Introducing the 2018-19 Daily Herald Academic Team

Welcome to the 2018-19 Daily Herald Academic Team, featuring this year's select group of highly gifted, hardworking and dedicated high school seniors.

This year, as we have every year since the Academic Team began in 2002, the Daily Herald encouraged nominations from suburban public and private high schools in the Northwest suburbs, Lake County, DuPage County and the Fox Valley, in our quest to find and celebrate the best and brightest.

As you read on, you will meet this year's team and honorable mentions, who have all faced the toughest challenges their suburban high schools have put before them — and mastered them.

But these students are more than just dizzyingly high ACT and SAT scores and grade-point averages. They have purpose and drive. They are eager to put their hard-won knowledge to use in the real world — many have already started doing that — and to do great things in their chosen fields. Without further ado, meet the 2018-19 Academic Team.

Lake County Academic Team honorable mentions, 2018-2019

Fox Valley Academic Team honorable mentions, 2018-2019

Northwest Suburban Academic Team honorable mentions, 2018-2019

Fox Valley Academic Team, 2018-2019

Lake County Academic Team, 2018-2019

Northwest Suburban Academic Team, 2018-2019

DuPage County Academic Team honorable mentions, 2018-2019

DuPage County Academic Team, 2018-2019

  The 10 members of the 2019 Lake County Academic team are, front row, from left: Rachel Assaf, Lakes Community High School; Katelyn Dohler, Vernon Hills High School; and Joshua Adisumarta, Grayslake Central High School. Middle row, from left: Angela Zhang, Stevenson High School; Saranya Menon, Warren Township High School; Sarah Sobol, Lake Zurich High School; and Santiago Currea, Warren Township High School. Back row, from left: Tony Tan, Stevenson High School; Jake Duffy, Libertyville High School and Alexa Pomerantz, Vernon Hills High School. Joe Lewnard/
  Members of the 2018-19 Fox Valley Academic Team come together for a photo. Standing, from left, are Nicholas Ortiz, Central High School; Vincent Lam, St. Charles North High School; Joseph Noonan, Marian Central Catholic High School and Kayla Villa, St. Charles East High School. Seated, from left, are Conor McPheron, Geneva High School; Calvin Berg, Cary-Grove High School; James Graft, Marmion Academy and Neha Rajan, Batavia High School. Not pictured: Louise Gabrielle Lima and Andy Liu, both of the Illinois Math and Science Academy. Brian Hill/
  The 10 members of the 2018-19 DuPage County Academic Team are, from left: Ashwin Saxena, Metea Valley High School; Soomin Kim, Waubonsie Valley High School; Karen Ge, Naperville North High School; Sulaiman Sajed, College Preparatory School of America; Emily Mao, Lisle High School; Sarah Kulkarni, Wheaton Warrenville South High School; Ahalya Lettenberger, Glenbard West High School; Gino Kozel, Benet Academy; Akshay Dugar, Neuqua Valley High School and Alex Trickey, Naperville Central High School. Patrick Kunzer/
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