John Hersey High School

<h3 class="breakHead">Graduates in Class of 2020: 506</h3>

<h3 class="breakHead">Graduation speaker: Jack Aiello</h3>

<h3 class="breakHead">Student Council President: Natalia Lesak</h3>

<h3 class="breakHead">National Merit Finalists: Jessica Bek, Karolina Groszewska, Sydney Hemenway, Amelie Smithson and Patryk Szczepaniak.</h3>

<h3 class="breakHead">National Hispanic Recognition Program: Kamila Cruz and Isabel Hahn.</h3>

<h3 class="breakHead">• 17 seniors scored 1500 or higher on their SAT exam, placing them in the 97th percentile in the nation; and Hersey ranked as the 8th best school in the state by U.S. News & World Report.</h3>

<h3 class="breakHead">Philanthropic achievements: Food drive collected more than 49,000 cans of food that was distributed to three area food pantries. Also delivered 65 family food baskets to at-risk Hersey families; Senior Olympics Event with Arlington Senior Center held the 15th annual Senior Olympic Games; Dance Marathon raised nearly $10,000 to support the opening of Gerry's Cafe, which will employ adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.</h3>

<h3 class="breakHead">Athletic achievements:</h3>

• Football: With an overall record of 9-2, advanced to the second round of the playoffs for a third straight year. Jordan Hansen became the third straight all-state quarterback from Hersey in consecutive years, as well as the MSL East Offensive Player of the year. The Huskies had seven all-conference selections, including three-sport athlete Austin Korba and two all-area selections, Jordan Hansen and Blake Vonderlippe.

• Swimming: Both the boys and girls swim and dive teams won the MSL East (fifth consecutive for girls, third consecutive for boys) and finished with undefeated regular season records. Combined 19-0 in duals and combined won five invites. Girls broke five school records and boys broke four school records; NISCA All American 200 Medley Relay (Martin, Papanicholas, Lumsden, Salm); NISCA All American, Smithson and Blumenfeld for Diving; NISCA All American, third state, Papanicholas in 100 breaststroke; Spencer Burkhalter, conference medalist, sectional medalist, state qualifier; Gavin Hill, conference medalist, sectional champions, state qualifier, 19th in the 100 Freestyle and 29th in the 50 freestyle; Ethan Marunde, conference medalist, sectional medalist, state qualifier, 23rd in the 100 free and 46th in the 50 free; Misha Nikiforov, conference medalist, sectional medalist, state qualifier; Kevin Pollina, Danny Pollina and Jack Troyer, sectional medalists; Noah Thomas, sectional champion, state champion 50 Freestyle (state record), state champion 100 Freestyle, state champion 200 Freestyle, state champion 100 Breaststroke (state record).

• Boys Golf: Compiled a record of 13-1, won the MSL East Division and won the regional; shot 297 team score for 18-holes, second lowest team score in school history; set school 9-hole record with 143 team score; Henry Quinn moved on to the state finals.

• Boys Cross Country: Won the MSL East Division, MSL Conference, state regional and sectional; placed 7th in state. Josh Methner was the state champion for the second year in a row while breaking a 47-year state record with a time of 13:49.86. He now holds the Illinois lowest time ever for high school boys cross country and the second lowest of all-time in the nation.

• Girls Cross Country: Freshman Anna Harden finished 23rd at state, earning all-state honors while also breaking school record.

• Girls Volleyball: Finished 30-8, MSL East division champs and regional champions; Kati Kaburov broke Hersey records for all-time career kills with 1,391 and career aces with 211. She was recognized as first team all-state, honorable mention All-American, Daily Herald All-Area captain, Pioneer Press player of the year and MSL East player of the year.

• Girls Basketball: MSL East champions, regional champions, 26 wins; school record for freshmen Katy Eidle in 3-point shooting percentage in a season; All Conference and All-Area - Mary Kate Fahey, Mary McGrath, Katie Eidle; IBCA All-State - Mary Kate Fahey, Katie Eidle

• Gymnastics: Emma Hupp, third place finish at sectionals. Qualified for state on floor routine.

• Bowling: Mid-Suburban East Division Champions; MSL Conference Medalists - Morgan Breden and Maddie Ritter; Team qualifier for IHSA State Meet, finishing 22nd overall.

• Wrestling: Austin Korba was the MSL Champion heavyweight wrestler; Austin Korba and Billy Spassov were regional champions and were two of six sectional qualifiers; Zach Joyce and Austin Korba were state qualifiers; Austin Korba placed 8th in state.

• Competitive Cheerleading: IHSA State Qualifiers.

• Competitive Dance: IHSA State Qualifiers.

• Special Olympics: State Champions in Floor Hockey; State Qualifier in Basketball

<h3 class="breakHead">Extracurricular achievements: </h3>

• CyberPatriot Security Competition, a combined team of six students from Hersey and Wheeling placed second in Illinois and in the top 100 in the nation;\.

• DECA Business Club had nine students qualify for the state competition.

• Chess team qualified for the IHSA State Finals, placing 29th out of 126 teams at the competition.

• Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Club qualified 11 students for the state competition.

• Deaf Academic Bowl Team won the Midwest Regional at the Minnesota School for the Deaf, and were scheduled to compete in the National Finals at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.

• Orchesis dance "Subway Song," choreographed by senior Arisa Kulkarni, was chosen as one of 13 dances to be performed at the Illinois State Dance Festival.

• Senior Olivia Bell qualified for the National Speech & Debate Association Tournament.

• Anna Gorrill earned the Richard Calisch Excellence in the Arts Award.

• Dominic Borrelli, Nina Gillespie, Won Jun Lee, and Luke Podvrsan were selected for the ILMEA All-State Band.

• Math Team qualified for the ICTM State Math Competition.

• Science Olympiad Team qualified for the state competition.

• Marching Band were Class 4A Champions at the Illinois State University Marching Band Festival.

• Symphonic Band was chosen for the marquee performance at the Illinois Music Educators Conference and as the Honors Band for his year's University of Illinois Superstate Festival.

• Hersey bands also played a concert at the famed Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C.

<h3 class="breakHead">Theater productions: "Matilda," (fall musical); "These Shining Lives" (winter play)</h3>

<h3 class="breakHead">Homecoming King and Queen: Frank Karigan and Evelyn Chung</h3>

<h3 class="breakHead">Homecoming theme: A Hollywood Homecoming </h3>

<h3 class="breakHead">What was new for the Class of 2020: New branding logo. Several rooms have been renovated in accordance with our curricular shift to accommodate Redefine Ready, Career Pathways and Dual Credit coursework: Multimedia Communications room, Law and Equity Room, Health Sciences Room, AP Seminar Room and Cyber Security Room.</h3>

<h3 class="breakHead">Notable visitors: Mike Smith, Harbor TV</h3>

<h3 class="breakHead">Principal's reflections on the Class of 2020: The class of 2020 followed tradition by exemplifying the traditions of excellence in academics, service to others and co-curricular activities. They had the dubious distinction of being in the first graduating class that experienced the COVID-19 pandemic. This incredible disruption to the norms of any student was met by a strong and resilient response from the Class of 2020. They stayed positive and progressive, trailblazing the pathway of remote learning and physical distancing. They revealed their collective character in an outstanding display of "can do" attitude, which was simply amazing. </h3>

- Principal Gordon Sisson

  Hersey High School graduation sign. Joe Lewnard/
Hersey's Josh Methner runs in the Class 3A state cross country race at Detweiller Park. Methner won the state title with a record time. PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
  Hersey's Noah Thomas competes in the athletes with disabilities 200-yard freestyle at the IHSA state boys swimming final in Evanston. John Starks/
Hersey's Austin Korba grins after beating Mundelein's Jason Guadarrama in overtime of their Class 3A 285-pound match during the state tournament. Daily Herald File Photo
  Hersey's Gavin Hill competes in the 100-yard freestyle at the IHSA state boys swimming preliminaries in Evanston. John Starks/
  Hersey's Kati Kaburov, Daily Herald Cook County all-area volleyball captain. Joe Lewnard/
  Hersey's Jordan Hansen runs for a 22-yard first quarter touchdown against Prospect. Mark Welsh/
  Hersey's Spencer Burkhalter leads Rolling Meadows' Marty Davis as they chase the ball in a boys water polo game at Elk Grove High School. John Starks/
  Hersey's Henry Quinn chips onto the 12th green at the Bridges at Poplar Creek golf course in Hoffman Estates. Joe Lewnard/
  Hersey's Josh Methner seems to wink at fans as he leads the Early Bird Invitational cross country meet at Fenton High School in Bensenville. He won the race by more than 12 seconds. John Starks/
  Hersey's Josh Methner wins the boys varsity race by more than 12 seconds at the Early Bird Invitational cross country meet at Fenton High School in Bensenville. John Starks/
Hersey High School senior speaker Jack Aiello addressed the 2020 graduating class in a virtual commencement ceremony. Courtesy of Township District 214
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.