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U-46 students, principal, and teacher honored for their leadership at the Hanover Township Celebration of Leadership

We’re #U46Proud of the following students, administrators, and staff who were honored recently at the Hanover Township Celebration of Leadership:


Natalie Robledo, who just finished her 4th grade year at Heritage Elementary School in Streamwood, was the winner of the Rising Star Award for her work in helping students who are new to the United States feel more accepted and comfortable at school. She volunteered to give building tours to her new classmates, walk them to the bathroom or nurse, and helped tutor them in math. Soon, she inspired other Heritage students to do the same.


“My newcomers are not greeted by silence and strange looks, but by a bouncing head of curls that says cheerily, ‘Good morning! How are you? My name is Natalie!’” wrote her teacher in the nomination.


Jurely Nunez-Estrada, who just completed 8th grade at Tefft Middle School in Streamwood, won the Junior Leader Award for her work as the lead of the Tefft Ambassador group, demonstrating to new students how they can be a success at Tefft.


The school counselor who nominated Jurely said she even developed a better system for escorting new students to class.


“Jurely has been able to make multiple students feel less overwhelmed, more comfortable, and accepted into the Tefft community with each student she helps,” the counselor wrote in her nomination. 


Kaleigh Allender, who just graduated from Streamwood High School, won the High School Leader Award. She was known for her positive, inspiring, and encouraging presence around SHS in a variety of clubs and sports, including her work to recruit enough classmates to field a girls wrestling team at SHS this past school year. She also raised the most money in the school for a diabetes fundraiser.


“Kaleigh has shown others that being involved can make a difference in your high school journey and future outside of high school,” her coach wrote in the nomination.


Jennifer Collins, a literacy coach at Parkwood Elementary School in Hanover Park, was honored with the Community Adult Leader of Youth Award. She was credited for her dedication to her students and her use of innovative instructional practices that build a strong foundation for literacy among the school’s youngest students.


“Her ability to inspire others, her visionary approach to teaching, and her talent for fostering involvement have had a profound impact on our school community,” wrote her colleagues who nominated her.


Catherine Fletcher, the principal of Heritage Elementary School in Streamwood, won the Principal of the Year Award. She was recognized for her hands-on approach in her leadership style.


“This is evidenced by her always being on the move, talking with students, helping them process difficulties, and inspiring them to do better despite challenges,” wrote the community partner who nominated her. 



U-46 Superintendent Dr. Suzanne Johnson spoke at the event, which was held on May 21 at the Hanover Township Senior Center. The event was catered by students in culinary classes at Streamwood High School.


The Committee on Youth (COY) is a township advisory committee composed of youth and adult volunteers that meet once a month. The mission of COY is to be a catalyst for promoting well-being among township youth and families through family education, outreach and the fostering of community connections with an emphasis on positive youth development.