Alumni News

Baker Grads Excel in Debate

Congratulations to Baker grads Allison Grimsted ’13, a state runner-up in the JV Congressional Debate, and Nina Kaushikkar ’14 and Joseph Mossbridge ’14, state runners-up in novice Public Forum debate.

Rena Newman ’12 Honored With Multiple Awards

Baker grad Rena Newman, now a junior at Evanston Township High School, was awarded First Place in Advertising and Second Place in Editorial Cartooning at the Illinois High School Association journalism finals. Rena was also honored with a 2015 Achievement Award in Writing, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

In addition to her writing accolades, Rena was selected as a recipient of The Bronfman Fellowships. Rena was one of 26 high school students selected from a pool of 285 applicants across the country and is the only 2015 Fellow from Illinois. For more information about The Bronfman Fellowships, visit

Baker Alumni Compete at Championship Track Meet

Congratulations to Chester Beck ’13, Theo Beck ’11, Grace Goodman ’13, Jack Glassman ’14, Sophie Levine ’14, and Amber Malik ’13, who competed at the October 2014 CSL Conference Cross Country Championship Meet. Jack posted a personal best time at the meet while Theo and Sophie made All-Conference, placing among the top 14 runners at the meet. Theo was the first Niles West student in three years to qualify for All-Conference. Sophie, a freshman at ETHS, ran as a member of the varsity team and qualified for All-Conference in her very first year in high school. Go, Baker grads, go!

John Baker ’11 is a National Merit Semifinalist

Congratulations to John Baker, who is one of only four National Merit Semifinalists in Loyola Academy’s Class of 2015. John is the only Baker grad in LA’s graduating class this year and the only male from that cohort to win the award. Way to go, John!

Charlie Rose ’12 Inducted Into the National Junior Classical League (NJCL) Latin Honor Society

After receiving Maxima Cum Laude on the National Latin Exam, Charlie earned a trip to the 60th annual NJCL Convention in Las Vegas. His mother adds: “He continues to love Latin, and the Latin Community at NCP has been so welcoming. I’m grateful that Baker laid the groundwork for him to have such a rewarding experience.” Charlie is a high school student at Northside College Prep in Chicago.

Quinn Sengupta ’09 Awarded an Honorable Mention by the National YoungArts Foundation

The YoungArts Foundation recognizes the nation’s top talents in the visual literary and performing arts. Quinn, an accomplished jazz pianist, was awarded a full merit scholarship at the University of Miami.

Baker Grads Serve as President of the ETHS Community Service Club for Three Consecutive Years

Natalie Jacobson ’10, Conor Siegel ’09, and Julia Crowley Farenga ’08 helped fulfill Baker’s mission of “serving the world” by assuming leadership for one of the largest and most integral student clubs at ETHS.

Mozziyar Etemadi ’00 Changes the Future

Mozzi, together with his teammate, earned the CIMIT (Center for Integration of Medicine and Technology) second-place prize of $100,000 for technology innovations in primary health care. They developed a unique and promising home-monitoring approach for early detection of dangerous crises in patients suffering from chronic congestive heart failure. The competition began in February 2012, with ten finalists chosen from a broad national portfolio of 75 preliminary entries. Each finalist team received $10,000 in February to assist in the preparation of their full entry due in June.

Andrew Pink ’97 is an Olympian!

Andrew Pink learned to play volleyball at Baker with Mr. Beck as his P.E. teacher. Since then, he attended Evanston Township High School, studied at Rutgers, and moved to Germany. Eventually, his love of the game led him back to his father’s native Great Britain to be named to their Olympic team for the 2012 games.

Natalie Jacobson ’10 an Outstanding Volunteer

Natalie was among three high school volunteers, three Northwestern University volunteers, and five community volunteers honored at a reception at Northwestern University in February 2012. Natalie was recognized for her volunteer work with soup kitchens in the Evanston area, planning and attending orientations, events, and more. A student at Evanston Township High School, Natalie is also a member of student groups, including Green Team, a group that seeks to make the school more environmentally friendly. She plans initiatives for Green Team, including one to eliminate Styrofoam trays in the school lunchroom.

Theo Beck ’11 Receives Language Award

Theo received a Silver Award Medal at the Midwest Chinese Speech Contest held at Northside Prep High School in Chicago in April 2012.

Anna Nelson ’10 Knows Her Copy

The Evanston Township High School (ETHS) student newspaper, The Evanstonian, placed third in the 2012 IHSA Journalism Sectionals in Romeoville. Anna, who placed first in Yearbook Copy Writing, went on to earn a sixth-place medal in Yearbook Copy Writing at the IHSA Journalism State finals held at Eastern Illinois University. Four ETHS journalism students earned medals at the finals. Anna, a sophomore, was the youngest ETHS student to place.

Taylor Nakagawa ’08 Awarded Journalism Scholarship

Taylor has been awarded the 2012 Tom Gebhardt Journalism Scholarship by the Northern Illinois School Press Association. Each year the award is given to high school students who are interested in pursuing journalism as a major in college and further as a career. Honorees receive a cash prize as part of the award.

Connor Siegel ’09 Proves a Finance Whiz

Connor, a junior at Evanston Township High School, took first place in Principles of Finance at the recent Illinois DECA State Career Development Conference, held in Decatur.

Connor’s first-place win qualifies him to be one of three students representing Illinois to compete in the Principles of Finance event at the DECA International Conference to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, late next month. Connor was among 14 ETHS students who attended the state conference, where they competed against 1,000 other students attending from schools all over the state of Illinois.

DECA is an extracurricular activity for students interested in business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Students compete against students from other schools in business role play events and they can also develop a business oriented project to present at the conference. Way to go, Connor!

Eric Baker ’08 and Sophie Kornbluh ’08 rock WYSE!

A team of ETHS students won the 2012 Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) regional competition. Headquartered at the University of Illinois, the WYSE Academic Challenge is a statewide competition that administers a series of tests in biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, mathematics, and English to high school teams and individuals.

Among the fourteen first place regional team members were two Baker graduates: Erik Baker and Sophie Kornbluh. In addition, both Eric and Sophie earned individual medals, with Sophie placing first in Biology and Eric placing second in English. Sophie went on to qualify for state finals in biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Way to make us proud!

Quinn Sengupta ’09 Earns Top Honors in Jazz Piano

Quinn placed first among high school jazz pianists invited to the recent IMEA (Illinois Music Educators) All-State Conference and was named to the Honors Jazz Combo, the top jazz ensemble. This past fall, Illinois students performed in regional competitions, with top musicians in each region invited to Peoria for the statewide festival.

Alison Cherry Honored as Young Adult Author

Alison Cherry ’96 is about to be published as a young adult author, has signed her first contract and is already writing her third book. Her debut novel, RED, is coming from Delacorte Press.

Erin Haddock Breaks a Leg

Erin Haddock ’00 has the lead role in For This Theater Productions’ Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen. The show’s director and producer describe Erin as “a magnificent up-and-coming Chicago actress [who] does a remarkable job in this production.”

Julia Crowley-Farenga Honored by Siemens

Julia Crowley-Farenga ’08 is among the contenders for the highest science honor awarded to American high school students, in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology Region Five Finals. Julia, along with her partner, Patrick Loftus, won the $6,000 Team scholarship. Their astronomy project entitled, Morphological Classification of Post-Starburst Galaxies, examined and classified 2,811 galaxies.

“Ms. Crowley-Farenga and Mr. Loftus have conducted a comprehensive visual classification of ‘post-starburst’ galaxies in order to explain how galaxies progress from star-forming to non- star-forming states,” said competition judge Dr. Leigh Royden, chair of the Program in Geology and Geochemistry at MIT. “Their results indicate that large-mass and small-mass galaxies undergo this transition in different ways. Small-mass galaxies expel matter by supernova activity, while large-mass galaxies undergo mergers that disrupt the distribution of matter within the galaxies. These students have made a fundamental contribution to understanding the evolution of galaxies. Their results suggest a link between the end of star formation in large galaxies and the growth of black holes at the center of these galaxies.”

From a young age, Julia would search for shooting stars and dreamed of becoming an astronaut traveling across the universe. She still hopes to be an astronaut or work for NASA. She plans to major in engineering, materials science or nanotechnology.

Eric Baker Leads the Debate

Erik Baker ’08, president of the ETHS Debate Team, made it to the 16th round of the Mid-America Cup, a debate competition held in September at Valley High School in Des Moines. Erik’s success earns him a bid, ETHS’s first ever, in the Tournament of Champions which brings together some of the most competitively successful debaters. In November, competing at the Glenbrooks invitational, in a field of over 200 schools from 32 states, Erik reached the quarterfinals of Lincoln Douglas Debate.

Baker Grads Make a Mark on High School Football

Aaron Potts ’08, Ray Bahr ’08, and Taylor Nakagawa ’08 started on the Evanston Township High School Wildkits football team this season. Taylor was a starting cornerback on the defense, and Aaron was a starting running back and also one of the team captains. Ray was a starting running back and linebacker, and led the team in rushing and touchdowns (12). In addition, Jack Miya ’08 was a starting quarterback for St. Ignatius this season.