U46 recognizes the top 2 percent of grads
By Emily McFarlan Miller firstname.lastname@example.org May 14, 2013 2:38PM
Streamwood High School students in the top 2 percent graduating fromSchool District U46 are recognized at Monday at a special school board meeting in the Elgin High School auditorium. Pictured are (from left to right) Grace Bellino, Cassandra Chan, Ivan Capistran, Chelsea Deguia, Lester Dela cruz, Kathleen Narayan, U46 Superintendent Jose Torres, Miranda Powell, U46 Board of Education member Maria Bidelman. | Submitted photo.
The following students will graduate this month in the top 2 percent of the senior class in School District U46.
Michael Adams, Lissette Beltran, Colin Boesch, Jacqueline Busman, Quinn Calvert, Yash Desai, Roshani Desai, Rishant Dwivedi, Connor Fabrycy, William Flickema, Rachel Keszycki, Allison Kuehn, Katherine Lottermoser, Angela Masajo, Nathan Moran, Avani Patel, Juhi Patel, Reema Patel, Melissa Reuter, Arthur Swanson and Jacob Yarwood
Leigh Bechet, Jasper Marc Bondoc, Katherine Cai, Anuj Chokshi, Jordan Furlan, Marcus Paul Lavengco, Eduardo Perez, Melissa Roberts, Alexis Sprague and Ivanna Yu
Megan Brant, Amber Chamberlain, Rebecca Dominguez, Brenna Fulin, Annalise Gaston, Lisa Lieu, Harrison McClure, Aine Naughton and Mitchell Pepa
Cindy Basilio, Grace Bellino, Ivan Capistran, Cassandra Chan, Chelsea Deguia, Lester Dela Cruz, Jennifer Khy, Barbie Luangphixay, Kathleen Narayan and Miranda Powell
South Elgin High
Arantxa Renee Bautista, Emma Bono, Megan Buttermore, Melissa Diaz, Joseph Hahn, Colin Haran, Samantha Kummerer, Frank Leuzzi, Justin Markel, Suzanne Marovec, Charles Moore, Kevin Peterson and Arielle Topacio
Updated: June 16, 2013 6:19AM
ELGIN — Ask the top 2 percent of high school seniors graduating this month from School District U46 what the secret to their success in school is, and the answer is the same: There is no secret.
“Always do your homework. It helps you study for tests,” said Katie Narayan, 17, of Streamwood High School.
Schoolmate Miranda Powell, 18, suggested “putting school first, above going out with friends. A lot of my friends will go out after school, and they’re struggling in school.”
And Harrison McClure, 18, of Larkin High School in Elgin, said, “If you ever have a really hard class, study like crazy. There’s no secret. That’s it.”
That hard work and focus have paid off for the 63 students in the top 2 percent, all of whom were recognized at a special U46 Board of Education meeting Monday night in the auditorium at Elgin High School.
U46 Superintendent Jose Torres called them “the best of the best at our five high schools.”
Their principals read aloud the long list of schools those students plan to attend — schools such as Loyola University, University of Illinois and the United States Air Force Academy. They read the fields the students intend to pursue: mostly engineering, followed by health care.
And they read the students’ best memories and proudest achievements in high school — everything from Narayan playing the role of Christine Daae in a school production of “Phantom of the Opera” to Jacob Yarwood of Bartlett High School earning a perfect 5.0 grade point index. At least one student will be the first in his or her family to go on to college.
Narayan, who lives in Elgin, said she plans to study classics at Loyola and is “really excited for what’s ahead.”
Powell, who lives in Streamwood, has loved business and economics since taking a business class her freshman year, she said. She has received a full ride to the Honors College at the University of Illinois at Chicago — “definitely” a perk of doing well in school, she said.
“College is really expensive now,” she said.
McClure’s favorite class has wavered from math to science to English, he said, but one thing that hasn’t changed is his involvement in “everything possible to do with music.”
The Elgin native plans to study chemical engineering at the University of Illinois, and his mom Dalila McClure proudly pointed out he had been interviewed by Harvard University. He always has enjoyed learning, which Dalila McClure said is important: “Life is too short.”
Case in point: McClure’s best high school memory is breakdancing in front of everyone at a Larkin-Elgin basketball game.
Board President Donna Smith also recognized those students’ parents.
“We know your child’s achievement is directly tied to your level of involvement,” Smith said. “Without question, you can look back and remember the late nights of helping your children with homework. You survived elementary school spelling tests, middle school social studies projects and advanced mathematics and world history in high school.”
And Torres left students with some advice of his own.
“I would encourage you to consider giving back to your community in any way that you can, including getting involved in teaching at the college level, tutoring others, mentoring others, paying it forward,” he said.
“In some ways, the best way to learn is to teach.”
The Top 2 Percent
The following students will graduate this month in the top 2 percent of the senior class in Elgin School District U46.
Bartlett High School
Elgin High School
Jasper Marc Bondoc
Marcus Paul Lavengco
Larkin High School
Streamwood High School
Lester Dela Cruz
South Elgin High School
Arantxa Renee Bautista