15 Sep 2014
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Benet Academy Announces Department, Service Award Winners

Five Lisle students were among the seniors honored.

Benet Academy Announces Department, Service Award Winners


from Benet Academy

Last week announced the 2012 seniors who received departmental or service awards.

The following students from Lisle were honored:

Kelly Hayes, Dr. James Lemense Leadership Award

The Dr. James Lemense Leadership Award was created to honor Benet’s first lay principal. Dr. Lemense began his tenure as principal in the 1987-88 school year. At the end of his first year he was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, which forced him to retire early in his second year. This award honors a member of the senior class whose leadership and contributions to Benet over his or her years here have contributed to making Benet a better place.

Kelly Hayes established herself early on as a student willing to sacrifice her own time to ensure the success of her fellow classmates. Throughout her Benet career, she has dedicated herself to helping both her classmates and students outside of Benet’s walls succeed academically through her involvement in various peer tutoring programs. Additionally, she has also committed countless hours to ensuring the success of Benet’s numerous social events through her involvement in Student Government. Beginning the year as SG’s Publicity chair, Hayes started her senior year by contributing numerous hours to creating posters and announcements to make others aware of the various events that SG was hosting. Through her efforts, students always knew of upcoming events that they could attend to enrich their Benet experience outside of the classroom.

As the year has progressed, though, she unselfishly stepped beyond the requirements of her appointed position and committed herself to doing literally whatever was needed to make each and every event a success. It is because of her efforts that events such as the Turkey Bowl, the Christmas Drive, Homecoming, Turnabout, Mr. Redwing, and this year’s Junior - Senior prom became the overwhelming successes that they were. At any point of the day, she could be found running errands, entering data, making signs, organizing permission forms, rallying her classmates, or approaching the SG moderators to simply ask what she could be doing to help in any way they needed. What’s more, Hayes always went about her tasks with both a smile and a sincere desire to make each event a memorable one for her classmates. She has truly emerged as a model leader for her class, and it is without a doubt that this senior class’s experience would not have been the same without her.

Nicoletta Knoble, Sister Constance Anne Prather, OSB Social Studies Award

Sr. Constance Ann Prather had a passion to learn everything she could about history and politics.

This year’s recipient of the Sister Constance Anne Prather Social Studies Award is Nicoletta Knoble. Knoble has excelled in every history course she has taken. As a freshman in Honors World History she was noticed by her teacher for her joyful disposition, her active participation in class, and her obvious desire to learn, which she displayed daily.  During her sophomore year, in AP European History and during her junior year in AP U.S. History, she again stood out to her teachers because of her active interest and involvement in class.  As one of her teachers commented, 'When she is in your classroom, you get the impression that this is the only class that matters to her.'  This year, as a student in America Since 1945, she again displays daily a simple love for learning.  'Always positive about school, always prepared, always insightful in her responses, and always engaged for 45 minutes, bell to bell, in the learning process,' is how teacher Mr. Nagis describes her.



Nicholas Mankowski,  Brad Webb Scholar / Athlete Award

Mr. Brad Webb, who is a member of the Benet Academy Class of 1978, a current Benet board member, and the Chair of the Board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee, enjoyed a distinguished career academically and athletically while both at Benet and during his collegiate days at the University of Iowa. In fact, after being awarded conference, area, and state distinctions in football while at Benet, he captained Iowa’s 1981 Big Ten Championship Football Team and their 1982 Rose Bowl Team. Even more significantly, in 1982 he was awarded the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor, which is presented annually to the outstanding scholar athlete of the Big Ten Conference.

Each year the varsity coaching staff nominates and selects a young man or woman to receive the Brad Webb Scholar / Athlete Award based on the criteria set forth by the selection committee. To be eligible for this award, the individual must be a senior, a varsity letter recipient senior year, have a cumulative grade point average of 85% or above, and exemplify integrity, loyalty, and leadership. Preference is also given to multiple sport athletes.

This year’s Brad Webb Award winner is Nicholas Mankowski.  Mankowski has been a four-year member of both the football and basketball programs at Benet, the last two years as part of the varsity squads. He was the starting quarterback on the football team for both his junior and senior years, earning all-conference honors during his junior year. He was also elected captain of the football team this year. In basketball he was a member of the varsity basketball team that last year earned a record of 29 wins and only one loss and this year was a valuable contributor to the team’s overall record of 21 and 7. Both Coach New and Coach Heidkamp view him as a leader, a tireless worker on the field and on the court, and a great teammate. They especially admire his ability to fight through tough injuries to be a team leader. He has been a member of the National Honor Society, has earned first honors each of his semesters at Benet.



Theresa Moen, St. Benedict Religion Award

The St. Benedict Outstanding Religion Student Award is presented annually to the senior who best exhibits the Benedictine value of excellence in religion coursework and who embraces St. Benedict’s call for balance and the willingness to “pray and work so that in everything God may be glorified”.

This year’s recipient is Theresa Moen. She maintained a 97 percent average over her four years of Religion coursework.  In addition to excelling in the classroom, she has had a positive impact on her peers throughout her years at Benet. 

Several individuals were asked to describe her in just a few words. This is a sampling of their remarks: “A great kid, positive, never negative, authentic, a superstar, and the best we have.”  She is a young woman who is "comfortable in her skin." And she has a gift for being fully present to whomever and whatever she is engaged with, whether it be singing the national anthem before a sporting event, performing on stage, serving as a student leader on Logos, or quite simply walking into 1st period Religion, everyday, with a genuine smile on her face ready to share her heart and mind with all those around her.

Elizabeth Sanchez, Brother Columban Trojan, OSB Outstanding Christian Service Award

A graduate of St. Procopius Academy, Brother Columban Trojan, O.S.B. has served as moderator of the Benet Academy Mothers Club since 1981. He has humbly empowered the Mothers Club presidents and its board to effective and productive leadership. This award is given to that senior who best models a cheerful and enthusiastic willingness to lend a helping hand, who is attentive to the needs of others, and who lives out the gospel directive to complete works of mercy on behalf of others.

This year's winner is Elizabeth Sanchez. Sanchez leads quietly but effectively.  As President of the National Honor Society, she has worked hard all year to organize new service projects (such as DuPage PADS), kept on top of all the ongoing activities being organized by other members of the Executive Board to make sure that nothing ever fell through the cracks, and many times also volunteered to coordinate service projects herself (including weekly tutoring at the ).  Her presence at NHS events has been constant, from hosting an ice cream social for members, to participating in the Breast Cancer Walk, selling Slop Day passes, decorating for Benet’s 125th  birthday, and even working backstage at the Cultural Assembly.  She models the example set by Br. Columban not only through her active participation, but also through her organized and efficient leadership at NHS meetings, perhaps most notably, through her constant effort to be fair and inclusive of all.



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