top-tier five-star rating, joining Skokie Public Library and Oak Park Public Library.
 
In fact, Elmhurst Public Library had the honor of being ranked in the top ten libraries ten nationwide and was ranked first in Illinois in the $5-9.9M category.
 
The ratings system looked at five measures: overall circulation, circulation of electronic materials, library visits, program attendance, and public computer use. Circulation and visits were the two strongest indicators, but Library Journal also reports that the best libraries need to have welcoming facilities (yes!), a variety of well-attended community programs (yes!), and a wide range of collections (yes! yes!). Technology use and access were also factored in.
 
Libraries were compared to other libraries with similar funding, meaning that a star rating is given on an apples-to-apples comparison basis and small libraries are not at a disadvantage.
 
The five states with the most Star Libraries are New York (31), Ohio (23), Illinois (21), Massachusetts (13), and Kansas (12). 
 
The breadth of offerings of our library—from the coffee shop to the makerspace, the story time room to the teen room, the senior programming to the business center—makes the library one of the consistently most popular places in town. When you tie in the expansive view of windows overlooking Wilder Park, the fresh coffee and pastries, and the welcoming fireplace, the magic of our library is particularly evident.
 
Congratulations to one of Elmhurst’s crown jewels! To find out more about offerings at the library and other aspects of life in Elmhurst, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit www.gmregroup.com.

Elmhurst tree will be star of Chicago’s Christmas scene

by Thomas Makinney

Chicago’s official Christmas tree will actually be an Elmhurst tree. Longtime resident Deborah Orth’s 60-foot Norway Spruce will be aglow all season in Millennium Park.

The 48-year-old tree has graced the yard of the Orth’s home since it was built in 1949.  It weighs a whopping 8,200 pounds. Workers came last Thur., Nov. 1, to cut it down and bring it to Millennium Park.

It will be adorned with approximately 30,000 glowing lights, and the Orths will have the honor of flipping the switch at the official tree lighting ceremony on Fri., Nov. 16.

The city put out the call for a tree in mid-September, and the Orth’s tree was chosen by out of 79 submissions. 

To qualify trees must be at least 55 feet tall, be less than 100 miles from Chicago’s Loop, and be a Spruce or Fir (pine trees aren’t sturdy enough). Applicants must send in two photos and a brief description of why their tree deserves to be the city’s official tree.

The tree will get it’s chance to shine next week. Festivities kick off at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16. The star of Chicago’s production of Hamilton, Miguel Cervantes, will be the host of the evening. In addition to the tree lighting and appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus, there will also be performances by the cast of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and musicians from the Grant Park Music Festival.

Congratulations to the Orth family! We’re proud that a local tree will be enjoyed through Jan. 6 at Millennium Park. To find out more about the houses (and trees) in Elmhurst, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit gmregroup.com.

Elmhurst District 205 Earns A+ Rating

by Thomas Makinney

We never had any doubt, but a recent study confirms: Elmhurst schools are in one of the best districts in the state.

District 205 ranked in the top 10 school districts in Illinois in a recent study compiled by Niche. The report also gave the district a coveted A+ rating.

Niche is a data-analyzing company that researches and ranks U.S. colleges, schools, neighborhoods, and companies. For the school survey, rankings were based on data from the U.S. Department of Education’s reports on test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, and teacher quality as well as reviews from parents and students.

All elementary and middle schools in Elmhurst received a rating in the “A” range, while York received an A+ rating as did the district as a whole.

The district ranked 9th in Illinois for best school districts, 13th for best school districts for athletes, and 22nd for best places to teach.

According to the survey, the top five districts in Illinois are Community High School District 128 in Libertyville, New Trier Township High School District 203, Naperville Community Unit School District 203, Barrington Community Unit School District 220, and Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204.

Here at Gracik Makinney Group, we recognize that our great schools are the foundation of our community, and we’re proud that they are consistently ranked among the best. For more information about living in Elmhurst, contact us at (630) 441-5570 or visit www.gmregroup.com.

York Athletic Director Named Illinois Athletic Director of the Year

by Thomas Makinney


York High School has a reputation not only for academic excellence but athletic excellence as well. And the Illinois Athletic Directors Association agrees, naming Athletic Director and Assistant Principal for Athletics Rob Wagner as its Class 3A and 4A Division 3 Athletic Director of the Year. He will receive the award and recognition at the IADA State Conference on Saturday, May 5 in East Peoria.

As athletic director, Wagner oversees the athletic programs at York, working closely with the coaches and overseeing financial, practical, and legal matters relating to the school’s teams as well as ensuring that athletes adhere to ethical standards.

Wagner has been at York High School for 15 years and is a familiar face to many, having served in a variety of roles during his tenure. He has been the athletic director for eight years. His other positions at the school include: assistant principal for finance and student activities (2011-2014), assistant principal for student services (2009-2011), and dean of students (2002-2005). He has served as assistant principal for athletics since 2014 and served a prior term as athletic director (2005-2009). He has also been a football and track coach at York.

Congratulations to Rob and to all the staff, coaches, and students at York who make awards and accolades like this possible! We’re proud of the amazing educational and athletic resources in our city.

To find out more, call us at (630) 441-5570 or reach out anytime through our website www.gmregroup.com.

Elmhurst Schools Ranked One of Best in Illinois

by Thomas Makinney

Elmhurst District 205 continues to rack up the accolades, ranking number six on a recent survey of top 100 districts in Illinois. 

The survey collected date from 9,577 school districts and looked at student performance (math and reading test scores) from the Center for Education Policy Analysis, dropout rates and school funding per the National Center for Education Statistics, and area poverty rates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Chicago area suburbs consistently boast some of the best public school districts in the country, and this report cites our area schools’ consistent academic achievement, generous funding, superb athletic programs, and extensive extracurricular activities. 

The top ranked school district was Naperville District 203 followed by Morton District 709 and Wauconda District 118. Just ahead of Elmhurst was Barrington District 220 with Indian Prairie District 204 coming in number seven.

The survey was conducted by backgroundchecks.org, which helps consumers find public records and conduct background checks.

Elmhurst’s great schools are one of the reasons that living here is such a good investment. To learn more about the schools or the community, give us a call at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com.

D205 ranked one of best in state

by Thomas Makinney

 

Achieving another top placement, Elmhurst District 205 was recently ranked sixth in Illinois by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

The survey looked at school funding, student performance, dropout rate, and poverty rate. D205 sixth place ranking came from a total of 365 eligible districts in Illinois. Nationwide, D205 ranked in the top 3% with more than 9,500 districts surveyed, and D205 coming in at 283.

Schools with better funding tend to have smaller classes, longer school years, and better-paid teachers. Likewise, schools with strong student performance, as measured by math and reading test scores, tend to build upon that success, with students inspiring and influencing each other. Elmhurst schools have both factors plus an extremely low dropout and poverty rate.

Other schools coming in on top in Illinois Naperville CUSD203 and Morton Community CUSD709, both of which were ranked top in Illinois and the nation. Other school districts in Illinois’s top 10 include Wauconda, Dunlap, Barrington, Indian Prairie, Geneva, and St. Charles.

Elmhurst schools consistently rank at the top of all surveys. We’re proud of all that our schools have to offer and the amazing educators who make it all possible. To learn more about the schools or any part of life in Elmhurst, call us at (630) 441-5570 or email us through our website, www.gmregroup.com.

Elmhurst College Awards First-Generation Scholarships

by Thomas Makinney

Elmhurst College recently announced the recipients of its inaugural Elmhurst College American Dream Fellowship Competition, a scholarship contest that supports and celebrates first-generation college students.

The competition was launched last year as part of the college’s commitment to helping its students achieve the American dream. It was open to all first-generation college students who had been admitted to Elmhurst College for the fall of 2018. Applicants were asked to submit a video on the topic, “As a first-generation student, what would graduating from college mean to you and your family?” 

Scholarship applications came in not only from the Chicago area but also from across the country. On Feb. 19, winners were announced at a ceremony in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel on campus with more than 500 people, including many family members, in attendance.

Lillian Rizo-Dubois, a Prairie Ridge High School senior from Crystal Lake, received first place. She plans to major in French with the goal of teaching high school. She received a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to the college. Several other winners received awards ranging from four years’ room and board to a stipend covering the cost of books and materials.

In addition to the video, contestants and their families came to campus for in-person interviews and to hear from current first-generation college students, campus leaders, and alumni, before attending the ceremony later that afternoon.

Here at Gracik-Makinney, we congratulate not only the winners of the scholarships but also the college on its unwavering commitment to providing a quality, inclusive education for everyone.

For more information about life in Elmhurst, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.


Elmhurst Library gets national five-star ranking

by Thomas Makinney


The Elmhurst Library, with its deep selection of books and media, tall windows overlooking the park, amazing Makery makerspace, cozy fireplace, and coffee shop, has long been one of the jewels of Elmhurst. And the experts agree. The library just received a five-star rating in Library Journal’s annual national ranking of public libraries, one of only six libraries in Illinois to receive that rating.

More than 7,400 libraries across the country were rated, with only 259 of those receiving any star designation. This is the tenth year that LJ has rated libraries, which are measured in categories based on per capita measures of service output and budgets.  Elmhurst Public Library has received three- and four-star ratings in the past, but this is the first five-star review.

Ratings are based on data reported to the government—visits, checkouts, program attendance, digital materials, and public computer use per capita.

Elmhurst is in the top 10 public libraries in the country with a $5-9.9M budget (and the first in Illinois) with one of the highest visits and checkouts per capita.

The LJ article pointed out that the best libraries have welcoming facilities with well-targeted programs and collections with range and depth as well as strong technology features. That description fits EPL to a tee.

You can read the entire Library Journal article here.

Congratulations to the Elmhurst Public Library! We’re thrilled that such a beautiful and professional facility is getting the national recognition it deserves. If you’re interested in learning more about the library or any part of living in Elmhurst, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.


30 York musicians and singers perform in ILMEA All-District band

by Thomas Makinney

Congratulations to the 30 York High School students who were selected to perform in the Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) All-District band, chorus, orchestra, and jazz band! More than 3,000 students auditioned from over 75 schools throughout northeastern Illinois.

The Senior Festival was held Nov. 18 at Elmhurst College. There was also a Junior/Senior Jazz Festival on Nov. 11 at Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing.

The following York students were selected for the IMEA All-District I:

Nick Agliata, bassoon; Katharine Bartosz, soprano; Michael Bindeman, bass; Olivia Braun, trombone; Madds Buckley, alto; Grace Clarke, alto sax; Matt Dardick, alto sax; Emily Dow, cello; Kristen Drost, soprano; Audrey Fatheree, French horn; Danielle Fite, alto; Lauren Hund, flute; Rylan Johnsen, viola; Carina Kanzler, soprano; Helen Koczur, soprano; Erin Lee, soprano; Wilke Macariola, tenor; Bailey Maguire, alto; Lauren Makinney, double bass; Abigail Marianetti, cello; David Menichini, trumpet; Jackie Meyer, alto; Chuck Miller, tenor sax, concert band and jazz ensemble; Siena Olson, French horn; Nicole Polizzi, soprano; Sebastian Rohn, tenor; Erin Stone, alto; Cece Stumpf, trumpet; Tessa Vermeulen, flute; and Nick Villarreal, clarinet.

Other Elmhurst students who performed on Nov. 18 were Timothy Christian students Dana McAdam, soprano 2; and Jack Vandermolen, clarinet.

Gracik-Makinney would like to congratulate all the young musicians! We’re proud of the strong music programs that are supported by all of the Elmhurst schools. A vibrant arts community is one of the best parts of our town. To learn more, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.

 

Elmhurst District 205 ranked one of best in state

by Thomas Makinney


Elmhurst Unified School District 205 was recently ranked one of the top ten best school districts in Illinois. Coming in at number eight, the district received straight As for academics, teachers, clubs and activities, college prep, and health and safety.
 
The rankings were based on analysis of statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and parent/student reviews. Schools were rated and given grades in academics, teachers, culture and diversity, health and safety, resources and facilities, clubs and activities, and sports. Information was also analyzed from parent/student surveys.
 
Just ahead of District 205, Hinsdale Township District 86 came in at number seven, and Niles Township District 219 came in after us at number nine.
 
In high school rankings, York High School received an A+ and was ranked #32 out of 659 high schools in Illinois, private and public.
 
The top ten school districts in Illinois listed in order are: New Trier Township High School District 203, Community High School District 128 (Vernon Hills), Naperville Community Unit School District 203, Barrington Community Unit School District 220, Glenbrook Schools District 225, Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204 (Aurora), Hinsdale Township High School District 86, Elmhurst School District 205, Niles Township Community High School District 219, and Community Unit School District 200 (Wheaton).
 
Information was compiled by Niche.com, a website that analyzes dozens of public data sets and millions of reviews to produce comprehensive rankings, report cards, and profiles for K-12 schools, colleges, and places to live. To learn more about the rankings of school districts, visit  https://www.niche.com/k12/search/best-school-districts.
 
Strong schools are one of the main considerations that people take into account when buying a home, and we’re proud that Elmhurst schools have consistently ranked among the best. To find out more about our schools and our city, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 32

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