2006 Graduate Laura Panicali
Laura Panicali is one of the many shining stars for whom Benjamin District 25 provided a solid educational foundation and helped lay the roots for blossoming careers.
Parents Robert (retired Honeywell electrical engineering manager) and Julie (grant writing specialist for Alexian Brothers Health System) Panicali still reside in district. Younger sister, Elizabeth, is a freshman nursing major at Carroll University, Waukesha, WI.
Laura is a graduate of Benjamin Middle School (2009), Community High School (2013) and will graduate Beloit College this May with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics along with a minor in computer science.
During her college tenure, she served as captain of the Beloit College women’s basketball team, was a three-year starter, was named Midwest Conference Player of the Week and was a Midwest Conference Academic-All Conference freshman, sophomore, and junior years. She holds the second highest single game point total in Beloit program history with a career high 35-point game.
Following graduation, she will begin her career as a technology development program associate for United Health Group/Optum Technology in Schaumburg working in multiple technology areas in the pharmacy scripts division.
Collegiate experience includes working as coordinator for Girls and Women in Science, a hands-on weekend workshop offering sixth grade girls an opportunity to focus on experiments and interact with industry professionals, with the goal of building confidence and interest in science fields.
In the classroom, academic accomplishments include being named to the Dean’s List all semesters, a Merit Scholar for Math and Computer Science, and a Beloit College Presidential Scholar. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering in the Beloit public schools as a reading buddy and robotics mentor, and serving as a teaching assistant for Beloit College’s Cognitive Robotics course.
Outdoor Ed at Loredo Taft in 6th grade! In athletics, our basketball and volleyball teams won conference or the tournament every year that we played! I also really enjoyed the rollerblading units in gym class and getting to go to the high school for a day for Sportsfest.
My favorite class was Denise Johansen’s 3rd grade science. I vividly remember setting off rockets made of film canisters and Alka-Seltzer! Science was always my favorite subject in elementary and middle school and that is why my favorite teachers were Denise Johansen, Jim Allard, and Mark Bradbury, who was also my 7th grade basketball coach and from whom I learned so much about science and basketball!
I played volleyball, basketball, and track at Benjamin Middle School as well as being a part of the student council. I received the math award at graduation which makes sense now as my major and future job is in mathematics!
How did Benjamin District 25 help prepare you for the future?
Benjamin taught me valuable life lessons. I was encouraged to get involved in clubs and athletics. Middle school was when I developed a strong work ethic and decided that I need to work hard for the things I want most in life. Benjamin District 25 helped form the base of my academic and athletic career, and prepared me well to excel in high school and beyond.