Top achievers from Bolingbrook and Romeoville high schools were honored at the annual Valley View School District 365U “Those Who Excel” luncheon at Bolingbrook Golf Club Wednesday.
Hosted by the Board of Education, Those Who Excel has honored the “doers” and “achievers” in VVSD high schools since the early 1970s when several students were taken out to lunch by the school board president and district superintendent.
As the years went by, other board members and administrations joined in the annual outing to honor the young men and women who most demonstrated potential for becoming our leaders of tomorrow. The end of the year get-together has become one of the highlights of the year for students, board members and administrators.
Honored from Romeoville High School were:
David Saavedra—Academic Top Senior
Valedictorian, Illinois State Scholar, Top Ten percent of class, national Honor Society, JROTC Drill Team, Scholastic Bowl, Math Team, Semper Fi Society. Will attend either University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or the University of California at Berkeley and major in engineering.
Anthony Love—Outstanding Male Athlete
All-State, All-Area, and All Conference football; track, basketball, Mr. R.I.G.H.T. Will attend Eastern Illinois University majoring in sports broadcast journalism.
Sierra Scanlan—Outstanding Female Athlete
Cross County Captain and MVP, sectional qualifier, track, Student Leadership, Senior Council. Will attend Augustana College and major in English, business or communications.
Andrew Joerger—Outstanding Math Student
Illinois State Scholar, Top Ten Percent of Class, Key Club secretary, National Honor Society, Interact Club, Math Team, Chess Team, Bridge Building, Robotics Club. Will attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in mathematics.
Alejandra Haro—Outstanding Science Student
Illinois State Scholar, Top Ten Percent of class, Best Buddies, cross country, Scholastic Bowl, soccer, Spanish Club, Rookie of the Year at Culver’s. Undecided about college. Plans to be a doctor.
Crystal Ice—Outstanding MCJROTC Student
JROTC, Semper Fi Society, Advisory Mentor. Undecided about college but will major in communications.
Adam Irvine—Outstanding NHS Student
Illinois State Scholar, Top Ten Percent of Class, National Honor Society Treasurer, Science Club, Brookfield Zoo Youth Volunteer Corps. Undecided about college but will major in microbiology or molecular biology
Melissa Lopez—Outstanding Career and Technical Education Student
R.I.G.H.T, assisted with fundraisers for battered women, participating in per-school internship. Undecided about college but wants to be a preschool teacher.
Aireal Swanson—Outstanding English Student
AP student, karate. Will attend either American Academy of Art, Art Institute of Chicago or Columbia College and will major in arts and literature.
Emily Nurczyk—Outstanding Social Studies Student
Illinois State Scholar, Top Ten Percent of class, National Honor Society, Chess Team, track. Will attend Lewis University majoring in nursing
Pamela Sanchez—Outstanding Student Services Student
First Honors, bowling, tennis. Will attend Joliet Junior College. Plans to become a psychologist.
Gianna Dever—Outstanding Student Government Member
Honors/AP student, Student Government, Student Leadership, Student Council, volleyball, softball. Will attend Illinois State University majoring in athletic training
Steven Vonderohe—Outstanding Band Student
Illinois State Scholar, Top Ten percent of class, National Honor Society, Drumline/Percussion ensemble, Will attend Indiana University and major in music education.
Kathleen Dally—Outstanding Journalism Student
Dance Team captain and MVP, 2014 Homecoming Queen, Student Leadership Vice President, R.I.G.H.T, Spartus Editor-in-Chief, Yearbook. Will attend Eastern Illinois University and major in elementary education.
Melani Vargas—Outstanding Performing Arts Student
Honor student, Leadership in RHS Ambassadors, Art Club, LASO, bowling, soccer, tennis, choir, Homecoming Planning Committee. Will attend Joliet Junior College. Wants to be a nurse.
Kimberly Beaudion—Outstanding Student Leadership Member
Illinois State Scholar, Top Ten percent of Class, Student Leadership President, Student Council Treasurer, National Honor Society, tennis. Will attend Loyola University in Chicago and major in biology.
Lexus Price—Outstanding Transition Student of the Year
Art Club, Best Buddies, cheerleading, R.I.G.H.T. Assists with training new employees at Portillo’s. Will attend College of DuPage majoring in fashion design.
Irma A. Rios—Outstanding World Language Student
Illinois State Scholar, Top Ten percent of class, National Honor Society President, French Club, soccer, tennis and volleyball. Undecided about college but will major in business administration
Honored from Bolingbrook High School were:
Brian Parro—Academic Top Senior
Illinois State Scholar, Class Valedictorian, All-State Mathlete, numerous music and Scouting awards, Wind Symphony, Jazz Band I, Sunrise Singers Vice President, King of Madrigals, Pep Band, Marching Band, Drum Major, Thespian Troupe 3414 Secretary, National Honor Society, Spring Musical. Undecided on which college he will attend but plans on eventually going to Harvard Law School
Nicholas Perry—Outstanding Male Athlete
Football Captain and MVP, All-Conference, Guide Right, Bolingbrook Park District lifeguard. Will attend Milliken University and major in sociology.
Sydney Banks—Outstanding Female Athlete
All Conference cross country and track, Golden Apple and Redbird scholarship recipient, National Honor Society. Will attend Illinois State University and major in English in order to be a teacher.
Andrew Cate—Outstanding Math Student
Illinois state Scholar, Benedictine Presidential Scholarship and Leadership Award winner, National Honor Society, cross country, track, National Society of High School Scholars. Will attend Benedictine University and major in mathematics.
Mitchell Yelenosky—Outstanding Science Student
Illinois State Scholar, AP Scholar, Top Ten percent of class, 1st Honor Roll, President of National Honor Society, Best buddies, Washington, D.C. people to People Ambassador, karate, track, cross country, All Academic Athlete Award. Undecided on college but will major in engineering.
Erik Speakman—Outstanding ROTC Student
BHS AFJROTC Wing Commander, Air Force Association Award and various other honors. AFJROTC Drill Team, baseball, bowling. Will attend Lewis University and major in air traffic control.
Katelyn Hettinger—Outstanding NHS Student
AP Scholar, Illinois State Scholar, National Honor Society Treasurer, All-Academic Athlete award winner, cross country captain and MVP, track, National Society of High School Scholars, volunteer Spanish tutor, English Department aide. Will become a certified Pharmacy Technician soon and then will pursue a doctorate in pharmacy.
Dayle Tietjens—Outstanding Career and Technical Education Student
Numerous awards in DECA and FCCLA, National Honor Society, Family, Career & Community Leader of America, Distributive Education Clubs of America, Operation Snowball, soccer. Will attend College of DuPage with double major in baking/pastry arts and culinary arts/food science.
Aaron Morris—Outstanding English Student
National Society of High School Scholars, Band, Marching Band, Foresters. Will attend Lewis University with a duel major in physics and mechanical engineering.
Paul Crafton—Outstanding Social Studies Student
Illinois State Scholar, AP Scholar with Honors, 1st Honor Roll, Speech Team MVP, Top ten percent of class, Scholastic Bowl, National Honor Society. Will attend the University of Michigan majoring in chemical engineering.
Jonathan Slowik—Outstanding Student Services Student
IMEA All-State, Marching Band, AP Scholar, Madrigals, Marching Band, Spring Musicals, Sunrise Singers, Model U-N. Will attend Berklee College of Music and hopes to become a professional songwriter and producer.
Suraj “Neil” Sheth—Outstanding Scholastic Bowl Student
Salutatorian, Congressional Medal for Youth, National Merit Finalist, Illinois State Scholar, AP Scholar With Distinction, numerous all-conference and all sectional awards for Scholastic Bowl and many other awards, Future STEM & Healthcare Leaders of America President, Model U-N President, Asian American Club President, National Honor Society and many other honors. College undecided but will seek an MD-Phd degree and pursue a career as a neurosurgeon.
Sarah Tomei—Outstanding Music Student
IMEA All-State Choir, Sunrise Singers President, Queen of Madrigals, Marching Band, Girl Scouts, Thespians, Choir, theatre, National Honor Society. Will attend either Samford University or Colorado Christian University to study elementary education.
Rachel Schneider—Outstanding Newspaper Student
1st Honors, Academic Athletic Scholar Award, Top Ten percent of class, soccer, National Honor Society, school newspaper, Class of 2014 Club. Will attend Illinois Wesleyan University and major in pre physical therapy.
Valeria Ortega—Outstanding Art Student
Numerous art show honors, Art Club, BLT, badminton, Spanish Club, feed the Hungry. Will attend University of St. Francis majoring in social work
David Pantoja—Outstanding Kinetic Wellness Student
1st Honors, Scholastic Bowl, Model U-N Club, PE Leader. Undecided about college but will major in science.
Kaeton Odeneal—Outstanding Yearbook Student
Honors/AP student, National Society of High School Scholars, Yearbook Editor-In-Chief, Student Government. Will attend the University of Iowa and major in journalism & mass communications.
Ramiro Zuniga—Outstanding ESL Student
Soccer, works full time at Francesca’s while attending school full time. Undecided on college but will major in culinary arts or automotive technology.