Josue Gonzalez

The Rev. Paul Landahl, longtime resident of Riverside and former pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in Riverside, received the 2016 Confessor of Christ award presented by the faculty of Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. 

Landahl, who has been in ministry for 50 years, served 23 years as the pastor at Ascension. He later became an associate to the bishop and then was named bishop of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

He served the wider Riverside community as chairman of the Riverside Township Mental Health Board, as a member of the Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 Board of Education, as chairman of the Riverside-North Riverside Ministerium and as convener of the Riverside-North Riverside Covenant of Churches. 

He currently works with seminarians as an advocate, mentor, and guide and continues to be a tireless advocate for the rights of diverse individuals and marginalized groups. 

Business owner recognized

Larry Rych of Imperial Kitchens and Bath Inc. in Brookfield has been selected by Remodeling magazine named a Big50 company. Each year, the publication inducts 50 owners of remodeling companies nationwide for their high standards for professionalism and integrity through exemplary business practices, craftsmanship and impact in their community or the industry at large.

Imperial Kitchens and Bath will also celebrate its 50th year in business in 2016.

LTHS paraeducator honored

Lyons Township High School paraeducator Elizabeth Watkins was recently honored with an award by the National Education Association for her fundraising efforts. 

Over the past several school years, Watkins has organized fundraisers to help support an annual scholarship awarded to a graduating senior by the LT Instructional Aides and Paraprofessional Association at the LT Senior Honors Assembly. Through Watkins’ efforts, $5,197.58 was raised for scholarships.

Spotlight on police

The Riverside Village Board on April 21 officially acknowledged one of its longtime auxiliary police officers, Karl Vacek, who retired from the force after 19 years.

Vacek joined the auxiliary corps in 1997, assisting police with traffic control during special events and other duties as assigned by the chief of police.

Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel in April was elected to serve a vice president of the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS), a 93-community multijurisdictional agency created to provide mutual aid in times natural disaster and major incidents.

Prior to his election as vice president, Weitzel served as treasurer on the NIPAS board. Two major functions of NIPAS are the special tactical squad known as the Emergency Service Team and a special crowd control unit known as the Mobile Field Force.

Lt. William Gutschick, operations supervisor for the Riverside Police Department, recently attended the Midwest Leadership Institute hosted by Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies.

The institute is an intensive week-long program to educate leaders in internal self-focus and external organizational focus.

Welcome aboard

Four new members joined the Riverside Township Lions Club at the club’s March and April meetings. Thom DeVries, Brian Ganan and Dariusz Karman were sworn in at the March meeting and Nicole Calabria at the April meeting.

Sponsors are Frank Gangware, DeVries; Kevin Skinkis, Ganan; Dennis Sadilek, Karman; and Olga Sylvester, Calabria.

On campus

Shannon Helena Kitzer, the daughter of Maureen Kitzer and the late Al Kitzer, of Brookfield, recently received a Celia M. Howard fellowship for graduate study at the University of Illinois College of Law for the 2016-17 academic year.

Fellowships are granted annually to Illinois women in fields of study including law, administration of justice, international management, international relations and diplomacy and international business.

Eleven Hauser Junior High School students were recognized for academic excellence at an awards ceremony hosted by the West Suburban Consortium for Academic Excellence on May 4. 

The students participated in the ACT or SAT as part of the Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS). Among those recognized were sixth-graders Grayson Pacourek and Steven Sandusky; seventh-graders Wrigley Brick, Ethan Miller, Zachary Olga, Luke Ralph and Michael Xin; and eighth-graders Michael Adler, Emily Kowal, Antonia Kritikos and Cameron Winkler.

Brookfield resident Killian LeClainche was one of six members of the Lyons Township High School Business Professionals of America to compete in the BPA’s annual national Leadership Conference in Boston.

LeClainche, a senior, is a repeat competitor, having competed at last year’s nationals in Anaheim. He finished 29th out of 57 competitors in the Java Programming category.

Brian Kenney, a senior at Lyons Township High School and a member of the LTTV program, won a Silver Award for his video “How to Tre Flip” in the Demonstration category at the 23rd Annual Chicagoland High School Video Festival. Kenney was among 29 LTTV staffers to take home awards at the festival.

Brookfield resident Josue Gonzalez, a sophomore at Lyons Township High School, was part of a team from the school’s economics class that placed in the top 10 out of 127 teams in the annual Illinois Personal Finance Challenge, which is designed for students to demonstrate high levels of comprehension and application of personal finance concepts and skills.

Teams qualified by taking an online test, and the top team from each of five regions plus the next five highest-scoring teams in the state advance to the state finals.