The Examiner U-46 News Feed
U-46 Board recognizes Bartlett High students
By Seth Hancock
Bartlett High School juniors Natalie Payne and Sam Witz III had a successful season with their school’s speech team, and their success was recognized by the School District U-46 Board of Education at its meeting on Monday, March 7.
Competing in the dramatic duet acting category, Payne and Witz made their way to the state meet in Peoria in February where they finished fifth in their category performing a scene from the play “The Woodsman” by Steven Fechter.
“Sam and Natalie are two unbelievably gifted performers,” Bartlett’s speech coach Anthony Zoubek said via a U-46 press release. “Their dramatic duet acting embodied these flawed characters that compelled and challenged audiences all season long.”
The duo were given a certificate of achievement by the board, and their achievements were plentiful this season. Payne and Witz earned seven first-place finishes including at the Upstate Eight Conference competition and the Hoffman Estates Regional, and they were third at the Fremd Sectional to advance to state.
“It was a great experience,” Witz said at the board meeting. “I really appreciate this recognition and the ability to do what we’ve done over the season, and we’ll try our best to take home the championship next year maybe.”
Bartlett’s team saw some success as well this season finishing 39th in state rankings. The team won the UEC competition and finished third at the regional and team members include Isus Hamilton, Annie Chen, Natalie Payne, Lauren Matan, Hannah Kolano, Jared Zavala and Dhruti Desai.
Board member Sue Kerr presented the certificate to Payne and Witz and said she knew of the work it took for the success.
“I know what an achievement this is,” Kerr said. “My youngest son was on speech and drama for South Elgin (High School), but he said during the season he never saw the sun on Saturdays. You get there so early, and you get home so late.”