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Article updated: 6/5/2012 8:12 AM

2011-2012 Northwest Suburban Academic Team

The 2011-12 Northwest Suburban Academic Team, inside the Daily Herald’s Arlington Heights office. Front row, from left: Emily Liquin, Palatine High School; Marianne Palczewski, Bartlett High School; Madeline Conway, Prospect High School; Connie Liou, James B. Conant High School. Back row, from left: Alex Linzmeier, Wheeling High School; Anand Patel, James B. Conant High School; Avni Bavishi, Hoffman Estates High School; Mengran Liu, Hoffman Estates High School; Joe Sessions, John Hersey High School and Antonio Spina, Bartlett High School.

The 2011-12 Northwest Suburban Academic Team, inside the Daily Herald's Arlington Heights office. Front row, from left: Emily Liquin, Palatine High School; Marianne Palczewski, Bartlett High School; Madeline Conway, Prospect High School; Connie Liou, James B. Conant High School. Back row, from left: Alex Linzmeier, Wheeling High School; Anand Patel, James B. Conant High School; Avni Bavishi, Hoffman Estates High School; Mengran Liu, Hoffman Estates High School; Joe Sessions, John Hersey High School and Antonio Spina, Bartlett High School.

 

JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

Avni Bavishi

Avni Bavishi

 
Madeline Conway

Madeline Conway

 
Alexander Linzmeier

Alexander Linzmeier

 
Connie Liou

Connie Liou

 
Emily Liquin

Emily Liquin

 
Mengran Liu

Mengran Liu

 
Marianne Palczewski

Marianne Palczewski

 
Anand Patel

Anand Patel

 
Joe Sessions

Joe Sessions

 
Antonio Spina

Antonio Spina

 
The 2011-12 DuPage County Academic Team gathers at College of DuPage. From left: Emily Riederer, Naperville North High School; Adam Alfredo Ball, Glenbard North High School; Mia Frasca, Wheaton Warrenville South High School; Ashvin Rai, Neuqua Valley High School; Katherine McDonnell, St. Francis High School; David Birkenheier, Naperville Central High School and Amy Hummel, Wheaton North High School. Not pictured: Mohammed S. Fahad, College Preparatory School of America; Rebecca Lewis, Hinsdale Central High School; Zamaan Sohel, Lake Park High School.

The 2011-12 DuPage County Academic Team gathers at College of DuPage. From left: Emily Riederer, Naperville North High School; Adam Alfredo Ball, Glenbard North High School; Mia Frasca, Wheaton Warrenville South High School; Ashvin Rai, Neuqua Valley High School; Katherine McDonnell, St. Francis High School; David Birkenheier, Naperville Central High School and Amy Hummel, Wheaton North High School. Not pictured: Mohammed S. Fahad, College Preparatory School of America; Rebecca Lewis, Hinsdale Central High School; Zamaan Sohel, Lake Park High School.

 

Daniel White | Staff Photographer

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Avni Bavishi

Hoffman Estates High School

Hometown: Hoffman Estates

Parents: Amit and Aesha Bavishi

Sponsor: Patrick Swanson, teacher

Class rank: 1st out of 515

GPA: 5.1747 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2380

Planned major: Biomedical engineering

Awards, honors: Discovery Education/3M Young Scientist Challenge, top 10 in U.S., 2009; National Merit Scholarship Finalist; Illinois Science Olympiad Individual Event 1st place

Personal statement: "I don't remember exactly how it all started. Somewhere between my first surgeon costume as a toddler and today, I just knew. Deep inside, I've always known that I knew. My experiences during the journey thus far have only solidified my faith in the medical field."

Sponsor's endorsement: "My student is undoubtedly one of the most naturally gifted students I have had in my career. The questions she asks reflect how deeply she understands the material and are often beyond the realm of what I cover in my class. I have often found myself looking up the answers to her questions outside of class time."

Madeline Conway

Prospect High School

Hometown: Arlington Heights

Parents: Susan Shallenberger and Tim Conway

Sponsor: Allyson Kreutzer, English teacher

Class rank: 6th out of 545

GPA: 5.67 on a weighted 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 34; SAT: 2300

Planned major: Political science and economics

Awards, honors: Third place, 2012 Illinois Journalist of the Year; National Merit Commended Scholar; President's Volunteer Service Award

Personal statement: "All that I've accomplished in high school has allowed me to look at my surroundings in different contexts, from the political to the historical to the scientific. My academic accomplishments have fostered my intellectual curiosity and inspired me to continue learning long past graduation."

Sponsor's endorsement: "She has earned my trust and my admiration in a way that only a very few students in my career have. She hasn't even graduated yet, and I already miss her. She is indeed a gem of the rarest type: a perfect combination of drive, intellect, and decency."

Alexander Linzmeier

Wheeling High School

Hometown: Wheeling

Parents: Daniel and Karen Linzmeier

Sponsor: Richard Watson, counselor

Class rank: 2nd out of 438

GPA: 5.68 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 32; SAT: 2160

Planned major: Film and television

Awards, honors: Richard Calisch Arts Unlimited Award for excellence in the arts, both District 214 and Wheeling High School winner; AP Scholar; Illinois Congressional Association All-Star Debate Team

Personal statement: "I plan to help improve society through the medium of film and television. I will apply the knowledge and skills of debate to identify societal problems and persuade others to support better policies."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Everything that Alex has accomplished to date ranks a distant second to who he is as a person. Rarely have I known anyone with all of the combined qualities that he possesses. He has the most wonderful compassion for his fellow students, he is admired by both peers and faculty. He is humble, kind and generous."

Connie Liou

Conant High School

Hometown: Elk Grove Village

Parents: Scot Liou and Anna Liao

Sponsor: Timothy Cannon, principal

Class rank: 1st out of 633

GPA: 5.0001 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2350

Planned major: Human biology, biochemistry or molecular biology

Awards, honors: IMEA All-State musician and concertmaster of CYSO & District Honors Orchestra; National Council of Teachers of English achievement award in writing; American Cancer Society Fellow

Personal statement: "Since I was young, I have trained myself to overcome obstacles. It is the process, not the end result, which I eagerly embrace. I have learned so much from my failures that I now know challenges actually shape me into a stronger individual."

Sponsor's endorsement: "She is the most outstanding student leader I have encountered in 32 years in education. Academically, she is number 1; she has unconditionally given her time and talent to her high school and surrounding communities; she is an accomplished musician. She embodies all the qualities of compassion, creativity, determination and work ethic."

Emily G. Liquin

Palatine High School

Hometown: Palatine

Parents: Jane and Daryl Liquin

Sponsor: Craig Barnes, math teacher

Class rank: 11th out of 672

GPA: 4.8096 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2380

Planned major: Neuroscience or cognitive science

Awards, honors: National Merit Finalist; Illinois State Scholar; AP Scholar

Personal statement: "I've committed my high school career to excelling in all that I do, focusing mostly in music and academics. My accomplishments thus far have served to prove, to myself and to those who know me, that I will be able to impact the world, and beyond that goal, I can achieve one final goal, the goal of nearly all human beings. I will be able to live a happy and fulfilled life because I will be doing what I love to do."

Sponsor's endorsement: "She is the kind of student who, when she raises her hand, you know will ask a great question that will really make you think. Emily is more than willing to help tutor her fellow students, both in class, and on her own time."

Mengran Liu

Hoffman Estates High School

Hometown: Hoffman Estates

Parents: Minghui Liu and Bing Wang

Sponsor: Suzanne Fetherling, science teacher

Class rank: 2nd out of 515

GPA: 5.143 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2350

Planned major: Biological sciences, public health

Awards, honors: National Merit Finalist; AP Scholar with Distinction; Midwest Academic Talent Search gold medalist

Personal statement: "As a Japanese-born, full-blooded Chinese girl who lived in Canada before coming to America, I learned early on that I am a citizen not of one country, but of the world. As a doctor, I will use my communication skills to continue exchanging experiences, gaining even more perspectives through which to view the world."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This individual is a true DaVinci woman. For our first two lab reports on diffusion and osmosis and enzyme catalysis, I provided the students with an example of how a lab report should be written. But when Mengran turned in her lab report I opted to throw mine in the trash and used her report as the example."

Marianne Palczewski

Bartlett High School

Hometown: Bartlett

Parents: Marie and Andrzej Palczewski

Sponsor: Cheryl Hilvert, counselor

Class rank: 1st out of 670

GPA: 4.863 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 33

Planned major: Biological engineering

Awards, honors: National Honor Society

Personal statement: "A person can achieve eminence only through intellectual ability, commitment and creativity. It is not enough to have a high IQ; one must be willing to work hard to have her ideas come to life. As an adult, I would love to be personable, dedicated, hardworking, compassionate and driven. In 10, 20 and even 30 years down the road I can see myself with the same thirst for knowledge as I have now, but with the ability to directly help people live better lives."

Sponsor's endorsement: "I have no doubt Misia will thrive in a highly competitive university environment and will immerse herself in every opportunity the school has to offer. She continues to raise the bar for herself while lifting others up. She is both a leader and a team player."

Anand Patel

Conant High School

Hometown: Schaumburg

Parents: Kirti and Alka Patel

Sponsor: Kimberleigh Wiley, college and career consultant

Class rank: 1st out of 633

GPA: 5.0636 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 34

Planned major: Biology

Awards, honors: Presidential Award for Academic Excellence; Kumon Math Program; Business Professionals of America Merit Scholar

Personal statement: "My accomplishments throughout my career as a student have been a result of accepting challenges and overcoming obstacles with optimism. This parallel between my accomplishments and my future career stems from my desire for intellectual and humanitarian challenges."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Intelligent, kindhearted and highly motivated are three characteristics that begin to describe this young man. I have known this student for three years as his counselor, and I can honestly say I have never encountered a student with as much dedication to his studies and passion to succeed."

Joe Sessions

John Hersey High School

Hometown: Arlington Heights

Parents: Joe and Ursula Sessions

Sponsor: Kent Borghoff, social science teacher

Class rank: 8th out of 471

GPA: 5.63 on a 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Finance, economics or business

Awards, honors: American Legion Award, National Honor Society, AP Scholar

Personal statement: "My stutter may be a burden, but it has taught me more than a textbook ever could. Because the gift of speech does not come to me directly, I do not let it go to waste by staying silent. I'm the guy in the front row at the football games with his chest painted trying to pump everyone up. I'm the guy people can go to when they don't understand what a derivative is in calculus. And I'm the guy that anyone can talk to if they just need a friend."

Sponsor's endorsement: "In terms of ability, approach and accomplishment, few students can reach his academic level. But perhaps more impressively, Joe complements these skills with an affable and mature personality."

Antonio Spina

Bartlett High School

Hometown: Streamwood

Parents: Brian and Rose Spina

Sponsor: Erin Gorman, counselor

Class rank: 2nd out of 670

GPA: 4.7 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2200

Planned major: Biomedical engineering

Awards, honors: National Honor Society; National Merit Scholarship Finalist; AP Scholar with Distinction

Personal statement: "I look forward to someday being able to help those in need through the wonders of human ingenuity and medical technology on a scale I had never before thought possible -- and I am sure I will look back on these (high school) achievements as the stepping stones that made it all possible."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Antonio has always been an honest and forthright person. It almost goes without saying that he is a hardworking and diligent student. One thing that always stood out to me was his creativity. He manages to always bring a new perspective and sense of humor to any situation and I think this will undoubtedly serve him well in engineering."

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