Education

District 153 Special Olympians advance to state competition

The District 153 school board congratulated students of its Special Olympics basketball team and peer partners who competed in regional play at the Feb. 12 meeting. Several students advanced to state competition. (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)

District 153 has four students who will be competing in state Special Olympics competition after taking first place during the Region E basketball games.

Noah Hanzelin, Sierra Holly, Ross McManus and Randall Walters Jr. took first place honors and will move on to state competition March 8-10 at Illinois State University.

Additional winners were Brian Blach, second place; Tristan Clark, fourth place; Jessie Jursa, second place, and Alonzo Wilson, third place. Participants representing District 153 were Ronald Rogan, Angel Corona Ramirez and Copley Eisenberg.

Peer partners are students from all grade levels who volunteer to help other students who are preparing to compete in the Special Olympics. The board recognized Hunter Horcher, Rowan Kolb and Gavin Jursa for their efforts as peer partners. 

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“Great job to all of you,” said District 153 School Board President Shelly Marks at the Feb. 12 meeting. “Not only do you go to Special Olympics and show off great athletic skills and your peer helpers are amazing, but you also go off and show your amazing pride in our community and you represent us so well. And we appreciate that so much.”

Teachers working with the Special Olympics team are Sandra Pons, Paula Bulliner and Alice Hoekstra at James Hart School, and Darlene Gallagher, Melvina Chamberlain, Romell Harris, and Laurie Valiska at Churchill School.

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