Neighbors in the news: The Oaks at Bartlett welcomes new executive director

The Oaks at Bartlett, a senior living community, has welcomed Joan Peterson as executive director.

Peterson brings more than 30 years of experience in the health care industry, beginning her career as a nurse before transitioning into administration. She has overseen 42 communities in 11 states, including skilled health care, assisted and independent living.

“Joan embodies the mindset at The Oaks, which is to look for opportunities to grow, change and always improve,” said Linda Both, president of the Independent Living Resident Council. “We are here to nourish, celebrate, and enhance the mind, body and spirit of our residents, and Joan is taking this to a new level.”

Kevin Romejko, executive director, Bartlett Park District. Courtesy of Bartlett Park District

Kevin Romejko has joined the Bartlett Park District as its new executive director, succeeding the retiring Rita Fletcher.

Romejko, who has 30 years of experience in the park and recreation field, previously served as the executive director at the Rolling Meadows Park District.

Romejko has a deep connection to the Bartlett community, as his family previously resided in Bartlett from 2008-2019. He was also an integral part of the Bartlett Park District’s team between 2016 and 2020, serving as the superintendent of Business Services.

Romejko holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa and a master's degree from Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University. He currently resides in St. Charles.

Ava Williams, 2024 Iconic Legacy Scholarship recipient. Courtesy of Christine Wastyn

Maine West senior and Des Plaines resident Ava Williams has received the 2024 Iconic Legacy Scholarship. The award was presented May 14 at the Senior Honors Assembly at Maine West High School.

The $1,000 scholarship is privately funded and was established to honor the Maine West Class of 2020’s West Side Dance Company members, whose season ended before their last show due to the COVID pandemic.

Christine Wastyn, a Maine West alum and mother of 2020 graduate and West Side Dance Company member Tess Wastyn, established the scholarship. The spirit of the scholarship is learning to dance through the rain. Applicants must submit an original choreographed dance number and write an essay regarding what it means to them to turn a bad situation good.

Williams will continue her education in the fall at Penn State University.

Daniela Lazar, DAISY Award winner. Courtesy of Dhalia Bedavid

Daniela Lazar, of Center of Illinois Home Healthcare, Inc., was recently honored with the DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the Arlington Heights-based DAISY Foundation's programs to recognize the superhuman efforts that nurses perform every day.

The nonprofit DAISY Foundation was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, an autoimmune disease. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

Owen Levitt, a senior at Highland Park High School, was among the students from Lake County proudly representing and taking home medals at the SkillsUSA Illinois State Championship, held April 27-28 in Peoria.

Levitt took home gold in the Firefighting competition, which consisted of an interview, a quiz, knot tying challenge and extensive timed obstacle course in full gear. He will now go on to compete at the SkillsUSA National Championship in Atlanta at the end of June.

The SkillsUSA Illinois State Championships recognize career and technical education students who excel in their occupational areas.

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