Riverside resident John Farneda was appointed music director for WXRT-FM on May 23, after serving in the role in an interim capacity since early April. It marks a return to the radio station for Farneda, who was its music director for more than 14 years between 2001-14.

“Christmas has come early to WXRT,” said Greg Solk, WXRT’s operations manager/program director, in a press release. “John’s rich history here and his unequalled knowledge of the Chicago rock market make him the perfect programming partner. John is WXRT.”

Farneda began as a public affairs intern for WXRT midday host Terri Hemmert in 1983 and shifted to assistant music director in 1985. Along with becoming the station’s music director, Farneda was WXRT’s operations director prior to leaving the music business in 2014. 

Since that time he has focused considerable attention and efforts on restoring a portion of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Coonley Estate in Riverside.

RBHS teachers recognized

Two Riverside-Brookfield High School teachers recently were recognized for excellence.

Sandy Czajka received the National Center for Women and Technology Aspiration in Computing Educator Award, one of just 70 educators across the country to be so honored.

The award identifies outstanding educators who play a pivotal role in encouraging young women to explore their interest in computing and technology and recognizes them for their efforts to promote gender equity in computing.

Michele Koehler was named Outstanding Biology Teacher of Illinois by the national Association of Biology Teachers for her dedication to her students, school and community.

Koehler shares her knowledge with others and stays abreast of cutting-edge technology. Her classes are student-centered and inquiry-based.

Brookfielder wins conservation internship

Brookfield resident Abby Zabrodsky will be spending her summer in Iowa interning with Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF), a nonprofit conservation group that works with private landowners and other partners to protect Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. 

Since its founding in 1979, INHF has helped protect more than 150,000 acres of Iowa’s wild places.

 Zabrodsky is working across Iowa helping to maintain and restore native Iowa landscapes. Zabrodsky attends Iowa State University in Ames, studying forestry.

 “I’m looking forward to seeing beautiful places in Iowa I would never have been able to explore and meeting the interesting land owners,” Zabrodsky said in a press release.

AAUW honors two

At its spring tea in May, the Riverside Branch of the American Association of University Women honored Diane Factor and Patricia Heilenbach as its named gift honorees. A $500 gift has been made in their names to the AAUW Educational Foundation.

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. 

Factor joined the Riverside Branch in September 1987. Heilenbach, who also received a 40-year pin from the association, joined in June 1976.

On campus

Haichuan Zhao, of Riverside, was awarded a bachelor’s degree in business administration at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s commencement ceremony on May 13.

Riverside residents Jose Campos and Madeline Thompson both earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of San Diego on May 28.

Campos’s degree was in business administration and finance, while Thompson’s degree was in economics.

Ian Clark, of Riverside, was named to the dean’s list for the 2017 spring semester at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, by earning a grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a 4-point scale.

Riverside residents Guillermo Arroyo (mechanical engineering), Riley Mullen (undeclared) and Lucille Roudebush (exercise physiology) were named to the dean’s list for the spring 2017 semester at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Michael Gruber, of Riverside, was named to the Trine University (Angola, Indiana) president’s list for the spring 2017 semester for attaining a GPA of at least 3.75.

Brookfield resident Scott Duda and North Riverside residents Isabella Echevarria and Hollie Ferrer were named to the dean’s list for the spring 2017 semester at Bradley University in Peoria for achieving a minimum GPA of 3.5.

Bridget Halvey, of North Riverside, was named to the spring 2017 semester dean’s list at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin for attaining a GPA of at least 3.5.

Riverside resident Jack Lulich was named valedictorian of Fenwick High School’s Class of 2017. A National Merit finalist and Illinois State Scholar, Lulich competed on the Fenwick volleyball and math teams. 

He will be attending the University of Southern California, where he will study computer science and engineering. He was awarded a Viterbi Fellowship from the university’s Viterbi School of Engineering, an award given to a select group of honor’s students in that program.

Brookfield resident Jocelyn Contini received the Legacy Guild Scholarship during an awards presentation on May 19 for graduates of Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park.

Lyons Township High School senior Frank Mazgay, of Brookfield, was among those honored at the 2017 Senior Awards at Technology Center of DuPage. Mazgay was named Outstanding Senior in Welding Technology.

Several Riverside-Brookfield High school students were recognized for their achievement on the National German Exam, given by the American Association of Teachers of German.

Winning Gold awards for German II were Gustas Gladstein, Evan Dunbar and Jonah Raith; winning Silver awards were Luke Graham and Laura McLean; winning Bronze awards were Cheryl Longo, Julia Maywood and Benjamin McGuffey; recognized for Achievement were Marissa Drake, Mara Dunn, Thomas Alexander, Kristina Tepic, Sophia Gose, Niela Callanan and Sylvia Harvin.

In German III the following students won awards: Robert Parisi (Silver), Sara Vacek (Bronze) and Jason Kenny (Achievement) and Amanda Voth (Achievement). In AP German IV, Carleen Egan and Julian Brudnak earned Bronze awards, while Calista Lopez and Henry Scheffer earned Achievement awards.

Riverside-Brookfield High School freshman Josh Turner placed 36th in Algebra I, while juniors Jackson Hajer and Jason Kenny placed 74th and 106th, respectively, in Algebra II at the ICTM State Math Contest on May 6 at the University of Illinois.

Three Riverside-Brookfield High School students were recognized for their written entries in the Reflections on Riverside Imagery Contest. Thais Rulich-Maly placed first, earning a $75 check and an Aunt Diana’s chocolate bar. Ryan Power and Helen Valencia received certificates of merit.