Sandburg Pride

A Message from Sandburg's Principal, Dr. Jen Tyrrell

January 14, 2020

Greetings Eagle Families and Friends,

On behalf of everyone here at Sandburg, Happy New Year to all! I know that this holiday season was different, but I hope you enjoyed safe, healthy, and restful time with those closest to you. The winter break provided me time to reflect on 2020...a year that was challenging for many of us individually, a year that was challenging for our collective school community. We are a school community that relies so heavily on our connectedness and opportunities for our students to engage in a way that allows them to explore their passions in the classroom, in co-curriculars and athletics, and through service projects. We are a school community that prioritizes relationships and the social and emotional development and support of our students. And while I think we can all agree that the Sandburg Experience within the remote and hybrid programs is just not the same, I am proud of our collective response over the course of the last ten months.

I am proud of the way our students have responded with an understanding that their experience has to be different during these times as we look forward to being even stronger and better as a result of these challenges. I have observed our staff respond, collaborate, learn & grow, and perhaps most importantly prioritize relationships & connections with students while showing compassion, care and empathy. I have appreciated our families’ support of Sandburg, our staff, and myself as we navigate these unprecedented times. As a school community, we will continue to prioritize our students’ academic experience within the classroom and provide opportunities for connectedness by offering as many co-curricular and service opportunities as possible. It is of highest priority that we will also continue to provide social and emotional supports for all students. Students seeking social or emotional support can reach out to any staff member for assistance. Counselors and social workers are available to meet with students virtually. I have included a LINK that includes the names of our PPS Team members for your reference in the event you would like to connect regarding your child’s social and emotional support needs. Additionally, please visit the Guidance Page on our website for information on additional resources available within our school and community.

If you believe that your child is particularly distressed, anxious, or sad during this time, we ask that you click here to fill out a survey that will help us to determine the types of additional supports that we can offer. This support may come in the form of additional check-ins, Google video chats, or referrals to services outside of school that we believe may be helpful. All surveys will be kept confidential among appropriate student services staff members. If you are not concerned about your student’s emotional health right now, there is no need to fill out the survey. I also include the contact information for our PPS Admin Team Members in the event that you would like to discuss our systems of support for your child specifically.

Mr. Brian Klene, Associate Principal for Pupil Personnel Services or 708.671.3114

Mrs. Michelle Augustyniak, Director of Guidance or 708.671.3120

Mr. Andy DeCraene, Head Dean of Students or 708.671.3190

Mrs. Lynna Dahlgren, Dean of Students or 708.671.3193

Mr. Shawn Donovan, Dean of Students or 708.671.3192

Mr. Jim Fazekas, Dean of Students or 708.671.3191

Mrs. Kristyn Koss, Director of Special Education or 708.671.3131

As we turn the page to 2021, I would also like to take the opportunity to share just a few Sandburg highlights from 2020. Carl Sandburg High School maintained its Exemplary Designation from the Illinois State Board of Education in 2020, which means that Sandburg is in the top 10% of all schools in the state of Illinois. At the end of 2020, published its list of 2021 Best Public High Schools in the state of Illinois and Sandburg ranked in the top 50 in three categories: Best Public High School Teachers in Illinois (#37 of 670), Best Public High Schools in Illinois (#41 of 700) and Best College Prep Public High Schools in Illinois (#49 of 649). I also share with you specific successes related to two focus areas of our school improvement that are framed by a collective mindset to be Elite Daily!

Academic & College and Career Readiness:

  • 3 National Merit Semi-Finalists - Ahmad Alhayek, Brett Fassler, and Ella McDevitt

  • 9 National Merit Commended - Daniel Durkin, Simon Han, Anthony Malysz, Laurenz Nava, Stephen Pytel, Sophia Sickler, Thomas Sieczkowski, Sanjana Sinha, and Veronica Vaughn

  • More than 1,000 students completed nearly 1900 total AP tests

  • 76 students earned the Seal of Biliteracy 59 earned the Commendation

  • 97 Class of 2023 Students finished their freshman year with Elite designation on the Sandburg College and Career Scorecard

Equity & Connectedness:

  • 72.57% of students participated in co-curriculars

  • 39 students received the Cook County Sheriff’s Award with a combined total of over 4,000 hours

  • The Sandburg SuperFanz were runner up in the IHSA Student Section Showdown contest

  • Carter Schott was the state and regional winner of the NHFS Heart of the Arts Award

  • SWSC Conference Championships: Varsity Cheerleading, Varsity Competitive Dance, Varsity Girls’ Golf, Varsity Boys’ Cross Country, and Varsity Girls’ Tennis

  • IHSA Regional Championships: Varsity Wrestling, Varsity Boys’ Bowling, Varsity Boys’ Golf, Varsity Girls’ Golf, Scholastic Bowl

  • IHSA Sectional Championships: Varsity Cheerleading, Varsity Girls’ Tennis, and Varsity Girls’ Swimming

  • IHSA State Qualifying Teams: Wrestling (4th place), Cheerleading (4th place), Varsity Competitive Dance, and Chess

  • IHSA State Wrestling Champion: Mike Bosco (285 pounds)

  • 27 SWSC All-Conference Winter Athletes

  • 27 SWSC All-Conference Fall Athletes

  • Carl Sandburg’s Robotics Team, Eagle Army 3488, was a finalist at the Midwest Regional First Robotics Competition

  • Multiple coaches/sponsors received coach of the year awards: Kim Huelsman (Illinois High School Association Badminton Coach of the Year), Brian Ostrander (Illinois High School Tennis Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year), Patrick LaTortue (Illinois Director of Student Activities Sponsor of the Year Award and Illinois Chess Coaches Association Coach of the Year), Elaine McGraw (Illinois Director of Student Activities Sponsor of the Year Award - Debate), and Mike Wooley (Illinois Director of Student Activities Sponsor of the Year Award - Scholastic Bowl)

  • Athletic Booster President, Mike Probasco, was awarded a Those Who Excel Meritorious Service Award

  • Scholastic Art Competition - Tina Siebenaler was a Nominee for the American Vision Award which is the highest honored award of the competition and represents one of the best five works from all the Gold Key winners; Jada Scott (two Gold Keys), Anna Friel (Silver Key), Brooke Wehmeier (Silver Key), Walla Yasin (Silver Key), Lanie Pelegrino (Honorable Mention), Amira Judeh (Honorable Mention) and Delaney Fisher (Honorable Mention)

  • 5 Students were named ILMEA All State - Trevor Benos (Chorus), Saffion Chung (Chorus), Simon Han (Orchestra), Francesca Pagni (Orchestra), and Arushi Sharma (Orchestra)

  • As we strive for all students to feel a sense of belonging and connectedness at Sandburg, our staff participated in a Relationship Gallery Walk. We facilitated the intentional exercise in order to emphasize the importance of relationships and connections. As a school community, we celebrated the nearly 50,000 connections that staff reported with students but also strategically identified students to make connections with in order to enhance their sense of belonging at Sandburg.

We look forward to our continued pursuits in 2021! Go Eagles!

Dr. Jen Tyrrell

Athletic Booster Club

Happy New Year!

Thank you to everyone that supported us during the holiday season by purchasing Orland Park Bakery cookies. We are so grateful to have partners in the community.

As we anxiously await the return of winter sports, we are excited to announce our first ever Spring Forward Virtual 5K! This fun event will take place beginning March 6, 2021. Participants will have one week to complete their 5K (run or walk) on their own, or in small, socially distanced groups outdoors. This is a great opportunity to gather your friends and/or teammates and do something outdoors (socially distanced and covid conscious). Please visit our race website to sign up!

We are also still accepting sponsors for the event. If you and/or your business are interested in our different levels of sponsorship and the benefits, please email us at All proceeds from the 5K will benefit senior scholarships and assistance in purchasing equipment and technology for our Athletic Department which are not part of their regular budget.

Membership in the Athletic Booster Club is needed for all four years in order to be eligible for the senior scholarships awarded in April. We will once again be selecting approximately 20 student athletes in April 2021, to receive a $1000 scholarship from the Booster Club. Details on how to become a member can be found on our website,, or you can reach out to your respective coach or booster representative. Membership is only $10 a year.

As always, thank you for your support and GO EAGLES!!

Music Booster Club

Our students never stop impressing us. We have five students who are ILMEA All-State Musicians! From Orchestra we have Simon Han (cello), Francesca Pagani (violin), and Arushi Sharma (violin). From Choir we have Trevor Benos (Tenor II) and Saffion Chung (Bass II). Just a reminder that the Music Booster membership fee is due by January 31, 2021. We will still award scholarships this year. Payment of the annual membership fee is required for scholarship eligibility. This year we are waiving the requirements of participating in the Fundraiser and Volunteering for one of the major events. All three requirements would normally have to be met for scholarship eligibility.

Don't forget our Spritwear Clearance sale is still going on! Lots of great deals on sweatshirts, sweatpants, t-shirts and other Carl Sandburg Music swag.

You can shop and pay the membership fee at


Spirit Wear

Our online store for Spiritwear will open around the end of January or beginning of February. Keep watching your emails for a link! This is our largest fundraiser to support senior scholarships so please know we appreciate every order. The link is only live for a few weeks so take note of the closing date. Any questions regarding spirit wear that you ordered but still need to pick up, please email

Scholarships – Seniors

We are happy to announce that thanks to your support, the PFSA will once again be awarding scholarships to qualified graduating seniors. There will be two categories – “Academic” and “Exemplary”. While participation in athletics and music are welcome, the PFSA is seeking seniors that have impacted the Sandburg community – i.e. the clubs and organizations your child has participated in and how their participation has made a difference. Applications will be available beginning mid February 2021 and will be due mid-March during the Guidance Office’s local scholarship competition. Please see the Guidance Department for your application and deadlines. In order for your senior to be eligible, your family must have been a paying member of PFSA for all years attending Sandburg.

With that in mind, we are still accepting MEMBERSHIPS through March 1, 2021 for the current school year.


Thank you to the many families who have joined our organization this year. Your continued support allows us to award senior scholarships and to contribute to a variety of Sandburg clubs and activities. In order for your student to qualify for a Senior Scholarship, your family must become a member of the PFSA every year your son or daughter attends Sandburg. Annual membership dues are $10 per family, with a deadline of March 1, 2021. Please log into your skyward account and add a fee to join. If you are unsure if you have already joined, please email and we will verify.

Connect with PFSA…

PFSA is sharing happenings from our Sandburg community. “Like” us - and “Follow” us - @SandburgPFSA. If you are a PFSA Member and have not been receiving emails from the PFSA and would like to do so, please email your contact information to Don’t miss out on information, take time to get connected.

PFSA Board and committee members

Now is a great time to shadow a current member so you can be prepared for next year and how you can contribute your talents to PFSA. We are looking to fill hospitality, membership, dance ticket sales, and yearbook distribution chairs for the 2021-2022 school year. It is both fun and rewarding to be a part of your student’s high school experience. Please feel free to share any ideas, questions, or comments directly with our officers. Their email addresses are: (Brigid Carey), (Natalie Dudek), and (Janet MacInnis).