Photo by Genie Lemieux, Evanston Photographic Studios

Twenty-four Evanston/Skokie District 65 fourth grade students were honored at the 32nd Annual Justin Wynn Fund Awards Banquet on May 5 at the Hilton Orrington/Evanston, 1710 Orrington Avenue. Each spring, the Justin Wynn Fund honors two fourth grade students from each of the 12 District 65 schools.

The “Wynners” are selected by their teachers and school administrators for demonstrating outstanding leadership, citizenship, and sportsmanship. The mission of the Justin Wynn Fund is to celebrate and nurture youth leaders by helping them develop a deep sense of self and responsibility for improving their communities.

In addition to receiving the Justin Wynn Award, Wynners can participate in the Justin Wynn Leadership Academy (JWLA) from fifth through twelfth grade. Programming of the JWLA includes leadership development activities and opportunities to plan and execute a wide range of community service projects. There are currently over 110 Wynners participating in the Justin Wynn Leadership Academy.

The Justin Wynn Fund was founded by Michael and Marcia Wynn and other Evanston community leaders to honor the memory of the Wynn’s son Justin, a passionate, service-minded young leader who died in a swimming accident when he was nine years old.

This year, more than 300 people attended the Justin Wynn Fund Banquet, including Dist. 65 Superintendent Dr. Paul Goren, Dist. 202 Superintendent Dr. Eric Witherspoon, Mayor Steve Hagerty, Alderman Peter Braithwaite, and former Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.

The 2019 Justin Wynn Award recipients are: Kyle King and Ray Owens-Fomond – Dr.  Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies; Mynard Blake and Gilliane Yuri Pagtakhan – Dawes Elementary School; Natthen Puchuela and Emily Rauh – Dewey Elementary School; Nia Lewis-Kimmons and Arvin Powyer-Hutcherson – Dr. Marti Luther King Jr. Literary and Fine Arts School; Margaret Dillingham and Lacey Triplett – Kingsley Elementary School; Maya Klein and Peter Koconis – Lincoln Elementary School; Ebony Turner and Natalie Weinert – Lincolnwood Elementary School; Abigail Silencieux and Jagger Silvery – Oakton Elementary School; Daisy Bagley and Gable Holstine – Orrington Elementary School; Lynh Nassour and Raeef Shams – Walker Elementary School; Maxwell Eliot Kane and Hunys Wambo – Washington Elementary School; Helena Hancko and Hannah Mathews – Willard Elementary School.

Heidi Randhava

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.