Inspiring in everyone a passion to excel
Inspiring in everyone a passion to excel

Wheaton North High School

701 West Thomas Road, Wheaton, IL 60187

P: 630.784.7300 F: 630.682.2158


Celebrating Language Arts County-Wide Institute Day

March 3, 2017
Wheaton North High School 


We are very pleased to announce our keynote speaker:
rick bass


Wheaton North High School will host the 11th Annual “Celebrating Language Arts” Institute Day on Friday, March 3, 2017.  We have taken our theme from a 2013 The Atlantic article, “How Reading Makes Us More Human” that discusses the type of critical or deep reading in which we hope to engage our students:
Reading is one of the few distinctively human activities that set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. As many scholars   have noted, and [Ann Murphy] Paul too mentions in her piece [“Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer”], reading, unlike spoken language, does not come naturally to human beings. It must be taught. Because it goes beyond mere biology, there is something profoundly spiritual—however one understands that word—about the human ability, and impulse, to read.  In fact, even the various senses in which we use the word captures this: to "read" means not only to decipher a given and learned set of symbols in a mechanistic way, but it also suggests that very human act of finding meaning, of "interpreting" in the sense of "reading" a person or situation. To read in this sense might be considered one of the most spiritual of all human activities.

Rick Bass’s writing provides just such an opportunity to perform “that very human” but very spiritual act of meaning-making.  Bernadette Murphy writes in the LA Times about Bass’s “The Hermit’s Story”: “Bass shows us, through crystalline images of the physical world, an intangible kind of grace--the blessings nature bestows when we're least expecting them [. . . .] This is Bass at his finest: showing us elegance where fear usually resides, demonstrating again and again that "the austere times were the very thing, the very imbalance, that would summon the resurrection of that frozen richness”.

Our program will offer sessions in the complete language arts field—novels, short fiction, nonfiction, film, reading skills, vocabulary building, memoir work and journaling, creative writing, journalism, speech programs, Advanced Placement courses, theater, summer reading programs, advertising, cartooning, incorporating technology, and more.  

Proposed Time Schedule:

                     7:00 – 7:50              Registration, Coffee/Rolls and Bagels               10:30 – 11:20      Session D

                     7:55 – 8:45              Session A                                                               11:25 – 11:55      Lunch + Networking

                     8:50 – 9:30              Session B                                                               12:00 – 1:00        Keynote: Rick Bass

                     9:35 – 10:25            Session C

Cost: $35 

For more information, contact Debby VanGetson: or Nicole Blazier:


                Registration Form                 

                  Rick Bass Web Page