Good news


Several individuals in Community Consolidated School District 181 and Hinsdale High School District 86 have received awards from the Illinois Art Education Association.

Meg Cooper, executive director of the D181 Foundation, was named as an honoree in Distinguished Service to Art Education. Susan Tiemstra, recent District 181 retiree, was named a 2021 IAEA Educator of Distinction. Theresa McGee, Hinsdale Middle School art teacher, was the 2021 Presidential Award Recipient.

HMS was honored as a 2021 School of Distinction for its rigorous art, design and media education program. To earn the award, HMS evidenced practices that directly enacted the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, the Illinois Fine Arts and Media Standards and Social-Emotional Learning Priorities.

Laura Milas of Hinsdale Central High School was selected as the Distinguished Service to the IAEA award winner for 2021. The association annually recognizes art, design, and media educators. The awards and scholarship committee found the winners’ service and leadership to the field to be exemplary in every regard.


Several high school seniors who attend Hinsdale Central or who live in Hinsdale and attend a private school are among some 16,000 across the country who have been named semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The 21 Hinsdale Central students are Arnima Agrawal, Jackson Brown, Morgan Carlson, Amy Dong, Henry Flaming, Aishvarya Godla, Killian Hughes, Jui Khankari, Maximilian Lai, Nathaniel Lee, Sophia Lee, Nadir Muzaffar, Emann Prizada, Rishabh Ranganathan, Shivani Rao, Shiven Shah, Dmitry Shvydkoy, Isabella Terry, Rohan Tolani, Emily Wang and Grant Zhang.

Private school students Brandon Bousquette, who attends the University of Chicago Lab School, and John Coyner, who studies at St. Ignatius College Prep, were named semifinalists as well.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth almost $30 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants on the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which the students took when they were juniors.