The National Merit Scholarship Program named its 2019 National Merit semifinalists – and the list includes several District 155 seniors.
High school students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and are the highest scoring students in each state.
Students will find out if they have advanced to finalist standing in February.
The seniors recognized as semifinalists include:
• Dominik Bogcaz, a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. He is on the student council executive board, is president of National Honor Society and is the founder and president of the Crystal Lake South pre-medical society. He is also part of the math team. Dominik hopes to attend the University of Michigan, New York University or the University of Washington to study neuroscience.
• Scott Campbell, a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. He is the Gator Nation Leader for the Crystal Lake South hockey club and participates in track and field in the spring. Scott plans to study either biomedical engineering or cinematography.
• Oscar Cortes, a senior at Cary-Grove High School. He is involved in math team, science olympiad and WYSE. Oscar plans to attend a four-year college after graduation, with his top choices being Stanford University, MIT and Harvard University.
• Aditya Khandeshi, a senior at Central Lake Central High School. He is involved in science olympiad, math team, WYSE, scholastic bowl, and the VEX robotics team.
• Daniel Minogue, a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. He is involved in math team, WYSE and the tennis team. Daniel wants to receive his doctorate in physics and work at a tech company or conduct research at a university or work at CERN.
• Joshua Moore, a senior at Crystal Lake Central High School. He is involved in symphonic band, marching band, the VEX Robotics Club, WYSE and the computer club. He also performs with the McHenry County Youth Orchestra and the Crystal Lake Community Band.
• Casey Mutka, a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. Casey is involved in variety of extracurricular activities, most notably the Crystal Lake South Gender and Sexuality Alliance and marching band. After graduation, Casey plans to attend college and become a high school history and/or psychology teacher.
• Trevor O’Connor, a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. He helped launch the bass fishing club during his freshman year with the help of Mr. Wolke and Mr. Nobilio. In addition, he is a part of the tennis team, National Honor Society, intramural basketball and science olympiad. Trevor plans to attend the University of Alabama, and hopes to complete a dual-degree program and receive both an MBA and his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
• Arden Podpora, a senior at Crystal Lake Central. She is part of the golf team and is involved in scholastic bowl, National Honor Society and WYSE, and is on the leadership board for Interact Club. Arden plans on attending a four-year university after graduation and wants to study economics and pursue a career in actuarial or data science. Arden volunteers through the clubs with school and on her own. Her passion is supporting environmental projects such as cleanup days and seed collection with the local conservation district.
• Matthew Reall, a senior at Crystal Lake South High School. He is involved in basketball, track and National Honor Society, is on the gator link crew executive board, and is an AVID tutor and a member of Spanish Club. Matthew plans to attend a four-year college to study biology. He is an Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America and does volunteer work for Home of the Sparrow.
• Ross Relic, a senior at Prairie Ridge High School. He is involved in theater, madrigal choir, speech, ILMEA for choir, and math team. Ross plans to attend college to study physics, and plans to receive his Ph.D. During his free time, Ross tutors others in mathematics and science.
• Akash Sureshkumar, a senior at Prairie Ridge High School. He is involved in math team, science olympiad, scholastic bowl, WYSE and National Honor Society and is the co-president of German National Honor Society. After graduation, Akash would like to attend John Hopkins University and study cellular biology and computer science. Akash volunteers through NHS and also offers his free time at Goodwill.