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Principal's Message

Dear T.F. Center Family,

Welcome to the Thornton Fractional Center for Academics and Technology webpage.  I am humbled and ecstatic to join a productive and caring educational atmosphere as your principal.  Throughout the years, T.F. Center has been known to be an inclusive, family-oriented place with staff that takes great pride in building a school climate of meaningful academic and social learning.  I truly look forward to providing leadership and working daily with all of you to continue these traditions in an effort to build well-rounded citizens ready for the challenges of life beyond high school.  We must continue to work diligently to ensure that all of our students are college and career ready. 

I am proud to join this dynamic family as an educator that fosters social growth, academic success, and self-discipline for all students and will continue to promote a community for learning and achieving academic and social success.  I am entering my 18th year in the field of education and served previous roles as a social studies teacher, Track and Field coach, Assistant Principal for Building Control, and Credit Recovery Coordinator.  I am a proud graduate of Illinois State University, received a Masters in Educational Leadership from Governors State University, and am currently pursuing an Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Concordia University Chicago.  My ultimate goal is to use the wealth of educational and professional knowledge I have gained to continue helping students succeed!      

One critical component of individual student and school-wide success is effective school-to-home communication. Within these webpages, you will find important information about our school.  We will work diligently to make sure our page is updated regularly.  With that being said, please take a glance at the following information, including important events and dates that will help you prepare for the upcoming school year. 

If your student will be enrolled in our Freshmen Academy for the 2018-2019 school year, we will be hosting a Freshmen Academy Parent Orientation Meeting on Thursday, July 19, at 6 p.m. in the Community Room at T.F. Center.  You will have an opportunity to speak with administrators, ask questions regarding the Freshmen Academy program, and be provided with a tour of the building.  The school counselor will also be available to address concerns regarding the number of credits your student has and discuss the Credit Recovery process.

Our fall book pick-up dates are Monday, August 6, and Tuesday, August 7, from 9:00 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  On Wednesday, August 8, the book pick-up hours are from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

Registration will be by appointment only on Monday, August 13, through Friday, August 17, 2018.  Please contact Mrs. Kim Nichols at 708-585-2378.  No Registration will take place on Monday, August 20, and Tuesday, August 21. 

Classes will resume on Monday, August 20.  We are working diligently to prepare for an exciting and rewarding 2018-2019 school year.  We hope you have a safe and productive summer break, and we look forward to seeing you soon. 

Yours in Education,

John M. Robinzine


In the Spotlight

Quinlan’s Quest

Is Mr. Quinlan here today?  A question heard all too often this school year.  Who is this Mr. Quinlan?  Mr. Quinlan has been the building construction teacher for the last 5 years at the Center for Academics and Technology.  Last spring Mr. Quinlan had his world turned upside down when his son Jack, who is a 17 year old student athlete at Lake Central High School in Indiana, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoma Leukemia.  The diagnosis came after Jack had a severe back injury and an x-ray showed that his bone marrow was dying.  Although this is the most common type of Leukemia it was not going to be an easy road to treat this horrible disease.  The first step in Jack’s treatment was a common one, chemotherapy.  Jack suffered through several different treatments and experienced common physical side effects, but Mr. Quinlan said the emotional side effects Jack and his family experienced were no comparison to the physical ones.  The treatment disrupted every aspect of his entire families’ lives.  Mr. Quinlan had to be at his son’s side through all of this so that meant time away from work.  Jack missed so many of his typical high school experiences, such as homecoming. 

Jack was offered an opportunity to be part of a clinical trial for a ground breaking new treatment known as Car-T Cell Therapy.  Mr. Quinlan stated that he decided to rely on the expertise of the doctors and his faith, and Jack began the Car-T Cell Therapy.  This would be the first time the Car-T would be done at Lurie Children’s Hospital, but Jack was ready.  The treatment modifies white blood cells to attack the cancer cells in the body, and of course there are side effects.  At the completion of the treatment the Quinlans’ got the best news possible and Jack was determined to be in remission!  However, he was still not out of the woods yet.  The bone marrow transplant was next.  There were no family members that were a match for Jack so he had to be put on the transplant list.  The process when quicker than expected and 2 matches were found.  Jack would need to spend some more time in the hospital after already being there for 32 days.  Jack once again had to battle through some of the worse “expected” side effects once again.  Mr. Quinlan stated that this is when he really saw the ugly side of cancer and hated to have to witness his son go through it. 

Research was the key to successful treatment Jack has received.  So when the Center decided to participate in No Shave November and raise money to be donated to cancer research it was a no brainer for all of us to participate.  Of course, Mr. Quinlan felt a huge connection to this cause and was a full participant and was crowned the buildings best beard by raising the most money out of all the staff participants.  In total the Center raised nearly $500 and donated it to cancer research.   

            When asked about how he even began to handle all this his answer was simple, it’s all about how you go into it.  A positive attitude and outlook is a must.  Also having a strong family, close friends, and a great team of doctors took care of the rest.  Mr. Quinlan also said, that it really takes your heart, mind, and soul to get through the experience.  Along the way he had some “how did I get here moments” and of course asked the question “why” and “what is my role.”  After some searching he realized he was there to protect his son and he was going to do anything and everything he could to accomplish it.  As of now everything is on par with the plan.  When asked about how teaching teenagers, who are like his son, affected him, he said, “I just try to enlighten them, and let them know that things can change in a moment” and never once had a negative feeling towards his students “there was no room for those types of feelings.”  In closing Mr. Quinlan did say that this experience really changed his perspective in everything he does.  He stated it as “kind versus right.”  Sometimes being kind is way more important than simply being right.  

If you are interested in making a donation to cancer research please use the following link:   https://www.calsangels.org/


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