Good News Sunday: Palatine junior high among new Blue Ribbon winners

  • U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, right, shakes hands with Jan Dietz, mother of Principal Jason Dietz, at Sundling Junior High School in Palatine. The principal's wife, Dawn, sits between them. Sundling was named a National Blue Ribbon School on Tuesday.

    U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, right, shakes hands with Jan Dietz, mother of Principal Jason Dietz, at Sundling Junior High School in Palatine. The principal's wife, Dawn, sits between them. Sundling was named a National Blue Ribbon School on Tuesday. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted9/26/2021 6:00 AM

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald:

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker visited Palatine's Walter R. Sundling Junior High School Tuesday to personally congratulate students and staffers on being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

 

The school is one of 18 in the state -- and one of 325 nationally -- tapped for the honor, which Cardona compared to winning an Oscar.

"The whole Sundling family should be proud," Cardona said during a news conference outside the school.

Other 2021 Blue Ribbon honorees include Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein, Prince of Peace School in Lake Villa, Maple School in Northbrook, Butler Junior High in Oak Brook, Hinsdale Central High in Hinsdale, Westmont High in Westmont and Lincoln Middle in Park Ridge.

For the full story, click here.

How Make-A-Wish fulfilled reptile-loving 10-year-old's dreams

When Mazie Leonard, 10, of Antioch met a friend's bearded dragon, it sparked an interest so intense she wrote a book about it.

Her curiosity about reptiles only grew as she learned more, and soon she was tending to her own bearded dragon, a salamander, and other small reptiles.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Thanks to Make-A-Wish, Mazie now has a beautiful new room where she can hang out with friends, both reptilian and human.

Make-A-Wish Illinois recently make dreams come true for Mazie Leonard, 10, of Antioch who loves reptiles.
Make-A-Wish Illinois recently make dreams come true for Mazie Leonard, 10, of Antioch who loves reptiles. - Courtesy of Make-A-Wish Illinois

Diagnosed with a life-threatening autoimmune disorder about five years ago, Mazie often experiences severe joint pain and had surgery to help her mobility. Mazie's medical team put her in touch with Make-A-Wish.

Mazie's family was not at all surprised when she shared her wish for a room makeover so she could study more reptiles, and happily rearranged some space in the home to accommodate her vision.

On her wish day, Mazie was delivered to her home by a firetruck to a street lined with cheering supporters. Mazie was overwhelmed with joy when she got her first glimpse of the room.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

For the full story, click here.

Arlington Heights library's Makerplace opens: 'Something that no other library has'

Arlington Heights resident Miel Johnson said she can see an immediate if horror-themed benefit from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library's new Makerplace: the ability to create a chain-saw hand to use in a Halloween costume for her son, who is about to turn 13.

"We are going to have the tools to make that here," she said.

Sam Johnson and his mother Miel Johnson of Arlington Heights enjoy an afternoon at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library's new Makerplace.
Sam Johnson and his mother Miel Johnson of Arlington Heights enjoy an afternoon at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library's new Makerplace. - Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

Johnson and her family were among the guests attending the grand opening Sept. 19 and touring the new facility at 112 N. Belmont Ave., on the former site of the village's first stand-alone library built in 1952.

They encountered a playground of cutting-edge technology, with rooms that offered not only 3D printers, laser cutters and forming machines, but also sewing machines and a kitchen outfitted with a commercial-grade stove and double oven, a blast chiller, a refrigerator, mixers and a dishwasher.

While other libraries have makerspaces, the Makerplace is something special, Arlington Heights Memorial Library Executive Director Mike Driskell said of the $1.4 million project.

"Being able to have a space -- an 8,000-square-foot makerspace -- is incredible," Driskell told the crowd gathered outside for the dedication. "What we have is something that no other library has in this country."

The space and most equipment will be available to visitors from all communities, according to the library.

For the full story, click here.

Glen Ellyn couple pledges $100,000 in 'green' donations for DuPage forest preserves

A Glen Ellyn couple is pledging $100,000 to help renewable energy efforts for the DuPage County Forest Preserve District.

Ann Boisclair and Jeffrey Jens were honored by forest preserve officials during a ceremony Sept. 18 at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn. That property received a $25,000 donation from the couple in 2020 for the installation of solar panels.

"We've been concerned about global warming for years, and we finally started doing something," Jens said in an interview before the ceremony. "We've been fortunate in our lives and wish to share our good fortune with those who want to bring more solar to the world."

The $100,000 donation goes toward a solar power project at the fleet management building at Blackwell Forest Preserve on Mack Road in West Chicago.

"It will be the district's most ambitious solar project to date," said DuPage Forest Preserve District President Daniel Hebreard in a statement. "It will be a great benefit for the environment and to DuPage County taxpayers by helping us manage long-term operating costs."

For the full story, click here.

• Good News Sunday will run each weekend. Please visit dailyherald.com/newsletters to sign up for our Good News Sunday newsletter.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.