Posts Tagged Chicago High School for Agricultural Science

Chicago High School for Agriculture Science Hosts the Kick-Off Rally for Groundhog Job Shadow Day in Chicago

One of my favorite days of the year is the kick-off for Groundhog Job Shadow at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. Being the only school located on a working farm in Chicago and with its deep roots and animal and food science, CHSAS is the perfect place to host such an event. Founded by Colin Powell during his years at America’s Promise, Groundhog Job Shadow Day is held annually on Groundhog Day, February 2nd, which marks the beginning of a year of job shadowing opportunities for high school students.

CHSAS has been a leader in giving its students meaningful internships and shadowing experiences in a range of careers and it is an honor for the school to host the kick-off rally on behalf of the Chicago Public Schools and its Office of Education to Careers.

Ryan Jameson, Senior and FFA Chapter President, shared “The Legend of the Groundhog” with the 200 juniors and seniors in attendance.

CHSAS had a very special Groundhog this year. The report matched that of Punxsutawney Phil, who did not see his shadow, thus forecasting an early spring.

The CHSAS Groundhog is joined by Eli’s Marc Schulman, co-chair of the CHSAS Business Advisory Board, CHSAS Principal David Gilligan, FFA Chapter Vice PresidentMelissa Janisch and Special Guest Speaker, Dimitri
Hatzigerorgiou, Area Director for Starbucks.

Marc Schulman with Lucille Shaw, Master Ag Teacher, FFA Advisor and BIg Bear Fan

Eli’s Marc Schulman with Starbucks Dimitri Hatzigerorgiou, CHSAS Principal David Gilligan and Chicago Public Schools Education to Careers Chief Officer, Jill Wine Banks.

Christine DeCoudreaux, a CHSAS student spoke about her three day intensive internship at Eli’s in January.

It was inspirational for the students at CHSAS to learn about Dimitri’s career. From his graduating from the hospitality program at Cornell University, to joining Starbucks when it was a small but fast growing coffee chain from Seattle and then bringing Starbucks to Greece, it was a message that was very beneficial for all in attendance.


A trip to CHSAS wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Barn. Under the leadership of Dr. Joan White, the school Animal Science instructor, CHSAS students are learning about careers in veterinary medicine for both pets and large animals.

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Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences welcomes the Miracle Field to its campus and the Mt. Greenwood Neighborhood

The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences on the far southwest is
unique because of its agricultural programs, state of the art campus and
location on the last working farm in the City of Chicago. CHSAS gained another
distinction this week as it also the home of the Miracle Field and three other
baseball fields constructed with donations from the White Sox and White Sox

This is the first Miracle Field in Chicago and we look forward to it being a
true Field of Dreams in its partnership with CHSAS.

Mayor Daley cuts the ribbon for the Miracle Field

Park District CEO TIm Mitchell is presented with a gift by CHSAS

Principal Dave Gilligan and CHSAS students thank White Sox CEO Jerry
Reinsdorf for the Miracle Field

Miracle Field a dream come true

05/16/2005 7:17 PM ET

By Kelly Thesier /

CHICAGO — As Debbie Greene watched her 10-year-old son Michael sitting
at home plate waiting for a pitch with a huge smile on his face, tears formed in
her eyes.

Michael has been in a wheelchair since the age of three and dreams of playing
center field like his favorite player Aaron Rowand. On Monday, that fantasy
became more of a reality as the White Sox unveiled a new Miracle Field in Mt.
Greenwood, on Chicago’s southwest side.

Miracle Field is a baseball diamond made out of cushioned, rubber turf that
allows for wheelchairs to traverse the field without worry. It is part of a
brand new four-field complex known as White Sox Fields that the organization
helped to build. The main cornerstone of the $1 million project was the
construction of Miracle Field but the area has a total of four fields: a
baseball field, softball field, a Little League diamond along with the field
made for children with handicaps.

For Greene, seeing her son play on the new field was more than she could have

“To me and to everybody else who has handicapped children, this is
unbelievable,” Greene said. “I’m trying to make my son’s dream come true and
this is the dream.”

The project has been in the planning stages since the latter part of 2001
when a piece ran on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” about the Miracle
League. The Miracle League was developed in 1998 to help children with
disabilities play baseball and developing fields that are safe for the kids to
play on. When White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf saw the piece, he knew that his
team had to do something.

“I’ve been looking forward to this day for a really long time,” Reinsdorf
said as he watched some of the kids play on the new field. “Ever since I saw the
video on the Miracle League, I knew we needed to help. When this was planned, I
couldn’t wait for it to get built fast enough.”

Monday was the day that Reinsdorf was finally able to rejoice in all the
work. The White Sox chairman was on hand to celebrate the opening of the new
fields along with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Daley spoke to the crowd about
what it means to have such a facility in the city.

“These kids are like anyone else,” Daley said. “They are Sox fans, they just
want to get out here and participate.”

A significant crowd was on hand to see the ribbon cut for the new facility.
Along with Reinsdorf and Daley were former White Sox players Harold Baines and
Billy Pierce, along with the family of Jack Gould, a longtime Chicago sports
executive with the Bulls and White Sox. Three of the fields were named after
Baines, Pierce and Gould, all of whom have had left an impact not only on the
team but on the community as well.

After the opening ceremony, many children gathered to swing the bats and
travel around the bases. Seeing the smiles on all the kids’ faces was what the
day was all about.

“It’s truly a dream come true,” said Christine O’Reilly, White Sox senior
director of community relations. “When I say this is the cornerstone of the
project, it really is. To know that we can bring baseball to these kids who
otherwise couldn’t play — they just can’t navigate on a grass and clay

This is not the first time that the White Sox have been involved in the
Miracle Field project. The team also donated $300,000 to help build two other
such fields in Roselle, Ill., and Geneva, Ill.

With the addition of the new field, the Miracle League continues to grow. The
field in Mt. Greenwood is the 18th such field in the nation, with 61 currently
under construction.

“There is an obligation on behalf of sports teams to give back to the
community,” Reinsdorf said. “We take so much out of the community, we need to
give back. I don’t think we should get anything out of this because I think it’s
a selfish thing. I feel so good when I see these kids. It’s just an unbelievable

For Michael, the day was even more special. Michael was not born handicapped
but a blood clot found on his spine around the age of three put him in the
wheelchair. Being in the chair has not deterred his love of sports. He has been
involved in a wheelchair basketball league but it’s another sport that has
captured his love.

“Baseball is Michael,” his mom said. “This is his love.”

Seeing the broad smile on Michael’s face after he was finished swinging at
home plate explained just how much the day meant to him, but to his family, it
might have meant even more.

“I’m very nervous and I think I am getting more choked up than he is” Greene
said. “Our daughter plays Little League here a couple of times a week and while
she’s playing, me and him take a walk down here. I told him we’d be able to get
on this field someday and play and today is that day.”

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Professor Richard Fishman of Brown University and creator of the Elm Tree Project visits Chicago and the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences

In the Fall of 2004, I was fortunate to visit the Brown campus in Providence,
Rhode Island and learn about work of Professor Richard Fishman and the study of
Elmo–the giant Elm that had been a mainstay of the Brown campus.

We helped arrange for Dr. Fishman to come to Chicago this past week to speak
to Friends of the Parks and to meet with a group of students at the Chicago High
School for Agriculture Sciences. Our relationship with Friends of the Parks
dates back to 1988 when Erma Tranter and FOTP were invaluable partners in
planning, fundraising and constructing Seneca Park & the Eli M. Schulman

Our relationship with CHSAS is a very exciting one as this is a school that
really set a national example of how beneficial to the community and its
students and urban agriculture highschool can be. It was great to come back one
week after Ground Hog Job Shadow Day for a totally different topic that could
engage students.

Professor Fishman’s and his students work is beautiful. The great tie to
CHSAS is that everything flows from the tree and nature and is then taken
forward by the students at Brown. Dave Gilligan, the Principal, and Bob Bush,
the Ag Tech chair saw numerous applications that could enhance visual art
opportunities as well as helping developing the Farm.

We look forward to Dr. Fishman’s return to Chicago and to becoming an ongoing
partner at CHAS with the Elm Tree Project.

Elmo: a thing of beauty
About 15,000 pounds of Elmo, Brown
University’s famous elm tree, went through a Sheffield, Mass., sawmill in early
May. The lumber will serve as raw material for a variety of courses and projects
involving the tree’s campus legacy.
[Photo: Richard Fishman]

Brown Daily Herald (5/14/2004)

The Elm Tree Project

Brown’s once-mighty “Elmo” is preserved through artists’ project

“Elmo,” the majestic American elm
tree that once defined the Thayer Street entrance to the Watson Institute,
succumbed last year to an advanced case of Dutch elm disease and was taken down
to prevent the disease from spreading. Now, in an innovative exercise in
recycling and preservation, wood from the tree is providing inspiration for The
Elm Tree Project and a series of courses at Brown University and Rhode Island
School of Design.

— Preservation and recycling are reaching a new level at Brown
University, where students in visual art are turning what was once a campus icon
into works of art.

Wood from “Elmo,” the majestic American
elm tree that once defined the Thayer Street entrance to Brown’s new Watson
Institute for International Studies, is being used for The Elm Tree Project, a
collaborative effort between Brown and Rhode Island School of Design. The Elm
Tree Project is designed to “document, reflect upon and work to continue Elmo’s
legacy,” according to Richard Fishman, chair of the Department of Visual Art.
The project will encompass a series of courses, exhibitions, performances and
events inspired by Brown’s elm in particular and by the larger issues of nature,
ecology and the environment.

“The tree invokes ideas and feelings
that extend throughout history, culture, science and the arts,” said Fishman.
“This is an opportunity to examine these issues in a multidisciplinary approach
with a diverse group of students and faculty from the two

The first of several planned courses,
dubbed the Elm Tree Class, was offered at Brown this spring through the
Department of Visual Art. Using a former University storage facility on
Tockwotten Street as a studio, 17 students “explored the tree as material and
metaphor, within topics such as environmental studies, biology and the arts,”
Fishman said. Students in the class have used wood from Elmo to produce works in
varied mediums, ranging from sculpture and furniture-making, to photography,
video and even fashion projects. Two new courses will be offered next fall and
taught jointly by faculty from Brown and RISD; another course incorporating
environmental science is in the development stage at Brown. Fishman estimates
the elm tree yielded approximately 30,000 pounds of wood, enough to sustain
numerous related classes.

Elmo, which was thought to have been
between 80 and 100 years old, was taken down in December 2003 because it had
been ravaged by Dutch elm disease. Once the tree was divided into manageable
pieces, most of its wood was moved to the Providence Steel Mill for storage; the
remainder was transported to Berkshire Products Inc., a specialized sawmill in
Sheffield, Mass. On May 8, 2004, some 15,000 pounds was milled at the western
Massachusetts plant, where it will be stored and seasoned until next winter.
Fishman said his students will be able to confirm the tree’s precise age by
counting the tree’s rings once the milled wood is dried.

The elm tree was among the largest in
the University’s collection and was a dominant feature of the Watson Institute’s
new Thayer Street home, a dramatic building designed by Rafael Viñoly and
dedicated in May 2002. University grounds staff first noticed the tell-tale
symptoms of Dutch elm disease – yellowed and curling leaves in the crown – when
the tree leafed out in May 2003. The grounds staff immediately pruned out the
diseased areas, injected the tree with medication and sent samples to a lab for
testing, but found it could not be saved. The Providence city forester examined
the tree and agreed that it should be removed as soon as possible.

Dutch elm is a vascular disease carried
by the tree’s circulatory system; it moves rapidly and has no cure. Brown
University is home to more than 80 American elms, one of the largest
institutional collections left in North America. Each of the trees is treated
twice a year and monitored closely in the spring for any signs of disease in the
crown. Since Dutch elm disease is principally transmitted by a bark beetle, the
pruning of deadwood and careful removal of fallen branches are important parts
of the management program

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