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updated: 5/8/2014 3:51 PM

2014 Academic Team: Celebrating the top students in the suburbs

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  • The 2014 Northwest Suburban Academic Team gathers at Harper College. Front row, from left: Emma Heckelsmiller, Palatine High School; Trent Cwiok, Elk Grove High School; and Sohum Chokshi, Conant. Middle row, from left: Paul Lewis, St. Viator, Mary Collins, Rolling Meadows High School; Robert Andrews, Fremd; and Tyler Harris, St. Viator. Back row, from left: Peter Kotecki, Buffalo Grove High School; Milan Patel, Hoffman Estates High School and Matthew Stadnicki, Hersey High School.

       The 2014 Northwest Suburban Academic Team gathers at Harper College. Front row, from left: Emma Heckelsmiller, Palatine High School; Trent Cwiok, Elk Grove High School; and Sohum Chokshi, Conant. Middle row, from left: Paul Lewis, St. Viator, Mary Collins, Rolling Meadows High School; Robert Andrews, Fremd; and Tyler Harris, St. Viator. Back row, from left: Peter Kotecki, Buffalo Grove High School; Milan Patel, Hoffman Estates High School and Matthew Stadnicki, Hersey High School.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • The Lake County Academic Team at College of Lake County. Standing clockwise, from left: Pranalee Patel, Grayslake Central High School; Yu Jin Shin, Carmel Catholic; Justin Song, Vernon Hills High School; David Crisler, Lake Zurich High School; Cheryl Xiang, Stevenson High School; Vivian Wan, Stevenson; and Hannah Bohn, Antioch Community High School. Sitting, from left: Nicholas Rice, Grayslake North; Rohan Ghosh, Warren Township High School and Joey Nedland, Libertyville High School.

       The Lake County Academic Team at College of Lake County. Standing clockwise, from left: Pranalee Patel, Grayslake Central High School; Yu Jin Shin, Carmel Catholic; Justin Song, Vernon Hills High School; David Crisler, Lake Zurich High School; Cheryl Xiang, Stevenson High School; Vivian Wan, Stevenson; and Hannah Bohn, Antioch Community High School. Sitting, from left: Nicholas Rice, Grayslake North; Rohan Ghosh, Warren Township High School and Joey Nedland, Libertyville High School.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • The Daily Herald Fox Valley Academic Team at Elgin Community College. In front: Sarah Atac, Batavia High. Second row, from left: Kevin Wilde, Cary-Grove and Caroline Hutton, Dundee-Crown. Third row, from left: Madeline Dulabaum, Elgin Academy; Anna Ward, Rosary and Alexis Raven Guttilla, Westminster Christian. Back row, from left: Alexander Park, St. Charles East and Rian Cort Kormos, Geneva High. Not pictured: Srisha Kotlo, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and Brian Simon, Marmion Academy.

       The Daily Herald Fox Valley Academic Team at Elgin Community College. In front: Sarah Atac, Batavia High. Second row, from left: Kevin Wilde, Cary-Grove and Caroline Hutton, Dundee-Crown. Third row, from left: Madeline Dulabaum, Elgin Academy; Anna Ward, Rosary and Alexis Raven Guttilla, Westminster Christian. Back row, from left: Alexander Park, St. Charles East and Rian Cort Kormos, Geneva High. Not pictured: Srisha Kotlo, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and Brian Simon, Marmion Academy.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • The DuPage County Academic Team at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. From left: Aashna Patel, Lake Park High School; Anand Desai, Glenbard North; Richard Maganini, Glenbard West; Kevin Shah, Neuqua Valley; Sebastian Wagner-Carena, Naperville North; Kimberly Dauber, Naperville North; Rose Thompson, Metea Valley; Lauren Liebman, Wheaton North and Wendi Guraziu, Glenbard East. Not pictured: Katie Portman, Downers Grove North High School.

       The DuPage County Academic Team at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. From left: Aashna Patel, Lake Park High School; Anand Desai, Glenbard North; Richard Maganini, Glenbard West; Kevin Shah, Neuqua Valley; Sebastian Wagner-Carena, Naperville North; Kimberly Dauber, Naperville North; Rose Thompson, Metea Valley; Lauren Liebman, Wheaton North and Wendi Guraziu, Glenbard East. Not pictured: Katie Portman, Downers Grove North High School.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

Many suburban high schools no longer assign class rankings to their graduating seniors, but the students at the top are easy to spot -- not only do they perform well academically, they see a world beyond grades and personal achievement.

Today's Daily Herald Academic Team celebrates these teens for their extraordinary achievements in high school and for the promise of extraordinary lives ahead. They each charge themselves with making the world a better place, through hard work, passion and vision.

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The annual Daily Herald Academic Team highlights the best of the best. Each high school, public and private, can nominate only two students for this honor. They have to make their case -- each nominee's grades and coursework for 7 semesters are examined, their extracurricular activities and awards and honors are scrutinized.

As well, each student writes a one-page essay describing what their academic achievement means to them, what they've learned along the way and what they want to do with their lives. Their sponsors write a letter of recommendation explaining, from an adult point of view, what they see in these students that makes them stand out.

At the end of this rigorous process, judges in the education field make their selections.

In today's Neighbor you'll see the teens named to the team and the honorable mentions. To read about the teens named to all four regional teams and the honorable mentions, visit www.dailyherald.com.

Anyone who worries about the future of our planet is guaranteed to feel a little bit better.

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