2015-2016 Northwest Suburban Academic Team

  • The 2015-16 Northwest Suburban Daily Herald Academic Team gathers at Harper College in Palatine. From left: Kaitlyn Lee, Barrington High School; Angelo Bastas, Elk Grove High School; Kiera Gavin, Palatine High School; Shreyas Gandlur, Hoffman Estates High School; Zalman Faltushanskiy, Wheeling High School; Shriram Chennakesavalu, James B. Conant High School; Trevor Glasgow, Rolling Meadows High School; Haripriya Mehta, Maine West High School and Jiamin Huang, William Fremd High School. Not pictured: Srinivas Cherukuri, Schaumburg High School.

    The 2015-16 Northwest Suburban Daily Herald Academic Team gathers at Harper College in Palatine. From left: Kaitlyn Lee, Barrington High School; Angelo Bastas, Elk Grove High School; Kiera Gavin, Palatine High School; Shreyas Gandlur, Hoffman Estates High School; Zalman Faltushanskiy, Wheeling High School; Shriram Chennakesavalu, James B. Conant High School; Trevor Glasgow, Rolling Meadows High School; Haripriya Mehta, Maine West High School and Jiamin Huang, William Fremd High School. Not pictured: Srinivas Cherukuri, Schaumburg High School. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

 
Posted5/19/2016 5:17 AM

Angelo Bastas
Angelo Bastas
Angelo Bastas, Elk Grove High School

Hometown: Elk Grove Village

Parents: Steven Bastas, Amy Bastas

Sponsor: Christopher Rugg, Math/Science division head

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 5.52 on a weighted 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 34

Planned major: Physics

Awards, honors: Illinois State Scholar; AP Scholar with Distinction; Highest Honor Roll

Personal statement: "I expect to lead a life of knowledge, passion, and fulfillment. Academics are the central means to achieving any substantial amount of knowledge. I expect to be giving back to society what society has so generously given to me all of my life; this will likely be research to help contribute to humankind's pool of knowledge."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Angelo is not satisfied simply being 'good enough.' Not only am I teaching him the highest class offered in the school, but I offer no partial credit and the only grades that count for students are those they receive on tests. Angelo only missed two problems the entire semester. His performance simply stands out in a class of high achievers and his attention to detail is second to none."

Shriram Chennakesavalu
Shriram Chennakesavalu
Shriram Chennakesavalu, Conant High School

Hometown: Schaumburg

Parents: Chenna Govindasamy and Hema Raghavan

Sponsor: Scott Altergott, counselor

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 5.270 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2370

Planned major: Chemistry, with a major or minor in computer science

Awards, honors: U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis' Student of the Year (2015); National Merit Finalist (2016); North Suburban Mathematics League Top 10 High Scorer (2016)

Personal statement: "The passion I developed for learning, my drive to truly understand the world around me, is my greatest academic accomplishment -- (which) I hope to carry on not only in college, but in my life and career. I have the opportunity to work for something beyond myself and never be forced to accept the present as the best."

Sponsor's endorsement: "It is in his character to set aside mean ego and pride to do both what is right and what is needed. Shriram has shown this in his academic work, extracurricular activities, and his relationships with staff and students."

Srinivas Cherukuri
Srinivas Cherukuri
Srinivas Cherukuri, Schaumburg High School

Hometown: Schaumburg

Parent: Suresh Cherukuri

Sponsor: Darrell Robin, English teacher

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 5.058 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2400

Planned major: Biophysics or physics

Awards, honors: Student of the Year, Illinois Communications and Theater Association; Scholastic Achievement Award, Illinois High School Association; All State Debate Team, Illinois Congressional Debate Association

Personal statement: "Personally, I believe that everyone is passionate about something, but only those who are able to voice their passions have an impact. While I have a profound love for science, I also have a love for activities like debate that have given me lessons in leadership and initiative."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Even after reaching the culmination of perfect standardized test scores and state (debate) championships, his humility, coupled with his desire to educate, starts the cycle anew for the next students. Srini realizes his place on the continuum: He learned from the past; he fortified the present; he safeguards the future."

Zalman Faltushanskiy
Zalman Faltushanskiy -
Zalman Faltushanskiy, Wheeling High School

Hometown: Wheeling

Parents: Boris and Diana Faltushanskiy

Sponsor: Michael Hurley, English teacher

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 5.51 on a weighted 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2350

Planned major: Chemistry (part of the 7-year direct acceptance medical program at Northwestern University)

Awards, honors: U.S. Presidential Scholars Program candidate; National Merit Finalist; Captain of Captains of the Illinois Congressional Debate Association Captains' Committee

Personal statement: "Working in a nursing home taught me of the preciousness of time, and the necessity of allocating it wisely. After observing firsthand the difficulties of living with old age, I vowed to devote all of my healthy time on Earth to making others healthier."

Sponsor's endorsement: "He is a young man of strong character, someone who wants to improve not just his life but also the lives of others around him. I appreciate his work and his personality; his legacy will live on long after he is gone, not just in Debate, but all over Wheeling High School."

Shreyas Gandlur
Shreyas Gandlur
Shreyas Gandlur, Hoffman Estates High School

Hometown: Hoffman Estates

Parents: Mallikarjuna & Suma Gandlur

Sponsor: Peter Konecki, science teacher

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 5.05 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2240

Planned major: Electrical engineering or computer science

Awards, honors: D211 Board of Education Award of Excellence; perfect scores in SAT II Subject tests in Physics and Math II; 16 medals at State and five medals at Nationals in Business Professionals of America, including 1st in nation in Financial Math and Analysis

Personal statement: "In high school I have grown considerably; in knowledge, in soft skills, as a person. My interest in law and in modern technology has led me to want to get involved in politics and the implementation of public policy."

Sponsor's endorsement: "I have been the chess team sponsor for nine years, and no one has impressed me quite the way Shreyas has. He has shown me more than a thing or two -- in fact, he has shown the entire team. Shreyas has eagerly stepped into a role of leader, mentor and friend to the entire team."

Kiera Gavin
Kiera Gavin
Kiera Gavin, Palatine High School

Hometown: Palatine

Parents: Bernadette and Daniel Gavin

Sponsor: Mike Hernon, counselor

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 5.095 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Biological, chemical or materials science engineering

Awards, honors: 'A' Honor Roll for all semesters of high school; AP Scholar With Distinction; Illinois High School Scholar

Personal statement: "Engineering is the science of problem solving. I want to help lessen the ever-increasing disparity between the rich and poor in our country and the world. I am passionate about spreading socioeconomic opportunity by disseminating education and health to the less fortunate. Everyone deserves the opportunity to improve his or her position in life through hard work."

Sponsor's endorsement: "What makes her academic achievements so amazing is Kiera is ultra-involved and passionate about self-development and growth. An amazing student, Kiera has also been a strong leader. I have the highest admiration for her character and willingness to do things "full go."

Trevor Glasgow
Trevor Glasgow
Trevor Glasgow, Rolling Meadows High School

Hometown: Arlington Heights

Parents: Denise and Thomas Glasgow

Sponsor: Andrew Prazeres, AP World History teacher

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 5.65 on a weighted 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 34

Planned major: Economics

Awards, honors: American Chemical Society Student of the Year; AP Economics Student of the Quarter; AP World Student of the Quarter

Personal statement: "The success and infatuation with world cultures and economics has caused me to pursue a career as a geopolitical economic analyst. I will be able to study how the politics in one country can affect the economy of another, and how fluctuations in a nation's gross domestic product can affect the political actions within another country."

Sponsor's endorsement: "I have never met a student so brilliant and yet so incredibly humble. He has no interest in celebrating his genius, but rather wishes to share knowledge and information. Trevor may have the highest GPA at our school, but I think it is more important that he has the biggest heart."

Jiamin Huang
Jiamin Huang
Jiamin Huang, William Fremd High School

Hometown: Palatine

Parents: Manxing Huang & Haiyan Lin

Sponsor: Laura Marsh, English teacher

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 5.222 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2350

Planned major: Undecided

Awards, honors: National AP Scholar; National Merit Scholar; Perfect AP Macroeconomics score

Personal statement: "Whereas other ambitious students have their 10-year life plans written in pen, mine consists of eraser smudges and a promise to myself to one day adopt a dog. Yet, the unknowns that litter my life don't make me anxious -- they're just opportunities for exploration and discovery, and piecing together a bit of the puzzle that is this world. And while I may not know for sure what most of my life goals are, I do know that I want to keep learning."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Over the year, most students crack at least once. Even my best have slipped, skimming Huck Finn and earning a C- on a quiz. Not Jiamin. Not once. She works, works thoughtfully, and the work she produces is insightful and unique. She values her time and the time of her teachers."

Kaitlyn Lee
Kaitlyn Lee
Kaitlyn Lee, Barrington High School

Hometown: Inverness

Parents: June and John Lee

Sponsor: Julie Baylor, Science Department chairwoman

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 4.815 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2320

Planned major: Computer science

Awards, honors: National Merit Finalist; National AP Scholar; Illinois runner-up, National Center for Women & Information Technology Aspirations in Computing Award

Personal statement: "I have always been a problem solver. But unlike most, it is not the final answer that fascinates me, but rather the process I take to get there ... What I love most about computer science is there are no rules. Instead of presenting you with a list of facts and laws upon which you must build, it gives you the tools with which you can accomplish almost anything."

Sponsor's endorsement: "I remember how excited the class got when Kaitlyn would ask a novel question or talk about a relevant article she had read. They knew we were in for an intense discussion that would make them think about the world in a different way."

Haripriya Mehta
Haripriya Mehta
Haripriya Mehta, Maine West High School

Hometown: Des Plaines

Parents: Prashant Mehta, Pragna Mehta

Sponsor: Principal Audrey Haugan

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 4.96 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2350

Planned major: Electrical engineering, with computer science minor

Awards, honors: Chemistry Olympiad semifinalist; Premio de Oro in National Spanish Exam; Illinois Women's Press Association 1st place and National Federation of Press Women 2nd place

Personal statement: "I would like to be a social entrepreneur and develop innovative solutions to pressing problems of developing countries. I want to continue writing STEM-related articles and would like to write books about the latest research and present scientific jargon in nontechnical language for young readers."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Perhaps one of the most brilliant students to ever walk the halls of Maine West, Haripriya has been walking our halls since sixth grade. She started the 3-D Innovations Club, designing a prosthetic hand for a Maine West student born without a hand and part of his arm."

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