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L-W North celebrates 5th school year with those who made it happen

“It’s time to say `Thank you,’” said Principal Michael Gardner.

A group of community leaders who played an integral role in the development and opening of Lincoln-Way North High School four years ago came together recently to celebrate a milestone.

“This is our fifth school year,” said Lincoln-Way North Principal Michael Gardner, who opened the school to 1,300 students in 2008. It has since grown to include more than 1,800 students in grades 9-12.

“It’s time to say `Thank you,’” added Gardner.

Among those in attendance were community leaders who served on the district’s referendum committee, members of the school’s Athletic Boosters and Music Boosters, representatives from the Frankfort Square Park District, representatives from the Will County Sheriff’s Department and the mayors of Frankfort and Mokena.

Also in attendance were the architects who designed the school, the construction company that built the school and the family who sold a portion of their farmland to Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 so Lincoln-Way North could be built.

“Without their help, we couldn’t have done this,” said Superintendent Lawrence A. Wyllie.

Guests received an overview of the school, including its programs and test scores, and were treated to a performance by the Lincoln-Way North Chorale and Madrigal Singers, who sang a clever version of “Old MacDonald”  -- a homage to farmer Sylvia Schmaedeke, her daughter, Carol Schoeling, and Carol’s husband, Eldon Schoeling, who agreed to sell a portion of their farmland to District 210 nearly a decade ago so Lincoln-Way North could be built there.

“I’m really proud of the growth of this (Madrigal) program,” said choral director Christina Shoemaker, who thanked the community leaders for all they do for the students.

It was a message echoed by Lincoln-Way North seniors Serena Shoff and Alex Partekel who thanked the leaders for providing students with the opportunities now available to them in the classroom and after school through clubs and activities.

“(Because of you) we have been blessed with opportunities,” said Serena. “From Fishing Club to Mathletes, there is something here for everyone.”

The same applies to academic programs, said Alex.

“No matter what you want to go into, Lincoln-Way provides the class,” she explained.

Toward the end of the celebration, Gardner presented a video highlighting the classes, athletic programs, clubs and activities that are available to students because of the opening of Lincoln-Way North.

“We are Lincoln-Way North,” the video concluded. “Winners in academics and sports, champions in life.”

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