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2009 Graduate – Conchetta Rodriguez


Conchetta RodriguezThe Black Hawk War was fought in 1832 in the Midwestern United States. The war was named for Black Hawk, a war chief of the Sauk, Fox, and Kickapoo Native Americans, who’s British Band fought against the United States Army and militia from Illinois and the Michigan Territory (present-day Wisconsin) for possession of lands in the area.

During the years following the Black Hawk war, Bureau county improved slowly.  A post-office or two was created; no new towns were  built until the speculative times of 1836-7, when they suddenly became numerous.

One of those towns in Bureau County is De Pue.  De Pue, Illinois is 45 miles N of Peoria, Illinois and 93 miles SW of Chicago, Illinois.  As of the year 2000 census, 1,842 people lived in De Pue.

Bureau County was named in honor of Pierre de Beuro, a half-breed trader, who was the first man to establish a trading post within the present limits of Bureau County. This post was located near where Bureau Creek empties into the Illinois River. This post was established about the time Illinois was admitted into the Union.

Today, De Pue is a small town that still has only one school building. Unlike other towns, the school runs all three major school bodies; Elementary, Jr. High, and High School. There are wings where the different bodies have classes, but most importantly, it is unique because there are not that many towns like this one.

Speaking of different bodies, please meet Ms. Conchetta Rodriguez from De Pue.  Conchetta is different from her peers for the simple reason, she wasn’t willing to go along with the status quo.  She struggled with her studies in private school. She continually felt “less than” because she could not keep up with the group.  “My teachers and classmates made me feel like I wasn’t smart.”

With the blessing of her parents, Conchetta sought a distance learning solution.  She chose Citizens’ High School because it was affordable.  In addition to the cost benefit, Conchetta discovered that the Citizens’ materials easier for her to understand.  She also enjoyed the mastery she gained from the one-on-one tutoring she received from her mom.

Conchetta graduated from Citizens’ and earned her diploma last December.  She wrote “I am very proud of myself because I have never done well in school.  However, by going to Citizens’ High School I actually made the honor role. I now know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.”  Conchetta is now attending ITT Technical Institute in Orland Park where she is pursuing a degree in graphic Design.

Conchetta has inspired her whole family.  Her mom has gone back to school to obtain a degree as a paralegal.  Her brother, a seventh grader, has made the high honors the past three years.  We look for him to study with us too!  Conchetta enjoys animals and drawing when not studying.

Conchetta represents the type of student we are so proud of here at Citizens’.  She did not become what others thought she was.  Instead, she proved the world wrong by earning a real high school diploma at a distance with the loving assistance of a homeschooling mom……. And, of course, Citizens’ High School curriculum.

Conchetta Rodriguez is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for March 2009.