Andrew Pride

SEPTEMBER 28, 2021


The school year continues to showcase the incredible perseverance and resilience of our community. September provided us experiences completely out of our control, regardless of electrical or weather related, and T-Bolts and their families continue to surpass all expectations. We wish to focus on celebrating the success of our T-Bolts and will do so this week for their academic and service achievements from last year.

As we look forward to October, excitement is generating for our first postseason competitions for Fall sports. We hope to celebrate both team and individuals with great success at the IHSA series. Also, in our Fine Arts Programs, our Marching Thunderbolts continue their successful legacy winning all captions, first place in class 2A, and Grand Champion at the Romeoville Spartan Classic! Congrats to our Marching T-Bolts!

Another noteworthy event on October 12th is the return of our Fall Parent Teacher Conferences. This is a virtual opportunity to meet with teachers on your student’s progress. And speaking of progress, another area of highlight is our upcoming State Testing. Although it may not create similar excitement as other areas, these tests are very relevant for our T-Bolts. Freshmen and Seniors will test on Tuesday, October 5th, and Sophomores and Juniors will test on Wednesday, October 13. Due to the testing schedule on Wednesday, October 13th, this will not be a Late Start; sophomores and juniors will report at regular time.

The PSAT/NMSQT exam for sophomores and juniors on the 13th is a great way to practice taking the SAT. It also provides opportunities for scholarships and recognition for students. This year, we are honored to have four students recognized for National Merit Scholar status, qualifying them as the top students nationwide. Those students are Jack Day, Austin Hepp, Jamie Li, and Grace Warszalek. Additionally, congrats to Haley Bissell our Semi-Finalists, an honor bestowed to the Top .5% of students nationally. The Class of 2021 did a remarkable job, and we hope the Class of 2022 will set their sights even higher.

As always, it is an honor and a privilege to serve as your principal. We’re continuing to Bring Back the Thunder together! If you have any suggestions or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

Abir Othman



Sept. 27: Movie Night @ 7 pm

Sept. 29: Powder Puff Game @ 7 pm

Sept. 30: School Board Meeting @ Stagg High School, 7 pm

Oct. 1: Homecoming Assembly

Oct. 1: Homecoming Game

Oct. 2: Homecoming Dance (VJA students only)

Oct. 4: Picture Retakes during lunch periods in the Main South entrance

Oct. 5: ISA testing (Gr 12) and PSAT testing (Gr 9)

Oct. 7: Fall Choir Concert @ 7 pm

Oct. 11: NO SCHOOL / Columbus Day

Oct. 12: Parent / Teacher Conferences 12 pm until 7 pm

Oct. 13: PSAT/NMSQT testing (Gr 10 & 11) - NO LATE START

Oct. 13: Athletic Boosters Meeting @ 7 pm


Down Syndrome is one of the most common types of intellectual disabilities. Each year in October we recognize Down Syndrome Awareness Month to raise public awareness about the condition and advocate for acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome.

October was first designated as Down Syndrome Awareness Month in the 1980s and has been recognized every October since. It is a time to celebrate people with Down Syndrome and make others aware of their abilities and accomplishments. This month we can be inspired to learn more about this topic and to celebrate people born with Down Syndrome.

Why Is Down Syndrome Awareness Month So Important?

It spreads awareness: Down Syndrome Awareness Month teaches people about this topic so we can celebrate people with Down Syndrome.

It's inspirational: Down Syndrome Awareness Month helps us celebrate abilities, rather than disabilities.

It's encouraging: Down Syndrome Awareness Month can help foster inclusion, understanding, and more opportunities for people with Down Syndrome.

What Can You Do to Help Celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month?

There are plenty of things you can do during Down Syndrome Awareness Month, but volunteering is one of the best and most effective. We can also celebrate by carrying out 31 random acts of kindness — one for each day in October.

Gigi’s Playhouse is a Down Syndrome Achievement Center and there is a local center here in Tinley Park. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities so if you are interested and are looking for more information, it can be found at:

If you choose to carry out 31 random acts of kindness and want to share your kind acts so the VJA community can see the movement, please tag me @crussell727


The world of co-curriculars is off to a great start!! On September 7th we held our first virtual activity fair during the day and we had over 2000 students learning about the over 100 different clubs and sports that we offer. This was a great jumping off point for the school year. We look forward to having an in person one in future years!!

As you know, this is homecoming week!!! We hope everyone is getting involved with the many activities we have planned. To learn more about everything that is happening, please go to

As we hear from the sponsors, we are learning that kids are definitely getting involved and we want to continue to encourage that participation. Here are some of the things going on with our clubs:

In the theater world, we just returned to the stage with the Freshman Show titled “Rearview”. This was a great way to get our upperclassmen working with our incoming freshman students. Now that they have their footing, they can all start thinking about the Fall Play “Harvey” which will have Opening Night on October 21st.

This past weekend, NHS hosted our first ever walk-a-thon on the track. NHS partnered with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital for this fundraiser. They raised over $500 to help support Lurie’s. NHS has also paired with Smith Crossing, a senior living establishment, to provide jokes, puzzles, and other means of entertainment for the senior community. Students create things to provide hours of entertainment for the residents.

Spanish Honor Society will be providing foods from various Spanish speaking countries while hall decorating for Homecoming. Students will have cookies, bread, and more, common to the Spanish speaking countries the Society represents.

Our Psychology club has a week of activities planned for mental health awareness week October 3-10. We are doing a walk in support, stress relievers during tbolt time, and a You Are Not Alone poster interactive in the lunchroom and wearing green.


VJA Guidance is excited to introduce you to SchooLinks! SchooLinks is a modern, college and career readiness platform to prepare students for what comes after graduation. SchooLinks helps students discover their interests and strengths, explore colleges and careers, and create a personal graduation plan that best reflects their post-secondary goals. SchooLinks at Victor J. Andrew High School is accessible in 9th-12th grades by students and their parents.

All of the SchooLinks features are designed with students in mind to help them become career, college, and life ready. SchooLinks features are incredibly user-friendly, and content can be easily comprehended by high school students.

Our Class of 2022 has been fully onboarding, and are busy exploring careers, building resumes, and sending college transcripts and teacher letters of recommendation. In November, our Class of 2023 and 2022 will be onboarded to SchooLinks, with a focus of post-secondary goal setting, selecting VJA courses related to their post-secondary goal, and begin building their resume. Our Class of 2025 will be onboarding during the second semester, and will focus on interest inventories, career interest surveys, and resume building.

For more information visit-

VJA Student Services Survey:

VJA Guidance has a comprehensive curriculum focused on academic success, social emotional development, and post-secondary exploration and readiness. To assist us with identifying the specific needs of our students, we ask that all students complete this VJA Student Services Survey. The results of this survey will guide us in the curriculum we deliver, groups we run throughout the year, and areas of focus with our students. All students have received the link to the survey in their D230 VJA email. Thank you for your participation and support!


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

This month’s edition features:
  • Schoolinks Tutorial Videos
  • D230 Works Information and Upcoming Events
  • Resources and Upcoming Financial Aid Sessions for Seniors 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


Our next Booster Club Meeting will be October 13 at 7PM in Room 220. If you are interested in becoming a part of this great club, come to the meeting. We look forward to meeting all the fall team representatives!

Queen of Hearts fundraiser is here! We are still searching for the Queen of Hearts. We are on Week 33 and we are over $5,400 in our progressive 50/50 split. The more everyone buys and the longer until we find the Queen the more money there is to win! Our virtual drawing is every Wednesday at 7:00 PM until the Queen of Hearts is picked. This is open to any resident in Illinois 18 and over. Tell all your friends and family! We will have a weekly winner that will receive a $25 gift card to a local business. Please check out our website This drawing will continue throughout the year. Please support the Booster Club!

The Booster Club is so excited that Fall Football is back! We are open for concessions and spiritwear for all the home football games! We will have concessions open for the Powderpuff Game on Wednesday and for the big Homecoming Game on Friday October 2! Come support the Boost Club! Go T-Bolts!


The VJA Marching Thunderbolts kicked off the 2021 marching season with a great run at the A.A. Stagg Jamboree. The band placed 2nd in their class (2A) and won caption awards for Best Percussion and Best Drum Major.

This past weekend the band had a fantastic showing at the Romeoville Spartan Classic. Our Thunderbolts won 1st place in class 2A, swept all caption awards and won GRAND CHAMPION! It was an awesome start to the season and we cannot wait to continue the season.

Prior to the first official competition, the band performed their show for the parents and community. It was a fantastic evening and the students were excited to see many Thunderbolt Alumni in the stands to cheer on their friends. The band also had their first home football game of the season and celebrated the Seniors. Many of these Seniors have been with the band for all four years and are excited and emotional to finish out their high school marching experience. You will be able to catch the band at all of the home football games this season so come on out and cheer them on.

September 18th, the Music Parents hosted the 6th annual Marching Band Invitational. It was a fantastic day of performances from 14 local high school marching bands and finished off with our own Marching Thunderbolts in exhibition performance. It was a smashing success and we want to thank all of the awesome VJA Music Parents and VJA students who volunteered. This event is only the success that it is because of the dedication of the VJA community of parents, students, and school personnel.

The band will continue their fall season with performances at the Providence Catholic Invitational on October 9th, and the Lincoln-Way Invitational on October 16th. The final performance will be at the Illinois State University Marching Band Championships on Saturday, October 23rd.

The VJA Music Parent Association will host their annual Fall Music Parent Craft Show on Saturday, November 6th and Sunday, November 7th. This event features many unique crafters and is the perfect place to pick up some wonderful gifts for the upcoming holiday. Your attendance helps support all the music programs at VJA so come on out and support your Thunderbolt musicians.

Do not forget to mark your calendars for the many musical performances coming later this fall, including the Fall Choral Concert on October 7th, the Instrumental Concert on November 9th, and the Holiday Prism Concert on December 8th and 9th.

Please consider attending the Andrew Music Parent meetings to keep up to date about all the news from the music department. Future meetings include October 19th and November 16th. Meetings are held at 7:30pm in the choir room.

Thank you and Eyes with Pride!!