Wheaton Academy Class of 2021
Class of 2021
  • Wheaton Academy.

    Wheaton Academy. Daily Herald File Photo

  • Wheaton Academy senior pitcher Shane Baumgarten throws to an Aurora Central Catholic batter during a summer league baseball game in West Chicago.

    Wheaton Academy senior pitcher Shane Baumgarten throws to an Aurora Central Catholic batter during a summer league baseball game in West Chicago. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Wheaton Academy head coach Justin Swider, left, and Aurora Central Catholic head coach Sean Bieterman meet at home plate before the start of a summer league baseball game at Wheaton Academy in West Chicago.

    Wheaton Academy head coach Justin Swider, left, and Aurora Central Catholic head coach Sean Bieterman meet at home plate before the start of a summer league baseball game at Wheaton Academy in West Chicago. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
Updated 6/17/2021 10:42 AM

Graduates in the Class of 2021: 167

Academic achievements:

 

• Bible Award: David Stoner

• Social studies award: Morgan Mead and Wilbur Reyes

• Daughters of the American Revolution: Payton Collins

• Sons of the American Revolution: Elijah Lizzadro

• Creative writing: Kyrie Pierson

• Critical writing: Ellen Shales

• English: Sarah Jane Lister

• Spanish: Gloria Grace Poland

• Global: Wilber Reyes Delgado

• Illinois Science Teachers Association: Jacob Williams and Josh Brunner

• Fermi Lab Science: Valerie Terdina and Peter Sorenson

• Science: Joseph Wang

• Business: Kayla Strzalka

• Byte Award: Peter Sorensen, Robert Dieter, Michael Heredia and Josh Brunner

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• Illinois Council Teachers of Math: Ellen Shales and Robert Dieter

• Math: Jacob Williams

• National Merit Scholarship Program: Letter of Commendation: Madison Brown, Joshua Brunner, Sarah Jane Lister, Madeline Santoni and Peter Sorenson; Certificate of Merit: Miriam Buursma, Robert Dieter, Ellen Shales, Valerie Terdina, Joseph Wang, Jacob Williams

• U.S. Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence: Robert Dieter and Cora Gregersen

• WA Scholar Athlete: Joshua Brunner and Brooke Hermes

• U.S. Marine Distinguished Athlete: Blake Wittstock and Kelly Bickhart

• WA Senior Distinguished Athlete: Shane Baumgarten and Amy Alexander

• Senior Choral: Isabella Brown

• Senior Instrumental: Valerie Terdina

• Imago Dei: Rachel Cobb

• Visual art: Emma Van Wagner and Joshua Martinez

• Dance: Abigail Gonzalez

• Performance of the Year: Tyson Hogan and Evan Shelton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Patron of the Arts: Connor Beattie

• Academy Theater: Hannah Crowe and Kylie Orphan

• Lexi Youngberg Inspiration: Wilber Reyes Delgado

• Chase Froese '13 Award: Kelly Bickhart and Tavis King

• Raul Vergara Friend: Gloria Grace Poland

• Service to Wheaton Academy: Connor Beattie and Anna Trott

• American Legion School Award: Hannah Crowe and Joshua Vishanoff

• Engeseth Leadership Award: Corbin Bates

• Bosgraf Service Award: Ellen Shales

• Soli Deo Gloria: Kelly Bickhart

• Head of School: Joshua Brunner

• Presidential Award for Academic Excellence: Sierra Allison, Andrew Ambler, Corbin Bates, Tyler Bertsche, Zachary Bottoms, Madison Brown, Joy Brown, Joshua Brunner, Miriam Buursma, Hannah Crowe, Robert Dieter, Trevor Donna, Matthew Ellison, Morgan Essmann, Cora Gregersen, Halle Harris, Michael Heredia, Tavis King, Julia Liposky, Ting He Steven Liu, Disheng Edison Lu, Morgan Mead, Rebecca Pasciak, Connor Royce, Madeline Santoni, Adam Schwarting, Amanda Scornavacco, Ellen Shales, Evan Shelton, Anna Solberg, Jacob Tepe, Valerie Terdina, Joseph Wang, Jacob Williams, Jia Le, Catherine Yu.

• Seniors Graduating with High Honors: Corbin Bates, Zachary Bottoms, Madison Brown, Joshua Brunner, Miriam Buursma, Hannah Crowe, Robert Dieter, Halle Harris, Brooke Hermes, Tyson Hogan, Sterling Johnston, Sarah Jane Lister, Rebecca Pasciak, Gloria Grace Poland, Connor Royce. Evan Shelton, Anna Solberg, Peter Sorenson

• Illinois State Scholars: Corbin Bates, Madison Brown, Joshua Brunner, Robert Dieter, Matthew Ellison, Tavis King, Gloria Grace Poland, Evan Shelton, Anna Solberg

Extracurricular achievements:

• Quiz Bowl team won regionals. The seniors on the team are Val Terdina, Ellen Shales, Joseph Wang and Maddie Santori

• Crystal Pillar/National Student Production Award -- Rachel Cobb

• District IX Honors Choir: Isabella Brown and Stephen Chen

• All-State Choir: Stephen Chen

• All-State Composition Contest (2nd place): Tyson Hogan and Bryce Swift

Athletic achievements:

• Jerilyn Blackmon was MVP of the MSC Red Division for girls basketball. She was a 4-year starter, 3-time all-conference player, and will be attending Bethel University on a basketball scholarship.

Theater productions:

• Winter Musical Review

• "Much Ado About Nothing"

• "Mousetrap"

• "High School Musical"

What traditional events were adapted for the pandemic and how?

• In the fall we held "WAvinia" -- an outdoor Fine Arts festival which included a production of The Addams Family musical, instrumental and choral concerts. Families attended and set up their own chairs on the lawn, socially distanced to enjoy our students performing.

• Surprise pop-ups: On random days a crew of teachers would "pop" into a classroom for a few minutes. With music and bubble machines to add fun, students would get surprise treats, like popcorn, candy, or cupcakes. On occasion, a quick minute to win it game would be played with the winners receiving a Starbucks gift card. These pop up events brought a little change and fun into the classroom for both students and teachers.

• We had an amazing Homecoming week -- that while we didn't have sports games or an actual homecoming, students participated in dress-up days, socially distanced assemblies on the football field, class competitions, and fundraisers.

• Our Christmas choral and instrumental concerts were video recorded and broadcast on our YouTube channel for families to watch at home.

• We held a drive-through outdoor Christmas nativity in December, where each car donated money toward children our school supports in Haiti and the DR, as well as donated canned foods to help the West Chicago Food Bank. Cars drove through our campus watching various scenes from the Christmas story.

• The Winter Broadway Review -- In place of a winter musical, students performed 11 different musical numbers from various Broadway shows. They sang, dance and acted, all while maintaining proper distance and wearing masks. This was taped and broadcast on our YouTube channel.

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

Our students were so thankful to be in school, participating in in-person learning! Even though the year didn't look "normal," they were so grateful to have what they did. This class didn't complain but grew stronger through adversity.

Principal's reflections on the Class of 2021:

The class of 2021 has demonstrated remarkable resiliency, perseverance, gratitude in the midst of a senior year that looks different than what expected. They bought into the guidelines that allowed for in-person learning, found ways to shape school culture, and found creative solutions to problems. We are grateful for the class of 2021 and will not soon forget the way they led through adversity.

-- Principal Kori Hockett

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