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Chicago science students take honors; 30 states participate

Chicago — Students from Chicago's Southside Branch of the NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) program won medals and mentions at this year's national ACT-SO competition, held recently in Philadelphia. The winners were among 17 high school students from the Chicago area who traveled to Philadelphia to compete against participants from 30 states in 25 categories of scholarship and culture.

Flavian Brown, an incoming Senior at Hyde Park Academy, won the gold medal in Biology. Samuel Jones III, a graduate of Chicago Agricultural Science High School, won the silver medal in Physics General. Samuel also won an all-expenses paid trip to Huntsville, Alabama to visit NASA. Shemerial Alexander, a graduate of Hyde Park Academy, was selected as an alternate to sail aboard a U.S. submarine and perform ecology testing.

Founded by Chicago journalist Vernon Jarrett in 1977, ACT-SO's annual competition is the culmination of a yearlong program to promote nationwide excellence in the African-American community. The competition is a forum for the great minds of African-American youth and a showcase for their talents. Winners earn scholarships, computers and prizes.

"Our Chicago-area students competed and won against the brightest of the brightest," said Julia Preston, local Chair of the NAACP Southside Branch ACT-SO program. "African-American children can succeed in the classroom, boardroom, laboratory or any other academic arena. Vernon created the venue for our children and we are forever grateful."

The culmination of the competition was an awards ceremony hosted by Young and the Restless star, Victoria Rowell. Event judges included Bettina Bush, composer of McDonald's Lovin It commercial and the voice of Angelica on Rugrats, and Ivan Yeager, inventor of a patent in use by NIKE to create insoles.

"ACT-SO created the opportunity for our children to showcase the skills they learned in the Chicago school system," said Preston. "These teachers go the extra nine yards to help these kids. For these Chicago students to win at the national competition in Philadelphia is not just a win for the students - it's a win for Chicago, the Chicago school system, and ACT-SO."

The competition was held July 8th-11th in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts.

Shemerial Alexander, ACT-SO award winner from Hyde Park Academy

Shemerial Alexander, graduate of Hyde Park Academy. Shemerial was selected as an alternate to travel onboard a U.S. submarine to perform ecology testing.

Flavian Brown, ACT-SO winner from Hyde Park Academy

Flavian Brown is a senior at Hyde Park Academy and recent winner of the gold medal in Biology at this year's national ACT-SO competition in Philadelphia.

Samuel Jones, III, ACT-SO award wimmer from Chicago Agricultural High School

Samuel Jones, III, graduate of Chicago Agricultural Science High School and winner of a silver medal in Physics General. Jones also won an all-expenses paid trip to Huntsville, Alabama to NASA.

ACT-SO promotes positive self-esteem, academic and artistic excellence and interaction between African-American youth and the adult professional community. Mobilization of the adult community to serve as mentors and coaches for students in the areas of the sciences, humanities, performing arts, visual arts and business are just a few of the many initiatives encouraged by ACT-SO.


Scholarships and participation in competitions

History Fair stars

Several South Side schools participated in and received prizes and recognition at the Metro and Hyde Park Historical Society History Fairs. Congratulations especially to Kenwood student Amanda Mantilla, who won a superior rating in the Illinois State History Expo showcasing the best history fair projects. Hers showed the impact of German Americans in Chicago.

Grace Green, a freshman at St. Ignatius High School, has been awarded a $100 prize given by the Society through the Metro History Fair to the History Fair entrant with the best project relating to our community. Ms. Green's project was a standing exhibit with an extensive summary statement related to Alfonso Iannelli whose sculpture adorned Frank Lloyd Wright's Midway Gardens and is part of the decoration of the St. Thomas the Apostle Church and School buildings. Money for the award was provided as an anonymous gift from a member. The presentation was made at the History Fair Awards Ceremony by HPHS Board member Priya Schimpi.

The Hyde Park Historical Society presented two prizes to high school students and two to middle school students from schools in the greater Hyde Park area. Expecially excelling were Kenwood, North Kenwood/Oakland Charter, Revere, and South Shore Entrepreneurial schools.

And the winners were:

Hyde Park Historical Society Metra History Fair Prize- Grace Green: "Alfonso Ianelli" St Ignatius

1st Place High School-Theresa Bailey "Valois: See Your Food" So Shore Enterpren. Teacher: Seth Patner

2nd Pl. High School- Gary Densmore "Lakefront Homes" So Shore Enter. Seth Patner

Special Recog. High- Juan Hernandez "America's First Serial Killer" Juarez. Al Moy

1st Place Middle Sch.- Ciobhan Judith Dun "Changing of Bronzeville 1940-1940" N. Kenw-Oakl. D. Johnson

2nd Place Middle- Jordae Evans, Monique Greyer, Earnest Hale, Shanika Harris "Oak Woods Cemetery" Paul Revere Sch. Teacher: Kim Campbell.

Carla Askew- "Bronzeville Landmarks" No Kenw/Oakland. Teacher: Darrell Johnson

Xavier Hawthorne- "Oak Woods Cemetery" Paul Revere. Teacher: Jon Lowenstein

Elisa Kimble- "Harold Washington" Paul Revere. Jon Lowenstein

Jacqueline Lewis- "What Made the Palm Tavern" No-Kenwood/Oakland. Darrell Johnson

Portia King- "Bronzeville Night Clubs 1920's-1940's' No Knw/Oakland. Darrell Johnson

Dominique Potts- "How Bronzeville Has Changed" No Kenwood/Oakland. Darrell Johnson

Students of Room 203- "General Frank C. Brown, Jr." Powell Academy. Teacher:: Joseph Rhoiney

Haoziang Xu- "Hyde Park" Kenwood Academy. Teacher: Ivan Sarudi


Andrew Carnegie students excelled this spring on the national level for webpage creation projects in 2003-4 in conjunction with the Chicago White Sox and in performing arts.

Five students from Hyde Park Career Academy graduated from the 7-week NetTech Student Mentoring Program of Chicago Public Schools. Students with top grade averages are tutored by professionals. Awardees are Elorise Harris, Coleen Ware, DeOtis Tole, LaShanetta Barr and Millicent Owusu. 15 others participated. Teacher: Valeria McAllister and information technology professionals from Blackwell Consulting. Purpose of the project is to upgrade the internet networks of 18 schools throughout the city. Many call this program in the E-rate program the most intense CPS offers. Rep. Bobby Rush was on hand when the awardees received their $2000 laptops. Hyde Park Academy is one of 17 in the city that offers classes leading to Cisco-certification as network associates.


Two Hyde Parkers won Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Educational Scholarships of $1,000. Jamillah Lemieux and Ciciaya Smith. They were honored at a dinner. Lemieux, of Whitney Young, will attend Howard; Smith, of Perspectives Charter, will attend Tennessee State.

Two Hales Franciscan students won 1st place at the $15,000 in the Youth IT Challenge sponsored by Microsoft and the National Urban League. Marcus Thomas is 14, Tariq Scott 16. They worked with Terrance Garret of Julian High and Tonitta Fisher of St. Francis de Sales to develop a business plan for Text and Tutor Connection, Inc., a one-on-one on-line tutoring and text ordering service expected to be rolled out late in the year. The contest was preceeded by a series of classes on business planning and technology by a Microsoft professional.


This year, 6 were awarded scholarships of $1,650 to $3,300 (max is $4,000 for each college year and the total number of recipients to date is 54) in the ShoreBank Scholars program, which has been rapidly expanding and over the next 25 years will award scholarhips to graduates of 8 area public high schools at various stages of their college careers. They do have to stay registered to vote, have graduted with 2.5 gpa, demonstrated financial need, and be involved in the community. Each student is paired with a ShoreBank mentor.


20 UC Lab School students qualified in 2004 as semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship awards. These are Bryan allen, Mattew Barber, Brian Beatty, Joseph Barnaroni, Anthony Carlson, Robert Dellsy, Catherine Derbes, Alice Easton, Aaron Engel-Hill, Colin Flood, Andrew Hoffman, Sian Kieran-porter, Mattew Klein, Jenifer Lloyd, Matthew Macellaio, Akana Noto, Raymond Padgett, Megan Rim, Caroline Robertson, and Joshua Werth.

Lab School senio Kelsey Karp is going to the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference in Washington January 16-21 with 600 other promising young leaders nationwide.

Hales Franciscan 2004 graduate David Henderson was awarded a $3,000 scholarship by Marquette Bank to study at University of Illinois Champaign.

Garrett Youngblood, Hyde Park senior at Whitney Young, was selected to attend the July 5-14 LeadAmerica Congressional Student Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

College-bound Kenwood graduate Andrew Williams was recognized for his achievements and awarded a computer by Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown under t he Leroy Miler Entrepreneurial Scholarship.

Hyde Park native Matthew Brewer, Stanford University graduate with honors and first minority student body president returned to speak at alma mater Mount Carmel High September, 2004.

St. Thomas Apostle 8th grade students Ashley Lisenby and Nichola Marshall won the Archdiocese' pestigius Imani Faith Award for 2005.

Murray PTO received honorable mention from PTO Today "Parent Group of the Year. The honor was for parental involvement.

Dave Dylan, of Kenwood, is competing in the national semi-finals of the Ecko Unltd. "American Dream Model Search."

Sian Kieran-Porter and Jessica Saffold at UC Lab Schools qualified in the National Achievement Scholarship semi-finals. Kenwood resident and Walter Payton junior Devin Kenny was noted as an outstanding participant, scoring in thte top 5% of African-Americans on SAT.

Kenwood student, Taylor Moore, 15, was emcee of the 3rd annual Hooked on Kids award banquet. Kenwood student Jessica Robinson has been accepted into the 2005 class of Harvard University, the first in 7 years. Jessica developed her plan as a freshman, knowing it would take a long, consistent record of top grades in regular and extra classes and in extracurricular activity to make the cut.

Kenwood alum Prashant Bhargava premiered short film "Sangam" November 21 at Gene Siskel Film Center, downtown. This film won acclaim at the Sundance Festival earlier in 2004. Bhargava credits the learning-conducive atmosphere of Kenwood for much of his success. www.sangam.tv

January 27, 2 Canter students take Science Fair, Ray student finishes a top Area 15 sixth-grader. Two eighth-grade students move on to the citywide fair after placing inthe top four in Area 15. Calvin Krough proved the effect of music on people's coordination and Anthony Ladson did the same for deliterious effects of TV watching. Ray School 6th grader Chelsea Jaffrey topped her peers in Area 15 tested the long-lastingness of dish detergents.

Kenwood junior and senior women worked with the University of Chicago on the "Hip Hop and Feminism" project that culminated in a major conference at the University in April 2005.
Every spring Kenwood students participate in the after school Kenwood Academy-University of Chicago Program for Academic Exploration (Kenwood Project), which is centered around a class taught by UC professors and PhD students. This spring, teachers were Mellissa Harris-Lacewell, Jacqueline Stewart and Tangi Gilliam. Studnents presented at the Conference a set of essays, collages and a "sonic exploration." Their final project is a video collage of class conversations which they will present both at the University and at a Rainbow-Push youth conference in June.

Four Kenwood students in 2005 attnded the Student Ocean Conference at Nat. Misss. Rvier Mus. and Aquarium in Dubuque, IO. Shanice Jones, Tiesha Jones, Derick Rent.

Ray School student Samuel Young won 1st place in the city Academic Olympics in math.

Hyde Park teachers are listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. Students listed in Who's Who Among America's Students each nominated one teacher who made a difference for them. Named were :(Reavis:) Catherine Askew. (Kenwood:) Rochelle Bardy, Ernestine Flemming Jones , Ailene Gamez, benjamin Jaffe, Elaine Jones, Michael She, Awtigoe Sarling, Willie Sullivan. (Murray:) Rashida Foluke. (Canter:) Angelia Roberts. (U of C Lab School:) Catharine Bell, Earl Bell, David Bevington, Wayne Brasler, Victor Friedman, Darlene campbell.

Reavis was featured in the Herald June 22 as a "sports dynasty" school for its many awards and championships over the past 15 years and more. In 2005, Reavis won in double dutch, tennis, golf, flag football, and softball! Reavis students got help from "Hook a Kid on Golf" and "Love to Serve".


Hyde Park students dominate 2005 Science Fair; advance in Academic Olympics and Young Authors. 2005 scholarships

Moving on to national competition are Daniel Blumenthal of Jones and Gideon Klionsky of Lincoln Park, both graduates of Akiba Schechter.

Advancing to the state exposition in May are Canter students Anthony Ladson and Calvin Krogh adn Kenwood student Emily Blumenthal. Their projects were in the top 50 of over 300.

Placing in the Area 15 Academic Olympics were Ray student Samuel Young and Shoesmith student Amber Smith (intermediate essay), Reavis student Lasawnda High (upper essay). Ray student Matthew Robinson placed first in intermediate speech arts and will compete in the citywide. Canter student Michael Dairyko placed first in upper math and Ray student Sasmual Young in intermediate math.

Eight Hyde Park elementary students were honored in the citywide Young Authors awards. Tayvaughn Robinson and Tamar Turner of Kozminski, Arthur Strasburger, Jane Maxey and Dohyun Bae of Ray, and Andres Hamilton of Reavis. Murry student Adrienne Bershche earned an Outstanding in ASrea 13 Young authors for her story "Let Silence Come" while Black Rimsey of Murray won Honorable Mention for "Slippy Woods."

Eric Willis, Jr., Kenwood sophomore, was honored by South East Chicago Commission at its Annual Banquet. Willis performed over 400 hours of community service, mostly at eh Hyde Park Learning Center.

See more of the recent awards under News of Schools-Murray, UC Lab.

Among those winning college scholarships in 2005 see the Kenwood Academy page. Also: Dyett Academy winners included
Jackie McQueen , Jessica Louis and Samon Richardson U of CSchool of Business Give Something Back; Jackie McQueen Chicago Mercantile Exchange; Samon Richardson Secondary School Counselors a?ssn; Tiffany Irvin CPS Textbook; Eric Bruns the Cheryl Marshall Washington Travel Scholarship.