News Around Woodlands

Woodlands Academy MathCats make strong contest showings

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart’s participation in this year’s Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ (ICTM) competition added up to multiple successes at two levels. Overall, MathCats team members from the all-girls college-preparatory high school in Lake Forest finished third in their Division 1A regional competition and then in eighth place at the state level. “I’m so proud of our MathCats for their achievements in the regional and state competitions,” Head of School Dawn Nichols, Ph.D., said. “They confirm Woodlands Academy’s commitment to teaching and leading our outstanding girls along the way to becoming empowered young women in career fields such as STEM.”

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May Crowning and senior class celebrations at Woodlands Academy

May 2 was a day of double celebrations at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. It began with the annual May Crowning ceremony, followed by a special event for members of the senior class. May Crowning honors Mary, Mother of Jesus, by crowning her statue with a wreath of flowers. It serves as a visible reminder that Mary’s example continues to endure even 2,000 years after her Assumption. Participants expressed gratitude to Mary for her example of a life well-lived and honored her as a woman of great virtue. “She is a model of faith for all of us, senior Isabel Rettino said. Immediately following the May Crowning service, members of the senior class were inducted into the Woodlands Academy Alumnae Association and two other Sacred Heart alumnae/alumni associations. The induction ceremony ended with each member of the Class of 2022 turning the ring she received during her junior year so that the heart faces outward symbolizing a readiness to explore the larger world.

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Woodlands Academy musicians win Gold and more in St. Louis

Woodlands Academy received several top honors at the WorldStrides OnStage Heritage Festival, April 22-24, in St. Louis, Missouri. Gold awards were won by the Kaleidoscope choir, the Woodlands Academy Symphony Orchestra and the student-led Microscope choir. In addition to their three Gold award plaques, Woodlands Academy’s musical ensembles brought home three large trophies, including the prestigious Adjudicator Award won by the orchestra. This award is the hardest to obtain. The other trophies were for Outstanding Choir (Microscope) and Outstanding Orchestra. In addition to the ensemble accolades, junior Clara Bartusiak received the Ovation Award and senior Berkeley Borkert won a Maestro award.

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Woodlands sophomore medals in World Cup of Indoor Skydiving

By being there, 15-year-old Gianna Keuer made some “girl power” history. Her team, Volare, is the first all-female 4-Way Dynamic team selected to compete at a World Cup of Indoor Skydiving event. They finished second in their event’s junior division to a team from Singapore at the 4th FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving event April 5-10 in Charleroi, Belgium. In addition to their silver medal, Gianna’s team appears to have set a North American Dynamic 4-way junior record, which is pending formal ratification by the FAI (World Air Sports Federation). Gianna says it’s a dream come true to represent the USA on the world stage of indoor skydiving. (Photo note: Gianna is second from the right.) 

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Woodlands Academy observes Month of the Military Child

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart has joined in commemorating the Month of the Military Child. It began with a special ceremony on April 6 honoring the school’s two students from military families. “Thank you to our military guests for joining our community as we acknowledge and applaud military-connected youth and their families,” Head of School l Dawn Nichols, Ph.D., said in her opening remarks. The featured speaker was Lt. Col. Joseph Common, operations officer, 9th Marine Corps District. “It’s an honor to be here, and we appreciate what you’re doing here today,” he said. “This speaks volumes about Woodlands Academy’s dedication to service.” Commons then presented certificates of recognition to junior Madison Nekvinda and sophomore Nakeiya Banks.  

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Area female students hear from one of Chicago’s ‘most powerful women’

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart recently hosted a public forum aimed at motivating girls to explore high-level business executive roles. The March 16 program was part of Woodlands’ annual “Imagine Yourself in the C-Suite” series, in which leading female executives share stories and insights from their professional experiences. Girls from some area schools joined the Woodlands Academy community to hear from Suzet McKinney, named one of Chicago’s “50 Most Powerful Women in 2020.” Her presentation was moderated by former CBS-2 Chicago news anchor/reporter Katherine Bliss. “Opportunities to meet and learn from women like these are rare,” Peter Cashman, social studies teacher/C-Suite student preparation coordinator, said. “For young women like our students, experiences like these are the seeds of future dreams and accomplishments.”

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Gallery dedication memorializes beloved Woodlands Academy teacher

A prominent display of student artwork in Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart’s front hallways now bears the name of the late faculty member who envisioned and then nurtured it with her love of showcasing students’ creations. About 70 guests, including alumnae and former faculty/staff, joined the Woodlands community in dedicating the Jamie Pierce Tuttle Gallery. The March 11 ceremony was part of the Jamie Tuttle Women in the Arts festival. This annual celebration of female artists was renamed last year in memory of Tuttle, a vital member of the school’s arts faculty for three decades who passed away in 2020 after a battle with cancer. Woodlands’ newly dedicated gallery features a special memorial display – a portrait of Tuttle and two of her photographs chosen by her family, “Hand & Peaches” and “Self Portrait in the Garden.”

 

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Woodlands forward 3rd  in IHSA 3-point shooting finals

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart sophomore Regan Stewart finished tied for third place in the Class 1A IHSA 3-Point Showdown, held March 5 as part of the girls’ basketball state finals. Sixteen shooters from Class 1A schools entered the competition at Illinois State University's Redbird Arena. Regan qualified by having the highest total at the regional level and then making nine shots at Sectionals to qualify for the IHSA 3-point Showdown. She made nine shots in the showdown’s first round, placing her in the Final Four. Regan was Woodlands Academy’s leading scorer this season, averaging 17.5 point per game, by far the most on the team. She was named to the Independent School League’s All-Conference second team. In the photo showing the Class 1A IHSA 3-Point Showdown finalists, Regan is on the far left. 

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Woodlands Community Celebrates its Junior Class

Junior Ring Ceremony, one of the most significant days of a girl’s time at Woodlands Academy, marks the turning point in a student’s time at a Sacred Heart school. The class rings and Philippine Duchesne medals presented at the March 4 ceremony, planned and hosted by the senior class, are a reminder of the strong bond students feel within the walls of Woodlands Academy as well as the entire Sacred Heart community. Each ring bears the Sacred Heart symbol of two embracing hearts, which are signs of our love, friendship and unity.

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