Joliet Central High School Announces 2023 Mr. and Ms. J at a Banquet
Joliet Central High School is proud to announce that Madison Schlismann and Rafael Gutierrez were named 2023 Mr. and Ms. J at a banquet held on April 26 at the Jacob Henry Mansion.
Mr. and Ms. J, the tradition of selecting two high school seniors who best represent the ideal students of Joliet Township High School (now Central Campus), began in 1958. “The selection of Mr. and Ms. J starts with seniors who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above,” said sponsor Dina Zmuda. “Then, the 10 Mr. J and Ms. J finalists are selected by faculty based on school involvement, community service and demonstration of the JTHS character attributes. Finalists are interviewed by a panel of community members and staff whose scores determine who receives the prestigious title of Mr. and Ms. J and the first and second runners up.”
Ms. J first runner up is Alexandra Widlak and Natalyn Baranak is the second runner up. Finalists are Lorena Aguado, Wendy Amador, Milagros Arriaga, Reilly Hauert, Samantha Szendzial, Contessa Szymczak, and Yithzel Zamudio.
Mr. J first runner up is Zachary Riley, and the second runners up, due to a tie, are Brandon Deuring and Karl Marvin. Finalists are Luis Becerril, Michael Del Rio, Robert Fitzpatrick, Daniel Goin, Christian Villagomez, and Brayden Walsh
Madison Schlismann, 2023 Ms. J, is a member of the Marching, Symphonic and Pep Bands, ILMEA Music Honors Society, National Honor Society, Rho Kappa Social Studies Honors Society, Forge Athletic Leadership Club, Buddies Unite, Student Ambassadors, and has participated as a member of the Soccer, Cross Country, Wrestling, and Golf Teams. Madison volunteers at Hands of Hope, the MLK Day of Service and with Meals on Wheels since third grade. During her interview, Madison shared how much she enjoys making others happy with music, and how supportive her coaches and teammates have been in sports. Judges were captivated by Maddie’s well-rounded, passionate, humble nature, as well as her willingness to learn and grow. Madison will attend Joliet Junior College where she will be a member of the Women’s Golf and Soccer Teams. After JJC, Madison plans to attend a four-year university to be a Radiology Technician.
Rafael Gutierrez, 2023 Mr. J, serves as President of the National Honors Society, is an Illinois State Scholar, member of Rho Kappa Honors Society, Brothers Unite, the Forge Athletic Leadership Club, Buddies Unite, the Spirit Squad and has participated as a member of the Baseball, Wrestling, Cross Country, Scholastic Bowl, and Math Teams. Rafael has completed over 1,000 lifetime community service hours at Belmont Little League where he donated service landscaping, coaching, announcing, and umpiring. Rafael mows lawns for elderly neighbors free of charge, volunteered for four years at the Central Baseball Youth Clinic, and participated in the MLK Day of Service. During his interview, Rafael shared his belief that you have to give in order to get, and that he works for a cause greater than himself. Judges were impressed by his compassion and dedication to help a teammate stay connected by translating in Spanish and English. Rafael will attend the University of Chicago where he will double major in Economics and Mathematics.
Congratulations to Mr. and Ms. J, the runners up, and all finalists!