Kennedy Shelby (front row, from left), Karalyn Burke, Jamia Head, Kaitlyn Higgins, Katharine Downey-McGurk, Julianna Black, Helen Joyce. Back row, from left, Tom O'Malley, David Ortiz, Olivia Doran, Katherine Beyer, Paul Lieske, Leo Cassidy, Noah Flores, Noah Valdez, Nicole Reynolds, Bill Sanderson. Not pictured: Kailen Curran and Leo Lesauskis. (Supplied photo)

Kennedy Shelby (front row, from left), Karalyn Burke, Jamia Head, Kaitlyn Higgins, Katharine Downey-McGurk, Julianna Black, Helen Joyce. Back row, from left, Tom O'Malley, David Ortiz, Olivia Doran, Katherine Beyer, Paul Lieske, Leo Cassidy, Noah Flores, Noah Valdez, Nicole Reynolds, Bill Sanderson. Not pictured: Kailen Curran and Leo Lesauskis. (Supplied photo)

17 EPCHS students named Illinois State Scholars

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Evergreen Park Community High School Principal Bill Sanderson announced that 17 students from the EPCHS graduating class of 2023 have been designated as Illinois State Scholars.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the state’s college access and financial aid agency, presents this prestigious recognition of academic achievement to exceptional Illinois high school students annually. This year, more than 16,700 honorees join the other outstanding students who have been honored since the designation was first introduced in 1958.

“Being named an Illinois State Scholar is an outstanding academic accomplishment and we are especially proud of our students who have been recognized as scholars,” O’Malley said.

The following EPCHS students were named 2023-2024 Illinois State Scholars: Katherine Beyer, Julianna Black, Karalyn Burke, Leo Cassidy, Kailen Curran, Olivia Doran, Katharine Downey-McGurk, Noah Flores, Jamia Head, Kaitlyn Higgins, Helen Joyce, Leo Lesauskis, Paul Lieske, David Ortiz, Nicole Reynolds, Kennedy Shelby, Noah Valdez.

“On behalf of ISAC, congratulations to all of the outstanding students selected as 2023-24 Illinois State Scholars,” said ISAC Executive Director Eric Zarnikow. “Students and families faced numerous challenges over the last two years with remote learning, among other financial and personal difficulties. As we continue to recover from the pandemic, these academic achievements are a credit to the hard work and dedication of the student scholars and their families, and to the support provided by teachers, mentors, counselors, and communities in helping students meet their goals and find success as they advance on their education and career paths.”

The Illinois State Scholar designation is a non-monetary award. Each State Scholar will receive a congratulatory letter and a Certificate of Achievement from ISAC. Additionally, awardees can download an official Illinois State Scholar Program badge to display on their online profiles, social media platforms, and share with their high school counselors, colleges, employers, family members and others.

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Newly installed Orland Park Area Chamber president Ramzi Hassan addresses members during last week’s installation dinner. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Comings & Goings: Orland Area Chamber installs new officers

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Spread the loveRamzi Hassan of Edwards Realty Company was installed last week as president of the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce. The 2023 board of directors was also installed and annual membership awards were handed out during ceremonies last Thursday at the Crystal Tree Country Club. Installation duties were performed by Orland Park Mayor…

Oak Lawn resident Clayton J. Beck III displays his work of art accompanied by the model at the first unofficial event for the Acorn to Oak Studios at the Pilgrim Faith Church campus. Beck will be on hand to moderate the first official session to be held Sunday at the church. (Supplied photo)

Oak Lawn studio wants to be haven for artists

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Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle An acorn may be the symbol that inspires the Oak Lawn community to unleash its artistic talents. The first official session of the Acorn to Oak Studios will be presented from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, in the north wing of the Pilgrim Faith Church campus, 9411 S.…

Matt Dugan

EPCHS names Matthew Dugan next principal

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Spread the loveFrom staff reports Evergreen Park Community High School has hired Matthew Dugan as its next principal. Dugan’s appointment was made official during the January 24 meeting of the Evergreen Park Community High School Board of Education. Dugan will become principal on July 1, upon the retirement of current Principal Bill Sanderson. “I am…

Rich Miller

GOP money tells quite a tale

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Spread the love. By Rich Miller State records show that Dan Proft’s People Who Play by the Rules PAC spent almost $36 million during the second half of 2022, mostly on advertising boosting Sen. Darren Bailey’s gubernatorial bid and opposing Gov. JB Pritzker. Of that, $2.4 million was spent on consulting. Former ABC7 political reporter…

Willow Springs resident Jim Distasio was the first speaker to criticize the proposed land sale for use as an industrial park. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Lyons Township school board rejects sale of 70-acre parcel in Willow Springs

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Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The sale of 70 acres in Willow Springs to a developer who wants to build an industrial park has been rejected by the Lyons Township High School District 204 board, but the door remains wide open to a sale. The board voted unanimously Jan. 23 to reject bids of $46.5…

Children enjoying themselves at Flying High in Countryside on January 14. (Supplied photo)

Venezuelan asylum seeking families enjoy a night out at Flying High in Countryside

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Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan Twenty-three adults and 30 children of Venezuelan families seeking asylum enjoyed a fun night out on January 14 courtesy of Flying High in Countryside. The event was a collaboration between St. Cletus Church in LaGrange, and Flying High, at 5400 East Avenue in Countryside. Flying High opened their gym doors…

All that's left of Georgis Catering is a burned out shell. To the right, is mom and Dad's Deli, which suffered smoke and water damage. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Georgis Catering owner vows to rebuild after fire

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Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Georgis Catering owner Buz Georgis is maintaining an upbeat outlook despite the destruction of his business in an early-morning fire Friday at 63rd Place and Central Avenue in Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood. “It’s been a pretty crazy week,” he said Monday. “But we are moving forward and we plan on being…

dvn beds plus soup1 2023

BEDS Plus Soup & Bread event to raise money to assist the homeless

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Spread the love By Steve Metsch One way to warm up on a cold winter’s day is with a bowl of soup. And on Sunday, soup lovers can sample 20 different soups and also get the warm feeling received by helping a local charitable organization. BEDS Plus, which helps the homeless through the southwest suburbs,…

District 230 board member Dave O'Connor urges Sandburg parents to consider having their students take dual credit courses to save college tuition money at the Jan. 26 meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Sandburg/MVCC dual courses could save plenty of money

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Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The price of college tuition keeps going up and shows no sign of ever going down. Thus, District 230 Board Member Dave O’Connor is urging Sandburg parents with college-bound students to take a long look at the school’s dual credit program with Moraine Valley. “We get students here who will…

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Obituaries February 2, 2023

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Spread the loveGENARO ANDRADE Genaro Andrade, 71, passed away January 2. Arrangements and visitation were held at Szykowny Funeral Home, 4901 S. Archer Ave., Chicago. Funeral Mass was held at Immaculate Conception Church, Chicago. Final resting place St Mary’s Cemetery, Evergreen Park. To leave any tributes, please visit funeral home website at www.SzykownyFuneralHomeIL.com. MYRNA J.…

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