Education-focused Elgin group appoints executive director

Posted11/3/2015 1:00 AM

Raquel McCormick will be the first executive director of a communitywide organization focused on improving educational outcomes for students in Elgin Area School District U-46.

McCormick was scheduled to take the reins of the Elgin-based Alignment Collaborative for Education on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

She served 20 years with Metropolitan Family Services, a Chicago nonprofit social service agency for which she established and implemented community development activities, board and volunteer relations and service delivery strategies. She recently served as the community development director for the organization's North Center branch, on the city's northwest side, Evanston and Skokie Valley.

"Raquel has the leadership qualities, skill set and personal investment needed to lead ACE," said Tony Sanders, U-46 CEO and an ACE governing board member.

ACE's primary mission is to align diverse community resources in support of public schools to raise student achievement; improve the health and happiness of children; and advance the economic and social well-being of the region.

The organization has developed a network of local groups and companies, from health care agencies to local manufacturers, eager to collaborate on new approaches and initiatives to improve educational outcomes for the more than 40,000 students served by U-46.

"The mission of ACE aligns well with my personal and professional values," McCormick said. "As a parent of a U-46 student, I am honored to lead an initiative that I believe will have a deep impact on our public school system and the community."

Elgin's ACE is among 10 communities that have established a group with Alignment USA. Local businesses contribute to ACE funding, including paying McCormick's salary.

ACE offices will be located within the United Way of Elgin's headquarters at 1750 Grandstand Place.

The group, after gathering community input, aims to focus on the following three issues:

• Preventing and reducing high school dropouts

• Strengthening and expanding early childhood education

• Supporting and expanding career and technical education (CTE) for the 21st century

Learn to bake "Cookie Jar Favorites":

McHenry County College is offering several culinary classes to make the holidays sweet and savory.

Need inspiration for baking holiday cookies? Learn how to use one recipe to make different types of cookies in the "Cookie Jar Favorites" class, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 7, in Room B179. The cost is $29.

Students in the "Relish, Chutney or Compote" class will learn the difference between the three, how to make the sauces and pair them with appropriate dishes using seasonal ingredients. They also will get to eat what they make. The class runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, at Confetti Gourmet Academy, 8585 Redtail Drive, Unit F, in Lakewood. Cost is $69.

Participants in "The Art of Truffle Making" class will learn to create the perfect truffle with help from Morkes Chocolates, a chocolatier since 1920. The class includes the basics of truffle-making and a short history of truffles in America. It will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at Wicked Chocolates, 2140 Lake-Cook Road, in Algonquin. Cost is $39.

To register, call the MCC Registration Office at (815) 455-8588. For information, call Tracy Berry at (815) 455-8758 or Claudia Terrones at (815) 455-8782.

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