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Audrey Kekstadt - Named Valedictorian of the Class of 2022


Montini Catholic congratulates Audrey Kekstadt as Valedictorian for the Class of 2022.  The announcement was made on May 5th at the Lasallian college preparatory high school's 25th Annual Academic Awards Banquet (held at Bobak's in Westmont).

Audrey, who anxiously awaited the announcement which came at the end of the evening, is extremely grateful and humbled for this highest of accolades. "I would have never been able to achieve this without the guidance of my teachers and the support of friends and family," she said.  Parents, Frank and Malu Kekstadt, were very proud.

A very involved Bronco from her first day as a Bronco, Audrey has kept up a rigorous pace throughout her high school experience.  She most recently received the President's Education Award for Academic Excellence.  She is also an Illinois State Scholar and an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor.  This year she was elected president of Montini's National Honor Society and served as a Peer Tutor.  She is a member of two foreign language clubs and their honor societies, French and Spanish, and served as Secretary of the Spanish Honor Society during her junior year, and president, her senior.   Audrey has also been a member of the Bronco Math Team throughout her high school career - and most recently celebrated the team's 6th Place finish at (ICTM) State.  She is a member of Mu Alpha Theta and a member of Montini's Future Medical Professionals Club.  She's also managed to fit Chess Club into her curriculum.

Despite her obstinate academic and athletic schedules, Audrey also values the opportunity to provide service to her Bronco family and community.  She is a member of Lasallian Youth and Montini's Peer Ministry Team. All of her hard work has paid off!  Audrey will pursue a career in Engineering at the University of Notre Dame this fall.  She is very excited about this next chapter in her life.  

She credits her parents for their support throughout her journey to get to this successful point in her life. She is also thankful to her Montini Catholic math teacher and friend, Mrs. Chrissie McManus '88.  "Mrs. McManus has definitely impacted me in a way I never thought possible. Before having her as a teacher, I hated math and was never particularly good at it. Thankfully, her enthusiasm and passion for the subject, accompanied by her thorough explanations on tricky concepts, allowed me to view the subject from a different lens. I began to appreciate math to the extent that I now aspire to be an engineer and use its concepts in everyday life. While I still find math challenging, I am glad that I went from a state of indifference to interest."

When asked about the last important obstacle before completing her high school career as Valedictorian - her  speech at the commencement ceremony - Audrey says she's not nervous at all.   "As long as I'm not being graded on the speech, I'll be fine!"  

"We are so proud of Audrey and are amazed at all she has been able to accomplish in four short years," said Montini President Jim Segredo.  "She is such an accomplished and involved student - the epitome of Bronco pride.  We wish her nothing but the best at the University of Notre Dame and have no doubt, whatsoever, that we will hear about her many successes there and beyond." 

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