Left to right – ETHS Geometry in Construction co-teachers Matt Kaiser (CTE) and Maryjoy Heineman (Math), ETHS freshman Victor Mendoza Garcia, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and ETHS freshman Nolan Robinson. Photo courtesy of @janschakowsky

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky recently visited Evanston Township High School to learn more about the high school’s tech prep courses and industry certifications available to ETHS students.

 During the visit, Rep. Schakowsky met with school leaders and toured facilities in the Career & Technical Education (CTE) department, including the culinary arts kitchens, child daycare study lab, the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) certified automotive technology lab, manufacturing /metal working facilities, and engineering labs. The congresswoman learned about the various industry and career certifications that are available to students at ETHS, including pharmacy technician training, automotive technology training, Level 1 early care and education (ECE) credential, Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification, and National Institute of Metalworking (NIMS) certification.
“Congresswoman Schakowsky is a friend of education who supports legislation to benefit students across the country,” said ETHS District 202 Superintendent Eric Witherspoon.  “We are pleased she came to ETHS to see firsthand our major investment in career and technical education,” he added.

Rep. Schakowsky also visited the school’s Geometry in Construction classes and construction site. The students in the interdisciplinary math and industrial technology course are building a three bedroom, 1,300 square foot house that is scheduled to be completed in late May. Community members and industry experts have been invited to participate in the construction through a series of Community Build Days and other partnerships. Geometry in Construction co-teachers Matt Kaiser (CTE Department) and Maryjoy Heineman (Mathematics Department) discussed the importance of the Congresswoman’s visit. “Our students have been working hard on the house all year including a lot of work done inside during the brutal winter weather,” said Mr. Kaiser. Ms. Heineman added, “With all of their hard work, they were really proud when they showed it off to the congresswoman.”
The Congresswoman’s Twitter page (@janschakowsky) noted her excitement about the Geometry in Construction visit by posting a series of photos and Tweets, including one that stated, “ETHS Wildkits are building a house using math & engineering skills! It will go to a needy family when it is done.”

CTE Department Chair Shelley Gates said, “Geometry in Construction is just one of the many innovative things we’re doing in CTE at ETHS. We’re continually re-invigorating and updating our curriculum to serve students and introduce them to meaningful careers for today and tomorrow’s working world. We also shared our plans with the congresswoman for our Advanced Manufacturing Lab that is coming soon.”

The visit ended with a meeting with District 202 Board President Gretchen Livingston and Dr. Witherspoon. The group discussed the school, its various programs to serve students, and the recent ranking of ETHS by U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best High Schools.”