CJHS "Chargers Connection"

Summer Edition - July 29, 2022

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From the principal...

We know that a great deal of information will be headed your way in the weeks building up to the beginning of the school year. The purpose of our newsletter is to capture some of the initial middle school specific details you will find helpful as we transition into a new school year.

Below please find information to provide you with an insight to the start of the school year and answer some questions you might have regarding upcoming events including links for your reference. Continue to have a safe and restful summer!

Meet the new Principal...

It is with great pleasure and honor that I introduce myself to the Chiddix Junior High School community. My name is Mariana Nicasio and I have the privilege to lead this wonderful school community. I am entering my 17th year in education and have primarily served communities near the Chicagoland area. My partner, Neal, and I are now happy to call the Bloomington/Normal area our new home!

As a leader, I am here to serve and support our CJHS staff, students, and families. During the last few weeks, I have had the pleasure of meeting many staff members and learning about the traditions, achievements, and challenges they have encountered together. It is without a doubt that they have had an impact on each other, their students, and their families and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves to work alongside them to continue this legacy.

For our students, staff, and families, I have always believed in an open door policy. Please know that your voice is important in cultivating an environment of collaboration and excellence at CJHS. I am excited to meet all our students and families and look forward to working with our school community to continue the tradition of outstanding teaching and learning at CJHS.

Here are a few more things about me you might be curious about...

  • Education is my second career. I was a Paralegal for 12 years and was ready to become a lawyer but life had other amazing plans for me!
  • I received my Bachelor of Arts in History and Masters of Arts in Teaching from Dominican University. I began my career in education teaching 7th and 8th grades at Freedom Middle School in Berwyn South School District 100.
  • As a result of working under two Principals who encouraged me to pursue leadership roles, I pursued my Master of Arts in Educational Administration at Dominican University.
  • Soon after, I accepted an Assistant Principal position at Wilson Elementary in Cicero School District 99. Wilson actually was the school I attended from Kindergarten through 6th grade and it was a great honor to serve the community where I grew up.
  • I have had the honor of being the Principal of Indian Trail Elementary in Downers Grove Grade School District 58 and Komensky Elementary in Berwyn South School District 100.
  • I am currently pursuing my Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership through National Louis University and hope to defend my dissertation work this coming winter!
  • My family and friends are my support system and absolutely love spending time with my sister, brother, and all my nephews and nieces. I am the proud mother of a 24 year old daughter who is engaged and living with her fiancé in their new home. Both my parents were immigrants to this country and I am proudly bilingual in Spanish. I enjoy immersing myself in cultures through my traveling adventures. I enjoy spending time in the sunshine as much as possible and love camping and exploring in nature. I am always looking for a new book to read for fun and definitely need to find a studio to continue my yoga practice!

Meet the new Associate Principal...

I am thrilled to be at Chiddix JHS and a part of McLean Unit 5 school district! As a new Associate Principal, my mission will be to provide leadership and ensure equality among all students. I will focus on the general well-being of the entire student body and help build a climate of integrity and accountability. I will seek to empower all to reach their highest potential to ensure growth and success!

I grew up in Munster, Indiana, and attended college at St. Xavier University, Chicago. I played collegiate volleyball and earned my bachelor's degree in social science and my master's degree in educational administration. For the past five years, I worked as an Athletic Director and Assistant Principal at Andrean High School, located in Merrillville, Indiana. My focus at Andrean was committed to student formation, opportunity and success. Before my stint at Andrean High School, I spent 16 years as a collegiate volleyball head coach and administrator at a pair of institutions within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC). Prior to my higher education tenure, I was a high school history teacher at Bloom High School located in Chicago Heights. Throughout my professional experiences as a head coach, administrator, and teacher, I have developed a moral philosophy of instilling proper behaviors of teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership within the school community.

My husband, John Fitzgerald, the new voice of the ISU Redbirds, and I have two beautiful children, Colton (9) and Vivian (7). When not at work or attending a sporting event, we spend time building legos or playing barbies. We are new to the Bloomington/Normal area and are excited to start this new chapter!

Walk In Registration - August 4th from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Families are invited to come who have not registered their student(s) online and may need assistance. Families new to CJHS or needing computer access will have time to complete the required paperwork only. You can also contact (309) 557-4405 for registration assistance.

During these hours families can turn in paperwork and purchase locks if needed. If you are new to Unit 5, please contact our guidance office at (309) 557-4405 to set up an appointment to meet with a school counselor.

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Interested in decorating your locker?

Students are invited to decorate the inside of their locker following the below guidance:

  • All pictures must be school appropriate.
  • Reminder that no tape or hot glue is allowed.
  • Magnets only to adhere anything to the inside of your locker.

School Supply Lists

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Before school supervision program...

Families who need to drop off their student(s) before 8:20 a.m. are invited to join the before school supervision program.

Please click here for more information and to sign up!

Schedule Information

How are schedules created for students?
  • Student schedules are built during the summer based on individual student needs along with course selections made by students at the end of last school year. Every attempt is made to honor requests, but not all requests are possible.
  • Please note that all schedules are subject to change.

How are students placed in math?

What is advisory?

When will schedules be available to students and families?

  • Schedules will be available electronically through Infinite Campus on Friday, August 5th.

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Chiddix PTO...

Hey Charger Families!

The Chiddix PTO Board was primarily made up of 8th grade parents whose children have moved on to high school. As such, we will be seeking individuals to fill these positions (President, Secretary, and 2 people for Hospitality). If you have any interest in serving on the Chiddix PTO Board, please contact the CJHS PTO previous president, Ryan Clouse, or the current treasurer, JoAnn Cavanaugh, at chiddixpto@gmail.com.

Please spread the word! If you know families who have 5th graders who will be starting at Chiddix, please share our information with them.

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Stay Connected...

Please follow our CJHS Twitter and our NEW special "CJHS - Principal's Corner" Facebook page to showcase all the wonderful teaching and learning happening in our school!

You can also visit our school website for additional information. Please be patient as changes are being made to the website to ensure the most updated information is provided.

Chiddix Junior High School

Mariana Nicasio, Principal

Kelly Fitzgerald, Associate Principal