Andrew Pride

MARCH 4, 2022


We had an incredible February with accomplishments and achievements and are looking forward to all the events of March. Celebrations were numerous ranging from state medals, regional titles and achievements in and out of the classroom. We are excited for the return of some annual favorites including our Music Booster Craft Fair and the Variety Show. Furthermore, new additions this year such as Thunderpalooza generated a lot of energy and excitement.

Another highlight in March is our celebration of Irish American Heritage Month,

Developmental Disabilities Awareness and Women History Month. Our goal will be to celebrate and recognize through events and activities during T-Bolt Time with many activities and opportunities, so stay tuned to announcements, Twitter, and activities in classes.

Our annual Golden Bolts Awards are also presented this month. This recognition event allows us to showcase students, teachers, support staff, and administrators who have gone above and beyond to help our school. It is a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the many people who give so much to our school community.

We host our Spring Parent-Teacher Conferences on March 8th, a major parent engagement opportunity at VJA this month. Although technology has enabled all parents the accessibility to check grades, attendance, and other important indicators of student success on-line, these virtual conferences allow you to confer with your student’s teachers on how your student(s) is performing. I encourage all parents to consider scheduling an appointment to see at least one teacher to better understand how your student is progressing this semester.

Much appreciation to all our stakeholders for providing feedback on the 5 Essentials Survey. We anticipate acquiring the results towards the end of the school year.

I am extremely proud of our VJA community and the perseverance of our students and staff. The last few weeks have been challenging due to factors outside of our control, and our T-Bolts rose to the occasion with grace and class. Our strength is our togetherness as a VJA community, regardless of the factors.

For thoughts, suggestions, and questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 342-5810 or

Follow us on Twitter @AndrewHS_d230 & @AbirOthman


Dr. Abir Othman


March 5: Craft Show @ 9 am to 4 pm

March 6: Craft Show @ 9 am to 3 pm

March 7: NO SCHOOL / Pulaski Day

March 8: Parent Teacher Conferences @ 12 pm to 7 pm (VIRTUAL)

March 9: Athletic Boosters Meeting @ 7 pm

March 10: Variety Show @ 7 pm

March 10: Music Parents Meeting @ 7:30 pm

March 11: Variety Show @ 7 pm

March 12: Variety Show @ 3 pm and 7 pm

March 15: Spring Band and Jazz Concert @ 6 pm

March 17: Spring Choral Concert @ 7 pm

March 18: Early Dismissal @ 1 pm

March 21 - 25: NO SCHOOL / Spring Break

March 29: Music Parents Meeting @ 7:30 pm

March 31: School Board Meeting @ 6:30 pm at VJA


Virtual Parent Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Tuesday, March 8th, from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. All Parent Teacher Conferences will occur within virtual GoogleMeet appointments. There will be no in-person conferences. The Skyward online scheduler is available for you to make your appointments through Monday, March 4th at 8:00 a.m. Please be sure to login using your parent login and password. If you need assistance with login credentials, contact our Technology Department at Guidance counselors will also be available for scheduled conferences.


See Something, Say Something

As we move towards the last part of the 2021-22 school year, students continue to experience daily changes with Covid mitigations, classroom topics, arrival and departure alterations, among a host of other areas. Our students have faced all these daily changes with grace and respect. The students of Andrew High School have continued to impress daily.

However, we know our students will continue to face challenges in their daily lives both inside and outside of school, and no student should feel the need to be solely responsible to face challenges alone that they feel overwhelmed by.

For March through May, let us remind ourselves of “See Something, Say Something”. If you see a friend in need, say something to a trusted adult. If you hear a teammate going through a difficult situation, say something to a trusted adult. If you see a post on social media from a classmate that just seems different from what that classmate normally posts, say something to a trusted adult. If you are dealing with something and you do not know how to handle it, say something to a trusted adult. Trusted adults may be teachers, coaches, parents, counselors, deans, or anyone other adult you may identify. These trusted adults will help shoulder some of the weight you may feel in these situations, and get the proper help based on the situation.

The end of a school year always creates different emotions in people, please remember the staff at Andrew High School is always here to help with these emotions and as always, if you “See Something, Say Something.”


We have so many things to be proud of at Andrew. Below is a list of the recent accomplishments of our co curricular program:

  • Arts:

    • At the Orland Park Arts Alliance Aspiring Artist Show we had two students get recognized. Nour Farache received an honorable mention and Jill Crawford an award from the Illinois Art Education Association.

    • At the SWSC virtual Art Show Haley Bissell won the Best of School award.

  • Music

    • Congratulations to the Incendio Saxophone Trio on their win in the open division wind category at the Chicago National Chamber Competition Midwest. The trio is comprised of VJA students Alexander Procajlo (soprano saxophone) and Zachary Solomon (alto saxophone), with Sandburg student Emma Phillips (baritone saxophone) The group also placed second last weekend in the Rembrandt Chamber Competition.

    • Congratulations to Symphonic Band on winning the group 3 competition at the Midwest Music Festival and to Wind Symphony on being named Grand Champion and honor band for 2023. Both bands had an incredible day. Bravo to all of these great student musicians.

    • Congratulations to Winter Percussion on a first in class finish at the Indiana Percussion Association Greenfield Central competition.

  • Speech:

    • We had two students, Sophia Tseng and Sam Dillner make it to Sectionals for Speech this year!!

  • Chess

    • Took second in their section and then earned 20thg place in the State!!

  • Special Olympics:

    • Our Traditional Basketball Team has qualified for State for the 3rd time in the last 5 years!.

    • Our Unified Basketball Team has qualified for State for the 3rd time in the last 4 years.

    • We are also putting on our 2nd annual Polar Plunge event. It is taking place on Wednesday, March 9th at 3:30 pm.

  • Our school newspaper

    • The Circuit has won awards in FIVE out of SIX categories at the 2021-2022 SWSC Newspaper Conference:

      • Best Sports Article: 3rd Place - Sophia Tseng, senior

      • Best Features article:3rd Place - Zoe Tseng, freshman

      • Best News Story: 1st Place - Autumn Meyers, junior

      • Best Editorial: 3rd Place- Autumn Meyers, junior

      • Best Photo: 1st Place: Brody Lynch

  • Student Council

    • We held our first Thunderpalooza this past Saturday and the kids, and adults, had a great time

  • Black Student Union

    • Our newly formed group, Black Student Union, was busy this month working on Black History Month activities. They were able to host multiple enrichments, including virtually bringing in Historically Black Colleges, and hosting Movie Nights.

  • Fandoms

    • The students were able to consult with Mr. Deuser as they started working on their own fan fiction writing. It was great to hear the students present their work.


Post-Secondary Preparation for All Students

The Math and Business departments continue to recognize and celebrate the multitude of college and career pathways our VJA students explore after graduation. As we work to honor the needs and interests of our students, we continue to modify and expand authentic learning experiences within our department while ensuring our lessons remain relevant through responsive curriculum. In our senior course offerings, students enrolled in Math and Business courses experience excitement and challenge with the support of their classroom instructors. Whether entering the trades, opening your own business, or learning to navigate the working world, the Math and Business departments strive to provide smooth transitions for students as they graduate.

Landing the Interview

93% of Americans have experienced job interview related anxiety (JDP 2020 Interview Survey) and with the average American changing jobs 12 times in their lifetime our Business Department has you covered! Our Career Internship and Career Planning Courses both provide opportunities for students to interview with community members through Mock Interviews held in both the fall and spring of each school year with our sister schools. Students in these courses learn how to set the tone with pristine cover letters and resumes, engage interviewers as an applicant by relating company values and culture to their own personal strengths and experiences, and leave a lasting impression through follow up practices. We cannot wait for our upcoming Spring Mock Interview Session here at VJA for students to build confidence and networks with community leaders!

Transitional Math

The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act (PWR Act) that was signed into law in 2016 paved the way for high schools to partner with their local community colleges to help students achieve college and career readiness. One result of this partnership was the formation of Transitional Math courses. These courses provide a unique opportunity for students to receive automatic placement at any Illinois community college directly into a college-level math course without a placement exam, upon successful completion of our VJA course with a grade of C- or higher. For the second school year, we proudly offer two courses students can enroll in as seniors that provide this placement opportunity for students: Applied Mathematics and Functions & Modeling. In addition to the placement possibilities, students in these two senior-level courses have the opportunity to learn mathematical content in real-world applications. Functions & Modeling will be connecting mathematical concepts related to exponential growth with real world examples including compound interest in financial investing and replication of viruses in science. Meanwhile, students in Applied Math are researching their post secondary education options as part of their capstone projects. They will then be evaluating the cost of that education and discussing the differences between subsidized and unsubsidized student loans and how that affects their monthly loan repayment. Students will also examine the true cost of their education once the interest is included in their final loan repayment.

Math and Construction

We heard you loud and clear - Math and Construction is one of the most innovative, new offerings coming to VJA in the 2022-2023 school year. The Math Department is excited to partner with the Technology and Engineering Education Department to offer this course, which provides senior students access to everyday applications of mathematical concepts as students plan and develop essential skills for entering the trades. Through the two-period course, students will learn how to be an efficient and productive builder. Learning through both the lens of math and construction, students will implement the math needed to accomplish construction projects safely while learning about standards in the field. Whether pursuing a future career in project management or preparing for home ownership, this course gives students the opportunity to learn how to save time and money while finishing with a product they can take pride in. Excited about Math and Construction? Us too! We can’t wait to see what we can build next!


Greetings T-Bolt Nation,

As we start the spring season on February 28th, we hope that the worst of the winter is behind us, and the days continue to get warmer and longer! The athletic department is currently working on finalizing dates and times for our summer camps, which we hope to make public later this month. We do want to confirm that due to summer construction projects, the pool will be closed down for the entirety of the summer. Our office is currently working to find off-campus pools to hold our camps, and will communicate that out should we secure a facility. There was a lot for us to be proud of this past winter, with state appearances by more than four sports, an All-State athlete and medalist, and every one of our nine winter programs making the IHSA Team Academic Achievement recognition criteria. We are excited to head into the spring season, and ask families to continue to follow us on twitter, and check out our department website from We hope all our families enjoy their spring break, and look forward to welcoming you at our upcoming home spring contests!


The College/Career Connection newsletter provides updates from the VJA College & Career Center for students and families. Please click here to access February’s College/Career Connection newsletter. You may also access it via our website.

This month’s edition features:
  • Scholarship Information
  • D230 Works Information and Student Job Board
  • Spring College Representative Panels for students
  • SAVE THE DATES: Financial Aid Offer Night (for SRs and families), Planning Your Path Night (for JRs and families)
  • Facts for First Gen: Info for those will be the first in their family to attend college
  • and more!

Questions? Contact Cody Dailey, Student Success Specialist - - 708-342-5869


Thunderbolt Pride Parent Organization wants to give a Big shout out and say, “Thank you” to everyone that supported us and made a purchase from our Special Someone’s Valentine’s Day Fundraiser! TPPO raised $353.50 for the first Fundraiser of the Year. Without you this would not have been possible!!

Thank you to all the students who volunteered their time to help make this all possible!!

March is finally here, before we all know it, the nice warm weather will be here with longer days! TPPO wants to make sure that you keep an eye out for TPPO’s next Fundraiser this Spring.

TPPO is going to Bring Back the Thunder with the Final’s Snack Packs! Keep an eye out for more information on this soon!

Please join our organization this year if you have not done so already! Thank you to all parents and students that help make the TPPO a success. Without your support, donations, and volunteering none of this could happen!


Yet again, another busy month has passed and a new one begins for the Music Department! Although February is a short month, there certainly wasn’t a shortage of incredible performances. Our Winter Guard competed on February 6th at the Naperville Central Competition, February 20th at Schaumburg, where they placed 3rd, and at the WGI Chicago Regional on February 26th. On February 12th our Winter Percussion placed 1st at the WGI Chicago Regional, and took 1st place at the IPA Invitational on February 26th. What a fabulous way to kick off the season. Congratulations to the VJA Chorale on their beautiful performance opening for the Luther College Nordic Choir concert on February 19th. The Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony performed at the Midwest Music Festival on February 25th. The Symphonic Band won the group 3 competition, and the Wind Symphony was named Grand Champion and honor band for 2023. Bravo!

Don’t forget the Spring Arts, Crafts & Food Festival on March 5th and 6th. The show is open 9am-4pm on Saturday and 9am-3pm on Sunday. Just $3 per adult and kids under 13 are free. Please join us and not only pick up some fantastic craft items, but also help support our music programs here at Andrew. Events like these lower the fees of all members of every music program.

The Jazz band will be performing at the Quarry on March 9th, and at the Prairie State Jazz Festival on March 10th. The Spring Band Concert is March 15th, and the D230 Showcase at Wentz Hall in Naperville is March 30th. The Spring Choral Concert is March 17th. The Disney trip is March 18th through March 22nd. Last but not least, the spring musical is Shrek and will be April 21st-23rd.

The Incendio Saxophone Trio won in the open division wind category at the Chicago National Chamber Competition on February 20th, and placed 2nd in the Rembrandt Chamber Competition. The trio is comprised of VJA students Alexander Procajlo (soprano saxophone) and Zachary Solomon (alto saxophone), with Sandburg student Emma Phillips (baritone saxophone). They will be traveling to Austin, Texas on March 26th to compete in the Coltman Chamber Music Competition. Wish them luck!

Please check the calendar at for updates on events and times. As always, we would love to see you at our Andrew Music Parent meetings where you can keep up to date on all the news from the music department. The next meeting will be Tuesday, March 29th at 7:30 pm in the choir room.

Thank you and Eyes with Pride!!


Our next Booster Club Meeting is Wednesday March 9, 2022, at 7p.m. in Room 220. If you are interested in becoming a part of this great club, come to the meeting.

If you need information regarding spiritwear pick up, or would like to buy some of our stock, please contact our spiritwear director Peggy at

We would like to welcome all of our Spring Team reps! Thank you for volunteering and as a token of our appreciation we will be handing out T-Shirts to the Spring Team reps at the March meeting. If you were a fall team rep and want to continue being involved, please come to the next meeting on March 9. We are starting to look at future director positions for next year; please consider a position. You can donate as much time as your schedule will allow. We can only be successful because of the parent volunteers! Please contact Lesley at if you would like to be a part of this great group of parents!


The Class of 2022 Graduation date has been set for Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

This will be held outdoors in the stadium. The rain date is Sunday, May 22, 2022. As soon as we have more information, we will message it out to our seniors.