Meet the judges behind the 2015 Academic Team

Posted5/21/2015 1:00 AM
  • Becki Bellito

    Becki Bellito

  • Diane Bourn

    Diane Bourn

  • Patricia Dahle

    Patricia Dahle

  • Nancy Davis

    Nancy Davis

  • Todd Gregory

    Todd Gregory

  • Tad Keely

    Tad Keely

  • Nikki Liska

    Nikki Liska

  • Kerry O'Brien

    Kerry O'Brien

  • Brenna Ohlson

    Brenna Ohlson

  • Andrew Prazeres

    Andrew Prazeres

  • Sarah Schwartz

    Sarah Schwartz

  • Sister Kathleen Sinclair

    Sister Kathleen Sinclair

Our profound thanks to the educators who judged the 2014-15 Daily Herald Academic Team.

Becki Bellito: A counselor at Vernon Hills High School, where she has worked for the past 13 years. She has a bachelor's degree in English/secondary education from the University of Illinois and a master's in school counseling from Concordia University.

Diane Bourn: College counselor at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect for eight years. She has a bachelor's in psychology from Northeastern Illinois University, a master's in counseling and human services and a master's of education in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor.

Patricia Dahle: Has been teaching science in Catholic education for 20 years; at St. Francis High School in Wheaton has been a student council and National Honor Society adviser, Scholastic Bowl moderator, assistant freshman girls basketball coach and science department chairwoman. Holds a bachelor's in biochemistry and a master's in public health education from Benedictine University.

Nancy Davis: College counselor at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights. She has a bachelor's degree in education from Northwestern University, an M.B.A. from Columbia University in New York and a master's in counseling and human services from National Louis University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor.

Todd Gregory: At Lake Zurich High School since 1990, he is the department chairman for Health, Physical Education, Driver Ed, and Family and Consumer Sciences. Developed the Introduction to Sports Medicine course at L.Z.H.S., which he teaches. Supervised the Screens for Teens program that provides EKGs for students, and trains staff in CPR and AED.

Tad Keely: In his first year as a counselor at Glenbard West High School after working as a counselor at West Aurora High School. He has a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish linguistics, literature and culture from University of Illinois, where he lettered for three years on the football team. At Glenbard West, Tad is an assistant football coach and the head boys tennis coach.

Nikki Liska: Counselor at Metea Valley High School, with a bachelor's degree in communication from Illinois State University and a master's in education, school counseling, from Lewis University. Worked in income development for a nonprofit and sales/design prior to her career in education. At Metea, Liska is the PSAT and AP coordinator, assistant badminton coach and was on the school improvement committee.

Kerry O'Brien: He was the head of counseling services at St. Edward Central Catholic High School in Elgin for 12 years and came out of retirement this spring to fill in for a pregnancy leave. Did his undergraduate work at Fordham University in New York City and has a master's in the Art of Teaching from National-Louis University in Wheaton. Spent 2½ years in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica.

Brenna Ohlson: Dean of Students at St. Charles North High School in St. Charles. Prior to working in school administration, she worked as a school counselor for many years. Brenna is a member of the Illinois Principal's Association and the Illinois State Dean's Association.

Andrew Prazeres: Has taught social studies since 2013 at Rolling Meadows High School, where he sponsors the National Honor Society and is an assistant debate coach. Has a bachelor's degree in social science education and will start work on a master's in history this fall. Over the summer he will participate in an intensive study of Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire.

Sarah Schwartz: Completing her second year as a counselor at Central High School in Burlington, she is the varsity cheerleading coach and adviser for the Rocket Rowdies (pep club), and Peer Leaders. Was a counselor at Bartlett High School starting in 2008 and has a bachelor's from the University of Dayton and master's degrees from National-Louis (counseling) and Concordia University (administration).

Sister Kathleen Sinclair, BVM: A member of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of the religious orders that founded Carmel Catholic High School. Holds a bachelor's in history from Northern Illinois University, a master's in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University Chicago, and a master's in Nonprofit Administration from North Park University. Sister Kathleen, in her fifth year at Carmel, is director of student activities.

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