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Rotary honors 14 students with service award

Former Shorewood winner gives honorees sound advice

April 30, 2012

Brown Deer - Fourteen award-winning students from seven North Shore high schools learned what the Service Above Self Award meant to a 1984 graduate of Shorewood High School.

The Rotary award exemplifies the Rotary motto, Owen Perry, past president of the Milwaukee North Shore Rotary Club, told the students, their parents and counselors and administrators from their schools last week at an awards luncheon at the Four Points Sheraton. The students are all high school juniors who serve either their school, church or municipal communities, sometimes all three.

Jon Schnur, the executive chairman and co-founder of America Achieves, addressed this year's award recipients, candidly talking about the way in which the award impacted his choice of his life's work.

Schnur has focused on education throughout a career that has included working for two presidents.

The co-founder and former CEO of New Leaders, he continues to serve on its board while working as the executive chairman of America Achieves, which he also co-founded. New Leaders achieved national acclaim for its program of training principals for private and public schools. America Achieves showcases what New Leaders do in the schools. He was a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, co-chairman of the Obama for America Education Policy Committee and as a member of the Obama Presidential Transition Team as well as President Bill Clinton's White House Associate Director for Educational Policy, Senior Policy Adviser on Education to Vice President Al Gore and special assistant to U.S. Secretary of Education Dick Riley.

Schnur reminisced a bit about receiving the award.

"At the time when I got it, I was appreciative, but not sure what it was about," he said. "It was nice, interesting but not that meaningful."

Schnur said Shorewood High School provided him with many meaningful leadership opportunities that helped him succeed at Princeton University.

While at Princeton, he faced the questions that often loom large for college students. As he contemplated the who am I, what should I do with my life questions, he remembered the Service Above Self Award.

"The award later on validated what I wanted to do," he said. "If I had been picked as one of two winners at Shorewood High School, then I must have something going for me."

He encouraged the students to remember three things if they have those anxious times. First, life is a long journey and you can't accomplish everything at once. Secondly, you makes mistakes, big mistakes, but what you do then is important. Third, as important as what you do is how you do it.

"Congratulations and I look forward to you leading the country," he said in closing.

Award winners

BROWN DEER HIGH SCHOOL:Allison Oates, Carlos Orozco

DOMINICAN HIGH SCHOOL: Taylor Brockman, Christopher Vance

HOMESTEAD HIGH SCHOOL: Savin Pillari, Samuel Silver

NICOLET HIGH SCHOOL: Michelle Tong, Gregory Horstmeier

SHOREWOOD HIGH SCHOOL: Lily Blind, Story Sandy

UNIVERSITY UPPER SCHOOL: Kimberly Henrickson, Toran Marks

WHITEFISH BAY HIGH SCHOOL: Mary Lincer, Oleg Frandle

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