Diante Johnson

Four Riverside residents — Kaitlin Gaynor, Radka Pribyl Pierdinock, Daniela Pope and Mia Spina — were among the nearly 80 high school students who earned the Girl Scouts’ most prestigious honor, the Girl Scout Gold Award at a special ceremony in May in Oak Brook.

Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award requires leadership, organizational skills, a sense of community and commitment, and involves a seven-step process that includes interviews and the completion of a significant service project.

The projects must fulfill a need within the girl’s community (whether local or global), create change and be sustainable.

The projects approved by the Greater Chicago-Northwest Indiana Council Gold Award Committee including the following:

Gaynor developed a music program to encourage students in fifth grade to transition to middle school and high school to continue with playing in the band program. 

Pribyl Pierdinock created a library for pre-school to first-grade students at St. Catherine-St. Lucy School, which serves low-income families in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. 

Pope designed a website and wrote a book, “Kitty has a Secret” for a program called IncludeME, which focuses on spreading a message of compassion and empathy to today’s youth who do not suffer from stuttering, so that they can help their stuttering peers feel included and understood. 

Spina created a website and a video that portrays situations a victim of domestic violence might experience in order to break the stigma and bring awareness to the importance of understanding the issue.

“I know that these ladies will continue to achieve remarkable goals in their lives to benefit their community and the world,” said Girl Scout Service Unit 411 Manager Josie Diaz-Pope, in a press release.

RPC hires Christian educator

Diante Johnson, a Chicago Public Schools teaching assistant and musician, has been named Christian educator at Riverside Presbyterian Church in Riverside.

According to the church’s website, Johnson earned his B.A. from Columbia College in Chicago and his master’s degree from Northcentral University. Johnson traveled the world as a gospel musician, the website states, and he’s also played on several gospel records.

Johnson is the father of three children, 15, 10 and 9.

Hilpp earns Godbey Award

Remy Hilpp was given the J. Luster Godbey Award as the outstanding student at L.J. Hauser Junior High in Riverside during the 2017-18 school year.

The Godbey Award, named after District 96’s superintendent from 1968 to 1979, is given to the student who best exhibits academic achievement, superior effort and conduct in the classroom, positive participation in extracurricular activities and displays character traits that bring respect from both students and teachers.

On campus

Riverside resident Nicholas Rohm graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology/anthropology from Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota) during the school’s commencement exercises in June.

Sean Pruett-Jones, of Riverside, graduated with a degree in Norwegian from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, at the school’s commencement ceremony in May.

Among those being awarded degrees from the University of Iowa during commencement ceremonies this spring in Iowa City were Brookfield resident Amy Pajak (BA, geography) and Riverside residents Michael Gmitro (BA, English and creative writing) and Scott Rysz (DDS, dentistry).

In addition to the graduates, a number of local students were also named to the University of Iowa’s 2018 spring semester dean’s list, including Brookfield residents Marissa Cruz, Alyse Malikowski and Ajla Smajlovic; North Riverside resident Manuel Sida; and Riverside residents Michael Gmitro, Rachel Heuel, Brendan McDonough and Amy Milleker.

Riverside residents Jacob Douglas and Claire Hejna have been named to the dean’s honor list for the 2018 spring semester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Douglas is a student in the School of Engineering, while Hejna is a student in the School of Nursing.

Meanwhile, North Riverside resident Gabrielle Ulloa, a student in the School of Pharmacy, was named to that school’s honor roll.

Katherine Alaks (history/creative writing) and Meaghan Dorsey (biochemistry), both of Brookfield, were named to the Knox College (Galesburg) dean’s list for the 2018 spring semester by attaining a grade-point average of at least 3.6 on a 4-point scale.

Riverside residents Erica Fong, a senior in the College of Education, and David C. Kodama, a junior in the College of Science and Engineering, were named to the 2018 spring semester dean’s list at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities for attaining semester GPA of at least 3.66.

Brookfield resident Elisabeth McCroary and Riverside resident Charlie Marcou were named to the 2018 winter dean’s list, concluding in April, at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan for maintaining a GPA of at least 3.5.

Katherine Andrulis, of Brookfield, an accounting major, was named to the 2018 spring semester dean’s list at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, for earning a GPA of at least 3.5. 

Riverside resident Caleb Clark and Brookfield resident Jeremiah Clarkson were named to the 2018 spring semester dean’s list at Wheaton College for attaining a GPA of at least 3.5.

Riverside residents Nicole LaBelle and Evan Jones were named to the president’s list at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for ranking in the top 3 percent of undergraduate students within their divisions.

Kalyn Harris, of Brookfield, was named to the 2018 spring semester dean’s list at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. Harris is majoring in fashion merchandising.

Coulter W. Greenwell, of Riverside, was named to the president’s list at Clemson (South Carolina) University for achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA for the semester. Greenwell is a pre-business major.

Riverside residents Guillermo Arroyo (mechanical engineering), Riley Mullen (criminology) and Lucille Roudebush (exercise physiology) were named to the dean’s list for the 2018 spring semester at Marquette University in Milwaukee.