Graduates in the Class of 2021: 579
Academic Scholars: Sahithi Ankireddy; Chloe Barna; Anushri Bhanderi; Hannah Bijoy; Akshay Brahmbhatt; Noelle Campos; Nicholas Chen; Alishba Choudhry; Connor Conte; Ashley Cyr; Alexa Demos; Emily Denna; Shreya Deshpande; Lillianne Devereux; Jaskarn Dhillon; Sadaf Farsi; Maria Feng; Nicolas Frank; Doriana Gaina; Skyler Gao; Julia Gielczynski; Hulya Goodwin; Karissa Han; Samantha Henry; Sereen Hussain; Megan Ja; Labdhi Jain; Neeharika Kakuturu; Shreya Katwala; Sania Khaja; Christian Kim; Megumi Komoto; Rei Komura; Hannah Large; Evan Lee; Claire Liberio; Simren Mahajan; Jessica Malecki; Julia Markowski; Nina Matusiak; Avril Fielle Mauro; Abhinav Nayak; Anika Palkhiwala; Reyna Parayno; Ashay Parikh; Madison Park; Aryan Patel; Dev Patel; Dimple Patel; Khushi Patel; Riddhi Patel; AiNhi Phan; Sanjana Rajesh; Aparna Sarma; Matthew Schmitt; Rebecca Schulz; Arina Shah; Rohan Shah; Rayaan Siddiqi; Danielle Smith; Kei Smith; Jessica States; Diya Thomas; Kristiyan Tonchev; Greta Ureste; Adya Verma; Brooke Wartman; Katherine Waterman; Gabriel Zak; Jing Wei Zhao; Elle Ziemianin.
Graduation Speakers: Hannah Large and Maria Feng
Class Officers: Andy Horwitz; Maria Feng; Olivia Messerges; Katie Jancaric; Taylor Okamoto; Jenna Carr; and Hannah Large.
National Merit Finalists: Nicholas Chen; Martin Ferris; Rei Komura; Sanjana Rajesh; and Matthew Schmitt.
National Merit commended students: Tyler Alexander; Anushri Bhanderi; Shramaan Chakraborty; Alexa Demos; Michael Deresz; Julia Gielczynski; Neeharika Kakuturu; Christian Kim; Evan Lee; Jessica Malecki; Abhinav Nayak; Taylor Okamoto; Anika Palkhiwala; Ashay Parikh; Aryan Patel; Khushi Patel; Rahi Patel; Connor Plonka; Aparna Sarma; Jessica States; Diya Thomas; Adya Verma; Katherine Waterman; Mattehew Weippert; and Gabriel Zak.
National Merit Hispanic Finalists: Matthew Schmitt and Jessica States.
Congressional App Challenge winners: Ahsay Parikh and Rayaan Siddiqi
Published Author: "The Switch Up," Rayaan Siddiq
Perfect ACT: Ashay Parikh
• Speech regionals: Diya Thomas, 3rd place in Impromptu Speaking; Conant Speech took third place in Regionals.
• Voice Of Democracy speech contest: Nick Chen placed 4th
• Business Professionals of America: First-place finishes: Saanji Shah, Kimaya Parmar, Shreya Katwala and Sahithi Ankireddy, global marketing team; Disha Patel, presentation management individual; Second-place finishes:
Anika Palkhiwala, banking and finance; Nick Chen, extemporaneous speech.
• Conant Crier, sectional champion, Diya Thomas
• Science Olympiad placed first in Division A at the Illinois Science Olympiad State Tournament
• Chess team placed 30th in state
• Debate (Congressional) state champion Nick Chen
• Illinois Music Educators Association All-State: Michael Deresz (bassoon); Christian Kim (violin); Katelin Cornet (future music educator)
• HOSA (Future Health Professionals: Christian Kim, first place public service announcement
• Math team, second at regionals
• Competitive dance, 27th at state
• Golfer Nikko Ganas has committed to Drake University golf team. Nikko was among the most accomplished golfers in Conant history, shooting a school record 69 at the conference championship, MSL player of the year.
• Malik Frederick has committed to play football for Harvard University. In Malik's final game for Conant High School, he scored six touchdowns, 419 total yards, ran back a kickoff return and played defense for nearly the entire game.
• Girls basketball player Isabella Tierney has committed to play basketball for the University of Dubuque.
• Mallory Mills, girls lacrosse, four-year varsity starter, competing for Illinois Wesleyan University girls lacrosse team next year.
• Roberto Macher, boy tennis, two-year state qualifier, top 16 in the state, 2nd team All-State.
• Jemma Skweres, girls bowling, 3rd in conference, finished 10th in "mock" state due to COVID-19 canceling state tournament.
• Boys Cross Country, Jason Thomas earned all conference and Nick Frank was a sectional qualifier, both founding-active members of Cougar Climb Club.
• Danielle Smith, all conference girls volleyball, 4-year, 3-sport athlete.
• Hannah Huynh, four-year varsity coed cheerleading athlete. She has made a state appearance every year at the IHSA Cheerleading State Finals. During her junior and senior year, Hannah and her team placed 6th place in 2020 and 5th place in 2021 at the State Finals in the Coed Division. Hannah was named captain her senior year, was awarded 2021's Most Valuable Player" award, and was honored to be selected to be a member of the first ever 2021 MSL All Conference Cheerleading team. Hannah plans to continue her education and cheering career at the University of Illinois.
• Chandler Yang, four-year varsity coed cheerleading athlete. She has made a state appearance every year at the IHSA Cheerleading State Finals. During her junior and senior year Chandler and her team placed 6th place in 2020 and 5th place in 2021 at the State Finals in the Coed Division. Chandler was named captain her senior year and plans to continue her education at Purdue University.
• Georgia Bakopoulous, three-year varsity coed cheerleading athlete. She has made a state appearance for three years at the IHSA Cheerleading State Finals. During her junior and senior year Georgia and her team placed 6th place in 2020 and 5th place in 2021 at the State Finals in the Coed Division. Georgia was named captain her senior year, and was honored to be selected to be a member of the 2021 MSL All Conference team. Georgia plans to continue her education and cheering career at the Loyola University.
• Baseball player, David Cho hit .462 in one week with 3 extra-base hits, 4 RBIs, and 5 runs scored. He also played 5 different positions.
• Boys Swimming, Patrick Recko anchored the 200 Medley Relay that broke the school record. Four conference medal award winners.
• Musical -- "Freaky Friday"
• Winter Play -- Winter Showcase
• Spring Play -- "Midsummer Night's Dream"
What traditional events were adapted for the pandemic and how?
It was our goal to adapt as many events as possible for our students and to make them as accessible as mitigations allow. Our athletics and clubs met remotely when required and transitioned to hybrid and in-person as mitigations allowed. We are proud to offer our seniors all of the traditional senior events with the addition of a senior class parade at Wintrust Field.
What were the most significant challenges faced by the Class of 2021 and how did they overcome them?
When we left school to be remote in March 2020, our focus was on the Class of 2020. We did not realize it would be the Class of 2021 who would experience the larger impact. Students and their families have been impacted in so many ways. Some students are working to support their families due to job loss and other students have turned their energies to supporting their community through volunteerism and activism. Most students are making the most of what they are able to do in terms of school attendance and participation in extracurricular activities.
Principal's reflections on the Class of 2021:
There never has been and there hopefully never will be a graduating class that experiences high school amidst a pandemic. There will be an end to this followed by a new beginning! I hope you will always provide space, grace, and patience to others -- and that you will remain connected as the SENIOR CLASS OF 2021, united by experience. I wish you health, happiness, and all the best for a bright and productive future.
-- Principal Julie Nowak