The Forest Scout Friday Five is a weekly segment that celebrates five people making a distinct, profound, and positive difference in the Lake Forest High School community. To visit our most recent installment, click here. To recommend a student, teacher, support staff, or community member for inclusion in The Forest Scout Friday Five, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the course of the 2016-17 school year, the staff of The Forest Scout has celebrated exactly 100 people as Friday Five inductees–twenty separate editions of the Friday Five–noted for “making a distinct, profound, and positive difference in the Lake Forest High School community.” Each week, our staff sought out students, teachers, parents, and community members worthy of a shout out of sorts for all of their hard work. At times, perhaps, you knew the recipients. They may have been a girl in your Spanish class who always contributed to class discussions, or a boy in your Math class who is always lending a helping hand. But, the inherent virtue of the Friday Five that solidified its presence as our most consistently popular column was that sometimes it celebrated someone that you didn’t know; someone you maybe knew of, but didn’t fully understand their persona and role in the school, and, as a result of your reading, shared in the celebration of their humanity as a person. To us, that was the value of the Friday Five.
At its inception, the Friday Five looked vastly different. Originally, it was labeled as the Lake Forest High School Power 20, a spin-off of Chicago Magazine’s Power 200 list that it unveils each year; our initial purpose was to designate the people who hold the most power at LFHS for the “right reasons.” After discussion with our mature and inclusive board of editors, however, we came to the conclusion that LFHS simply has too many people who do the right things the right way to cut the list off at twenty. In addition to that, the overall power and platform of a student isn’t necessarily fair to commemorate (in reality, some freshmen are just developing their voice within the school community). We ultimately wanted something that celebrated what made our community the place that it is–the people. Thus, our Ghost team rolled out the Friday Five.
So, on this, the last of Friday Fives for the 2016-17 school year, I would like to recognize the people who wrote these capsules. A lot were written in the wee hours of a Thursday night, anxiously tracking down quotes from friends or teachers. The process of saluting someone secretly (they would assure you) is no easy task. The writers of the Friday Five always came through, though, and blessed us each week with their wonderful, sentimental writing that catalyzed us to congratulate those being honored in the segment. Below is a list of the Ghost writers of the Friday Five. Some wrote one capsule, others two dozen. Nonetheless, each writer deserves recognition for their noble, honest work. Here’s to you, Ghost team. Job well-done. You made a difference.
Grace Scheidler: A fantastic writer, avid reader, and perhaps the most dutiful assignment notebook doodler in all the land, our co-Editor-in-Chief was responsible for not only many capsules, but also a role in the creation of the idea as a whole. Balancing her time between cross country, track, and many other extracurricular activities, Grace handled the workload like only she can. A true leader by example, Grace’s tributes to her classmates often moved them so much so that they knew only one student could have written it–Grace Scheidler.
Grace Bentley: The recent IHSA state-qualifying track star has been a diligent member of the Friday Five work force, celebrating both teachers and students with profound and heartwarming prose detailing their essence as people. Much like her counterpart, Grace Scheidler, this Grace also balances cross country, track, and an honors/AP-level course load with the optimism of a saint and the work ethic of a blue-collar carpenter.
Erika Marchant: This spunky junior is known by her classmates as the quick-witted, energetic Erika who is always on the go working on something. Her detailed and specific tributes (that often times stretched the intended word limit of a capsule) were always resounding with the subjects she chose. Aside from being involved heavily with her church, Erika also balances cross country, track, and an honors/AP-level schedule with organization and poise. Having a freshman sister at her disposal, Erika always went the extra mile to find out who was striving for excellence in the class of 2020, which, for any upperclassmen, can be classified as a noble act of charity.
Brett Chody: All-state athlete, Wellness for Life TA, AP student, Prom Court nominee, social activist, fashionista, perpetual optimist–junior Brett Chody can be classified as many things in the small world that is Lake Forest High School. Her open willingness to celebrate the faculty members who have shaped her school experience has been nothing short of spectacular. Brett often collaborated with those around her to discuss, research, and acknowledge her classmates and teachers in new and unique ways that made a difference in the lives of others. For her, it was just another day at the office.
Maddy Moore: No one writer has improved over the course of the year in Journalism class more than senior Maddy Moore. The University of Vermont is lucky to be receiving this hard-working 18 year old who delivered shout-outs to so many of her peers while balancing her role as one of the lead students of CROYA. Not only is Maddy universally well-liked by just about everyone at the high school, but she reciprocates that respect and turns it into heartwarming, shareable anecdotes that bring a smile to the faces of others, which, if you know Maddy, is her main goal in life.
Trisha Bhagat: The newly-minted Student Body President worked very hard over the course of the year to get to know the students of LFHS on a deeper, more visceral level by celebrating their daily accomplishments. Known for her omnipresent energy, unwavering happiness, and generally bubbly demeanor, Trisha set out to recognize those in the oft overlooked avenues of the high school community. A sucker for the shy candidate who humbly never mentions themselves and their own accomplishments, Trisha made a habit of bringing the introvert to life on the page, rendering them appreciated and respected by all.
Alec Brandel: The mature, level-headed pragmatist Alec Brandel is responsible for transitioning the Power 20 of LFHS into the weekly recognition ceremony that became the Friday Five. A fighter for fairness and equality, Alec often chose to celebrate those working hard behind the scenes and fighting for a voice outside of the limelight of LFHS. The University of Michigan is receiving a true student leader with an admirable maturity that developed into a commendable diplomacy. Model UN and many other extracurricular activities, along with his supreme dedication as a student, have molded Alec Brandel into a fantastic leader.
Elizabeth Porter: Perhaps the most recognizable young writing voice in the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff community, that of junior Elizabeth Porter, was also important to the Friday Five writing staff over the course of the year. Her work editorializing her opinion on a variety of topics rendered her an esteemed voice to advocate for the students of Lake Forest High School. The proactive junior was intensely involved in the school board elections of 2016-17, but also lent her time–amidst an insanely busy class schedule, mind you–to softball and a variety of other endeavors at LFHS.
Gabby Digan: The free-spirited senior environmental activist worked hard in her tenure in Journalism to bring attention to issues that high school students often ignore. Outspoken about not having the Friday Five become a popularity contest, Gabby put forth her efforts not only in writing Friday Five capsules, but contributing quotes and content for a variety of others. Gabby, a talented artist, will be attending the University of Illinois next fall.
Claire Gilmore: The future University of Missouri Journalism student started the 2nd semester as a new staff member to The Forest Scout and hit the ground running. The senior track star balanced her time to help promote those at LFHS who are humbly striving to make our classrooms and hallways a better place to spend their time.
Isabelle Moore: Junior Isabelle Moore has made a habit of bringing people to life who have unique nuances and unabashed, original interests that other students enjoy. A soft-spoken, hard-working student, Isabelle heeded many requests in order to celebrate those whose affinity for what they love–even if it was far outside of the ordinary–needed to be recognized
Hadley Seymour: A junior who joined the class second semester, Hadley Seymour knows most everyone in the junior class at LFHS. Thus, when someone needed extended insight, a quote, or just a testament to who they are as people, Hadley became TFS’ go-to-girl. A music lover who cherishes her time outdoors, Hadley is striving towards her senior year with an excellent track record of humility, honesty, and success in tow.