Outstanding Maine South seniors honored
Maine South High School student Colin McGuire is recognized with the Baylor University Porvost's Gold Scholarship during Senior Honors Night on May 30. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 8, 2012 6:35PM
Meredith Machon credits her father, Kirke, and grandfather, Robert, for showing her the personal side of business.
“Having a connection with clients creates a better sense of community,” said the newly graduated Maine South High School alumna, who in the fall heads to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, her parents’ alma mater, to study business.
Machon received a scholarship last week from the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce for aspiring to one day take over her family’s insurance firm.
Hers was one of dozens of awards given to exemplary members of Maine South’s graduating class at Senior Honors Night on May 30, a celebration shared in by students and their families alike.
Principal Shawn Messmer encouraged parents and teachers to be proud for laying a foundation for high school success early on in the students’ lives. As for the seniors their honors are “well-deserved and hard won,” he said.
Student Council President Julia Kashul, winner of a student council scholarship, and Ken Reese, District 207 Senior Service Scholarship, also praised her peers for “playing to win.”
“My older brother once told me that we do one of two things in life: Play to win or play not to lose,” Kashul said. “When we play to win we put all our energy and soul into exceeding that we end up winning. When we play not to lose we have the attitude of just getting by and we end up failing.”
Be it in academia, sports or volunteer service, she declared: “I can tell you this group here has played to win.”
The Maine South class of 2012 boasts 137 Illinois State Scholars.
Ethan Campbell, Colton Cannon, Anthony Groenenwold and Alexander Heyde were finalists of the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program for scoring in the top .5-percentile on a preliminary SAT exam. Soon-to-be Illini Cannon and incoming Harvard freshman Heyde also received scholarships from the merit program.
Maine South’s Outstanding Athlete Awards went to long-distance runner Michal Filipczak and four-sport athlete Michelle Maher.
The past Memorial Day weekend Filipczak became Illinois’ 2012 fastest high-school runner of the 800-meter race. He will attend Duke University in the fall on an NCAA Division 1 scholarship for track.
Maher, who was one season shy of being a four-year, three-sport athlete, earned seven varsity letters and led the Hawks victories in basketball, volleyball, softball and track. She will play basketball at Western Illinois University on an NCAA Division 1 scholarship.
Jonathan Novak, described as possessing “all the ingredients to becoming an outstanding educator,” earned the Maine Teachers’ Association Helen Dobbin Scholarship.
The Maine South senior class voted to give Patrick Walsh the Good Citizenship Award of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Des Plaines chapter.
A handful of new scholarships were also introduced this year.
Paige Schoening is the first high-school student to receive a 2nd Chance Foundation Scholarship from Chuck and Connie Walker, a foundation that supports the academic efforts of students with health disorders.
The 20th Century Club Foundation bestowed upon Kathleen Suvada an inaugural scholarship to commemorate the Park Ridge club’s centennial.
Don Pegler’s son, Bob, presented Gabrielle Guerra and Margaret Navin with at art scholarship created in memory of his late father and administered by the Kalo Foundation. Pegler, an accomplished artist known for creating S.C. Johnson’s Raid bugs, died in his Park Ridge home the past December at age 82.
Though most of the night’s awards recipients knew of their honors in advance of the assembly, the school announced the following department-award winners for the first time on stage: in applied arts, James Thompson; business, Madeline Stanton; family and consumer sciences, Valerie Figueroa; English, Sarah Tarabey; art, Margaret Navin; music, Alexander Pantazi; speech/drama, Matthew Bonadona; foreign language, Faye Levin-O’Leary; math, Ethan Campbell; physical education/health, Taylor Sutschek; science, Sebastian Graca; and social science, Patrick Wohl.
Maine East High School commended its outstanding seniors at a ceremony May 23. The graduating class had 38 Illinois State Scholars. Adam Ratner, Raymond Roman, Martin Sliwinski and Nicholas Harloff were recognized as Maine Scholars for being in the top 1-percent of the senior class.