Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

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Central inducts four new distinguished alumni in 25th annual ceremony

From+left+to+right%2C+Robert+Zoellick%2C+Dr.+Catherine+Adrian+DeRidder%2C+Matt+DiCianni+and+Ben+Hutchison+pose+after+becoming+Central%E2%80%99s+newest+Distinguished+Alumni+at+a+ceremony+on+May+3.
Kathryn Prerost
From left to right, Robert Zoellick, Dr. Catherine Adrian DeRidder, Matt DiCianni and Ben Hutchison pose after becoming Central’s newest Distinguished Alumni at a ceremony on May 3.

Naperville Central held its Distinguished Alumni Induction Ceremony on Friday, May 3 after a one year hiatus. Seniors attended the panel discussion in the auditorium between periods two and four during the half-day.

This year’s ceremony recognized Robert Zoellick, Class of 1971; Dr. Catherine Adrian DeRiddler, Class of 1997; Matt DiCianni, Class of 2003; and Ben Hutchison, Class of 2004

“It started 25 years ago as a way to keep community members and alumni connected to our building, to celebrate [the] great things that have been done by our graduates and also to connect them back to our current students here who can see them as examples of what [they] can become and will become,” said Dean of Students Mike Stock, who helped organize the ceremony. “There’s a little bit of inevitability that we [have] some great people in this building that are gonna graduate [each] year and go on to do wonderful things. It’s great to celebrate and acknowledge that while at the same time know that by doing so that’s connecting and possibly inspiring some of the kids here.”

This year’s ceremony was led by the Central Times in collaboration with school administration. Editor-in-Chief Jake Pfeiffer served as a moderator for the panel alongside Counseling Department Chair Jeff Plackett. Jay Deegan, Javen Oswald, Noah Rozek, Vanshika Shahdadpuri and Evelyn Zwicky also worked to select the alumni and introduce them during the ceremony.

“Stock came to me and [Central Times advisor Keith] Carlson at the end of last year, and said ‘We didn’t have a Distinguished Alumni ceremony last year, we really would like to do it again,’” Pfeiffer said. “He wanted to work with the Central Times to put it on because it’d be a way to guarantee that there’s always going to be people to do it because our staff is always going to exist. We already have a lot of writing experience [and] interviewing experience so it made that easier.”

This year’s inductees were selected from a list of nominations from previous students, staff and community members.

“The goal is to have a diversity of people,” Pfeiffer said. “Racially this year, we were not very diverse, but I still think that their experiences are very diverse. This year we had a [former] Senior Class Council President, we had a [former] Rowdy, we had a whole range of experiences.”

According to Stock, that diversity was key to a successful ceremony for seniors.

“I think this year’s [ceremony] was very good,” Stock said. “Our goal is for our students to be entertained, informed and maybe even inspired by seeing someone down there. It could be somebody that tells them ‘I skipped school all the time, I got bad grades, I didn’t go to college, and look what I did.’ It could be somebody who says ‘I was a top student, I went to this very prestigious college, and look what I did,’ and everything in between.”

For Pfeiffer, the results weren’t so unanimous.

“There’s a varying level of interest,” Pfeiffer said. “It’s clearly geared towards showing [seniors] what they can become, and I think for some people, that’s not the most engaging thing, I suppose. But I also saw a lot of people who were really enjoying it, and to me, [that’s] the reason I enjoyed being at the front of it.”

Who are the inductees?

Click on each distinguished alumni to see a brief biography written by their alumni ambassador.

Robert Zoellick
Dr. Catherine Adrian DeRidder
Matt DiCianni
Ben Hutchison

 

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About the Contributors
C.J. Getting
C.J. Getting, News Editor
C.J. is a junior entering his third year on Staff for the Central Times. He’s always loved writing news, and is excited to work as the News Editor this year. When he’s not writing for CT, C.J. can be found captaining the Debate Team or helping out SAC or JSA. He also desperately needs to detox from volunteering. After graduation, C.J. hopes to major in Political Science and spend too much money on Law School someday.
Kathryn Prerost
Kathryn Prerost, Multimedia Editor
Kathryn Prerost is a senior, and is entering her first year on the Central Times staff as the multimedia manager. She loves music and theatre, and really enjoys going down rabbit holes about any topic that makes you think. You’ll mostly find her writing opinion pieces about niche topics, or talking about the newest pop culture moments in media. When she’s not in the Central Times office, she loves to arrange music, video edit and is always working on a new art project to decorate her room with.
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