Be sure to listen up to Student Body President Trisha Bhagat and Student Body Vice President Drew Arnson as they inform all of us about all we need to know for Homecoming Week next week.
On the night before LFHS’ annual Pitch Night, the house of junior Madison DaValle was awash with conversation. Oddly enough, however, many of those conversations were one-sided as they consisted of the four junior students–in different areas of the house–practicing their individual roles for the sales pitch of their product, Lightning Bug, to community investors.
“We prepped a lot,” affirmed junior Grace Geraghty with a smile. “The night before you could have walked in to Madison’s house and seen us staring at the wall memorizing our material or walking around talking to ourselves.”
Indeed, practice certainly made for a, if not perfect, very close to perfect pitch night for the four talented juniors who make up the Lightning Bug team, Grace Geraghty, Madison DaValle, Clayton Wilbur, Landon Edwards, and John Norkus.
Lightning Bug, described eloquently by DaValle as, “an on-demand babysitting app that instantly provides reliable, high school-aged babysitters to parents in the Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Highland Park and Deerfield communities,” is the first of its kind and received $17,500 of funding from members of the community and the Lake Forest High School Foundation.
Using the format of the popular ride sharing app, Uber, Lightning Bug hatched their idea, complete with a two-way rating system for the sitters and the parents, plus a relatable format from shiftgig, a $40 million company based in Chicago, the team launched their trial run that began on March 1st of this year on lightningbugbabysitters.com. The trial has been very successful and the young entrepreneurs used the research and data from that trial in their pitches to persuade possible funders last Thursday night.
Of course, an idea such as this doesn’t happen overnight, but it was, in fact, the group’s first idea that they decided on back in first semester. Utilizing the intelligent and nuanced business knowledge of their teacher, Mr. Joe Pulio, as well as their mentors, Mr. Paul Best, a business consultant who met with the group one time per week, and Mr. Brian Martin, the mentor for another company in the class.
When Geraghty and DaValle were asked about the work that they put into the now-successful product, the two juniors–who are also athletes, honors students, and social 17-year-old kids–looked at each other and smiled, reminiscing on the copious hours that the group put into the process.
“It was certainly a lot of work and at times it was crazy,” assured DaValle. “But we knew that our preparation would lead to a sound performance when the time came. And it did.” Relaying a similar sentiment, Geraghty added, “You have to know your product inside and out to successfully sell it to others. We worked together, with Mr. Pulio, and with our mentors to devise a plan to answer every possible question that funders would shoot at us with knowledgable, confident answers that were accurate and projected a positive image of our business.”
From memorizing the ultimate pitch, to more behind-the-scenes work like developing the software, running the financials, accruing the start-up costs, and securing the intellectual property of the project, the team effectively divvied up the responsibilities like a full-blown start-up company. Despite all that these young men and women have on their plate, like the IHSA Track and Field state championships (Edwards), football workouts (Wilbur), a record-setting lacrosse season and her coinciding college recruitment (Geraghty), and another Track and Field season (DaValle), the group made sure all their ducks were in a row when the bright lights shined on the stage Thursday night in the Raymond Moore Auditorium.
Though they were not the only group to receive funding, Lightning Bug stole the show at the community event, gaining financial support from the LFHS Foundation, an outside investor, and from another Business Incubator class company’s mentor.
Even with the end of the school year looming, the group is looking to transition from the website format to the app as their next main venture, while also cleaning up some of the logistics of the company.
“We truly think that this product can scale really big,” insisted DaValle. “Our passion has been there since the very beginning and all five of us put in a great deal of time.”
Like any educational endeavor, though, the students involved with this incredible opportunity that the high school presents had more to take away from the experience than the potential dollars and cents they may earn in the future.
When asked what she learned from the course as a whole, Grace Geraghty responded enthusiastically. “I learned how to communicate–via email and in person–with professionals, effectively respond to customers, and market our product in ways that work for specific demographics. The takeaways from the Business Incubator class are undeniable.”
When asked the same question, DaValle also echoed positive support for what she learned through Mr. Pulio’s Business Incubator class. “We learned that you can’t be afraid to ask really successful people for help…sometimes twice and three times,” DaValle explained with a laugh. “They have the knowledge, and you have to be willing to work hard to learn about the experiences that you’ll need to be successful.”
As is the case with the other many successful ventures at Lake Forest High School in 2017, the winning formula for Lightning Bug was simple: A common goal, several hard-working, relentless students, the help and guidance of the tremendous people in our community , and the mindset to continually improve your craft.
Of course, the future for Lightning Bug and its founders is undeniably bright, but their hard work in the Lake Forest High School Business Incubator program over the course of the 2016-17 school year cannot be undervalued.
As the school year comes to end, the now senior-less hallways have been filled with juniors ready for their own senior year to start. In these last few days of school, juniors have already started taking advantage of the coveted senior perks, such as parking spots and sitting in the commons, and have begun preparing for some of the challenging tasks that senior year entails. One of the most widely known events of the year–aside from applying to colleges,of course–is getting a senior portrait taken. Current juniors will be taking these photos in the upcoming months.
Every photo is taken courtesy of Visual Image Photography. However, despite the consistency of photographers, senior portraits always stand out for their classy and polished style with a black and white finish. It is the year where students’ yearbook pictures are a few centimeters bigger than the rest of the student body and because of this, an extra effort is always added when planning what to wear.
As years pass at Lake Forest High School and countless numbers of senior portraits are taken, one can’t help but notice the same trends that occur with each graduating class: their outfits. Even as style comes and goes, it seems at LFHS there is an unspoken tradition of what to wear when getting your photo taken. A vast majority of girls wear either a black dress or black blouse with a (pearl) necklace while boys go for a more clean-cut and simple sport coat and tie look. There is no rule that says students must dress in any specific attire, as long as it’s appropriate, but students continue to opt for a more professional look year after year. Why does this trend still occur?
Senior portraits are photos everyone looks forward to seeing; happy smiles and stylish outfits fill the pages. Each photo shows a different personality and captures the qualities that make up a student as they are placed next to their senior quote and a list of their involvement at the high school. Students like the idea of an original and classic look although there is no rule stating that they must wear a particular outfit. Senior portraits are an opportunity for students to dress more formal than previous yearbook photos and showcase a more professional quality in their photograph.
Every year there are students who break off from this so-called “trend” with stunning pictures and they still manage to maintain the same signature senior portrait look with a personal flair of their own. Regardless of the color or style of the formal attire worn, all students present quality photos and are true to themselves, which is exactly what the process is designed to represent. Every senior should have the ability to present their own look, whether that’s a variation of the traditional outfit or not, and make their own statement in their senior portrait.
While many students naturally wear similar things and are a fan of cohesive and accepted clothing lines and styles, it shouldn’t change what students are expected to wear, or put an underlying pressure to stick with the same styles. Since the photos are in black and white anyway, whether the student wears a deep red or bright yellow, the colors come out on grayscale in the yearbook, keeping everyone in the same color scheme. Students should wear a bold pattern if that’s the outfit they desire for their own senior picture. Even with the love for simplistic styles in senior portraits growing by the year, no student has ever been enforced by rule to follow the classic look or felt hatred for those who don’t.
Students recognize that a senior picture comes once in your high school career, and what you choose to wear is up to you. Many people will still continue on trends set forth by their predecessors because they’ve always looked forward to having the same, signature look for their senior picture and liked the uniformity in style. Others, however, use the senior portrait as a platform to highlight the unique and original nature of their personal style. This summer, as students go on to take their senior pictures, wear what suits yourself and, who knows, maybe this is the a new tradition is developed.
As Spring sports come to an end, many athletes look back on the experiences they had during the past season. The student-athletes below reflect on their participation in their sport and how they became the athletes they are today.
Girls Badminton: Lindsay Kuracina
A passion for badminton that sparked from a love for squash is what drove Lindsay Kuracina to be a part of the Varsity badminton team. She started playing last year as a way to get involved within the school and it instantly became a solid fit as she plays the number one singles spot.
With influence from her first squash coach, her role on the team consists of hard work, great focus and believing in herself to achieve her goals. She plays both singles and doubles–excelling in both–but does not play outside of school like she does with competitive squash. Lindsay has accomplished a lot as both a squash and badminton player. In fact, she has won over 30 squash tournaments, placed in the top 16 in the U.S. Junior Open, been ranked 5th in Canada in girls aged 17 and under, and is currently trying out for the Canadian Junior National Team. As for her successes on the badminton team, she and her fellow doubles partner, Emily Gorczynski, qualified last spring for the Illinois state badminton finals. They were the first girls from LFHS to make it in over 16 years. But the badminton team has offered more to her than just medals and experience on the court. Being on the team has allowed her to create new, lasting friendships, to watch and support her teammates and to continue challenging herself to be a better athlete every time she plays.
Boys Baseball: Andrew Gough
For some athletes, the first moment they play their sport is the start of a long-lived passion. This is the case for Andrew Gough, who started to play baseball around t-ball age and has continued to play every since. Growing up playing baseball with his brother, Andrew knew he wanted to follow his footsteps. Every time he came to watch his brother’s games, he would grow increasingly interested.
Despite the great advice an older sibling can give, Andrew’s biggest influence is his dad; a regular attendee at the high school’s games, as well as a parent accompanying his son during travel season, most importantly, Mr. Gough was someone to practice with all these years. Andrew has been on travel teams since he was nine and on the LFHS teams for three years specializing in a multitude of positions such as as third base, shortstop and pitcher. Between the two playing seasons, he has been exposed to all the competition from other states and gains more experience with every game. His teammates on his travel team are actually his opponents during the school season, so he grows to work with every player and he believes as he improves the game only gets more fun. Andrew explains that like every sport, accomplishments come with time and hard work, “It is one of those sports that if you don’t practice, it is really hard to just show up and play well. It’s really hard to get back into the swing of things. And every day it is a sport of failure.” No matter the game, win or loss, putting in the work can result in success even if the statistics don’t show it.
Boys Lacrosse: Chris Cavalaris
Ever since the first grade, Chris Cavalaris has shown a fascination for lacrosse. Originally a baseball fan who realized his talents could shine bright at other sports as well, Chris wanted to try lacrosse and signed up to play, but mostly because “his brother told him to.”
However, as he grew older, he stemmed away from his interest in baseball and continued on a path to become a better lacrosse player as he became part of a club lacrosse team as well as the LFHS teams. Chris has grown to be a valuable team player with a positive mindset and notable character. This is his second year on the high school’s Varsity team playing attack, a position on the offense with a lot of passing and shooting, and in previous years he also played for the Lake Forest Lacrosse Association team and True Lacrosse. His hard-working mentality is what makes him stand out as he never fail to go the extra step to improve his skills. Chris quotes, “Once I start something, I want to finish it. I work on individual improvement as well as team improvement by showing great determination. I have not only learned to develop into a better player but also a better teammate because we learn how to cheer for other guys even when we’re not having the best day.” One of the driving forces behind this determination is Notre Dame lacrosse player Matt Kavanagh as he shares many similarities with Chris himself. Even though he is considerably a shorter guy, as Chris puts it, he always plays with a chip on his shoulder and it inspires him frequently. On the field, however, his two lacrosse coaches, Coach Theirgart and Coach Morgan, help with his determination as they always push him to get better at each game and help his enthusiasm for the sport grow.
Girls Lacrosse: Mary Doheny
Known as the girl who started the Croc trend on Lake Forest’s girls varsity lacrosse team, Mary Doheny is one of the most lovable teammates to have. Her bright personality and love for lacrosse is the perfect combination for her character on the team.
Mary started playing in 6th grade as a field player but soon after volunteered to be goalie due to her hatred for running–who can blame her! And her position as goalie has stuck since. She used to play for a club team called Illinois Elite where she traveled all around the country participating in various tournaments. Mary has now been on LFHS’ Varsity team for three years and still continues to be inspired by the different athletes at the school each day. She explains how so many athletes at LFHS work hard and are accomplished, “It is inspiring to see how talented many of my peers are, and that alone motivates me to be my best and represent our high school in the best way possible. The amount of talented athletes at our school is truly incredible.”
Even off the field she has great sportsmanship and follows the motto “Team, teammate, self” which everyone on the team sticks to. Despite the competition surrounding them, at every game they all come together to to showcase their team’s skills and the trust they have for one another. Mary’s favorite part of the team is how they are like a family and the achievements they make together. The best feeling for her is walking off the home field after they win a big game. “It is so rewarding to watch everyone put their hearts into a game and come out successful,” gushed Mary. Last week, the girls lacrosse team beat GBS 14-13; they were ranked #6 and LFHS were ranked #5. They had not won against GBS in five years and those moments are what make lacrosse so special for Mary.
Girls Soccer: Mary Gregg
As is the case for many student athletes, their sports career starts simply because their parents signed them up and it isn’t until later when this hobby turns into much more. This was the case for Mary Gregg who did not expect her passion for soccer to grow when she began playing with her twin sister.
As a member of the Varsity team, Mary had no idea that the beginning of high school would spark a deeper love for the sport. She initially became more competitive and serious about soccer when she was on a club team. With each challenging game, she learned more and continued to improve with every practice and still continues to do so. However, as she began running cross country, she created a new yet important part of her life that she would focus on in addition to soccer unlike most of her teammates who play club year round. As her high school career advances, Mary can attest that the seniors on her team have always influenced her from their motivation to do well during games and attitude for the sport. “Every time someone scores,” Mary says, “people may not realize how exhilarating and exciting it is when someone gets a goal. I love how everyone playing truly does care how we do as a team.”
Girls Softball: Delaney Weiss
Softball is more than just a sport for Delaney Weiss. Ever since the fourth grade, Delaney has showcased her talents on the field and with each year her experience grows. The sport not only provides a place for creating new friends and staying in shape as she plays catcher and left field, but for her it is also a place where she was able to strengthen the bond with her mom. Both her parents have supported her years playing softball. Still, Delaney’s dad has been her biggest influence. Every day Delaney tries to do better than before, pushing herself to excel as a player and create new strengths. Softball is a sport that is maybe less common at LFHS, but every girl on the team truly shows a deep passion for the game. The small team creates a sense of family with students from really different personalities and backgrounds.
Boys Tennis: Daniel McEvoy
The once simple hobby of Daniel McEvoy, playing tennis, has now transformed into one of his favorite sports. Starting at the age of nine, Daniel played tennis on courts nearby his house, not thinking much more of it, but his parents soon began to sign him up for lessons. Daniel practiced each year and began to play both singles and doubles. One of his greatest inspirations as he grew older and even now is Andy Murray, a British professional tennis player. The determination and skills Murray shows are the goals Daniel works towards to become a better competitor. While tennis at LFHS counts as a team sport, it can also count as an individual sport–you can play a match by yourself, but you’ll only win if your teammates win their matches as well. Daniel explains playing with his classmates, “You need your team in order to win. Everyone becomes good friends yet we’re all still competitive on match days. The best part of playing is last match–whether I’m playing in it or not– because everything is on the line and the whole team just shows their support.”
Boys Track & Field: Landon Edwards
The current record holder for the frosh/soph high jump at 6’4”, Landon Edwards, will surely hold more records before he graduates. Landon began running in 7th grade at Deerpath Middle School when his parents suggested it would be a good fit.
Landon states, “My parents were the catalyst to it all and really helped me build up my confidence to run track and have encouraged me to keep pursuing it.” He specializes in the high jump, triple jump, and sprint relays such as the 4×100 and the 4×200, however, the fluidity and technique between each step in the triple jump has shown to be his favorite despite his accomplishments in the high jump.
The Rio Olympics in 2016 really inspired Landon as a runner. Each athlete had near perfect form and showed great skill which taught him what a strong work ethic and determination looks like. Despite his advances, Landon still pushes himself to be better each day and work towards new records, “Before I graduate, I am hoping to beat two varsity records. First, the high jump record (6’7”) that hasn’t been beaten since 1978.” Landon states, “The other record I am hoping to beat is the triple jump record (45’3”). I started jumping in this event freshmen year and have a personal record of 43’9”. I am hoping to excel and jump the two feet that I need by the end of this season. The thought of always wanting to run faster or jump higher inspires me to make it happen.” Track, Landon believes, is a sport where you can see your progress directly. Depending how much work is put in and what healthy decisions are made, improvements can be made since there are times or a height that can be compared with an individual’s past records. Being part of the track team has allowed Landon to work together with his teammates even though many events are individually based. They always show motivation for each other even though they are sometimes one another’s competition. But once Landon hits the track, everything is else is left behind. When he is in the moment, he becomes free of stress and solely focuses on running as fast or jumping as high as he can.
Girls Track & Field: Emma Milburn
Like many other athletes, Emma Milburn’s career as an athlete began in the early stages of middle school. Emma began running track in fifth grade at Deer Path Middle School because many of her friends and her sister as well were runners. Despite her love for running at an early age, it wasn’t until 6th grade where she decided to follow her passion and see what the team could provide her with. With great focus and effective practices, Emma was hoping to qualify for state. However, when she did not make the state team during her first cross country season in sixth grade, it drove her to work harder in the off season.
During track later that spring she qualified for state in the 1600m and realized running was something she enjoys and can compete in. Emma previously ran the mile but now focuses more on the 800m as she also runs the 4x800m relay, and the 4x400m relay. Although Emma holds the school record for the cross country three mile, she has not set any records for track but hopes to set one for the 800m this year. Over the past couple of years many people have influenced Emma as an athlete, the one person who continues to motivate her from the 6th grade to now is Haley Click, a senior and fellow LFHS track teammate. Emma explains how Haley has really helped her as an athlete, “Her humility and perseverance have been an inspiration to me. I looked up to her as a little middle schooler and that still holds true. She epitomizes what it means to be a great teammate and friend.” Even with the hard competition, Emma is a naturally friendly person and laughed with the girls she has competed with the past few years. She shows respectful rivalries with them but also can share a laugh before the race or a “congratulations” and a hug after the race.
Along with trying to get points for your team, each member on the team is also competing against their own best time; everyone is running for each other and Emma believes everyone wants to do what’s best for the team. In addition to the LFHS team, Emma runs on the Waukegan Invaders during the winter and the summer. It holds a wider range of ages from four to eighteen and coming from different communities. These teammates are her competition during the school season but it doesn’t stop their efforts on the travel team and all of the hard work put in. “Training hard and seeing your results of a personal best time is a great feeling,” Emma shares, “Success in track has everything to do with how hard you work and it’s so rewarding when it pays off.”
Boys Volleyball: Will Gescheidle
For Will Gescheidle, backyard volleyball was the beginning for his interest in the sport. Introduced to the court version by his three cousins, Will is now a member on the Varsity team as an outside hitter and is a hardworking athlete as his passion has continued to grow. He started playing volleyball in 7th grade at Deerpath Middle School where his cousins, all of which played on Stevenson High School’s boys varsity team, taught him the skills he holds as a player today.
Growing up, Will was inspired by a variety of athletes yet his teammate and good friend, Joe Chamberlain, really influences him. Will explains, “He is a great player and has really grown since freshman year. He started playing around my age as well and we have been playing together since. Watching him improve as a player makes me being on the court with him want to do better, and for all of my teammates.” With every match, there is just something happening in every single play and all six guys on our team (12 total on the court) are involved. Volleyball is very fast-paced, as Will believes, so everyone on the team is ready for the ball at any given second. Will also plays for a club volleyball team where he works more on his individual skills to be a better team player at LFHS. The team at the high school provides him to gain more volleyball experience and stay tied to the game.
Boys Water Polo: Andrew Gherlein
A unique sport where your feet never touch the ground, Water Polo is one of the most exciting and interesting sports for Andrew Gherlein. He began playing in the summer going into 8th grade and learned from Spencer Moore and Michael Allen who are now college students. Andrew knew that he wanted to swim in high school and was looking for another fun sport to participate in. He plays the position of flat, where players have a good arm and can shoot from anywhere. Andrew believes water polo has offered great camaraderie and another physical challenge for himself in addition to his efforts on the swim team. Before he graduates next year, his goal is for his team to beat Stevenson, which constantly keeps him motivation. The satisfaction of bringing home a win after a great team effort is what makes Andrew love water polo.
Girls Water Polo: Holly Malnati
Probably considered one of the most physical girls sports by students, water polo has provided Holly Malnati three years worth of great laughs and improvement as an athlete. She began water polo because all the seniors on her swim team that year encouraged her to play. Holly naturally loves the water and her passion for water polo grew as she fell in love with the sport. She considers senior friend and teammate, Grace Donahue, to be her biggest inspiration. Holly sheds some light on their relationship, “She [Grace] is insane in the water and I aspire to be like her. She constantly is encouraging me to shoot and try new things even when I lack the confidence to do so. She even helps me swim sometimes.”
Water polo is an extremely intense game with non-stop motion. The team shows a special bond, as it contains fewer players than most other school teams, and Holly believes everyone truly gets to know each other. Holly is a field player at LFHS but she has also played club water polo before as well. The sport is really different though because despite the assigned position, you are constantly switching back and forth between offense and defense and need to be able to do both. Holly would never give up her life as a player in high school and the closeness of the team, “I love the sport itself. I like the fact that I can clear my head in the pool and just have fun playing.”
After months of late night rehearsals and preparation, Lake Forest High School’s spring musical, Urinetown, is finally ready for its opening night. This Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the production will be playing in the Raymond Moore Auditorium and the talents within in the cast will be showcased. Before you see the show, read below for a quick preview featuring some of the Urinetown leads.
Bradley Berklich as Mr. Cladwell
Favorite musical: I don’t necessarily enjoy musicals
How many productions they’ve starred in: About five
How long they’ve been acting: My life is an act
Favorite song in the musical Urinetown: “We’re Not Sorry” reprise
Actor/actress they admire: Robin Williams
Favorite part of being in the musical: Seeing old friends
Jane Margolis as Mrs. Pennywise
Favorite musical: The Producers
How many productions they’ve starred in: 15
How long they’ve been acting: 10 years
Favorite song in the musical Urinetown: “Why Did I Listen To That Man”
Actor/actress they admire: Jessica Lange
Favorite part of being in the musical: Getting into some tomfoolery with my cast!
Gracie Stockton as Hope Cladwell
Favorite musical: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
How many productions they’ve starred in: 16
How long they’ve been acting: Nine years
Favorite song in the musical Urinetown: “Follow Your Heart”
Actor/actress they admire: Meryl Streep
Favorite part of being in the musical: The Act One finale
Adam Clayton as Bobby Strong
Favorite musical: Les Misérables
How many productions they’ve starred in: 4
How long they’ve been acting: Five years
Favorite song in the musical Urinetown: Act One Finale
Actor/actress they admire: Ramin Karimloo
Favorite part of being in the musical: The cast and friends made along the way
Morgen Cohen as Little Sally
Favorite musical: West Side Story
How many productions they’ve starred in: 5
How long they’ve been acting: Four years
Favorite song in the musical Urinetown: “Follow Your Heart” or “Snuff That Girl”
Actor/actress they admire: Lupita Nyong’o
Favorite part of being in the musical: Bonding with my castmates
Bryan Kingsley as Officer Lockstock
Favorite musical: Chicago
How many productions they’ve starred in: 5
How long they’ve been acting: A year
Favorite song in the musical Urinetown: “Why Did I listen to That Man”
Actor/actress they admire: Christoph Waltz
Favorite part of being in the musical: All of the friendly faces and good laughs
Be sure to catch these actors and many other students participating in the musical this weekend. Tickets are sold online and at the door!
In The Forest Scout’s “Celebration of a Career” column, the staff writers honor a faculty member who is retiring in 2017.
Since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, Mr. Osing has wandered through the halls and classrooms of LFHS–teaching for a 30 year tenure that has seen six presidencies, the teardown of the Berlin Wall, the unfortunate demise of the World Trade Center buildings, and some 3,000 Lake Forest High School students. As his years passed at the school, there is no doubt that at some point he taught every single core English class offered within the department curriculum and continuously curated his worldly knowledge both inside and outside of the confines of his classroom. But why is it that every one of his students takes away something more from the classroom than just the comprehension of a book or the proper grammar in structuring a sentence? It’s because his ability to learn from students while simultaneously teaching them new concepts never stops, and his passion for information–both immediately useful and otherwise–exceeds many other teachers.
Despite the change in enrollment, faculty members, and the layout of the actual building, life for Mr. Osing in 1985 wasn’t too far different than 2017 at LFHS. He still taught a variety of classes over his first few years like Junior Honors English, Freshman English, Composition, Film and perhaps the class that suits his personality best, Humanities, which stems from his natural interest in philosophy. But even in the past few years, Osing has still continued to take on new classes to learn more, and to try and cover topics better each time around in order to stay engaged with his students during the lesson plan. “One of my greatest accomplishments is finishing my career still in the middle of doing something fresh,” Osing articulated. “I took on AP Language as a new prep in my final two years and I was able to teach 3 different courses to my colleagues for professional development.”
Mr. Osing never stops learning or improving his teaching. The amount of knowledge his brain holds grows each day, never hitting its full capacity. As a student, I can attest that in every class he has something new to share. If you’ve had the pleasure of being in one of his classes, there is no experience quite like it, and even that is an understatement. His quirky personality, strange jokes, stranger accents, and referring to us students as his “urchins” are all a part of the Osing experience. Not to mention, his love for funky shoes keeps the jovial community atmosphere alive in his classroom and this positive energy only contributes to his lesson plans. Within these lessons, he loves introducing his students to new ideas. Mr. Osing explained how even as he teaches new ideas, he is learning new ones as well each day. “I look forward to reading my student’s papers and seeing what they come up with,” remarked Osing, his circular glasses perched lowly on the bridge of his nose. “I sometimes take their ideas more seriously than the actual student does. I don’t think the general public realizes how interesting and intellectually capable teenagers are.”
Like every English teacher, Mr. Osing has his favorite books which influenced him in high school, like To The Lighthouse (of which he is a proud owner of two t-shirts which he wears regularly while teaching the text) or Counterfeiters; he also has a distinct passion for the existential novelists Vonnegut and Camus, to which he has read at great length. But when students leave his class and move forward–either further into the English curriculum or to higher education–he wants them to take away much more than the understanding of a novel. As students continue to read past the classroom, the understanding of a novel isn’t the reason to read. Rather, it is process of reading and what you get out of that. “There is no rule that says that you have to understand everything you read,” shared Osing, an insatiable reader. “Read, struggle a little bit, and learn what you can and always be pushing at the edges of your ability. I’m reading books that take everything I’ve got to understand–even partially–and I still read books that way because I like the challenge. It’s the only way to grow.”
Besides his love for reading and new ideas, Mr. Osing has undergone many different experiences in his years at LFHS. One of the moments he treasures most was listening to the Madrigals Singers perform “In Dulci Jubilo” alongside his department chair, Brenda Perkins, who caught him tearing up and subsequently gave him two firm squeezes for comfort as he cried. He truly appreciates the small yet rewarding aspects of life and what teaching at Lake Forest has offered. Ever since his first year, and even until his very last day approaching the high school, when he is alone and driving by the school on McKinley Road he laughs out loud with joy. He is truly happy being a part of the school community.
As his final year at LFHS approaches an end, his legacy as a teacher will not be forgotten as he hopes to be remembered as “funny, knowledgeable and kind” above all other adjectives that may be shared. In addition to this, his impact on students and the intellectual curiosity that he inspires in his classroom will continue to show for years. He has prepared his students to be successful in the future through his English classes and, over time, has been considered to be a mentor to multitudes of students. Some of the greatest advice he has to share to students is pure and simple and fits perfectly for seniors approaching the next chapter in their educational careers. “Sure, it is important to find the right college that fits you, but the bare notion of the prestige of a college is less important. Any school you go to, you will get out of your college experience what you put into it. That to me is the most important thing when coming back with an education.” No matter the type of school you attend, getting an education will bring forth great knowledge and set your future in terms of learning more with every experience.
Although Mr. Mark Osing will soon be a retired teacher, he will continue to learn more with every experience. His spontaneous and quasi-adventurous plans for life after teaching will consist of traveling, teaching and taking adult education classes, learning bookbinding and book restoration, printmaking, reading and getting back on his “very good” bicycle. As he looks forward to the next stage of his life though, nothing can compare to the years he spent at Lake Forest High School. “This school, this town, my students and their parents allowed me to build a life, a rich and satisfying life. I have been very privileged to work here so long and so happily. I’ve been able to share the life of the mind with eager, funny, maddening, joyous, curious, talented, and struggling teenagers. I never stopped being delighted by what teenagers think and do. I will miss them.”
As spring approaches, so does the planning and preparation of the much anticipated school dance, prom. This year marks a new beginning for Lake Forest High School’s prom as a change in venue to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare will provide students with more time to spend at prom 2017, “A Night in the Clouds”.
The students at LFHS have the privilege of traveling outside their school for the dance. While many schools do not find this feasible, LFHS students are fortunate to travel safely by bus. This year the total number of buses is likely 18. It is no surprise that students are very fond of the entire prom experience as a whole and the security, safety and travel arrangements are part of the foundation of a successful and enjoyable event.
To sustain the prom tradition, students will still use buses as a means of transportation to and from the venue. With over 800 students attending prom, the program “Project Safe Prom” helps raise funds via generous donations. These funds are used to help cover the costs of the buses as the cost of transportation in total reaches $20,000. With the support of community members and families, to help cover these expenses, donations will be a vital key in reaching the goal.
To help support the prom, please donate to help maintain a safe environment while still allowing students to have an unforgettable night.There are several ways to donate to “Project Safe Prom 2017”. We hope that you can help support the class of 2018. For more information and ways to donate please visit the school website for further information.
If you enjoyed that random 70 degree weather in mid-February, don’t pull out your shorts just yet. As you noticed, days after our taste of Spring, flurries were in the forecast and we stopped spending time outdoors. Our Winter season has been showing some warm spells, and many of us have taking advantage of that, but that shouldn’t be the only reason we go outside. No matter the weather, being outdoors has surprising benefits that many of us may not realize.
As we sometimes stumble through our daily lives, we might take notice that much of our time is spent inside. While many activities do require being indoors, many of our daily activities can actually be spent outdoors. Take time to think about the last time you were indoors and could have been outside instead: talking with a friend, scrolling through your phone or maybe even doing homework.
There are plenty of places around the community that can provide you with the benefits of being outside. However many of us have busy schedules during the week; just being in your backyard for 30 minutes is often enough. Some benefits of being outside include:
1. Relieves stress
2. Helps calm yourself
3. Way of exercising (if moving)
4. Helps keep you happy and your brain working
5. Way to unplug yourself from electronics
6. It can make you smile more!
While there are many other additional benefits, these are some of the key reasons why teenagers specifically should be spending more time with nature. Take a walk outside, go to the beach, watch the sunrise–just spend 30 minutes to 1 hour outside and you’ll feel fresher and more relaxed. So much can be done outside that you may think needs to be done within the comfort of your home. By transitioning from the indoors to outdoors for daily activities such as doing homework, reading a book, working out, or hanging out with friends, you will be spending more time outside while also doing what you may “not have time for” to go outside otherwise.
If you like more scenery–and are in the mood for a more relaxing vibe–nature preserves are a great way to get some fresh air and be able to admire the beauty of the outdoors. LFOLA and LBOLA both have many preserves within the community, with easy access and a relatively close proximity to us in distance. Even if it is cold, the outdoors should be appreciated and the changes in weather (or lack of change) should not be the determining factor of whether you should/should not be outside.
Try swapping out some of your activities inside to the outdoors, or add more time outdoors do your daily schedule, however brief it may be. With the warmer seasons approaching, it can be even more exciting to spend time outside and just help with overall positivity in the mind and help your health.
You’d be surprised to see what a small change in your life brings forth such a great difference. Step outside, take a look around, and re-fresh and re-charge before Spring Break arrives.
Throughout high school, I have seen talented musicians come and go, leaving their legacy behind through the solos they performed and the competitions they’ve won. But there is always someone who stands out from the rest grade and for Lake Forest, the one person who gives a face to the choir is Will Johnson.
It’s likely you’ve seen him singing at the varsity basketball games, in some of the acts or the pit band during the annual Talent Show, or even playing the trumpet at the pep rallies and Friday home football games. However, Will was not always known for his musical talent and interest in the school’s Music Department. His love for singing and place in the LFHS choir actually stemmed from his initial participation in band.
Since the fifth grade, Will has played the trumpet; but it wasn’t until eighth grade that he realized he had a passion for singing. He decided to split his time between choir and band to try something new. With no experience singing beforehand, Will joined choir where the students in his class were amazed by his talents and his ability to sing outshined the trumpet he played. The question of whether this would be a new focus in his life or a simple hobby crossed his mind but I can assure you, he made the right choice.
Now, as a prominent focus in his life, singing is something he can’t live without. He is always singing–in class, in competitions, in shows, everywhere. But most of us don’t seem bothered by his tunes. Besides the occasional “oh my gosh, stop singing” from his mother or the “alright, that’s enough” from his friends when he starts singing in public, we are used to the bold and strong sound of his voice and wouldn’t mind listening to it for hours on end.
His dedication and the time spent practicing has given his voice a trademark sound within all the music he performs. Its distinctively strong qualities shine through the tenor section but his operatic-styled voice does not alter his ability to sing music from all genres. This year in the talent show, he is singing music that is not as classical or operatic. He is taking part in a duet with junior Grace Forsage singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel and “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones with a separate band. While he is a part of the talent show pit band– playing acoustic versions of our favorite songs on the trumpet–singing is something he devotes much more time to and shows a particular interest in.
Will also has played roles in musicals and plays while also fulfilling a role in an extracurricular holiday choir called Madrigals. Will has been a part of the group for four years and had the honor to be a leader his senior year, sharing some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences with his fellow classmates. He was also titled the ILMEA senior division winner this year and was a part of the school’s honor choir program.
There is no doubt Will now has plenty of experience and coaching by different directors. Besides the All-State honor choir he was chosen to be a participant in, one of the most incredible experiences and tutelage he has received was last fall when he took part in an operetta, H.M.S. Pinafore, at Lake Forest College. The entire experience really shaped his singing career and gave him insight to the differences between voice parts where he sang baritone, a lower voice part than he is used to. But even with such an inspiring opportunity, the directors at the operetta had a much smaller impact on Will compared to Mr. Haskett, the choir director at LFHS.
Teaching for over 30 years and being a tenor like Will allows for him to be a great mentor and fantastic director. When Will was asked to share his experience on singing and what choir has offered him, he stated, “Being in choir and Madrigals for the past four years has allowed me to work with Mr. Haskett and create a relationship that has not only strengthened my position in choir [at LFHS] but also as a student and as a singer.” Mr. Haskett has helped shape Will as a musician and helps him sing to the best of his ability in choir, and when doing solo acts.
Having the privilege to know Will and being able to see what he is involved in musically is remarkable. Aside from his natural talent, his outgoing personality and title as a loud, never-stop-talking kind of guy is what sets his apart from others and only amplifies his musicality. If you see his dedication, passion for singing and talent you can understand why he’ll leave a mark at LFHS and leave his own legacy in choir.
Though Will only has about four months left as a student at LFHS, those who have spent time with him downstairs in the Music Dept.–including Mr. Haskett, Mr. Bassill, Mrs. Kessler, and Mr. O’Connor–will continue to hear his voice long after he graduates this summer.
This article was co-written by Sarah Steindl and Trisha Bhagat of The Forest Scout‘s In LFHS Department
Lake Forest’s hottest new club is… the LFHS talent show. This place has everything: indie rock bands, a jazz performer, musical prodigies, and joke gurus; for the next three weeks, students participating in the show will be working hard on their performances. The show features a variety of acts, featuring students of all grades and will have the theme of Saturday Night Live. The entire student body encompasses a variety of talents, whether they can be showcased on stage or not. For those who want to share their passion with an audience, the upcoming talent show is their chance to come through. Here is a preview of a few of the upcoming acts and the inspiration behind them.
Grace Duggan & Lily Gould
This dynamic duo has been singing duets in the talent show every year and have been rocking it ever since. The two sang “Not About Angels” by Birdy freshman year, “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys sophomore year, and will be singing Beyonce’s anthem “Halo” this February.
Although the two participated in the Deerpath Middle School talent show in separate acts in eighth grade, it wasn’t until freshman year when they became good friends and recognized a shared passion for singing. During choir, they sat beside each other and loved the way their voices sounded together in harmonies. The two began practicing different songs together after school and during free periods as a hobby when they fell in love with Birdy’s song, and eventually decided to showcase their love for singing at the talent show.
“Having the chance to get up on stage and do the thing I love most for an auditorium full of my friends and family is the most incredible experience. Belting out one of my favorite songs [“Halo”] with one of my closest friends with the lighting and sound of a professional concert is so exhilarating; I can’t even begin to describe how much fun we have with the whole process,” junior Grace Duggan remarked. Her duet partner, junior Lily Gould, also gushed about her love for the show, “The talent show is such a wonderful place to show off your talents and have fun.” Being in the show together for almost three years now has allowed them to learn the ropes of the program and truly learn the nuances of each other’s voices for their music’s benefit. Their love for singing shines through their performances and are a force to be reckoned with.
Everybody knows that one of the main acts of the talent show is Chive, an original indie rock band. The group has been playing and writing music since the summer of 2015 and consists of Matt Ackman on drums, Matt Adams on guitar, Landon Kerouac on bass, and Spencer Schmid with vocals and guitar. As one of the most well known original bands to arise from the halls of Lake Forest High School, performing live is no new experience for Chive, nevertheless it is equally exhilarating. Spencer Schmid speaks about their passion as a group saying, “we’ve always just found it way more fun to play music that we make instead of covering other bands’ music.” The group will be playing the cover song for their latest album, Winnie and Rue. You can read an album review of Winnie and Rue in an article eloquently written by The Forest Scout’s own Tommy Block. Schmid also mentioned, “As a band we’re just excited to be playing more live music; it gives us exposure and opens people’s ears to our music which is the ultimate goal–just to share with people what we have to say is always a great feeling as a collective.” Don’t miss out on the chance to see one of the North Shore’s up-and-coming bands at a local venue.
For the sparse minutes that the stage of the RMA will be unoccupied by instruments, the empty floor will be brought to life by the single dance act of this year’s talent show. Lizzie Meulbroek will be dancing to a perky upbeat song called, “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.” The relevance of the Lala Land vibe of the dance will be sure to engage the crowd, with the timeless charisma of jazz music. Lizzie described her upcoming performance in her own words, “The choreography in my dance is very stylized and I feel like I’m in an old Hollywood movie or like I’m on Broadway when I get in my costume and perform. This dance adds a new twist on classic jazz movement.” The charm of the dance, Lizzie says, “allows me to use a ton of personality while performing and gives me the chance to connect with the audience. I want the audience to be left feeling really entertained!”
Opposed to the traditional formation of a band inside an average garage, the musical group Miles was created in the living room of junior Ali Jackson. Ali, along with junior Hadley Seymour on piano, freshman Jack LaVanway on bass, and freshman Luke Gerskovich on drums, plays acoustic guitar and is lead vocalist in their band.
Hadley Seymour explains how Miles has really influenced her in a positive way and has created a really great experience for her. “I have gained a lot of confidence putting my skills in front of an audience, which is definitely out of my comfort zone. I love being able to work with people of many talents outside of those on stage like tech crew and the directors.”
The talent show is the first time Miles will be showcasing their talents as they perform “High Hopes” by Kodaline. The group all started when Ali, a mutual friend of all the band’s members, wanted to start an act for the talent show with some of her closest friends, separate from another band she is already in with Luke. The name was created when Ali’s dog, Miles, would come into their rehearsals and listen. The group realized his name was perfect for a band, while also having the double meaning of going the distance to produce a good sound. Jackson also noted the positive impact of the talent show, “I’ve had an amazing experience being a part of this band! A fun fact is that most of us were strangers at the start of it. The LFHS Talent show has provided me and the members of my band the opportunity to perform live, and share a passion we all have with our audience.”
Maddie Stephenson & Daniel Hanson
For people of all ages, a love song is both one of the most relatable and abstract stories to tell: it might make you feel perpetually single, or perhaps remind you of a significant other, or on the contrary, an ex; maybe it just blatantly confuses you. Seniors Daniel Hanson and Maddie Stephenson will cover Ed Sheeran’s “Give me Love,” and inflict all of the above emotions and everything in between in one impassioned acoustic ballad in this year’s show.
Daniel, a self taught guitar player, having played since the 6th grade, and Maddie, a pianist as of 12 years, will be in their instrumental elements for the upcoming talent show. As for singing, it’s new territory for Hanson to perform in front of an audience, but he prevails as he matches pace with many of the other singers in the show. Many know Maddie for her gifted musical ability on both the piano and in her vocals. With years of rigorous classical piano songs practiced under her belt, the slightly alternative and acoustic feel of “Give me Love” is something new for her. Maddie says about their upcoming performance, “I usually perform with my younger sister, Kate. This is the first time I’m singing with a friend. It’s cool to step outside of my comfort zone and share the music part of my life with someone outside my family.” The two will showcase their steady passions, and show how much they have grown in new terrain on the stage of the RMA beginning of February 23rd.
With only 16 rehearsals to prepare, the following students and the rest of the talent show acts, the committee and crew will work hard to get the show ready in time. With a highly select group of top notch performances, this year’s talent show will be sure to show just how talented the students at Lake Forest High School truly are. Buy tickets here!
When you go to your high school prom, there is always one thing that stands out as your favorite memory or something that distinguishes the night from others. While for most schools that consists of dancing the night away, that one perfect dress, or that picture you took at pre, LFHS is a little different. Here, the one thing students seem to remember the most about prom is that famous tomato soup that is part of their dinner. While the Marriott downtown kept this item on the prom menu for years, the change in venue in 2017 has brought about a different menu. But don’t you worry, you still will get a spin on your favorite tomato soup.
Last Friday, myself and four other Student Council members from the junior class took a trip down to the Hyatt Regency O’hare where the 2017 Prom will be held. After nearly a two hour, ten course meal and a lot of decision making, we finally came to a conclusion to make the most delicious menu. The four course meal consists of the following:
First Course (soup):
A Cream of Tomato Soup with a Cheddar Crostini
Second Course (salad):
A Mediterranean Salad: Romaine, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta cheese
For the Third Course (entreé) you have the choice of:
Braised Beef Short Rib with Natural Jus. White Cheddar & Chive Whipped Potatoes and Roasted Rosemary Vegetables
Herb Roasted Chicken with a Dijon Cream Sauce. Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Roasted Vegetables
A Roasted Vegetable Napoleon. Seared Tofu with a Portabello Mushroom base. Assorted Vegetables with a Marinara Sauce.
*Bonus it’s vegetarian and vegan!
Fourth Course (dessert):
Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake with Lavender Honey
The 2017 Prom menu has a great variety of options, all of which are delicious and prepared fresh. So look forward to enjoying your night and the four course meal that comes with.