District About Us Superintendent Principal Student Services School Calendar District Boundry Map Bid Packet Employment Opportunities Organizational Chart Contact Us
Harrison Board of Education Board of Education Directory Board Member Training Agendas & Minutes Board Meeting Calendar Board Contracts School Budget Board Policy 1. School District Organization 2. School Board 3. General School Administration 4. Operational Services 5. Personnel 6. Instruction 7. Students 8. School-Community Relations
Students Student Resources Clubs and Activities
Parents Community Virtual Backpack Forms Resources Lost and Found Parental Education Professional Developement Links
PTO Board Members By Laws and Procedures PTO Agendas and Minutes Accomplishments Contact Us About PTO Volunteer Miscellaneous
Staff Resources Teacher Resources Staff Directory Internal Job Postings

Parental Education

How Students spend time out of school, Ann Murphy Paul



Why Parenting is More Important than School, Ann Murphy Paul



New Resource Roundup! Helping Parents Get Engaged with Student Learing

Experts tell us that parent involvement is one of the biggest predictors of student success at school. So where should they begin? We've compiled a list of articles, videos, and other resources to help families engage in a productive way with their teachers...

Project-based learning can be a fantastic way for kids to get engaged with hands-on, active learning. Here's how parents can encourage and support this teaching strategy.

We've compiled a list of resources to help parents understand high-stakes testing, different forms of assessment, and school achievement data.


Common Sense Media compiled this list of resources for families on how to help children explore digital tools smartly and stay safe.

Experts tell us that parent involvement is one of the biggest predictors of student success at school. So where should they begin? We've compiled a list of articles, videos, and other resources to help families engage in a productive way with their teachers and schools

Students should be given more nonfiction reading materials, exposing students to a topic that's familiar and part of their surroundings; and students should see their teachers reading and talking about nonfiction materials. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (09/06) ​


School technologist shares some educational websites he uses with students; websites that teach through games. Students can improve their skills in math, computer programming and spelling. Des Moines Register (Iowa), The (09/07) ​


This links give you an inforamtional graphic as to what some Harrison Teachers are doing to flip their classrooms to meet the changing needs of our 21st Century Learners.



This link/article shows how teachers are catching up with students on the instructional use of social media:

 “Three Essential Shifts in Learning” by Rob Mancabelli in District Administration,

September 2012 (Vol. 48, #8, p. 100), http://bit.ly/QJC2k3


This link gives parents an overveiw of how the National Common Core State Standards are changing what/how schools are teaching.   


New Staff 2012.JPG

10 new staff members to join the Harrison Team this school year.  We had hundreds of candidates who applied for these jobs, and after dozens of interviews for each position we are proud to have the best, highly qualified and most enthusiastic people to enhance the teaching and learning team at Harrison. 

Jennifer Bakakos, 2nd Grade: Mrs. Bakakos is very excited to be teaching 2nd grade at Harrison this school year!  She received her bachelor's degree in Education from Lake Forest College in 2009.  She has taught Kindergarten and 1st grade over the past 3 years and is ready to make a great start at Harrison in 2nd grade.  

Mallory Aherns, 2nd Grade: Ms. Aherns graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2010 with an elementary education degree. For the past two years she substituted regularly at Harrison, McHenry and Woodstock school districts. She has also worked as a private tutor and for a tutoring company called Literacy for all. She is looking forward to a great year in her own classroom.  

Sue Anderson, 5th Grade: Mrs. Andersen graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in Elementary Education.  Upon graduating she gained valuable teaching experience by working as a summer school migrant education teacher, substitute teacher and classroom paraprofessional.  She taught 5th grade at Landmark School in McHenry for 6 years and then moved into a 2 year position as a part-time Enrichment Coordinator at Harrison School.  She is honored to be back at Harrison after taking some time away to raise her children.

Emily Gay, 6th Grade: Mrs. Gay graduated from Marquette University, where she majored in Elementary Education and Communications.  She started her career in Marengo, teaching sixth grade Language Arts at Locust Middle School.  Then she moved to Chicago, where she worked at three different Chicago Public Schools over the next thirteen years.  She also earned her Master of the Arts Degree in Reading from St. Xavier University.  She is thrilled to be returning to McHenry County to teach at Harrison School.  

Tim Sarver, 6th Grade: Mr. Sarver comes to Harrison after spending two wonderful years at Medinah Middle School in Roselle, IL, where he taught Social Studies and Language Arts.  He is excited to be working with the 6th graders this year as they explore the fascinating world of Math and Science, as this will allow him to share experiences from his previous career in semi-conductor manufacturing.  He loves working with children and watching them grow and learn new skills that will be valuable throughout their adult lives.  He is happy to be a part of the Harrison family/community and looks forward to an amazing year.

Colleen Ringa, 7th/8th Grade Literacy: Mrs. Ringa earned her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame with a major in American Studies.  She completed a two-year service program through Notre Dame after graduation and earned her Masters of Education while teaching middle school language arts in Austin, Texas.  She taught for six additional years in Washington, DC, before moving to Illinois and is very excited to start a new year of teaching and coaching at Harrison.

Bridgot Loesch, Literacy Specialist:  As a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Literacy from Concordia University, Mrs. Loesch is very excited to be returning to her career as an educator at Harrison School.  Before completing her program in reading, she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois and followed that with a Master’s Degree in School Leadership, also at Concordia University. Her past experiences include working as a classroom teacher at the primary level and also working as the director of education at Sylvan Learning Center.  She looks forward to working at Harrison and hopes to help every student develop the skills necessary to learn and lead in the 21st century.

Gina Szara,  LD Resource Teacher: Mrs. Szara is excited to be a part of the Harrison team and family. She received her bachelor's degree in Special Education from Aurora University in 2010.  For the past two years, she has been a teacher at the Special Education District of McHenry County in Woodstock.  

Abbie Wertin, Social Worker: Ms. Wertin obtained a Masters in Social Work from the University of Illinois and is a Licensed Social Worker. It’s her privilege to work with Harrison School children, staff and families. She describes a social worker’s role in the school setting as a way to support social emotional issues that impact academic successfulness.  An example of what she does is to teach students positive ways of handling emotion/ feelings to increase self-awareness and self-image. She is here to make sure families know they are not alone when life issues come up and to demonstrate that people at Harrison School care.  

Michael Schonberg, School Psychologist: Mr. Schonberg just retired from the Chicago Public Schools after a diverse career as a teacher and school psychologist.  Upon receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Roosevelt University, he spent several years as a teacher of general and vocal music. He also taught learning disabled students for ten years after receiving a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Illinois/Chicago.  An Education Specialist degree from National-Louis University has allowed him the opportunity to serve as a school psychologist for the past nineteen years.  He looks forward to bringing his diverse experiences to Harrison and hopes that it will be of benefit to the students, staff, and parents.