Provided by Oak Park and River Forest High School

Students at OPRF High School are living up to the school’s motto of “Those things that are best” with a string of recent awards. The honors include OPRF’s debate team tie for 19th place in the nation during the Tournament of Champions and OPRF’s student newspaper, the Trapeze, winning several blue ribbons at the Scholastic Press Association Awards.

OPRF debate duo ties for 19th place in nation

OPRF seniors Will Hardwicke and James Hanley competed April 30 through May 2 in the country’s most prestigious invitation only debate tournament, the Tournament of Champions (TOC) at the University of Kentucky. The tournament consisted of 71 teams from across the nation. The team of Hardwicke and Hanley won four rounds and lost three, one win shy of joining the top 18 teams in the octa-rounds. OPRF tied with nine other teams for 19th place.

Junior Nathan Rothenbaum also attended to assist with research and argument scouting at the tournament.

Nathan Rothenbaum and Noah Cramer, both Juniors with the OPRF Debate Team, will compete this month in Dallas at the National Forensic League Tournament.

OPRF junior places in top 10 finalists in national Shakespeare competition

OPRF junior Alexandra Frisch finished in the top 10 out of 57 students who qualified for finals competition at the 3rd annual OPRF Shakespeare Monologue Competition. Alexandra, the Chicago Regional Champion, performed during finals at The Lincoln Center in New York, portraying Cleopatra reacting to the death of Antony. Details are available at

OPRF Math Team and individual place at state

Congratulations to the OPRF Math Team and individual students who won in the IHSA state Math competition April 30. Ben Mildenhall & Greg Ramel placed 2nd in the Junior-Senior two-person competition. John Martin & Scott Daniel placed 7th in the Freshman-Sophomore two-person competition. Finally, the Junior team received 9th in state for their performance.

Sophomore wins 3rd in regional Chinese speech contest

Sophomore Ramie Bou-Saab won a bronze medal in 3rd Midwest Chinese Teachers Alliance’s Midwest Chinese Speech Contest on April 30. This year, the 118 participating students prepared speeches on the common theme of celebrating, educating, and communicating the value of language learning, “Discover Languages … Discover the World”.

Trapeze staff wins blue ribbons

The Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association Awards has notified our school that our student newspaper Trapeze won several top awards. Sydney Wilcox and Abby Vogt won a blue ribbon award for their editorial on “the list”; Abby Vogt also won a blue ribbon award for ad design; Contributor Rachel Dranoff won a blue ribbon award for editorial cartooning.

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Evan O'Brien

Evan O'Brien is the content manager of Soon after Evan was born in Chicago, his family moved to Oak Park for the same reason that attracts people to the "World's Largest Village" today: the...