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posted: 5/25/2012 5:00 AM

2011-2012 Fox Valley Academic Team

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  • The 2011-12 Fox Valley Academic Team outside the Daily Herald's Elgin office. Front row, from left: Connor Flexman, Elgin Academy; James Bartusek, Geneva High School; Michael Fitzpatrick, Marian Central Catholic High School; Alex Whitaker, Cary-Grove High School; Ryan Wyllie, Geneva High School. Bow row, from left: Anna Gawlik, St. Charles North High School; Alexandra Tarr, (Burlington) Central High School; Allison Dianis, Harry D. Jacobs High School; Madeline Bartot, Huntley High School; and Elisah Vanden Bussche, Harry D. Jacobs High School.

       The 2011-12 Fox Valley Academic Team outside the Daily Herald's Elgin office. Front row, from left: Connor Flexman, Elgin Academy; James Bartusek, Geneva High School; Michael Fitzpatrick, Marian Central Catholic High School; Alex Whitaker, Cary-Grove High School; Ryan Wyllie, Geneva High School. Bow row, from left: Anna Gawlik, St. Charles North High School; Alexandra Tarr, (Burlington) Central High School; Allison Dianis, Harry D. Jacobs High School; Madeline Bartot, Huntley High School; and Elisah Vanden Bussche, Harry D. Jacobs High School.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Madeline Bartot

      Madeline Bartot

  • James Bartusek

      James Bartusek

  • Allison Dianis

      Allison Dianis

  • Michael Fitzpatrick

      Michael Fitzpatrick

  • Connor Flexman

      Connor Flexman

  • Anna Gawlik

      Anna Gawlik

  • Alexandra Tarr

      Alexandra Tarr

  • Elisah VandenBussche

      Elisah VandenBussche

  • Alex Whitaker

      Alex Whitaker

  • Ryan Wyllie

      Ryan Wyllie

 

Madeline Bartot

Huntley High School

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Hometown: Huntley

Parents: Christopher and Lynette Bartot

Sponsor: Angie Daurer, counselor

Class rank: 2 out of 545

GPA: 4.5 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 33

Planned major: Speech pathology

Awards, honors: Illinois State Scholar, National Honor Society, First Chair flute player

Personal statement: "I would love to be part of an effort to help those that cannot speak communicate better than answering yes or no or asking simple questions. If I can end my life knowing that I touched the lives of generations of students with communication disorders and their families, then all the hard work that I've put into high school and I will put into my college education will have paid off. "

Sponsor's endorsement: "Driven, disciplined and sociable are three words that describe Madeline Bartot. Since her freshman year, I have been impressed with Madeline's work ethic, involvement and commitment to academics. She truly is an outstanding scholar. She pushes herself and is prepared for the rigors of a college curriculum."

James Bartusek

Geneva High School

Hometown: Geneva

Parents: Dr. Lawrence and Mrs. Sandy Bartusek

Sponsor: Mary Jane Johnson, director of counseling and advising

Class rank: 2 out of 464

GPA: 4.56 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2360

Planned major: Considering chemistry, math or economics

Awards, honors: National Merit Finalist, WYSE Team Regional first place English individual, IMEA all-state honors jazz big band

Personal statement: "Throughout my high school career, I have striven for success in both academics and music. My accomplishments in both of these areas have inspired me. I will further my education in the sciences and in math, while pursuing my passion for music. I have many academic and musical goals that I hope to pursue in college, with scientific research at the top of the list."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Despite his scholarly achievements, James is a warm and compassionate individual. James inspires all who know him, and he has garnered the respect of faculty and peers alike."

Allison Dianis

Jacobs High School

Hometown: Algonquin

Parents: Brian and Laura Dianis

Sponsor: Krista Glosson, biology teacher

Class rank: 1 out of 530

GPA: 4.0 on a traditional 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 34

Planned major: Biochemistry

Awards, honors: National Merit Commended Scholar, Illinois State Scholar, Illinois Science Olympiad State Champion

Personal statement: "My life goal has been set since I was 4 years old; that's when I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian. Through my experiences with animals and an up-close view at their conservation, my life goal has narrowed after every pass, driving me toward being a conservation-minded veterinarian in a zoological or field setting."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This student has excelled academically throughout high school, demonstrating an exceptional work ethic in my AP Biology course by obtaining a perfect score or achieving the high score on more than one occasion. Allison is respectful, cooperative, organized, focused and responsible when given tasks."

Michael Fitzpatrick

Marian Central Catholic

Hometown: Lakewood

Parents: Brian and Anna Fitzpatrick

Sponsor: Rebecca Reed, counselor

Class rank: 1 out of 169

GPA: 4.61 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2240

Planned major: Biology

Awards, honors: National Merit Finalist, Illinois State Scholar, Rensselaer Medal for excellence in math and science

Personal statement: "I have chosen biology as my major so I can study the marvelous human brain. Ever since reading 'This is Your Brain on Music' by Daniel Levitt and 'Musicophilia' by Oliver Sacks, I have been fascinated by this organ so essential to our identity, but so poorly understood."

Sponsor's endorsement: "He always goes above and beyond what is required of him in order to be successful at whatever he is currently pursuing. I believe that he will be successful in his pursuit of a degree in medicine because not only has he the ability, but is very goal-oriented and has the drive and motivation, too."

Connor Flexman

Elgin Academy

Hometown: Sleepy Hollow

Parents: Steven and Jill Flexman

Sponsor: Seth Hanford, director of upper school

Class rank: Elgin Academy does not rank students

GPA: 4.19 on a traditional 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2340

Planned major: Particle physics/astrophysics

Awards, honors: Rotary Club Straight A Award (four years in a row), National Merit Finalist, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "Academics mean a lot to me, but without my high school activities, I would be nothing more than a textbook-enslaved student who had memorized many facts. Putting my passion into diverse activities has opened the gateway for academic learning to be forged into life success."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This young man is a rare student, athlete and community member. He has taken the hardest curriculum we have to offer and has never earned a grade lower than an 'A.' He has achieved remarkable academic success at the same time he has pursued athletic excellence and leadership opportunities."

Anna Gawlik

St. Charles North

Hometown: St. Charles

Parents: Tadeusz and Jawiga Gawlik

Sponsor: Kevin Harrington, math teacher

Class rank: 1 out of 500

GPA: 5.86 on a weighted 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Biomedical engineering

Awards, honors: AP Scholar with Distinction; Illinois State Scholar; Prairie State Achievement Award in Reading, Mathematics, Science and Writing

Personal statement: "Someone once said, 'To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.' I believe that to make a difference in the world, we need to change people, not the entire world. We need to treat people with love and respect so that we improve their lives with our actions."

Sponsor's endorsement: "For many students, elevated grades and test scores are a high water mark, but for Anna these are merely a foundation for much more. Anna's accomplishments in education have come as a natural consequence of how she processes and analyzes information in combination with her motivation and work ethic."

Alexandra Tarr

Central High School

Hometown: St. Charles

Parents: Robert and Eva Tarr

Sponsor: Paula Mytych, teacher

Class rank: 1 out of 275

GPA: 4.3156 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Mechanical engineering

Awards, honors: Illinois State Scholar, AP Scholar with Honor, Wendy's Heisman School Honorary Award

Personal statement: "As a human being, I see it as my duty to help slow some of the environmental damage that is taking place across the globe. My greatest career goal is to develop 'greener' technologies that will help create a healthier community and more sustainable methods of supporting our society. I have used my high school career to prepare myself for such a huge undertaking."

Sponsor's endorsement: "What I will remember most about her is her laser-focused, goal-driven mentality. Her analytical abilities and thirst for knowledge stand out among her peers. She is a conscientious, tenacious and hardworking student who excels in the classroom as well as extracurricular activities. She is a great role model."

Elisah Vanden Bussche

Jacobs High School

Hometown: Lake in the Hills

Parents: Kurt and Veronique Vanden Bussche

Sponsor: Wade Scharlau, chemistry teacher

Class rank: 2 out of 530

GPA: 5.93 on a weighted 6.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2300

Planned major: Chemical engineering and violin performance

Awards, honors: National Merit Finalist, Illinois State Scholar, ACS Chemistry Competition Winner

Personal statement: "My chemistry and physics teachers have a running joke about how I secretly live in the science hallway at my school, just so I can be around to bother them more often. When my first chemistry class introduced me to the concept of the experimental lab, I knew that this was the kind of work I had to do. "

Sponsor's endorsement: "She spends extra time studying before school, during lunch and after school, and many times she helps tutor her classmates during the study sessions."

Alex Whitaker

Cary-Grove High School

Hometown: Cary

Parents: Matt and Kelly Whitaker

Sponsor: Jeffrey Delzell, German teacher

Class rank: 2 out of 433

GPA: 4.639 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2280

Planned major: Chemical and biomolecular engineering

Awards, honors: National Merit Finalist, salutatorian, German Student of the Year

Personal statement: "I have lived my life the way I have wanted to live it: with careful, meticulous planning and procedure to minimize error and maximize intellectual growth. I do not regret anything I have done, for I have decided that regrets are simply mistakes I have not learned from. I have taken my mistakes and applied them to my later endeavors, basing new methods off of the failures of my past."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This student has been a 'lesson changer' for me. Someone for whom a lesson tailored for dozens of other students simply did not suffice. No one in my experience has had his combination of intellectual gifts, work ethic and curiosity. I often found myself adjusting the course during lessons to account for his ability."

Ryan Wyllie

Geneva High School

Hometown: Geneva

Parents: Michael and Sherri Wyllie

Sponsor: Victoria Holbrook, counselor

Class rank: 1 out of 464

GPA: 4.62 on a 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 32

Planned major: Bioengineering

Awards, honors: Valedictorian; National Merit Commended Scholar; High Honor Roll

Personal statement: "My aspiration to be an engineer stems from the desire to create practical and real-world solutions for the everyday problems of average people. After graduating with a graduate degree in said field, I would like to apply my yearning to help others a step further by joining the Peace Corps."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Teachers who have had this student are impressed not only by his intelligence, but by his overall kindness and humility. One of his teachers says, 'This student has an innate ability to understand material the first time it is presented, but is kind enough to tolerate that others may need more time to grasp concepts that are obvious to him.' Another teacher states, 'This student is not arrogant but humble, and always willing to help others.'"

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