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updated: 5/8/2014 3:34 PM

Meet the 2013-2014 Fox Valley Academic Team

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  • The Daily Herald Fox Valley Academic Team at Elgin Community College. In front: Sarah Atac, Batavia High; and from left, 2nd row, Kevin Wilde, Cary-Grove  and Caroline Hutton, Dundee-Crown; 3rd row,  Madeline Dulabaum, Elgin Academy; Anna Ward, Rosary,  and Alexis Raven Guttilla, Westminster Christian; and back row, 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; and from left, 2nd row, Kevin Wilde, Cary-Grove and Caroline Hutton, Dundee-Crown; 3rd row, Madeline Dulabaum, Elgin Academy; Anna Ward, Rosary, and Alexis Raven Guttilla, Westminster Christian; and back row, 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

  • Sarah Atac, Batavia High School

      Sarah Atac, Batavia High School

  • Madeline Dulabaum, Elgin Academy

      Madeline Dulabaum, Elgin Academy

  • Alexis Raven Guttilla, Westminster Christian School

      Alexis Raven Guttilla, Westminster Christian School

  • Caroline Hutton, Dundee-Crown High School

      Caroline Hutton, Dundee-Crown High School

  • Rian Cort Kormos, Geneva High School

      Rian Cort Kormos, Geneva High School

  • Srisha Kotlo, IMSA

      Srisha Kotlo, IMSA

  • Alexander Park, St. Charles East High School

      Alexander Park, St. Charles East High School

  • Brian Simon, Marmion Academy

      Brian Simon, Marmion Academy

  • Anna Ward, Rosary High School

      Anna Ward, Rosary High School

  • Kevin Wilde, Cary-Grove High School

      Kevin Wilde, Cary-Grove High School

 

Sarah Atac, Batavia High School

Hometown: Batavia

Parents: Lucy Thelin-Atac and Robert Atac

Sponsor: Steven Lesniak, counselor

Class rank: 1 out of 484

GPA: 4.375 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Biomedical engineering

Awards, honors: AP Scholar, National Honor Society, Illinois State Scholar, WYSE

Personal statement: "Ever since I was small, I knew that I wanted to go into medicine. Currently, I am in the process of contracting into the Army through their ROTC program. The idea that I could potentially heal those who gave everything to serve their country would be mental satisfaction like nothing else. My desire to be an Army surgeon strengthened my desire to succeed in school, and I put everything I had into my education."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Her understanding of the world around her is greater than (that of) many adults I have encountered and will undoubtedly serve as another tool to help her toward her goal in a possible career in the medical field."

Madeline Dulabaum, Elgin Academy

Hometown: Elgin

Parents: Nevin and Mary Dulabaum

Sponsor: Doug Sept, director of Upper School

Class rank: Students are not ranked

GPA: 3.99 on a traditional 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 33; SAT: 2030

Planned major: Undecided

Awards, honors: National Merit Finalist, George Eastman Young Leaders, Rotary Club Straight A Award three-time honoree

Personal statement: "Regardless of what I do or where I end up, being a globally aware citizen is of the utmost importance. I want to be compassionate and effective for the world around me. I have tried to do both by attending Christian Citizenship Seminar twice, lobbying to Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Ron Johnson about the harmful effects of carbon, as well as the devastating problem of childhood poverty in America."

Sponsor's endorsement: "In the relatively short time that she has been with us, she has made our school a better place."

Alexis Raven Guttilla, Westminster Christian School

Hometown: St. Charles

Parents: Joseph and Cindy Guttilla

Sponsor: Carolyn Palmer, principal

Class rank: 1 out of 52

GPA: 4.19 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 31; SAT: 2070

Planned major: Dietetics

Awards, honors: Elgin Noon Rotary Club Scholar; High Honor on Honor Roll each semester of high school; National Honor Society

Personal statement: "I aspire to assist those who suffer from food-related complications such as allergies, eating disorders, and diabetes so that they may have the chance to live full and healthful lives. I have put forth my best effort throughout all of high school so as to be well-equipped for the additional years of education I will need to achieve my goal of becoming a registered dietitian."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Beyond setting the bar for academic excellence, she also has a heart for serving those in need. For the past two years, she has worked with the Northern Illinois Food Bank as a volunteer."

Caroline Hutton, Dundee-Crown High School

Hometown: West Dundee

Parents: Brice and Jennifer Hutton

Sponsor: Gail Blanchard, counselor

Class rank: 1 out of 558

GPA: 4.0 on a traditional 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 34

Planned major: Political science

Awards, honors: AP Scholar with Distinction, National Merit Commended Scholar, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "I want to improve the quality of life of others by setting an example. With a degree in political science and possibly a law degree, I hope to get involved in the political process. Whereas others see a broken situation in Washington, I see an opportunity to change the world. I have experienced the roles of both leader and follower, and I know I can use that understanding to make a positive contribution to politics."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This semester ... Caroline gave up a political internship in order to step into a teaching internship created to provide support for our newly designated debate teacher. Serving as debate team captain as well, Caroline has earned several awards as 'First Place Speaker' and 'Best Presiding Officer.'"

Rian Cort Kormos, Geneva High School

Hometown: Elburn

Parents: Cort and Maria Kormos

Sponsor: Julie Mueller, counselor

Class rank: 1 out of 451

GPA: 4.63 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Biomolecular engineering

Awards, honors: Presidential Scholar Nominee, Illinois State Scholar, National Merit Finalist, AP Scholar

Personal statement: "Once I've graduated college, which I hope to do with a B.S. in chemical engineering, I hope to pursue a master's and then doctorate in the same field with the interest of becoming involved in the development of nanomedical technologies."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Out of all the students I've had in my career, Rian not only has one of the highest aptitudes, but has the ability to effectively communicate with others. He has accomplished the prestigious position of number one out of 451 students in his class, which speaks volumes to his ability, work ethic and drive to succeed. He also earned a perfect 36 on the ACT."

Srisha Kotlo, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Kumar Kotlo and Padmalatha Berikai

Sponsor: Julia Husen, college counselor

Class rank: Students are not ranked

GPA: 3.98 on a traditional 4.0 scale

Test scores: SAT: 2270

Planned major: biology, pre-med

Awards, honors: Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Finalist and Fourth Place Grand Award; Siemens Competition for Math, Science and Technology 2013 Semifinalist; Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Finalist

Personal statement: "My life goal is to become a physician specialized in cardiovascular medicine with interests in translational research, so that I can use the applications of basic research to solve medical problems."

Sponsor's endorsement: "I am not sure if it is possible to love science more than Srisha does. Everything in his life revolves around reading, learning, experimenting, researching, and presenting on various biological topics. I am also not sure if it is possible to be more organized, efficient, and productive than Srisha."

Alexander Park, St. Charles East High School

Hometown: St. Charles

Parents: Richard and Lucy Park

Sponsor: Jamie DeBeir

Class rank: 1 out of 584

GPA: 5.892 on a 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2230

Planned major: International relations

Awards, honors: National Merit Finalist, AP Scholar with Distinction, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "As a high school senior, it seems like every adult has two questions to ask. Fortunately for me, the first, 'Where are you going next year?' is one I can answer. It's the second question, 'What do you want to do?' that's the tough one. Life is a choose-your-own-adventure type story, not some novel with a fixed ending."

Sponsor's endorsement: "As a high school counselor, I often have the great pleasure of working with students of high caliber and great academic promise. It is truly not often that I have had the pleasure of working with a student like Alex. He is warm and genuine in his humor and personality, his academic gifts are obvious through his grades and test scores, but what is most compelling about him is his sense of humanity."

Brian Simon, Marmion Academy

Hometown: LaGrange

Parents: Gerald Simon and Donna Kampner-Simon

Sponsor: Anthony Tinerella, principal

Class rank: 3 out of 124

GPA: 4.805 on a weighted scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Biological science

Awards, honors: JROTC Academic Bowl, Army National Champions, 2013; National Spanish Exam Gold Award, Level 2 and Level 3; National Merit Finalist

Personal statement: "While he accuses me of copying him, I hope to follow my brother in becoming a doctor like our dad. I have a solid background in math and science that will allow me to be successful in whatever field of medicine I choose. I am very excited to be accepted to the University of Notre Dame, where I intend to enter the College of Science and study biological sciences."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Besides being academically gifted, he has shown great integrity as he often volunteers to assist peers who are struggling in class. He is a natural leader, one who leads by example and enthusiasm."

Anna Ward, Rosary High School

Hometown: Batavia

Parents: Becky and E.J. Ward

Sponsor: Michelle Salerno, assistant principal

Class rank: Students are not ranked

GPA: 4.554 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 34; SAT: 2270

Planned major: Elementary or special education

Awards, honors: National Merit Finalist; National Spanish Exam -- Gold Medalist 2011, 2012, 2013; WYSE State Qualifier in Chemistry 2013, 2014

Personal statement: "Through my academic accomplishments, I have become aware of two important life goals: my goal to learn by encountering the world and my goal of utilizing each one of my gifts to bring about change that will improve the world and the lives of those around me."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This wonderful student is truly the 'whole package.' Not only is she extremely bright, she is a cross country runner, student preacher and is dedicated to community service. In addition, she has natural leadership skills that she has nurtured while attending our school. "

Kevin Wilde, Cary-Grove High School

Hometown: Cary

Parents: Mary and Dave Wilde

Sponsor: Chris Mourtokokis, counselor

Class rank: 2 out of 406

GPA: 4.378 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2340

Planned major: Computer science

Awards, honors: Presidential Scholar candidate, National Merit Finalist, AP Scholar

Personal statement: "Throughout my life, I have never been satisfied with simply meeting the minimum requirements. While some people may ask, 'What is the least amount of work I need to do to get by?' I instead choose to ask, 'What could I do to get the most out of this situation?' I plan to major in computer science in college, and afterward, I hope to have a job as a software engineer ... and contribute to the advancement of technology."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This student is the complete package. Not only does he excel academically, he also dedicates his time to school and community organizations. His Honors Pre-calculus and AP Statistics teacher said it best, 'He is the most intelligent and most mature student that I have taught in my eleven-year teaching career.'"

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