Eighty-two students recognized for commitment to school, community, and classroom

By D'Marcus Marin and Chuck Baumgartner

Eighty-two West Chicago Community High School students were awarded at the seventh annual Breakfast of Champions for their commitment to the classroom and school community, on January 14, at 8:00 a.m.

Students enjoying the meal with their peers. (Photo by Leslie Fireman)

The event took place in the school cafeteria during the first period of the school day. Students were selected by a teacher; any teacher was able to nominate any one of his or her students. Teachers looked for students who:

  • demonstrated significant academic improvement in the fall semester
  • made a unique or difficult contribution to a class, the school or the community
  • overcame a significant challenge
  • dealt maturely with a hardship
  • improved the positive climate of the classroom or the school
  • and/or provided support for a peer

Marc Wolfe, the school’s Activity Director, stated, “I think it is important to let students know we see their hard work. [Breakfast of Champions] is not designed to only recognize students who get straight As, but also students who have shown great improvement throughout the semester, worked hard, and/or overcome obstacles.  We have a lot of great stories here, and it gives our students a chance to know that our staff appreciates their efforts all semester.”

Many students were surprised by the nominations, as they did not expect to be recognized.

The teacher who nominated me was Mr. Zuffante. My reaction to being nominated was very surprised and honored because he was my favorite teacher, and pushed me to do things I would [not] think I would be able to do,” said Carly Clemens, a sophomore.

Students receive merchandise as a reward. (Photo by Leslie Fireman)

After being excused from their first-hour class, students were treated to breakfast. Wolfe asked the nominated students to guess the teacher who nominated them. Afterward, he read each student’s name and the teacher who nominated them. Principal Dr. Will Dwyer and dean Antonio Del Real also gave students WEGO merchandise when the students arrived to pick up their certificates.

 “These kinds of events are really distinguished. [They are] a way for teachers to give recognition to those students that have been giving that extra work and effort, which helps give them confidence,” said Santiago Villa, senior, who was nominated by World Languages teacher Alejandra Tantachuco.

As a school community, it is important to be positive and committed to academics and classes. Being the first official year back from remote learning, students need to excel and prosper, and recognizing their achievements through rewards such as the Breakfast of Champions may help encourage those accomplishments.

The first semester champions are:

Ricardo Alcantar Vargas, Maria Al Hammo, Muaz Ali, Ryan Alvarado, Luis Alvarez, Xitclahli Arellano, Yvette Arias, Kelly Avila-Gomez, Charlene Bahnfleth, Pierre Baldwin, AnnaBelle Beaird, Ryan Blackburn, Nathaniel Bove, Isabela Callapina, Fernando Calvillo-Morales, Jimena Carrillo, Jairo Chavez-Espinal, Milan Christian, Carly Clemens, Isabella Colburn, Rachel Cooper, Alexa D. Correa, Ariella Correa, Ashley Correa, Melanie Coss, Jack Dang, Antoinette Davison, Alejandra Duran, Dominic Errera, Ricardo Espinal, Cristina Espino, Roman Fabiszak, Kimberley Ferrer, Leslie Flores Avalos, Cora Garling, Maya Gomez, Giselle Gonzalez, Gloria Gonzalez, Caitlin Harding, Ella Hardy, Emily Heath, Andrea Hernandez, Julio Hernandez, Rafael Herrera Mota, Jayden Huesca Rodriguez, Lydia Jones, Holden Kaiser, Ethan Landfare, Alejandro Lopez, Alex Lopez, Allison Manspeaker, Ramiah McElroy, Lilybet Mendez Munoz, Zuleika Mendoza, Stephanie Miguel, Kimberly Mora Olivares, Neela Myers, Nikhil Myers, Bo Parker, Cristian Perez, Gabriela Perez, Shaike Paz Ortiz, Tyler Petrie, Krystian Roldan, Kevin Rubio, Samuel Rutledge, Guadalupe Salmeron Crisostomo, Cecilia Sanchez, Johnny Sanchez, Valentin Sanchez Garcia, Cecilia Santiago, Kayla Sennese, Jackelyne Servin, Inderjit Singh, Lilabeth Sokolewicz, Luke Szczesny, Camila Terrazas, Nicole Ton, Santiago Villa, Ethan Villano, Danica Vincent, Ella Warsaw, and William Wenberg.