West Aurora High School

Graduates in Class of 2020: A little more than 900

Co-valedictorians: Emily Herbert and Allison Voris

Salutatorian: Annabelle Behrens

Graduation speakers: Victor Esparza and Mackenzie Pierce

Class officers: Priscilla Vargas and Sarah Alcala

Excellence in Education Award (Top 5%): Riley Anderson-Bush, Haley Atkins, Marceline Azem, Sophie Bastian, Annabelle Behrens, Jeanelle Castro, Lizbeth Celaya, Mikaela Cruz, Joaquin Cuevas, Sophia DeChaud, Isaac Diaz, Michael Dipietra, Brooke Dowd, Abigail English, Arielna Fonge, Emily Herbert, Julia Kauffmann, Eliana Kettley, Joslyn Klitzkie, Abigail Kuhn, Narita Lambert, Chloe Leonard, Javier Lopez, Alyssa Mayhew, Cael McLaren, Mariano Morales, Jackson Morrill, Gabriella Nilles, Alyssa Overlin, Mackenzie Pierce, Sydney Poss, Saranda Rasmusson, Abigail Regis.

Illinois State Scholars: Riley Anderson-Bush, Marceline Azem, Deborah Babalola, Sophie Bastian, Annabelle Behrens, Jeanelle Castro, Kyle Catalano, Lizbeth Celaya, Renae Chillson, Mikaela Cruz, Joaquin Cuevas, Sophia DeChaud, Isaac Diaz, Michael Dipietra, Brooke Dowd, Abigail English, Alexandra Gomez, Emily Herbert, Aleksander Husen, Julia Kauffmann, Eliana Kettley, Joslyn Klitzkie, Kamile Kudirkaite, Narita Lambert, Javier Lopez, Zachary Lundquist, David Martin, Elise Martina, Alyssa Mayhew, Cael McLaren, Tyler Mroz, Gabriella Nilles, Alyssa Overlin, Nghi Pham, Mackenzie Pierce, Sydney Poss, Saranda Rasmusson, Amber Rauch, Abigail Regis, Daniel Risner, Jose Rojas, Erick Nunez, Nathalia Santiago, Brett Scott, Sebastian Sevilla, Madeline Simmons, Mackenzie Thompson, Bohdi Tomas, Allison Voris, Peyton Weigand, Ainslee Wong, and Conor Yang.

Department Awards: Abbigail Roe, Visual Art; Yamayra Villa, CTE; Mohammad Marie, English Learner; Giovanna Meza, Diversified; Ainslee Wong, English; Luis Lopez, Health Occupation Science Academy; Jackson Morrill, Mathematics; Micah Hett, Performing Arts; Giovanni Rhem, Physical Education; Mackenzie Thompson, Science; Annabelle Behrens, Social Studies; Mackenzie Pierce, Student Activities; and Jamie Dominguez, World Languages; Richard Ebeling Science Award: Mackenzie Thompson; Illinois Association of Chemistry Teachers Award: Sofia De Chaud, Joslyn Klitzkie and Conor Yang; West Aurora Biology Award: Nathalia Santiago; American Association of Physics Teachers Award: Joaquin Cuevas and Annabelle Behrens; Fermilab Science Award: Allison Voris and Tyler Mroz; Illinois Science Teachers Association Award: Ainslee Wong and Javier Lopez; West Aurora Environmental Science Award: Paige Loomis and Alyssa Mayhew; Excellence in English Award: Sophie Bastian, Annabelle Behrens, Raul Ceniceros, Emily Herbert, Narita Lambert, Chloe Leonard, Gabriella Nilles, and Allison Voris

Athletic achievements (individual):

• Weightlifting national champion Will Easley

• Swimming state qualifier Sophie Bastian

• Cross county state qualifier Jackson Morrill

• Football all-state Logan Mont

• Boys soccer all-sectional Eloi Niyibizi

• All-conference: Jackson Morrill, boys cross country; Alessandra Dennis, girls golf; Julia Fogleman, girls golf; Taylor Martin, girls golf; Lauren Greenwood, girls volleyball; Jenna Millen, girls volleyball; Zachary Uhm, boys golf; Eloi Niyibizi, boys soccer; Brianna Lindstrom, girls tennis; Sophie Bastian, girls swimming; Abigail Kuhn, girls diving; Chloe Leonard, girls swimming; Logan Mont, football; William Tammaru, football; Emily Nguyen, cheerleading; and Kelvin Balfour, boys basketball.

• 50 West Aurora seniors have committed to participating in collegiate athletics.

• Anderson/Apsit Award: Christian Nieves and Narita Lambert

• Richard Dorsey Sportsmanship Award: Julian Ordaz and Taylor Wyeth

• Janis Lapsa Booster Scholarship: Alyssa Mayhew, Jackson Morrill, Abbey Kuhn and Alyssa Overlin

• John Bauer Memorial Scholarship: Gabi Nilles

• Female Student Athlete of the year: Abigail Kuhn

• Male Student Athlete of the Year: Logan Mont

Athletic achievements-team: Boys soccer, regional champions; boys basketball, regional champions; girls basketball, Southwest Prairie Conference Champions.

Extracurricular achievements:

• Stellar Explorers engineering competition, top 10 finish for the second year in a row; National Qualifiers: Andres Gomez, Adam Annerino, Jorge Medellin, Nancy Vasquez and Madeline Simmons.

• International Science Fair - Thailand: Emily Herbert, Nghi Pham and Jeanelle Castro

• ACES (Academic Challenge in Engineering and Science) State Qualifier: Javier Lopez, engineering graphics

• Continental Mathematics League Calculus Award: David Martin and Chuh-Yu Wang

• IMEA All State Choir: Micah Hett and Drew Rachow

• Scholastic Art and Writing Award Gold Key recipients: Daniel Arceo, Joel Lopez, Abbigail Roe and Taylor Wyeth

• Senior Art Students awarded $1.9 million in scholarships at Illinois High School Art Exhibition - Haley Atkins, Caitlin Bower, Isabel Capici, Eloisa Gloria, Janet Hernandez, Brianna Kelley, Narita Lambert, Madeline Mehalic, Alexis Nagy, Melissa Rivera, Abbigail Roe, Jane Teska, Taylor Wyeth, and Paige Zimmerman

• Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) state qualifiers: Lay Mu, fashion construction, gold medal and most outstanding, Yamayra Villa, entrepreneurship, bronze medal, and Abbigail Roe, professional presentation, silver medal

• HOSA-Future Health Occupations Professionals: Luis Lopez, Illinois HOSA Outstanding Leader; Shai Erdrich, Illinois HOSA Sports Medicine State Champion and National Qualifier; and Pearl Villasenor, Illinois HOSA Veterinary Science National Qualifier

Theater productions: "12 Angry Jurors" (fall play); "And Then There Were None" (winter play); and canceled spring musical "Kiss Me Kate."

Homecoming King and Queen: Jett Robleza and Marlis Ortega

Homecoming theme: Hollywood Nights

Principal's reflections on the Class of 2020: The class of 2020 has been a very special group of students. They have excelled in the classroom, on the athletic fields, in the fine and performing arts, and in community service. This senior class has demonstrated grit, perseverance, and the ability to overcome adversity during an unprecedented interruption to their education. Through it all, they have remained positive and committed to their community through volunteer efforts and service. Most of all, the class of 2020 has remained faithful to each other. When others are in need, they can be counted on to provide help and support regardless of personal cost or inconvenience. This is a very special group of young people, and I am excited to see what the future holds for them.

- Principal Charles Hiscock

  West Aurora High School graduation sign. Jeff Knox/
  Logan Mont converts on a kick with Sam Laurx providing the hold during the first day of football practice last August at West Aurora High School. Rick West/
  West Aurora's Taylor Martin during the IHSA Class 2A West Aurora girls golf regional last October at Blackberry Oaks Golf Course in Bristol. Brian Hill/
  West Aurora's Vincent Smith competes in the 100-yard breaststroke at the IHSA state boys swimming preliminaries in Evanston. John Starks/
  Grand marshals Tom and Sonni Herget turn and applaud the West Aurora High School football team at the end of the homecoming parade last fall. The couple, both active students at the school more than 50 years ago, are known for their volunteerism in the community. John Starks/
John Starks/, 2019West Aurora's Abbey Kuhn pulls herself over the bar in the IHSA Class 3A girls track and field preliminary events. In April, Kuhn committed to Ohio State.
West Aurora head coach Brian Johnson gives instructions to Logan Mont during a break in play against Oswego East at West Aurora High School. Sean King/for Shaw Media Illinois
West Aurora's Kelvin Balfour jumps to defend the net against Oswego's Kevin House at West Aurora High School in Aurora. Sean King for the Daily Herald
  West Aurora's Rashidi Meso controls the ball on a drive upfield against Plainfield Central in a regional soccer game. John Starks/
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.