Amelia Garcia

The Golden Apple Foundation announced on Feb. 15 that Amelia Garcia, a teacher at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, was among 30 high school teachers named finalists for the 2022 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

The Golden Apple Awards honor outstanding teachers for having lasting, positive effects on students’ lives and school communities. 

Garcia has been on the faculty at Nazareth Academy for 15 years and teaches AP English Language and English 2 Honors. She is an alumna of DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and English and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. She was named Nazareth Academy’s Educator of the Year in 2016.

Those selected as 2022 Golden Apple Award recipients will be surprised in the spring. Northwestern University provides a spring sabbatical to award recipients at no cost. Each recipient also receives a $5,000 cash award. 

Award recipients become fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, a community of educators who play an important role in preparing the next generation of teachers in the Golden Apple Scholars and Accelerators programs, which are dedicated to addressing the teacher shortage in Illinois.

Off into the sunset

Lori Webb

The Brookfield Village Board and police department on Feb. 14 honored longtime police records supervisor Lori Webb for her 28 years of service to the police department.

Village President Michael Garvey read and presented Webb with a proclamation recounting her contributions during the Board of Trustees meeting that night, noting that Webb officially retired from her job on Feb. 11.

Webb began her career in Brookfield in 1994 as a dispatcher and records clerk. She was promoted to records supervisor in 2003.

“Young or old, people know that Brookfield PD’s records supervisor is Lori Webb,” said Police Chief Michael Kuruvilla. “Recognition like that is a testament to how irreplaceable your presence has been to us. Lori has been kind, considerate and a help to all of us.”

On campus

Desiree Valadez, of Brookfield, was among the nearly 1,300 students receiving their degrees from Northern Illinois University last year. Valadez earned a Master of Science in literacy education.

Lydia Olson, of Brookfield, received a Bachelor of Science degree in education during the fall semester commencement ceremonies last December at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Riverside resident James Greenwell was among the approximately 4,900 undergraduate students awarded diplomas during commencement exercises in December at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Greenwell was awarded his Master of Science degree in computer science.

Erik Casillas, of North Riverside, and Lauren Paisker, of Brookfield, were among those awarded degrees in December at the close of the 2021 fall semester at the University of Iowa. Casillas earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance while Paisker earned a Bachelor of Science degree on sport and recreation management.

Brittany Ruiz, of Brookfield, a student at Elmhurst College was among those recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership.

The Dads Association at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign recently announced the recipients of the 2022 Dads Association Scholarship. Six students from a field of 90 who applied were chosen to receive $2,000 scholarships, including North Riverside resident Ruby Pelayo, a sophomore majoring in early childhood education.

Mia Giurini, of North Riverside, was named to the president’s list for the 2021 fall semester at Trine University in Angola, Indiana. Students on the president’s list must attain a grade-point average of at least 3.75 on a 4-point scale.

Joshua Valentino, a computer science major from North Riverside, was named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list at Aurora University for earning a GPA of at least 3.6.

Concordia University Wisconsin, located in Mequon, has named Brookfield resident Aidan Lewis, a freshman political science major, to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list for achieving a GPA of at least 3.6.

Among those named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, was Riverside resident Charlie Buh (accountancy). Dean’s list students rank in the top 20 percent of undergraduate students in each division.

Brookfield resident Raymond Greco, who is studying engineering and computer science, was named to the dean’s list for the 2021 fall semester at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Sophie Bowie, of Brookfield, earned the distinction of faculty honors for the fall 2021 semester at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The designation is awarded to those earning a 4.0 GPA for the semester.

Riverside resident Trevor Bork and Brookfield resident Autumn Rajcevich-Schwer were named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list at Carthage College in Kenosha for achieving a GPA of at least 3.5 for the semester.

North Riverside resident Jamie Fernandez was named to the 2021 adult undergraduate fall semester dean’s list at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights for earning a GPA of at least 3.8.

Among the nearly 900 Elmhurst University students named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list for attaining semester GPA of at least 3.75 were North Riverside resident Kimberly Graf, Riverside resident Abigail Salamanca and Brookfield residents Madison Darcy, Amelia Huebner, Cassidy Melone and Ashley Staley.

Riverside residents Jack Jameson and Marshall Palmer-Jones were both named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Daniel Sessler, of Brookfield, and Amy Kulaga, of Riverside, were named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, for earning a GPA of at least 3.6.

Olivia Janunas, of Riverside, was named to the 2021 fall term dean’s list at Knox College in Galesburg for earning a semester GPA of at least 3.6.

Brookfield resident Jacob Rodriguez was named to the school’s fall 2021 academic excellence list. Equivalent to the dean’s list and requiring a semester GPA of at least 3.5, the academic excellence list is for students who have not declared a major.

Fiona Hamilton, a chemistry major from Brookfield, was named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for earning a semester GPA of at least 3.5.

Marquette University in Milwaukee has named its 2021 fall semester dean’s list students, who include Brookfield residents Jordan Gatsos (environmental engineering), Elina Kunickas (biomedical sciences) and Noah Osowski (psychology); North Riverside resident Reagan Hosty (accounting); and Riverside residents Maya Diaz (political science), Haley Legan (biomedical sciences), Ben O’Bryan (mechanical engineering), Nina Tomas (nursing) and Maeve White (journalism).

Brookfield residents Olga Orszulak (meteorology) and Justin Spaargaren (history) and Riverside resident Marcie Ruiz (elementary education) were named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb for earning GPAs of at least 3.75.

Sydney Lindenberg (civil engineering), of Brookfield, and Isabelle Legan (global resource systems), of Riverside,  were named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list at Iowa State University in Ames for attaining a semester GPA of at least 3.5.

More than 6,000 undergraduates at the University of Iowa were named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list, including Brookfield residents Angelica Aranda (criminology), Lauren Paisker (sport and recreation management) and Katelyn Malikowski (elementary education) and Riverside residents Gianna Calderon (nursing), Lizbeth Casillas (psychology) and Isabella Mullins (sustainability science).

Brookfield residents Jordan Crespo and Megan Sroka were named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, for attaining a semester GPA of at least 3.5.

Grace Knowski, of Brookfield, was named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list Millikin University in Decatur for earning a GPA of 3.5 or higher for the semester.

Jeremy Heer, of Brookfield, was named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list at Quincy (Illinois) University for earning a semester grade point average of at least 3.5 

Thirteen student-artists from Lyons Township High School, including three from Brookfield, will have their work exhibited in the National Scholastic Art Awards competition in New York later this school year after earning top recognition at the regional competition in January.

Katherine Geisert, a junior, earned a Gold Key in the mixed media division to earn a national placement. She also won honorable mentions in painting and printmaking. Eric Marquez, also a junior, was a Gold Key winner in photography, while Ana Ortiz will advance after earning a Gold Key in digital art. Finishing with a Silver Key award in drawing was senior Evie Pav.