Wilmette, Community

News Briefs: Regina debuts new entryway; The winners of Highland Park Awards; Christian Heritage’s new principal

Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette unveiled the results of Phase 1 of its campus overhaul with a ribbon-cutting on May 2 and a blessing and Mass on May 7.

The first phase of the $40 million renovations reimagined the school’s main entryway, which school officials call the “heart of the school.” The renovations were announced in the fall as a four-phase project led by renowned Chicago architect and Regina alumna Carol Ross Barney.

“Regina Dominican is transforming the core of its 64-year-old campus,” said Joan Kitchie, vice president of advancement for Regina, in a press release. “This gorgeous new main entrance and commons space will be the heart of our school and drive community, relationships, and collaboration amongst our students, faculty, and staff.

“These new spaces match the innovative, academic experience that Regina Dominican offers and our young women cannot wait to start using them.”

Other phases will prioritize different activities that occur on school grounds. The athletics facilities will get air conditioning and a new fitness center, athletic offices and roof, as well as modernized locker rooms. The education wing is set to see upgraded STEM labs and equipment and a new chapel and theology center, while the performing-arts building will be improved and given updated dance, music and theater spaces.

To learn more about the remaining phases of the Building Her Tomorrow capital campaign, visit the campaign website.

2023 City of Highland Park Awards Recipients Announced

Highland Park agencies held a ceremony on April 27 to honor the 2023 winners in its annual Highland Park Awards program.

According to the City of Highland Park, “the awards recognize those who have made positive, sustained, and impactful contributions to the community in their respective category.”

The awards were presented by the City, North Shore School District 112, Highland Park High School, and the Park District of Highland Park.

Winners are:

Arts Award: Rhoda A. Pierce

Rhoda A. Pierce is recognized for decades of public service as an arts administrator, advocate for the cultural arts, and community leader. Longtime executive diector of the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Rhoda also served as President of the Highland Park Public Library Board, Chair of the Highland Park Human Relations, Cultural Arts, and Historic Preservation Commissions, and as the first President of the Highland Park-Highwood Sister Cities Foundation. As Chair of the Cultural Arts Commission during the creation of the city’s first 5-year cultural arts plan, Rhoda was a major force behind this effort to create a comprehensive, multifaceted strategic plan to invest in Highland Park’s vibrant arts community, leverage the arts as an economic driver, and differentiate the City as the North Shore’s home for the arts.

Character Counts Pillar Awards: Juliana Aragon, Amaya Bhamkar-Galan, Matthew Boiles, Michael Brusslan, Dylan Coleman, Stella Docks, Maya Edison, Aylin Nayeli Vinnie Everastico-Antunez, Tom Gindorff, Elizabeth Happ, Bobbie Hinden, Malinka Krowka, Kathy LaMorte, Alison Mark, Maddie McCann, Isabel Olshansky, Matt Pestine, Eli Rissman, Alex Saparevski, Theoni Soulakis, Brandon Weiss, and Cooper Wellen. Three leadership groups from North Suburban Synagogue Beth El were also recognized for their work: NSS Beth El Medical Advisory Task Group (Dr. Laurie Hochberg, Dr. Jeff Kopin, Dr. Arielle Levitan and Nurse Rone Weiss)NSS Beth El HIAS Resettlement Program (Margaret Cohn, Linda Kupfer, and Suzie Lampert), and NSS Beth El Thanksgiving Project (Co-Chairs Janice Aranoff, Marlene Halpern, and Fran Pine.)

The Character Counts Pillar Awards recognize community members who exemplify the six pillars of character in their daily lives: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

Environmental Award: Rebecca Grill

Rebecca Grill is honored for her more than 19 years of service as the Park District of Highland Park’s lone Natural Areas manager. During her tenure, Rebecca has improved and expanded our community’s natural areas, engaged hundreds of residents through volunteerism and education, created nature education programs that have become standard curriculum for Dist. 112 & 113 students to have a better understanding of the importance of our ravine stream habitats, and partnered with state and national organizations to ensure Highland Park had a voice in important regional decisions and research. While Rebecca is retiring in 2023, her numerous contributions to the community will have a lasting environmental impact for generations to come.

Humanitarian Award: Highland Park Community

The Highland Park community is recognized for the many individual and collective acts of service and generosity that emerged in the aftermath of the Highland Park shooting. Friends and neighbors rallied around community members impacted by the shooting, whether through donations, volunteerism, art & cultural projects, social service supports, and more. Mayor Rotering’s comments honoring the contributions of the community are available at cityhpil.com.

Poet LaureateLaura Joyce-Hubbard

A longtime Highland Park resident, Laura Joyce-Hubbard is appointed the City of Highland Park’s first poet laureate. An exceptional writer who brings significant literary talent, programmatic ambition, and unique experience to this new role, Hubbard was selected by a jury of experts deeply connected to Highland Park’s literary community. A 24-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force who subsequently served as a commercial pilot, Laura’s work frequently draws on her wartime service and resiliency journey, particularly her experiences as a woman veteran. Laura is also deeply committed to social justice and has proposed an ambitious program to elevate diverse voices and make poetry accessible to all levels of experience and interest. A video introduction is available below and provides information about Laura’s plans for public engagement through the new Highland Park Favorite Poems Project.

Christian Heritage names new principal

Adelaide Yoo is the new principal of Christian Heritage Academy, a private, independent school in Northfield.

Yoo, a teacher at the school, will begin as the principal of the middle and upper schools on July 1. 

“I have witnessed God’s awesome faithfulness and goodness to CHA throughout my years here as a teacher,” Yoo said in a statement. “I am grateful to be entrusted with an administrative leadership role and am so excited to experience what God has in store for us next.”

Yoo began teaching at CHA in 2009 as part of the inaugural Upper School faculty team and is currently the English Department chairperson. Yoo has demonstrated both excellence in teaching and excellence in her ability to lead and motivate a team.

“Mrs. Yoo is not only steeped in CHA’s history and culture but is a visionary, ready to take our Middle and Upper School in new, strategic directions,” said Joseph Torgerson, Head of School, in a press release. “God has called and equipped Mrs. Yoo for this new role, and we are incredibly excited for her to bring her considerable gifts to our administrative team.”

Yoo studied English and secondary education at the University of Illinois, and she has a master’s degree from the U. of I. in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in multicultural education. Yoo has taught and designed curricula in several Illinois schools, served as an adjunct faculty member at the College of Lake County, and taught overseas in Senegal.

“CHA is a place of excellence,” Yoo said. “When I walk the hallways, I have such respect for my colleagues, and I get inspired by and learn from them. I hope I do the same for the people around me.”

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This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

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