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updated: 7/22/2011 9:58 AM

Stevenson student mourned after drowning in Michigan

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  • A 15-year-old Jacob Waxberg of Buffalo Grove boy drowned Wednesday night while swimming at a Decatur, Mich., summer camp, Michigan State Police reported.

      A 15-year-old Jacob Waxberg of Buffalo Grove boy drowned Wednesday night while swimming at a Decatur, Mich., summer camp, Michigan State Police reported.
    choicecamps.com

 
By Sam Wagner

A 15-year-old Buffalo Grove boy drowned Wednesday night while swimming at a Decatur, Mich., summer camp.

Adlai E. Stevenson High School released a statement Thursday announcing the death of Jacob Waxberg, a sophomore described by his school staff as a hardworking student with a great sense of humor.

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"Jacob was a sweet young man with a strong desire to succeed. He had a wonderful sense of humor that was often dry and witty, but very comical and other students found it funny," said Sarah Stolzenberg, one of Waxberg's teachers.

Officers were called to the Greenwoods Camp for Boys about 10 p.m. after a group swimming in Lake of the Woods were unable to locate a fellow swimmer who had disappeared in the water, said state police Sgt. Tom Brower.

Police and camp personnel found the teen in the water after 15 to 20 minutes. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful, police said, and he was taken to the Bronson Lakeview Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to a statement from Camp Director Dayna Hardin, the boy was one of about 15 campers participating in an organized swim, which was being monitored by lifeguards and camp counselors. The boy appeared distressed before descending in 10 to 12 feet of water, Hardin said.

An investigation is ongoing, Brower said. An autopsy was scheduled to take place Thursday afternoon, but the results were not immediately available.

Professional grief counselors will be at the camp to work with campers, families and staff, Hardin said. Stevenson High School also will make grief counseling available for students from 10 a.m. to noon Friday in the Principal's Conference Room.

Lindsay Perkins, Waxberg's counselor at Stevenson, said the teen had positive attitude and friendly nature.

"The one thing that I really admired about Jacob was his inquisitive nature," she added. "He was a strong self advocate and wasn't afraid to ask questions pertaining to his education. Every time he came to my office he had a smile on his face; a genuinely good kid who will be deeply missed."

As news of his death spread, a Facebook page called "RIP Jacob Waxberg," was created and in only a few hours more than 500 people "liked" the page. Friends, former classmates and acquaintances left posts remembering his sense of humor and personality.

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