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Leggee students’ recycled wreath wins Shedd trip

Huntley's Leggee Elementary School third grade teacher Kate McCormick (left) second grade teacher LisKunde point their classes winning wreath Shedd

Huntley's Leggee Elementary School third grade teacher Kate McCormick (left) and second grade teacher Lisa Kunde point to their classes winning wreath at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

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Updated: January 20, 2013 6:14AM

The Facebook voters have spoken, choosing a wreath made by students in the second and third grades at Leggee Elementary School in Huntley as the fan favorite for all grade levels in the Shedd Aquarium’s Wreath-Cycled Classroom Challenge.

“We found out we won around 12:30 p.m. on Friday,” third-grade teacher Kate McCormick said Monday afternoon.

McCormick’s class worked with reading buddies in the second-grade class of Lisa Kunde on making the ecologically themed wreath of recyclable materials. Fans could vote by “liking” the creations on the Shedd’s Facebook page.

McCormick said, “We were checking all morning, because we knew voting ended at noon that day. Thursday night we were 500 votes behind another school, and when we woke up Friday morning, we were only 60 behind. We just kept getting more and more votes, and we eventually pulled ahead. We ended up winning with about 150 more votes than the other school. All together we had over 1,700 votes for our wreath. Even though the voting ended on Friday at noon, people are still liking our picture on Facebook.”

In February or March, the two classes — a combined 50 or so pupils — will take a free, all-inclusive field trip to the Chicago aquarium, with full access to it, a lab, free lunch, and with the Shedd picking up the tab for transportation, too, and for chaperones.

McCormick said about 25 Leggee families drove downtown Saturday for the announcement of all the winners, hot cocoa, and cookies.

“We also had full access to the Shedd and all of its exhibits. A bunch of the families sat with Mrs. Kunde and I during the aquatic show so that we could cheer nice and loud when they announced our wreath.” she said.

“When we got in line for the aquatic show — 45 minutes early — already some of my students and their families already were standing there waiting for us. Mrs. Kunde and I stayed for at least six hours and could have stayed even longer, but my 2-year-old was tired.”

McCormick said the Saturday visit was the talk of her class Monday.

“They can’t wait for the field trip, and I have already had numerous parents ask if they can be the chaperone. This whole wreath contest experience was amazing. The parents, teachers, staff and families are so generous and helpful. We know we could never have won without their support. One student raised her hand on Friday and said, ‘Miss McCormick, all these people helped us, and they don’t even get anything for it!’ ”

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