Home International Around the Southland: Longtime EPCHS secretary to retire, Juneteenth events planned, more

Around the Southland: Longtime EPCHS secretary to retire, Juneteenth events planned, more

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Longtime Evergreen Park school secretary to retire

Carol McCormick, who has held the role of administrative assistant or secretary to the principal for almost 25 years at Evergreen Park Community High School will retire at the end of June, according to a news release from the school.

Hired prior to the 2000-2001 school year, McCormick has worked with four EPCHS principals over the years: Ron Helms, Beth Hart, Bill Sanderson and Matt Dugan.

McCormick said she will miss the day-to-day interaction with students “and working with the ladies in the office who have not only been my co-workers, but my friends.”

“The secretaries have always been such a cohesive team and there is nothing we wouldn’t do for each other,” McCormick said. “I will miss that most of all.”

After graduating from Queen of Peace High School, McCormick completed the fast-track secretarial program at Fox Business College in Oak Lawn. She worked at a law firm downton and then at Little Company of Mary Hospital for 10 years before a short stint at an area HVAC company before coming to EPCHS.

Over the years, McCormick has been heavily involved with the school’s parent volunteers and theater program. She won the Theater Mentor Award in 2012 and received the Distinguished Service Award – Award of Merit from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association in 2020.

Andrew students earn medals in National German Exam

Andrew High School students, from left, Nathan Fortino, Claire Carney, Taryn Mondragon, Hayden Cortez and Meadow Nussbaum were awarded medals after taking the National German Exam. (School District 230)

Out of 40 students at Andrew High School in Tinley Park who took the National German Exam given by the American Association of Teachers of German, five received Bronze and Silver medals.

The exam is given annually to students of German to see how they rank in German proficiency compared to other German language learners across the country.

New food pantry opens in Flossmoor

A new resource opened last week in Flossmoor for those experiencing food insecurity.

Pastors John and Rebecca Husbands officially opened a new food pantry for the community at Calvary Assembly of God, 18620 Governors Hwy. The pantry is a collaboration with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and available to residents of Chicago Heights, Flossmoor, Hazel Crest and Homewood, as well as unhoused people, from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 9 a.m. to noon Thursdays.

Pantry visitors can shop with dignity choosing their own perishable and non-perishable food items, and oftentimes also clothing and other special items. More information on accessing the pantry, as well as volunteering or donating, is at www.calvaryflossmoor.com.

Local Author Showcase set at Oak Lawn library

Oak Lawn Public Library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., presents a free Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors from 6 to 8 p.m. June 12.

A third of the participating authors are from Oak Lawn and the remainder are from other south suburbs and Chicago.

“The authors who are coming have written mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction, young adult, fantasy and memoir. There are a few nonfiction authors writing about finance and health, plus several authors focusing on wellness and self-help,” fiction librarian Emily Bettcher said. “We’ve even got poets and a coloring book author who dresses as a mermaid!”

Evergreen Park resident Zachary Jeffries, who writes science fiction and fantasy books for young adults, is among the writers returning from last year’s inaugural showcase in Oak Lawn, which he called “amazing, one of my favorites of the year.”

More than 200 people attended last year’s Showcase. Oak Lawn author Jennifer Worrell said it was, “such fun, and clearly put together by and for book lovers.”

More information is at www.olpl.org or 708-422-2990.

Juneteenth Celebration planned at Sand Ridge

Sand Ridge Nature Center will celebrate family, freedom and country during the 11th annual Juneteenth Celebration starting at 10 a.m. June 15.

An opening ceremony will include a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” performed by Lana Lewis followed by a dance performance from Dance4OurLives along with remarks from Cook County Board and Forest Preserves President Toni Preckwinkle and other officials.

“Juneteenth—also known as Freedom Day, Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day—commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States,” said Sand Ridge Nature Center Director Credell Walls in a news release. “We honor the day at Sand Ridge to celebrate and enjoy the diversity of our shared cultural heritage here in Cook County.”

Programs at the nature center include art projects, games, guided walks and presentations on the Underground Railroad and more. At 11 a.m. at Camp Shabbona Woods there will be lawn games and activities, live storytelling and a hot dog roast.

Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 Paxton Ave., South Holland, is one of six nature centers operated by the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and offers a variety of educational programs and special events throughout the year. Camp Shabbona Woods, located at 15810 S Torrence Ave. in South Holland and connected to the nature center, is one of the forest preserve’s five campgrounds.

The Juneteenth Celebration is free to attend, and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information is at 708-868-0606 or by email at [email protected].

Glenwood sets Juneteenth service June 19

Glenwood officials plan a family-friendly celebration of Juneteenth from 3 to 7:30 p.m. June 19 at Underground Railroad Memorial Park, Main and Young streets. A celebration also will be at Blakey Senior Center, behind Village Hall.

Vendors will be selling food including barbecue, hot dogs, cobbler, chicken and shrimp, Italian ice, lemonade, baked goods, clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, incense and more.

Freedom Trail Hike planned June 29

The Little Calumet River Underground Railroad Project is accepting reservations for the next Freedom Trail Hike from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 29.

The hike presents the tale of the countless freedom seekers who came through the Calumet region prior to the Civil War, who often found refuge and replenishment from local abolitionists. Among the helpers were the Jan Ton family, who owned a farm near Beaubien Woods Forest Preserve on the Little Calumet River, site of the Freedom Trail Hike

Historian and author Larry McClellan, foremost authority on the Underground Railroad in Northern Illinois, and Tom Shepherd of the Little Calumet River Underground Railroad Project will be narrators for the tour, which departs from the Beaubien Woods boat launch.

Registration is required and is available at [email protected] or with Tom Shepherd at 773-370-3305.

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