Hillcrest Students Honored at District Recognition Night

Kim Chi Dang, Guest Columnist

On  Tuesday, March 3rd, during Student Recognition Night, all four school from Bremen District 228 were represented.

Before entering  the auditorium, a carnation was given to each student being honored. Students that were being honored were seated on the side while guests were seated at the center. As the event began, everyone was asked to perform the Pledge of Allegiance. After introducing the school board members, two representatives from each school were asked to give a short speech. Before Tinley`s representatives came on the stage, their band performed a wonderful piece with a singer who had a powerful and talented voice. After the representatives finished their speech, the students being honored from Tinley Park were asked to come across the stage as their names were called. This continued for Bremen, Hillcrest, and Oak Forest. After the event, everyone was invited for a quick snack before leaving for the night.

The student speakers did a great job; while Tinley Park’s and Hillcrest’s were the best, in my opinion, Bremen’s and Oak Forest’s were just as entertaining. After Tinley Park, Bremen was next; Bremen`s speakers delivered an entertaining and unique speech that I thought stood out the most. One of the speakers, the valedictorian, had one of the most honest, personal, and shocking speeches I heard that night. He started off saying how close Bremen is to him because his aunts, uncles, parents, and siblings have all attended Bremen before him. He talked about his experiences at Bremen and how Bremen has positively influenced him to be honest and open-minded. He`s not as afraid to express himself; he goes to the point of saying one of his favorite game to play is Yu-Gi-Oh. Although it was not a very formal speech, I appreciate his honesty and praise him for having the courage to say such things in front of a huge crowd.

The other speaker from Bremen was just as entertaining. He started his speech with, “In 1953, it started when the fire nation…Oh, wrong speech.” The rest of his speech was informative, but I appreciate their efforts. I could be biased though since both Bremen speakers are in my AP Chemistry class.

After Bremen went, it was Hillcrest`s turn; Symone Varnado and Ogechi Oparah represented Hillcrest. Symone did a phenomenonal job, and I believed her speech was one of the best. Ogechi, on the other hand, made me a little worried for him because he was so nervous that he was talking fatser than his usual self, but I did notice he was trying to be his usual self. I was touched when people from Hillcrest were supporting him by laughing at his puns when the students from other schools did not catch on to his jokes. I think both of them did a great job representing Hillcrest. Lastly, it was Oak Forest`s turn. Unlike the other schools, I noticed Oak Forest had two female speakers. They both did a great job, and I liked that they also mentioned the other schools in their speeches.

What I liked about this event was that students were not  being just recognized for academics. There were athletes, volunteers and artists among the students recognized which I think is important because the district is encouraging others to develop other skills besides doing well in the class. My favorite part of the event was when Superintendent Bill Kendall came on stage to list all the achievements that the students of Bremen District 228 have earned as a group. He did not delineate between what schools the students came from. Overall the event was a success, but I  hope that it was not too late for anyone  because everyone had school the next day.