Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

IMSA Dominates Gold Medals in National Russian Essay Contest

This November, IMSA's Russian II and Russian III students dominated the Intermediate and Advanced levels of the  National Russian Essay Contest, winning more gold medals at both levels than any other high school in the nation. 

Students wrote essays on the topic “What is important to me in life” for the 32nd annual contest, sponsored by the American Council of Teachers of Russian, and competed with more than 1200 students nationwide this year. The Advanced Level gold medal essays were forwarded to the Pushkin Institute in Moscow for further judging. 

Intermediate Level


Timothy Akintilo (Bourbonnais)

Molly Fane (Dixon)

Natasha Freund (Shabbona)

Nicholas Kiene (Poplar Grove)

Braden Lauder (Lanark)

Vivian Liu (Charleston)

Nicholas Magerko (Lake in the Hills)

Alan Mitchell (Park Forest)

Collette Moos (Arlington Heights)

Matthew Moranz (St. Anne)

Julian Pacheco (Aurora)

Atene Poskute (Darien)

Emma Sloan (River Forest)

Nathan Sutphen (Lanark)

Phuong Vo (Aurora)



Mary Cody (Sycamore)

Yasmine Gordon (Oswego)

Lohitha Guntupalli (Springfield)

Derek Lubecke (Yorkville)

Rohit Manankali (Plainfield)

Matthew Pomella (Elgin)

Sean Potempa (Evergreen Park)

Maureen Reiser (Petersburg)



Rajiv Trehan (Hoffman Estates)

Hannah Trewitt (Villa Park)



Advanced Level


Jackson Gibbons (Galena)

Taylor Herr (Naperville)

Jennifer Hoelzer (Paw Paw)

Alexander Johnson (Woodridge)

Anna Krzywiec (Palos Heights)

Lakhena Leang (Dekalb)

Travis Scott (Fairview Heights)

Joseph Weinrich (Washington)



Nicholas Golinvaux (Joliet)

Michelle Kinama (Gurnee)

Jessica Lee (Dekalb)

Anna Melberg (Lindenhurst)


Beginner Heritage


Oleksandr Yarema (East Moline)