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Art DepARTment students of the month!

May 2023



April 2023



March 2023

Chloe Evans

Chloe is focused and thoughtful, and not afraid to work for what she wants. It was really amazing to watch Chloe absorb information this year from me, and from...everywhere! Chloe often came in with new ideas that she was excited to try; I'd often find her in the middle of a new creation, or she'd bring in work that she made at home.

Chloe is a maker thru and thru. Great job Chloe!

February 2023



January 2023



December 2022

Muhammed Hussein

Mo is NOT afraid to try! ....and that kinda attitude really pays off! Mo has taken on some really big projects; from his horse head and learning how to sculpt to the potter's wheel, Mo understands that learning is an active process and charging into the unknown is OK.

Mo trusted me, and he trusts himself...and that's pretty amazing.

Great work this year Mo.

November 2022

Gianna Patterson

Gianna is in two of my classes: Drawing and Painting. In both, she continues to work very hard, listening and following through on ways to improve and push her making artmaking to a much higher level.

Congratulations, Gianna.

October 2022

Nour Ayyash

Nour is obsessed with throwing on the potter's wheel! ...but its paying off! The potter's wheel is a very challenging tool and Nour's abilities and comfort throwing are a testament to the time she has invested in HERSELF! Great job Nour, Keep on makin' !

September 2022





May 2022



April 2022

Aadi Kothadia

Aadi has been a rock solid student in digital media and now advanced digital media. He constantly challenges himself and recently it has paid off. His design was chosen for the program cover for the Spring Musical “Sweeny Todd”. Congratulations!

March 2022

Bella Holtrop

Bella is motivated! Bella works and works and continues to build on new ideas, thoughts, techniques and general information. Bella is a sponge, a work-horse-sponge-potter……! I can’t wait to visit Bella’s pottery studio one day! #sandburgpotter #madeatsandburg

February 2022



January 2022

Jordan Watson

Jordan was in my Digital Media last semester and has returned to Advanced Digital Media this semester. Last semester his problem solving skills were amazing. He was following my instructions on a project when he came to me and said, “could he solve the problem this way?” I had to admit his solution for his particular piece was by far better than what I proposed. He continues to work strongly this semester too. My hat is off to you, Jordan.

December 2021

Renna Abozir

Renna is a hard worker and a deep thinker. Renna is always a pleasure to work with, as she is truly able to internalize information and run with it. Whether Renna decides to follow the path of Ceramics or Rocket Science…..(basically the same thing), she has all the makings to be successful at whatever she decides! Woot woot! #madeatsandburg

November 2021

Harrison Meyer

Harrison is one of the most driven and talented students I have working in drawing for some time. He quietly works on every project, working with an extremely high level of craftsmanship and skill. Congratulations Harrison.

October 2021

Brooke Seaman

Brooke enters her Advanced Ceramics everyday with excitment and enthusiasm. She works hard everyday and sets the bar for her classmates. Besides a great work ethic, Brooke bring a contagously positive attitude. Brooke is a champ. #madeatsandburg

September 2021

Hanen Alhinnawi

Hanen has been a tremendous student in Jewelry class this semester. Her design ideas are complex and challenging, she takes great pride in her craftsmanship and is always willing to stop and help other students out when they need help.



March 2021

Matt Villarreal

Matt has a steady attitude about learning and trying and doing! Matt seemed unduanted by remotely learning and set up an envirnoment & brain space to work from home and "FLOW." Because of this, Matt is now in my Advanced Ceramics class and making great progress and exciting work!


Molly Fischer

Molly has been an anchor in class in this bizarre year….. Camera on, mic on, instigating conversation!, making pots, coming in ready in work!

Molly is a leader, and has been a wonderful asset in my ceramics class! THanks Molly!!!

November 2020:

Bryanna Tuscher

Throughout the semester Bryanna has excelled at demonstrating high levels of experimentation through her work in Black and White Photography. In each assignment there has been clear effort to go above and beyond what is expected.

October 2020:

Eman Qasmieh

Eman has been (and still is!) a super interested, curious, motivated, outspoken, thoughtful, good natured student and person in general!

Eman sets the tone in Ceramics Class; she jumps in and gets involved both through questions/research and action!

Eman is a wonderful student and a pleasure to work with.

September 2020:

Sara Ramsey

This student has been in our department for years but this summer and this semester, Sarah has really stepped up her game. She is currently working to produce 2 AP Studio portfolios. Twice the amount of work any other student is producing in this class. Her work is some of the finest I have seen from her ever. Congratulations.

December/January 2019:

Jada Scott

Jada is a student in my color photo class. She is one of my more enthusiastic students, always questioning how her work can be better and always pushing her limits in finding new ways to shoot strong photos not typical of high school students. She will be graduating this semseter and will be sorely missed in the art department.

November 2019:

Jade Hamilton

Jade is a go getter! Jade seeks information! Jade is an interested maker and is on top of processes. She's a pleasure to work with as she is always pushing what she can do and trying new things.

October 2019:

Karlie Azar

Karlie is a first time Art student but showing the ambition of a veteran artist. In Sculpture class, she is constantly pushing the limits of what she can do. Karlie works very independently and is always available to help others.

September 2019:

Malak Alomari

Malak is currently in my AP Studio class. The work she did over the summer, and continues to work on currently, explores many ways of using mixed media to express her vision. Her drawing skills and sense of composition are some of the strongest I have seen in years.


2019 Art Department Student of the Year: Averey Balcazar

The Art Department would like to acknowledge a student who has raised the bar in so many ways. She has excelled in terms of creativity, knowledge, risk-taking, drive and skill.

The members of our Department have been fortunate to have had her for a total of nine classes, where she as earned the grades of “A” or “A+”.

She has participated in numerous exhibitions and competitions, showing her works at the Moraine Valley High School Art Exhibition, the Sandburg Art Exhibition and Governor’s State University.

It has been quite an experience to watch this woman grow from an inquisitive young Sophomore to a confident, ambitious Senior. It is with great honor that we award Averey Balcazar the Art Department’s Student of the Year.

May 2019:

April 2019:

Marisa Pelegrino

Marisa has worked tirlessly in the art department this year. She has taken 7 art classes her Senior year including AP Studio. All of which she has continued to produce very strong work.

March 2019:

Abby Palumbo

Abby has been a great student aid for me this semester; always asking how she might help, and calling me lame if I don't have a job for her....?!! Abby is a hard worker, and always brings a great attitude!

January/February 2019:

Ella Pastoral

As an Advanced Black and White Photography student, Ella has gone above and beyond in creating unique pieces that show technical mastery as well as a willingness to experiement and step outside her comfort zone. Recently, Ella had two works picked to receive Gold Key Awards at the prestigious regional Scholastic Art Awards Show. Her pieces will now be sent to New York to be judged along with the best high school work in the country.

December 2018: Belen Carrera

Belen continues to be one of the strongest drawers in the entire department regardless of grade level. Her work is on a level that is one of the finest I have seen in my 20+ years of teaching. She is currently in Advanced Placement art and will be entering AP Studio next year.

November 2018:

Max Walsh

Max Walsh has turned it up! Max came into the ceramics studio this year with a newfound drive and focus. Max is maximizing his time in the clay studio in a way not many students, do in order to take advantage of this opportunity and resource available to him. Max has been pushing hard this whole semester, and is really starting to make some big breakthroughs in skill level and production! Go Max!!!

October 2018:

Allison Zaker

Allison is a Sophomore in Advanced Black and White Photography. She has spent a significant amount of time outside of class taking pictures and working on developing her skills. This month she also created a design for our Artober shirts.

September 2018:

Julia Krol

Julia is in my Advanced Drawing class. Her drawing skills and her sense of composition is some of the strongest I have seen in years. Julia transfered from Stagg her senior year. A move that would challenge any student but one she has made it smoothly in my class.

April 2018:

Noura Alsudany

Noura has been an outstanding student in both Painting and Jewelry this year. She is consistently creating high quality work and is always looking for ways to challenge herself. At the recent Moraine Valley High School Art Show her ring took second place for Sandburg.

March 2018:

Eric Garozzo

Eric has really stepped up his game in both production, thoughtfulness, and intent. He's producing more, and pushing hard to bring form and surface together in a unified way. Eric "checks in" with me daily for quick spot critiques. Eric has been working very hard this semester!

February 2018:

January 2018:

Aurimas Alfimovas

Aurimas has been a motivated student since his first day in Jewelry Class. His work has show a keen attention to detail and and very high quality. Since the start of the semester Aurimas has been like a second teacher in class helping other students with questions or working with new students.

December 2017:

Angel Fitzgibbon

Angel is a super motivated student. Always very anxious to work and present with clear ideas. Angel has the motivation and integerity to be a strong artist!

November 2017:

Zoe Kolozenski

Zoe is an excellent drawing student. She works a great deal to improve her skill and is very willing to try new techniques. Lately she is working beyond her class time (during 2nd hour or her lunch hour) to seek even stronger ideas or designs for her work. Finally, she is very willing to volunteer her art skills to other teachers such as Mr. Geiger and Mr. Diorio. She is a "rock star".

October 2017:

Averey Balcazar

Avery is the type of student that is always creating, looking for ways to improve, and open to criticism. She works hard to make the best work possible and is open to experimenting artisically.

Sept 2018:

Kelly Winston

Kelly is about the nicest kid around! She comes into the classroom with great energy and is excited to get to work! This summer Kelly couldn't wait for the year to begin, so she enrolled in ceramics class at Moraine Valley, and worked in her garage too! Woot Woot! I'm excited to see what she does this year! Great job Kelly!

March 2017:

Patricia Lenau

Patricia has a great attitude and effort towards her approach to working with clay. Because of her great work ethic, she is making get strides with her work.

Feb 2017:

Sophia Lopez

Sophia has worked very hard these past two years in Black& White Photography and Color Photography. She is Senior and currently working on a portfolio of 24 images that she hope to submit to AP Studio art. She has also been accepted to the School of the Art Institute with a Merit Scholarship. One of her works won a Gold Key at Scholastic Art and Writing Art Competion and that piece will go to New York and compete on the National level against all the other Gold Keys winners in the United States.

Jan 2017:

Anglea Garza

Angela is currently enrolled in 2 Art classes - Drawing & Painting. In both classes, Angela is an inspiration to her peers. Angela would make a great teacher someday. She is always helping out a peer, and she gives great advice! Students respect Angela. On top of all this, she has a great sense of humor.

Dec 2016:

Ximena Castillo

Ximena has a great work ethic and attitude in the classroom. She comes in focused and ready to go! She came into my ceramics class as a first semester freshmen and is paving her our way! I've gotta feeling Ximena is one of our raising art department stars!

Nov 2016:

Sydney Rastrullo

Sydney work in my classes continue to explore a strong photo foundation that she already has. She takes creative risks to explore her vision and she works countless extra hours to make work. This past summer she addended a Summer Photo Camp in Brooklyn, NY.

Oct 2016:

Olivia Good

Olivia has been a constant presence in the Art Department, for all 3 of her high school years. This year, in Illustration class, she is experimenting and crafting at an even higher level than previous years. Olivia is a great role model for her peers. She is friendly and hard-working, always happy to help out and show peers her technique and talk about ideas.

Sept 2016:

Evy Makris

Last year, Evy put in tons of extra time, and great effort in her pursuit of working with clay. With just a short time into this school year, her focus and excitement is clear, she is going to conquer making pots! Go Evy!

March 2016:

Madison Christie-Hamre

Madison is an exemplary student. Her work ethic is unbelievable! She always comes to class with a super positive attitude, ideas ready to go, and a drive, ready to work. She’s not afraid to take on a task, to design a project, and work towards achieving it.

February 2016:

Lisa Theriault

Lisa work has been chosen as one of five from Sandburg for the State of Illinois High School Art show to be exhibited in March at the Zhou Brothers Gallery in Chicago. Over 100 Illinois high schools submitted 2500 works of art this year. She is a remarkable young woman. Her work ethic, her images and her williness to assist others is at the top of my list of students in the 23 years I have taught in D230.

January 2016:

Taylor UDarbe

Taylor is an extraordinary worker with great drive and focus! Taylor brings great ideas to the table, responds to collaboration, and sees projects to conclusion.

December 2015:

Massara Haseeb

Massara always puts forth her very best effort no matter the task at hand. She struggles just like everyone else, but because of her innate love of learning, she sees every challenge as an opportunity. Massara is a pleasure to have in class.

November 2015:

Jennifer Kubicki

Jennifer is currently working on an Independent Study with Mr. Engelhard. She is trying to develop a portfolio of work to present to college that have an animation program. Jennifer is also one of my leaders in Art Club of which she has been a member of for several years. Lastly, she has been ask to design a new logo for the Sandburg Debate team. You rock, Jennifer.

October 2015:

Evan Flaherty

Evan Flaherty has developed a great passion for working with clay. He is making tons of pots, coming in every free chance he gets, trying to master the potter's wheel. Evan is setting the bar for his classmates!

September 2015:

Maggie Pendergast

Maggie is currently working on her AP Portfolio, which requires the creation of 24 works of original art. In AP class, she is motivated and determined to stay ahead of the curriculum. In addition to the effort she is making in AP, Maggie has signed on for an Independent Study with Mrs. Michaelson. She is working on additional pieces during Independent Study, at home and during Advisory.

Great job, Maggie!

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