Student athletes at Lincoln-Way North High School paid a special visit to Dr. Julian Rogus School on Wednesday (Aug. 22) to welcome more than 300 kindergartners to their first day of school.
“How many of you have heard of Lincoln-Way North,” junior Erin Creedon asked one group of kindergartners.
As hands shot up in the air, Creedon explained that she and her classmates were visiting from North – home of the Phoenix -- and that they had a special gift for the kindergartners who will attend North one day.
“We want to make today special for you,” she added as her classmates began handing out black and gold T-shirts with the words “Rise Together” on one side and “Class of 2025” on the other.
“That’s the year you guys are going to graduate,” explained Lincoln-Way North senior Jackie Billie.
This was the second year Lincoln-Way North students handed out T-shirts to the future Phoenix.
“We want to celebrate the start of another school year and ensure that the Class of 2025 had a memorable experience,” said Lincoln-Way North Athletic Director Matthew Lyke.
“It is a unique situation to have one kindergarten center that will attend our school,” he added. “I feel it is important to connect with these students.”
Eight members of Lincoln-Way North’s Leadership Council accompanied Lyke, PPS Director Karen Murphy and Assistant Athletic Director Aimee Lonigro to the kindergarten center on Wednesday. They included juniors Julian Hylton, Morgan Parkinson and Erin Creedon as well as seniors Marquis Robertson, Amber Kieklak, Josh Handzik and Jackie Billie.
The student athletes were selected to serve on the Leadership Council after attending a summer leadership camp in Colorado where they were exposed to a series of team-building activities each day, such as paintball, horseback riding and whitewater rafting.
The goal was to equip each student athlete with leadership skills so that they could reach out to other teens and become better communicators and leaders.
Presenting future Lincoln-Way North students with a T-shirt was a duty they took on with pride and enthusiasm.
“I can remember when I was sitting in this room,” said Lincoln-Way North senior Josh Handzik. “I want (the Class of 2025) to be part of the Lincoln-Way tradition and enjoy the experience.”