"When principals bring their students to an event like this, what they are saying to other principals is: ‘Don’t you wish you had students like I have?’” said Dr. Fred Singleton, field services director for the Three Rivers Region of the Illinois Principals Association.
School principals and students from the Three Rivers Region — Grundy, Will, Kendall and Kankakee counties — gathered Friday, May 4, in Joliet, at the Rialto Square Theater, for the 12th annual Student Recognition Breakfast.
Out of the more than 165,000 students in the Three Rivers Region, only 84 students were selected for the morning of honor.
Two eighth graders from Nettle Creek Community Consolidated School District 24C were very excited to be there.
Jessica Jurak and Jacob Jurasits were both grinning from ear-to-ear after receiving their certificates from Nettle Creek superintendent and school principal, Dr. Pete Pasteris, and walking across the stage to shake hands with regional superintendents from the Three Rivers Region.
“I was very excited, but it was also very nerve-racking to be on the Rialto stage,” Jessica said.
Pasteris said he and an eighth-grade teacher from Nettle Creek chose Jacob and Jessica not only for their academic excellence, but also for their school and community involvement, their volunteerism, their overall character, as well as several other positive traits.
“These children work very hard,” Pasteris said. “You don’t get here by accident.”
Pasteris is an Illinois Principals Association board member and legislative chairman and has been bringing Nettle Creek students to the honorary breakfast for the past four years.
Other students honored from the Grundy County area included:
• Jeff Kirkolis and Katie McSteen from Channahon Junior High School
• Makenna Crater and Eric Root from Coal City Intermediate School
• Emily Hauch and Matthew Grushkin from Mazon-Verona-Kinsman Middle School
• Luke Hermann and Maggie Ward from Minooka Junior High School
• Olivia Asbridge and Kayla Garrett from South Wilmington Grade School
• Adeline Beeler and Matthew Gibson from Three Rivers School