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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LABORATORY HIGH SCHOOL

ANNUAL REPORT

2015-16

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DIRECTOR'S NOTES

This past year has been one of significant achievement at Uni High. Together with their teachers, our students reached new heights—accomplishments that are only attainable because of the loyalty and generosity of the Uni High community. Many of you have given your time, talent, and treasure to Uni, thereby ensuring a wonderful future for our students. Put simply, it was a great year.

Please join us in celebrating our accomplishments in the Annual Report 2015-2016.

Jeff Walkington, Ph.D.
Director

FULL LETTER

GIVING & SUPPORT

67%

of current parents made a gift to the school in 2015-16.

30%

gave the suggested donation of $3,750 or more.

20.4%

The percentage of giving to the Parent Fund increased this year, while giving from alumni and alumni parents to the Annual Fund decreased by 4.2%.

1,318,100

was pledged in FY16 in support of the Innovations in Learning initiative to renovate and create active learning spaces, up from $156,750 in FY15.

ADD YOUR GIFT

BY THE NUMBERS

96 years of academic excellence begins in 2017

3 Nobel Prize winning alumni

5 ExploraVision International Championships, including 2016

Math team took 1st Place in regionals

719 Alumni (23%) made a gift in FY16

5 Presidential Scholar candidates

18 students qualified as National Merit Semifinalists

13 students selected for ILMEA All-State Music Festival

15 students competed in the IHSA journalism sectionals

Uni recognized in the Washington Post as a top performing school with elite students

9 Faculty/Staff members with a PH.D.

234 Student athletes; 4 News-Gazette Athletes of the Year; 7 All-State Performances; 18 New School Records Set

32 Average ACT score for class of 2016

125 alumni, parents and friends attended the Uni High Gala

INNOVATIONS IN LEARNING

Through the Innovations in Learning fund, we built a prototype active learning classroom, with technological advances for the experimental teaching and curriculum Uni embraces. We are actively pursuing our goals of having ongoing innovations in our curriculum and having our students explore learning in modern, flexible spaces.

$1,318,100

Total gifts pledged to Innovations in Learning in FY16

$1.25 million

Largest Innovations in Learning pledge*

*Largest single pledge in Uni High history

INNOVATIONS IN LEARNING FUND

Top: Shawn Lu, Uni Alum (’14), conducts experiments with Uni students during the 2016 Agora Days. During Agora Days - four days in February - Uni students get to explore new topics of their own choosing, learn new skills and teach others about their passions.

Bottom: Students enjoy a class in room 106N, Uni’s new prototype active learning classroom. The room was completed in time for the spring semester.

EXPLORAVISION

Six Uni students, working with Biology teacher Dave Stone, took first place honors nationally in the 2016 Toshiba/NTSA ExploraVision competition. The competition involves small groups of students collaborating in the development of a future technology prototype. The students research what would be necessary for their proposed technology to become a reality, and develop papers, videos and web sites.

4

Exploravision teams to place first internationally

6

Exploravision teams to place first regionally

EXPLORAVISION ONLINE

Uni’s award-winning ExploraVision team receives their regional awards. The team went on to win first place and a trip to Washington, DC in the international competition.

From left to right: Advisor and Uni science teacher Dave Stone; Sarah Zhang (’17); Joy Chen (’17); Aditi Yedatore (’18); Rima Rebei (’17) and mentor Katie Tender (’16).

UNI HIGH GALA

More than 125 people joined the University of Illinois Provost, student speakers Chris Bauer and Ellen Rispoli, and a representative of the new Uni Alumni Association at the fifth annual Gala April 16. The annual event, held this year in the new ECE building on campus, honored James Tobin, one of Uni’s three Nobel Prize recipients. The event marked the 35th anniversary of Tobin’s Nobel Laureate in Economics. Alumni who have received the James Tobin Social Studies award at Uni joined the Gala as honored guests, along with several major donors.

Top: Dr. Tobin accepting his Nobel Laureate in Economics in 1981 based on his analysis of financial markets and their relations to expenditure decisions, employment, production and prices.

Bottom: Dr. Tobin at Yale University. Tobin Scholars are named each year at Yale University to honor James Tobin, a prominent member of the Department of Economics at Yale from 1950 to 2002.

UNI ATHLETICS

Participation in sports remains at high levels, and our teams continue to improve. Our students made regular appearances at state-level championships this year, as well as in The News-Gazette as athletes of the year and on all-area teams.

234

Student athletes

18

New school records set in 2015-16

7

All-state performances

UNI HIGH ATHLETICS

Top: Uni volleyball players huddle during a regular season match. The volleyball team won 3rd place in the ECIC Conference Tournament.

Bottom: Uni Tennis players warm up before a match. The tennis team, a relatively recent addition to Uni’s athletics line-up, had a successful season with one player going to state.

UNI LIBRARY

Our recently updated library is the social hub of Uni in addition to being the focal point of the school for research, books and a quiet place to study. The library is a critical element of Uni’s active learning focus, with everything from discussions to outside speakers on a variety of issues, to a “relaxation station” during finals.

46%

Library usage and circulation of materials, has risen steadily over the past few years

UNI HIGH LIBRARY

Top: The entrance to Uni’s library welcomes students all day, every day, for a variety of purposes—a hub of school activity. The Uni Library is also part of the University of Illinois library system, allowing Uni students access to libraries across campus.

Bottom: Students attend a presentation and discussion on Gender Neutrality during Uni period. Discussion leaders included Molly Newman-Johnson (’17) (left of screen) and Madie Gardner (’17) (right of screen).

BONEYARD PROJECT

This year, Uni freshman teachers came together to create our first an end-of-year interdisciplinary project. After learning about various aspects of the Boneyard creek, students explored the site, did background research and produced projects ranging from tri-fold displays to apps, podcasts and videos.

FRESHMAN TEACHERS INTRODUCE INTERDISCIPLINARY BONEYARD PROJECT

Top: Alex Higgs (’19), takes photos as part of his participation in the Boneyard Project.

Bottom: Freshman Ayat Jaber holds up a snake, one of the species students encountered during their participation in the freshman interdisciplinary project. This was the first year for the project.

UNI FINE ARTS

The fine arts department this year produced Romeo and Juliet in the fall and Fiddler on the roof in the spring, along with several student-led projects. The Spring semester also featured Brushes and Sticks, an evening gallery of visual art and music. The orchestra, chorus, jazz bands and madrigals performed throughout the year as well.

Top: Ethan Simmons (’17) and Quinn Powers (’17) join fellow cast members of Romeo and Juliet to learn about sword fighting.

Middle: Noah Larson (’16) accompanies Robert Money (’16) and Kavi Naidu (’16) of the jazz band.

Bottom: Attendees enjoy the art exhibits at “Brushes and Sticks.”

PUBLIC POETRY PROJECT

Uni’s innovations span the curriculum, with many faculty embracing active learning strategies. Poetry students created projects including public events at community venues to a magnetic poetry board in the kitchen to a web site dedicated to exploring the visual aspect of poetry through graphing.

PUBLIC POETRY PROJECT

Left: John Harden (’17) with the magnetic poetry board in Uni’s kitchen. The board was available to students as part of the spring poetry class’s Public Poetry Project.

Right: website for exploring visual aspects of poetry through graphing.

SENIOR PROJECT

Studying groundwater lithium and neurodegenerative diseases, polishing creative writing portfolios and creating original jazz compositions aren’t on typical high school transcripts, but Uni’s Senior Project class gives second-semester seniors the opportunity to create self-directed experiences like these.

13 STUDENTS COMPLETE SENIOR PROJECTS

Senior, Joaquin Malik presenting on Nuclear Engineering Research (Radiation Surface Science and Engineering Lab). Joaquin worked with Dr. Jean Paul Allain, Associate Professor of Nuclear Plasma and Radiological Engineering here at Illinois.

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

The Uni High Alumni Association is an independent organization founded and run by alumni from the 1960s to the 2010s. The alumni association connects alumni with each other and with the school, and hopes to give Uni the support that such a unique institution deserves.

JOIN OUR FACEBOOK PAGE MORE ABOUT ALUMNI ASSOCIATION WWW.UNIALUMNI.ORG
Uni High Alumni Association President, Jeff Helfrich (’99), speaking at the 2016 Uni High Gala.

YOUR SUCCESS

IS OUR SUCCESS.

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The 2015-2016 Uni High Annual Report was produced by the Uni High Advancement Staff, articles written by Carol Lombardi, and design created by the University of Illinois Public Affairs Creative Services team.

This webpage was created by Uni High students Julian Montague and Austin Chen with help from students Reed Phillips, Zach Hamilton, and Emma Roese in their World Wide Web class under the instruction of Joel Beesley.