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Article posted: 6/7/2013 5:00 AM

2012-2013 Lake County Academic Team

The 2012-13 Daily Herald Lake County Academic Team is: (front row, left to right) Nishad Phadke of Libertyville High School, Justin Doong of Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Emma Castanos of Warren Township High School, Matthew Tabrizi of Vernon Hills High School, (back row left to right) Neeta Abraham of Warren Township High School, Adele Padgett of Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Daniel Santos of Carmel Catholic High School, Brienne Lubor of Carmel Catholic High School, and Kaitlyn Norum, Grayslake North High School.

The 2012-13 Daily Herald Lake County Academic Team is: (front row, left to right) Nishad Phadke of Libertyville High School, Justin Doong of Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Emma Castanos of Warren Township High School, Matthew Tabrizi of Vernon Hills High School, (back row left to right) Neeta Abraham of Warren Township High School, Adele Padgett of Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Daniel Santos of Carmel Catholic High School, Brienne Lubor of Carmel Catholic High School, and Kaitlyn Norum, Grayslake North High School.

 

George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

The 2012-13 Daily Herald Lake County Academic Team is: (front row, left to right) Nishad Phadke of Libertyville High School, Justin Doong of Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Emma Castanos of Warren Township High School, Matthew Tabrizi of Vernon Hills High School, (back row left to right) Neeta Abraham of Warren Township High School, Adele Padgett of Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Daniel Santos of Carmel Catholic High School, Brienne Lubor of Carmel Catholic High School, and Kaitlyn Norum, Grayslake North High School.

The 2012-13 Daily Herald Lake County Academic Team is: (front row, left to right) Nishad Phadke of Libertyville High School, Justin Doong of Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Emma Castanos of Warren Township High School, Matthew Tabrizi of Vernon Hills High School, (back row left to right) Neeta Abraham of Warren Township High School, Adele Padgett of Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Daniel Santos of Carmel Catholic High School, Brienne Lubor of Carmel Catholic High School, and Kaitlyn Norum, Grayslake North High School.

 

George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

Neeta Abraham

Neeta Abraham

 
Emma Castanos

Emma Castanos

 
Justin Doong

Justin Doong

 
Brienne Lubor

Brienne Lubor

 
Caitlin McCarthy

Caitlin McCarthy

 
Kaitlyn Norum

Kaitlyn Norum

 
Adele Padgett

Adele Padgett

 
Nishad Phadke

Nishad Phadke

 
Daniel Santos

Daniel Santos

 
Matthew Tabrizi

Matthew Tabrizi

 
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Neeta Abraham

Warren Twp. High School

Hometown: Gurnee

Parents: George and Sujatha Abraham

Sponsor: Gail Triveline, counselor

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 4.54 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 34

Planned major: Neuroscience/pre-med

Awards, honors: President's Education Award; Illinois State Scholar; AP Scholar

Personal statement: "I excel academically, and that has prepared me for the rigorous premedical studies I plan to complete, but my personal growth is actually what I would consider my biggest accomplishment. Instead of just being able to regurgitate information, I have gained the confidence and empathy that will drive me to reach my goal of being a free clinic doctor in a Third World country."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Neeta understands the importance of a good education, and has many talents which she developed through hard work and commitments. Neeta makes her decisions and choices based on a strong inner moral code and integrity. She demonstrates an inner confidence that allows her to focus on achieving her goals."

Emma Castaņos

Warren Twp. High School

Hometown: Gurnee

Parents: Jorge and Marjolein Castaņos

Sponsor: Gail Triveline, counselor

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 4.61 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Mechanical engineering

Awards, honors: National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar; AP Scholar with Distinction Award; National Merit Commended Scholar

Personal statement: "By exploring engineering, I discovered my natural drive for mathematics and the sciences. With each year of high school, my schedule began to increasingly reflect my interest in science and engineering. Not only did I find success in my enjoyment of my coursework, outside recognitions of my talent and dedication emerged as a result along the way."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Emma is well-respected by not only her peers, but also the staff. Great discussions come from the groups Emma is part of and she takes a leadership role when necessary. She is very logical and persistent in her studies. She is at the top of her class and still maintains a quiet, caring and modest approach to others."

Justin Doong

Stevenson High School

Hometown: Kildeer

Parents: Shain-jer Doong and Shwu-ing Chen

Sponsor: Christian H. Thibaudeau, mathematics teacher

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 4.7429 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2400

Planned major: Engineering

Awards, honors: National Merit Scholarship; AP Scholar; Gold Honor Roll

Personal statement: "I hope to become an engineer, pursuing my passion for math and science while tackling real-life problems to better lives. Yet I also aspire to be an entrepreneur, building on my high school leadership experience as an executive board member of National Honor Society and realizing my own ideas and vision."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Justin is a highly competent thinker and problem solver. At our high school, students in math classes sit in groups of four, encouraged to interact and work many problems together. Justin's social and academic skills allow him to feel comfortable answering group members' questions and his helpful attitude makes him a strong role model."

Brienne Lubor

Carmel Catholic High School

Hometown: Mundelein

Parents: Stuart and Phyllis Lubor

Sponsor: Principal Lynne Strutzel

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 4.52 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Biology/pre-med

Awards, honors: Superior Honors (9-12); Most Valuable Student Award; National Spanish Exam Achievement (Bronze Level AP; Silver for Level 10)

Personal statement: "I have learned that success doesn't come through being lucky, loud, or even armed with connections. Success comes from volunteering enthusiastically in the hope of helping others. Accomplishments shaped my high school career but also provided the clues to my future's possibilities -- my purpose in life is to serve my community as a doctor."

Sponsor's endorsement: "One teacher describes her as 'gifted in so many ways.' Not only is she committed to academic excellence, which is evidenced by her grades, but she is a leader. She leads by doing, by being the person others imitate. In class she reaches out to students in need, very open and genuine."

Caitlin McCarthy

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart

Hometown: Winnetka

Parents: Patrick and Michele McCarthy

Sponsor: Principal Madonna Lee Edmunds

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 5.67 on a weighted 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 34

Planned major: Finance and international business

Awards, honors: Class Honor Award (Highest GPA in grade) 2010, 2011, 2012; Susan B. Anthony History Award; Science Honor Society

Personal statement: "'To whom much is given, much is required.' God has blessed me with a loving family, supportive friends, a phenomenal education and many talents. In return, I wish to use my gifts for a purpose that is bigger than myself. I seek success in academics, tennis, and extracurricular activities because I wish to gain all the tools necessary to make an impact on this world."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This is a young woman who wants to make a mark on the world. She has high expectations of herself and wants to use her education for the betterment of the world."

Kaitlyn Norum

Grayslake North High School

Hometown: Grayslake

Parents: Raymond and Rosanna Norum

Sponsor: Sarah Dahl, counselor

Class rank: Second out of 373

GPA: 4.548 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 33

Planned major: Management, with focus on nonprofit sector

Awards, honors: On highest honor roll all semesters; National Merit Commended Scholar; Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "Volunteering at nonprofits over the years has helped me to feel that I am changing the life of someone who faces greater adversity than I will ever know. I believe with all of my heart that my personal purpose is to use my gifts and abilities to change someone's world, and that in doing so, I can start a chain reaction that will resolve injustices across the entire world, even if that day comes long after I have gone."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Kaitlyn truly has special gifts of intellectual dedication and personal compassion that would brighten any classroom and school. She is a wonderful leader in the classroom."

Adele Padgett

Stevenson High School

Hometown: Lake Forest

Parents: James Padgett, Rosanne Fitko

Sponsor: Brett Erdmann, AP Biology teacher; community service coordinator

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 4.68 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Math, biology or economics

Awards, honors: National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Award in Writing; Illinois Association of Teachers of English Best Poetry and Prose Contest Winner; Outstanding Student in Junior English

Personal statement: "I love finding ways to solve problems. Becoming one of the top female chess players in Illinois has shaped the way I analyze problems and make decisions -- I approach each move analytically, assessing various options before making my move. This model of thinking has become second nature to me."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Adele is a straight-A student with a first-class heart. She has a proven track record of high performance. She is one of the nicest students I have ever worked with and is extremely mature."

Nishad Phadke

Libertyville High School

Hometown: Libertyville

Parents: Ashok and Sarojini Phadke

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 4.742 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2330

Planned major: Computer science

Awards, honors: Illinois All-State Debate Team member; fourth place, Illinois Math League; ninth place in national TEAMS engineering competition

Personal statement: "My parents have always urged me to do my best. Not necessarily to become a doctor, or a scientist or a mathematician, but just to perform as well as I can. This, in many ways, has come to define me. My determination to improve has made me an adaptable, focused individual, and it is my drivenness that has created who I am today."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This brilliant young man is someone who truly values his education. He thrives in the world of textbooks and is academically exceptional across the board. He values learning for the sake of learning and for the self-improvement it is going to bring. His AP Physics teacher stated, 'He is already less a physics student and more a physicist.'"

Daniel Santos

Carmel Catholic High School

Hometown: Beach Park

Parents: Belinda and Danilo Santos

Sponsor: Principal Lynne Strutzel

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 4.50 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 32

Planned major: Accounting and management double major

Awards, honors: AP Scholar with Distinction; Department Awards in English and Social Studies; Superior Honors

Personal statement: "It's 4 a.m. on a scorching morning in the projects of Manila; My cousin, Levi, gathers phone cards and snacks on a cart to begin a long day's work. He belongs in school. He belongs on the basketball courts, enjoying his only chance at a childhood. But ... he works to provide for his family's survival. I watch with Beats around my head and LeBrons on my feet, swallowing back guilt. Beyond the stray dogs and jeepneys of my parents' impoverished homeland exist experiences that define who I am. On these minuscule islands in the Pacific lie my main life goals, to help people and give back to the Third World."

Sponsor's endorsement: "With his quiet, humble presence, he is able to bring people together and truly bring out the best in everyone."

Matthew Tabrizi

Vernon Hills High School

Hometown: Vernon Hills

Parents: Dominic and Maria Tabrizi

Sponsor: Rebecca Bellito, counselor

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 4.584 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Mechanical engineering

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

Personal statement: "After college, I will use not just the material I learned but, more importantly, the analytical skills I refined and expanded to confront real problems and better the local and even global communities."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This student is one of the most accomplished students, both academically and extracurricularly, with whom I have worked. His high school course selection was the most rigorous available at our school, and he has earned straight A's in these classes. His drive for excellence in his academics is not based solely on the grade earned; he also aspires to promote thoughtful, intellectual discussion in all of his classes. The discipline he displays in the classroom is also evident in the wide array of activities he participates in outside of the classroom."

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