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Amanda Bourn

The work of Middle School South teacher Amanda Bourn is in the spotlight this month. MAD-learn named her the MAD-teacher of the month. She is the second teacher from District 73 to receive this recognition. The first was Tanya Stahl, a STEM-lab teacher at Middle School North.  Ms. Bourn began using MAD-learn in May of 2017 and has run the program successfully ever since. MAD-learn’s web-based mobile app development tool is a holistic set of modules for students to experience the software development lifecycle firsthand.

Ms. Bourn shared her thoughts about using MAD-learn, saying, “The MAD-learn platform truly embodies the goal of my Family and Consumer Science content area and our goal at Hawthorn District 73, which is to “Inspire all students to embrace learning in an ever-changing world.” With the help of MAD-learn, I am provided another avenue to bring real life academic applications into my classroom that challenge my students to create a viable product that can be used in a future career.”

Students and teachers at awards assembly

Today (June 6), sixth and seventh grade students were honored by Middle School South staff in a variety of areas including academic growth, social emotional development, and for helping make Middle South an amazing place for students. It has been a great school year and we are proud of all of our students’ many accomplishments this year! We wish everyone a relaxing and joyful summer and look forward to seeing everyone’s smiling faces in August. 

Teachers with pie on their faces

Middle School South sixth-grade students whose MAP test scores (in math) showed growth got a special treat. Through a raffle, they had the rare opportunity to throw a pie at a teacher. Everybody had fun, including the teachers. Even Ms. Kahn and Mr. Natale joined in the fun.

Pen pals meet and tour the school

Throughout the year, sixth grade students in the classrooms of Ms. Wright and Ms. Corush at Middle School South correspond with third grade students at Aspen Elementary. Last week, the third grade students got a chance to meet their pen pals at Middle School South. The middle school students showed their pen pals around the school. This is an event that students had been looking forward to all year. The two schools have been offering this pen pal program every year for more than 10 years.

Students study bottle rocket launches

The sixth grade science classes of Ms. Howell, Ms. Humboldt and Ms. Baker designed, tested and launched bottle rockets as part of an engineering design unit. The rockets use pressurized water for propulsion. Students were treated to some very impressive performances this year, and an enjoyable time was had by all.

Heart & Sole poster

Heart & Sole is coming to Middle School South. Each week, training and activities will help build endurance for a celebratory 5K.

Students extracting DNA

DNA is present in every cell of plants and animals. To culminate their study of DNA and genetics, students in Mrs. Reese’s science classes used common everyday household materials and extracted DNA found in the cells of strawberries.

Students receiving awards

On Tuesday, May 28, Hawthorn Middle School South hosted its annual Eighth Grade Awards event. Congratulations to these eighth graders who truly went the extra mile.


Looking for something to do this summer? Vernon hills High School is offering cross country summer camp for eighth graders/ incoming freshman!

Students dissect a sheep's eye

Ms. Robinson’s eighth grade students ended their “In a New Light” unit by dissecting the eye of a sheep. The students have been doing activities that involve learning something new, how we remember things using our different senses, how we perceive light and objects, and how the structure of our eye affects how we perceive the world we live in. As the students were dissecting the eye, they were able to recall the different structures of the eye and their functions along with what structure cows and sheeps have that humans do not. This was a great way to end the year!

teachers versus students in competition

Teachers and students had loads of fun competing against each other at yesterday’s Scholastic Bowl competition. In the beginning the teachers had an edge. But that edge quickly disappeared as students quickly answered a series of questions that stumped the teachers. The final score was: Students: 145; Teachers: 110.

students listening to presentation

Should the Vernon Hills Police Department add a canine unit? As part of a unit on persuasion, students in Middle School South’s sixth-grade writing classes wrote letters to the Village of Vernon Hills, describing why they felt such a unit was needed. Vernon Hills Police chief, Patrick Kreis, read all the letters and provided feedback to about 100 students yesterday. In addition, Officer Paret, who previously served as the District’s school resource officer, talked about his experiences as a canine officer.