Andrew Pride

FEBRUARY 2, 2022


Where did January go? We welcome February bustling with activities, events and important topics for our school community.

For our T-Bolts, events such as Senior Recognition Night are a highlight of their four year experience. We look forward to honoring our seniors for their various accomplishments that evening. Additionally, there are dozens of sports and competitive activities that are closing their seasons, and we anticipate much success in the IHSA tournaments for groups such as Competitive Dance - placing 11th at State, Cheer, Chess, Basketball, Bowling, Boys’ Swim and Wrestling. This month also marks the finalized choices for courses for the 2022-23 school year for our T-Bolts, and registration for our incoming freshman. All significant milestones in preparation for next year.

Another February feature is our celebration of Black History Month. Our goal will be to celebrate and recognize through events and activities the contributions that Black Americans have made to our world. Furthermore, our annual Diversity Dance Show will showcase our T-Bolt talent later this month. The show is an expression of the uniqueness and array of cultural diversity within our community - presenting dance, dress, and customs from around the world. We are proud that Andrew is a diverse school with students that represent over 70 nations from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, and Central America. Additionally, our diversity includes gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic level. Our focus on equity, unity, and inclusion has been a foundation of our monthly themes.

This month also gives our stakeholders the chance to provide feedback regarding the 5 Essentials Survey. We ask that parents participate in the 5 Essentials Survey - an important, statewide assessment of schools, that helps guide our school improvement process and helps us to continue to grow as a school. Link for parents to take the survey:

As always, it is an honor to serve as Principal of Andrew High School. If you have thoughts or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out at

Follow us on Twitter @AndrewHS_d230 & @AbirOthman


Dr. Abir Othman


February 7: TPPO (Thunder Pride Parent) Meeting @ 7 pm

February 9: Athletic Boosters Meeting @ 7 pm in Room 220

February 14: District CPO Meeting @ 6 pm / District Office

February 15: Senior Academic Recognition @ 7 pm / PAC

February 18: Diversity Dance Show @ 7 pm / PAC

February 21: NO School / President's Day

February 22: Music Parent Meeting @ 7:30 pm / Choir Room

February 24: School Board Meeting @ 6:30 pm / VJA Room 220


The Class of 2022 Graduation date has been set for Saturday, May 21, 2022. This will be held outdoors in the stadium. The rain date is Sunday, May 22, 2022. The start time for this event has not yet been determined. As soon as we have more information, we will message it out to our seniors.


VJA honors its finest students, teachers, support staff, and community supporters. We are seeking nominations for individuals who exhibit the following criteria:

  • Positive role model for both staff and students
  • Distinguished work on behalf of the school and its students
  • Creative thinker; innovative
  • Actively seeks solutions to problems at VJA
  • Undisputed positive attitude towards all others
  • Advocates for and participates in the growth of Andrew High School


  • Student - an active student who has gone above and beyond as they represent VJA
  • Teacher - an active part-time or full-time, substitute, or teacher serving a long-term substitute position, who has gone above and beyond as they represent VJA
  • Support Staff - secretary, deans’ or special services aide, custodian, or food service employee, who has gone above and beyond as they represent VJA
  • Community Member - a parent, neighbor, booster member, or other individual who is not employed at VJA, who has gone above and beyond in their support of VJA
  • Administrator - a Department Chair or other Administrator that has gone above and beyond


March 30, 2022

6:30 p.m. - Reception

7:00 p.m. - Dinner

7:30 p.m. - Awards

(Please make sure of the nominee’s and your availability on March 30 prior to the event.)


To Access the Submission form, click on the link below:



The Importance of Being Physically Active and How it Impacts Your Health

The benefits of physical activity and exercise have been demonstrated throughout our lifetime. We are meant to move and many of our body’s systems work better when we are consistently physically active. During these difficult times and our current situations, physical activity and exercise can be effective treatment strategies for symptoms of both depression and anxiety. Each day is a new opportunity to engage in physical activity and exercise that can bring short and long-term benefits for mood, sleep, and physical health. Consistency and sustained motivation may be enhanced by peer support, family support, or electronic platforms offering exercise programs.

The Andrew High School Physical Education, Health and Driver’s Education Department believes in developing each student physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. Engaging in physical activity each day for at least 20 minutes is beneficial to brain development, heart health, and overall wellness.

Tips to Improve Personal Wellness

Physical Health

Eat Healthy. Avoid fried foods, soft drinks, processed meats, and sweets. Try to include 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. Don't skip meals, especially breakfast, it slows down your metabolic rate and can cause weight gain.

SLEEP! Sleep is often overlooked but the most important. You should get 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Make sure to limit screen time at least one hour prior to bedtime. This includes phones, computers and television.

Emotional Health

Try to maintain a positive attitude even when problems arise. Discover your personal stress reliever. Manage your time wisely because it will help lower stress. Find someone that you trust with who you can openly share your feelings.

Social Health

Get involved. There are a variety of clubs and athletics offered at Andrew High School. You're bound to find something that interests you. Balance your social life with your academic responsibility. Find time to appreciate the world around you. Take a deep breath and appreciate the little things in life.


Greetings T-Bolt nation, this is an informational message from the athletic office. We are excited to head into the winter post-season with strong performances already from our boys' bowling program and state finals qualifying dance program, just to name a couple. Andrew High School is proud to serve as host for the IHSA Girls' Bowling Regional at Orland Bowl on Feb, 5th, as well as the first ever IHSA Girls' Wrestling sectional on Feb. 11th and 12th. We are proud of the growth and success all of our winter programs have had this winter.

As we head into the end of the winter season, we also want to remind families to please make sure you are registered for all our spring sports before Feb. 28th. Remember we have to verify an active sports physical and full completion of the 8to18 registration process before we can allow any athlete to actively participate in a sport. Links to 8to18, as well as spring tryout information, can be found on our home athletic page from the school website: www.

Also, we are having a Virtual Extracurricular Open House event on Wednesday, Feb. 23rd from 7-8 p.m. More information, including a link to our virtual meeting, will be shared at a later date with our families and community. We would love to have your child join our athletic family and come out this spring season! While on our website, please check out our link to the Benefits of Participation page, showing the direct correlation between involvement and academic success here at Andrew. Please contact our athletic office with any questions! Go T-Bolts


We have so much to be proud of in the word of Activities at Andrew. Our Special Olympics team won the Regional Tournament for our Traditional Basketball Team. We are headed to the State Tournament in March. In the first game, we defeated HF 24-14 and in the championship game, we beat Shepard 32-20.

Our student leaders from Restorative Circles facilitated a presentation to staff on the history and use of restorative practices in schools, during the January Staff institute day. Restorative Circles is a strategy that not only is used to help repair harm but also helps foster community building through creating a positive learning environment and school culture. Our students did great and this provided an authentic experience for students and staff alike.

Andrew Preschool registration for 2022-2023 will open on 2/1/22 in the preschool google site. Children must be potty trained and 4 by 9/1/22 for the morning preschool program and 3 by 9/1/22 to enroll in the afternoon preschool program. Please see the site below for more information on the curriculum, tuition, etc. Spots fill fast so save your spot right away. Contact Jennifer Knezz at if you have any questions. You can slso check out the websites that were created for the morning preschool and the afternoon preschool.

We have had a lot of success in our co-curricular competitions also. Our Chess team recently took second at the sectional level and will be headed to state February 11th & 12th. Our DECA program recently had 9 of the 12 students qualify for the state also!! Their State Competition is March 3rd through the 5th.

On the stage, the kids did a great job with our Musical, Freaky Friday!, You could see how much fun they were having being able to perform for a live audience. That was quickly followed by Andrew’s Got Talent. It was a lot of fun to see the different skills our students were able to put on display. Be on the lookout for our Project Diversity show, which will be on 2/18 & 2/19!! In March the auditorium will be extremely busy with Variety Show, the Spring Band Concert, the Spring Jazz Concert, and the Choir Concert!!


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
  • HBCU Information and Info Sessions
  • SAVE THE DATE: Spring College Panels
  • 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


The Thunder Pride Parent Organization would like to say “Happy Valentines Day”! We hope that all students will participate in our first fundraiser of the year by buying that Special Someone a Carnation! This will take place on February 2, 2022, right near the cafeteria during all lunch periods. This is a cash only fundraiser.

We will need many parent volunteers to assist with setting up the carnations to be delivered for Valentines Day to the students. We are asking parents to please sign up by emailing Kristin Michalec Students can also sign up for community service hours online via Canvas, or sign up in person at the community service office. We will be putting together the fundraiser carnations on February 13th from 1-3 pm.

Please join the TPPO this year if you have not done so already! Drawing for a graduating Senior Scholarship is coming up quickly. If you have not done so already, please go to our TPPO Website page that is located on the VJA homepage There is a link that will walk you through step by step instructions on how to join this wonderful organization. It is very quick and easy to do so, and it only cost $10.00 to join. We have historically awarded at least 4 students with a $500 Scholarship each; but we would like to raise more money to have these students receive even more towards their future!

Thank you to everyone who help make TPPO a success!! The next meeting will be on February 7th at 7:00 pm in the College Career Center. We will be utilizing this as a working meeting to do as much prep work as possible for the Valentine’s Day delivery of the Carnations. We hope to see you there parents!!


The new semester has seen lots of activity in the VJA Music Department. Both our Winter Guard and Winter Percussion are deep into rehearsal for their indoor seasons. The 2022 Winter Guard production is entitled “Immortals”, and the first competition, will be in Naperville on February 6th. The 2022 Winter Percussion production is entitled “Made to be Broken”. Their first competition will be at the WGI Chicago Regional on Saturday, February 12th. The season kicks off with a community show on Saturday, February 5th, at 7:30 pm in the main gym. This show will feature both groups in their first public performance. Come join us and help wish our students good luck on their winter seasons. Our student Music Ambassadors are holding a food drive for the Tinley Park Food Pantry at this event. Please bring your non-perishable or cash donations.

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.

The next semester will be a busy time for all of our choral and band groups. Both bands will be performing at the Lemont Midwest Festival on February 25th. The Jazz band will be performing at the Prairie State Jazz Festival on February 17th, and at the Quarry on March 9th. The Andrew Chorale will be performing with the Luther College Nordic Choir at Faith United Methodist Church on February 19th at 7 pm. The Spring Band Concert is March 15th, and the D230 Showcase at Wentz Hall in Naperville is March 30th. Last but not least, the spring musical is Shrek and will be April 21st-23rd.

Maybe the most anticipated event on the calendar for the Music program is their March trip to perform at Walt Disney World in Florida. This trip includes students from band, choir, and auxiliary. The students will not only be enjoying some time at the parks, but also performing. The choir will be performing at Disney Springs and the Marching Thunderbolts will be marching through The Magic Kingdom. They will also attend some amazing clinics to work with Disney professionals!

Auditions for next year’s band placement will be on February 18th. Any questions regarding incoming Freshmen registration please reach out to Mr. Iwinski at

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 first meeting of the new year will be Tuesday, February 22nd at 7:30 pm in the choir room. Future meetings will be Tuesdays March 29th and April 26th at 7:30 pm.

Thank you and Eyes with Pride!!


Our next Booster Club Meeting is Wednesday February 9, 2022 at 7pm in Room 220. Please bring a mash. 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 winter team reps! Thank you for volunteering, and as a token of our appreciation we will be handing out T-Shirts to the winter reps at the February meeting. If you were a fall team rep and want to continue being involved, please come to the next meeting on February 9. We are starting to look at future director positions for next year, so we are asking you to consider volunteering for 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!