Dave Root

Mary Novak, a former Riverside resident and the daughter of Marjorie Novak and the late Dr. Bob Novak, was recently honored by the American Red Cross.

Novak received an Excellence in Disaster Fundraising Award during a presentation at the Red Cross’ North Central Division in Minneapolis in January.

The award honors the major gift officer who has demonstrated outstanding success in raising funds for the organization’s disaster relief efforts.

As a corporate major gift officer, Novak is a member of a 20-person development team and is responsible for stewarding corporate relationships in support of Red Cross local and national disaster responses as well as programs and activities in the Chicago and Northern Illinois region.

It’s Novak’s fifth year as a Red Cross staff member, having previously served as a Red Cross volunteer in a variety of capacities. Novak, now a resident of LaGrange, credits her late father with inspiring her to join the staff of the Red Cross. She also serves on the board of Riverside-based PeopleCare.

LTHS aviation
teacher honored

Lyons Township High School aviation and engineering teacher Dave Root was recently selected as one of only five educators nationwide to receive an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Educator Achievement Award for outstanding achievement in aeronautics instruction through the use of integrative STEM learning activities.

The award will be presented at the Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala in May in Washington, D.C.

Root has taught at LTHS since 2009 and is credited with broadening student participation in aviation, using grant money for flight time and working with the Illinois Aviation Academy to develop a summer internship, where students help perform routine aviation maintenance tasks. 

On campus

Adam Martinson, of Riverside, and Erika Zenchak, of Brookfield, were named to the 2016 fall semester dean’s list at Alma (Michigan) College for attaining a grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a 4-point scale.

University of Minnesota announced that North Riverside resident Gina Watylyk and Riverside resident Erica Fong have been named to the 2016 fall semester dean’s list by earning a GPA of at least 3.66.

Olivia Maher, a resident of Riverside and graduate of Trinity High School, has been named to the 2016 fall semester dean’s list at the College of Wooster (Ohio) by achieving a GPA of at least 3.65.

Riverside resident Bryan Reyes, a graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School majoring in engineering physics was named to the 2016 fall semester dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for earning at GPA of at least 3.5.

Sarah Javors, of Riverside, and Libby Creek, of Brookfield, were named to the 2016 fall semester dean’s list at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, for earning a GPA of at least 3.5.

Brookfield residents Dominic Bongiorno, Rachel Lutz and Elizabeth McCroary and Riverside resident Charlie Marcou were named to the 2016 fall semester dean’s list at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, for maintaining a GPA of at least 3.5.

Matthew Nutley, of Brookfield, was named to the president’s list for the 2016 fall semester at the University of Alabama by achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA for the semester. Meanwhile, Brookfield resident Carli Evans was named to the school’s dean’s list for attaining a GPA of at least 3.5.

Emily O’Connor, of Riverside has qualified for the 2016 fall semester dean’s list at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, by attaining a GPA of at least 3.4.

Riverside residents Kathleen Maxwell and Andrew Salij have been named to the 2016 fall semester dean’s list at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, by earning semester GPAs of at least 3.75. Maxwell, a graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School, is studying German and environmental studies, while Salij, a graduate of the Illinois Math and Science Academy, is a chemistry major.

North Riverside resident Gabrielle Ulloa (School of Pharmacy) and Riverside residents Nicolas Pavlakovic (College of Engineering) and Charles Wert (School of Education) were named to the dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the 2016 fall semester.

In February, the Riverside-Brookfield High School chess team competed in the IHSA state chess tournament in Peoria. The team went 3-4 and finished 86th out of 149 teams.

Sophomore Andres Resto won All-State honors, winning six of his seven matches and finished in fifth place overall on Board 4. Sophomore Megan Sroka won three games and had two draws on Board 6. Seniors Jacob Lam and Ray Greco and sophomore Joey Vitek each had three wins. Others winning matches were juniors Jackson Hajer and Luke Graham and freshman Nathan Sanchez.

On Feb. 18, Riverside-Brookfield High School student Elona Selenica competed at the IHSA state speech tournament, placing 10th with her piece “This is a Test.” Selenica also received honorable mention in the 2017 Northern Illinois Aspirations in Computing Award competition by the National Center for Women and Information Technology for her interests and achievement in computing.

The Riverside-Brookfield High School math team placed second in their conference at the MSC competition on Jan. 28. In Algebra 1, Kiri Salij placed first, while Claire Kawiecki and Josh Turner tied for second and Jacqueline DiMonte placed ninth.

The Algebra 1 team of Jade Connor, Will O’Brien, Di Monte, Kawiecki, Salij and Turner also placed first. 

In Geometry, Elise Wojack placed ninth, while the Geometry team of Kaitlin Gaynor, Mary Clare Grenlees, Jackson Hajer, Claire Jacobs, Radka Pribyl Pierdinock and Jason Kenny placed second.

In Algebra 2, Kenny placed first and Hajer placed fourth.

In Pre-Calculus, the team of Hailey Jurgens, Sam Miezio, Maura O’Brien, Melissa Tovar, Jacob Wardzala and Natalia Zhukova placed third, while individually Miezio and Maura O’Brien tied for sixth and Tovar took 10th.

The freshman/sophomore team of Grace DiBartolomeo, DiMonti, Will O’Brien, Turner, Noah Hoadley, Luka Malovic, Joey Vitek and Elise Wojack placed first. The junior/senior team of Gaynor, Hajer, Kenny, Wardzala, Miezio, Maura O’Brien, Tovar and Zhukova placed second.

Several Riverside-Brookfield High School students won awards for their performance on the National German Exam. In German II, Evan Dunbar, Gustas Gladstein and Jonah Roth won gold awards; Luke Graham and Laura McLean won silver; Cheryl Longo, Julia Maywood, Benjamin McGuffey, Kristina Tepic, Sophia Gose, Niela Callanan and Sylvia Harvin won bronze; and Marissa Drake, Mara Dunn and Alexander Thomas earned achievement awards.

In Honors German III, Robert Parisi won silver and Sara Vacek won bronze while Jason Kenny and Amanda Voth earned achievement awards.

In AP German IV, Carleen Egan and Julian Brundak won bronze, while Calista Lopez and Henry Scheffer earned achievement awards.

Among those winning awards at the 2017 Regional Scholastic Art Competition in February at Downers Grove North High School were Riverside-Brookfield High School students Calista Lopez (gold key, ceramics); Riley Shaw (gold key, digital art); Brianna Spinelli (gold key, photography); Katie Storage (gold key, ceramics), Emily Temmer (gold key, ceramics); Magon Pedroza (silver key, photography); Nick Allegretti (honorable mention, digital art); Alyssa Farnham (honorable mention, drawing); Sumner Feary (honorable mention, photography); Stephanie Molina (honorable mention, photography); Milena Parenti (honorable mention, drawing); Daiva Walz (honorable mention, sculpture); and Lilian Wu (honorable mention, digital art).

 Brookfield resident Jeremy Kolasa is among the Nazareth Academy students who participated in the Metro City History Fair regional competition on Feb. 25 at Niles North High School.

Kolasa, a junior honors history student, presented a documentary “Panic on the Lakefront: The Story of the McCormick Place Fire” along with fellow students Anthony Frugoli, of Westchester, and Liam Gram, of Forest Park.

Winners at the regional competition will advance to the Metro City finals in April.

Brookfield residents Andrea Serrano and Lena Tirva were among the 20 Lyons Township High School students competing at the annual Illinois Junior classical League state convention.

The Latin students attended a banquet dressed in togas, participated in discussions on Roman art and culture and competed in contests on everything from Latin grammar and vocabulary to costume and T-shirt design.

Serrano, a senior, took fourth place in couples costume and art/architecture and fifth place in history. Tirva, a sophomore, placed first in pottery.

Brookfield residents Nerina Isic (cosmetology), Frank Mazgay (welding technology) and Eric Pittman (criminal justice), all seniors at Lyons Township High School, were among 16 students from the school to be named to the Technology Center of DuPage “A Team” by earning an “A” in the first semester and outstanding achievement in their respective programs.

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