Graduates in Class of 2022: 394
Graduation ceremony time: Tuesday, May 18, Rosemont Theatre
Graduation Speakers: Jordy Pinero and Grace Wardisiani
Senior Class Council Leadership Team: Ivona Pranjic, Kayah Gregorczyk, Kassandra Ortiz
Illinois State Scholars: Adam Arabik, Kacper M. Bakun, Dale N. Buencillo, Julia C. Cerven, Hamza W. Elayan, Joshua G. Julian,
Sara Juszkiewicz, Ema Karajic, Arthur G. Kot, David M. Koziel, Jillianne Loren Legaspi, Diego F. Loveshe, Maua Madej, Danielle Milla Munoz, Veronika Z. Miskowiec, Armin Mrzljak, Deena A. Pasumarthi, Jordy C. Pinero, Arthur L. Pisanko, Kristen Reinhofer, Cyrill J. Reyes, Arviel Robles, Vanessa Stankiewicz, Wiktoria A. Wilk.
• The following Dual Credit Students earned Dean's List status with Triton College by earning over 12 college credits and maintaining a GPA of 3.50 to 3.74: Anna Ceron-Martinez, and Grace Wardisiani Additionally, Kamil Bak earned the President's List status by earning over 12 credits and maintain GPA above 3.75.
• Industrial Tech: Brandon Galanis was awarded the Gene Haas Scholarship for $3,300 to pursue a career in welding; Nathaniel Ciccione was awarded the Gene Haas Scholarship for $3,300 to pursue a career in machining.
• 10 seniors submitted art portfolios and were awarded $2.6 Million dollars in scholarships from various schools: Maggie Cabral, Mia DeLeon, Destiny Flores, Christopher Flores, Jayda Herrera, Kayla Morales, Arthur Pisanko, Cyril J. Reyes, Rosa Rosso, Arinna Sosa.
• Cyrill J. Reyes was in the top 20 scholarship award winners for the state through IHSAE (Illinois High School Art Exhibition) with $428,000 in awards
• "Wave," a world premiere play commissioned by Leyden, was selected for the Illinois High School Theater Festival
• In the team's inaugural year, eSports won the state competition in Fortnite
• Varsity Boys Gymnastics won the West Suburban Gold Division Championship
• Gus Tosterud, IHSA State Qualifier Wrestling: Gus Tosterud
• Leyden Transition Special Olympics Basketball Team earned 2nd place in the state championship
• Leyden BRIDGE Special Olympics Basketball Team won the state championship
• "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.," the summer theater production, was performed live in the West Leyden Auditorium July 2021
• "Wave," Teatro Leyden's world premiere, finally saw its stage debut after 3 long years of work in October of 2021 on the West Leyden Stage. This show was selected to be presented in both English and Spanish at IHSTF 2022.
• "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time," a play which addresses the challenges of autism, was performed in the West Leyden Auditorium in December 2021.
• The district musical "Little Shop of Horrors" packed the West Auditorium in March 2022.
• Also in March, "Jenny Kissed Me," directed by Senior Jimena Ramirez was the first full stage student directed production in over 10 years and the first performance on the East Leyden Auditorium in a very long time.
• "Alice in Wonderland ... Unscripted" was an unconventional, longform improv sketch based on the classic tale. This show sold out every performance in April.
Senior Class gift: New welcome signage in the main entrance is being donated on behalf of the Class of 2022.
What was new in 2021-22: This year saw several significant changes and updates at East Leyden that are worth noting. Initially, our long-awaited and absolutely beautiful addition, which opened right before the pandemic, could finally be used to its fullest potential. This includes an absolutely stunning cafeteria, student commons, natatorium, band and choir classrooms, a greenhouse, staff cafeteria, and more. The space continues to leave everyone in awe, and we are incredibly fortunate to have such a remarkable space to connect and learn. Along with our new spaces, we implemented a brand new schedule this year, including EAGLE Time, an advisory and support period where all students focus on three pillars; community, essential skills, and postsecondary planning. Four days per week, all students engage in either Advisory, supportive Seminars, or Independent Seminar. We are just getting started and looking forward to continuing this great work. In addition to our spaces and new schedule, this year saw two brand new co-curricular programs at Leyden; our brand new Water Polo teams and our inaugural Competitive eSports Gaming Team! Both have had amazing years, and we are proud of what they have accomplished already.
What challenges did the Class of 2022 face as they returned to in-person school full time, and how did they overcome them:
Like so many students and schools across the globe, everything our Seniors knew about school was disrupted on March 13, 2020. Fifteen months after that, the Class of 2022 had to return to the building, kNowing that nothing was 'normal' anymore; yet, without missing a beat, jumped right in. Our seniors had to re-imagine what it means to be a leader, what it means to stay engaged, to interact with peers and teachers, and what it means to be involved. From the way classes took place to how we navigated the lunchroom to balancing the continued concerns that many still faced, the Class of 2022 approached this year with adaptability and flexibility.
Often, we talked about approaching everyone around us as if they were the most concerned person we kNow. No matter your stance on masking, vaccines, or anything else, we can handle anything if we continue to treat everyone with kindness and respect. I am beyond proud to say that day in, and day out, our seniors took this seriously, and despite all of the challenges we faced, we stuck together.
Principal's reflections on the Class of 2022:
Leyden is a special place, and the Class of 2022 is incredibly special. While all students have gone through challenges beyond our imagination throughout the last two years, I am not sure any class has had to persevere more than our Seniors. And persevere they have. As sophomores just beginning to feel comfortable here at East Leyden, everything came to an abrupt halt. As juniors, the school was catapulted into a virtual world without warning. Then, as seniors, the Class of 2022, after losing so much, instantly became our de facto leaders at school. Not only did they do this successfully, however, but they did it with class and with grace.
Without missing a beat, our seniors took our core beliefs at East Leyden -- involvement matters, kindness matters, and you matter -- and ran with them. Whether in the classroom, on the field, on stage, in the gym, or the community, our Eagles made the most of every situation and are coming to the end of their high school experiences with passion and energy. That is just who our seniors are, and we couldn't be more proud of them.
Moving forward, we are not quite sure what to expect. However, there is one thing we do know. If we continue to lead with kindness, empathy, and relationships, we'll be OK. That's exactly what the Class of 2022 has done, and that's exactly why the East Leyden Class of 2022 is so special. Thank you, seniors.
-- Principal Dominic M. Manola