"207's Best" honored for community service
- Student: Kevin Gau, Leslie Grove, Sandra Gonzalez
- School: Maine East, South and West high schools
- Class/grade: Seniors
- Award: "207's Best"
Three seniors selected by Maine Township High School District 207 as "207's Best” for November have been recognized by the Board of Education. All three – Kevin Gau of Maine East, Sandra Gonzalez of Maine West and Leslie Grove of Maine South– were recognized for Community Service.
In an introductory letter to the Board, East Principal Dr. Michael Pressler explained that Kevin’s service to the East community consists of year-round technology assistance to students and staff alike and of a dedication to lifting the spirits of all he meets. Several teachers echoed Geometry teacher Sue Clifford’s observation that “Kevin goes out of his way to think of ways to be helpful,” including his penchant for distributing weekly newsletters and inspirational quotes. Dr. Pressler’s letter also quoted English teacher Cathy Creagh as stating that, “I hope we can clone Kevin Gau before he leaves us! Kevin doesn’t just contribute to the community by signing up for community programs; he also contributes to his community on a daily basis with his cheerful attitude and willingness to help.” Kevin told Board members that he plans to attend DePaul University and has not yet chosen a field of study.
At West, Sandra is secretary of Key Club and is a Warrior Pride Mentor and Leader. Her lengthy service record at school includes volunteering at West Fest, West Carnival, Meet the Teacher Night, 8th Grade Orientation and 8th Grade Activities Night. Outside of school, her list of volunteer work is equally long and includes serving as a teaching assistant at St. Mary’s Church, serving food at “Bessie’s Table Dinner” and working in “Clean Up Des Plaines.” She carries a 4.45 grade point average for a rigorous schedule that currently includes such classes as Multivariable Calculus, Computer Integrated Manufacturing and two Advanced Placement classes. In her introductory letter, West Principal Dr. Audrey Haugan wrote of Sandra that “Her heart is bigger than most, and she truly cares for those she has served.” Sandra told the Board that she plans to study mechanical engineering at either the University of Illinois or Northwestern University.
In addition to being an outstanding student, Leslie is active in a host of activities inside of school and out. She is a camp counselor for her church and a camp counselor for special needs children at Misericordia. She has led a writing workshop for the Park Ridge Library and serves on its Teen Advisory Board. An accomplished ice skater, Leslie also is a cellist with the Maine South Orchestra and is a member of the Space Exploration Club. She has written for Southwords, the student newspaper, and Reaching, the school’s foreign language magazine. In his introductory letter, South Principal Shawn Messmer quoted Social Science teacher Michael McGreevy as stating that Leslie “is one who has a concern about others well beyond her years. Leslie brings a positive attitude on a consistent basis and has a high level of respect for all her peers.” Leslie told the Board she plans to pursue studies in nursing or elementary education.
The "207's Best" program recognizes outstanding students monthly throughout the school year. Academic achievement awards are given in four months. Extracurricular achievement, community service, improved performance and electives/performing arts are given one month each. Teachers nominate students, and an executive committee makes final decisions. Honorees are then recognized by the Board of Education, which instituted the program.