Bloomingdale CHARACTER COUNTS!® Coalition

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Priyanka Achanta (2016), Alyza Adajar (2021), Dylan Alejandro (2013), Nicholas Alejandro (2010), Benjamin Aranda (2019), Veronica Archacki (2019), Luis Arias (2012), Sarah Battersby (2011), Hailey Benoit  (2017), Maddie Buck (2017), Ava Buttacavoli (2011), Emanuel Carrerra (2010), Melina Colucci (2014), Nicole Cozzi (2016), Rachel Daciolas (2017), Michael D'Agostini (2009), Ryan Donnelly (2012), Madeleine Fasana (2012), Rosemary Florido (2010), Sam Galante (2015), Kate Glass (2019), Madison Gordon (2015), Leah Hanke (2011), Kassidy Harper (2014), Jennifer Hauser (2013), Nelly Hernandez (2010), Natalie Kuchler (2014), Sydney Lavallie (2016), Jacob Lauing  (2013),  Jaden Mahoney (2017), Anthony Mannella (2014), Magdalena Marin (2021), Hannah Marotta (2019), Adrianna Mazzeo (2019), Evelyn Mendez (2016), Robert Metaxatos (2012), Jayley Mette (2019), Olivia Miceli (2011),  Jordyn Miles (2015), Bianca Olson  (2013),  Sophia Pannarale (2021), Sophia Piemonte (2017), Jeremy Pilz (2009), Fatima Querishi (2021), Megan Rosenberg (2009), Isaiah Romanski (2015), Julia Ryan (2016), Isabella Sansone (2012), Catherine Serio (2009), Brian Sheehan (2019), Kimberly Sickler (2014), Hannah Solarz (2010), Josh Solarz (2011), Makayla Testolin (2017), Joshua Thomas (2021), Olivia Turman (2012, 2015)), Maritza Vasquez (2015), Michele Vavalle (2011), Alec Verven  (2013), Pawel Wilisowski (2009), Toni Yonkee (2014), Jeremy Zakic (2016), Kelly Zehnder (2013)       

List doesn’t include those from 2008 and earlier (see photo descriptions below).

Youth Character Awards

Every fall the Bloomingdale CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition presents the American Youth Character Award Winners nominated by each of their schools. 

2022 American Youth Character Awards

Congratulations to the 2022 American Youth Character Award Recipients, pictured with their nominating officials (l to r): Village Trustee Frank Bucaro, Nora Spiewak (Cody Battaglia, Principal of Winnebago Elementary), Hriddhima (Tiya) Tenneti (Principal Stefan Larsson, Westfield Middle), Quinn Carlson (Principal Stacy Johnston, Erickson Elementary), Neo Camara (Asst. Principal, Brian Sheehan, St. Isidore School), Alisha Kshatriya, (Sandy Aichele, Head Coach Bloomingdale Beamers) and Mackenzie Hubbers (Principal Patrick Haugens, DuJardin)

This year's theme was the Pillar of Caring. Over 500 people were in attendance at the 4 October Celebration Night.

2021 American Youth Character Awards


                                Fatima Querishi, DuJardin                                                      Joshua Thomas, Erickson



            Alyza Adajar, St. Isidore                                Sophia Pannarale, Westfield                          Magdalena Marin, Winnebago           

Pictured above: L to R, Fatima Querishi (DuJardin), Joshua Thomas (Erickson), Sophia Pannarale (Westfield), Magdalena Marin (Winnebago), Alyza Adajar (St. Isidore)

2020 American Youth Character Awards:  Pictures to be found


2019 American Youth Character Awards

2019 American Youth Character Award Recipients and their nominating officials (left to right): Kate Glass (Principal Patrick Haugens, Erickson), Benjamin Aranda (Principal Stefan Larsson, Westfield Middle), Hannah Marotta (Coach Dawn Gaines, Bloomingdale Beamers), Adrianna Mazzeo (Asst. Principal, Brian Sheehan, St. Isidore School), Hayley Mette, (Teacher, Matt Hrtanek, Winnebago), and Veronica Archacki (Principal Mark Dwyer, DuJardin).

Theme of 2019 Celebration night (with a record 600+ attendees) was Responsibility.  

2018 American Youth Character Awards

2018 American Youth Character Award Winners with their nominating officials, left to right: Joseph Mangold (Coach Ralph Cardone, Bloomingdale Lightning), Cameron Klinetobe (Principal Mark Dwyer, DuJardin), Village Trustee, Frank Bucaro, Dali Paladino (Principal Cyndi Collins, St. Isidore), Michael Gervasio (Principal Patrick Haugens, Erickson), Julia Kozlowski (Asst. Principal Nicole Gabany, Westfield Middle), and Sarah Favela ( Principal Shari Lazor,Winnebago). 

The Bloomingdale CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition's annual Celebration Night was held on Tuesday, October 2 in Old Town Park. This year's theme was the Pillar of Fairness. The evening kicked-off with the Presentation of Colors conducted by the Bloomingdale VFW Post 7539, followed by the West Westfield Middle School Chorus and Band's performance of “My America”. Village Trustee Frank Bucaro read the Joint Proclamation of all of the Coalition members proclaiming CHARACTER COUNTS! Day in the Village of Bloomingdale.

The evening included the presentation of the 2018 American Youth Character Awards, (award recipients are pictured above with their respective school official).  The audience was entertained by student performances from Erickson, DuJardin, Winnebago, Westfield Middle, and St. Isidore schools.

2017 American Youth Character Awards

Photo:  Village Trustee Frank Bucaro with the AYCA recipients and their nominating officials, front row left to right: Hailey Benoit (Denise Miranda, Chris Helms, Bloomingdale Bears Cheerleading),  Jaden Mahoney (Principal Stefan Larsson, Westfield Middle), Maddie Buck (Principal Patrick Haugens, Erickson), Makayla Testolin (Principal Cyndi Collins, St. Isidore), Sophia Piemonte (Principal Mark Dwyer, DuJardin), and Rachel Daciolas (Principal Jon Pokora, Winnebago).

2016 American Youth Character Awards

Pictured (left to right) with Mayor Franco, Village Trustee Michael Hovde Jr. and their nominating officials at the 2016 American Youth Character Award Winners:  Jeremy Zakic (Erickson), Nicole Cozzi (Westfield), Sydney LaVallie (BYBA), Priyanka Achanta (DuJardin), Julia Ryan (St. Isidore), and Evelyn Mendez (Winnebago).

2015 American Youth Character Awards

Front Row (l to r) Sam Galante (Bloomingdale Barracudas), Maritza Vasquez (Winnebago), Jordyn Miles (Erickson), Isaiah Romanski (DuJardin), Olivia Turman (Westfield), and Madison Gordon (St. Isidore).

2014 American Youth Character Awards

The 2014 winners are pictured above (left to right): Anthony Mannella (Erickson), Kassidy Harper (Winnebago), Toni Yonkee (DuJardin), Melina Colucci (Westfield), Kimberly Sickler (Bloomingdale Baseball Softball Association) and Natalie Kuchler (St. Isidore), along with Principal Mark Dwyer, Village Trustee Michael Hovde Jr and their nominating school officials in the back row.

2013 American Youth Character Awards


(Left to right) Nancy Butler (CC!Coalition Chair), Alec Verven (Westfield), Jennifer Hauser (St Isidore), Jacob Lauing (DuJardin), Kelly Zehnder (Bloomingdale Park District), Bianca Olson (Erickson), not pictured Dylan Alejandro (Winnebago) see Dylan's pictured below

Each year, the Bloomingdale CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition honors six young people who are nominated by their teachers and/or coach to receive a CHARACTER COUNTS! Youth Character Award for modeling one or more of the six pillars of CHARACTER COUNTS! - Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.

Jacob Lauing (DuJardin School), is a very caring young man who goes out of his way to help others. He recently organized and carried out an all-school, week-long juice box collection to benefit PADS of DuPage County. He is a great role model.

Kelly Zehnder (Bloomingdale Park District), has been a gymnast for the Park's Competitive Team since 2009. In the past four years she has exhibited strong leadership, and good sportsmanship as a team captain, as well as volunteering to take care of the little tumblers at their meets.

Dylan Alejandro (Winnebago School), is very responsible and always helps others, showing an extremely positive attitude. Last year, as a fourth grader on safety patrol, he was asked to take on more responsible roles, which he did with flying colors. He exemplifies several pillars of character. (Dylan is pictured right with Principal Jon Pokora.)

Bianca Olson (Erickson School), is a very responsible 5th grade student in her own studies, as well as respectful and helpful toward her fellow classmates. She is also exemplifies caring and citizenship as an active member of the school's service clubs, Character Counts! Club and Student Council.

Jennifer Hauser (St Isidore School), models the six pillars of character on a daily basis. She consistently exemplifies leadership. The eighth grader is always ready to step up to assist an adult or fellow classmate whenever someone needs help.

Alec Verven (Westfield Middle School), is a strong leader in the classroom. He always shows great respect toward both adults and his peers. He is considerate and helpful whenever someone is in need. The eighth grader has a strong work ethic and is a good role model.

Congratulations to these young people on their recognition.

2012 American Youth Character Awards

Pictured above with Mayor Iden and their nominating school officials, from left to right: Luis Arias (Winnebago), Olivia Turman (Erickson), Robert Metaxatos (Westfield), Isabella Sansone (St. Isidore), Madeleine Fasana (Bloomindale Soccer), and Ryan Donnelly (Dujardin)

2011 American Youth Character Awards

The 2011 American Youth Character Award Winners; pictured above with Mayor Iden and their nominating school officials are as follows, from left to right: Leah Hanke (Erickson), Michele Vavalle (Bloomingdale Athletic Club), Olivia Miceli (DuJardin), Ava Buttacavoli (Winnebago), Sarah Battersby (St. Isidore), and Josh Solarz (Westfield).

2010 American Youth Character Awards

The 2010 American Youth Character Award Winners; pictured above with Mayor Iden and their nominating school officials are as follows, from left to right: Hannah Solarz (Erickson), Rosemary Florido (St. Isidore), Emanuel Carrerra (DuJardin), Nelly Hernandez (Westfield Middle School), and not pictured Nicholas Alejandro (Winnebago). 

2009 American Youth Character Awards

Front Row: Pawel Wilisowski (Winnebago), Michael D'Agostini (Erickson), Jeremy Pilz (DuJardin), Megan Rosenberg (Westfield), Catherine Serio (St. Isidore).  Back Row: Erin O'Connor (Miss Illinois), Mayor Bob Iden and Sergeant Randy Sater.

2008 American Youth Character Awards

2005 American Youth Character Awards

2004 American Youth Character Awards

2002 American Youth Character Awards

2000 American Youth Character Awards