Winnetka, Community

News Briefs: Township board funds Oakton scholarship; Wilmette gymnast nabs state title; Park district earns financial-planning honor

The New Trier Township Board of Trustees has gifted $20,000 to Oakton Education Foundation in support of scholarships for Oakton Community College students.

According to a press release, the funds will be available to Oakton students from New Trier Township starting next school year. Eligible students must carry at least a 2.75 GPA and be in need of financial aid to attend college.

New Trier area students reportedly make up 10.9 percent of the Oakton enrollment.

“Oakton is tremendously grateful to Supervisor (Gail) Eisenberg and her colleagues at the New Trier Township Board of Trustees for approving a gift that will change the lives of residents in their community by removing financial barriers and enabling students to reach their educational goals at Oakton,” said Katherine Sawyer, Oakton’s chief advancement officer and educational foundation executive director, in a the release.

Oakton begins registration for the fall semester on Thursday, April 7. Summer session registration is already open. To apply for the scholarship, students must be accepted to Oakton.

“The community college system was developed in this country in recognition of the importance higher education can have on economic mobility and the barriers to entry to traditional four-year institutions,” Eisenberg said in the release. “Research has demonstrated that community colleges provide a significant earnings increase to those who would otherwise not have attended college. The Board hopes to offer a transformative experience by launching this scholarship and anticipates renewing it again next year.”

Alexia Smith, of Wilmette, at the top of the podium at the youth rhythmic gymnastics state competition.

Wilmette fifth-grader Alexia Smith earned the title of Level 6 all-around champion at the Illinois Rhythmic Gymnastics state championships on March 12-13 in Homer Glen.

Smith, a student at Highcrest Middle School, competed in the 2010 Jr. A division and compiled 38.8 points in the four events (floor routine, rope, hoop and ribbon). She also took home first place in the hoop and ribbon competitions.

Smith is part of the North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center in Deerfield.

“I had so much fun and all the practice paid off,” Smith said in a statement sent to The Record. “My teammates performed awesome and we really support each other and that makes it fun! We have super great coaches at Nort ShoreRhythmic — Tonya and Natasha rock and keep us focused, and so does my mom, she’s the best.”

The Kenilworth Park District was recently recognized by an international agency for its 2020 financial reporting.

A certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting was presented to the district by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

According to the association, the report demonstrated “a constructive spirit of full disclosure to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.”

It was the park district’s first time earning the award, according to Johnathan Kiwala, the district’s executive director.


This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

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