| March 1, 2013


Congratulations to members of the Leyden Speech and Performance Team on their performance at the regional competition held on Saturday, February 2 at Elk Grove High School. Students from twelve high schools competed at the event.

Leyden junior Julius Figueroa was a finalist in Impromptu Speaking, sophomore Raizele Arceo placed 6th in Prose Reading, and senior Desiree Bui placed 5th in Informative Speaking.  Bui also took 4th place in Special Occasion Speaking and will advance to the sectional competition to be held on February 9 at Downers Grove South High School.


Leyden High School District 212 Future Business Leaders of America members from both campuses attended the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Northern Area Conference at Crystal Lake Central High School, on Saturday, January 26.

The following FBLA club members finished in the top ten of their competitive event and have qualified to participate at the FBLA State Leadership Conference to be held in Springfield, Illinois, on April 12 and April 13, 2013.

West Leyden High School

Robert Woods – 1st Place in Business Procedures

Joe Hillertz – 5th Place in Business Communications

East Leyden High School

Bartosz Miskowiec – 1st Place in Help Desk

Jesse Fuentes and Gustavo Jimenez – 1st Place in Desktop Application Programming

Pablo Ramirez and Karolina Moniuszko – 2nd Place in Business Presentation

Natasha Lenart – 2nd Place in Electronic Career Portfolio

Avani Shah – 2nd Place in Word Processing I

Tom Kubas – 2nd Place in Economics

Jimmy Wade, Cody O’Neal, and Anthony Diminuco – 3rd Place in Computer Game and Simulation Programming

Piotr Galusza – 3rd Place in Business Math

Raizele Arceo – 9th Place in Intro to Business Communications

Maja Bulka – 10th Place in Job Interview

Robert Woods and Joe Hillertz from West Leyden as well as Karolina Moniuszko and Jesse Fuentes of East Leyden served as voting delegates at the conference in the election of the Northern Area FBLA Officers.

Over 400 members from 18 area FBLA chapters were in attendance.  The conference included activities in personal development, business and leadership training, election of 2013-2014 area officers, and competitive events.

Future Business Leaders of America is a nationwide career and technical student organization that promotes competent business leadership training.


District 212 invited parents to attend its annual “Take Your Parents to School Day” on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, at both campuses.  The purpose of the program was to welcome parents into the schools while classes are in session, thus giving them the opportunity to experience academic opportunities with their student.

At each campus, the day began at 8:30 a.m. in the auditorium with a brief explanation of the day’s activities.  Parents joined their student during first period and accompanied him or her from class to class for the remainder of the day.  During lunch periods, parents were invited to attend a complimentary lunch with their student.


Leyden High School District 212 has announced the names of students who rank in the top 10 percent of the Class of 2013.  The following students, who are from both campuses, will be honored at the Rotary Club of Chicago – O’Hare Foundation Top 10% Ceremony to be held on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at East Leyden High School.

Congratulations to the following scholars:

EAST LEYDEN:  Edessa Adde, Marlena Bocheneck, Justyna Chojnowski, Todd Cruz, Anna Cylwik, Daniel DiMaso, Michael Doody, Samantha Dowiarz, Jessica Dreyer, Jory Dvorak, Araly Flores, Jesse Fuentes, Alexandra Garay, Kimberly Gussy-Fragakis, Natalia Herrera, Tomasz Karwas, Kamil Kesek, Richard Krajewski, Tomasz Kubas, Frank Landowski, Colleen Malo, Bartosz Miskowiec, Rebecca Monarrez, Cristian Ocampo, Jordan Olsen, Ana Pranjic, Juan Ramirez, Marta Ramirez, Rebecca Rasmussen, Alejandro Rios, Joseph Saenger, Danyle Segura, Ernest Stapor, Tiana Stephens, Rebecca Strauss, Luis Vera, and Kailyn Wnek.

WEST LEYDEN:  Bethany Alioto, Nicholas Avila, Desiree Bui, Erica Bustillos, Eladio Castellanos, Vanessa Castellanos, Kayla Cornelius, Andrea Diaz, Jaime Garza, Susana Gonzalez, Nicole Haltom, Joseph Hillertz, Adrianna Jelen, Angelica Michalak, Justin Mozelle, Priscilla Palma, Grzegorz Panek, Xitlali Patlan, Juliani Rada, Alvaro Ramos, Samantha Riding, Alexis Rios, Teresa Rodriquez, Martin Roman, Cynthia Salgado, Cathy Salvarrey, Andrew Skylakos, Michael Smith, Dalton Steininger, Justin Thomas, Kara Urbaniak, Zendi Venegas Arellanes, and Robert Woods.

If you want to make a contribution to the Rotary Foundation, please contact the Rotary Club of Chicago – O’Hare Foundation at 708-813-4221 or www.rotarychicagoohare.org.


District 212 students from both campuses who have demonstrated exceptional talent in the areas of Business Education, Family & Consumer Sciences, and Industrial Technology, were honored at the  Outstanding Career and Technical Education Student Breakfast that was held on Friday, February 15 in the Eagle’s Wing at West Leyden High School, 1000 N. Wolf Rd., Northlake..

The following students were honored.

West Leyden

Business Education:  Mario Fuentes and Priscilla Palma

Family and Consumer Sciences:  Rana El-Hindi and William Peralta

Industrial Technology:  Emilio Cedillo and Jose Posos

East Leyden

Business Education:  Jesse Fuentes and Katarzyna Wojtu

Family and Consumer Sciences:  Emanuel Avila and Iryna Bugay

Industrial Technology:  Kyle Schrader and Tyler Travis

During the month of February, District 212 as well as students and faculty from across the nation, highlighted Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that prepare students to be college-and career-ready as well as prime them for high-wage, high-demand career fields.

“The activities for February illustrated the relevance CTE courses offer students,” says Fran Brady, Director of Careers for District 212.  “By partnering with the business community, CTE programs invest in students’ lives with the latest technology and skills that prepare them to become successful employees and future leaders.”


The following East Leyden High School students were honored at the EXCEPTIONAL EAGLE BREAKFAST on Thursday, February 14, 2013, at 7:00 a.m. at the school.  The monthly breakfast is held to recognize students for their extraordinary effort, special achievements, and academic excellence.  Parents and nominating teachers also are invited to attend.

The students and the departments they represent are:  Danyle Segura, Art; Dalia Merlos, Bilingual/ESL; Amanda Rivera, Business Education; Paulina Castelan, English; Araly Flores, Family and Consumer Sciences; Marisol Rodriguez, Individual Achievement; Jonny Kuras, Industrial Technology; Troy Cychosz, Literacy; Cristian Rodriguez, Mathematics; Jessica Thompson, Mathematics; Natalia Purta, Modern Languages; Kevin Lipecki, Music; Jose Centeno, Physical Education;  Marzena Gainska, Science; Ashley Lenon, Social Studies; Mackenzie LeDuc, Social Studies; Amina Patel, Student Activities; Michal Cylwik, Student Activities; Maggie Haberman, Theater; and Kim Gussy, ACCESS.


District 212 Girls Basketball Team hosted its 1st Annual World Cancer Night at a home game on Monday, February 4, 2013, in the field house at West Leyden.

The occasion garnered $1000 for the American Cancer Society.  Team members raised the money by holding a bake sale, selling T-shirts, and raffle tickets, including a 50/50 split the pot.

The event also gave participants the opportunity to decorate the gym with ribbons bearing the names of people who have survived cancer, as well as those who have lost their life to the disease.


Twelve East Leyden High School students were inducted into the Galileo Galilei Chapter of the Societa Onoraria Italica (Italian Honor Society) on Thursday, January 17, 2013, in the Little Theater at East Leyden High School.

The candidates were selected on the basis of their academic excellence, and their interest in the Italian language and culture.  Congratulations to the following newly inducted members of the society:  Maria Aiello, Jazmin Marie Bravo, Dacy Lee Cramer, Michela Gianna Iannelli, Mona Icho, Annalisa Marilyn Jamnik, Anna Oksana Kawka, Ariana Gabriella Maggio, Miroslav Milenov Momchilov, Melanie Monge-Navarro, Robert Virgil Nardella II, and Mark Richard Stephens II.


Congratulations to members of the Leyden Speech and Performance Team on their performance at the Illinois High School Association Sectional Tournament held on Saturday, February 9, 2013, at Downers Grove South High School.  Students from twelve high schools competed at the event.

Leyden senior Desiree Bui placed 5th in Special Occasion Speaking at the competition. Bui will not move on in the competition schedule, but Karen Schumpp, Speech and Performance Team coach, says congratulations are in order to Desiree and the entire team for such an inspiring and graceful end of the season.


The 2012 Helen St. John Departmental Award and Certificate winners were honored at a ceremony held on Thursday, February 21, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. in the auditorium at East Leyden High School.  The awards and certificates were presented to those who demonstrate outstanding abilities in one or more of 14 disciplines.  Selection is made by teachers and is based on academic achievements, participation, cooperation, interest, and enthusiasm.  The 2013 departmental award and certificate winners are as follows.

Art – Emily Chiu, Kim Gussy-Fragakis, and Galymjohn Kuras; Business Education – Michael Jardine, Karolina Moniuszko, and Julina Saroca; English – Justyna Chojnowski, Rebecca Strauss, and Natalia Herrera; ESL/Bilingual Education – Mona Icho, Gustavo Jimenez, and Iris Gamboa; Family and Consumer Sciences – Iryna Bugay, Yesenia Arteese, and Karolina Czarnik; Industrial Technology – Kyle Schrader, Raul Molina, and Chris Sandberg; Mathematics – Michael Doody, Rebecca Rasmussen, and Rebecca Strauss; Modern Languages – Frank Landowski, Stephanie Cornejo, and Tiana Stephens; Music/Choral – Billy Marcial, Nicole Belluomini, and Presley Brandt; Music/Instrumental – Rebecca Rasmussen, Edessa Adde, and Luis Vera; Physical Education/girls – Katarzyna Wojtulewicz, Erica Elliot, and Brooke Hebert; Physical Education/boys – Ernest Stapor, Michael Doody, and Todd Cruz; Science – Richard Krajewski, Rebecca Rasmussen, and Justyna Chojnowski; and Social Studies – Rebecca Strauss, Kamil Kesek, and Rebecca Rasmussen.

A reception was held for the winners and their parents following the ceremony.

Established in 1962, the award is given in remembrance of Helen St. John, a teacher and librarian who worked at the school for 17 years before her death in 1961.  Faculty and staff were impressed by St. John’s dedication and enthusiasm, and decided to begin a memorial fund in her honor.  After several years, senior classes took over the financing.  Before his death in 1997, St. John’s husband bequeathed a generous contribution to East Leyden that has allowed the tradition to continue.


The following West Leyden High School students were honored at the Student of the Month Breakfast held on Thursday, February 7, 2013, in the Eagle’s Wing at the school.  The monthly breakfast is held to recognize students for their extraordinary effort, special achievements, and academic excellence.  Parents and nominating teachers also are invited to attend.

The students and the departments they represent are:  Erica Macias, Art; Chris Halmon, BRIDGE/LIFE; Krist Monroy, Business Education; Joseph Hillertz, District Excellence-Principal’s Award; Oscar Favela, English; Jocelyn Mendoza, Family and Consumer Sciences; Nick Yaloff, Guided Study; Teresa Rodriguez, Industrial Technology; Jenesy Nunez, Literacy; Carli Russo, Mathematics; Alexis Farias, Modern Languages; Brittany Lopez, Music; Joseph Smith, Personal Achievement; Ricardo Torres, Physical Education; Mike Bojarski, Science; Ashley Delia, Social Studies; and Karina Deblas, TAPESTRY.


  Once again District 212 students and staff are taking part in the annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser held in mid-March.  Last year, Leyden participants raised more than $14,000 for pediatric cancer research.

The St. Baldrick’s event first began at West Leyden in 2008.  Since that time, the East and West campuses have combined forces and raised a total of $59,860.

Students and staff raise money by having their head shaved and going bald in a show of support for those battling pediatric cancer and for the research necessary to find a cure for childhood cancers.

St. Baldrick’s Foundation is one of the world’s largest volunteer-driven organizations dedicated to raising funds for research into the pediatric cancers that impact thousands of children world-wide.  For more information about the foundation, visit www.stbaldricks.org.

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Category: Articles, Community News, Leyden Highlights

About the Author ()

Barbara is the publisher of People and Places Newspaper which she started in August of 2011. A lifelong resident of Schiller Park, she always felt it important that residents needed to be kept informed about their communities. Since newspaper coverage for Schiller Park stopped about twenty years ago, she made it a goal to bring a newspaper back to the area. She tries to include all of Leyden Township in her reporting and wants to keep true with the mission of the paper to "inform, educate and entertain."

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