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Indian Prairie seeks inspirational alumni

Waubonsie Valley High School graduate Parvesh Cheena continues to hone his craft as a Hollywood actor, and will soon be seen on an NBC comedy called "Outsourced," set to air in the fall. Photo courtesy of Parvesh Cheena.
Los Angeles Sol forward Brittany Bock (11) blocks out St Louis Athletica Elise Weber (12) during a WPS match at Hermann Stadium,  in St. Louis, MO, April 25 2009. The match ended in a 0-0 tie. Must credit Credit: Scott Rovak/Saint Louis Athletica
Danielle Panabaker, a cast member in "Piranha 3DD," poses at the premiere of the film on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
donnell collins/staff photographer Indian Prairie alumni, Paul Konrad, now a WGN weatherman, came back home Monday to speak to junior students at Still Middle School. Konrad's presentation connected the seventh grade curriculum currently covering weather and climate in their geography classes. 111703
STEVE ROSENBERG/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Still Middle School teacher Cynthia Bell gives instructions to her eighth grade math class Thursday afternoon. Bell was awarded with the Golden Apple award for excellence in teaching. She was one of 10 teachers in the state to receive the honor. 03/07/02

Facts

Distinguished alumni

Waubonsie Valley

Dawn Marie Schaible – manager of the Systems Engineering Office for the NASA Engineering and Safety Center at the Langley Research Center.

Dr. Mark Pankuch - director of medical physics and dosimetry

Cynthia (Curry) Bell - won a Golden Apple award for excellence in teaching

Parvesh Cheena (1997) - actor currently with reoccurring character, Jerry, on “Sean Saves the World”

Paul Konrad - weathercaster/report with “WGN-TV Morning News” team. He has won seven Emmy Awards.

Neuqua Valley

Brittany Bock – professional soccer player with the Sky Blue FC in the National Women’s Soccer League

Babatunde Oshinowo – former NLF defensive tackle ; founded a web hosting and design solution company

Danielle Panabaker - actress “Yours, Mine, and Ours,” “Sky High”, “Friday the 13th” and “Mr. Brooks”

Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton - retired WNBA player

Josh Johnson – jazz musician and one of seven musicians selected for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance.

When it comes to famous Indian Prairie District 204 alumni, Olympic gold medalist/figure skater Evan Lysacek (Neuqua Valley ’03) and Cubs pitcher Michael Bowden (Waubonsie Valley ’05) often come to mind.

But Indian Prairie Education Foundation executive director Susan Rasmus knows they are just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to alumni who’ve excelled after graduation.

Rasmus is looking to recognize the accomplishments and inspirational stories of Indian Prairie graduates as part of the foundation’s 25th Anniversary Celebration on March 21.

“We are looking for graduates who exemplify the mission of District 204 – to inspire all students to reach their greatest potential. We’d like to celebrate those who are well on their way to doing exactly that,” Rasmus said.

“Our goal is to share those stories, both past and present, as part of our 25th Anniversary Celebration,” Rasmus said. “We know we can never even begin to tell all the great stories that are out there, but we’d like to shine the spotlight on a few. They are great examples of our current students of what’s possible.”

Not only are the stories inspirational to the community, but they are a great way to encourage students and show them what can be done.

Nominations are accepted by filling out the form at www.surveymonkey.com/s/204WhereAreTheyNow. The deadline to submit names is Jan. 10.

“We’ve already received some incredible nominations, alumni who have excelled in their chosen fields of study, athletics or the arts, as well as made incredible contributions back to society. Those are some of the stories that touch me the most, graduates from 204 who are now finding ways to give back and make a positive impact on so many lives around the world,” Rasmus said.

The 25th Anniversary Celebration is planned March 21 in Wentz Hall of North Central College in Naperville. In addition to spotlighting the District 204 success stories, the evening will feature special performances from the nationally acclaimed music programs from Metea, Neuqua and Waubonsie Valley high Schools. The Indian Prairie Educational Foundation also will have the chance to show what it does for the Indian Prairie community that night.

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Facts

Distinguished alumni

Waubonsie Valley

Dawn Marie Schaible – manager of the Systems Engineering Office for the NASA Engineering and Safety Center at the Langley Research Center.

Dr. Mark Pankuch - director of medical physics and dosimetry

Cynthia (Curry) Bell - won a Golden Apple award for excellence in teaching

Parvesh Cheena (1997) - actor currently with reoccurring character, Jerry, on “Sean Saves the World”

Paul Konrad - weathercaster/report with “WGN-TV Morning News” team. He has won seven Emmy Awards.

Neuqua Valley

Brittany Bock – professional soccer player with the Sky Blue FC in the National Women’s Soccer League

Babatunde Oshinowo – former NLF defensive tackle ; founded a web hosting and design solution company

Danielle Panabaker - actress “Yours, Mine, and Ours,” “Sky High”, “Friday the 13th” and “Mr. Brooks”

Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton - retired WNBA player

Josh Johnson – jazz musician and one of seven musicians selected for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance.

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