Three seniors from the Class of 2012 have received Lake Park High School’s highest
honor – the District Award for Outstanding Achievement.
Taishi Minami, and
Zamaan Sohel are the Class of 2012 recipients being recognized for their
accomplishments of scholarship, activities, athletics, and public service. Winners of this
prestigious award are nominated by teachers, coaches and administrators. They were presented
with plaques at the Scholarship and Awards Night on May 24, 2012.
Stephanie Lee – Stephanie has been a model student-athlete while at Lake Park High School. During her four year career as a varsity girls’ tennis player, Stephanie earned the distinction of being the only girls tennis player in Lake Park history to be a four-time IHSA state qualifier as a singles player.
Even more impressive than her athletic record is Stephanie’s work in the classroom. Stephanie maintained a weighted GPA of 5.6190, ranking 7th in her senior class of 660 students. Stephanie is a three-time All Upstate Eight Conference Academic team member and was nominated to be a member of the IHSA All-State Academic team.
Besides being on the girls’ varsity tennis team, Stephanie has been active on the Math Team, German Club, and National Honor Society. Stephanie also earned the distinction of being named an AP Scholar, a National Merit Scholar, and an Illinois State Scholar.
Taishi Minami – Taishi’s goal is to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. During the summer before his senior year, Taishi completed two internships on two continents – one at the University of Tokyo in Japan and the other at Columbia University in New York. Last summer, he left for his first internship the day after finals and didn’t return from his second internship until the day before school began in the fall.
During his internship at the University of Tokyo, Taishi worked with some of the top
cardiothoracic surgeons in Japan conducting research on artificial hearts and Ventricular Assist
Devices (VAD). Currently, these devices are used as a bridge for a patient until a heart
transplant is available. In Japan, due to cultural issues, the waiting list is much longer
than it is in America. If artificial hearts and VADs were approved for permanent use,
patients wouldn’t need to wait for a transplant. Through this research, Taishi
was recently listed as a co-author in an article in the Journal of Cardiology. He will be
presenting the thesis to the Japanese Ministry of Health next month. While in Japan, Taishi
also volunteered as a medical translator and assisted in emergency medical care. At Columbia
University, Taishi led a branch of research on finding optimal ischemic temperatures of donor
hearts. This impacted the optimal recovery time for patients after their heart
Taishi has juggled a rigorous course load of honors and AP classes at Lake Park while being actively involved in extracurricular activities. He is ranked 5th in the senior class of 657, with a GPA of 5.62. Besides focusing on his academic goals, Taishi participated in athletics while at Lake Park. He was on the varsity tennis team for four years and on the LP golf team for three years. Taishi also participated in Youth and Government and the National Honor Society.
Zamaan Sohel – Zamaan holds himself to very high standards in his academic pursuits. He graduated at the top of the Class of 2012 and was a National Merit Finalist, joining an elite group of 15,000 students nationally who earned this recognition. Zamaan was recognized as an AP Scholar and Illinois State Scholar. Zamaan was also named to the 2011-2012 Daily Herald All Academic Team for his outstanding academic achievements.
Zamaan is admired for being a strong collaborator in the classroom and a young man with an inquisitive mind. He plans to major in Chemical Engineering and Pre-Medicine.
Zamaan earned the rank of Eagle Scout during his senior year and held positions of leadership
within the Boy Scouts as Senior Patrol Leader. While at Lake Park, Zamaan was also on the
Math Team, Youth in Government, Earth Club, and National Honor Society (VP). In the
community, Zamaan was an active volunteer in the Muslim Society, Council on American
Islamic-Relations, and at Northwest Community Hospital.
In his personal statement for the Daily Herald, Zamaan said, “My religion, Islam, has not only instilled the principles of service to humanity and the love for mankind in my heart, but it also gave me a set of ideals by which to live. My faith has opened up a channel in which I can explain my beliefs to my friends and peers who have little knowledge on the matter. Because of such experiences as this, I have learned that individual differences actually have the potential of unifying people under the banner of tolerance and peace.”