Three seniors selected by Maine Township High School District 207 as “207's Best” for March were recognized Monday by the Board of Education. All three – Katie Brehmer of Maine East, Daniel O’Hara of Maine West and Carri Stevens of Maine South – were recognized for Achievement in Performing Arts.
At East, Katie Brehmer has been involved in the Fine Arts for four years, initially as a visual artist and, more recently, as a stage performer. Currently in the cast of the musical “In the Heights,” she is a member of the National Art Honor Society. In addition to a rigorous schedule of Advanced Placement classes, she has taken Art and Photo classes for four years and classes in Design and Materials and Digital Imaging. Her work has appeared in the All School Art Show, CSL Great Frame Up and Brickton Gallery through all four years at East. In his introductory letter, East Principal Dr. Michael Pressler quoted one art teacher as stating that “Technique comes with ease to Katie, so she places a lot of focus on the stories she tells with her art. Her narrative elevates the art in to a professional and mature category. Katie’s current AP work is simply astonishing.” Katie told Board members she plans to major in Art Education at North Park University.
At West, Daniel O’Hara is a member and Co-President of the Principal’s Leadership team, where, Principal Dr. Audrey Haugan says, he has “taken the position to the next level, leading meetings, creating surveys, and following through with an action plan to make change in the best interest of students.” In the Fine Arts realm, he has been involved in the V-Show, musicals, Battle of the Bands, Choir and Drama classes. He is a member of Storm the Front, a student band that recently performed for a crowd of several hundred at Chicago’s House of Blues. In her introductory letter, Dr. Haugan quoted one of Dan’s drama teacher as stating that, “I understand that the phrase ‘Renaissance Man’ may be overused. However, I can think of no better words to define Dan O’Hara: a scholar, musician, athlete, actor, student leader and rock star.” Dan told the Board that while he has not yet selected his university, he will be earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting.
Carri Stevens has been active in virtually all segments of Maine South’s Fine Arts program. She typically arrives early in the morning, to rehearse for Vocal Jazz Ensemble or Symphonic Band. She has assumed key roles in musicals, V-Show, Coffee House and several South fall and winter plays. In addition to her performing arts achievements, Carri has excelled in the classroom and challenged herself by enrolling in Accelerated and Advanced Placement classes as early as her freshman year. In his introductory letter, Maine South Principal Shawn Messmer wrote that Carri’s “talents are as extreme as her interests. She is a talented musician, vocalist, actress, crewmember and leader. Whether she is leading a Thespian meeting, leading crew, stage-managing a production or assistant directing, Carri leads by example.” Carrie told the Board of Education that she will attend North Park University and double major in Theater and Music 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.