Students prepare to address their fellow members of Willowbrook’s Class of 2018
Two Villa Park residents will speak during Sunday’s graduation service
By Chris Fox LOMBARDIAN-VILLA PARK REVIEW STAFF REPORTER Villa Park residents Noah Kamm and Maria Luz Alcala will address their fellow members of Willowbrook High School’s Class of 2018 during Sunday afternoon’s commencement ceremony in the school’s main gymnasium. There are about 500 students in this year’s graduating class at the Villa Park school. “I’m really happy and honored to be able to do this,” said Kamm, the son of Eric and Lesli Kamm. “It’s just exciting to be able to represent all these people.” “I’m just really excited to speak to everyone,” said Alcala, the daughter of Avelino and Carmela Alcala. “I hope they all understand where I’m coming from.” Kamm, who attended Jackson Middle School before Willowbrook, recently gave a preview of what he would say at Sunday’s ceremony. “The whole theme of the speech is taking risks, and basically celebrating doing things that are kind of outside the box,” said Kamm. Alcala, who attended Jefferson Middle School prior to arriving at Willowbrook, also provided a preview of her speech. “It’s mainly about all the accomplishments we’ve done throughout high school, and how we’re going to take those into our future, regardless of what we do,” said Alcala. When asked to describe what lessons they have learned in their time at Willowbrook, both Alcala and Kamm touched on the importance of getting involved and trying new things. “One of the lessons I’ve learned is basically, just be involved,” Alcala said. “Take risks. Don’t be afraid to join different things, even if that’s not what you’ve been doing before. It just helps you discover yourself.” “I can second that,” added Kamm. “You can do a lot of different things and put yourself out there in as many different ways as possible, because you might find something that sticks.” Kamm, who maintained a class ranking within the top 1 percent of Willowbrook’s Class of 2018, will graduate having completed 15 Advanced Placement (AP) college-level courses. He has been named to the school’s Distinction Honor Roll in each of his semesters at Willowbrook. Kamm is a member of Science Olympiad, Scholastic Bowl, the chess club and the school newspaper. He is also a member of the school’s math team, jazz band and marching band. Alcala, who has served as the school’s student council president, is a member of Willowbrook’s social studies honor society— Civitas. She’s also a member of the Hispanic Leadership Club, and was recently named as the career and technical education department’s most outstanding student. Alcala has participated in several sports during her four years at Willowbrook. She’s been a member of the badminton program for four years, earning athletic and academic all-conference honors in the West Suburban Gold Conference. Kamm will attend Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He intends to study mathematics and physics, with plans to become a research mathematician. Alcala will attend the University of Iowa, where she will study business management with a minor in Spanish. She will pursue a pre-law track, with the goal of pursuing a career as a lawyer or a law enforcement official.
Conroy hopes to ban non-disclosure clauses
To allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to speak out about their abuse and abuser, state Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, is sponsoring a measure that will ban non-disclosure clauses in settlement agreements that prevent a survivor from speaking out. “Victims of sexual abuse should not be further victimized by being forced into silence. They deserve to tell their stories if that’s what they choose to do,” said Conroy. “It is so important for sexual abuse survivors to have the ability to speak out as part of their own healing process and as a way to help prevent future abuse. This is especially true when the victim is a child at the time of abuse.” House Bill 4752 ensures that no settlement agreement in civil lawsuits involving childhood sexual abuse includes confidentiality or non-disclosure provisions that are binding on the victim, effectively preventing a sexual abuse survivor from speaking about their abuse. Currently, the state of Illinois has no law on such agreements. The bill would allow underage victims of sexual abuse to disclose and discuss the abuse they were subjected to in an effort to raise awareness and prevent further abuses by the same abuse. This bill has been named the “The Aly Raisman Act,” in honor of Raisman speaking out as one of the victims of sexual abuse by former Olympic team physician Larry Nassar. “It has been heartbreaking to learn that so many victims of sexual assault have been silenced because of legal loopholes that are used to protect abusers,” Conroy added. “Our legislature should stand up for victims and ensure that no one is silenced. I urge my colleagues to vote in support of this bill.”
Cullerton on board to merge election commission, clerk’s office
Villa Park Democrat Tom Cullerton is working to ensure government in DuPage County is as efficient as possible and no bigger than necessary. According to DuPage County, Cullerton’s House Bill 5123 would help create at least $300,000 a year in taxpayer savings by allowing the county to merge its county board of election commissioners with the county clerk’s office. “Eliminating redundant functions of government saves valuable tax dollars and leads to lower property tax bills,” Cullerton said. “This measure will empower the people of DuPage County to make active decisions on how government will work for them. This is a win for everyone involved.” The bill would require an ordinance or resolution from the county board to dissolve a county board of election commissioners. Most election authorities are run through the county clerk’s office and DuPage is one of only two counties in Illinois that currently has a board of election commissioners at the county level. Cullerton said the DuPage County Election Commission has had issues the last few elections which increases the need for the measure. House Bill 5123 is a measure supported by the DuPage County Board, Better Government Association, Metropolitan Planning Council and the city of Aurora. “Senator Tom Cullerton has been a leader on consolidation issues that have saved the taxpayers of DuPage County millions,” said Dan Cronin, chairman of the DuPage County Board. In March, voters in DuPage approved a nonbinding referendum, with 56 percent, to merge the DuPage County Election Commission with the DuPage County Clerk’s Office. House Bill 5123 passed the Senate’s Executive Committee with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
Bond set for Glenbard East volunteer charged with criminal sexual assault of a student
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin announced Monday that bond has been set for a Glenbard East High School volunteer intern accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student. Elizabeth Flint appeared in Bond Court Monday morning where Judge Else set bond in the amount of $50,000 with 10 percent to apply. Flint has been charged with one count of criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony. Flint was a volunteer intern at Glenbard East High School. It is alleged that on three occasions Flint sexually assaulted the minor at her home. It is further alleged the assaults all occurred in April. The assaults were uncovered when school personnel grew suspicious of Flint’s behavior and alerted school authorities. School authorities in turn then contacted the DuPage County Children’s Center, resulting in today’s charges. “The allegations against Ms. Flint are, simply put, disgusting,” Berlin said. “It is alleged that she used her position of trust and authority to sexually assault a minor student on three separate occasions. This type of abhorrent behavior will not be tolerated. “I would first like to thank school personnel and authorities at Glenbard East High School for their cooperation in this matter. I would like to thank the DuPage County Children’s Center, particularly Director Pat Dempsey and Investigator Boris Vrbos, for their work not only in this case but for their continued efforts protecting society’s most vulnerable—our children. “I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Minser for his work in preparing a strong case against Ms. Flint.” Flint is scheduled to appear in court on June 4.
Villa Park briefs
Villa Park Public Library to hold groundbreaking on Saturday The Villa Park Public Library will hold a groundbreaking event on Saturday, May 19, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. A ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday’s event is celebrating the construction and renovation project at the library, which is located at 305 S. Ardmore Ave. Light refreshments will be served following the ceremony. For more information, contact Carolyn Turner at 630-834-1164, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Villa Park Police Department invites residents to Saturday’s open house The Villa Park Police Department will host an open house event from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. The event will begin with a silent parade from Ardmore Avenue and Park Boulevard, heading northbound on Ardmore to the police department. The open house will feature tours of the police station at 40 S. Ardmore Ave. The event will also feature various safety booths and presentations.