Lakes Community High School senior wins car from Antioch dealership

A graduating senior from Lakes Community High School won a new car on Friday from Raymond Chevrolet Kia in Antioch.

This year, the car dealership and Antioch Community High School District 117 launched a “Driving for Education” initiative to give district seniors who reached cum laude status the chance to be entered into a drawing for a new car.

The drawing took place at 10 a.m. Friday and was livestreamed for public viewing and to the two district high schools, Antioch and Lakes, during their respective senior class graduation rehearsals. Elizabeth Snyder, a senior at Lakes, was the lucky student whose name was drawn.

“To grow and nurture our youth is something very important to me,” said Raymond Chevrolet Kia owner Mark Scarpelli, a 1980 graduate of Antioch High School. “I wanted to try and further that experience and further the benefits to a student who goes above and beyond.”

From left, Antioch Community High District 117 Superintendent Jeff Feucht, Raymond Chevrolet Kia owner Mark Scarpelli, District 117 school board President Wayne Sobczak and Vice President Bruce Pagni after the drawing at Raymond Chevrolet Kia in Antioch Friday morning. Courtesy of Raymond Chevrolet Kia

To be eligible for cum laude status and for the drawing, seniors must have completed a certain number of classes, including high-level “capstone” classes, a good attendance record with no suspensions, volunteered in the community and participated in extracurriculars.

District superintendent Jeff Feucht said the criteria opens the door for any well-rounded student who has worked hard and been involved all four years of high school, not just those who get perfect grades. Of around 640 seniors in the district, 110 were eligible for cum laude distinction and opted in to the drawing.

Feucht and Scarpelli said while the car is the obvious reward, the goal of the program is much bigger than just providing one car to one student.

“We want to try to continue to make high school students excited and engaged to be good citizens,” Feucht said.

Snyder will get to choose either a Chevrolet or Kia with a $25,000 value, and Scarpelli also announced before the drawing that she will receive a $500 gas card to get her started on the road. Snyder will be responsible for the cost of taxes and license plates.

According to Scarpelli, the dealership plans to continue the program for the senior class each year in perpetuity.

“Hopefully, it will be a motivational driving factor for young students and our future leaders of our community,” Scarpelli said.

The family-owned Raymond Chevrolet Kia has been in business for 65 years, and the Driving for Education initiative is it’s latest involvement with the school district and community at large. According to Scarpelli, the dealership provides driver education cars to Antioch and Lakes high schools and has contributed more than $250,000 to the high school athletic departments over the past 25 years.

“We’re super grateful,” Feucht said. “This was over and above and on top of what they’ve been doing already.”

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