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January 12, 2021
Board of Education Honors Students for Elective Area Achievement

jan 207best

The District 207 Board of Education named three students as “207’s Best” in the area of elective area achievement during the January meeting. The students recognized were Elise De Salle from Maine East, Miguel Patino from Maine West and Damian Setla from Maine South. 


Elise has taken advantage of challenging courses of study throughout her career at Maine East which have included: Art Applications, Design & Materials, CAD Technology 1, Culinary 1, AP Human Geography, Art 2, PLTW Civil Engineering and Architecture, AP English Language and Composition, AP US History, AP Art History, PLTW Introduction to Engineering & Design, Cybersecurity, Gourmet Cuisine and AP English Literature and Composition. 

She has participated in several extra- and co-curricular activities including being a part of the Black Student Union, a member of the sound and stage crews for multiple stage productions and is a founding member of East’s SOAR Organization (Students Organized Against Racism). She also runs hurdles on the track team. She also has pursued externship and mentorship experiences that have included: Ace Mentor Program of America (2021), An after school program introducing students to careers in Architecture, Construction, and Engineering; Assisting in the interior design of Maine East H.S. library renovation using Revit software; Collaborated with school officials and Wight Architects to inform decision making for interior design finishes for Maine East H.S. construction project; and Women in Construction Career Exploration Event (2019) where she interacted with women in the construction industry.


Miguel was honored for his achievements mainly in the area of his studies of Spanish but he has had a larger impact on the school. He began studying Spanish in middle school and indicates that he has such gratitude for this study as among many things it has allowed him to connect authentically with his grandparents in their language. He has taken four years of spanish, beginning with Spanish 3 Accelerated as a freshman and now is in AP Spanish Language & Culture as well as AP Spanish Literature & Culture.

As a sophomore, he earned a Gold Medal in the National Spanish Examinations, finishing among the top 15 students in the Chicagoland area. As a junior, he again earned a Gold Medal but scored higher putting him in the 98th percentile nationally. He is a member of the National Spanish Honor Society. In addition, he has been named to honor societies in math, Spanish and social science. He is also a member of the LatinX Club, Link Crew, Warrior Pride, Mock Trial, Class Council, Student Council, COACH tutors and the Principal’s Leadership Team. He is on the staff of the Westerner, the school newspaper, as well as participates in the orchestra. 


Damian grew up speaking Spanish and learned English once he started formal schooling. He takes AP Spanish and Italian 2 Accelerated, making him a polyglot. He has family in Mexico and Italy which allows him to speak to family in their native language.

He is a member of the Spanish Club, Polish Club, Serbian Club, Italian Club, Underclass Council and Rotary Interact Club.

Damian’s teacher for Accelerated Italian 2 Cristina Modica says that “Damian is a phenomenal language student and an all around thoughtful, aware and compassionate young man. He consistently takes a proactive role in his learning, asking clarifying questions and always wanting to delve deeper into a topic of Italian language of culture he has been pondering.  He is a true global citizen!”