D219 Board Recognizes Extracurricular Leaders at March Meeting
D219 BOARD RECOGNIZES EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERS AT MARCH MEETING
The Niles Township High School District 219 Board of Education honored three students at its March 14 meeting in the category of Leadership in Extracurricular Activities: Murtaza Ukani from Niles North, Raymond Wohlman from Niles Central and Josh Sirbu from Niles West. The students, joined by their families, accepted the awards from their principals.
Murtaza Ukani, Niles North
Murtaza Ukani is a junior and has lived in Skokie his entire life. His parents are both Indian but Murtaza's deeper family lineage extends to Egypt and Yemen. His father is a travel agent and his mother works as a medical coder. Murtza is currently: the Treasurer of HOSA, which stands for Health Occupations Students of America; chairman of the varsity debate team; executive member of Dance Marathon; Member of Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR); President of Student Association; and Vice President of Student Government Association. He also chairs the Teacher of the Year Committee and is a student representative for the CCSI committee.
According to Student Activities Director Caroline Benjamin, “Murtaza is involved in more things than I can keep track of. He is a leader and balances his academics with precision. He also experienced the tragic loss of his brother in an accident last year but has stayed resilient through it all.”
Murtaza's hobbies include watching “Game of Thrones” and “House, MD,” attending religious school, and being an active board game aficionado. He says his life philosophy is to create an impactful legacy in political activism, and Murtaza wants to pursue both an MBA and MD toward his ultimate goal of becoming a healthcare administrator.
Murtaza says his role models are his parents and Bernie Sanders because of a sense of idealism that transforms vision into reality.
Raymond Wohlman, Niles Central
Raymond Wohlman, a junior whose home school is Niles North, is an enthusiastic participant in several extracurricular activities: Chicago Area Alternative Education League (CAAEL) bowling; and Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) basketball, including being a member of the tournament-winning team. He is also a student council representative at Niles Central.
“Raymond is an all-around exemplary student, excelling academically, and consistently demonstrating a respectful, kind and caring demeanor, not only to our staff, but also to his fellow students,” said Niles Central Director Anne Hellmer.
“Raymond consistently sets the bar as a model student, both at Niles Central, and through his involvement in extracurricular activities,” Hellmer said. “The Niles Central and Niles North communities are very proud of Raymond and his accomplishments.”
Josh Sirbu, Niles West
Senior Josh Sirbu “has been an inspiration for students here at Niles West,” according to Student Activities Director Katie Odell. “He has evolved from a student who was merely doing enough to get by in high school as a freshman, to a senior who is involved in seemingly everything around the building.
“He has involved himself in a variety of different extracurriculars, such as the DECA-Licious CFO, running cross country and track, volunteering as a Lit Center tutor and leader, and serving on the National Honor Society and German National Honor Society,” Odell said. “In his spare time, Josh serves as a teacher assistant in Ms. Madigan's class and has been in the math mentoring program the past three years. Josh has devoted his time at Niles West in service to others. He never sought fame or recognition, but he loved the joy he brought others, which was the only gratuity he ever asked for."
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