Joliet Central High School Announces 2016-2017 Mr. and Ms. J
April 27, 2017 03:14 PM
Joliet Central High School seniors Benjamin Hallihan and Vanessa Flores have been named Mr. and Ms. J for the 2016-2017 school year. Mr. and Ms. J, the tradition of selecting two high school seniors who best represent the ideal students of Joliet Central, began in 1958.
The selection of Mr. and Ms. J starts with seniors who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above. The next step in the selection process is the faculty selection of 10 Mr. J finalists and 10 Ms. J finalists from the list using the criteria of appearance and poise, personality, activities, and community service. Once the finalists have been selected, they are interviewed by a panel of teachers and community members who judge the students based upon set criteria.
However, prior to the interview and throughout the year, the finalists serve as ambassadors to the school and community. They have spoken with neighborhood organizations, religious communities, and service clubs and tutored at Mt. Carmel Church on Friday nights. “All of our finalists have lived up to the title of ‘Student Ambassador’ and represented Joliet Central and the District without hesitation and with great pride,” said JTHS Community Relations Director Kristine Schlismann.
This year’s finalists all have many talents and accomplishments. As a group, they had accumulated a total of 634 A’s, averaging 31.7 per student over their four years in high school. They all accumulated 140 AP courses, which averaged to 7 AP courses per student. The average ACT score was 26 and the average GPA was 4.10. Furthermore, the group completed a total of 2,589 community service hours, with an average of 129 community service hours per student. Of course, transcripts only tell part of the story. Most importantly, all the finalists showed great character that will take them far in life.
Mr. J, Benjamin Hallihan, is active whether it comes to clubs, sports, activities or community service. While at Central, he has been involved in Key Club, Math Team, Cross Country, basketball, and track. He is a JTHS Student Ambassador and Math Tutor at Mount Carmel Church. Ben has been inducted into National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. He is an Illinois State Scholar, a National Merit Commended Scholar, an AP Scholar with Distinction, Adam Award recipient, Junior Class Honor Guide, and ACT Pacesetter. He also participated in the Joliet Rotary Youth Leadership Conference. He has taken 13 Advanced Placement courses. Ben has been awarded the University of Alabama Presidential Scholarship, Physics Scholarship, and Honors Fellowship. He will attend the University of Alabama where he will pursue a degree in Physics and has been accepted into the Honors College and the Randall Research Scholars Program.
Ms. J, Vanessa Flores, balances her 4.47 cumulative weighted GPA with a handful of leadership roles and outreach programs. In her time at Central, she has been a member of the JTHS Orchestra, the Speech Team, and JROTC, where she is a Battalion Leader. She is also a member of the JROTC Academic Bowl Team, who were National Finalists. Vanessa has been inducted into the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. She is an Illinois State Scholar, an Adam Award recipient, an AP Scholar with Honor, a Questbridge National College Prep Scholar, Sons of the American Revolution outstanding Cadet state runner up, Pritzker Citizen Soldier Award winner, and Rotary Club Student of the Month. Vanessa has taken ten AP courses. She is the recipient of the Southeastern University Presidential and Honor Scholarship, and the National Fine Arts Festival Scholarship. Vanessa will attend Southeastern University where she will major in Children’s and Family Ministry.
“Each and every one of our Mr. and Ms. J Finalists have demonstrated strong character and have done an outstanding job representing Joliet Central High School,” said sponsor Linda Bowers.
Runners up for Mr. J include Angel Bautista and Ignacio Rios as first and second runner up respectively, and finalists include Jared Ellis, Moises Garcia, Landon Luangsomkham, Jessy Marasco, Maxwell Munch, Rodolfo Perez and Fernando Trevino. Runners up for Ms. J include Abigail Agustine and Aubree Smith for first and second runner up respectively, and finalists include Amanda Affrunti, Lesley Ulloa Aldape, Corissa Hansen, Virginia Sanantonio, Nisa Theard, Samantha Varman and Haley Zobel.
View Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jths204/albums/72157680464015742