Hanover Township celebrates leaders in virtual ceremony

  • Tina Houdek, director of Hanover Township Youth & Family Services, right, presents Gaston Klaric, Junior Leader Award winner, with his plaque during the May 24 awards ceremony.

    Tina Houdek, director of Hanover Township Youth & Family Services, right, presents Gaston Klaric, Junior Leader Award winner, with his plaque during the May 24 awards ceremony. Courtesy of Hanover Township

Updated 6/7/2021 10:02 AM

The Hanover Township Committee on Youth presented its annual Celebration of Leadership Awards virtually on May 24 with a video honoring individuals and their families. Award recipients were given commemorative plaques before the event.

The committee presented awards in five categories:


• Rising Star Award: Connor Boryscka of Sunnydale Elementary School

• Junior Leader Award: Gaston Klaric of Tefft Middle School

• High School Leader Award: Karla Alvarez of Streamwood High School

• Adult Leader of Youth Award: Michelle Wolverton, community

• Principal of the Year Award: Beth Wennerstom of St. John the Evangelist School

"There were many inspiring stories of youth and adults who made a tremendous impact while facing adversity throughout the past year," said Alisa "Lee" Beattie, Hanover Township trustee and committee liaison.

"Each individual stands out in their own way for their contributions in not only improving themselves, but also those around them."

Rising Star Award winner Connor Boryscka was honored for his willingness to mentor and provide leadership to his peers. Through his involvement in the Hanover Township Youth and Family Services Alternatives program, he has taken the time and effort to promote the positive aspects of the program and created a comfortable learning environment.

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The committee recognized Junior Leader Award winner Gaston Klaric for his involvement with the Snowball Youth Leadership Team and other volunteer groups. His nomination highlighted his resiliency, initiative and fresh energy that inspires those around him to be more involved.

High School Leader Award winner Karla Alvarez has connected with other Streamwood High School students through Freshman Orientation, serving as a mentor, as well as leadership with the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) student advisory board. Karla was commended for her investment in the success and happiness of others, juggling commitments and maintaining a positive attitude.

Community Adult Leader of Youth Award winner Michelle Wolverton was recognized for her leadership skills and vision that have made a positive impact on children's lives through her work at the Streamwood Park District.

Principal of the Year Award winner Beth Wennerstom was selected for her ability to create a safe, yet challenging learning environment for year-round, in-school learning during the pandemic. As a first year principal, she has gone above and beyond to give the school new energy and maintain its academic standards, growing technology and arts programs.


COY is a township advisory committee comprised of youth and adult volunteers that meet once a month. The mission of COY is to be a catalyst for promoting well-being among township youth and families through family education, outreach and the fostering of community connections with an emphasis on positive youth development.

To learn more about COY, visit www.hanover-township.org or call (630) 483-5799.

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