2015's best and brightest: Introducing the Daily Herald Academic Team
They've had straight A's throughout high school, enviable ACT and SAT scores and they volunteer for their school and in their community.
They are the 40 members of the 2015 Daily Herald Academic Teams, graduating high school seniors in the Northwest suburbs, DuPage County, Lake County and the Fox Valley who have achieved extraordinary academic records in four years.
The backgrounds, dreams and motivations of the Academic Team members and the Honorable Mentions are as different from each other as night and day. But what they have in common is a sense of purpose -- a belief that high school was a valuable steppingstone to their future lives as engineers, researchers, teachers, artists and writers -- and a quiet confidence in their own abilities.
Hear what some of their teachers say:
"Alyssa is a reminder of why I chose teaching as a profession."
"Noel is intuitive, quirky and wise beyond her years. … She is also the only student I've had who is the midst of completing her first novel."
"He'll be a household name in a few years and I'll sit back and say, 'Yep, I know that kid.'"
"Her questions are so good I sometimes have to look up the answer that night and get back to her the next day."
Each high school in the Daily Herald coverage area is permitted to nominate two students for the Academic Team. The "blind" nominations are read and evaluated by suburban high school educators and from their scores, the top 10 are chosen as the Team.
We're proud to bring you the 2015 Academic Teams.