Summer Newsletter

August 2019

Robert Abbott Middle School

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6th-grade Orientation:

       Friday, August 16th

       10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

First Day of School:
Thursday, August 22nd

Picture Day:
Friday, August 30th

Labor Day -

District Closed:
Monday, September 2nd 

Open House:

Wednesday, September 11

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Coffee with the Principal

Monday, September 16th

7:30 AM

MAP Testing:
Tuesday, September 10th Friday, September 13th

Early Release:


September 18th

Columbus Day - 

District Closed:
Monday, October 14th

District Institute Day - District Closed:

Tuesday, October 15th

Parent Conferences

Wednesday, November 6th
Thursday, November 7th
4:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Stay Connected

Follow us and like us on Facebook! @AbbottRAMS

Principal’s Message

Greetings to all Ram Families!


I sincerely hope that this summer has been a great one for all of you!    Mr. Ontiveros, Mr. Gaiser and I, as well as, then entire Ram Staff are really looking forward to seeing all of our Ram Scholars on August 22, 2019, for the First Day of School. School Opens at 7:10 a.m. and ends at 2:15 p.m. 6th Grade Scholars enter at Door 3, 7th Grade Door 4, 8th Grade Door 6.


It has been a very busy summer at Robert Abbott Middle School! Construction has been ongoing since school ended to install air conditioning. Contractors of all trades have been working hard on this enormous project to make certain that we are ready to open the school on time. This project also includes improved ventilation in the cafeteria, which we will all be grateful for. Our outstanding Maintenance Staff has been actively upgrading the building, as well as, cleaning and preparing for our 2019-2020 school year launch. 


We truly believe in all of our Scholars and that they will learn at high levels. Besides our motto, ‘It’s A Great Day to be a Ram!!” we use the phrases Ram Scholars Excel and Ram Scholars Aim to Attain. To help support our Scholars in learning, we have been planning for an intentional and intense year of teaching and learning. We will continue to have a focused implementation of our Tier 1 curriculum that is aligned to Common Core and College and Career Readiness Standards. We want all of our Scholars to achieve at grade level. To help us continue to increase the rigor in our instruction and increase learning levels, we will be implementing Data Cycles. This means that your Scholars will be taking brief assessments that are aligned to progress toward learning these standards. This data will be used to help us inform our teaching so that we can continue to develop powerful learning environments for all Scholars. These cycles will take place every 4-6 weeks in all core classes. Please encourage your Scholars to take these and all assessments seriously as they are designed to help improve learning environments, so that Abbott can be the best middle school. Below I have included the Abbott Middle School School Improvement Goals for 2019-2020 below:


  • Creating rigorous learning environments reliably aligned to Common Core and College and Career Readiness standards.


  • Intentional, literacy-based instruction through all content areas.


  • To develop cultures of thinking and excellence that promote cognitive engagement, thinking and student dialogue.

The excitement that I have for this upcoming school year is enormous! Maybe more than I have had for any school year. This is because as we work together as a school community, we get closer all of the time toward the vision of Abbott Middle School as a World Class Middle School. Parents, please know that you are always welcome at Abbott Middle School. We want to see more of you in the building and are developing some Parent Night events for the school year to see the great things happening at Abbott and to build community. Our Family and Community Engagement Liaison is also planning some Parent Learning events and of course we will continue to hold our PTO Meetings and Coffees with the Principal. Please look for more information regarding these and other events and join us!

You may also find more information on our website. Feel free to call or email us. 


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Carl E. Hagman


First Day of School Is Thursday, August 22nd

Students will report to their Advisory Teacher at 7:20 AM to pick-up an updated schedule.


Lee Gaiser - (Culture and Climate Specialist) I am very excited to be returning to Waukegan Public School District 60! I have served in various capacities over the years, and I am looking forward to joining the RAMS family! In my experiences, Waukegan families care very much for their children, and value the input given to them by educators. Students wish to do their best in school, and I believe it is my responsibility to help them meet their goals. 

On a personal note, I have been married for 13 years. My wife, Elizabeth, and I have 3 beautiful girls;  Mia (11), Milena (8), and Micaela (4). This summer we were fortunate enough to attend my wife’s sister’s wedding in Perú, where my wife is from.

During my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, getting together with close friends, and reading. Currently, I am reading Les Misérables (I figured I should read this at least once in my lifetime!), as well as South, The Last Antarctic Expedition of Shackleton and the Endurance.

Sharre Wilson - (7th Grade Math Teacher)  My name is Sharre Wilson. I have been teaching for 14 years; 12 as a Math teacher and 2 as a 6th grade teacher. I am enthusiastic about joining the Rams. I have heard some good things about the students. I am looking forward to getting back into the Math “only” classroom. I hope that I have some true math lovers. Trust me! We are not nerds; just God’s gift to the world to prove that the world is not “Square” and that there’s no such thing as falling off the end of the earth. Or is there? I hope that with my experience in the classroom and outside of the classroom, love for Math and enthusiasm for seeing my students excel is enough to motivate students to perform beyond their own expectations.

Patricia Ortega - (ESL Social Studies Teacher)

I'm Patricia C. Ortega, an ESL Social Studies teacher by day, a Political Science professor for a few nights and a graduate student, for what it seems like - forever!  I'm living proof that learning is a lifelong process. This will be my 8th year teaching but going into my 4th year teaching in a public school. I taught 2 years at charter schools and 2 years teaching abroad in Honduras at an international bilingual school.  I was born in Waukegan and raised in Zion and graduated from ZBTHS. I'm a United States Army Reserves veteran and I hold B.A. degree in Political Science & Mexican/Caribbean Studies, a M.A. in Political Science, a M.A.T. in Secondary Ed, and currently obtaining a M.Ed in ESL & Reading Specialist.

In my free time, I read, read, read! I always carry a book with me to pass time. When I'm not reading, I do enjoy gardening, cooking, watching reality TV and TRAVELING.

I look forward to teaching students here at Robert Abbott Middle School and I hope we can create good memories, have many adventures and learn!

Filemon Antonio Miranda Campos - (7th Grade SLA Teacher) 

It is a real pleasure to have your students in my class; I am your Spanish teacher. My name is Filemon Antonio Miranda Campos, for my students I am señor Miranda, but for everybody else I will be Antonio. Thank you for allowing me to teach your children! I was born and raised in Costa Rica. My father was a police officer and my mother a housewife. I have 3 sisters (all younger than me) and now a few nieces and nephews as well, all still living in my native country. 

I was a school teacher back in Costa Rica in my younger days. I came to the United States in 1994 to learn English and I will continue to be a lifelong learner, always wanting to know more. In 2001 I was lucky enough to marry mi preciosa esposa Americana, Cindy, who always reminds me that there is always more English to learn. My guess is that I will never stop learning as language is ever changing and evolving.

This is my first year at Abbott Middle School and I am extremely happy and very excited about being able to teach my native language to your children. This is a dream opportunity and I will do everything I can to enrich their lives with the art of a second language. With that being said. ¡Bienvenidos a mi Clase!

Gladys Montoya - (6th Grade Math Teacher)

Hello, I'm Gladys Montoya. I attended Zion schools and I'm a recent First-Generation Carthage College graduate. My older sister and I have studied to become educators and my younger sister is looking into studying to become a Mathematics teacher as well. In my free-time I enjoy reading mystery books. I also enjoy traveling to Mexico to visit family and taking part in celebrating different festivities. One of my main goals in my first year of teaching is to be able to accommodate appropriately for all types of learners in the classroom. I want students to know that they are valuable and that they can be successful at anything. I am very excited to be part of the R.A.M. Family and be able to grow in my abilities and skills!  

Yana Dalton - (7th Grade Science Teacher) Yana was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia. After four years in Israel, she found her home in the US. Yana has earned a degree in Biopsychology and an MA in Education from the University of California, Davis. 

Yana has taught Science at the Middle and High School levels for 11 years in California, Ohio, and Illinois. Her goal has always been to engage students in meaningful exploration of natural phenomena. She loves interacting with her students who often find a caring mentor in her person. 

Besides teaching, Yana enjoys her two kids, nature, reading, listening to podcasts of all kinds, especially on social and scientific topics. Yana always seeks out continuous education opportunities. Already speaking three languages, she has undertaken learning Spanish. For Yana, the best part of travelling is coming back home, wherever it may be. She loves seasons because they bring change and something new to look forward to. Yana is deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve the students and to work with the wonderful staff of R. Abbott MS

Aida Garcia - (Bilingual Science Teacher) 

Hello, My name is Aida Garcia and I am super excited to be part of Abbott family this school year. I am thrilled to be teaching science for Spanish student learners. I love learning and I am very passionate about teaching science.

Just a little bit about me…. I grew up in Monterey, Mexico and I have been living in the United States for 11 years now... WOW!! Time flies, but I love Chicago especially in summer; it is my favorite season also because I enjoy watching Chicago cub’s games.  I spent my free time with my husband and my two daughters. I love to travel, especially road trips, because I can get to know and learn about other cities and slowly admire amazing places.

I am very excited to be part of Abbot’s team and work and help all the students in this upcoming school year! Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or comments. We are going to have a great year!! 

David Velasco - (Art Teacher)

The arts have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. While I began my journey as a photographer, I found that I loved every form of art I could get my hands on, and teaching has been the best way for me to explore and share this passion. I recently completed my Masters of Arts in Teaching at Lake Forest College, teaching across every grade level from Kindergarten up through high school along the way. While this will be my first year teaching, I was lucky enough to have spent a semester teaching visual arts at Abbott during school, and I am so excited to return to Waukegan and become even more involved in the RAMS community! 

When I’m not teaching, you might find me at the beach or riding roller coasters over the summer. I also love to run (I’ve ran about five races every year since I started) and read books (my reading goal for this year is 45 books) throughout the year. This summer I am the director of arts and crafts at a summer camp and a math tutor at night and on weekends. Whether I’m at camp or school, I love that art allows me to explore something new almost every day and I can’t wait to continue this discovery at Abbott! 



Melinda Garcia - (Dual Language ELA/SS Teacher) My name is Melinda Garcia. I have been teaching for 16 years. I began my teaching career with College of Lake County as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. I have continued working at CLC, however, I transitioned into another program, I am an Integrated Academic Preparation System (ICAPS) support teacher. I support students that are enrolled in accredited certification classes and assist with language development and to reinforce content material. I am currently supporting an Automotive class! My background is in the HVAC program. No, I can’t fix cars, air conditioning units or furnaces… but I can help you understand the terminology! In addition to teaching adults, I have also had the honor to teach 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. I have always wanted to get into middle school and am excited for the opportunity to join the Abbott Middle School Family! 

I am a product of Waukegan Public Schools! As a teacher, I am proud and honored to be able to give back to my community.  My own children attended Abbott Middle School and they LOVED IT!! 

I taught in Naples, Florida for three years, but found myself back home in Waukegan! Florida was an amazing experience professionally. It was in Florida that I discovered that I wanted to teach middle school more than ever.  But above all, family is the most important thing and being back in the Waukegan where I was born and raised with all of my family is priceless! I miss the warm winters in Florida but love seeing the 4 seasons in Waukegan! 

Aside from working, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I have two children and two grandchildren. My second grandchild is due in October! I cannot wait! I also have a dog, Coco, and love playing with her.  

Bart Bates - (Intervention Math Teacher) Hi I am Bart T. Bates. I live in Waukegan, Illinois. I grew up in the south suburbs of Cook county.  I attended Marian Catholic High School. I then attended VanderCook College of Music where I earned my Bachelors in Music Education. I taught music in Chicago Public Schools for 22 years. In addition, to teaching in Chicago I also taught drumline and marching ensembles throughout the Midwest. I played with the Angel Melendez 911 Mambo Orchestra. We performed for many professional artists including Eddie Santiago, Eddie Palmieri, and Cheo Feliciano to name a few. I then moved to Waukegan and worked at Glenwood for three years. During my teaching career I went back to broaden my learning, I have earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction along with Teacher Leadership. I then earned my LBS1 endorsement and further my special education knowledge and earned my Director of Special Education. I am excited to be a part of Abbott Middle School team. I hope to share my experiences and knowledge with my students, parents and colleagues.  As well I hope to learn from them as much as they learn from me. GO RAMS!!!


The parent handbook is available on our website. Please read this handbook carefully. We have tried to include as much information as possible to help you understand the policies and procedures that we use at school each day.  If you have any questions or comments, please visit our website under the parent section to view the complete handbook.

Abbott families will receive updated communications via phone calls, text messages and emails. Please contact Janet Taylor [email protected] in the main office to ensure that we have up to date contact information.


If you are picking up or dropping off students at Abbott, please use the larger west parking lot. Free vector graphic: Van, Bully, Camping, Car, Funny - Free Image ...


If a student needs to leave school early, please ensure that a guardian that is listed in infinite campus comes to the main office to sign them out.

As many of you know, during the first few weeks of school, we work hard to work the bugs out of our bus routes, and we often experience some delays--as always, we thank you for being so understanding.  


We are very excited to offer after school support to all of our RAM scholars. Beginning September 16th from 2:30-3:30 PM students are able to stay after school to receive additional support for class work and/or homework. For further information please feel free to call Mrs. Vanessa Campos at 224-303-2383 or [email protected]


If you would like to see your student’s information online, such as grades and attendance, stop by the main office to receive your login information from one of our secretaries. Login information can only be given to guardians on file in the system.


Please call the attendance line at 224-303-2459 to report student absences. When leaving a message, please include the date, first and last name of your student, the spelling and the grade




Tops: Solid black or purple

Bottom: Solid khaki, black, or purple




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1319 Washington St, Waukegan, IL 60085

Main Office: 224-303-236



Carl E. Hagman, Principal

[email protected]

Alexander Ontiveros, Assistant Principal

[email protected]

Lee Gaiser, Culture and Climate Specialist [email protected]

Janet Taylor, Secretary

[email protected]

Pam Burris, Secretary

[email protected]

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