Name: Zach Guritz
Accomplishment: Guritz plays center on the Hinsdale South football team and throws shot put and discus for the indoor and outdoor track teams. He is also the secretary of the junior class (he is responsible for raising money for his class' prom), and is a member of Athletes Committed to Excellence (A.C.E.), Peer Leadership Network, Swag Leadership, and Snowball.
Key to Awesomeness: Guritz has worked hard to create a welcoming environment alongside his fellow Hinsdale South students. Through Peer Leadership Network, Guritz and other peer leaders put on a program called Hornet 101 for freshman during the first month of each school year.
"We let them know what it's like being a high school student," he said.
Another activity, Snowball, involves going on a retreat in Wisconsin with students from and learning how to "break down different barriers between different groups of people within the school."
One of Guritz's newest activities is a club called Swag Leadership, which is a committee of J. Kyle Braid kids (Guritz is a JKB alternate).
"We work with student athletes in the school," Guritz said. "We encourage other people to get involved with sports and also go to other events that aren't as popular [as football and basketball games]. We also try and work with the eighth graders who are coming in; we're thinking that we'll have their coaches identify some of their leaders so we can pass on some of our knowledge to help them along the way and help them develop leadership."
Guritz has appreciated having the opportunity to get to know different groups of students at Hinsdale South.
"If you ever walk down the hallways at a Hinsdale South, you see all these different groups … and all these different interests," he said. "You just realize that Hinsdale South is so unique and has so many unique people ... it's like the melting pot of the U.S. brought down to this community of 1,800 kids."
What’s Next: Guritz is looking forward to college, but hasn't narrowed his search down yet.
"Both of my parents are teachers; they have a very good knowledge of schools around the nation," he said.
He also hopes to continue his athletic career in college.
"I want to go to a place where I can get a great education and continue playing football," Guritz said. "Football's always meant a lot to me. I just want to play football and I just want to learn."