AO Finalists vie for coveted title as contest comes to a close

Desmond McDonald, staff writer

The 2016 Mr. and Miss Alpha Omega Finalists were announced during 1st semester of this school year. To those who don’t know, Mr. and Miss Alpha Omega is an event that names the best all-around senior boy and girl. The Miss Omega finalists are: Alexis Smith, Ashley De Lay, Cecilia Heider, Cha’myia Cooper, Dora Richardson, Faustina Gonzalez, Gabriela Calderon, Jacquelyn Krolikowski, Kassandra Caceres, Lauren Hawthorne, Samantha Gal, and Taylor Bailey. The Mr. Omega finalists are: Christopher Beltran, Clayton Pelzer, Eric Small, Jonathan Boeringa, Justin Alberico, Miguel Gutierrez, Noah Dulski, RaShawn Martell Wallace, Ryan Gersch, Scott Lyman, and Steven Tollios.

The students are selected based on their commitment to the community, leadership skills, confidence, maturity, poise, and their involvement in extra-curricular activities. To be a finalist, the students need to at least have a GPA of 3.5 for eight consecutive semesters. It is mandatory for the students to participate in the Joliet West Ambassador program, which is what the students use to showcase their leadership throughout the community. They have to complete an interview on April 6th with a panel of judges. Mrs. Arlene Albert, school board member and no stranger to the judging panel for this contest shared, “I am looking forward to meeting these amazing candidates.” The winners will be announced during Senior Awards Night and will ultimately sspeak at graduation on May 27th. Being selected as a finalist for arguably the most prominent, prestigious accomplishment one can receive in high school has to mean a lot to a hard working student like any of the ones mentioned earlier. Mrs. Galloy, a sponsor, said, “All of our candidates should be proud of their hard work. They are role models for the entire Joliet West Community. Their motivation and academic achievement is something to be celebrated.”

These seniors can look forward to ending their high school careers with a bang. Even for the candidates who don’t win, to be named as one of the top students among the class of 2016 has got to be something they take pride in and should remember forever.

Congratulations to all!