Andrew_graduation

Welcome to Andrew!

Victor J. Andrew High School is a public four-year high school located in Tinley Park, Illinois.

Andrew alumni return as staff

VJAicon_for_alumni_return
© 

Throughout the years, there have been many District 230 alumni that come back to continue to contribute to the schools legacy as faculty. Whether they came back to coach, teach or mentor, they all strive to make an impact on the students, other faculty and the community as well. The love for their school and the community has only become stronger since they graduated from District 230. Many express that the impact that the school and faculty had on them, inspired them to come back.

ANDREW HIGH SCHOOL ALMUNI

Jennifer Knezz

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

Andrew HS has changed so much since I graduated in 1991. We used to have something called the commons, which was a big open area with a raised stage.  We ate lunch their and it was used as our theatre.  We didn’t have the south wing extension and we didn’t have the PAC.

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS as a student?

As a student, I loved how involved everyone was at Andrew.  There are so many sports, clubs, and activities to choose from!  That is what I liked about Andrew back then AND now:)  However, after I graduated they started the Variety Show.  I am so disappointed that it wasnt around for me.  I would of loved to have been part of that!

Why did you decide to return?

I decided to return to Andrew (even though I could have worked at LWW which is about two minutes away from home!) because I wanted to still be part of the district 230 community.  I loved the teachers, staff and community when I was growing up and wanted to stay a part of it as an adult.  I love showing my students my Andrew jacket from 1991 and having a connection with the students right off the bat. 

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular?

 I played volleyball all four years and even went down state to the champtionships.  We lost and came in second in state but it is something I will never forget.  The same year I was casted as Sandy in Grease and had the lead for the musical.  I was a very busy junior when I attended Andrew!

 

Jeff Keane

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

The changes have been vast. There are much more opportunities to participate in clubs, sports, and activities. The technology available to students is never ending. Students are active participants in the learning process.

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS as a student?

The Friday Night Football Games and Basketball games were fun. The teams were very good and every game was an event. For basketball, there were spotlight introductions with a student announcer

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

The people are my favorite thing about Andrew today. We have great students and our staff is like one big family. We come together to celebrate the great things that happen in our school and we are there to pick each other up when things do not go as planned.

Why did you decide to return?

I wanted to give back to my community and the best way I thought was to become a teacher at Andrew, which is why I returned.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

My best memory was when I was an assistant coach for Andrew Girls Basketball. We were trailing Maria HS by 2 with under 5 seconds to go in the Sectional Final at Andrew. Maureen Nelson hit a three pointer at the buzzer to give us a one-point win in front of our home fans, it was awesome.

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular?

As a student at Andrew, I played sophomore basketball. I also served as a manager for Varsity Boys Basketball my junior and senior years. I also worked in the press box and did stats for Varsity baseball for 3 years.

 

Daniel J. Schwarz

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

The building itself has changed dramatically. When I was a student, there was no S-Wing, Upper South Gym, our cafe was where the media center is now, etc.  While the building has changed a lot, the spirit of the school remains the same.  There's a real community atmosphere and a strong commitment by the staff to always work in the best interest of students.

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS as a student?

In my 4 years as a student at Andrew, I ALWAYS felt that my teachers cared about me as a student and a person.  I had teachers challenge me, discipline me, inspire me, etc., but I never doubted their desire to see me grow as a student and an individual.

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

I believe the teachers of today, still adhere to the desire to see students succeed just like the teachers described in the previous answer.

Why did you decide to return?

The teachers, staff, coaches and students at Andrew during my time as a student there (1989-1993) made me the person I am today.  In returning to Andrew, I embraced the challenge of carrying on the legacy of the teachers and staff that came before me.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

I went to Andrew during a very special time.  On the list of teachers you had to email for your article, many were students at the same time as me:  Matz, Mattix, Kulasa, Callaghan, DeHaan and others.  Each day I come to Andrew, I see those people and I'm reminded of the legacy we're carrying on. 

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular?

I played Varsity Basketball and Volleyball and I was in the Varsity Club

 

Jeanann Paczesny

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

The school, despite its addition, seems smaller. I remember things being so "far" away.

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS as a student?

My favorite thing about Andrew was the school spirit even though we had several losing seasons.

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

My favorite thing now is the positive atmosphere and connectedness between students and staff.

Why did you decide to return?

I returned to Andrew when I stepped down as an administrator to go back into teaching.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

Best memory from Andrew...being involved in Special Olympics as a coach.

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular?

I participated in volleyball, softball, AV Club, Play crew, and as a Teacher's Aide.

 

Tina Garcia

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

Andrew is a much larger school both physically and globally. I graduated in 1989 so there were no computers, internet did not exist and we actually had to research in the library. Now students have access to research and history on a global level. I think that the pressures that teens face today are far greater in number and lasting consequences than in my time. Students are under so much pressure to be perfect, to be successful and are constantly asked to worry about a future that I could not even imagine at 15 years old. I am afraid it is too much and the stress levels are concerning. I think that teachers today really know their students much better - or want to at least. There were few teachers that stood out in my mind as being an advocate for students back in 1989 but now I see support and care everywhere I look. It is inspiring.

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS at a student?

I loved that there was a safe place to be every day that we can all learn. The dances were a favorite as well. They were much simpler than they are today but we had so much fun.

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

There are simply no cliques like there used to be. At least not that I can tell and my students express the same. It is now cool to be smart and theater, band and all other activities are celebrated. The administration is much more involved in student life and the community is supportive. All things I may not have noticed in high school, but as a teacher, I really appreciate now.

Why did you decide to return?

This is my home. It is my community and I take great pride in it. I love to live and work in a community where I can run into parents in the grocery store, get a hug and ask about their student. It is as close to small town living as you can get.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

Past: I was in Saturday detention and my friend who was supposed to be picking me up was driving on the track... (can I still get in trouble for this?) 

Present: One million students come to mind with as many laughs.

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular?

I was a gymnast and a cheerleader. Terrible cheerleader - better gymnast.

 

Jennifer Doede

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

It's a lot bigger.  We didn't have the new addition, turf field, or an auditorium.  

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS at a student? 

The closeness you had with your classmates and the school spirit.

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

That the heart of the family culture hasn't changed.  That shows why Andrew is so special.

Why did you decide to return?

An opportunity arose and I wanted to take it.  I had such a great experience that I wanted to provide that to future students.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

PAST:  Homecoming- we would decorate the entire gym, hallways, and lunchroom.  Everyone really got into it.

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular? 

I participated in Volleyball, Softball, Variety Show, and Class Council.  

 

Christopher Spiel

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

When I was a student at Andrew, they were just beginning construction for the building addition.  The halls were much more crowded than today, and the cafeteria was used as a lunchroom, performing arts center, and practice area for several extra-curricular activities.  Today, students are able to enjoy multiple gymnasiums, a Performing Arts Center, and more classroom space.  Opportunities for special education students has increased significantly.  More classes are offered as well as more opportunities for the students to interact with their general education peers. The ULTIMA program also was not at Andrew when I was a student.  There is also more recognition for students who do well academically and behaviorally, such as the RESPECT Breakfast and Academic Recognition Assembly.

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS as a student? 

My favorite aspect of Andrew as a student was helping start the very first District 230 American Cancer Society All Youth Relay for Life, which has continued to grow significantly over the years.  It is so awesome to see an event that I helped start 20 years ago continue to grow, and make such a positive impact on our society!

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

My favorite aspect of Andrew High School now is the Peer Communication Groups that I started when I became a staff member four years ago.  These groups provide me with the opportunity to work with both general education and special education students by providing the special education students to opportunity to learn appropriate social skills from their peers.  It is so awesome to watch my students grow socially and my peer helpers grow in leadership skills and learn to appreciate diversity.

Why did you decide to return?

Andrew High School has always been about putting the students first, and I wanted to be a part of -- and -- contribute to continuing this legacy.  The administration and staff care about students growing academically, socially, and emotionally. Andrew provides so many opportunities, through academic, extra-curricular, and in-school activities, to grow in these areas and ultimately help them become well-rounded and productive members of society. These are qualities that I believe are very important for all students to possess, and I wanted to be a part of assisting in this process.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

My best memory was receiving an award for completing over 1,000 hours of community service during my four years at Andrew. I learned and grew so much as a result of participating in so many community service activities. I also learned the importance of giving back to my community -- an aspect of my life that will continue for the rest of my life.

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular?  

I participated in International Club, Operation Snowball, Science Club, Peer Mediation, Foreign Language and English tutor, Foreign Language and English Teacher Assistant, helped create the VJA Leadership Conference and District 230 All Youth Relay for Life, and was a member of National Honor Society.

 

Lisa Mondragon

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

Physically, the building has changed so much that it really wasn't until a few years into teaching here, when I went up to the gymnastics balcony, that I felt a wave of nostalgia. From the wall mural, the layout and windows overlooking the pool the familiarity was immediate. As a school community, I would say there is more of a shift toward a partnership with learning that comes with students taking a more active role in their education. This includes communication, planning, engaging in lessons, scheduling, receiving assistance and monitoring their own grades. During my time in high school, students relied on teachers to share their averages from time to time from the 'ol red grade book to know if we were "learning." Ha! :)

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS at a student?

As a student, my favorite thing about Andrew was the camaraderie between all different students. We may have had the common stereotypical groups, but many of the groups were also good friends with one another.

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

My absolute favorite thing about Andrew now is the energy and the genuine focus on building connections and forming relationships within the building to better support students now and with their goals after high school. I don't think I realized before just how unique that is.

Why did you decide to return?

I returned to VJA following 12 years of teaching at the middle school level. There were many reasons I decided to work with high school students, but specifically "coming back" to Andrew just felt right.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present) ?

In addition to the many great teachers that took an interest and the extra time to help their students, my favorite memories of high school revolve around the social aspects of the cafeteria, the hallways, and congregating around lockers with friends before and after classes.

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular? 

While at VJA, I participated in swimming and gymnastics.

 

Claire Dovantzis

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

I think the biggest change I've noticed is how much cell phones and social media have impacted, changed, and shaped the students. They are constantly on their phones and tend to be very distracted by them. Students are becoming more and more disengaged from each other because they prefer to communicate through their phones. Social media has taken over in such a huge capacity, and I hope teenagers today are able to figure out how to do life without a smart phone glued to their hand at all times. 

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS at a student?

My favorite part about being a student at Andrew was Andrew Fest (of course!) and seeing my friends every day. I loved coming to school for social reasons. I talked to everyone, found ways to make all my classes’ fun, and loved socializing. 

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

My favorite thing about Andrew today is watching kids grow from freshmen to seniors. So much happens in those four years. It's fun to be a part of the beginning when you're all new and a little nervous, and then by senior year you're confident, mature, young adults that are fun to have a conversation with.  Saying goodbye after watching students grow up is the hardest part!

Why did you decide to return?

I've always dreamed of teaching at Andrew, but I never thought I would be good enough. I gained so much confidence in my ability to be a good teacher while I was working on my master’s degree at U of I, so I took a chance and applied. When I interviewed and found out I got the job, I was thrilled. It was like I was coming home again. I knew the building and even worked alongside teachers that had me as a student. Being able to reconnect with former teachers and coming to work every day to a place I've loved since I was a teenager has been so rewarding. 

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

One of my best memories and one that shaped the rest of my life was the day my boyfriend asked me out on a date.  He was my first boyfriend! I was super excited. Little did I know, we would stick by each other's side for the next 16 years- through college, studying abroad, and graduate school. We ended up getting married and have two daughters now. I never would have imagined that I was going to meet and start dating my husband when I was a sophomore at Andrew! 

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular? 

I participated in gymnastics when I was a freshman, and I participated in French Club and DECA.

 

Robert Barth

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there? 

The kids are a lot more accepting of other students and encouraging to other students.  

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS at a student? 

All the extra events, from sports, to dances, to plays.  There was always something to do with your friends involving the school.

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

When a kid realizes that, as teachers, we are on their side and trying our best to help them achieve their goals.  Sometimes kids come in and say they hate school or teachers, most of those kids have an awakening in high school, that is a fun process to be part of.

Why did you decide to return? 

It was home. 

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)? 

Too many to list!!

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular? 

I played football, wrestled, was a math tutor and varsity club member

Back to All News

Andrew alumni return as staff

VJAicon_for_alumni_return
© 

Throughout the years, there have been many District 230 alumni that come back to continue to contribute to the schools legacy as faculty. Whether they came back to coach, teach or mentor, they all strive to make an impact on the students, other faculty and the community as well. The love for their school and the community has only become stronger since they graduated from District 230. Many express that the impact that the school and faculty had on them, inspired them to come back.

ANDREW HIGH SCHOOL ALMUNI

Jennifer Knezz

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

Andrew HS has changed so much since I graduated in 1991. We used to have something called the commons, which was a big open area with a raised stage.  We ate lunch their and it was used as our theatre.  We didn’t have the south wing extension and we didn’t have the PAC.

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS as a student?

As a student, I loved how involved everyone was at Andrew.  There are so many sports, clubs, and activities to choose from!  That is what I liked about Andrew back then AND now:)  However, after I graduated they started the Variety Show.  I am so disappointed that it wasnt around for me.  I would of loved to have been part of that!

Why did you decide to return?

I decided to return to Andrew (even though I could have worked at LWW which is about two minutes away from home!) because I wanted to still be part of the district 230 community.  I loved the teachers, staff and community when I was growing up and wanted to stay a part of it as an adult.  I love showing my students my Andrew jacket from 1991 and having a connection with the students right off the bat. 

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular?

 I played volleyball all four years and even went down state to the champtionships.  We lost and came in second in state but it is something I will never forget.  The same year I was casted as Sandy in Grease and had the lead for the musical.  I was a very busy junior when I attended Andrew!

 

Jeff Keane

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

The changes have been vast. There are much more opportunities to participate in clubs, sports, and activities. The technology available to students is never ending. Students are active participants in the learning process.

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS as a student?

The Friday Night Football Games and Basketball games were fun. The teams were very good and every game was an event. For basketball, there were spotlight introductions with a student announcer

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

The people are my favorite thing about Andrew today. We have great students and our staff is like one big family. We come together to celebrate the great things that happen in our school and we are there to pick each other up when things do not go as planned.

Why did you decide to return?

I wanted to give back to my community and the best way I thought was to become a teacher at Andrew, which is why I returned.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

My best memory was when I was an assistant coach for Andrew Girls Basketball. We were trailing Maria HS by 2 with under 5 seconds to go in the Sectional Final at Andrew. Maureen Nelson hit a three pointer at the buzzer to give us a one-point win in front of our home fans, it was awesome.

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular?

As a student at Andrew, I played sophomore basketball. I also served as a manager for Varsity Boys Basketball my junior and senior years. I also worked in the press box and did stats for Varsity baseball for 3 years.

 

Daniel J. Schwarz

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

The building itself has changed dramatically. When I was a student, there was no S-Wing, Upper South Gym, our cafe was where the media center is now, etc.  While the building has changed a lot, the spirit of the school remains the same.  There's a real community atmosphere and a strong commitment by the staff to always work in the best interest of students.

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS as a student?

In my 4 years as a student at Andrew, I ALWAYS felt that my teachers cared about me as a student and a person.  I had teachers challenge me, discipline me, inspire me, etc., but I never doubted their desire to see me grow as a student and an individual.

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

I believe the teachers of today, still adhere to the desire to see students succeed just like the teachers described in the previous answer.

Why did you decide to return?

The teachers, staff, coaches and students at Andrew during my time as a student there (1989-1993) made me the person I am today.  In returning to Andrew, I embraced the challenge of carrying on the legacy of the teachers and staff that came before me.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

I went to Andrew during a very special time.  On the list of teachers you had to email for your article, many were students at the same time as me:  Matz, Mattix, Kulasa, Callaghan, DeHaan and others.  Each day I come to Andrew, I see those people and I'm reminded of the legacy we're carrying on. 

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular?

I played Varsity Basketball and Volleyball and I was in the Varsity Club

 

Jeanann Paczesny

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

The school, despite its addition, seems smaller. I remember things being so "far" away.

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS as a student?

My favorite thing about Andrew was the school spirit even though we had several losing seasons.

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

My favorite thing now is the positive atmosphere and connectedness between students and staff.

Why did you decide to return?

I returned to Andrew when I stepped down as an administrator to go back into teaching.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

Best memory from Andrew...being involved in Special Olympics as a coach.

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular?

I participated in volleyball, softball, AV Club, Play crew, and as a Teacher's Aide.

 

Tina Garcia

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

Andrew is a much larger school both physically and globally. I graduated in 1989 so there were no computers, internet did not exist and we actually had to research in the library. Now students have access to research and history on a global level. I think that the pressures that teens face today are far greater in number and lasting consequences than in my time. Students are under so much pressure to be perfect, to be successful and are constantly asked to worry about a future that I could not even imagine at 15 years old. I am afraid it is too much and the stress levels are concerning. I think that teachers today really know their students much better - or want to at least. There were few teachers that stood out in my mind as being an advocate for students back in 1989 but now I see support and care everywhere I look. It is inspiring.

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS at a student?

I loved that there was a safe place to be every day that we can all learn. The dances were a favorite as well. They were much simpler than they are today but we had so much fun.

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

There are simply no cliques like there used to be. At least not that I can tell and my students express the same. It is now cool to be smart and theater, band and all other activities are celebrated. The administration is much more involved in student life and the community is supportive. All things I may not have noticed in high school, but as a teacher, I really appreciate now.

Why did you decide to return?

This is my home. It is my community and I take great pride in it. I love to live and work in a community where I can run into parents in the grocery store, get a hug and ask about their student. It is as close to small town living as you can get.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

Past: I was in Saturday detention and my friend who was supposed to be picking me up was driving on the track... (can I still get in trouble for this?) 

Present: One million students come to mind with as many laughs.

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular?

I was a gymnast and a cheerleader. Terrible cheerleader - better gymnast.

 

Jennifer Doede

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

It's a lot bigger.  We didn't have the new addition, turf field, or an auditorium.  

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS at a student? 

The closeness you had with your classmates and the school spirit.

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

That the heart of the family culture hasn't changed.  That shows why Andrew is so special.

Why did you decide to return?

An opportunity arose and I wanted to take it.  I had such a great experience that I wanted to provide that to future students.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

PAST:  Homecoming- we would decorate the entire gym, hallways, and lunchroom.  Everyone really got into it.

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular? 

I participated in Volleyball, Softball, Variety Show, and Class Council.  

 

Christopher Spiel

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

When I was a student at Andrew, they were just beginning construction for the building addition.  The halls were much more crowded than today, and the cafeteria was used as a lunchroom, performing arts center, and practice area for several extra-curricular activities.  Today, students are able to enjoy multiple gymnasiums, a Performing Arts Center, and more classroom space.  Opportunities for special education students has increased significantly.  More classes are offered as well as more opportunities for the students to interact with their general education peers. The ULTIMA program also was not at Andrew when I was a student.  There is also more recognition for students who do well academically and behaviorally, such as the RESPECT Breakfast and Academic Recognition Assembly.

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS as a student? 

My favorite aspect of Andrew as a student was helping start the very first District 230 American Cancer Society All Youth Relay for Life, which has continued to grow significantly over the years.  It is so awesome to see an event that I helped start 20 years ago continue to grow, and make such a positive impact on our society!

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

My favorite aspect of Andrew High School now is the Peer Communication Groups that I started when I became a staff member four years ago.  These groups provide me with the opportunity to work with both general education and special education students by providing the special education students to opportunity to learn appropriate social skills from their peers.  It is so awesome to watch my students grow socially and my peer helpers grow in leadership skills and learn to appreciate diversity.

Why did you decide to return?

Andrew High School has always been about putting the students first, and I wanted to be a part of -- and -- contribute to continuing this legacy.  The administration and staff care about students growing academically, socially, and emotionally. Andrew provides so many opportunities, through academic, extra-curricular, and in-school activities, to grow in these areas and ultimately help them become well-rounded and productive members of society. These are qualities that I believe are very important for all students to possess, and I wanted to be a part of assisting in this process.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

My best memory was receiving an award for completing over 1,000 hours of community service during my four years at Andrew. I learned and grew so much as a result of participating in so many community service activities. I also learned the importance of giving back to my community -- an aspect of my life that will continue for the rest of my life.

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular?  

I participated in International Club, Operation Snowball, Science Club, Peer Mediation, Foreign Language and English tutor, Foreign Language and English Teacher Assistant, helped create the VJA Leadership Conference and District 230 All Youth Relay for Life, and was a member of National Honor Society.

 

Lisa Mondragon

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

Physically, the building has changed so much that it really wasn't until a few years into teaching here, when I went up to the gymnastics balcony, that I felt a wave of nostalgia. From the wall mural, the layout and windows overlooking the pool the familiarity was immediate. As a school community, I would say there is more of a shift toward a partnership with learning that comes with students taking a more active role in their education. This includes communication, planning, engaging in lessons, scheduling, receiving assistance and monitoring their own grades. During my time in high school, students relied on teachers to share their averages from time to time from the 'ol red grade book to know if we were "learning." Ha! :)

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS at a student?

As a student, my favorite thing about Andrew was the camaraderie between all different students. We may have had the common stereotypical groups, but many of the groups were also good friends with one another.

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

My absolute favorite thing about Andrew now is the energy and the genuine focus on building connections and forming relationships within the building to better support students now and with their goals after high school. I don't think I realized before just how unique that is.

Why did you decide to return?

I returned to VJA following 12 years of teaching at the middle school level. There were many reasons I decided to work with high school students, but specifically "coming back" to Andrew just felt right.

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present) ?

In addition to the many great teachers that took an interest and the extra time to help their students, my favorite memories of high school revolve around the social aspects of the cafeteria, the hallways, and congregating around lockers with friends before and after classes.

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular? 

While at VJA, I participated in swimming and gymnastics.

 

Claire Dovantzis

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there?

I think the biggest change I've noticed is how much cell phones and social media have impacted, changed, and shaped the students. They are constantly on their phones and tend to be very distracted by them. Students are becoming more and more disengaged from each other because they prefer to communicate through their phones. Social media has taken over in such a huge capacity, and I hope teenagers today are able to figure out how to do life without a smart phone glued to their hand at all times. 

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS at a student?

My favorite part about being a student at Andrew was Andrew Fest (of course!) and seeing my friends every day. I loved coming to school for social reasons. I talked to everyone, found ways to make all my classes’ fun, and loved socializing. 

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

My favorite thing about Andrew today is watching kids grow from freshmen to seniors. So much happens in those four years. It's fun to be a part of the beginning when you're all new and a little nervous, and then by senior year you're confident, mature, young adults that are fun to have a conversation with.  Saying goodbye after watching students grow up is the hardest part!

Why did you decide to return?

I've always dreamed of teaching at Andrew, but I never thought I would be good enough. I gained so much confidence in my ability to be a good teacher while I was working on my master’s degree at U of I, so I took a chance and applied. When I interviewed and found out I got the job, I was thrilled. It was like I was coming home again. I knew the building and even worked alongside teachers that had me as a student. Being able to reconnect with former teachers and coming to work every day to a place I've loved since I was a teenager has been so rewarding. 

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)?

One of my best memories and one that shaped the rest of my life was the day my boyfriend asked me out on a date.  He was my first boyfriend! I was super excited. Little did I know, we would stick by each other's side for the next 16 years- through college, studying abroad, and graduate school. We ended up getting married and have two daughters now. I never would have imagined that I was going to meet and start dating my husband when I was a sophomore at Andrew! 

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular? 

I participated in gymnastics when I was a freshman, and I participated in French Club and DECA.

 

Robert Barth

How has Andrew HS changed from when you were a student there? 

The kids are a lot more accepting of other students and encouraging to other students.  

What was your favorite thing about Andrew HS at a student? 

All the extra events, from sports, to dances, to plays.  There was always something to do with your friends involving the school.

What is your favorite thing about Andrew HS now?

When a kid realizes that, as teachers, we are on their side and trying our best to help them achieve their goals.  Sometimes kids come in and say they hate school or teachers, most of those kids have an awakening in high school, that is a fun process to be part of.

Why did you decide to return? 

It was home. 

What is your best memory from Andrew (past or present)? 

Too many to list!!

Did you participate in any sports, clubs or extra-curricular? 

I played football, wrestled, was a math tutor and varsity club member

Back to All News

close (X)