RBHS senior Joshua Nelson (right) accepts a certificate from Principal Hector Freytas at a school board meeting in October where Nelson was recognized for his perfect score on an AP Computer Science A exam last spring. | Bob Skolnik/Contributor

Riverside-Brookfield high school senior Joshua Nelson earned a rare perfect score on his Advanced Placement Computer Science A exam as a junior last spring. Not only did Nelson earn a top score of 5, he earned every single point on all sections of the entire exam.

In order to achieve a perfect score, students not only need to have a deep understanding of the content and a capacity to apply that understanding, they also have to be extremely attentive to detail within the test’s time limit.

About 80,000 students nationwide took the Computer Science A exam in 2022 after about 134,000 students completed AP Computer Science Principles in 2021. Less than one-half of 1 percent of those test takers received perfect scores.

Attorney named 40 Under 40

Joseph T. Murphy

Riverside native Joseph T. Murphy, a partner at Clifford Law Offices, was named one of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s 40 Under 40 Attorneys to watch in the Chicago area.

Murphy attended Central School and Hauser Junior High in Riverside before graduating in 2003 from Riverside-Brookfield High School. He comes from a long family line of lawyers and judges and serves as a U.S. Army Reserve Officer. 

He has served as an investigator on the Judicial Evaluation Committee for the Chicago Bar Association since 2019.

In 2022, Murphy was selected as a recipient of the Rising Stars of the Plaintiffs Bar Award, given by The National Law Journal. This honor goes to a select group of attorneys who are under the age of 40 and who are up-and-comers in the plaintiff’s bar.

He received his law degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Illinois Wesleyan University. Murphy is part of the aviation team of lawyers at Clifford Law Offices working on personal injury and wrongful death cases including the 2019 crash of a Boeing jet in Ethiopia that killed 157 people.

LTHS teacher honored

Jessica Drogo

Jessica Drogos an educator at Lyons Township High School, has received the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award.

Students accepted into the University of Chicago Class of 2026 were asked to nominate an educator whose guidance has helped them along the path toward intellectual growth. Responses were received from thousands of students in recognition of educators who have positively impacted their lives.

All of those selected received a commemorative award, certificate and letter that includes details from the student they were nominated by. 

Milano named Coach of the Year

Lee Milano

Nazareth Academy baseball coach Lee Milano has been selected by the administrative staff at the Illinois High School Association to receive the 2021-22 Baseball Coach of the Year Award.

The IHSA also submitted Milano’s name to the National Federation of State High School Associations for further consideration at the regional and national levels. 

Last spring Milano led the Roadrunners to a 34-7 record and the school’s first-ever baseball state title. In his 23 seasons as baseball coach at Nazareth, he has chalked up 531 victories.

On air

Thomas Weitzel

Former Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel will be a regular contributor on the John Howell Radio Show, which airs between 4 and 7 p.m. weekly, on WLS-AM 890. Weitzel will field questions from listeners on police work, crime policy and procedure and deliver his perspective on breaking police/crime topics. 

The program will also be available as a podcast at wlsam.com/john-howell.

On stage

Genevieve Jane

Brookfield resident and Brook Park School fifth grader Genevieve Jane, 10, is starring as Brigitta Von Trapp in Paramount Aurora Theater’s “Sound of Music,” which runs through Jan. 15. She is a regular participant in Children’s Theater of Western Springs. This is her first professional production.

Quinley Costello, 12, of Brookfield, was cast in Ballet Legere’s 37th Annual production of “The Nutcracker.” It’s the second straight year she has performed in the Christmas season tradition. 

Performances were in the Lund Auditorium at Dominican University on Dec. 3 and 4.

On campus

A total of seven Brookfield residents were among the 196 students at Lyons Township High School named 2023 Illinois State Scholars. The designation is given to graduating high school seniors based on exemplary college entrance exam scores and high school achievement indicating potential for success in college.

Among those named were Brookfield residents Nathan Edsell, Isabella Forero-Cadena, Neva Hamilton, Nina Issel, Mae Mathis, Emilia Mladjan and Cassidy Monti.