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Meet Three Outstanding Members of the Sadlowski Elementary School Class of 2023

23 May 2023

Diane, Alicia, and Valeria are hopeful and excited about their next steps. 

Sadlowski Students

Diane, Alicia, and Valeria were all in second grade when Sadlowski Elementary School opened on Chicago’s Southeast Side. At the time, there were certainly mixed emotions for the three of them about starting at a new school. But now, seven years later, they are about to graduate from elementary school and believe that Sadlowski has prepared them well for their next steps. They have developed a strong sense of community and belonging at the school and are sad to say goodbye. Yet, they are also hopeful and excited about what is to come next. Get to know the three of them more below.

What are your interests both inside and outside of the classroom? 

Diane: I enjoy social studies and reading the most. I really like learning about U.S. history and different cultures. I’ve always had a fascination with learning about the roots of where we come from. And I’ve also always been a bookworm. That helps me explore different topics that I’m interested in. 

My favorite book that I’ve read this year is I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez. I could really relate to it, and it put a lot of things into perspective for me. Outside of school, I have a tree in my backyard that I like to sit under and read. I also have two corgis. 

Valeria: Outside of school, I’m a very athletic person, so I like to play soccer and volleyball. My favorite subjects are social studies and math because I’m good with numbers and I like to learn about history and what happened in the past. 

Alicia: I like reading and math a lot. I’m also good with numbers but also like to read. I would say I’m sort of athletic. I hang out with Valeria a lot and we like to go to the park and play volleyball. 

What are some of your favorite memories of being a Sadlowski student? 

Valeria: I always loved when the school would do fun activities like Field Day. This event occurs near the end of each school year. They take us outside and we can play volleyball on the playground, and they also buy us pizza. 

Alicia: I agree with Valeria, and I also like the trips we got to take, such as going to the White Sox game. I also enjoyed the school dance for fifth- through eighth-graders. That was fun. 

Diane: I think mine would be when they opened the park by our school. We have a little playground here, and, over the summer, they would leave it open at certain times where you could come and play. It was great to come to a new school building with a lot of resources and a brand-new playground. 

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What will you miss the most about Sadlowski? 

Alicia: The teachers, especially Mr. Macdonald, who teaches reading. Everyone has a connection to him, and he’s relatable to everyone. 

Valeria: Hanging out with my classmates and my friends. 

Diane: Building on what Valeria said, I think we will miss them because they watched us grow and expand into the people we are today. 

What are you looking forward to the most in high school? 

Diane: I’m looking forward to the programs and opportunities they have at Brooks, where I’ll be attending in the fall. I’m hoping they have a literature program. High school is about meeting new people and learning new things, while also reminding yourself that it is a time to grow. 

Valeria: I’m also going to Brooks, and I want to join volleyball and hopefully make it to the varsity team. 

Alicia: I’m going to Jones, so I will definitely have a longer commute since I’m going to school downtown. But I think I’ll be good, especially when I get into a routine. 

Where do you see yourself in 20 years? 

Valeria: I hope to be settled down with a house and a family. For my career, I’m still thinking about it, but I’m very interested in hairstyling. 

Diane: I definitely see myself with a family. If it’s not with other people, I’ll just have a bunch of cats. And I think I want to be a lawyer at a good firm. I enjoy defending people and debating. To reach that career goal, I’m going to focus on organization and motivation. 

Alicia: I see myself owning a house and being successful. I’m still thinking about what I want to do, but I might be interested in being a photographer. 

If you could describe your experience at Sadlowski in one word, what would it be? 

Alicia: Memorable. We created so many memories here, and I know they will stick with me. 

Diane: Unexpected. There were a lot of experiences here that were unexpected, but, in the end, it all worked out. 

Valeria: Surprising. No one thought that I would be where I am today.

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