The Social and Emotional Learning Committee presents PRIDE awards at a recognition event each year in May. This year, over 30 awards were given out at the Pride Assembly on May 11, 2018. The award is given to students, staff and community members who exhibit the qualities that make up Spartan PRIDE: Personal Responsibility, Respect, Integrity, Dedication, and Excellence. The community members who were recognized include: Sarah and Clyde Anhalt, Fadi Barakat, Phil Bresnahan, Sarah Galvan, Izabel Gronski, Aida Hindi, Judy Ott, Laura Shallow and John Tondelli.
Clyde and Sarah Anhalt are the owners of Smylin' Clydes Hot Dogs. They have served as guest speakers for teacher Amy Cryan in her Food Truck project, provided feedback and judging on the day of the event, and even extended employment opportunities to some of her students. The Anhalt family has generously and graciously been involved in many school efforts such as parent-teacher conferences, annual baseball fundraisers, and various other opportunities to be a part of our school and community. More than 20 years ago Sarah was recognized as Oak Lawn's Home Economics student of the year, but today she needs to stand side-by-side with her father, true role models of the legacy of Spartan Pride.
Fadi Barakat and Aida Hindi coordinate the service learning program at the Mosque Foundation, where many Oak Lawn Community High School students have completed their service learning graduation requirements. College Career Counselor Kelly Kenny said, “This is a top program for our students who are completing their service learning requirements. What I think is most special about this group is that they welcome all of our students, not just those who practice the Muslim faith. They are very welcoming and accommodating for everyone.”
Phil Bresnahan is the coordinator of the VFW Post 5220 Stars Project. Many Oak Lawn Community High School students have completed their service learning requirements by participating in this project. College Career Counselor Kelly Kenny said, “We started this as a small project and it has grown greatly. It is mostly done at school in my office, which provides an option for the students faced with transportation issues. But I have also allowed a select group of students who are faced with various hardships to take supplies home and work on this project as time allows. We have also been able to find other great partnerships through this project, both service-oriented and with our local military recruiters, who regularly volunteer alongside the students working on this project.” Phil and the members of the VFW Post 5220 supplied the bags and also oversaw the burning of stripes and scraps of flags per the US Flag Code.
Sarah Galvan is the Executive Director of Almost Home. Her vision became a lifelong commitment to bring awareness to our homeless, our needy, our poor, our hungry, and our broken. The foundation mission of Almost Home is to alleviate the suffering of individuals and families in our communities where we can. More specifically, they are committed to helping single parents, victims of domestic violence, families and individuals experiencing true and significant financial hardship, and the homeless.
Izabel Gronski, Teen Librarian at the Oak Lawn Public Library, maintains a great partnership with Oak Lawn Community High School. In addition to being knowledgeable and approachable, Izabel is passionate about working with Spartans. She outreaches at PT conferences and attends Media Center events like Family Reading Night & Mangapolis, sometimes in costume. She is a valuable resource and advocate for our students.
Laura Shallow has served as the Chairperson for the Spartan Educational Foundation since 2006. Under her leadership, the SEF has provided Oak Lawn Community High School graduates with over $130,000 in scholarship funding, and over $57,000 in mini-grant funding for our staff to promote innovative teaching and learning programs. Laura has demonstrated a very high level of respect as well as incredible dedication to the students and staff of Oak Lawn Community High School.
Laura Shallow, Judy Ott, and John Tondelli volunteered to speak to an advisory class about their careers. Laura spoke about her career in finance and banking. Judy spoke about her years as an ER nurse. John spoke about being the senior project manager overseeing the building of the new Oak Lawn Community High School theater. All speakers gave a great snapshot of what their careers are like and how students can pursue them.
PRIDE awards were also given to current students and staff. The student receipients were seniors Stephania Izaquirre, Sydney Janik, Anna Komperda, Mario Maka, Alexia McGlynn, Adem Osmani, Odalis Villagomez, juniors Jonathan Godinez, Davon Martin, Marissa Perales, Timothy Richerme, Moaath Salameh, Zachary Zech and freshmen Cristian Arellano, Michael Gibson, Jada Jackson, Frankie Santana. The staff members who received the award this year were Chris Chigas, Nick Chigas, Erika Johnson and Derek Maciaga. To nominate someone to receive this award in the future, please visit the PRIDE Award banner at www.OLCHS.org located near the bottom of the page.