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This summer, York Community High School student Cate Ayers will travel to Urubamba, Peru with VISIONS Service Adventures, an international community service program for teens. Ayers will join other high school students from around the world in the historic Incan capital where the teens will live in the community, tackle ambitious service projects, enjoy adventures and explore the surrounding area, and get to know the local customs and traditions.


“Students arrive with the intent of contributing to underserved communities, and end up a part of that community,” says Katherine Dayton, Executive Director of VISIONS. “Here, students are able to build relationships with other participants, mentors, and community members, and they get to step out of their comfort zones, do something different, and have experiences that create lifelong impact.”


In Urubamba, students will build upon water conservation and irrigation work done by VISIONS and local partners for over a decade. The cement irrigation channels provide efficient access to water for farmers as they face years of increasing drought. Students will also do maintenance and expansion at VISIONS-built preschools in the Sacred Valley. This will be the 18th VISIONS Summer in Peru.


In the afternoons and on weekends, students have the opportunity to travel regionally and explore their home base area. In Peru, this includes a trip to Machu Picchu and other ruins, visiting historic Cusco, and hot spring soaks. The students will also have plenty of opportunities to practice their Spanish while they apprentice with local artisans, join pick-up soccer games, and shop at the food market.

All programs are overseen by adult leaders and long-time local partners, who guide and teach the students in hands-on construction and other development projects. Beyond completing service projects, the summer is an opportunity for students to explore the idea of community in both a local and global sense. “VISIONS is not about construction projects,” explains long-time program leader David Kramer. “It is about deconstructing how we view the world and then framing a new vision upon the foundation of real experience with a global perspective.”


VISIONS has been running high school and middle school volunteer travel experiences since 1989, and is well known for programs that are centered on ambitious projects in cross-cultural settings. Locations include Alaska, the British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, Mississippi, the Montana Blackfeet and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations, Myanmar (Burma), the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Nicaragua, Peru, and Guadeloupe.


For more information about VISIONS, visit, or contact the office at 406-551-4423


Is there a new family in your neighborhood? Please let them know that families should enroll new students beginning Monday, July 10 at the District 205 Center. Information about documentation needed for enrolling students can be found on the New Student Enrollment page.


District 205 Center (162 S. York) (walk-in and residency)

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM                      1:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Monday, July 10                           Thursday, July 13

Monday, July 17                           Wednesday, July 19

Tuesday, July 18                          Tuesday, July 25

Wednesday, July 26                     Thursday, July 27


Grades 9-12:
York High School (by appointment, call 630-617-2487)


Madison Early Childhood Center (by appointment, call 630-617-2385)

Evening enrollment hours will be held on August 1 and August 7 from 4 to 8 PM at the District 205 Center and at Conrad Fischer Elementary, 888 N. Wilson, during those same dates and times (for students attending Fischer only).




York High School has been competing in the Capitol Hill Challenge for the last few years. This year, one of the York teams finished second in the country. The Capitol Hill Challenge is a national program that teaches middle and high school students the importance of saving and investing through a mock stock market game, while also giving them a better understanding of government, according to a release from Challenge sponsor SIFMA.

"Schools are awarded 10 teams which we have traditionally split between our Honors Personal Finance course and our Economics Club," said York Business Department Chair Jim Borel. "This year, 4 of our 10 teams finished in the top 1 percent of the 3,939 stock teams participating in the Capital Hill Challenge. The second place team in the country consisted of seniors Burke Corcoran, Kevin Lipkin, Mark Leali and junior Jason Kentra. This team was part of Tamra Carl's Economics Club." An awards reception will be held on June 21 in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capital Hill in Washington, DC.

In the Challenge, teams invest a hypothetical $100,000 in listed stocks, bonds and mutual funds, learning the value of the capital markets as they work together to maximize the return of their portfolios.

"Tamra does a great job and should be commended for our national second place finish. I will be accompanying the team on the trip to Washington, DC from June 20-22. Last year, we finished in ninth place in the country with a CHC team from the Honors Personal Finance course. This a great opportunity for our students to learn investing strategies. The trip is also a great opportunity for our students see our democracy in action," said Mr. Borel.

"I also want to note that this is a special accomplishment because three years ago members of this team were in line to make the top 10 in the nation and got bumped out the last night of the competition. It was their goal every year since then to place in the top 10," Mrs. Carl said. "I am so proud of them for working hard to strategically trade up until the very end of the competition, showing leadership to the Economics Club at our weekly meetings and meeting their objective!"

Middle and high school students from all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia participated in this year’s competition. Montgomery Area High School in Pennsylvania was this year's winner of the stock market game.


Pictured below are Burke Corcoran, Jason Kentra, Mark Leali and Kevin Lipkin.




Even if your soon-to-be York High School freshman has been a District 205 student for years, he or she must prove residency for the 2017-18 school year. If you have any questions about residency verification, please contact York High School directly at 630-617-2400. Please bring all required paperwork to York High School (355 W. St. Charles Rd).


Daytime hours: 
Monday through Thursday
8 AM - 3 PM.


Evening verification will take place as follows:
June 27 | July 12 | July 20

5 PM - 8 PM



At its May 23, 2017 meeting, the Elmhurst School District 205 Board of Education voted unanimously to approve Dr. Christina Podraza as the new assistant principal at Hawthorne and Lincoln elementary schools, effective August 1, 2017 with a salary of $91,573. (See related news item on the District 205 homepage.) She replaces Tim Riordan, who was recently confirmed as the new principal of Hawthorne.

Dr. Podraza comes to Elmhurst from Naperville District 203, where she has served as the Learning Support Coach for Mill Street Elementary School since 2012. There she played an integral role in adoption and implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). She served on the School Improvement Team and was a member of the District 203 Service Delivery Design Committee and the Science Curriculum Committee.

“I am beyond thrilled to be a part of Elmhurst Community Unit District 205! I am looking forward to getting to know the Hawthorne and Lincoln staff, students and families and can’t wait to start my work as assistant principal. I hope that my passion for student engagement and instructional coaching background will be an asset to both buildings,” said Dr. Podraza.

Prior to her tenure in District 203, she was a fifth grade teacher at Schiesher Elementary School in Lisle for four years. There she developed multiple assessments aligned to Common Core, designed authentic, interactive programs which incorporated technology to motivate student learning. She used both qualitative and quantitative data to make decisions regarding curricular planning.

Dr. Podraza was also a classroom teacher in Bensenville District 2, in East Aurora District 131 and served as a long-term sub and reading improvement assistant at Armstrong School in Hoffman Estates.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Monmouth College (1999), her master’s in Elementary Education from DePaul University (2003) and her doctorate in Educational Leadership & Organizational Change from Roosevelt University (2014).

"I am excited that Christina is joining District 205. Her instructional knowledge, professional development experience and her ability to facilitate PLCs is timely and will help our staff provide exceptional learning experiences to our students,” said Riordan.

“Having Christina join the Lincoln and Hawthorne teams excites me! I am inspired by her energy, passion, and instructional expertise and look forward to working with her to support students, families, and staff,” said Jennifer Barnabee, who will be the new Lincoln Elementary School principal for 2017-18.


Elmhurst District 205 is thrilled to welcome Dr. Bill Daggett of the International Center for Leadership in Education to the community on Monday, August 14. In the afternoon, Dr. Daggett will be the keynote speaker at our opening faculty meeting. That evening, we cordially invite all local parents, community members, school board members, business and community leaders, legislators, and area educators to share with us a unique and exciting opportunity to experience his important message first hand. The festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the York High School Commons.

Dr. Daggett will discuss the concepts of rigor, relevance and relationships and share some important concepts about his organization's Rigor and Relevance Framework. Most importantly, attendees will be challenged to think about the role of public education as it relates to this country's future and the world economy.  I predict that if you are able to join us, you will never think about "school" the same way again.

Clear your calendars now!  I hope to see you then!

Dr. David Moyer

Facebook Event

Dr. Bill Daggett is the Founder and Chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education. He has collaborated with education ministries in several countries, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Governors Association. Dr. Daggett’s System for Effective Instruction and Rigor and Relevance Framework have helped thousands of school districts throughout the country improve learning for students.


Friday, May 12th, began as usual for students and staff of Elmhurst District 205 schools, until District 205 Foundation Board members began paying surprise visits to extraordinary teachers who were awarded the Thiems Educational Grants they had applied for last semester. Throughout the day, several teams of Foundation Directors visited all thirteen schools from Madison Early Childhood Center to York High School with bells and balloons awarding grants to happy teachers and excited students.

A total of 25 grants worth $53,827 were awarded this year for implementation next academic year. The grant program is named after former District 205 Superintendent Dr. Russell Thiems, who was instrumental in in the formation of the Foundation for Educational Excellence, which has provided close to $1.5 million dollars in Thiems Grants to District 205 since 1989.

“The Foundation recently funded $23,000 in literacy resources,” said Brian Bresnahan, Foundation Chairperson, “and a large amount of 2017 grant dollars support science and technology that helps teachers deliver STEM-related curriculum.”

One highlight for this year is the awarding of several grants to help create Makerspaces at every elementary school library and two areas (Library and Lincoln Lab) at York High School. A makerspace is a collaborative workspace for making, learning, exploring and sharing. Spaces such as these support future-ready learning and allow teachers and students to embed creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration in learning experiences.

“Our donors have helped us enhance all curricular areas for students, including the arts and physical education,” commented Foundation Executive Director Lisa Fanelli, “and recently our focus has been on providing future-ready learning opportunities for students.”

Generous attendees at this year’s Foundation Gala, held in March, raised $106,000 that will go a long way in supporting Foundation programs. Recently funded enhancements include, three future- ready model classrooms in three different schools, Google Expedition Kits that bring the world to elementary classrooms through virtual field trips, Kano Kits that allow middle school students to build and program their own computer, and Dano App Crayons for use with iPads to help preschoolers learn to write.

In addition to the grants, the Foundation supports instructional programs, community programs and partnerships, as well as District initiatives, bringing the total over $2.7 million raised and funded. To make a donation, and for a complete list of 2017 grants, including photographs of the award day, please visit


Mission Statement

The mission of Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 is to meet the educational needs of all students, challenging each to his or her full potential and ensuring a foundation for future success in life.

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Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 currently serves more than 8,000 students who reside primarily in the City of Elmhurst and small portions of Oak Brook, Bensenville and Addison. Approximately 93 percent of students live in Elmhurst with the remainder living outside of the City, but within the District 205 boundaries.


Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 will be a national leader in educating children of all backgrounds and ability levels, promoting high individual student achievement. The District will incorporate student-centered decision making, the highest academic standards, best practices in education, the highest caliber educational professionals, and leading edge resources to ensure an equitable education for all and success in a global society.