My Blog

A community blog focused on the neighborhood around Winnemac Park in the Ravenswood / Lincoln Square area of Chicago. Contact us to post news, events and useful information relevant to the area.

Winnemac Park Neighbors: Community Luau Fundraiser and Upcoming Elections

  • Thursday, 6pm to 8pm: Community Luau and Fundraiser
  • Tuesday, 6am to 7pm: Local School Council Election

Students are Happy at Amundsen High School.   Credit: “Happy” Video by Video by David Sullivan

In the LSC election at Amundsen High School in 2012, you elected me (Jeff Newman, Winnemac Park Neighbor and the technical administrator for our website), and Mike Cohen (our neighbor in North Center) as your community representatives on the Amundsen High School Local School Council. A lot has happened at Amundsen in the two years since, and we want to give you an update on the progress at our neighborhood high school before we ask you to come vote in the LSC Election on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.  

Most importantly, in the summer of 2012 the LSC hired a new principal, Anna Pavichevich, who has brought about tons of positive changes at the school. 

It’s hard to convey in a blog entry how enthusiastic people are at Amundsen, so we want to invite you to come see Amundsen for yourself, at the Spring Community Luau on Thursday, April 3, from 6 to 8pm.  There will be carnival games, live ukulele music, a cake walk, raffle prizes, food and much more!  (A $5 entry fee for adults benefits student activities at Amundsen. Children 12 and under are free!)

Whether or not you can join us for the Spring Luau, we hope you are excited as we are about all of the good things that have been happening at Amundsen in the last two years:

  • We have renewed our focus on being Lincoln Square’s neighborhood high school, enrolling and providing a well rounded and high quality education for neighborhood students at every ability level.
  • Our IB program is expanding in both quality and size: the number of IB diplomas awarded (the highest level of achievement within that program) more than doubled in each of the last two years over the year before.
  • Our athletic program has expanded to provide more opportunity to more students — in addition to mainstay programs in football, soccer, baseball and softball, we’ve added sports like bowling, golf and water polo, and we’ve recreated the cheerleading program, too.
  • Student clubs and other extracurricular activities also abound: our academic decathlon team regularly places well in city and state competitions, and you probably have already seen the “Happy” video produced by the student film club, which was featured by numerous local and national news outlets.
  • We have spent about three quarters of a million dollars in TIF funds allocated by Aldermen Pawar and O’Connor to build two new computer labs, and make upgrades to our auditorium and cafeteria.
  • Our school has been designated as “in good standing” for the past two years — and as a result we are no longer on probation with CPS.
  • Student absenteeism and the one year drop out rate have both been approximately halved.
  • To help you follow what is happening at school, Amundsen has built its presence on social media, including Facebook (Amundsen High School) and Twitter (@Amundsen_HS). There you can “like” the school, follow what’s happening, and communicate directly with Principal Pavichevich and other school leaders.
  • As we promised at the last election, our Local School Council’s meeting agendas and minutes are timely posted on the school website, so you can follow what we are doing month to month.

We are happy about all these positive developments at Amundsen, and excited to help see more in the future. We hope you are too, and that you’ll come show your support at the Luau on Thursday, and, if you like what you see, by re-electing Jeff Newman and Mike Cohen in the LSC elections next Tuesday.  

For this election, the polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 8, only at Amundsen High School (not your regular polling place). Any adult who lives in the neighborhood can vote — you do not need to be registered, nor a U.S. citizen, nor do you need to have children enrolled at Amundsen. Just bring two forms of ID (almost anything will work), one of which that provides your address in the neighborhood, and you’re good to go.