May their life together match her mother-in-law's name

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Connie and Harold Bernt, formerly of Oak Park, now Chicago, announce the engagement of their daughter, Rebekah Bernt to Marc Angelino, son of Robert Angelino and Norma Joy of Buffalo, N.Y. The bride-to-be is a 1993 graduate of Oak Park and River Forest High School, and a 1997 graduate of DePaul University, where she earned a B.S. in elementary education. In 2001, she received an M.A. in special education from California State University, Northridge, and she's currently teaching special education in a Los Angeles elementary school. The groom-to-be holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.S. from Ohio State University, also in mechanical engineering. He's employed as an aerospace engineer in Los Angeles.

An April 2006 wedding ceremony and reception is planned at the LaStrada Ristorante, Millennium Plaza in Chicago.

Brightfield beats a bright field

Cub Scout Pack 31 of St. Edmund School held its annual Pinewood Derby race on March 19. The winners were: Luke Brightfield, first place; Michael Puszius, second place; and Joshua Doherty, third place.

Gen. Vessey to speak at Concordia

Concordia University's May 7 commencement speaker will be General John W. Vessey, U.S. Army (Ret.), national chair of "For the Sake of the Church," a Lutheran fundraising program. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former President Ronald Reagan, Vessey is a veteran of World War II and the Vietnam War, and saw additional service in Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. In 1992, former President George Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Five individuals will also be honored at the commencement. Jeffrey E. Burkart, associate dean of the College of Vocation and Ministry and professor at Education Media-Communications at Concordia University, St. Paul, Minn., and Robert Sylwester, emeritus professor of education at the University of Oregon in Eugene, will receive the Doctor of Letters. The Doctor of Laws will be awarded to Charles W. Dull, a graduate of Concordia's Director of Christian Education program currently consulting for the Mahler Company and other clients on optimizing organizational performance, work-family balance and transformational leadership. The Spiritus Christi Medallion will be given to Mary Nelson, founding CEO of Bethel New Life, a faith-based community development corporation. The Alumna of the Year Award will be presented to Keturah (Kay) Thunder Haab, who has taught in Lutheran elementary education for over 30 years and has been continuously active with Concordia University since her student days.

Spellnuts defeat Friends and Mouthy Moms

The Library Spellnuts, a team of librarians representing River Forest, Berwyn and Cicero, won the Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County's Seventh Annual Spell-A-Thon. A record 10 teams, with 30 contestants, battled it out in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Holley Court Terrace on April 14. The Friends of the Oak Park Library team took second place. Third place went to the Mouthy Middle-aged Moms, a team comprised of a Literacy Volunteer tutor and friends. Winning teams received awards ranging from multi-compartment tote bags and electronic 3-in-1 calendar/alarm clock/calculator sets to LVWCC T-shirts. All participants took home certificates for competing in the event.

Dominican speakers at commencement

Over 200 graduate students will receive master's degrees at commencement exercises at Dominican University on Saturday, May 7 in the Lund Auditorium. William J. McDonough, chairman and CEO of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board at the Securities Exchange Commission will speak and receive an honorary degree. McDonough retired from First Chicago Corp and its bank, First National Bank of Chicago, in 1989 and has also served as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, professor of social ethics and director of the Catholic-Jewish studies program at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago will also receive an honorary degree. He is president of the International Council of Christians & Jews and honorary co-chair of the National Polish American-Jewish American Council.

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