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Willowbrook names August recipient of 88's Best recognition

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Left: Pictured is Willowbrook senior Sarah Fairbank, who has been named as the school's August recipient of 88’s Best recognition for her outstanding academic accomplishments. Right: Fairbank (pictured at left in the second row from the top) is recognized as Willowbrook's August recipient of 88’s Best recognition during the District 88 Board of Education meeting on Aug. 24.

Sarah Fairbank has been named as Willowbrook’s August recipient of 88’s Best recognition for her outstanding academic accomplishments. Fairbank, a senior, was recognized during the Aug. 24 District 88 Board of Education meeting. To listen to her 88’s Best presentation, click the audio file above.

As a student, Fairbank consistently pursues the most rigorous courses available at Willowbrook. At the conclusion of her high school career, she will have completed 15 Advanced Placement (AP)/college-level courses, as well as a multitude of honors courses. As a result of her academic success, Fairbank has maintained a class ranking within the 99th percentile, she is a National AP Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction, and she has been named to the Distinction Honor Roll each semester of her high school career. Fairbank also is an inductee of the National Honor Society, Civitas (Willowbrook’s Social Studies Honor Society), National English Honor Society, Math Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, and she serves as Co-President of the Thespian Honor Society. Fairbank has received the Outstanding Freshman Award and the Human Relations Award and was recognized as the Outstanding Student by the social studies and math departments.

“I admire Fairbank and her resilience,” said Carmen Avdiu, Willowbrook school counselor. “She is kind, conscientious, hardworking, and her ability to problem solve is way beyond her years. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with her. She lets nothing get in her way and always manages to get things done. I am so proud of her and can't wait to see how her future will unfold.”

Beyond the classroom, Fairbank commits her time and talents to a variety of events, clubs and activities at Willowbrook. She is a member of the Math Team (where she is a state qualifier) and has competed for Econ Challenge, Mock Trial and Scholastic Bowl. She is part of the Theatre Leadership Team and the Principal Leadership Team as well. In theatre, she has served as assistant stage manager and has supported lighting and sound for Willowbrook productions, as well as outside rentals. During her free periods, Fairbank finds time to serve as a Tech Assistant to troubleshoot and repair Chromebooks and other devices.

Beyond Willowbrook, Fairbank assists as a coach and an athletic official for Villa Park Parks and Recreation and volunteers as a math tutor for elementary school students.

“I have never had a student in my entire teaching career whose hunger for knowledge and learning was as unrelenting and tenacious as Fairbank’s,” said Matt Clapper, Willowbrook social studies teacher. “Her passion and enthusiasm for learning, despite some very formidable personal challenges, is nothing short of inspiring. I consider myself truly privileged and honored to have had the opportunity to have Fairbank as a student.”

Willowbrook Social Studies Department Head Brett Maguire agreed.

“I'm not sure where to even start with Fairbank,” Maguire said. “She was a student in my AP Human Geography class, and she was by far one of the strongest students I had. Her dedication to learning is truly unmatched by any student I have ever had. Along with being a student, she has been my student assistant for the last two years … and was an amazing mentor for (pupils in my) AP Human Geography (classes). Not only did she mentor them in how to balance extracurricular activities and school, but also how to manage stress. Fairbank is patient, thoughtful, reflective and kind. Every student in our class knew Fairbank, and on days (when) she was not present, (students) would ask how she was doing and were always excited when she would return. Fairbank is amazing academically, but her dedication to excellence and the ability to rise above challenges makes her a true Warrior.”

Fairbank’s plans for the future include attending University of Notre Dame or Vanderbilt University. She plans to double major in history and math and looks to become a high school teacher.

Willowbrook High School
1250 S. Ardmore Avenue Villa Park, IL 60181
Phone: 630-530-3400 Fax: 630-530-3401
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