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District 202 students, teachers win awards

Team “Artificial Intelligence” from Timber Ridge Middle School won second place overall at the 2019 4-H Will County Regional Robotics competition on Saturday, April 13, 2019. Teams from Aux Sable, Heritage Grove, Ira Jones and John F. Kennedy middle schools also brought home hardware from the event.
Team “Artificial Intelligence” from Timber Ridge Middle School won second place overall at the 2019 4-H Will County Regional Robotics competition on Saturday, April 13, 2019. Teams from Aux Sable, Heritage Grove, Ira Jones and John F. Kennedy middle schools also brought home hardware from the event.

Plainfield schools do well
at robotics competition

Timber Ridge Middle School won second place overall during the 2019 4-H Will County Regional Robotics competition April 13.

Teams from Aux Sable, Heritage Grove, Ira Jones, and John F. Kennedy middle schools brought home trophies from the competitions where members built robots based on the theme “STEMBots.”

The student teams designed and programmed robots to complete specific tasks.

Judges considered several criteria, including how robots were engineered and designed, how teams worked together, creativity, sportsmanship and programming.

Thirty-five teams competed from Will County schools for 11 different awards. Here are the winners from District 202 middle schools:

Aux Sable

• Team Spirit: Evin Lloyd, Nomar Martin, Jullian Valera, eighth grade; Trevor Costantino, Gavin Fox, Kyle Grzybowski, Giovanni Perri, seventh grade; Liliana Hallman, Lofton Lepinske and Ansh Shah, sixth grade

Heritage Grove

• Best Teamwork: Lucas Milo, Becca Lucas, Kayla Jahnke, eighth grade; Will Beeman, Ryan Blaszczak, Celina McDaniel, seventh grade; Maddox Jurani, Arjun Deb, Breitling Cayo, Mia Gonzalez, sixth grade.

• Most Creative: Lorenzo Pearson, eighth grade; Nick Chiarito, Josh Pacheco-Blanco, seventh grade; Kaia Musson, Noah Yui, Huda Jaleel, Zayan Choudhury and Jasmine Batiller, sixth grade

• Judges Award: Avneet Kaur, Gabe Stringfield, Hailey Michl, eighth grade; Jillian Tolbert, Sydney Pavlik, seventh grade; Alex Botan, Diego Chavez, Daniel “Nico” Lamas and Meghana “Megan” Ellore, sixth grade

Ira Jones

• Best Overall Design: Raymundo “Ray” Pavon and Connor Bowen, eighth grade; Shaheer Khan, Colin Bowen, Het Shah, Maira Salim and Lia Watt, seventh grade; Sebastien Grizzle, sixth grade

John F. Kennedy

• Programming: Arjun Swaroop, Daniel Joseph “DJ” Stewart, eighth grade; Jaiveer Hundal, Andrew Varaneckas, Nick Noyes, seventh grade; Torian Caldwell, Nathan Sperlik, Connor Orr and Kacper Surowiak, sixth grade

Timber Ridge

• Reserve Champion (second place overall): Alex Dvorak, Aramis Rivera, Rommel Villegas, Kadin Parent, Ivan Rodriguez, eighth grade; Nathan Bilotta, Cristian “Josh” Garcia and Luke Barnoski, seventh grade

• Best Engineering Design: Piper Colantone, Iain Gore, Alekzander “Zander” Simonic, Liz Egly, Aiden Esquivel, seventh grade; Hannah Strange, Sophia Strange and Zoe Strange, sixth grade

District 202 teachers get professional development awards

Nine District 202 teachers will participate in special professional growth programs this summer with the help of a grant designed to support innovative teaching.

The Plainfield Foundation for Excellence created the Professional Development Awards eight years ago to help individual teachers in the classroom expand and improve their classroom skills and knowledge.

The Professional Development Awards are for up to $500 each. They can be used to pay for registration fees, tuition, conference/class-related materials, travel, lodging, meals or other professional development expenses for classes or programs taken in summer 2019

The 2019 Professional Development Award winners are:

Lisa Baker, Plainfield Academy,– plans to attend the Loyola Family School Partnership Program Summer Institute in Chicago.

Eric Ferguson, John F. Kennedy Middle School, plans to attend the Illinois State University Band Directors Workshop in Normal, Illinois.

Jessica Matas, Aux Sable Middle School, plans to attend the International Society for Technology Education Conference in Philadelphia.

Sidney Minnick, Charles Reed Elementary School, plans to attend the STEM Camp in Norristown, Pennsylvania

Dawn Roake, Heritage Grove Middle School, plans to attend the “Making STEM Relevant” program at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois.

Allison Slater, Plainfield East High School, plans to attend the Northwestern University Advanced Placement Summer Institute for French Teachers in Chicago.

Anthony Waznonis, Plainfield East High School, plans to attend the Kagan English Language Learners Academy in Orlando, Florida.

Kim Winters, River View Elementary School, plans to attend the Space Academy for Educators in Huntsville, Alabama.

Plainfield East High School graduate wins college National Merit award

Plainfield East High School graduate Jacob Floresca is one of more than 3,500 students nationwide to win a National Merit college-sponsored award as part of the 2019 National Merit Scholarship program.

Plainfield South High School senior Erik Radakovich was among about 15,000 National Merit Scholarship 2018-19 finalists nationwide.

The National Merit Scholarship program honors academically talented high school seniors and lets them compete for National Merit Scholarship awards in several categories.

This year, 173 colleges and universities are underwriting Merit Scholarship awards. These college-sponsored awards range from $500 to $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. Floresca’s scholarship came from the University of Alabama. Floresca intends to study business.

Floresca graduated from PEHS in May 2019. He earned National Merit Finalist status by building an outstanding academic record throughout high school and qualifying SAT scores, among other criteria.

More than 1.6 million high school juniors in more than 22,000 high schools nationwide entered the 2019 National Merit Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

The pool of semifinalists is composed of less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

In all, about 7,600 students nationwide won National Merit awards and scholarships in various categories worth about $31 million.

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