Two Young Men from Hickory Hills Earn Prestigious Eagle Scout Awards

<strong>Two Young Men from Hickory Hills Earn Prestigious Eagle Scout Awards</strong>

On February 4, 2023, I had the honor of attending the Eagle Scout Award ceremony for Mike and Joe Szeszycki.   Mike and Joe grew up and still reside in Hickory Hills and after more than 10 years of dedicated scouting service, have achieved the highest award in scouting.    

Mike started his journey in Scouting with Troop 729 where he served as Librarian, Assistant Patrol Leader, Den Chief, and finally Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for two years. Along the way, he earned a total of 45 merit badges (13 Eagle-required merit badges and 32 electives), served in his four troop leadership positions for a total of 60 months, was an active member of the Order of the Arrow, went on four High Adventure trips, worked as a CIT at Owasippe, and spent many hours on service projects. Mike transferred to Troop 699 prior to beginning his own Eagle project, which was to build benches for use by the athletic department at Stagg High School. He also worked at Philmont Scout Ranch in the conservation department and will be returning there again this summer. 

Joe also started his journey with Troop 729 and served as their Scribe, Quartermaster, and Patrol Leader. When he transferred to Troop 699, he again served as a Patrol Leader, then as an Instructor, and, finally, as Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. Along the way, he earned a total of 31 merit badges which included 14 Eagle-required badges – they upped the Eagle requirement last year – and 17 electives. He served in his six troop leadership positions for a total of 72 months, went on four High Adventure trips, and he, too, spent countless hours on service projects. This included his own Eagle project in which he oversaw the updating of the landscaping in front of the Moraine Court Assisted Living Facility in Bridgeview.  

Mike and Joe join a select fraternity of Eagle Scouts, several of whom have gone on to become prominent leaders of our country: Gerald Ford, our 38th president; the U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and James Lovell; movie directors Steven Spielberg and Michael Moore; and Isabella Tunney of St. Paul, Minnesota, who is the first young woman to earn Eagle in 2020 and who also completed all 137 of Scouting’s merit badges. Historically, one in four children in America will become Scouts, but only 2% of them will make it to Eagle. It is also interesting to know that, of the leaders of this nation in business, religion and politics, 75% of them were involved in Scouting in some capacity. 

Congratulations again Mike and Joe!

News from North Palos School District 117

Facilities Improvement Plan 

Construction is expected to begin this spring on a roughly 45,000-square-foot addition and renovation plan for Conrady Junior High School. The project will feature 15 new classrooms and expansion of the cafeteria and Fine Arts Center. Construction is expected to take about 18 months. The project will also include doubling the current parking capacity.

Illinois State Board of Education Awards

The Illinois State Board of Education hosts a program each year where it recognizes outstanding teachers, administrators, support staff and community volunteers. It’s called “Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year,” and it acknowledges those who make an impact on their schools and communities. There are seven categories including: Teacher, Early Career Educator (less than 5 years), Administrator, Student Support Personnel, Educational Support Personnel, Community Volunteer and Team. For the 2021-2022 school year, District 117 won several awards of Meritorious Service. Palos Hills’ resident Shari Schmidt won for Community Volunteer; Oak Ridge teacher Jacque Clancy won for Teacher and the NPD117 Senior Leadership Team won for Team.  Congratulations to everyone! (PHOTO) From left: Jacqueline Clancy and Shari Schmidt.

Time for Pineapple

King Kong No Match for Bulldog

Have a great rest of the week!

Mayor Mike