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Alumni News

Hey, alumni and former students of The Children's School: This is our official page where you can share your news and connect with old classmates and find out what they're up to. Whether you graduated from 8th grade at TCS, or just 5th grade (before we had a middle school), or if you moved away or transferred early but still have fond memories of your years at TCS, this page is for YOU!

We're kicking off this page with recent updates from TCS Alumni, and also a contact form to fill in your current email address so we can contact you with any future news, events, updates, etc. We hope to keep improving this page, adding features YOU would like to see. Use the contact form below to let us know what we can add to this alumni hub.

Latest Updates on
Your TCS Friends!

Matthew Erlec - Class of 2020
 

Matthew is pictured here starting his summer adventure in Stockholm. He is traveling with his Model UN team and will travel to Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and then to Germany where the competition will take place. Matthew has attended St. Ignatius' Model UN (SIMUN) since he was a Freshman and has won numerous awards in competitions. 

He’s also heading out later to US/Mexican border on a mission trip (Ignatius’ Formation & Ministry) for the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, AZ. It will be his second trip there, as he also went a few years ago with his church’s youth ministry.

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Bea Sjostrom - Class of 2021

Bea is currently finishing her Sophomore year at OPRF High School. She is pictured here in Halle, Germany, where she traveled last summer when she was on tour with the Chicago Youth Symphony (CYSO). In addition to winning the OPRF High School Concerto Competition, Bea has served as principal second violinist for many orchestras within CYSO and currently serves as concertmaster of the OPRF orchestra. 

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Bea was recently selected for the advanced Festival Orchestra of the Chicago Youth in Music Festival at Orchestra Hall, the Honors Orchestra at the ILMEA All-State Festival, and CYSO’s Classical Orchestral Repertory Ensemble. She plays in CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Bea also plays with CYSO’s String Theory Quartet under coach Paul Zafer, as well as the Corda Quartet/Trio, of which she is the founding member. Bea serves as a CYSO Ambassador to Chicago Public Schools.

Lilith Orion Hafner (early student)

Lilith Orion Hafner is an artist and digital creator. She is currently engaged in the creation of AI driven performance art, maintaining and enhancing the Julia programming language, and helping support the digital scholarship of her peers and professors.
 

Lilith joined the Vivero program as a fellow in Spring 2023 and is currently working with Professor Makeba Lavan to develop digital curricula to support an understanding of portrayals of miscegenation in historical and contemporary media as a part of the miscegenation nation short course.

 

Lilith attended The Children’s School of Oak Park from kindergarten to fifth grade and is currently a fourth year at Grinnell, majoring in New Frontiers of Art. Throughout her education she has been supported by a large collection of highly impactful teachers and professors including Alison Hafner, Nadine Brockman, Sidney Seagull, Josh Phipps, and Celeste Miller.

What's Up TCS Alumn?

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Eliana Baker, (early student)

"I graduated from Coe College on the Dean’s List in 2020 with a triple major in International Relations, Political Science, and Asian Studies. During college, I worked as an AmeriCorps member working with a local Refugee Resettlement agency as a housing coordinator to help provide safe and affordable housing to local refugees.

After graduating college, I moved back home to Madison, WI and have been working in assisted living working as an Administrative Assistant and obtained my Medication Administration certificate and to become a Medication Aide. I also completed training and have earned my TEFL certificate, giving me the ability to Teach English as a Foreign Language.

After traveling throughout Southeast Asia during college, I have decided to continue my travels and move to the Bahamas. While in the Bahamas, I will be attending Law School through Mitchell Hamline School of Law’s blended learning program and hope to become a Criminal and Immigration Attorney.

 

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my brother and fellow TCS Alumni Simon Baker, weight lifting, cooking, trying new restaurants, and traveling the world!

 

My favorite TCS project was our trips to outer space in the Gayle House, eating freeze dried food and building our space ship!"

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Pssssssst......
2024 is TCS' 20th Anniversary. Let's do an Alumni event!

Ben Angarone, Class of 2022 

Ben is a freshman at Oak Park River Forest High School. His favorite subject is English. He takes guitar lessons and is in the performance program at School of Rock.

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Emi Ortiz, Class of 2022

"I am a freshman at Morton West. In the fall I made varsity swim, in the winter I was a manager for the boy’s basketball team, and in the spring I play for varsity water polo and I am captain for junior varsity. I love my school! I have great bonds with my teachers and friends."

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Halina Sindt, Class of 2021

"I’m a sophomore at OPRF. I enjoy my classes, even though there can be a lot of homework. Some extracurriculars I’ve been doing are dance, learning guitar, and volunteering at PAWS. I recently helped with costumes for the “Mama Mia” production at OPRF. I’m going to Palma de Mallorca, Spain for three weeks this summer to learn about ocean ecosystems with a program through the high school."

Abby Falkoff, Class of 2021 

"I’m a sophomore at OPRF. I’m on the cross-country team and I’m also in the Huskie Helpers club. My favorite subjects are science and math and I’m going to do the independent research project class next year. I just got a story I wrote published in the literary magazine! I still go to the woods most weekends and foster kittens."

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Rhys Mix (he/him) – Class of 2020
"I went to Trinity High School for my freshman and sophomore years and then transferred to Morton West High School this year for my junior year. While at Trinity high school I worked on several theatrical productions and worked for the theater running sound for rentals. I was the first Sophomore ever to be inducted de La Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica (Spanish Honor Society). I also was inducted in the International Thespian Society and received an award in English.

During my Sophomore year I joined Scouts. I have currently earned First Class rank. I have also been nominated for the Order of the Arrow which is the BSA’s honor society. This past summer in Scouts my troop lead the Chicago Pride Parade and as a trans youth I choose to carry the trans flag. The flag had extra meaning because on it was the words “Black Trans Lives Matters” And sewn along the edges was ribbons each listing the name of a black trans person who died due to violence.

This year at Morton I have continued to work in theater and help to run sound. I also was inducted in the National Honor Society.

I have tried to travel as much as I can. We go to MO to visit family. My uncle has a house on a lake where we can swim and paddle canoe/kayak. Last spring break I went to NYC and saw three shows on Broadway. Over the summer I went camping and hiking with the Scouts. I went hiking in New Mexico and Colorado. This summer we are going on a canoe trip to the Boundary Waters."

Cat Nickles, Class of 2020

Cat most recently performed in Cabinet of Curiosity’s Winter Pageant show titled Icicle Picnic: Journey For The Sun.

(see slideshow above)

 

Cat is a junior at OPRFHS and has enjoyed her culinary classes as well as creating in woodworking. Cat is also a member of the powerlifting team at OPRFHS and placed second in a recent competition. 

 

She continues her advocacy for Beyond Hunger (the recipient of her Capstone cookbook fundraiser). As part of her Civics class, Cat had a bake sale fundraiser that raised $1,000 for Beyond Hunger. 

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Jonny Hugh, Class of 2018

"Lately, I've been devoting a lot of time to developing my musical skills such as songwriting, recording and producing, learning new instruments, and more. I'm also working at a local therapist practice in Oak Park, Smart Behavior Solutions, where I work on their social media, general graphic design, as well as some outreach to teachers, therapists, and other practices. Overall, this gap year has been a fantastic opportunity for me to focus on the things that I find important in my life. It has also taught me about the importance of - and sometimes annoyance that comes with - how to set, regulate, and accomplish goals for myself."

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Jared Allread (early student)

“I graduated from Drake in 2021 and am now working in healthcare public relations at an agency in Chicago.” Jared still remembers his favorite TCS project – the western expansion and covered wagon!

Lucas Larson, Class of 2016

"I'm about to graduate from Triton College. I have one more semester to go then I’ll get my associate of arts degree. After this I’m planning to transfer to DePaul or Columbia to study game design and minor in graphic design.

 

I have been working for WSSRA over this school year and have been enjoying my job. West Suburban Special Recreation Association works with people with special needs. I work with clients of all ages.

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I still enjoy playing video games. Some of those include: Elden Ring, Destiny 2, and Yu-Gi-Oh.

I am still doing karate and I’m a 2nd-degree black belt and considered a sensei (teacher). 

Overall, I’m doing pretty well and I look back on TCS with fond memories and still use the lessons I learned to this day."

Sydney Meyer (early student)

Sydney graduated Magna Cum Laude from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in theatre arts and child studies. She was very active at SCU, where she acted in, stage managed and directed multiple plays, sang in an a cappella group, was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, was a peer educator and freshman seminar leader, played intramural soccer, and served as a SCU Student Ambassador. She was accepted into Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit Honor Society), Kappa Delta Pi (Education Honor Society) and Alpha Psi Omega (Theatre Honor Society).

 

Sydney is currently doing a year of service in Boston through the Jesuit Volunteer Corp. She is teaching 5th and 6th grade students in a dual language public school. Ultimately, she plans to teach Kindergarten after attending graduate school.

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Simon Nosek (early student)

Simon is a third-year student at Oberlin College in Ohio where he lives with his lovely partner, Cassandra. Simon is majoring in Political Science and Religion. He recently returned from a study abroad experience in Greece where he got to swim in the Aegean Sea and practice his Greek language skills. Simon works as a research assistant in the Religion department at Oberlin and when he is visiting Oak Park, he teaches Dungeons & Dragons workshops for tweens and teens. He plans to spend a gap year teaching English in Greece before heading to graduate school. 

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Iris Nosek (early student)

A recent graduate of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA with a degree in Psychology, Iris will start their doctoral studies at RUSH University in Chicago in August 2023. Iris is enrolled in the RUSH Doctor of Occupational Therapy program and will be working as a teaching assistant while completing the 3-year program.

 

Iris is currently working as a Certified Nursing Assistant while doing their pre-requisite coursework in Washington where they live with their beautiful partner, Claudia, and two rats Mochi and Pepper.

 

Iris is also a working artist and sells their commissions through Etsy at Iris.Makes.Store, as well as Iris.Makes on Instagram. https://www.etsy.com/shop/IrisMakesStore.

 

Iris sent photo above from the anatomy and physiology lab course they are taking which harkens back to their dissection labs in 4th grade with Ms. Kate Miller where they first dissected a sheep's heart and realized they really loved science! 

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MORE TCS Alumni Stories, Info and Videos

For those of you who haven't visited the TCS website recently, here are some stories and videos the school shared that feature fellow TCS alumni.:

How we as Alumni Can Give back to TCS

There's no question that we all love The Children's School, and our great memories, the teachers, the education and love of learning, and the values and skills we took away from TCS. We can always donate back in the form of money, but there are also plenty of FREE ways to give back to TCS too -- no matter what your age. 

Here are the best ways alumni can support their alma mater, TCS, right now!

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
Follow TCS Online

Add your likes, follows, comments, shares, to keep our social network presence relevant and thriving!

Take Alumni Surveys

Once a year,  TCS sends out Alumni surveys. These really help the school when we participate. They usually take just 10 minutes or so to fill out.

Share Your News

Even if you think your news isn't interesting, just check in and say hi to everyone! What school do you attend? What's your favorite TCS memory? Use the contact form!

Share This Page

In touch with other TCS friends? Send them a link to this page so that they can stay connected too! The more news we can post, the more fun our page will stay.

Say "Yes" to Volunteer

The TCS middle school often holds panels and talks featuring alumni to encourage and mentor 7th and 8th

graders on their transition to high school and beyond.

Come to TCS Events

In town?  You're invited to visit or attend any schoolwide and public events. The TCS 20th Anniversary is coming up. Let's do an Alumni thing!!!

Fill Out Contact Form
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