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Board of Education Honors U-46 Students for State Achievements

May 20, 2019

The School District U-46 Board of Education Monday night will recognize 12 U-46 students who earned first place in several statewide competitions. Students who placed first in the SkillsUSA Illinois Championship, the Illinois Science Olympiad, and the IHSA State Journalism finals will be recognized with an “Accent on Achievement” for their performance and accomplishments. 

Three South Elgin High School seniors, Hailey Harden, Dylan Loerwald, and Brian Kulpa, and two Streamwood High School seniors, Jacob Pierce and Andrew Pfeifer, each captured first place last month in a statewide manufacturing competition sponsored by SkillsUSA, a school-industry partnership group that promotes job skills training. These students applied their classroom knowledge and ingenuity to win contests involving technical ability.

Harden received first place in CNC Turning, Loerwald received first place in CNC Milling, Kulpa received first place in CNC Technician, and Pierce and Pfeifer received first place in Additive Manufacturing. Each competition was designed to test students’ knowledge and ability using a CNC (computer numerical control) machine and other manufacturing technologies, and consisted of multiple skills tests lasting four to six hours.

The students’ victories earned them a June trip to Louisville, Kentucky, where they will represent Illinois at the SkillsUSA national competition. Fellow South Elgin students Michael Solomon and Zach Meyer and Streamwood student Christopher Piotrowski finished in second, third, and fifth place, respectively, in the CNC Milling Competition. Streamwood students Angel Acosta, Juan Ayala and Aditya Patel finished third place in the team-based automated manufacturing technology.

“I am very proud and impressed with each student’s commitment to honing their precision manufacturing skills to become college and career ready,” said Russ Bartz, South Elgin High manufacturing teacher. “Their achievements are tangible proof that our precision manufacturing program sets up students for success.”

Also to be honored Monday night are six middle school students who earned first place during the Illinois Science Olympiad competition in April. Science Olympiad is an enrichment program before or after school that covers all areas of STEM. Students work with each other to learn, explore, and build in the areas that they choose to study.

Abbott Middle School in Elgin placed 4th overall in its division. Students Nolan Chansophy (8th grade) and Joshua Dinh (8th grade) took first in Disease Detective, and Jesse Dinh (8th grade) and Kate Gillespie (8th grade) claimed first in Water Quality. Each student will be honored with an Accent on Achievement Monday night. Abbott’s coaches are Diane Harty, Anne Herrmann, and Bob Herrmann. The team, consisting of 23 students, received a total of 10 medals at the state competition.

Eastview Middle School in Bartlett placed 10th overall in its division. Students Patricia Savioa-Cooley (8th grade) and Jazib Ahmed (8th grade), who received first place in the roller coaster competition, will also be honored with an Accent on Achievement. Eastview’s team, consisting of 21 students and coached by Heather Flick and Neal Ford, received six medals at the state competition.

Canton Middle School, in Streamwood, also competed at the state competition. The team, consisting of 12 students and coached by Donna Kielbasa and Margarita Rojas, received five medals at the competition and placed 15th in its division.

“I am so proud of our Science Olympiad teams and grateful for the dedication of each team’s coaches, students, and parents,” said Deb McMullen, U-46’s Coordinator of K-12 Science & Planetarium. “Science Olympiad provides students with valuable STEM experience that allows them to explore their interests and prepares them for a career in STEM.” 

The Board of Education will also honor South Elgin High School junior Sarah Richardson, who last month won the Broadcast News category at the IHSA State Journalism competition.

South Elgin High School teachers Kari Botkin and Maddie Nelson coached Sarah and five other students at the IHSA state competition. Sarah, a student in the Beacon Academy of Media and Digital Arts, was charged with developing an audio news clip within three hours based on a press conference about a festival.

South Elgin High junior Derryl Barnes Jr. and senior Samantha Prus received fourth in video news, and junior Mia Ackermann received fifth in newspaper design. Freshman Jenna Hoskins competed in the yearbook development category and junior Julie Prohaska competed in infographics category. As a team, South Elgin High placed 11th out of 70 schools in the competition.

South Elgin has had other state champions in various categories at the competition, and Richardson’s title marks the second time the school won a state championship for broadcast news.

 “I'm so excited that our publication classes were able to collaborate with Beacon Academy to pull together a very strong journalism team for the IHSA sectionals and state competition," said South Elgin High School teacher Kari Botkin. "Sarah performed very well, under deadline, at both sectionals and state.”

The Board of Education will issue the proclamation and recognize the 12 students with “Accent on Achievement” certificates at 7 p.m. Monday, May 20 in room 140 of the Educational Services Center, 355 E. Chicago St., Elgin.