Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ March 9, 2015

Board of Education Candidate Forum

The Oak Grove PTO is hosting a Meet the BOE Candidate Forum on Wednesday, March 18th, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm in the Elementary Gym. Questions for the candidates may be submitted, via email, to pto@ogschool.org or delivered to the designated boxes posted in the Junior High and Elementary offices. Questions will also be accepted the night of the event. All are welcome to attend.

Meet the Board Candidates

For more information on how to choose a school board member, please click here.

Marty Jacobs -

Marty is a 30 year resident of Green Oaks. His three children are K-8 graduates of Oak Grove School, each having received an excellent education at the Grove. He has BA, MSEd, and JD Degrees and holds an Illinois Certificate in teaching and one in educational administration as well as an Illinois Attorney's License. In 2008 he retired after 33 years in public education. He wants to be a member of the school board because he feels it is his time to give back to the community that has given him so much. Marty believes he could bring to the board a career's worth of experience in the field of education. He wants to be a positive enhancement to an already outstanding school district. Marty would like to find ways to reward our fine staff of teachers, administrators, and support staff; and hopefully, make a good system even better.

Amy Frantz -

Amy Frantz and her husband, Jeff, have lived in the District for the last eight years. They have a daughter in 2nd grade, and sons in 6th and 7th grade. Amy has served as a classroom and PTO volunteer, chaired PTO Committees, and was the PTO Secretary in 2012-2013. As an active member of the community, she wants to help Oak Grove continue to offer an excellent education in a nurturing environment.

Amy graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications. She has twelve years of experience working as a Project Manager in the Communications industry. She hopes to utilize her communications background to help define a clear process for communication inside and outside of the District.

Amy will leverage her project management experience to work with all stakeholders to maintain and improve our long-term strategic plan to meet the ever-changing requirements that will drive our vision for the future of Oak Grove School. She is confident that this vision will help the District prioritize its investments, reduce waste and improve our operational processes so that we can best meet the needs of our students, within the District’s available budget.

Lane Hasler -

Lane Hasler is the current Board Vice-President seeking a second term. Lane and his wife Katie have two children, Julia who is in sixth grade and Owen who started at Oak Grove School in first grade and is now a junior at Libertyville High School. Lane is an attorney with his own practice specializing in corporate restructurings and construction.

During Lane's time on the Board, the Oak Grove School has undergone dramatic changes in Board operations, the School's Administration and in the building itself and the technology used in the classrooms. Lane assisted in the creation of the Board's Finance and Facilities Committees and served as the first chair for each.


  • The Finance Committee developed review and reporting procedures in response to financial issues. Lane oversaw the replacement of the internal business manager position with an arrangement with District 70 (Libertyville) so both districts share the same business manager.
  • The Facilities Committee introduced management and planning procedures, which formed the basis for a comprehensive building and grounds renovation and also provides the framework for future maintenance and improvement. Starting with a comprehensive study of the existing building, Lane led a five year program which will be completed this summer and included new Junior High science classrooms, cafeteria, and locker and restrooms, a professional development center, refurbishing the insides of classrooms, air-conditioning the entire building and new playgrounds.
  • The Facilities Committee is now the Facilities and Tech Committee in recognition of the importance of technology in our classrooms. Starting with a comprehensive study of the existing technology and a separate study of how technology is used in education, Lane led the District's change in how it managed technology both in terms of personnel and how devices and applications are selected and implemented in the classrooms. Lane continues to chair this committee. During his tenure, Lane assisted in the selection of Superintendent Dr. Lemon and hiring of Curriculum Director Mrs. Cacciatore who have each brought positive change to Oak Grove School.


The Board is currently negotiating a renewal of the District's contract with the teaching staff. Lane serves as the Board's co-representative in working with the Union on reaching a new contract.

He appreciates the support he has received and would like to continue the current work and provide continuity for the Board and Oak Grove School.

Anthony Giamis -

Dr. Giamis and his wife Liz have lived in Libertyville with their two children, Zachary (Grade 7) and Christopher (Grade 5) since 2011. He works as a scientist/business manager for Integrated Science and Technology (iSAT) at Abbvie, where his primary role is to produce imaging agents for drug discovery. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Rochester Institute of Technology, a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Syracuse University. He worked at Emory University Hospital in the Nuclear Medicine Department. While at Emory, he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Fellow. This appointment allowed him to focus on “Best Practices” for curriculum development in the science and mathematics programs for undergraduates. In his spare time, he is active in Scouting. Currently he is the Scoutmaster for Troop 71 in Libertyville. He served as the Committee Chair for Oak Grove Pack 194 from 2011 to last month and has participated in several Scout Pack and District leadership roles over the last three years. It is his goal to work with the OGS administration, teachers, and parents to uphold and advance Oak Grove’s excellence in education. If elected, he would bring patience and teamwork to improve communications between the Board of Education and the community, use his experience with curriculum development to strengthen our programs, and provide analytics to address accountability.

Elaine Vong-Salton -

Elaine understands the importance of relational trust between stakeholders at Oak Grove School, which includes parents, teachers, administration and the School Board. Elaine views her responsibility as a board member to ensure this relational trust. She seeks to balance fiscal responsibility with OGS strategic needs to maintain Oak Grove School as an outstanding district. She will strive to work with the administration to define and clarify a change management process at OGS: curriculum selection, programs, facilities, etc. Lastly, by drawing upon her experience in business, she would work with fellow board members, administration and teachers to work to improve OGS using innovation in a cost effective manner.

Elaine has volunteered her time and expertise at Oak Grove in many ways: as a member of the 2013 Strategic Planning team; as a founding member of the school foundation, serving as Vice President 2006-2009; as a member of the Foreign Language Task Force 2011; as project manager for the Junior High playground renovation project 2009; as a member of the 21st Century Learning Team 2010; and art awareness volunteer for 13 years. She has also been a Girl Scout troop leader for 12 years.

Elaine and her husband Greg Salton have lived in Oak Grove School district since 2000. They have three children: Natalie (OGS class of 2009) who is a sophomore at the University of Michigan, William a 7th grader, and Eleanor 5th grade.

Elaine graduated from the University of Michigan with B. S. in Chemical Engineering and worked at Abbott Laboratories Diagnostic Division as a manager, process engineer, and project manager.

Hello Oak Grove Community,

As testing time is fast approaching, here are some tips for parents to assist your child before they get to school:

  • Acknowledge test-taking anxiety as normal, but stay positive.

  • Encourage your child to think positive thoughts like “I can do this!”

  • Give compliments for effort: “I’m proud of how hard you have worked this year.”

  • Adequate rest makes a difference! Make sure your child goes to bed at a reasonable time; being active earlier in the day (not right before bed) can help kids get to sleep.

  • Nutrition also influences how well children do on test; a good breakfast is important, but a large meal right before the test can be distracting.

  • Your child should wear comfortable clothing for long test-taking periods.

  • Help your child learn how to relax. Some find it helps to take a few deep breaths before starting the test; others like to imagine a peaceful place like the beach or park.


Remember: The week of March 16th, students in grades 3 through 8 will be taking the updated ISAT assessment, commonly referred to as PARCC. There will be 3 ELA assessments and 2 math assessments, students will take one assessment per day so attending school everyday next week is extremely important. Make-ups will take place the week of March 23rd.


Enjoy the warmer weather this week!

PTO News

March 9, 2015


A Message from PTO Co-Presidents Joanie Sauers and Julie Goodman:


Hot Lunches this Week

Monday 3/9 – Jersey Mike’s

Tuesday 3/10 – Fine’s

Wednesday 3/11 – Pizza 2

Thursday 3/12 – Sub & Smoothie


Open Chair Positions

Are you looking to get involved in PTO? Below is a list of committees that need your help for 2015-16:


  • Programs and Speakers – Responsible for PTO sponsored assemblies and presentations to the students.
  • Mall in the Hall – Do you like to shop? This is for you! Fun event!!!
  • Market Day – Take the lead on this yummy fundraiser.


If interested, please contact Nominations Chair, Kim Konigseder at kim@libertycoach.com


4th/5th Grade Social

Save the date for the 4th/5th grade Social on Saturday, March 21, 7:30-9:45pm at Advocate Condell Centre Club. Activities include swimming, basketball, track, and lots more! Pizza and water will be served. This is a free event. Chaperones needed…please contact Lisa Kula at jartisa@att.net. Check out the flyer in the Virtual Backpack.


Market Day

Flyers are going home with your youngest child for Market Day. Take a look at the terrific assortment. Make an order and pay online by 3/16. Pickup is 3/20 in the JH Cafeteria 4:30-5:30pm.


A Note of Thanks

5th Grade Father/Son Night –Thank you to all the 5th grade boys and dads who attended Guys Only Night last week. It was a fun night with classmates and fathers. The speaker did a great job and even complimented our OG boys on their excellent questions and behavior. The boys each went home with a fun goodie bag. The PTO would like to thank Shannon Schweiger and Krista Sorensen for chairing the event and Heather McCarty, Dana Sullivan, Jeff Moss and Maria Roberts for helping out that evening.


5th Grade Mother/Daughter Tea - The PTO would like to thank Joanie Sauers, Lisa Rockenbach, and Kim Konigseder for chairing this event. 45 girls and their mothers enjoyed a lovely evening with an informative presentation by a representative from the Robert Crown Center. THANK YOU to Joanie Sauers, Kim Moody and Shannon Schweiger for the beautiful invitations, Kim Konigseder for the awesome decorations, Cindy Gleason, Libby Kotzan, and Lisa Rockenbach for the delicious desserts, Lisa Mudd and Pam Brennan for the fabulous treat bags, and Kelli Kuypers for the fun baby picture posters. Thanks to Heather Glasiner for donating the body wash and lotion, and Alexa Keegan for donating the tooth brushes and tooth paste. Thanks also to Shannon Schweiger for taking pictures at the event!


Teacher Appreciation Dinner – Thank you to Joanie Sauers, Kim Konigseder, Beth Williams and Cami Vandixhorn for hosting a tasty dinner for our teachers last Thursday. The staff was treated to Donati’s during their break from Parent/Teacher Conferences. Thank you to our wonderful Eagle Bakers for making the delicious desserts.


2nd/3rd Grade Social - The 2nd & 3rd grade social was a huge success. 99 kids jumped, flipped, played dodgeball and ate pizza on Friday afternoon at Jump America in Gurnee. Thank you to all the parents who made this such a hit: Mia Hughes, Jamie Hill, Zrinka Jurisa and Dave Fink. A special thank you to Christine Merrild, and Lisa Perrone for chairing this great event!


6th/7th Grade Social – The PTO would like to thank Shellie Fahy and Kathy Arnold for running a terrific event! Special thanks also to Katie Griffith who manned the Rinkside Mall doors with a huge smile, Ani Mattson who helped with crowd control while Rinkside loaded extra points onto a mere 150 patiently waiting 6th & 7th graders’ game cards, Steve Urbanski who showed up with skates in hand to find out there was no ice @ Rinkside due to unforeseen mechanical failure.


A special thanks to Rinkside for adding all games unlimited & maxing out the point cards to make up for the unforeseen ice malfunction. They also threw in free skate cards to come back when the ice is back! Please email Shellie Fahy if your child did not get a skate card.

Most of all, Shelly and Kathy would like to thank the 150 unbelievable 6th & 7th graders who took the “No Ice today” news in stride & had an absolute blast! Now that’s how you turn lemons into lemonade! They couldn’t be more proud with how the students not only took the news, but how polite & well behaved they were for the entirety! A good time was had by all! What a turnout! You made Oak Grove proud!
Thank you one & all! Shellie Fahy has a grey “pink’ hat if anyone is missing theirs.

Drama Club

Fourth and fifth grade students interested in joining the Spring Drama Club should pick up a permission slip outside Mrs. Ludington’s drama room or print one from the Virtual Backpack. The club will meet from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM on Tuesdays in the Drama Room. Drama Club will give kids a chance to build on their performance skills while engaging in fun, interactive activities. Kids will create improvised scenes, get some experience with memorization, and play theater games. This year’s theme is Greek Myths. Permission slips are due no later than Monday, March 16th. Mrs. Ludington’s mailbox is in the Elementary Office.

Oak Grove Wrestling

This past Saturday Oak Grove was the site for the IESA sectional. 152 wrestlers competed to qualify for the State Finals. Two Eagles, Brandon Murphy and Charlie Foltz, placed 3rd and qualified for the State Finals this Friday and Saturday at the NIU Convocation Center in DeKalb. Good luck this weekend!

Power Reading Course

Don't forget to register for the next Power Reading session that starts March 17th! The deadline to register is this Friday, March 13th at 3:30 . Please check the Virtual Backpack for more information on this popular course.

Virtual Backpack

Please click HERE to view the flyers in our Virtual Backpack.

Oak Grove School Board of Education

Click HERE to view Board Agenda and Minutes