Three Niles Township High School District 219 students were recognized by the Board of Education March 12 for their outstanding involvement in extracurricular activities.
Quintin Goltz, Niles Central and Niles North
Quintin Goltz, a freshman who attends both Niles Central and Niles North, was nominated by the Niles Central staff for his notable participation in extracurricular activities.
“Quintin has had a busy freshman year thus far,” said Niles Central Director Joe Bruzzino. “This past fall, Quintin participated in the Niles North football program, having regular playing time on the freshman football team. Quintin excelled so much at football that he actually saw time at the varsity level as well. (Pretty impressive for a freshman…)
“For winter, Quintin joined the freshman wrestling team, where he successfully participated and competed. In addition to both of these sports, Quintin currently participates in off-season workouts every Tuesday and Thursday morning. He also regularly attends the after-school workouts that are held at Niles North. Quintin intends on participating in Track and Field this spring, particularly in throwing activities such as shot-put and discus.
“Finally,” Bruzzino said, “Quintin has also volunteered his time and participated in a school-wide service outing to the Feed My Starving Children organization. There, he, along with several other D219 students, and students from neighboring districts, packaged over 1,000 meals for area families in need,to keep them from going hungry. There are several other productive activities that Quintin has participated in, but being his modest self, he asked we do not share them,” Bruzzino said with a smile.
Samantha Galanopoulos, Niles West
Niles West Principal Jason Ness introduced Samantha Galanopoulos by saying, “Much like the Kennedys in politics, the Mannings in football, or the Baldwin brothers in acting, the Galanopoulos name is synonymous with Niles West High School. For the past six years as building principal, I have watched Alex, Tommy, and Matt excel both inside and outside of the classroom. Tonight, I have the distinct privilege of honoring the fourth and final Galanopoulos child, Sam, as the recipient of the Outstanding Extracurricular Involvement Award winner from Niles West. In what must be hardwired in her DNA, Sam excels both in the classroom and in all extracurricular activities. Sam’s personal characteristics are outstanding. She is described by teachers and coaches as intelligent, hardworking and kind, and a great role model for all. Some of her extracurricular achievements include:
- Captain of the varsity girls basketball team
- Editor for the award-winning Niles West News
- Always first to mobilize Wolf Pack school spirit
- Leader to Feeder program for multiple years
- School Improvement initiatives
- VNN Athlete of the Month for Volleyball
- Country Financial Athlete of the Month for Basketball
- All-State and All-Conference Basketball
- CSL Athletic Leadership Conference Representative
- Bass fishing team
- Three-sport athlete for all four years
- 2nd All-State Team for Basketball
- CSL South Player of the Year for Basketball
- 2nd leading scorer in Niles West history, after WNBA star Jewell Loyd
- Full scholarship to play basketball at Loyola University
“I think this is the part where I just drop the mic,” Ness said. “Congratulations to Sam on this fine award. Congratulations also to Sam’s parents, Mike and Cindy, for all of their support of Niles West over the years. Sam, best of luck at Loyola, and be sure to tell Sister Jean I said hello! On behalf of Niles West, congratulations!”
Sarah Feroz, Niles North
According to Niles North Principal Jim Edwards, “Sarah comes from a family of six and has four siblings, one older brother who graduated from North last year, two younger brothers, and a sister who currently attends McCracken. Her family is from Pakistan, who came to the United States for opportunities. Her father is a salesman, and mom works in the home. After graduation from North, Sarah plans to study Accounting in the Honors Program at DePaul and in the future, looks forward to working for a non-profit that values social justice causes.
“In her spare time, Sarah finds her joy in extracurriculars. For example:
- She volunteers at All for the Love of Cats,
- Dance Marathon Executive Board
- DECA Co-President, four-year DECA member, three-year State qualifier and two-time National qualifier
- Winner of the National DECA Emerging Leader Award. In the words of her sponsor, Jean Attig, Sarah is “the face of the business”
- Muslim Student Association Board
- Member of Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR)
- WHO Club
- Student Government Blood Drive coordinator.
Student Government Sponsor Lizzie Shay said, “Sarah is organized, timely and an overall great leader. She demonstrated the ability to lead a group of students and really ensure everyone was contributing to the end result. Because of Sarah, we met our goal for both blood drives and saved many lives along the way!:
According to teacher and club sponsor Pankaj Sharma, “Sarah helped to create an Immigrant Rights Club in the early fall of 2016. The club is dedicated to supporting the many immigrants, refugees and their families and friends in our community. Sarah organized meetings and speakers. She created presentations and shared articles. She also designed and sold Immigrant Rights Club shirts that had the simple but powerful message: Immigration is Beautiful. Sarah took bold action to create an organization dedicated to supporting marginalized groups in our school.
“In addition,” Edwards said, “Sarah stands out among the more than 50 executives on our Dance Marathon Executive Board. I see firsthand her leadership in a group that helps to raise over $80,000 annually for different student selected charities. Sarah is universally respected by her peers and teachers because she is always willing to lend a hand and support others. Sarah definitely leads by example. She is very dedicated to social justice and community activism. Congratulations, Sarah!”