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Aspen Fifth-grader is a Sectional Spelling Bee Champion

Fifth-grade Aspen student Aishi A. moved on to new heights after she won Aspen’s fourth and fifth grade spelling bee. She was among four winners of the sectional spelling bee on February 27 at South Park Elementary School in Deerfield. The winners included two eighth graders and one seventh grader in addition to Aishi. Students from 45 schools competed against each other ranging from fourth through eighth grade. Students learned close to 1,600 words from 14 different languages including French, Slavic, German, Asian, Japanese and Spanish. Words that Aishi spelled included nachtmusik and turducken. Her winning word was “skirling”. Next, she will compete in the regional spelling bee at the College of Lake County on March 15.

Royceale Woods, Regional Superintendent of Schools for Lake County, sent a letter to congratulate Aishi on becoming a sectional finalist.  Aspen Elementary is thrilled about Aishi’s accomplishment and is wishing her the best of luck as she competes against other sectional finalists in Lake County for a spot at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

Hawthorn District 73 Art Show

Please join us for a celebration of artwork created by students in kindergarten through 8th grade.  Opening Reception takes place on Thursday, March 15, from 6-8:00pm at the Aspen Drive Library.  The exhibit will be on display throughout the library until Saturday, April 7th.

school board clip art

Hawthorn Hosts an Evening with the Board

Hawthorn School District 73 is inviting the community to attend an Evening with the Board on Wednesday, February 21, at 7:00 p.m. at Hawthorn Middle School South, 600 N. Aspen Drive in Vernon Hills, IL. The event will focus on how to solve the District’s present and future space needs.  The event will include a presentation and an opportunity for community members to provide their feedback and advice to the Board of Education.

The school district is growing. Over the next 10 years, it is projected to welcome approximately 700 more students. By 2026, its enrollment will reach more than 5,000 students, representing a more than 30 percent increase since 2008.  Hawthorn’s facilities have either been at capacity or above capacity for the past six years. Administrators have made numerous adaptations to manage space, including adding a portable containing two classrooms at Elementary South, and conducting gym in the cafeteria and hallways of the middle schools.

Childcare will be provided.  Spanish translators will be present. If you need childcare, please register by February 19. Send an email to:


Maggie the Reading Dog

Maggie the Reading Dog Visits Aspen

Aspen’s second grade students were excited to meet five-year-old Maggie, who is a reading dog. Her owner, Ms. Sharon Dugan, brought her to Aspen as part of a literacy lesson.  Ms. Dugan read the book “Brave Norman,” a true story about a blind dog who saved a drowning swimmer. The children took turns reading pages of the book and petting Maggie. Students were instructed on dog safety before they pet her.

American Education Week

Hawthorn Observes American Education Week

Several Hawthorn schools, including Aspen Elementary, invited parents to visit the classrooms of their children in observance of American Education Week, Nov. 13 to 17. The students were excited to work on projects alongside their parents.

Do you know the history behind American Education Week? Representatives of the National Education Association and the American Legion met in 1919 to seek ways to generate public support for education after the recognition that so many WWI draftees were illiterate. They adopted resolutions for a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. The first observance of American Education Week was in 1921.

Cards for Heroes

Aspen students are making handmade holiday cards to send to our brave men and women who are serving our country.  This “Cards for Heroes” program is being spearheaded by First Lady Diana Rauner.  Students have been working hard on writing special notes of thanks and good wishes to our service men and women.


Aspen Launches ACE

Aspen Elementary launched a new team of fifth-grade students who are helping the school in many ways. Members of the Aspen Caring Experts (ACE) team were selected based on their applications and teacher recommendations. Members should be dependable, responsible, caring, trustworthy, courteous and friendly. Their job assignments include greeting students at the front door, providing assistance as needed to teachers and staff, and monitoring hallway, recess and cafeteria behavior.

Members talked about their participation:

“I love helping teachers and I like to help people and make the school a better place,” said Hailey S.

“I think it’s fun to come early and help younger kids,” said Emily D.

“I joined because it seemed like a fun idea and it is the first Aspen ACE team,” said Neveah A.

The ACE members are:

Neveah A.
Max A.
Christopher A.
Morgan B.
Anaya B.
Agastya C.
Jonah C.
Emily D.
Jori E.
Om K.
Caden L.
Reva M.
Shruthi M.
Sesi O.
Brian P.
Rebecca P.
Bradley R.
Gabby S.
Manu S.
Hailey S.
Yousef T.
Livy T.
Rakshit V.
Juliya Y.

Halloween/FallFest Activities

Fall has finally arrived!  That means Halloween is right around the corner!  We will be celebrating on Tuesday, October 31 by parading around the school (outside, if weather permits, or inside if we have bad weather) and then our PTO will be putting on classroom parties.  Please remember that we have young children in the building and we do not want to frighten them, so we are discouraging costumes with blood and gore.  Also, no weapons or other suggestions of violence will be allowed. Students will be given some time to put their costumes on, but elaborate costumes or make up should be saved for the neighborhood trick or treat time. Here is the breakdown of the day:

  1. The parade will begin at 12:45 p.m.  Weather permitting, we will parade outside and ask parents to stand in the grassy area all the way around the front of the building.  Please leave room for our Aspen ghosts and goblins to walk on the sidewalk.
  2. Once the parade is over, only pre-approved room parents will be allowed down to the classrooms where they will enjoy party games.  Please remember that food or candy of any kind is not permitted due to allergies.

Parking can be difficult on this day. Parents can park in the front of our building, on the north side of our building where Aspen staff parks, or on the east side ONLY of Aspen Drive.  There is NO PARKING behind Aspen or in the back lot (behind the playground) or bus pick up lanes.

We are looking forward to an exciting day!


Empathy Is Recognized by Peers

As part of its commitment to Social Emotional Learning, Aspen Elementary students are recognizing peers who demonstrate empathy.  Each classroom voted for a student in their room who exemplified traits they had been learning about all month, such as being a good listener, being kind and showing empathy. Congratulations to the following students who received a certificate for their excellent behavior:

Faria I.
Connie C.
Mallory J.
Evelyn D.
Kendall S.
Luke B.
Achyutha S.
Molly R.
Connor F.
Joey F.
Myra C.
Jordan M.
Gabbi R.
Justin M.
Mya B.
Sophia B.
Diana R.
Leah F.
Paige C.
Ethan H.
Reva M.
Hailey S.
Priya S.
Zaria I.
Maria G.
Shreya M.


STEM Project

Students Design Windproof Homes in STEM Project

Aspen fifth-grade students complete a STEM activity in their science class.  The challenge was to design a new home for the “Three Little Pigs” using index cards and tape.  The houses had to withstand wind.