East Leyden High School Class of 2021
Class of 2021
  • East Leyden High School held its graduation ceremony at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

    East Leyden High School held its graduation ceremony at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. Courtesy of Leyden High School District 212

  • East Leyden High School graduates snap photos before the start of graduation ceremonies at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

    East Leyden High School graduates snap photos before the start of graduation ceremonies at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. Courtesy of Leyden High School District 212

  • East Leyden High School seniors look on during this year's commencement ceremony at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

    East Leyden High School seniors look on during this year's commencement ceremony at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. Courtesy of Leyden High School District 212

  • East Leyden High School in Franklin Park.

    East Leyden High School in Franklin Park. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Amanda Le, a senior at East Leyden, is a student representative on District 212's Board of Education.

    Amanda Le, a senior at East Leyden, is a student representative on District 212's Board of Education. Courtesy of Leyden High School District 212

 
Updated 6/17/2021 10:43 AM

Graduates in the Class of 2021: 433

Valedictorian: Yaritza Frias

 

Salutatorian: Cindy Meco

Graduation Speakers: Yaritza Frias and Cindy Meco.

Senior Class Council Leadership Team: Audrey Thomas, Cindy Meco and Adrianna Trela.

Class of 2021 Top Ten Students: Yaritza Frias; Cindy Meco; Wiktoria Przetacznik; Hannah Stocks; Emily Klepacki; Angela Chavez; Amanda Le; Ryan Smith; Adam Nimer; and Klaudia Molo.

Illinois State Scholars: Daniel Alvarado; Kareem Araj; Citlalli Cervantes; Angela Chavez; Kyle Cua; Justyna Czopek; Zachary Dempsey; Sarah Diaz; Sofia Doroshenko; Yaritza Frias; Adrian Kaczmarek; Emily Klepacki; Filip Klich; Anna Kozak; Adam Krol; Amanda Le; Roaa Marei; Cindy Meco; Klaudia Molo; Jiselle Mosquera; Kayla Napoli; Mia Nieto; Adam Nimer; Luis Pantaleon; Wiktoria Przetacznik; Eldin Sakanovic; Victoria Samayoa; Sara Sidak; Julia Skoczen; Ryan Smith; Hannah Stocks; Michael Stoyanov; Kyle Tarpey; Oskar Wolny; Michael Yelich; and David Ziemian.

Senior Celebrations:

• Senior Sunrise -- 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, May 1

• Senior Celebration -- Friday, May 14

• Senior Picnic -- Monday, May 17

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Athletic achievements:

• Badminton: Emily Klepacki qualified for IHSA State Tournament Badminton, all-conference; Roaa Marei, qualified for IHSA State Tournament.

• Boys Soccer: Matt Espinoza, Ozzie Pacheco, Jesus Recendez, Edgar Orozco earned all-conference; Alan Jacinto and

Alan Vazquez earned all-sectional.

• Boys Gymnastics: West Suburban Gold Conference Champions; Jesus Garcia, 1st on pommel horse, 2nd on still rings, 1st on parallel bars and 3rd on high bar.

• Girls Basketball: Becky Colmenares, all-conference

• Girls Volleyball: Jasmin Nevarez, all-conference

Bowling: Jenna Batson, all-conference

Theater productions:

• "Tut, Tut"

• "Wave"

• "Ah, Wilderness"

• "The Land of Forgotten Toys"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• "Blood Wedding"

Senior Class gift: Eagle statue is being donated to our brand new courtyard on behalf of the Class of 2021.

What traditional events were adapted for the pandemic and how?

As with most everyone, just about everything we did this year had to be adapted. From the onset of the school year -- Incoming Parent Nights, Athletic & Activity Nights, and Freshman Orientation -- to our regular events, such as Parent-Teacher Conferences, award ceremonies, celebrations, and now our end of the year events, such as Prom and Graduation, everything has been adapted. Just about all of our traditional events have been held virtually, but as we say, perhaps how we are celebrating looks different. What we are celebrating isn't. We are celebrating the incredible accomplishments of our Eagles, their perseverance, drive, and dedication. We couldn't be more proud of our students, families, faculty, and staff this year.

Additionally, while most everything looked different, we were able to reach parents, students, and families in ways we haven't before. Because, for example, conferences were virtual, we were able to connect with more parents than usual. We held a series of virtual Town Hall meetings throughout the year to keep our families and communities informed, and we reached these partners in ways we never have before. There were multiple positives throughout all of the challenges we faced.

What were the most significant challenges faced by the Class of 2021 and how did they overcome them?

Perhaps most challenging for the Class of 2021 was that on March 13, 2020, high school was completely disrupted as they knew it. They, like all students, were thrust into a setting no one could have ever imagined. While last Spring was beyond trying, we feel the most significant challenge faced by the Class of 2021 was coming into their senior year, not knowing what to expect. This is a time that is typical anchored in celebration, excitement, looking ahead, and being together. Instead, it became a time of challenges, unknowns, and uncertainties. How then was the Class of 2021 going to reclaim the year?

Well, they did it tremendously, with grace and class. They engaged in their virtual classes in ways that no one could have expected. They were there for one another, for their teachers, families, and communities. They continued to provide community service, give back and follow our belief that kindness matters. They continued to perform well in their classes and even made up the SAT that was missed last spring. As we head into the final stretch, they continue to persevere. They are coming together for some Senior Celebration events and preparing for the incredible graduation they all deserve. It's incredible, really, what the East Leyden Class of 2021 has done.

Principal's reflections on the Class of 2021:

Leyden is a special place. There's no other way to say it, and that is the case in any "normal" year. This year -- full of everything we have faced -- has shown that the Class of 2021 at East Leyden isn't just special; they are incredible. No other class has ever had to deal with not only their junior year being disrupted the way it was but having to begin their senior year in a setting no one could have ever imagined. While it would have been easy to take the easy road and just coast to the end, that's not what the Class of 2021 stands for. They took our core beliefs at East Leyden -- involvement matters, kindness matters, and you matter -- and ran with them. Whether in the classroom, on the field, on stage, in the gym, or the community, our Eagles made the most of every situation and are coming to the end of their high school experiences with grace and class. That is just who our seniors are, and we couldn't be more proud of them.

-- Principal Dominic Manola

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