North High teachers Jenne Dehmlow and Courtney White have been named “Outstanding Activity Advisors” by the Illinois Directors of Student Activities (IDSA). Dehmlow and White were nominated by North High Principal Janice Schwarze for their dedication to the United Men of Strength (UMS) and United Women of Strength (UWS) organizations.
This award recognizes individuals who, through their time and effort, have made an impact on their club or activity and who exemplify the ideal advisor. The Awards Program is a cooperative effort designed both to honor outstanding members in Student Activities and to promote awareness of the quality of the student activity clubs, programs, and events that are provided in Illinois high schools. Dehmlow and White will be recognized at the IDSA Dinner and Awards Reception on April 12 in Rosemont, Ill.
Dehmlow and White co-founded the UMS and UWS organizations for North High African-American students. Dehmlow is a social studies teacher and department chair and White is a physical, health, and driver education teacher and department chair.
In UMS and UWS, students are encouraged to share their experiences as minority students in a predominantly white school and advise each other on how to handle a variety of situations. The responsibilities of activity advisors also include monitoring student grades and behavior and encouraging students to become more involved in the school in multiple ways. Over the past year, Dehmlow and White have become trusted adults for all of these students and have inspired them to be the best version of themselves.
“Jenne always goes above and beyond her job duties to meet with students individually and help them with social/emotional health,” said North High Principal Janice Schwarze. “She strikes that perfect balance between sharing genuine care and kindness while having high expectations.”
“Courtney's vulnerability and honesty in sharing his own experiences have empowered students to share their own stories,” said Schwarze. “I strongly believe that the students in this group have had a better experience at North High because of Courtney and Jenne's efforts.”
In honor of Black History Month, Dehmlow and White worked with several colleagues and South High’s multicultural studies class to plan a field trip where students could become more in touch with their heritage. The group visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. exhibit at the Chicago History Museum and Progressive Community Church and had lunch at the soul food restaurant Pearls.