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Plainfield North HS Tiger Buddies Club Yields Strong Student Participation

  The Plainfield North High School Tiger Buddies club is kicking off the new school year with near-record participation.

Tiger Buddies, founded eight years ago, is a student club that brings together PNHS general education and STAR PLUS / Intensive Program students. STAR PLUS provides functional instruction to students with a wide range of special needs.

PNHS special education teachers Anne Twist and Lisa Bulthuis started Tiger Buddies to help students create friendships outside of the classroom.

“It is important to get to know your peers of all abilities and to see your peers for who they are and learn about them,” Twist said.

Tiger Buddies meets during and after school twice a month.

During the day, the club participates in team building and bonding activities in the gym. After school activities include bowling, dances, PNHS basketball games, and more.

This is the fourth year of Tiger Buddies for PNHS senior Hayley Krawisz. The club brings out the best in her, she said.  

“It is a life-changing program. The last four years of Tiger Buddies were the highlight of my high school years,” Krawisz said. 

STAR PLUS / Intensive Program student Izabella Trajkovski is also starting her fourth year in the club. She uses an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device to communicate.

“I’ve made so many friends in this club,” she said using her AAC device. “I always have a great time with my buddies,” Trajkovski added.

“We are all PNHS Tigers, and this is an opportunity to get to know all Tigers,” Twist said.

Thirty PNHS general education and 23 STAR PLUS / Intensive Program students are currently signed up to participate in Tiger Buddies.

PNHS and STAR PLUS / Intensive Program students who are interested in participating in Tiger Buddies should email Twist at

This year, special education teacher assistant and sophomore basketball coach Jelani Johnson joined Twist and Bulthuis as a co-sponsor.

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