The original print version of this newsletter was mailed to alumni: May 2014 Alumni Newsletter (pdf)

May 2014 - Eagles Forever!

Welcome from Principal Spells Principal Spells

The end of every school year is bittersweet. We know we will miss our graduating students, but we are also glad for their achievements.

I am happy to report: The St. Ethelreda Class of 2014 is outstanding! Our students are advancing to the top high schools throughout Chicago. I have great confidence in our newest alumni.

The alumni reunion will be held this year on Saturday October 11. It's a gathering of friends and family that is always a lot of fun! Our alumni are our strength. I hope you join us for this special evening.

Eagles Forever!

God Bless you, Denise Spells


You can have an incredible impact at St. Ethelreda School!

Our alumni donations fuel the Eagle Forever Scholarship Program. This program provides tuition for students that struggle financially to stay in school. Families are awarded scholarships based on need and academics.

Please donate online using the donate button below. St. Ethelreda uses an online payment service called This service is similar to Paypal and is used by many Catholic schools in the Archdiocese. This payment service is private, secure, and accommodates credit card or other electronic payment options.

Your donation makes St. Ethelreda possible for students in need. Thank you!

Alumni Reunion 2014

Mark your calendar for the 2014 St. Ethelreda School alumni reunion party:

2014 Alumni Reunion Party

Saturday October 11, 2014

More information is available at our website:

Alum Chat: Frank Cheers, Class of 1995

Editor: Hello, Frank. What is your best memory of St. Ethelreda?
Frank Cheers: Where do I begin to answer that question? My family started sending children to St. Ethelreda back in 1984 when my older sister, Olettia '92, was in first grade. So, many of my childhood memories are wrapped up in blue and gold St. Ethelreda moments-and that's a great thing.

Frank Cheers

Frank: More importantly, I remember the different families and how we were all part of a larger family. It was not uncommon for several parents to pile five or eight kids from St. Ethelreda in their cars and shuttle them to and from track meets, basketball and football games, or just anywhere. If you went to St. Ethelreda, you had your parents and about twenty others.

Ed: Describe your education accomplishments post St. Ethelreda.
Frank: After I graduated from St. Ethelreda, I attended Brother Rice. I did very well at Rice, and my success there is, in no small part, a result of my upbringing at St. Ethelreda. From Rice, I attended Marquette University where I studied many things including life, over-involvement in extra-curricular activities, and having a good time. Somewhere in there I managed to earn a B.A. in history with a minor in English literature.

Ed:Tell us about your profession.
Franks: Well, I've gone into the family business. My mother and sister are both teachers. Immediately after college, I taught high school English. I left teaching for a while to pursue some other things-public relations, non-profit development, retail, freelance writing, among others.
Currently, I teach English as a second language (ESL) to adults. There's never a dull moment. I teach classes of seventeen to nineteen students from around the world-literally. I have one class where I have students from Venezuela, Brazil, France, Chile, Japan, China, Colombia, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. Thank God I took six years of Spanish so that I can help my Spanish speaking students make meaningful comparisons to English. However, my classes are conducted entirely in English, which can be a bit of a challenge for my students. I get everybody on the same page though.
Teaching is a very demanding profession, but it's very rewarding. I'd like to thank St. Ethelreda's former principal, Carol Finn (may she rest in peace), for not ridding the school's curriculum of spelling, reading, grammar and phonics as separate subjects back in the 1980's. There was a big push in education to do just that. As result, I'm able to teach all of those things to my current students without much difficulty. I teach one conversation course, which allows me to get paid to just talk. Of course, I mix in some teaching in that class too. I just developed and started teaching a seminar course on the media to help my students with reading and listening, which are their biggest challenges.

Ed: What is one thing that you want your fellow alumni to know?
Frank: I think the main thing that I want my fellow alumni to know is that St. Ethelreda School is still very much open. However, we can't keep the school open without their help and support. Remember that once upon a time, you were a student who benefited from the gift of a St. Ethelreda education. Please pay that gift forward.

Inside the classroom: 4th Grade!

In February, Mrs. Leonard's 4th grade Social Studies class did a project for Black History month. Students chose a special person that they liked and wrote a poem about that person.

4th grade social studies students
4th Grade Social Studies Students

Here are some of the best Black History Month poems from Mrs. Leonard's class. Click to getter a larger, readable version!

Great job, 4th grade!

School Board Retreat

On Saturday, March 8, 2014, St. Ethelreda’s Board of Consolidated Jurisdiction gathered at the St. Procopius Abbey of Lisle, IL.

After a tour of the Abbey, the Board was met with spiritual reminders of why we serve. Father reminded us that where charity and love are, so is God. It was a fulfilling experience and a phenomenal way to recharge our commitment and spiritual connection to the work we do.

St. Ethelreda School Board

Library News

Bonus picture - Our library has a new magazine section. As you can see, it's very popular!

Student at the library

You can find more pictures of students in the library at our flickr photo set: Library Magazines photo set

Thank you

Thank you for reading our newsletter. Please email us if you have any feedback or an alumni story that you would like to see here. Thank you! Editors: Bill Krieger ( and Lolitha McKinney.

Also, please donate. Our alumni keep St. Ethelreda School strong!

If you haven't done so yet, we encourage all St. Ethelreda alumni to register. Once registered, we can better communicate events like our alumni reunion to you.

Click the "Register Now" button below to stay in touch with St. Ethelreda: