Addison Trail names December recipient of 88’s Best recognition

Vincent Calzante (pictured at left, with Addison Trail Principal Jack Andrews) has been named as Addison Trail’s December recipient of 88’s Best recognition for his outstanding academic accomplishments. Calzante, a senior, was recognized during the Dec. 13 District 88 Board of Education meeting. To watch his 88’s Best presentation, click on the video above.

The transition from a small parochial school with a graduating class of just 14 students to a high school of almost 2,000 students was a big change, but Calzante found the drive to not just achieve academically, but to become a true Addison Trail Blazer.

Academic achievements:

  • Completed nine honors courses, and earned As in every one to date
  • Completed 12 Advanced Placement (AP)/college-level courses, and earned As in every one to date

Involvement at Addison Trail:

  • Founder and Co-President of Future Medical Professionals (a club focused on providing opportunities for students interested in pursuing medical careers)
  • National Honor Society (NHS) Board Member
  • Italian Club Board Member
  • Class of 2022 Historian
  • Four-year member of the Boys Volleyball Team
  • Member of Psychology Club
  • Member of Math Team
  • Member of Student Council
  • Tutors other students through the AT Ambassador Resource

Community involvement:

  • Participated in the Northwestern Medicine Discovery Program, which exposes students to a broad range of health care careers through activities such as tours, guest speakers, group discussion and hands-on projects
  • Serves as a lifeguard and a swim instructor at a local park district

Future plans:
Calzante plans to major in biochemistry and minor in creative writing. Post undergrad, Calzante plans to attend medical school or continue his interests in graduate school. He hopes to enroll at University of Michigan, his dream school since seventh grade, or University of Notre Dame.

Staff member comments:
“Calzante is a top-notch young man, truly a shining star in and out of the classroom. Calzante is a fine, humble young man, who truly wants to make this world a better place, using his talents to help others. One example that stands out is when Calzante approached me during his sophomore year with the idea of initiating a tutoring program for athletes. While he was in the process of organizing this program, we started remote learning, so he then took the initiative to reach out to teachers/students and provide virtual peer tutoring support. He has helped many students better comprehend concepts in a variety of subjects, but particularly in the STEM field. Calzante would like to become a physician. He was accepted into a highly competitive program for high school students interested in the medical field through Northwestern. His passion for helping others, combined with his love for STEM and his analytical reasoning skills, make him a perfect fit for a career in medicine. I have no doubt in my mind Calzante will achieve his goal of becoming a physician, providing quality care to his patients from diverse backgrounds.”

- Dana Marine, Addison Trail Counselor

“When I think of Calzante, I think of a person who is completely self-aware and holds himself accountable for his actions. It has been a privilege to have had Calzante in class for two years and to be his volleyball coach. He is resilient, driven and incredibly hardworking. I appreciate Calzante’s willingness to advocate for himself and his ability to communicate so effectively. In addition, he is a stellar writer, and I could ALWAYS rely on him to participate through Zoom last year. I am very proud of what he has been able to accomplish, and he is deserving of this recognition!”

- Jessica Clark, Addison Trail English teacher and Boys Volleyball Team coach

“Calzante has impressed me with the quality of his work in AP Biology. His salient comments during discussion underlie a general thirst for knowledge and an ability to apply what he has learned to new situations and across concepts. He is a natural leader among his peers, and I have no doubt he will succeed in any endeavor he pursues.”

- Carolyn Erwin, Addison Trail science teacher

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Vincenzo since he stepped foot into Addison Trail! He is definitely gifted in a foreign language. He shows a great interest in Italian, and his appreciation and respect for diverse cultures is quite evident. His passion for expanding his ability to communicate with a wide variety of people is outstanding. A student like him is one in a million. Vincenzo is highly respectful of his fellow students, and he enjoys giving a helping hand when needed. He sets forth a great example for his classmates and for me. He is one of the kindest students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching. His kindness, combined with his drive, makes for a well-rounded individual. His leadership qualities are exceptional. I know I could count on him if I ever need assistance in class with volunteering a question or answer at any given moment. Vincenzo is worthy of this well-deserved award!”

- Judie Vitiritti-Lynch, Addison Trail world language teacher

  • District 88 values the hard work and achievements of students and wants to make sure students are honored and recognized for their accomplishments. The District 88 Board of Education and administration created the 88’s Best award to highlight students’ success. That award recognizes nine Addison Trail and nine Willowbrook students each school year for reaching their personal best in various areas. Recipients are honored during a District 88 Board of Education meeting in one of the following areas: academics, highly improved performance, extracurricular activities, service work or performing arts/electives. They receive an 88’s Best glass sculpture and a certificate to a local restaurant.