Girls Scout Service Unit 411 Manager, Josie Diaz-Pope gives thumbs up to Melissa Obrock (back row, left), leader of Troop 45435 at Komarek School and Troop 47101 leader Virginia Ortega (second from right), who received New Found Treasure awards. | PROVIDED

A number of local residents were among those honored in November for their positive impact on Girl Scouting during an award presentation at the Andrew Toman Grove Forest Preserve in North Riverside by Josie Diaz-Pope, Girl Scout Service Unit 411 manager for the towns of Berwyn, North Riverside, Riverside, Brookfield and Westchester.

“One way that I am able to express my gratitude to our dedicated leaders of troops from kindergarten to 12th grade is to recognize them with SU Awards,” Diaz-Pope told the Landmark in an email. “The three categories are New Found Treasure, Hidden Heroine and Volunteer of Excellence.”

Those recognized as New Fond Treasure Award winners were Sara Ionescu, Melissa Obrock and Virginia Ortega for their outstanding performance as newer leaders.

The Hidden Heroine Award went to volunteers who provide over-and-above assistance on a variety of projects, including Sandy Briolat, Tina Freese, Pamela Gonzalez, Lisa Hennelly, Sarah Johnson, Christina Kallenborn, Laurie Leatherwood, Terri Lynne-Culloden, Kate Nessinger, Abigail Randall, Gretchen Reyes and Tina Wolfe. A special Hidden Hero Award went to Joseph Gebhart.

Finally, Cindy Reynolds was named a Volunteer of Excellence, an award given to those who contribute outstanding service while partnering directly with girls in any pathway to implement the Girl Scout leadership experience through use of the national program portfolio or who have contributed outstanding service of the council’s mission.

Welcome to town

T.J. Booth and Nikki Battles | PROVIDED

Brookfield business owners, Chamber of Commerce members and local officials gathered on Nov. 19 to cut the ribbon at Focus Om Yoga and Wellness, 9045 Monroe Ave. in the village’s Eight Corners business district.

The business was celebrating its grand re-opening under the ownership of T.J. Booth and Nikki Battles, who bought the studio this summer from former owner Charlene Vickery.

On stage

Quinley Costello, 11, of Brookfield, was among those chosen as cast members for Ballet Leger’s production of “The Nutcracker” earlier this month at Dominican University in River Forest.

Costello was cast in the lead role of Clara,. Ballet Legere is the longest “Nutcracker” production in the Chicago area. The production features professional dancers as well as students and other adults. 

I’d be honored

On Nov. 10, the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS) presented a plaque to former Riverside Chief of Police Thomas Weitzel, honoring his 11 years of service with the task force.

Thomas Weitzel

Current NIPAS President, Vernon Hills Police Chief Patrick Kreis, stated, “Chief Weitzel’s dedication, and devoted years of service to the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System helped develop it into the strong organization it is today.”

 Weitzel held the positions of trustee, secretary, treasurer, vice president and president. NIPAS currently has 99 members agencies including municipal police, county police, college and university police, and other specialized police agencies.

“I was proud to have served as president of the Illinois Police Alarm System,” said Weitzel. “I’m a strong believer in the concept of mutual aid systems for police response to large scale incidents that cannot be addressed by local police agencies alone.”

On campus

Ten Brookfield residents were among the 225 Lyons Township High School seniors recently named Illinois State Scholars, a program that recognizes high school students for outstanding academic achievement.

Those honored included Charles Clevenger, Brianna Episcopo, Katherin Estrada, Gonzalo Herrera, Paige Liddell, Evan Madden, Dulce Nava, Emily Quintero, Duska Richert and Anthony Traverso.

Students ranking in the top 10 percent of the state’s high school graduating seniors were named state scholars. Selection is based performing in the top one-half of their high school class by the end of their junior year and/or scoring at or above the 95th percentile on the ACT or SAT.

Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park has announced its honor roll students for the first quarter of the 2021-22 school year. Students on the A Honor Roll earned a grade-point average of at least 3.8 on a 4-point scale. B Honor Roll students achieved a GPA of between 3.33 and 3.79.

A Honor Roll students included Brookfield residents Emme Barnes, Michael Fong, Greta Nelson, Sarah Newmann, Kevin Prosen and Jannelle Steger; North Riverside resident Gianina Montoro and Riverside residents Erin Briars, Gabriel Kaminski, Madelyn O’Meara, Elizabeth Selover, Emma Udelson and Chase Zidlicky.

B Honor Roll students included Brookfield residents Noah Barnes, Andrew Buenrostro, Noah Lenaghan and Iris Nelson and Riverside residents Alice Buchman, Daniel gentile, Madeline Markham and Peter Selover.

Lyons Township High School student Maria Gondos, a senior from Brookfield, was one of four student-artists who earned honorable mention honors in the annual Chicagoland 4 X 5, the largest “small” art exhibit in the nation, which featured more than 1,000 pieces measuring 4-by-5 inches in a variety of media.

Just over 100 works of art were selected to receive awards. Gondos won honorable mention in the drawing category.

Julian Becerra and Maria Gondos, both seniors from Brookfield, were among those named Students of the Month for December at Lyons Township High School. Students were nominated by their teachers and then selected by the various departments as the most exemplary students in each subject.

Becerra was recognized for his excellence in physics, while Gondos was chosen in choir/Madrigals/advanced vocal techniques.