Ryan Bates and Avery Kittl Named 2023 Mr. and Ms. Alpha Omega


Bates and Kittl, named the Class of 2023 Mr. and Ms. Alpha Omega. Photo Courtesy of VIP.

press release

Joliet West High School is proud to announce that Ryan Bates and Avery Kittl were named 2023 Mr. and Ms. Alpha Omega at Senior Awards on May 10.  Sponsored by the yearbook, the annual Mr. and Miss Alpha Omega contest is an honored and long-standing JTHS tradition that recognizes the best all-around Joliet West senior boy and girl. Each winner will receive a $500 scholarship and will speak at the graduation ceremony.  First runners up receive $250 and second runners up receive $125.

The selection process begins by creating a list of seniors who have achieved over seven straight semesters, a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above. Next, school administrators select the finalists from the list using the criteria of poise, personality, activities, and community service. Finally, a panel of community members interviews the finalists.  Ms. Alpha Omega first runner up is Isabella Gourley and Mckenna Anderson is the second runner up.  Finalists are Elizabeth Ferak, Samantha Hebrard Floes, Vanessa Gal, Lesly Hernandez, Abigail McCune, Abby Price, and Isabella Simoncelli.  Mr. Alpha Omega first runner up is Jacob Abbott and Alejandro Montes is the second runner up.  Finalists are Regis Appiah, Patrick Dowling, Savion Long, Xavier Long, Derrick Neal, Salvador Soto, and Christian Sticklen.

Ryan Bates, 2023 Mr. Alpha Omega, is a member of Key Club, Class Committee, and the Rho Kappa, Mu Alpha Theta, SNHS, and NHS Honors Societies.  As a member of the Swim Team, Ryan was a varsity athlete for 4 years, Co-captain junior year, and Captain senior year. He says Coaches Cameron Barnish and Nick Koenig helped him to achieve 4-time IHSA qualifying swims, 4-time sectional champion, and the pool record in the 100 Free at Lincoln Way East. Ryan currently holds the school records for the 100-yard free, 200-yard free, 500-yard free and 400-yard free relay. He has dedicated over 115 hours of service at a nursing home by creating music playlists and developing QR codes for the staff to utilize. He notes that individuals with Alzheimer’s often struggle with recognizing their family members but can sing along with songs from their younger years, word for word. Whether it is for a nurse who needs to calm a resident down, a family member who gets a glimpse of a resident’s true self again, or even the resident who just finds the music enjoyable and likes to sing along, Ryan fully believes music is beneficial. Ryan will pursue a degree at Saint Louis University where he has been accepted into the Medical Scholars Program and has received a Presidential Scholarship.  He plans to triple major in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Medical Sciences, while delving into Music Therapy, and participating as a member of the Men’s Swim and Dive Teams.  Ryan says, “Being named Mr. Alpha Omega is an amazing accomplishment that I would not have received without the support of my parents, coaches, and friends. Their kindness has inspired me to be kind myself, and in doing so shaped me into the person I am today.”

Avery Kittl, 2023 Ms. Alpha Omega, has dedicated over 250 hours of community service during high school. Avery served as Co-President of the Health and Human Services Academy Roundtable, Secretary of Rho Kappa, leader of the Chick-Fil-A Leadership Academy, and President of HOSA. She is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Key Club, National Honor Society, the Science National Honor Society, Student Ambassador Union, Winner’s Club, 1% Club, and Junior and Senior Class Committees. She participated in Women’s Soccer, Track and Field, and Cross Country where she served as Captain of JV Soccer and Captain of the Cross-Country team for two years.  She thanks Ms. Annie Monninger for teaching her the importance of self-care and kindness and dedicates much of her success to Mr. Awais Arain, the Athletic Trainer at Joliet West. Through his guidance, Avery discovered her passion for helping others.  Finally, she is honored to have been coached and mentored by Coach Renee Batsch-Haaker and Coach Patrick Haaker. She notes that her coaches believed in her when she did not believe in herself, teaching her leadership, confidence, and resilience. Avery notes that Ms. Alpha Omega is the pinnacle of achievement, and she hopes her actions will inspire fellow graduates to try new things and never fear failure. She says, “Without the failures we endure, no success can be possible.” Avery will attend Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, where she will major in Kinesiology and minor in coaching. She looks forward to joining the Loras Cross Country and Track and Field teams.

All candidates are congratulated for their hard work and are excellent role models for the entire Joliet West community. Their individual academic achievements and motivation toward success is something to be celebrated.  Congratulations, finalists and winners!