Winter 2020

Jones Alumni and Alumni Parent News

Brought to you by Friends of Jones

Greetings Jones alumni and friends!

Happy 2020! We hope the new year is off to a great start. The Jones students have been back on campus for a few weeks and just finished their first semester finals. The 2019-2020 academic year has already been filled with some great moments and opportunities for students to demonstrate their skills both in and out of the classroom. We hope you are following all the activity and news through the school’s Facebook and Instagram posts.

We have also enjoyed seeing and hearing from several alumni and alumni parents in recent months. It is particularly special when alumni come back to campus to see a sporting event or attend a performance or concert. We are grateful for your continued support of Jones.

And remember to invite other Jones alums you know to sign up for the Jones Alumni Network at

Jones In The News

Senator Dick Durbin led a press conference at Jones this past fall discussing a new bill that would tax e-cigarette companies and launch campaigns to make teens aware of the danger of vaping. Jones Senior Trinity Wells gave a student perspective on the issue.

Congratulations to the Jones Scholastic Bowl team for their first place finish at the IHSSBCA Turnabout Tournament! Special shout-out to Senior and Co-captain Dennis Reppen, who ranked first on the All-Tournament Team with an average of 111 points per game.

Audiences enjoyed seeing "Peter and the Starcatcher" in the Robin Bennett Theatre for the annual fall play.

The Jones Girls' Swim Team took 3rd place at the Rob Lindgren Jamboree Invitational! This was the first time in our girls' programs history to bring home a plaque from a large, suburban invitational.

Class Notes

Natalie Karwacki Kurka and Ina Steinback - Class of 1964

Ina Steinbach (seated on the right) and Natalie (nee Karwacki) Kurka celebrated their 55thJones Commercial High School reunion at Arrowhead Country Club on November 2, 2019. From a graduating class of 47, Ina and Natalie located three classmates and schedule a yearly reunion to stay connected and reminisce.  We recently caught up with them to ask what they are doing now.

Natalie has fond memories of the “old” Jones, wearing hats, gloves and pumps, the well-worn wooden stairs and gym clothes reminiscent of a onesie!  After graduation she launched a 56-year career in office management while attending night classes at Harper Junior College for 1-1/2 years. After retiring from the business world at 72, she is currently working in the Plainfield District 202 Schools. She and her husband of 52 years are enjoying life with their two daughters and their husbands and four wonderful grandchildren.

Ina remembers her Jones days and the "most fun" of all her school years; they just passed by too quickly.  After her boys were born, she was a stay-at-home mom until they were in school full-time.  She worked part-time until 1980, when she started a nearly 30-year career with BMW and retired at age 61 at the end of 2006. During her working years she also managed to earn a B.S. degree from Elmhurst College.  Ina's hobby has always been traveling and managed to visit all six continents and is adamant about never going to Antarctic.  Her most memorable trips are to Jamaica with her two sons, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons.

They both agree they received a strong foundation to make smart choices, both in life and in business, and are grateful for the guidance they received from both teachers and staff at Jones Commercial High School.

Marietta Guarino Brown – Class of 1966

Marietta Brown (nee Guarino) sends greetings from sunny South Florida. Merietta shared that she was in the very last class in the old four-story building before the North Building opened and she remembers the experience of traveling 90 minutes each morning via bus and the El to come downtown to Jones every day, which she noted was an education in and of itself. Marietta recalls special events at the Conrad Hilton and school dances at the Merchandise Mart. Current students might be surprised to know that there was a senior class weekend trip to a Wisconsin dude ranch where the locals came to meet and drive the seniors to the ranch in their personal vehicles (Marietta describes it as “95 girls with luggage!”).  Marietta still proudly wears her Jones ring every day. Before moving to Florida, Marietta enjoyed a long career as an administrative assistant.

Sally A. Nuamah - Class of 2007

Sally A. Nuamah is an author, filmmaker and faculty member at Northwestern University in Urban Politics in Human Development and Social Policy. Her scholarly research is focused on issues of race, gender, education policy and political behavior. Sally earned her BA in Political Science and Public Policy at George Washington University and then she continued her academic career as a pre-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. She later earned her MA and PhD from Northwestern in Political Science. Sally has earned many academic distinctions and awards including being named in Forbes Magazine’s “30 under 30” in Education.

Kendra Chapman - Class of 2008

Kendra Chapman was recently featured on ABC Chicago News as a writer for the sci-fi show "Emergence". Click here to watch the segment. Kendra currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

We Want To Hear From You

We would love to know if you recently completed or will complete your undergraduate degree. What professional opportunities are you undertaking? Is grad school on the horizon? Let us know about your personal and professional accomplishments so you can be featured in future newsletters.

Send your updates and news, along with a digital picture if you have one to share, to:

And remember to encourage other Jones alums to join the Jones Alumni Network!

Friends of Jones - Investing in Each Student

Last year, Friends of Jones raised more than $400,000 through the Annual Fund appeal, sponsorship opportunities, the online auction and the annual spring gala event. Each year, Friends of Jones partners with the administration to determine the greatest funding needs of the school and to help ensure the greatest impact on the community. Below is a sample of projects Friends of Jones has supported - big and small:

• Underwriting a significant portion of the cost of Jones' freshman summer orientation program, Freshman Connection
• Purchasing enrichment learning materials or investing in new technology and software beyond what CPS may typically allocate
• Providing transportation for athletic team travel and performing art ensembles competing in and around the city as well as throughout the country
• Allocating start-up and programming funds for student groups
• Underwriting new choral risers
• Support for juniors and seniors who need help with college application support and graduation costs

Alumni are always welcome to contribute to the Friends of Jones fundraising efforts. If you want to add your support to our Annual Fund efforts, gifts of all sizes are greatly appreciated and contributions can be made by clicking here.

Your generosity is deeply appreciated.

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