District 214 Recognizes Richard Calisch Arts Award Recipient And Finalists

The High School District 214 Board of Education recently recognized several students for their achievements in fine and performing arts.


Each year, the Richard Calisch Arts Unlimited Award is presented to one District 214 senior who best exemplifies creative excellence in the arts. Calisch was a dedicated teacher in District 214. This award honors his spirited commitment to and support of the fine and performing arts program.

The 2015-2016 Richard W. Calisch Arts Unlimited Award recipient is Elk Grove High School senior Kathryn Riopel.

Kathryn's level of participation in fine arts activities at Elk Grove is unmatched, from her involvement in the fall play and spring musical as a freshman to her instrumental roles in band, choir, speech and orchesis over the years. Kathryn has represented Elk Grove and the District at local and state events and competitions, including as an ILMEA All-State Choir Member. Last year, when one of the lead actresses of Elk Grove's spring musical became ill an hour before curtain call, Kathryn eagerly filled in, delivering a flawless performance without a script in hand.

Other nominated seniors were:


Prospect's Kit Fitzgerald is an active member of the school's choir, speech, writing, dance and theater programs. Kit has a natural talent that allows her to connect with characters and move an audience. This year's state champion in Prose, Kit has qualified for the National Speech Tournament for the fourth consecutive year.


Rolling Meadows' Wesley Carroll is a well-rounded musician who has earned first chair, featured soloist and sectional leader roles. Wes' leadership, knowledge of music theory and creative improvisation has made him a standout across the District. A member of the District 214 Honors Orchestra, Wes held Principal Trumpet chair this past year and helped shape the most balanced, blended and musical brass section in years.


Hersey's Morgan Buckley excels at all the activities she participates in, from musicals to main stage productions and improv shows. A four-year member of choir and a member of the ILMEA All-State Choir, Morgan dedicates her time to spread the joy of music to Hersey's CLS students and ensuring others grow from the fine arts experience.


Wheeling's Maggie Scanlan strives to convey messages about society through her artwork and writing. A four-year member of tech crew, orchestra and orchesis, Maggie's poetry, stories and artwork have been printed in the school's literary magazine, Circus.


Buffalo Grove's Kasia Pilat has been a visionary leader, helping implement unique shows for the school's One Grove Gallery and using her artistic talents to create a fine arts logo for the school. A member of Orchesis, Kasia assists in running the Orchesis dance clinic for area elementary and middle students. She has participated in several art shows and received Honorable Mention in a national logo competition for the Ravinia Music Park.

The Richard Calisch Arts Award recipient and nominees were honored at the Board of Education meeting on May 26.

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