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One month into the school year!  As the seasonal weather begins to change (eventually it will, right?), so do our thoughts change from "welcome to the school year," to "how can we continue to support your success?"  Inevitably, as we continue our journey into the school year, students begin to struggle with minor or major issues related to school.  This is historically true as we transition into October, where content takes hold and we all find ourselves in the "middle" of the first semester - and all this time of year brings us!

Never fear, friends!  As you will see within this post, Eagle Nation is well equipped to proactively meet the needs of our students during this time of year - whether these needs present themselves academically, behaviorally, socially, or emotionally!  Ultimately, we want our students to be like Humpty Dumpty and "have a great fall!"  See what I did there!?  That is pun gold!

As always, thank you for your continued investment in us, as your support and trust in us sends a powerful, direct message to your student about the value he or she should place in his or her education.

Now, this is what makes us Eagle Nation...





The Midwest PBIS Network recognizes schools throughout the state of Illinois each year for their PBIS implementation within their school buildings.  This year, over 500 Illinois schools were recognized for their PBIS implementation and work to support students during the 2017-18 school year. PBIS schools are recognized by the organization at four levels, based on the schools' PBIS implementation and outcome data: Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. 

I am proud to announce that Evans Junior High School was one of only two junior high schools, outside of the Chicago area throughout the state of Illinois, to receive the platinum recognition - the highest of all four levels - for our supports, services, and initiatives we provide our student body!

This is a testament to the passion, skill, care, ingenuity, and teamwork of the incredible Eagle Nation PBIS team, as well as the staff at Evans Junior High School - especially our PBIS Tier 1 coach, Mrs. Wehmeyer (7th grade Literature and Composition, Team 7B), and our 2017-2018 PBIS Tier 2 coach, Mrs. Hughart (6th grade Math, Team 6A).



As part of the national #RockYourSchool initiative, which aims at making schools more engaging and welcoming to students through creative initiatives and activities, Eagle Nation "rocked" this past month!

In conjunction with our first quarter focus of positive student and staff connections, we challenged the student body to nominate Eagle Nation staff members who "rock their worlds." Our students provided close to 300 nominations of "seeing the good" in our staff!

In conjunction with this kind deed, students could also request school-appropriate songs for the creation of a universal Eagle Nation "playlist" to be played during morning announcements, as well as at our lunches throughout the school year!



It is an intentional emphasis within Eagle Nation to provide various opportunities for students and staff to build beneficial relationships with one another.  During the first nine weeks of this school year, this is why our students have been exposed to multiple opportunities and activities to build positive connections with adults throughout our building.  Two events happening frequently during our lunches over this period of time are Staff Trivia and Staff Spotlight videos!



Staff Trivia happens during the week of Late Start days, where lunch tables can participate in lunchroom trivia about Eagle Nation staff.  The winning table receives recognition to the student body, as well as Elite Eagle Awards!



Staff Spotlight videos play on various days of the week during lunches, as well as on our TVs located in high-traffic areas of our building throughout the school year.  These videos provide short facts and information about Eagle Nation staff!




 Flying Lesson

Eagle Nation's "Flying Lesson" videos officially dropped in both many classrooms, as well as for the public this past month!  These videos are used as proactive, universal  behavioral learning tools to educate and introduce our students to basic Eagle Nation behavioral norms.  Each video (around five minutes) is followed up by a classroom "Building the Nest" conversation around specific ideas and topics pulled from the video.  Teachers are beginning to circle back to some of these videos with their students, as specific behaviors are retaught.

The five videos are shown sequentially:

  1. "Be The Good"
  2. "Student and Staff Respect"
  3. "Student Respect"
  4. "Respect Around Evans"
  5. "See The Good"

The videos - along with some talking points - are available below, our on our official YouTube channel here.


Bird Bin

Starting in November, "The Bird Bin" school store will open, on specific dates, to our student body during lunches!  Over the next couple of weeks, the student body will have the opportunity to provide some feedback on items they would like to see available in the store, which can be purchased by students with their "Elite Eagle Awards" as currency.  Would you like to help work in the store?  Please stay updated for information from our PTO! 




Please note: If you are looking to increase your involvement or investment in Eagle Nation, please note the PTO's new Facebook page!



App1  App2   App3

Calling All Businesses!  As you know, our staff at Evans do so much to help the students soar!  The Evans PTO wants to make sure that we take opportunities to nurture and nourish our staff. As such, the PTO will be hosting staff lunches, breakfasts, and special events, e.g., yoga, massage, etc. throughout the year and are looking for businesses willing to sponsor a meal or an event.  All business sponsors will be recognized at the sponsored event as well as on the Evans PTO Facebook page.

If you are affiliated with a business that would be interested in lending your support, please contact Evans PTO Hospitality Chair, Erika Hunt at




Evan the Eagle and I had the privilege of visiting the Bulldogs of Towanda this month to speak to them about both "being the good" and the power of "being the positive change" in a school environment.  A special thanks to Mr. Vogel for welcoming us into Bulldog country!




Eagle Nation encompasses the whole student: socially, emotionally, academically, behaviorally, and physically.  I want to extend a sincere "thank you" to the following student-athletes and families who gave of their time and skill for Evans this past summer (and early fall)!

  • The Lady Eagles softball team finished the season with a record of 15-5, making it to the 2018 IESA Regional Semi-Final game!  If you didn't this year, it is suggested you follow the team on their Instagram account, @EvansJrHighSoftball!
  • Eagle Nation's baseball team finished the regular season 6-10, and the young men won their first game in the 2018 IESA Regional against Rantoul Eater, 6-0!
  • Congratulations to our students who competed in the 2018 IESA State Golf Sectional Tournament this year!
  • At this time, our cross country team continues to compete in their season, as they are gearing up for the 2018 IESA Sectional races!  An update on the team will be provided in the next "Principal's Post!"



On Friday, October 26th, Eagle Nation will hold a “LIVE FIT” 5k Extravaganza!  Eagle Nation will spend this day celebrating the values of our school and community by participating in activities that correspond with our beliefs.  Please note an email and Skyward message was sent to you regarding specific schedules and information for this event!

There are three ways you can get involved with us!

  1. Participate!  You are invited to come to Evans on October 26 and complete the 5K with your student.  The run/walk race will take place on school grounds and will be completed in less than an 1 ½ Hours.  
  2. Communicate!  Recently, you may also have been asked by your student for addresses.  This is because we are also trying to raise money – through this event - for a school sign to be placed near Highway 150 in front of our building.  Students have expressed their desire to share their Evans pride to everyone who drives by each day. So, why the addresses?  The students will be using the addresses to send out “unraiser” information asking others to support their cause.  
  3. Donate!  The third opportunity for you to participate is to donate stamps so we can mail out the “unraiser” information (listed above).  On October 4th, we will be addressing the envelopes and mailing them out individuals.  If you would like to donate stamps to help cut the mailing cost, it would be greatly appreciated, and they may be sent in with your student or dropped off in the main office.

Again, please reference the email and Skyward message for details surrounding this extraordinary event!




With this time of the school year comes conferences and a plethora of reports of student learning.  Please understand, during this time of the school year, Eagle Nation also reflects and analyzes student growth - through a myriad of drilled-down variables and artifacts - to ensure all students are provided the opportunities to grow in specific areas of need.  From the individual student and teacher level - to a more systemic view - Evans Junior High School is committed to engaging students in opportunities for life-long learning.  More information about our school's area of focus for student growth will come in next month's "Principal's Post."

In the meantime, don't forget our students' academic reports are always available on Skyward!  Just as a reminder, we are no longer using Teacher Ease!


  • No school (as if you needed a reminder) on Monday, October 8th or Tuesday, October 9th!
  • Wednesday, October 17th is a Late Start day!
  • It's going to be a "spook-tacular" time at our annual Halloween Bash on Friday, October 19th, starting at 6:30pm - 8:30pm!  More information about this event will be provided in our morning announcements.
  • Family-Teacher Conferences are happening on Friday, October 19th.  Please check your email and Skyward for specific information.  Feel free to visit the main page of our website for more information, too!
  • Picture Re-Take Day is set for Monday, October 22nd.  We will also be having a Fire Drill that afternoon!  
  • Tuesday, October 23rd will be our Hearing and Vision Testing day, as well as our Halloween Band Concert that night!
  • As mentioned earlier in this post, Friday, October 26th will be our LIVE FIT 5k Extravaganza!


Recently, a letter was found in our building.  It was not addressed to anyone in particular, and it was also not signed by the writer.  However, its message is a powerful artifact to the culture of Eagle Nation, as well as the expectation held by the individuals within its walls.  I would like to share the letter with you:

"To Whoever Reads This Letter,

Hi!  You may not know me, but I'm a student here.  Duh.  Anyways, I want you to know you are loved. You hold a special place in someone's heart.  It may not seem like it now, but I care about you too!  What you say matters, and I hope that this letter boosts your confidence, even a little.  Continue to care for yourself, and keep your head up!  If you have an interest, keep liking it!  What you like is important.  If you are new to this school, stay persistent, I believe in you.  If you know this school, do the same!  I am here to support you no matter who you are.  If you know someone who really needs this letter, give it to them, brighten their day!

Well wishes,"

The author also encourages the reader to pursue notes like this in the future.  May we all intentionally be the catalyst of joy for someone else through our words, actions, and reactions.

THAT is what makes us Eagle Nation.

As always, please take time for yourself, your family, and your friends.  Learn something new and challenge yourself to "Be the Good" for not only yourself, but for those around you, too.  As an expectation, let us continue to desire to improve as individuals, raise the performance of others, and increase the quality of Evans.


Don't forget!  Please make sure to "fly with us" on our social media platforms!

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Mr. McGraw