JWHS Announces Mr. & Miss Alpha Omega 2015


Back Row (L to R): Kyle Kopchak, Natalie Mander, Haylie Clement, Abasi Kelley; Front Row: Alex Volante, Stephanie Lee

Joliet West High School seniors Alex Volante and Stephanie Lee received the prestigious title of 2015 Mr. and Miss Alpha Omega at Senior Awards on May 6.

The Mr. and Miss Alpha Omega contest is an annual event sponsored by the West yearbook that names the best all-around senior boy and girl. This is an honored and long-standing tradition of JTHS history.  The top ten boys and top ten girls were chosen by an in-depth process.  A list is compiled that names the top 50 students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. This list is sent to teachers who evaluate the students based on leadership, community service, poise, confidence, and interactions with staff and peers.

The selected students are then required participate in the Joliet West Ambassador program, complete an extensive resume detailing activities, leadership positions, and volunteer service. The resumes are sent to a panel of judges who represent the Joliet community. The judges then interview the top ten students and award points based on leadership, poise, maturity and commitment to Joliet West and the community. The winners are determined solely on the resume and interview.

The top scoring female and male candidate are then given the title of Mr. and Miss Alpha Omega, along with the honor of being the graduation speakers.

“This was quite an impressive group of finalists,” said JWHS sponsor Jennifer Galloy.  “The newly added student ambassador experience truly highlighted the leadership and school pride these candidates possess and became the determining factor as to who would be the standout; however, there are no losers among a group of this caliber.” Galloy and fellow English teacher Terra Meyer ran the contest, which began in early October as opposed to starting second semester due to the implementation of the student ambassador program. “This new component, recommended by JTHS Board Vice President, Arlene Albert, allowed the finalists to demonstrate their leadership in various ways over the course of the school year,” said Meyer.

Volante has persevered through many challenges as he took on a multitude of Honors and AP courses and demanding activites while maintaining a high academic standard.  Volante is a Top 25 Student, Illinois State Scholar, and ACT Pacesetter. He has a 4.6 GPA and scored a 33 on his ACT. Volante is an active member in the Joliet West Band and Orchestra programs. He is a member of five ensembles while playing three instruments. He was Bands Treasurer and Symphony Orchestra Wind Leader.

His community service includes participating in the Joliet West annual Fun Fair, serving as a tutor for AP students during first period, and assisting in fundraising events for groups such as Mu Alpha Theta and No- Name club. In the community, he has volunteered at Troy Middle School, 5k events, and performing with the JWHS Pep Band at local middle schools.

“I am proud to be an engaged student at Joliet West, and most importantly, I value the diverse extracurricular activities in which I am fortunate to participate,” said Volante. He plans to attend the University of Illinois in preparation for law school.

Lee strives for excellence in education and community outreach. She has taken eight Honors classes and eleven AP and Dual Credit courses. Lee is an ACT Pacesetter, AP Scholar, and Illinois Student Assistance Commission State Scholar. Along with advanced academic courses, Lee participates in JROTC, Mu Alpha Theta as Logistics Officer, the Tigers Read program, and National Honors Society. She is most proud of her experience as a JROTC Battalion Commander, leading 342 cadets in the Tiger Battalion.

Lee has logged a total of 110 community service hours. She was a JTHS Strategic Plan Action Team Member, in which she is responsible for helping to create an action plan regarding the use of data to personalize education. She has volunteered her time at the Thanks Jordan Vegan Café, Joliet Park District “Kids N’ Nature” program, and helped plan the 2013 Tiger 5k event.

A member of the Academy of Business Management and Information Systems, Lee has been accepted to the University of Wisconsin and will study for a degree in Actuarial Science.

1st place runners-up were Kyle Kopchak and Natalie Mander, 2nd Place runners-up were Abasi Kelley and Haylie Clement.

Other Mr. Alpha Omega finalists include Youija Wang, Daniel Mulligan, Abasi Kelley, Kyle Kopchak, Alex Graff, Parker Budzinski, Steven Widlowski, and Mitch Dolak.

Other Miss Alpha Omega finalists include Emily Molo, Lauren McKay, Brittany Schutter, Natalie Mander, Allison Rodawold, Haylie Clement, Margaret Spesia, Madison Schlegel, and Lydia Pelzer.