'207's Best' for April honored for Tech Leadership

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'207's Best' for April honored for Tech Leadership
Posted on 04/13/2018
Two seniors were recently honored by the Maine Township High School District 207 Board of Education as “207's Best.”  For April honors, Akash Magnadia, of Maine East, and Bhagirath Mehta, of Maine West, were recognized for technology leadership and innovation. Maine South senior Ryan Prendergast will be recognized in this category during the Board of Education’s May meeting.

In his introductory letter, Maine East Principal Dr. Mike Pressler wrote that Akash “has earned a reputation for being insightful, analytical, self-motivated, meticulous, thoughtful, kind and reliable. He began high school as a student in our English Language Learner (ELL) where he distinguished himself by not letting the challenge of learning a new language interfere with his academic opportunities or success.” By senior year, Akash was enrolled in three Advanced Placement courses. He also has taken Project lead the Way Intro to Engineering Design, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Intro to Technology, Robotics and Geo-Construction. His lengthy list of activities include being President of the Robotics Club, member of the National Honor Society and member of the Principal’s Student Leadership Team. He also has assumed a leadership role in the Argonne Exemplary Student Research Program. Dr. Pressler cited praise from several teachers concerning Akash’s growth and talent as a technology student, including David Schultz’s assessment that Akash “has great problem-solving and leadership skills” in technology projects. Akash told Board of Education members that he will study computer programming at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In her introductory letter, Maine West Principal Dr. Audrey Haugan noted that Bhagirath has been coming to West since he was in sixth grade, when he began taking high school-level classes, starting with Accelerated Math Analysis. Before entering his freshman year, he had earned A’s in three high school courses. Since then, he has earned an “A” in every class, to compile the highest possible GPA: 4.9577. He also has taken more AP exams than any other senior. Regarding Tech leadership, he is co-founder and current President of 3D Innovations Club, whose members notably designed and created a prosthetic hand for a student born without his right hand and wrist. Bhagirath also has created an app that includes - among other information - the school’s home page, the student information system portal, bell schedules and student newspaper. Bhagirath’s lengthy list of school activities includes: National Merit Finalist, National Honor Society President, Scholastic Bowl Captain and MVP, Westerner student newspaper Editor-in-Chief and website creator, DAR Good Citizen Award, and Warrior Pride Mentor and Leader. Bhagirath told the Board he plans to attend either Harvard, Stanford, Brown or Carnegie Mellon to study computational linguistics and applied math.

The “207's Best’ program recognizes outstanding students monthly throughout the school year.  Academic achievement awards are given in two months. Awards for community service, fine and performing arts, improved performance, elective area of achievement, technology leader/innovator and extracurricular achievement are given one month each. Teachers nominate students, and an executive committee makes final decisions. Honorees are then recognized by the Board of Education, which instituted the program.
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