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Daily Herald's Northwest Suburban Leadership Team

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  • The Northwest suburban Leadership team for 2009-10 gathers for a group shot at the Daily Herald main office in Arlington Heights.

      The Northwest suburban Leadership team for 2009-10 gathers for a group shot at the Daily Herald main office in Arlington Heights.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 

Northwest Suburban • Fox Valley • DuPage County • Lake County • Judges

Andrew Barr

Prospect High School

Hometown: Mount Prospect

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Tom and Chris Barr

%%%%Sponsor: Principal Kurt Laakso

Community service: On Teen Advisory Board at Mount Prospect Library since he was 12; over 4 months, planned, coordinated and implemented a system through which volunteers aided the Mount Prospect Library in the installment of Radio Frequency Identification tags on library materials; at Prospect, created a Political Union club where students discuss politics in a noncompetitive environment; worked for 4 years on the staff of the Boy Scouts National Youth Leadership Training, including 2 years as a Troop guide, one year as an assistant senior patrol leader, and one year as senior patrol leader.

Personal statement: "Leadership, by teaching as well as learning from others, by helping institutions better serve us, by paving the way for more discussion and interaction, has been a key factor in my development as a young adult."

Sponsor's endorsement: "People who meet him immediately like and respect him, even as he challenges them to think more deeply, seriously, and knowingly about the crises facing our world."

Aakash Bavishi

Hoffman Estates High School

Hometown: Hoffman Estates

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Amit and Aesha Bavishi

%%%%Sponsor: Sean Armstrong, teacher

Community service: For Eagle Scout project, had 40 volunteers clear and mulch a half-mile of wilderness to make a picnic area for Little City residents; community service activities include cutting down trees, cleaning local parks, repairing bicycles and distributing school supplies and Christmas gifts. Is an escort and front desk manager for St. Alexius Medical Center; as president of school's Students Against Genocide in Darfur chapter, helped raise more than $2,000 for refugees; is a student trustee of the Schaumburg Township District Library.

Personal statement: "The idea of 'helping other people at all times' has been a central, driving force of my life; a force which will continue to drive me as I apply the Boy Scout principle in my future career and personal life."

Sponsor's endorsement: "His humble and generous style of leadership makes room for others to join him in his endeavors. This means the thousands of hours he has committed to the causes he holds dear have been multiplied by the people he has touched."

Lena Brottman

Fremd High School

Hometown: Palatine

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Jan and Dave Brottman

%%%%Sponsor: Joe Rodino, science teacher

Community service: Created nonprofit called Heart to Heart, where students donate Valentine's Day money instead of buying candy and flowers. Since 2004, it has donated more than $6,000 to local charities. As active member with Service Over Self, she organized more than 50 volunteers to collect money and work at Heart to Heart weeklong events every February. Also volunteers at temple food pantry and for the Yellow Ribbon Organization.

Personal statement: "Most rewarding experience came my sophomore year ... as I walked past the Heart to Heart donation table, the group of volunteers was surrounded by participants, everyone buying that year's T-shirt. It was so amazing to see all those students, some I didn't even know, excited about raising money to help out our community."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This student is a unique person who brings an endless smile and great attitude every day. The list of accomplishments and involvements is impressive but is no surprise once you get to know her."

Joey Gallagher

Barrington High School

Hometown: Barrington

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: DeeDee and Bruce Johnson, and Brian Gallagher

%%%%Sponsor: Jill Bauer, volunteer coordinator; Brenda Nelson, social worker

Community service: After the shock of several student suicides, he and other students founded H.E.R.E. (Help, Encouragement, Resources and Education) in Barrington to coordinate mental health awareness events for school and community. Worked with adult school and community members to develop "Stomp the Stigma," a community event to promote awareness of mental health. Also, four years as a Snowflake leader, helping middle school students stay drug- and alcohol-free; one of 12 upperclassmen to facilitate the COLTS program, which develops leadership qualities in freshmen.

Personal statement: "Although not just a local concern, the issue of teen suicide is very close to our community, and the H.E.R.E. Coalition is doing all that we can to help those who need it."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This student is a natural born leader - truly more than any other teen I've known."

Janice Guzon

St. Viator High School

Hometown: Hoffman Estates

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Ben and Alice Guzon

%%%%Sponsor: Principal Eileen Manno

Community service: Founded EYESee, an international health mission to distribute recycled eyeglasses to the world's poor. Researched and partnered with four existing missions already working internationally. Created a board, recruited volunteers, did exhaustive publicity for first drive, which lasted 17 weeks, involved more than 40 student volunteers (who logged 400 service hours) and collected more than 7,000 usable pairs of eyeglasses. This year, is hoping to double the donation.

Personal statement: "My work with EYESee helped me see my life with a higher purpose. I found it takes very little to do good for others. I started with nothing but was soon overwhelmed by the generosity of many others ... I discovered compassion is in our bones."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Her values are the kind of underpinnings that will sustain her for a lifetime, because they are the values of respect for others, a desire to uncover truth and a desire to understand the world and the people in it."

Lisa Koenig

Fremd High School

Hometown: Hoffman Estates

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Donna and Thomas Koenig

%%%%Sponsor: Matthew Zimolzak, science teacher

Community service: Founded Thai Your Shoes Foundation in response to meeting 63 poor children at a Thai orphanage while visiting her father. What started as a shoe collection, soon grew to include clothing, toys and fundraisers on a regular basis that involved all of Fremd and raised more than $7,500 and 150 pounds of donations. As president of Bridge Youth Services, has led multiple service projects in the area.

Personal statement: "We have a responsibility to one another on this Earth; that's why I volunteer. And, I realize that while no one of us can bring an end to all of the suffering, no suffering will end if not one of us tries. So, here I am to try."

Sponsor's endorsement: In an era where society has been led to believe life's pursuit is self-gratification, (Lisa) is unique in her approach to reaching her own goals. Although she is achievement-driven, her personal vision calls for an allegiance to a set of core values that respect and honor the uniqueness in everyone."

Jaclyn Mandoske

Bartlett High School

Hometown: Bartlett

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Keith and Linda Mandoske

%%%%Sponsor: Cheryl Hilvert, guidance counselor

Community service: Founded TRUTH Club (Teenagers Relieving the Underprivileged and The Homeless) at Bartlett High School; the club's first coat drive in December 2008 netted more than 250 coats that were passed out at homeless shelters. Jaclyn also volunteers with her dog for the animal assisted therapy program at DuPage County Convalescent Center.

Personal statement: "This club has done more than just provide help to the less fortunate. Every individual who gives their time for the benefit of another feels contentment, knowing they gave a little bit more hope to someone who may have lost their own."

Sponsor's endorsement: "When Jaclyn (had) the idea of starting a club to help the underprivileged, I told her she needed 10 like-minded students and a club sponsor. I didn't think I would hear more about it. Instead, the next time I saw her she had a sponsor, an executive board, a Web site and a club name. Most of all, Jaclyn had a mission."

Kevin Ochoa

Wheeling High School

Hometown: Mount Prospect

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Peggy and Salvador Ochoa

%%%%Sponsor: John Kritek, teacher

Community service: Helped start "Fight for a Cure," a boxing club event that joins with the DECA club to raise money for Make a Wish Foundation. As head of the DECA club, he leads the effort to work with the Make a Wish Foundation to help grant a wish each year. Plays bingo at a retirement home, cleans up disabled people's homes, and competed in a Senior Olympics at Wheeling's Senior Center. As a peer tutor, his group has tutored more than 2,000 students. He also tutors in an after-school program at Robert Frost School; Kevin convinced his friends to participate and in so doing gave the school a bilingual tutor.

Personal statement: "There is no feeling better than knowing a group can come together to give a child with a life-threatening illness the chance to make their dream come true."

Sponsor's endorsement: "His extraordinary leadership ability combined with his strong work ethic will undoubtedly lead him to great success in college, in the business world and throughout his life."

Anna Ollinger

Barrington High School

Hometown: Barrington

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Debbie and Mark Ollinger

%%%%Sponsor: Jill Bauer, student volunteer program coordinator

Community service: Four years of involvement with Best Buddies, which provides one-on-one friendships for students with disabilities. Planned and executed the Best Buddies Walk, which raised awareness and $3,500. Tutors students in English; since sixth grade has volunteered in a gymnastics program for kids with disabilities; leads stretches, demonstrates gymnastics tricks, and helps kids through difficult motor skills. Mentors freshmen every day for half of her lunch hour.

Personal statement: "My friendship with Steven gave Best Buddies a whole new meaning. I learned that we must see individuals for their positive qualities, rather than only noticing what characteristics they lack."

Sponsor's endorsement: "The three words that best describe (Anna) are dedicated, passionate and inspiring. She has so much energy and excitement about what she believes in that others are drawn to her, and to support her ideas."

Anthony Pisano

East Leyden High

Hometown: River Grove

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Patrick and Kathy Pisano

%%%%Sponsor: Cindi Gustafson, counselor; Johanna Heppeler, teacher

Community service: Initiated a free tutoring service for grammar and high school students that has been successful for five years now. Is a lead ACCESS mentor (an underclassmen tutoring/mentoring program), teaching and organizing problem-solving activities so freshmen will have an easier time adjusting to high school. Organized a group of National Honor Society students to do yard work and maintenance at an elderly resident's home.

Personal statement: "All of these service activities have taught me one important thing: the meaning of true happiness. Any education I receive, abilities I learn, or talents I acquire will always be connected to this underlying theme."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Despite the pressures of a packed schedule ... I find (Anthony's) outgoing and caring personality to be a great asset to our school. He serves as a positive role model for all of our students."

Honorable mentions

Karishma Bali

Glenbard North High School

Hometown: Hanover Park

%%%%Class: Sophomore

%%%%Parents: Kanchan and Rakesh Bali

%%%%Sponsor: Pat Tylka, English teacher

Community service: Volunteers for the recreational activities at the DuPage Convalescent Center; participated in National Honor Society's "Up All Night"activity to raise money for Kids Against Hunger; helped with a book donation drive for less fortunate children in the Chicago area.

Lisa Caponigri

Schaumburg High School

Hometown: Schaumburg

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Paul Caponigri

%%%%Sponsor: Elizabeth Howard, social studies teacher

Community service: Volunteer for Alzheimer's Association, caretaking for Alzheimer's patients at meetings and fundraising for the group; Students Helping Others, runs activities at Friendship Village and events for the Schaumburg Park District; does computer assistance at Schaumburg Township Library.

Laura Chicoine

Buffalo Grove High School

Hometown: Buffalo Grove

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Brian and Kathy Chicoine

%%%%Sponsor: Mark Schaetzlein, assistant principal of student activities

Community service: Seven-year volunteer at Adult Down Syndrome Center, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital; St. James Youth Ministry volunteer on service trips and student coordinator for many charitable activities; fundraising and charitable events with student council and St. James Catholic Church.

Brian Colby

Palatine High School

Hometown: Palatine

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Brian and Kris Colby

%%%%Sponsor: Barbara Compobasso, college consultant

Community service: Organized 2009 Freshman Welcome Day; mission trips and community service through church; volunteer karate teacher; co-founder of PHS group Students for a Greater Democracy, facilitating voter registration for students and adults; volunteer wrestling coach.

Emily Darow

Palatine High School

Hometown: Palatine

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: James and DeAnn Darow

%%%%Sponsor: Robert Ingraham, school psychologist

Community service: Produced video for Palatine's Promise, which tries to eliminate bullying at PHS; Best Buddies volunteer; religious education teacher at St. Thomas of Villanova; helped manage boys volleyball team; Special Olympics volunteer.

Charley Dever

Lake Zurich High School

Hometown: North Barrington

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Scott and Teresa Dever

%%%%Sponsor: Craig Lehigh, counselor

Community service: Mission work in Nicaragua to help families living in a garbage dump; as president of Interact Club, organized fundraisers and projects for both local and international aid; National Honor Society; volunteer at summer Bible camp.

Edward C. Gerdes III

Prospect High School

Hometown: Arlington Heights

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Ed and Lisa Gerdes

%%%%Sponsor: Leigh Sapp, Spanish teacher

Community service: Youth program assigner and referee for St. Mark's youth basketball; pediatrics volunteer at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital; PADS volunteer; Relay For Life team captain; bakes desserts for Arlington Heights fire Station 2 every year on Sept. 11.

Nicole Gutzmer

Schaumburg High School

Hometown: Hoffman Estates

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Kelli and Don Gutzmer

%%%%Sponsor: Brent Swolsky, counselor

Community service: Involved with Rachel's Challenge/Saxon Challenge at SHS, to spread random kindness; leader with Operation Snowball, promoting drug-free, alcohol-free lifestyle; organizer and volunteer with Volley for a Cure, breast cancer research fundraiser; peer counselor for freshmen.

Kristen Hanning

Bartlett High School

Hometown: Bartlett

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Mike and Julia Hanning

%%%%Sponsor: Stephanie Fullhart, guidance counselor

Community service: An advocate for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, participating in events to raise money and awareness. Also advocates for the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association, helping others with Type I diabetes.

James Hibsch

Rolling Meadows High School

Hometown: Arlington Heights

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Jim and Karen Hibsch

%%%%Sponsor: Katie Page, National Honor Society sponsor

Community service: Organized benefit night at Chili's for the Finnerty family; volunteers time for upkeep of the RMHS Memorial Garden; involved with Teens Against Tobacco Use; volunteers at Dreams for Kids Christmas party for underprivileged children; frequent volunteer at American Cancer Society events.

Tim Ivers

St. Viator High School

Hometown: Arlington Heights

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Patti and Mark Ivers

%%%%Sponsor: Principal Eileen Manno

Community service: Organizes students to deliver meals to residents of nearby nursing home; mission trip to Belize for construction work; coordinator and leader of Peer Ministry Team; organizes Thanksgiving football game fundraiser for PADS each year; retreat leader for school, parish and neighboring parishes.

Christina Jreisat

John Hersey High School

Hometown: Arlington Heights

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Sam and Mae Jreisat

%%%%Sponsor: MaryAnn Jahrling, counselor

Community service: Leads P.E. class for mentally and physically challenged students; planned intergenerational prom for seniors; collected for Kiwanis Peanut Day; MS Walk; Walk to Cure Juvenile Diabetes; Shea's Walk for Pediatric Cancer; helped organized annual food drive.

Erin Kaiser

John Hersey High School

Hometown: Arlington Heights

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Dave and Janet Kaiser

%%%%Sponsor: Mark Gunther, Service Over Self coordinator

Community service: Volunteered for American Cancer Society since age 11; member, Feed Your Spirit senior high youth group, dedicated to acts of volunteerism; mission trips to impoverished countries; Special Olympics state volleyball championships.

Graham Kennedy

Elk Grove High School

Hometown: Elk Grove Village

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Joseph and Diane Kennedy

%%%%Sponsor: Deborah Ohler, counselor

Community service: Organized and led team for American Cancer Society, raising more than $3,000 in two years; taught in summer camp for autistic children; fundraising volunteer at Queen of the Rosary, to collect and organize food pantry materials; volunteers with Woodfield Area Children's Organization.

Karen Klass

Stevenson High School

Hometown: Buffalo Grove

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Renee and Michael Klass

%%%%Sponsor: Ted Goergen, director of student activities

Community service: Works one-on-one with a special-needs child in a variety of activities; Coordinator for Project Dance, raising money for home for adults with disabilities; freshman mentor; advisory leader; committee head for Give-A-Thon; peer leader in adaptive P.E. for student with special needs.

Jenna Kyriazes

Elk Grove High School

Hometown: Des Plaines

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Ted and Sallie Kyriazes

%%%%Sponsor: Midge Thomas, student council adviser

Community service: Organized 20 students to visit Alexian Village to make crafts, sing songs and chat with seniors; organized EGHS PIFFA walkathon, raising $1,200 for autism research and soliciting food donations from local businesses; worked at Chicago soup kitchen with Girl Scouts; involved in Harvest for Hope food drive and student council gift tree.

Kelsey McMahon

James B. Conant High School

Hometown: Elk Grove Village

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: John and Mary McMahon

%%%%Sponsor: Kimberleigh Magee, counselor

Community service: Volunteers at Alexian Brothers Medical Center; organized a fundraiser for a women's home in Guatemala, raising more than $450; teaches Sunday school at Living Hope Church; participates in Ron Santo Diabetes Walk.

Nathan Miller

Wheeling High School

Hometown: Prospect Heights

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Tina and Mercer Miller

%%%%Sponsor: Steve May, assistant principal

Community service: Helps run fundraisers to build a school in Angola; volunteers with Friends of the Prospect Heights Library; rejuvenated local park for his Eagle Scout project; Fairchild Project, an environmental project run by the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Becca Mitsos

James B. Conant High School

Hometown: Schaumburg

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Ron and Alyse Mitsos

%%%%Sponsor: Richard Bauer, counselor

Community service: Relay For Life; raised money for the Woodfield Area Children's Organization; volunteers at GiGi's Playhouse, helping out with events for children with Down syndrome; led friends and National Honor Society members to landscape and build a playground at Children's Home and Aid.

Isabella Moller

Rolling Meadows High School

Hometown: Arlington Heights

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Leslie and Jens Moller

%%%%Sponsor: Katie Page, National Honor Society sponsor

Community service: Mentors incoming freshmen with Mighty Mustang Mentors; Mustangs Committed to Service; classroom tutor at elementary school; National Honor Society; spirit club.

Svyatoslav Nakonechny

East Leyden High School

Hometown: River Grove

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Roman Nakonechny and Oksana Nakonechna

%%%%Sponsor: Cindi Gustafson, counselor; Johanna Heppeler, Social Studies teacher

Community service: Summer volunteer at Gottlieb-Loyola Memorial Hospital; ACCESS mentor, tutoring underclassmen; as officer of Future Business Leaders of America participated in charity projects that benefited Greater Chicago Food Depository, March of Dimes and a food and clothing drive for local families.

Tori Partykevich

Wheaton Academy

Hometown: Bartlett

%%%%Class: Junior

%%%%Parents: Michael and Jenny Partykevich

%%%%Sponsor: Kim Rivera, teacher

Community service: Coach for Bartlett Cheerleading Association Junior Hawks; tutor with Puente del Pueblo program and World Relief; counselor for Covenant Harbor Bible Camp.

Pinkesh Shah

Hoffman Estates High School

Hometown: Hoffman Estates

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Sunil and Monika Shah

%%%%Sponsor: Ryan Brown, English teacher

Community service: Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago volunteer; volunteer trainer for St. Alexius Medical Center; community events planner for Peers and Leaders Club; teaches figure skating to special ed and underprivileged kids at Hoffman Estates Park District; organized Peace Walk to bring attention to Invisible Children of Uganda.

Sabina Shoeb

College Preparatory School

Hometown: Streamwood

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Mohammed Shoeb and Masarrath Shoeb

%%%%Sponsor: Farhat Siddiqui, principal

Community service: Feedy For the Needy volunteer; St. Alexius Medical Center volunteer; Masjid Al-Huda: Islamic Center Sunday school teaching assistant

Cailey Stancl

South Elgin High School

Hometown: Bartlett

%%%%Class: Senior

%%%%Parents: Mr. and Mrs. James Stancl

%%%%Sponsor: Dominique Zewde and Angelica Cordova, counselors

Community service: Small group leader for religious education, devotions at Living Lord Lutheran Church; trip coordinator for Pay It Forward Tours; coordinated BHS's first food drive; mission trips to Niagara Falls, Chattanooga, Tenn., and Charleston, W.V.; job coach for special education student.

Full list of teams

• Daily Herald's Northwest Suburban Leadership Team

• Daily Herald's Fox Valley Leadership Team

• Daily Herald's DuPage County Leadership Team

• Daily Herald's Lake County Leadership Team

• Daily Herald's Leadership Team judges

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