Taft’s Illinois State Scholars


Randerson Doan and Todd Pagos are all pleased to have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars. Photographer Yasmine Soria.

Yasmine Soria, Editor

Numerous Taft students were recognized as Illinois State Scholars by the State Scholar Program in early December.

The State Scholar Program publicly and personally identifies graduating high school seniors who possess superior academic potential. Students from nearly 200 public and private schools compete in the program. High school seniors are awarded based on ACT or SAT test scores, junior year class size, unweighted class rank, and Grade Point Average (GPA). Each student designated as a State Scholar receives a congratulatory letter, a Certificate of Achievement and statewide recognition in the news media.*

As in insight on how talented the recipients of Illinois State Scholars are, one of our recipients, senior Leslie Doan (Div. 035) has a 1230 SAT score and a weighted GPA of 4.8. She is involved in multiple extracurriculars, such as Vietnamese club and Future Business Leaders of America, and currently is taking 4 Advanced Placement classes and 2 IB classes. Doan was also a nominee for the Posse scholarship.

“When I was notified about making Illinois State Scholars, I knew it was because of my perseverance and my commitment to academics. My advice for staying motivated and be a scholar is to be passionate. Being passionate leads to hard work and hard work leads to a great future. Productivity and determination never go unrecognized,” said Doan.

Another recipient, senior Alexander Randerson (Div. 030) has a 1430 SAT score along with an unweighted GPA of 3.86. He has been involved with cross country and is helping the school’s drama program. In his junior year, he took six advanced classes (3 AP, 2 IB, and a dual credit course).

“I honestly didn’t believe I’d make it to the level of State Scholar. My advice on how to stay a scholar is to look for places that are high in knowledge and are interesting to you. You can’t truly take in knowledge if you don’t find it interesting,” said Randerson.

Recipient senior Todd Pagos (Div. 030) has an SAT score of 1340 and an ACT score of 30. His unweighted GPA of 3.5 and has taken 7 AP classes his entire high school career. He is involved in the debate team and the Taft Golf team, of which he was MVP in back to back years. He is also president of the National Honors Society at Taft.

“I’m surprised I’m an Illinois State Scholar, but it is an honor to represent Taft High School,” said Pagos.

Each and every Illinois State scholar show excellent college entrance examination scores and record high school achievement. To be named an Illinois State Scholar is an achievement that will be a highlight of each of out Taft recipient’s academic record. Congratulations to all those who have been made an Illinois State Scholar.

Illinois State Scholars

  • Abanto, Jamil
  • Al Mhtachem, Omar
  • Allen, Miriam
  • Antic, Milana
  • Bokor, Katelyn
  • Bruce, Elizabeth
  • Cain, Matthew
  • Camarda, Giuseppe
  • Chhay, Florina
  • Disandro, Reilly
  • Doan, Leslie
  • Garces, Camila
  • Gonzalez, Diane
  • Goral, Claudia
  • Guiragossian, Samantha
  • Haderaj, Dhanai
  • Haskovic, Edin
  • Ho, Tri
  • Kayat, Keara
  • Klejn, Anna
  • Kopiec, Magdalene
  • Lambert, Samantha
  • Lee, Youngjoo
  • Les, Jacqueline
  • Metz, Anthony
  • Moreno, Patricia
  • Mourikes, Jerasimos
  • Murphy, Emma
  • Myslak, Maksym
  • O’Toole, Rhianna
  • Pagos, Todd
  • Patel, Tej
  • Randerson, Alexander
  • Ryczek, Bartlomiej
  • Singh, Kanishka
  • Soulsby, Julia
  • Strzalka, Alexander
  • Tierney, Shannon
  • Tryba, Victoria
  • Tukey, Shawn
  • Wietrzak, Isabella
  • Wojcik, Jessica
  • Zalecki, Alexandra
  • Zmuda, Caitlin