SPRINGFIELD – At 17, Ryan Poggenpohl understands the importance of giving back to his community and leads by example.

03012017CM0233PoggenpohlThe Lincolnwood High School junior lives in Raymond, a Montgomery County town of about 990 residents. He’s the class secretary, on the cross country and basketball teams, a member of the FFA and a National Honor Society inductee.

Among his proudest affiliations is with the Lincolnwood Community Service Organization, a service-centered student group that organizes volunteer opportunities in this close-knit community.

“We organize local events. We help give food to the local food pantry. We help with blood drives. We just do anything we can to help make community life better,” said Poggenpohl, for whom leadership and service to others are guiding principles.

He also is treasurer and an active member of a junior firefighters group, assisting rural volunteer firefighters from behind the frontlines and learning about the importance of fire service.

“We just do it to help get us exposed to what fire department life is like and how we can better our leadership skills with on-the-job training, although we’re not involved at all with the actual calls,” he said, noting that his father is a volunteer firefighter. “We’re just there to observe and help the firefighters in whatever way we can.”

Poggenpohl joined Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) on March 1 at the Illinois Capitol for Manar’s Senator for the Day program. High school students in the 48th Senate District can accompany Manar for a day of legislative hearings, floor action and other activities, giving them a unique opportunity to see Illinois government in action, meet state leaders and learn more about what happens under the dome.

“Our goal this year is to have students from every high school in the district visit Springfield and spend a day with me. That’s important to me,” Manar said. “About 25 years ago, State Senator Vince Demuzio invited me to spend a day with him in the state Capitol, and that set me on a track that, I would argue, helped get me here today.”

When Poggenpohl graduates high school he plans to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He hopes to study engineering or history and to make a career of the military. After that, he said, he may get involved in politics.

“I’ve just always had a desire to serve my country,” he said. “I believe the Navy would make me the man I want to be and give me the experiences I need to help me to excel in life.”

Poggenpohl is the son of Allen and Rebecca Poggenpohl. His sister, Hanna, is a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana.

Category: People of the 48th

Bunker Hill Photos JoinedBUNKER HILL – The achievements of state champion athletes from Wolf Ridge Junior High are featured on a pair of new highway signs at the main entrances to town.

The green signs acknowledge John Mize III, 2016 IESA Class A seventh-grade boys high jump state champion, and the IESA Class A eighth-grade boys state champion 4x100 relay team. Members of the relay team are Trent Bertelsmann, Levi Chance, Corey Hall and Josh Schuette.

The student athletes were coached by Sara Burnet and Moriah Meisenheimer.

Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) requested the signs from the Illinois Department of Transportation on behalf of school officials. Workers installed them Dec. 14 on Illinois 159 near the northern and southern city limits.

The signs will remain in place for one year.

(Pictured in relay team photo are Bertelsmann, Chance and Hall.)

Category: People of the 48th

Manar Pana HS 350PANA – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) met with students and faculty at Pana High School on Oct. 18.

During his visit, Manar talked to students in several classes, met faculty members and spoke with Principal Gayle McRoberts. Student Council President Jessica Swenny and Jake McLeod were student ambassadors for the day.

Manar is an advocate for overhauling Illinois’ nearly 20-year-old school funding formula, which fails to fairly account for the needs of school districts with shrinking property tax bases, higher levels of poverty and students with special learning needs. He regularly visits schools in the 48th Senate District he represents in Springfield.

Manar’s visit occurred during Principal Appreciation Week in Illinois, which was Oct. 16-22. October is Principal Appreciation Month.

Category: People of the 48th

Manar Kratochvil 350MOUNT OLIVE – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) presented Mount Olive resident Roger Kratochvil with a proclamation from the Illinois Senate recognizing him for his years of dedicated service to Eastern Illinois University.

Kratochvil, who graduated from Eastern in 1960, was inducted into the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998 for his successful collegiate baseball career. He was appointed to the school’s board of trustees in 2004 at the urging of the late state Senator Vince Demuzio of Carlinville.

Kratochvil served on the board of trustees for 12 years, including two terms as chairman. He retired from the board on Feb. 1, 2016.

Manar presented the proclamation to Kratochvil at his home in Mount Olive on Thursday, Oct. 20.

Category: People of the 48th