Students Honored on Daily Herald Academic Team

Huntley High School senior Matthew Cannalte has been named to the Daily Herald Fox Valley Academic Team for 2016.

Cannalte, whose 4.65 GPA ranks him first in the senior class of 641 students, was honored by the newspaper for not only outstanding academic achievement, but also for being among students who “show themselves to be whole people, involved in their school and community, and who have a purpose behind their hard work.”

Matthew Cannalte
Matthew Cannalte
Alexandria Ziolkowski
Alexandria Ziolkowski

He earned a near-perfect score of 35 on the ACT and also is a National AP Scholar, National Merit Commended Scholar, and a State Finalist on the Math Team.

To make the Academic Team or be an honorable mention, a student must be nominated by his or her high school. Each student supplies his or her grades for seven semesters, test scores, grade-point averages, a list of awards and honors, extracurriculars and scholarships. Students must write personal essays describing why they have pledged themselves to their studies and what they want to do with their lives. A teacher or counselor must write a letter of recommendation for each nominee that talks not just about their academic prowess, but also about what the teen has done in life besides academics.

Cannalte, who plans to study math and computer science in college, wrote in his application that he hopes to create new ways to securely share data to break down communication barriers and pave the way for breakthroughs in medicine and other fields.

“He is the rare student who takes him work seriously while realizing that he should not take himself the same,” wrote teacher Kate Mennenoh in her nomination letter for the award. “Each assignment is completed with an eye for growth opportunities, and his ability to reflect on that growth is noteworthy.”

He is the son of Beverly and Robert Cannalte of Lake in the Hills.

In addition, senior Alexandra Ziolkowski received an honorable mention. Her 4.650 placed her #2 in the senior class. She has been on the HHS honor roll every quarter of her career and was an AP Scholar with Distinction.

She plans to student mechanical engineering in college.

She is the daughter of Tom and Tracey Ziolkowski of Huntley.

Congratulations to these outstanding students!