Dear Viking family and community,
I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you on behalf of the entire Friends of Amundsen board for helping create something really special. As we all get back into the groove of a new school year, we can’t help but reflect fondly on all of the exciting progress of the previous year. But even more exciting is riding that wave into 2018 for what we are hoping will be the best year ever for our Vikings!
The 2016/2017 school year brought us some really exciting things, and you are all a part of that on some level. First, we started the year by strengthening community connections between the school, FOA, and other organizations and businesses in the area. We showed the teachers how much we appreciate them with a huge and crazy delicious back to school spread from Sweet Virginia’s Kitchen. Then we partnered with the Bowmanville Community Organization to raise some funds for the Art Department. This was a great big thank you from the BCO to the department for coming out with 2 art teachers and TWENTY students to assist with a restoration of the mural on the Berwyn tunnel after several years of graffiti damage. We continue to get increased support and visibility through neighborhood groups like Winnimac Park Neighbors and Lincoln Square North Neighbors, as well as the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce. Our connection with the community continues to flourish with our Grow Community Partnership. And of course who can forget the WORLD CHAMPION Chicago Cubs awarding the school a total of $250,000 for improvements to our outdoor sports fields! THAT was pretty amazing.There are so many more groups and businesses that are excited to jump on board that it’s just too many to list!
Then, the buzz REALLY kicked in with all of the NEWS of how Amundsen students are RISING TO THE TOP! The Sun-Times featured Amundsen High School in their article on neighborhood high schools following a new University of Chicago Consortium study on selective enrollment high schools, and how some students are choosing to attend Amundsen over selective enrollment schools. We couldn’t contain our excitement when Amundsen was listed by Chicago Magazine as one of the TOP 20 Public High Schools in the city, a list that was mostly comprised of SEHSs! And then the news of the scholarships rolling in made us all so proud, including a full scholarship to Tufts University in Massachusetts and a Posse scholar receiving
a full scholarship to the University of Michigan. Add to the mix Starry Chicago, the Kakehashi Project in Japan, our sports teams WINNING, and Amundsen High School is quickly becoming THE all around high school experience. And how awesome to be rewarded with a LEVEL ONE STATUS, well on our way to Level 1+!
But really…the huge event of the year was our Celebrity Bar Night Fundraiser benefitting the sports teams and clubs at the school. We anticipated and prepared for an attendance of 100 people…we ended up with almost triple that at nearly 300 people in attendance!! Aldermen Ameya Pawar and Patrick O’Connor were both there to celebrate this huge milestone, Alderman Pawar calling it at the time the best night of his political career. We had delicious food and drinks at neighborhood restaurant Rojo Gusano, raffles and prizes, music and tons of fun. We are excited to announce that the evening brought in over $13,000 in donations, not bad for a first time fundraiser! But more importantly, it brought all of YOU together for a common goal and vision, to make this school THE premier high school for ALL of our kids. The sense of community and palpable excitement that night is something that is really powerful. And we are ready to use that energy to ride right into the best year ever.
Thank you for all of your support, your words of encouragement, your time, donations, excitement, and most importantly your belief. This is only the beginning. I can’t wait to see what this year brings.
Proud Amundsen High School parent
President, Friends of Amundsen