Buffalo Grove teacher, health program earn Blue Ribbon honors
• Ben Leven, a health education teacher at Twin Groves Middle School, Buffalo Grove, and the Twin Grove Middle School health program were recognized for a third time by the by the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance with a Blue Ribbon Award for excellence in health education.
The award acknowledges Leven's continued professional development and application of innovative teaching strategies to engage all students, such as mock trials and staged "accidents" requiring assessment and "treatment."
The award also finds the standards-based curriculum is current and relevant to students' needs and offers a variety of assessments and differentiated learning opportunities to help all students feel successful.
• Greg Kaup, a 25-year resident of Elk Grove Village, recently published his first novel of fiction titled "The Patch of Green." The setting of the novel is Rogers Park, the Chicago neighborhood where Kaup grew up during the 1960s and '70s.
Incorporating some of the events which he experienced in Chicago, the story follows the lives of three boys who are best friends. One day, while on an ill-advised adventure, the main character has his life saved by his two friends. Afterward, he is determined to someday repay his friends for their heroic act. As the main character tries to find a way to repay his friends, the tale follows them as they grow up and make their ways out into the world. Kaup's novel is available at Amazon.com.
• Three seniors were honored by the Maine Township High School District 207 board of education as "207's Best." For November honors, Madeline Dort, of Maine South; Nicole Lach, of Maine East; and Ashna Thomas, of Maine West, were recognized for community service.
At Maine South, Dort is president of Key Club, where she helps lead fundraising for blankets and cards for hospitalized children, Uncle Pete's lunches, and donations for the schoolwide fundraiser.
At Maine East, Lach serves on Class Council and Student Council and has played a leadership role various fundraising efforts including helping to organize the annual WGN Toy Drive and a Digital Literacy Initiative for Park Ridge seniors.
At Maine West, Thomas is a member of National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Pi Sigma Pi and Mu Alpha Theta. Her volunteer work focuses on coaching and tutoring. She started with the COACH program at Maine West and, as a sophomore, became a COACH tutor at the Des Plaines Public Library. She also volunteers in various capacities for other Des Plaines Library special events and volunteers time with The Kids Pantry in Mount Prospect.
The "207's Best' program recognizes outstanding students monthly throughout the school year. Teachers nominate students, and an executive committee makes final decisions.
• Glenview resident and Glenbrook South High School student, Kate Stack, was honored in October with the SWENext Global Innovator Award by the Society of Women Engineers for her pursuit of engineering projects, her understanding of engineering principles, her role in inspiring young girls to pursue engineering and her contributions to her community.
Stack was honored alongside her peers during a formal ceremony at the Society of Women Engineers' annual conference and career fair, held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Society of Women Engineers is an international nonprofit organization based in Chicago that supports women in engineering. SWENext is Society of Women Engineers' program for girls 18 and younger to get involved in the organization, learn more about engineering and receive access to resources that support their interest in engineering.
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