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Evanston Township High School Science teacher Dr. Mark Vondracek has been named a finalist for a Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. The 30 finalists, all high school teachers, were chosen from a pool of 229 nominees. The finalists will undergo a final round of observation and review before the ten winners are announced in May. 

ETHS History/Social Science teacher Adam Markgraf has been chosen to participate in a three-week study tour to China. This study, for middle- and high-school teachers, will provide firsthand experience of important cultural, historical and educational aspects of China.

The group will fly into Hong Kong and travel through various cities north to Beijing. Another highlight of the tour is the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. The study tour to China is officially offered by the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia, organized by the East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University, and funded by the Freeman Foundation.

ETHS sophomore Fiona West is the winner of the Chicago Regional Bridge-Building competition, held at IIT in Chicago on Jan. 26. Fiona won the ETHS Bridge-Building contest and was among three other ETHS students to compete at IIT. She won the top award for the North Suburbs.

Fiona will attend the international competition in Philadelphia in May, the only ETHS student and the only girl from the Chicago area. The construction and testing of model bridges, using plastic drinking straws and sewing pins, promotes the study and application of fundamental principles of physics. It also helps high school students develop “hands-on” skills through bridge construction.

At the Illinois State and Theatre Association’s State Debate Championship, Gabi Dallas made the quarter-finals in the novice division, placing him among the top eight first-year debaters in the state.

Win Lalley made the semi final round in the JV division, placing him among the top four second-year debaters in the state. Both students compete in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

At the IHSA’s State Debate Championship, Vidur Sood made the quarterfinals of Lincoln-Douglas debate. He was also named to the all-state team, which is the second year in a row that ETHS has had a debater awarded that honor. The IHSA tournament only has an open division.

In ETHS chess, senior Ashok Raife competed in the Denker Qualifying Tournament, where the seven best chess players in Illinois play each other to determine who represents Illinois in the Denker Tournament (50 best scholastic chess players in the country).  Ashok took third place with 3 points out of 6, despite facing competition officially rated 800-1000 rating points higher.

ETHS senior Lillian Selonick has received three major awards in the National Scholastic Art & Writing Competition sponsored by Scholastic Inc. and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Her poem “Martyrdom: A Collection,” which won a Gold Key at the regional level, earned a national Silver Medal.

Her short story “No Straight Lines in Curved Space,” which won a regional Gold Key, was awarded an American Voices Medal, placing it in the top 1 percent of all works submitted this year (more than 165,000 works).

Lillian, three guests and her senior English teacher, Alison Loeppert, will attend an awards ceremony on June 9 in New York City. In addition, Lillian and Ms. Loeppert will spend a day at “behind-the-scenes” events where they will meet other writers and artists and learn about creative careers from professionals in the arts and literary world.

Of the 114 ETHS students who took the National Latin Exam, nine students achieved Summa Cum Laude awards and earned gold medals, eight students earned silver medals (Maxima Cum Laude), nine students earned Magna Cum Laude awards, and 18 students achieved Cum Laude awards.  

Overall, 33 percent of our Latin students scored at or above the international average for this exam, which is taken by over 135,000 students nationally.

Gold Medal winners included Connor Brennan, Noah Perkins, Miriam Wolf, Erik  Baker, Sean Lavelle, Dora Tortarolo, Daniel Frim, Elizabeth Williamson and William Wallis.

Two ETHS seniors, Sarah Peters and Mark Specht, finished second and third, respectively, at the regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium held at Loyola University on March 27.

Sarah and the first-place finisher will present their research at the national symposium later in April in Bethesda. Mark will serve as an alternate. Sarah won a $1,500 scholarship at regionals, and Mark won a $1,000 scholarship. Sarah will now compete for up to $12,000 in scholarships and a chance to go to an international event in London if she wins her session.

Sarah’s paper was entitled “Experimental Study of Counterintuitive Behavior in Mechanical Networks,” and Mark’s paper was titled “Properties of Interfering Hydraulic Jumps.”  Both students built and carried out their experiments at home.