Recent Peoria High School graduate honored

Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 7/18/2019 7:00:00 PM

This week I wish to recognize a very special young man who just graduated from Peoria High School. Andrew Conton was recently named the 2019 Mentee of the Year by 100 Black Men of America, Inc.


In honoring Conton, his mentor, Aaron Kilgore described him as a leader with a vision of the future and what he wants it to be.


Conton graduated in May from Peoria High School with a 3.8 GPA while participating in a variety of extracurricular activities including the Peoria High School band and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) student chapter. He has been recognized by the National Urban League Tomorrow’s Scientists, Technicians and Managers and is a member of State Senator Chuck Weaver’s Youth Advisory Committee.


Conton, a saxophone player, also has won awards and accolades for his musical talents. He has been recognized by the Illinois Music Educators Association and was chosen to perform with the Bradley University Honor Band and the Eastern Illinois University Honor Band.  Peoria High School band director Maura Shepherd says Conton is one of the kindest, most respectful, motivated students she teaches.


In 2018 Conton was part of a Peoria team (with Richwoods High School students Cory Hightower and Roderick Bland) which won 2nd place nationally in the NSBE Technical Innovation competition. I was not surprised to learn that their winning project, a water purification system, has the potential to bring life-altering solutions to a problem plaguing communities worldwide. 


In August, Conton will begin studying music business at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. I am looking forward to watching this amazing Peoria Public School student continue to personify the mission of our District: prepared and inspired to contribute to the world.