Illinois Math and Science Academy
Class of 2020
  • Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora.

      Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • IMSA Class of 2020 graduate sign.

      IMSA Class of 2020 graduate sign. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • IMSA logo

    IMSA logo

  • Banners at Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora.

      Banners at Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora.

      Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Illinois Math and Science Academy 2020 graduate sign.

      Illinois Math and Science Academy 2020 graduate sign. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Students celebrate during homecoming activities at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora.

    Students celebrate during homecoming activities at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora. Courtesy of IMSA

  • Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy students in a photo taken during homecoming activities at the Aurora school.

    Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy students in a photo taken during homecoming activities at the Aurora school. Courtesy of IMSA

  • Students enjoy homecoming activities at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora.

    Students enjoy homecoming activities at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora. Courtesy of IMSA

  • Students enjoy homecoming activities at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora.

    Students enjoy homecoming activities at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora. Courtesy of IMSA

  • Ray Shang is an Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy senior speaker in the school's 2020 virtual graduation ceremony.

    Ray Shang is an Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy senior speaker in the school's 2020 virtual graduation ceremony. YouTube Video Screenshot

  • Caitlyn Castillo is an Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy senior speaker in the school's 2020 virtual graduation ceremony.

    Caitlyn Castillo is an Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy senior speaker in the school's 2020 virtual graduation ceremony. YouTube Video Screenshot

 
Updated 6/19/2020 6:00 AM

Graduates in Class of 2020: 220

Graduation speakers: Caitlyn Castillo and Ray Shang

 

Class officers: Jay Dong, Vasu Chalasani, Kurt Leano, Aaron Rodrigues, Ji Yoon Lee

Academic achievements:

• Three teams of IMSA entrepreneurship program students swept 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and won $40,000 in prize money for their innovative business ideas at the Midwest 'The Next Launch' Competition.

• Michelle Wang was the second place finisher at the BP Student Ideas Competition.

• Students Nafay Abdul and Sophia Pribus presented a project titled, "Diagnostic AbO Targeted Probes for Alzheimer's Disease" at the Korea Science Academy Science Fair 2019 held in Busan, Republic of Korea.

• IMSA was ranked the #1 Best Public High School in Illinois and #2 Best Public High School in America by niche.com

• The National Merit Scholarship Program named 35 Finalists from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in its 2020 competition. IMSA finalists represent 23 different communities throughout Illinois.

• IMSA hosted its first student-led TEDxYouth@IMSA event.

• Zahra Vasi and Jodi Meng presented their research at the Japan Super Science Fair 2019.

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• 140 students from the Class of 2020 have been named Illinois State Scholars for outstanding academic achievement.

• Andrew Du, Vasu Chalasani, and Krishna Thakkar presented their SIR research at the International Student Science Fair (ISSF) 2020.

Athletic achievements:

• Golf team finished the 2019 season undefeated in their conference.

• All-Northeastern Athletic Conference athletes: Ethan Tse, Nikita Elkin and Brandon Park, boys soccer first team; Jorge Chavez, Quadri Durojaiye and Mason Runkel, boys soccer second team; Nafay Abdul and Hasan Almousawi, boys soccer honorable mention; Isha Kadakia, girls volleyball first team; Alice Li, Joyce Li, girls volleyball second team Jay Dong, swimming.

Extracurricular achievements:

• Chess team competed at the state finals taking 5th place out of 128 teams.

• Scholastic Bowl team won the championship at the Masonic Academic Bowl Sectional tournament and second place for Division 3A at the Masonic Academic Bowl State Finals. Members were Matthew Lee, Tejo Velagapudi, Rachna Gupta, Brady Williams and Michael Hunding.

• Congressional Debate team members Sophie Pribus and Krishnachandra Nair qualified for nationals at the National Qualifier tournament.

• Titan Robotics won Midwest Regional to qualify for the World Championships.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Sabrina Meng earned all-state honors in Orchestra at the All-State Illinois Music Education Conference.

• After a Facebook call for help from a Chicago hospital in dire need of face shields to help protect patient caregivers, senior Levi Raskin sprang into action using his makerspace virtuoso to organize a group of others makers who have produced and delivered 2,000 face shields for hospitals.

Theater productions: "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" (fall show); "Private Lives" (winter show)

Homecoming King and Queen: Brennan Shapiro and Shivang Bhaskar

Homecoming theme: Starry Night

What was new for the Class of 2020: $2 million innovation and entrepreneurship space named after IMSA alumnus and founder of YouTube Steve Chen; new state-of-the-art science labs; newly renovated auditorium funded by private philanthropic donations.

Notable speakers: Zev Siegl, co-founder of Starbucks; Elizabeth "Betsy" Ziegler, CEO of 1871

Principal's reflections on the Class of 2020: The IMSA Titans of 2020 have certainly made their mark. We are so proud of each and every one of them. Throughout their three years at IMSA, they demonstrated tenacity, adaptability, and a passion for learning. They made "lemonade out of lemons" by embracing this thing called ZOOM. They were part of over 150 presentations during IMSALoquium, presenting their research live. We will miss their presence, but the Class of 2020's spirit will live on in the halls of IMSA.

-- Dr. Robert Hernandez

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