Good news


Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Connections today announced that County Line Properties in Hinsdale has joined with the company and will now operate as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate County Line.

The combined operations now include three offices and more than 100 affiliated agents serving many desirable neighborhoods in the Chicago area as well as the Indiana suburbs around Crown Point. The combined service area spans more than 50 miles.

A luxury brokerage highly regarded for its local expertise and exceptional service, County Line Properties was founded 30 years ago by broker/owners John and Penny Bohnen, who today are joined by their daughter Courtney Stach as broker and co-owner.

The company is also committed to giving back to its community. John currently serves as Hinsdale Historic Preservation Commission chairman. Penny was instrumental in founding the Women’s Board of the Historical Society and the popular Hinsdale Kitchen Walk.

“As Penny and I thought about the company’s future, we knew we needed to bring more resources to our affiliated agents to help fuel growth for their businesses,” said John Bohnen, managing broker of the office. “Our decision to join the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate network will give our affiliated agents a competitive advantage by being associated with a trusted, lifestyle brand. We are confident this next step will solidify the company’s future and provide even more opportunities for our affiliated agents.”

Through this new relationship, affiliated agents will have access to many business-building opportunities and tools, including Be Better University, the brand’s award-winning professional development and learning platform. Agents will also be able to take advantage of the company’s unique lifestyle resources such as the brand’s luxury program, the Distinctive Collection by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. Featuring an array of high-end marketing materials, exclusive content and branding tools, agents will have the ability to build meaningful, long-lasting relationships with luxury clientele.

“This is an exciting development for all of us as we work together to expand our offerings in Chicagoland,” said Jennifer Valentino, managing broker, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Connections. “John and Penny have worked tirelessly to build a successful firm. Their decision to join forces with us ensures that the legacy of County Line Properties endures.”


Carol Burlinski, principal of St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School in Hinsdale, has been named the 2022 recipient of the Bishop Roger L. Kaffer Outstanding Principal Award from Lewis University.

Granted by Lewis University’s Institute for the Advancement of Catholic and Lasallian Education, the annual award recognizes a Catholic school principal in the Diocese of Joliet for visionary leadership based on a nomination from his/her pastor and recommendations from peers. The award celebrates the legacy of Bishop Kaffer, who served as rector of the former St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Romeoville for five years, and principal of what is now known as Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox for 15 years. He also served as an auxiliary bishop of the diocese from 1985 until his death in 2002.

Michael Boyle, who serves as superintendent of Catholic schools of the diocese, praised Burlinski for her dedication and experienced professionalism.

“Carol is a dynamic advocate for Catholic education,” Boyle said.

Several nominators commended Burlinski’s commitment to strengthening Catholic identity at the school, noting she has added several devotions — Eucharistic adoration, the rosary and Stations of the Cross — to complement weekly Mass and confession.

“She does a phenomenal job of making sure that Jesus, our Catholic faith and our Catholic values are at the forefront of the priorities,” said Rev. Burke Masters, pastor of St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church and School.

Parents and fellow educators applauded Burlinski’s dedication to increasing academic opportunity for her students, pointing to the expansion of foreign languages offered to include Spanish, French and Latin; the implementation of a STEM curriculum across all grades; and access to a speech therapist and occupational therapist to serve the needs of all students.

“She has made it a goal for the school to acquire the most up-to-date instructional materials and that the curriculum taught to students at every grade level is guaranteed and viable,” said Donielle Jarzen, vice principal and eighth-grade social studies teacher.

Burlinski was surprised with the award Oct. 14, when a Mass was celebrated in her honor at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church in Hinsdale.

Burlinski previously served as principal and associate principal of curriculum and instruction at Buffalo Grove High School and held other positions at public high schools in Buffalo Grove and Arlington Heights. She has a master’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.


The HCS Family Services Junior Board raised more than $2,000 and 604 pounds of food at an Oct. 8 drive at Kramer Foods.

Junior board members greeted Kramer’s customers, who gave cash donations or purchased groceries from a list of current pantry needs — diapers, pasta, pasta sauce, cereal, soup, bar soap or beans.

The food will help HCS food pantries feed more than 325 families each week.