For Immediate Release
Monday, October 20, 2008

ISBE names 15 outstanding scholars to Student Advisory Council

Selected high school students offer valuable insight to State Board

Student Advisory CouncilSPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that 15 outstanding sophomores, juniors and seniors from across Illinois have been selected to represent their peers on the ISBE Student Advisory Council for 2008-2009. The new council will come together and begin in their new roles during this week’s October State Board meeting.

“The students who serve on the Student Advisory Council are some of the best and brightest in Illinois. We welcome them and thank them for the valuable insight they bring to the Board,” said Jesse H. Ruiz, Board Chairman. “We can learn a great deal from the challenges and achievements these students have experienced as they prepare for success beyond high school.” 

The Student Advisory Council was originally formed in 1975 to bring student concerns to the attention of ISBE. The students who comprise the Student Advisory Council are very diverse, as they come from different geographic locations, ethnic backgrounds, and types of schools. However, they possess similar qualities, which include a strong work ethic, the ability to think “outside-the-box,” a willingness to set aside time from their busy schedules for SAC work and the skill of working well in groups.

As SAC members, the students also may review and critique ISBE’s existing or proposed programs, policies and regulations, as well as inform Illinois students of SAC activities.

For the 2008-09 school year, five students are returning to the Student Advisory Council, and ten new students were selected through a competitive application and review process.  Eligibility for SAC is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors attending a public high school in Illinois.

The ten new members of the Student Advisory Council are:

  • Lindsey Ahrens, senior, McHenry West Campus High School in McHenry
    Lindsey is highly involved in her school and community, including serving on the student council in her high school and at the state and national level. Lindsey is also part of her high school’s teacher elected Student Leadership Team. After graduating, she plans on furthering her education and majoring in Special Education. Her life-long goals are to make a difference in others and have a positive impact on the lives of children. Lindsey is the 18-year-old daughter of Edward and Mellody Ahrens of Wonderlake.

  • Jeffrey Barnes. senior, Leland High School in Leland
    Jeff is a three sport athlete, participating in soccer, basketball, and baseball. During his senior year, Jeff will serve as president for the Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich FFA chapter, president of the Leland National Honor Society, vice-president of the Leland Student Council, and vice-president of his class.  He also participates in Green Club, History Club, SADD, and the annual school play.  Jeff has competed in the WYSE competition and multiple FFA competitions. Jeff is the 17-year-old son of Jim and Danette Barnes of Leland

  • Kelsea Battefeld, sophomore, Meredosia-Chambersburg High School in Meredosia
    Kelsea has been an active member of her community, as well as participating in a wide variety of extracurricular activities at her school.  This year, Kelsea will serve as class president of the sophomore class.  She is also involved in FHA, Art club, Yearbook, Jazz band, Upward Bound, and is part of the music program at her school.  After school, Kelsea tutors younger students through the mentor program at her school.  She is also an active member in her church youth group. Kelsea is the 15-year-old daughter of Brian and Jeannie Battefeld of Meredosia.

  • Sasha Christensen, senior, Williowbrook High School in Villa Park
    Sasha is on the varsity badminton team, the junior varsity gymnastics team, and is co-captain of the color guard.  She has been actively involved in the following groups for two years: Key Club, Principals’ Leadership Group, Warrior Active Leadership Committee and New Beginnings.  This year she is involved in the Blew Crew.  In her junior year, she was awarded the Human Relations Award for displaying genuine concerns for others.  Last summer, she attended Badminton Camp at Eastern Illinois University.  Since the age of 11, Sasha has volunteered weekly at the West Suburban Humane Society in the cat area and raised funds as well.  She is planning on entering either the veterinary field or the field of physical therapy. Sasha is the 17-year-old daughter of Jimmy Christensen and Debra Lowe of Villa Park.

  • Laura Collins, senior, Rolling Meadows High School in Rolling Meadows
    Laura has been involved in many school activities including Student Council; Future Educators of America; TEAM Tutoring; Concert, Symphonic and Jazz band; Math team; and National Honor Society.  Last year, Laura co-founded the Mustang Stampede, a group that aims to increase school spirit.  In the community, Laura is a member of the Metropolis Youth Symphony and has been a part of a group cultural exchange to Guatemala.  After graduation, Laura plans to major in math and chemistry with the goal of becoming a forensic scientist or a high school math teacher.  Laura is the 17-year-old daughter of Phil and Chris Collins of Arlington Heights. 

  • Brittany Kendrick, sophomore, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in Chicago
    Dedication, determination, and creativity are words to describe Brittany’s involvement at her high school.  As a sophomore, she is involved in an array of extracurricular activities, activities that are geared toward increasing her leadership abilities and community and athletic involvement.  Brittany has proved her natural talent on the girls’ varsity volleyball team and has been elected vice-president of her sophomore class.  She is active in the National FFA and attends an Early Outreach Program at UIC.  Brittany plans to graduate in the top ten percentile of her class, attend a university and major in environmental law.  She is the 16-year-old daughter of William and Matilda Kendrick of Chicago.

  • Alexis Maxwell, junior, Addison Trail High School in Addison
    Alexis is one who likes to get involved with as much as possible.  At Addison Trail, she is involved in many extracurricular activities. She is an executive board member of the Student Council, a member of the Principal’s Student Advisory Team, part of the Student Leadership Team, and the Sergeant at Arms for the class officers.  She has also participated in JV Cheerleading; basketball; varsity volleyball; varsity gymnastics; and Orchesis, the school’s dance team.  She is a student mentor and a member of the National Honor Society.  She is active in the community in the Kiwanis Key Club, as a volunteer to coach young girls in the community cheerleading program, and as a volunteer to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Alexis is the 16-year-old daughter of Ron and Lesky Maxwell of Addison.

  • Weston Quivey, senior, Steeleville Community High School in Steeleville
    Weston is an active member of Steeleville High School.  He currently serves as president of the History club and reporter for the FBLA.  He has also been active throughout high school in the Model U.N., band and the Science and Math clubs. Weston is also involved in Boy Scouts and is on the school’s trapshooting team.  Weston is the 17-year-old of Jeff and Mary Ann Quivey of Steeleville.

  • Hannah Rhoades, junior, Auburn High School in Auburn
    Hannah is a junior at Auburn High School.  She is active inside and outside of the classroom.  She is a member of Tri-M, the high school band and jazz band. Hannah is a member of the National Honor Society and the Science, Math, and Spanish clubs.  She is co-captain of the golf team and a member of the track and field team.  Hannah is the 16-year-old daughter of Joseph and Audrey Rhoades of Auburn.

  • Shelby Wills, junior, Willamsfield High School in Williamsfield
    Shelby is involved in many activities at Willamsfield High School.  She is a member of the National Honor Society and is secretary for the Student Council.  She is also involved in the Science and Spanish clubs.  Shelby is the starting setter and outside hitter on the school’s volleyball team and also participates in winter club volleyball in Peoria. Shelby is a cheerleader and a member of the Knox County Youth and Government program.  She is also the starting third baseman for her school’s softball team.  Outside of school, Shelby is involved with her church and community.  She works for charities helping to support the cure for breast cancer, plays on the summer softball team, lifeguards at the local pool and teaches swim lessons.  Shelby is the 16-year-old daughter of Michael and Marilyn Wills of Dahinda.

 Returning Student Advisory Council members are: 

  • Sarah Chapman, junior, Indian Creek High School in Shabbona
    Sarah is active in school, local community and extracurricular activities. At Indian Creek, she is a member of the DeKalb Community Partnership for a Safe and Active Family Environment (DCP/SAFE), a community coalition promoting community-based prevention, wellness and healthy lifestyles for the community as a whole. She is also the treasurer for Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), and plays for the high school softball team in addition to a travel club softball organization. Sarah is the 16-year-old daughter of Mary Jane Chapman and the late Ted Chapman of Shabbona.

  • Skye David, senior, Lawrenceville High School in Lawrenceville
    During high school, Skye has participated in a wide variety of activities. She is involved in the Student Council, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Pep Club, FCA and SADD. She participates in cross country and softball. Outside of school, Skye works at the local ice cream shop. After graduation, she plans to attend Northwestern University and study law. Skye is the 17-year-old daughter of Philip and Cindy David of Lawrenceville.

  • Kendall Hoover, senior, Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale
    Currently, Kendall is a Peer Leader, active in Habitat for Humanity, and a Student Ambassador at Hinsdale Central. She has built homes in South Dakota and the Appalachian Mountains with her church youth group. She volunteers 10 hours each month at her local hospital and is a member of the hospital's Junior Volunteer Leaders' Council. This summer, Kendall participated in a pharmacy internship at Midwestern University. During previous summers, she has attended Duke University's three-week marine biology lab experience in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a summer institute at Boston University, and a Leadership Camp in San Francisco. After graduation, Kendall plans to study science or mathematics. She is the 17-year-old daughter of James and Lee Stanley of Hinsdale.

  • Gabrielle Kendrick, senior, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in Chicago
    Work never ceases for Gabrielle as she continues to strive in numerous academic and extra-curricular activities while being an honor student. She is an active member in the National FFA and a dedicated player on the school's golf team. Outside of school, Gabrielle is involved in the College Bridge Program and the Early Outreach Program. After graduation, Gabrielle plans to attend college and become a licensed physical therapist. She is the 17-year-old sister of Brittany and the daughter of William and Matilda of Chicago. 

  • Ryan H. Ornstein, senior, Grayslake North High School in Grayslake
    Ryan Ornstein is returning to serve his third year on ISBE’s Student Advisory Council. Ryan is active in other leadership positions at his high school, such as varsity football captain, peer mediator, and student representative on the Athletic Code of Conduct committee. He was the 2008 recipient of the Kohl’s Kids Who Care award and is an active Eagle Scout. He serves regularly on the audio-visual team for contemporary worship services at Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church in Grayslake.  Ryan is the 17-year-old son of Clarese and Steve Ornstein of Round Lake Beach.