'207's Best' for February 2018 honored for academic achievement

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'207's Best' for February honored for academic achievement
Posted on 02/10/2018
Three seniors were recently honored by the Maine Township High School District 207 Board of Education as “207's Best.”  For February honors, Julia Benbenek, of Maine South; Brett Patterson, of Maine West; and Richa Shah, of Maine East, were recognized for academic achievement.

In his introductory letter, Maine East Principal Dr. Mike Pressler noted that Richa began attending East as an 8th grader, when she came from Gemini Junior High to take Geo/Trig Accel. She has taken 11 Advanced Placement courses and earned a weighted Grade Point Average of 4.93. In addition, she has been an active member of the National Honor Society, tennis team, Math team, Gifted Lyceum Program, Math Honors Society, Lens (school newspaper club) Charity/Random Acts of Kindness Club and Scholastic Bowl. She has volunteered at a local hospital, public library and her religious school. Gifted Lyceum Coordinator Judy Tyler wrote that “Richa is our ‘go to girl’ in the Lyceum and is the poster child for organization and dependability. She models by example and uses her strong sense of responsibility to push others to give their best work.” Richa told the Board she plans a career in medicine or medical research.

At Maine West, Brett Patterson has earned a 4.79 GPA in the school’s most challenging classes, including, this year, four AP courses along with Multivariable Calculus and Differentiated Equations. He is Vice President of the Principal’s Leadership Team, Student Council President and this year is the Maine West Warrior.  In her introductory letter, Maine West Principal Dr. Audrey Haugan referred to Brett as a “natural leader” and noted - of his role on the Principal’s Leadership Team - that “I have come to rely on him for his dependability and ability to keep our team running smoothly.” In addition to these roles, Brett introduced this year what has turned out to be one of the most popular clubs at Maine West: Esports, in which students compete against peers and potentially receive college scholarships for their participation. Brett told the Board he will study biological and genetic engineering in college.

At South, Julia Benbenek has earned a 4.85 GPA in a course load that includes numerous AP classes. She earned a perfect 36 on her ACT. In addition, Julia is National Honor Society vice president, president of the Orchestra Board, serves as a Hawk Pride leader and is a member of the state champion C-Team. Julia has participated for four years in varsity tennis, mock trial, model U.N. and Key Club. In his introductory letter, South Principal Dr. Ben Collins quoted C-Team Sponsor Andrew Trenkle as noting that that “Julia’s excellence stands out even when among a group of other standout students. She is really that great. She dedicates herself to excellence and performing at her best on a daily basis.”  Dr. Collins quoted several other teachers who lauded Julia’s talent, kindness and collaborative nature. Julia told the Board that she plans to study law, politics and international relations, in preparation for a career in international law.

The “207's Best’ program recognizes outstanding students monthly throughout the school year.  Academic achievement awards are given in two months. Awards for community service, fine and performing arts, improved performance, elective area of achievement, technology leader/innovator and extracurricular achievement 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.

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