|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, September 20, 2007|
ISBE names 15 outstanding scholars to Student Advisory Council
Selected high school students offer valuable insight to State Board
SPRINGFIELD — 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 2007-2008. The new council came together and
began in their new roles during this week’s September
State Board meeting.
“Since the State Board of Education has made preparing
our students for success beyond graduation from high school
a high priority, the perspectives and ideas that our newest
members of the Student Advisory Council have to offer
will prove to be invaluable to the board,” said
Jesse H. Ruiz, Board Chairman. “We are also excited
and look forward to having the opportunity to continue
to work with returning members.”
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, ability to think “outside-the-box,”
the 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
For the 2007-08 school year, four students are returning
to the Student Advisory Council, and eleven 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 11 new members of the Student Advisory Council are:
- Sarah Chapman, sophomore, 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 a member of
the Spanish Club, the softball and basketball teams,
in addition to the travel club softball organization.
Sarah, 15, is the daughter of Mary Jane Chapman and
the late Ted Chapman of Shabbona.
- Skye David, junior, Lawrenceville High School
During high school, Skye has participated in a wide
variety of activities. She is involved in the Student
Council, National Honor Society, Beta Club and Fellowship
of Christian Athletes. This year, she will serve as
class president and captain of the cross country team,
as well as playing softball. Outside of school, Skye
works at the local ice cream shop and mentors a 10-year-old
girl. Skye is the 16-year-old daughter of Philip and
Cindy David of Lawrenceville.
- Dirk DeDecker, senior, Richwoods High School
In high school, Dirk, 17, has been involved in student
council, key club and the French Club for three years,
in addition to numerous other extracurricular activities.
He also runs cross country and track and has been named
Academic All-Conference in cross country. For his Eagle
Scout project, Dirk organized and led a group of boys
to refinish the flooring in a lodge at a state park.
This summer, he attended Premier Boys State Leadership
camp at Eastern Illinois University. After high school,
Dirk plans to major in engineering with a minor in physics.
He is the son of Darren and Sue DeDecker of Peoria.
- Michele Dumoulin, senior, Triad High School
Seventeen-year-old Michele has always been an active
member of her high school and community. She is involved
in numerous extracurricular activities such as ALPHA,
SADD, Spanish Club, Tri-M, Model United Nations, math
team and soccer. Michele also sings with Madjazz and
has participated in several professional productions
at the St. Louis, Mo. Theater. This year, Michele will
serve as the senior class president. She is the daughter
of David and Barbara Dumoulin of Marine.
- Sarah Freebairn, senior, Shiloh High School
Sarah has been involved in Student Council, SADD, Cama
Teens, FCA, FFA, Yearbook, Ecology Club, Drama Club
and band. She is currently the Student Council president
and is the former Kickapoo district vice-president.
Sarah is also a member of the softball team and is a
cheerleader for basketball and football games. After
graduation, Sarah plans to major in pre-medicine with
the goal of becoming a neonatologist and working in
a children’s hospital. She is the 17-year-old
daughter of Paul and Krista Freebairn of Newman.
- Kendall Hoover, junior, Hinsdale Central High
School in Hinsdale
Currently, Kendall is a Peer Leader and a Student Ambassador
at Hinsdale Central. She is also active in Habitat for
Humanity and has built homes in South Dakota and the
Appalachian Mountains with her Church youth group. She
also volunteers about 10 hours each month at her local
hospital. This summer, Kendall attended Duke University’s
three-week marine biology lab experience in the Outer
Banks of North Carolina. She has also attended a summer
institute at Boston University and a Leadership Camp
in San Francisco. After graduation, Kendall plans to
study science or mathematics in college. She is the
16-year-old daughter of James and Lee Stanley of Hinsdale.
- Shaleka Johnson, senior, Meridian High School
While a student at Meridian High School, Shaleka has
been very active both in academic and student activities.
She has served as Student Council president and participates
in band and the Junior Class Club. Shaleka also mentors
underclassman through the school’s Mentors program.
In March, Shaleka received first place in the local
Regional Office of Education’s Writing Talent
Search. After high school, she plans to attend DePaul
University or Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
and study social work. She is the 17-year-old daughter
of James and Angel Johnson of Mounds.
- Gabrielle Kendrick, junior, Chicago High School
for Agricultural Sciences in Chicago
While attending high school, Gabrielle, 16, has been
involved in numerous academic and extracurricular activities
while being an honor student majoring in horticulture.
She is an active member of the local Future Farmers
of America chapter and National FFA Organization. Outside
of school, Gabrielle is involved in the Early Outreach
Program, Transitional College Program and Chicago Mayor
Richard Daley’s Book Club program. Gabrielle plans
to attend college after graduation and become a licensed
physical therapist. She is the daughter of William and
Matilda Kendrick of Chicago.
- Nick Knuffman, senior at Camp Point Central
High School in Camp Point
While attending high school, Nick serves as class president
and is in involved in track, Student Council, Spanish
Club, Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor
Society, Panther Pride, high honor roll and Family Career
and Community Leaders of America. Outside of school,
Nick has been active in the community by helping with
the Special Olympics and Arthritis Foundation, as well
as collecting and delivering food for the local food
drive at Christmas. After graduation, he plans to attend
college and major in Business and Hospitality. Nick
is the 18-year-old son of Robert and Cheryl Knuffman
- Ran Ma, senior, University of Illinois Laboratory
School in Urbana
Ran, 17, has served as class vice-president during his
sophomore and junior years. In addition, he interns
for a local radio station, where he has produced numerous
public service announcements and edited songs for the
station. Ran also worked with a group of high school
students and the local community to address the issue
of health care. Ran plans to attend college and study
either business or international studies. He is the
son of Steve and Julia Wang of Urbana.
- Lian States, senior, Fairfield Community High
School in Fairfield
Lian, 17, is an active member of 4-H, both at the local
and state level. This is her second year on the Illinois
State 4-H Youth Leadership Team, which provides leadership
and support for statewide 4-H functions and helps determine
state protocol and curriculum. She is also president
of her regional group of 4-H Legislative Ambassadors.
At school, Lian is involved with ALPHA peer leaders,
National Honor Society, Math Team, and Scholastic Bowl,
in addition to many other clubs. Lian is the daughter
of Gary and Melinda States of Geoff.
Returning Student Advisory Council members are:
- Micah S. Berman, senior, University Laboratory
High School in Urbana
Micah, 17, is an active student both inside and outside
the classroom. He manages video productions for his
school, from archiving plays and graduation ceremonies
to producing music videos for sports awards ceremonies
and video comedy skits. He served as Class President
his sophomore and junior years, and was elected as student
body president for his senior year. Outside the classroom,
Micah does web work and computer support and consulting
for companies and individuals in Champaign-Urbana, as
well as volunteering much of his time helping organizations
and his school. He was a competitive swimmer for seven
years, and still swims recreationally whenever he gets
the chance. Micah recently won the first annual Matt
Willhelm Award for Service with a Smile for outstanding
service to his high school. Micah is the son of Glenn
and Colleen Berman of Urbana.
- Emma L. LePere, senior, Belleville Township
High School in Belleville
Emma’s numerous extracurricular activities includes
Volunteer West, which promotes volunteering with the
school; Student Council, where she served as class representative
and helps organize fundraisers and blood drives for
her school; and Lifesavers, a group that spreads awareness
and information about smoking, drinking, abuse and anorexia.
Last year, Emma worked as a reporter for the school
yearbook, Bellevinos. Outside of school, Emma volunteers
at the local humane shelter. Emma is the 17-year-old
daughter of Rusty and Vicki LePere.
- Ryan H. Ornstein, junior, Grayslake North
High School in Grayslake
Ryan, 16, is an honor roll student at Grayslake North
High School in Grayslake. He is starting center for
the varsity football team. Ryan also plays varsity baseball.
He achieved Eagle Scout rank in August 2007. Ryan enjoys
creating movies and also serves on the Audio Visual
Team at his church. In 2007, he was chosen runner-up
for a baseball internship for the White Sox sponsored
by MLB and Bentley College. He lives in Round Lake Beach
with his parents, Clarese and Steve Ornstein.
- Nicholas J. Diaz, senior, West Leyden High
School in Northlake
Nicholas, 17, is the son of Jose and Rita Diaz of Northlake.
He is involved in many activities at school including
the Principal’s Advisory Board, Class of 2008
Advisory Board, and Student Council. He has also participated
in Principia, Math Team and Spanish Club. Music is Nicholas’
passion and he is a member of the cello section in the
school orchestra and Chicago’s Protégé
Philharmonic. He also volunteers at the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra as a front-of-house intern. Nicholas plans
to double major in government and history and pursue
a master’s degree in business.