| June 1, 2013

What’s Happening in East and West Leyden High School?


            Nicole Christy, a senior at West Leyden, and Juan Pablo Ramirez, a senior at East Leyden, are among the winners of the annual School Citizen of the Year Award (SCOTY) sponsored by West 40, an intermediate education service center that provides a range of school improvement and support services.

A resident of Northlake, Christy is vice-president of the Student Council and a Fern Award recipient, an honor that recognizes her as a top achiever.  She also is a member of the Senior Class Advisor Board, as well as the Peer Counselors and Ripple Effect organizations.

“Nicole is a delightful young person with a strong character and a passion to help others,” says John Back, Nicole’s counselor at West Leyden.  “Her ability to balance her extra-curricular activities without sacrificing the quality of her grades is a testament to how she values her education.”

Ramirez, who is a resident of River Grove, is in rigorous Advanced Placement classes as well as a variety of elective courses.  He is also the voice and face of East Leyden as one of the school’s daily bulletin announcers, and one of the anchors for the bimonthly video announcements.  In addition, he is president of the French Club, treasurer of Future Business Leaders of America, and a member of both the National Honor Society and the French Honor Society.

“Pablo is successful in anything he undertakes,” says Cindi Gustafson, Pablo’s counselor at East Leyden.  “He has a passion for knowledge and the ability to navigate systems.  He is able to identify what he wants, put a plan in place, and take the necessary steps to achieve his goals.”

The SCOTY Award honors students in grades 1 – 12 who are outstanding role models for their peers.  The parameters for nomination are broad, with each school district setting its own standards.  In general, District 212 selects students who display leadership qualities, academic success, a generous spirit, and concern for others.  In the past 15 years about 1000 students have been recognized as SCOTY Award recipients.

Christy and Ramirez, along with the other SCOTY winners, were honored at a special awards ceremony held on March 20, 2013, at West Leyden High School.  Each winner received a medal, certificate, and a copy of the SCOTY honor roll with the students’ biography.  Parents, family members, teachers, and school administrators were also invited to attend the ceremony.


Twenty-one District 212 students who have an A average in French, as well as an interest in the language and culture, were inducted into the Cyrano De Bergerac Chapter of the Societe Honoraire de Francais (French Honor Society) on Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

The East Leyden inductees are:  Ingrid Acevedo, Robert Boyte, Rebecca Corsei, Michal Cylwik, Moses Diaz, Jessica Krieter, Alize Luna, Steven Marquez, Kelly Polen, Magdalena Stasik, Marta Stepanyuk, and Lizette Tud. 

The West Leyden inductees are:  Leslie Alaniz, Bryan Escobedo, Arely Garcia, Leslie Garcia, Liliana Herrera, Cesar Mauricio, Stephen Mayorga, Maggie Parker, and Nancy Rodriguez.  



Thirty-four students were inducted into East Leyden High School chapter of the National Honor Society on Thursday, May 2, 2013.  The candidates were selected on the basis of their academic excellence, service to the school and community, and outstanding leadership skills.

The following students were inducted:  Bradley Bach, Robert Boyte, Hannah Brewer, Maja Bulka, Michal Cylwik, Jovanie De La Cruz, Jacob Drozdowski, Erick Garcia, Gianna Dicintio, Jorge Hernandez, Amerisa Klaric, Kinga Kowalczyk, Jessica Krawiec, Jessica Krieter, Julia Kulesza, Kristina Laniewski, Francesca Lingat, Blaine Manning, Justyna Matejaszczyk, Alex Mennella, Louis Monette, Sweety Patel, Kerri Predovich, Ralph Renhofer, Avani Shah, Mirela Shtereva, Cristian Silva, Rachel Sliwinski, Marta Stepanyuk, Aaron Stocks, Arielle Strauss, Alexis Woo, Nick Zaccariello, and Velina Zhelyazkova.


Leyden High School District 212 has been granted charter membership in the National Forensic League, a speech and debate honor society.  Charter membership is the highest school membership honor in the league, and reflects a sustained commitment to speech and debate education.  A spokesperson for the league says “achieving this honor earns the school’s program a place among the best programs in the nation.”

The district’s membership in the league is due to the achievements of Leyden’s Speech and Performance Team, a co-curricular activity open to all students.  The team offers a positive, friendly environment for students to develop their talents in public speaking, acting techniques, and performance skills.

The league recognizes participation and progress in public speaking and debate activities as a means to empower students to become effective communicators and critical thinkers


            Members of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club at East Leyden attended the 64th Illinois Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference held on April 12-14, at the Crown Plaza Convention Center in Springfield.

The two-day state conference included activities in personal development, business and leadership training, election of 2013-2014 state officers, and competitive events.

The competitive results for the East Leyden High School FBLA members are as follows:

  • Jesse Fuentes – 1st Place in Desktop Application Programming, national qualifier
  • Karolina Moniuszko and Pablo Ramirez – 1st Place in Business Presentation, national qualifier
  • Anthony Diminuco, Cody O’Neal, and Jimmy Wade – 1st Place in Computer Game & Simulation Programming, national qualifiers
  • Bartosz Miskowiec – 2nd Place in Help Desk, national qualifier
  • Piotr Galusza – 2nd Place in Business Math, national qualifier
  • Avani Shah – 5th Place in Word Processing I

The national qualifiers will complete at the FBLA National Leadership Conference, June 20 thru June 27, in Anaheim, CA.

Avani Shah and Maja Bulka served as voting delegates at the conference in the election of the Illinois FBLA State Officers.  Other FBLA members who attended the conference are Tom Kubas, Raizele Arceo, and Maja Bulka. 

FBLA-PBL is a nationwide career and technical student organization that promotes competent business leadership training.


          Students studying the Italian language were given the opportunity to participate in the American Association of Teachers of Italian National High School Contest in early March.  A total of 4,984 students from 105 high schools in 21 states, including Illinois, participated in the contest.  Leyden had 100 students take part in the competition.  The following students placed at the national contest.

The top scorers from Leyden are Maria Aiello, Level 3C, 1st Place in state, 6th in nation; Eduardo Trevino, Level 2B, 1st Place in state, 12th in nation; Stephanie Cornejo, Level 4B, 3rd Place in state, 10th in nation; Mayra Moreno, Level 4B, 5th Place in state, 15th in nation; Jazmin Bravo, Level 3B, 7th Place in state, 18th in nation; Alexis Rangel, Level 2B, 2nd Place in state, 13th in nation; Alan Herrera, Level 2B, 3rd Place in state, 15th in nation; Norma Macias, Level 2B, 3rd Place in state, 15th in nation; Luis Villanueva, Level 2B, 4th Place in state, 16th in nation; Lisa Quintero, Level 2B, 4th Place in state, 16th in nation; Stephanie Martinez, 6th Place in state, 18th in nation; Silvana Naka, Level 2A, 9th Place in state, 16th in nation; Victor Cuellar, Level 1B, 4th Place in state, 13th in nation; Elizabeth Preciado, Level 1B, 6th Place in state, 15th in nation; and Carolina Gutierrez, Level 1B, 8th Place in state, 17th in nation.    

The American Association of Teachers of Italian was founded in 1924 to promote the study of Italian language, literature and culture in high schools, colleges, and universities in North America.



            A total of 24 District 212 students were recently inducted into the National Technical Honor Society.

The students from the East campus are:  Natalia Balagulska, Iryna Bugay, Karolina Czarnik, Rocco Di Matteo, Samantha Dowiarz, Jory Dvorak, Simeon Dyankov, Alexandra Garay, Anna Jureczko, Blaine Manning, Anna Modrich, Analie Parra, Ralph Reinhofer, Steven Tarnowski, and Karolina Trampka.

The students from the West campus are:  Emanuel Chan, Nancy DeLatorre, Francesco Fiasche, Natalie Gonzalez, Antonio Hinojosa, Agnieszka Krupa, Jocelyn Lopez, Alejandro Ramos, and Stephanie Salgado.

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Category: Leyden Highlights

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