The Forest Scout

Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers

Back to Article
Back to Article

Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers

Katie Pierce

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






LFHS has been lucky to welcome many new teachers recently, and TFS is proud to feature nine who are sure to make a positive impact this year.

 

Mr. Glen Leyden, English 1 & Journalism

Getting To Know You: LFHS' Newest Teachers

Why do you teach English and Journalism?

  • Both are passions of mine. I’ve loved to read and write since I was a little kid, so teaching novels and writing is a pretty sweet job. And there’s never been a more interesting time to talk journalism, so that makes teaching it both challenging and fun.

How many years have you been teaching?  Where else have you taught?

  • This is my 13th year teaching. I spent the previous 12 years at Homewood Flossmoor High School.

Favorite author?

  • A few favorites include David Mitchell, Marlon James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cormac McCarthy and James Baldwin.

Favorite band?

  • This is hard and probably changes weekly, but I’d say The White Stripes, Kendrick Lamar, The Talking Heads, Bob Dylan and LCD Soundsystem.

Favorite ice cream?

  • Something with chocolate and peanut butter.

What do you love the most about teaching?

  • The relationships I build with the students over the course of the year is the best part.  It’s also great to see them grow both academically and socially.

 

Ms. Katie Pausch, Librarian

Getting To Know You: LFHS' Newest Teachers 1

What do you love about being a librarian?

  • Of course I’ve always loved reading, but what I really enjoy about being a librarian is that it’s a positive space that’s often a respite for students. I love connecting with students over great books, and assisting students in their research.

How many years have you been teaching?  Where else have you taught?

  • This is my 12th year teaching. Previously, I taught English at Lycée Pablo Neruda and Université Stendhal in Grenoble, France, then French at Lyons Township High School. While in graduate school to become a librarian, I worked in the library here at LFHS, then spent the past two years as the librarian at Grant Community High School. I’m excited to be back!

Words of motivation for students?

  • It’s always okay not to know something as long as you continue pursuing knowledge.

Favorite author?

  • This is tough to answer! I’m always game to read anything by Margaret Atwood or David Sedaris.

Favorite band?

  • Radiohead or Fleetwood Mac, depending on my mood.

Favorite ice cream?

  • Pistachio.

 

Mr. Andy McBeath, Instrumental Music Assistant

Getting To Know You: LFHS' Newest Teachers 2

Why do you teach?

  • I teach to share my passion for music.  I believe music is used to express and modulate emotions.  It helps everyone find identity, meaning, and purpose in in life through connection to community.  It is a vital part of a holistic education. I think we all focus a lot on creating a perfect resume to get the best job and achieve the highest social status.  Egotism is a powerful force; music helps combat this by teaching cooperation and compassion. Jeremy Montagu, a musician and professor at Oxford University states, “The role of music is socialization.”  A very influential professor of mine, Tom Turino, echoed this sentiment in his book Music as Social Life. I have also found Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience helpful in answering why I play and teach music.  Flow is, “A state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” Csikszentmihalyi’s premise is that by introducing more flow into our lives we can become happier.  As he states, “Happiness takes a committed effort to be manifested.” By teaching and playing music I hope to help my students and I become happier, more connected, and compassionate human beings.

How many years have you been teaching?  Where else have you taught?

  • I have been teaching private lessons for over ten years.  I also have been the assistant organist/choirmaster at The Church of the Holy Spirit for five years.  At the church I direct the bell choir, play organ for services, and help run the senior and children’s choir.  I have also taught the front ensemble at Batavia High School and Mahommet High School.

Words of motivation for students?

  • Carpe Diem.

Favorite author?

  • I don’t know if I have a favorite author.  Currently I’m reading Homo Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.  

Favorite band?

  • I am really into Makaya McCraven.  I saw him play live at the Harris Theatre last Saturday and was blown away.  I also like that he refers to himself as a Beat Scientist.

Favorite ice cream?

  • Ben and Jerry’s Americone Dream.

What do you love most about teaching?

  • The thing I love most is watching an ensemble come together to create something larger than the sum of its parts.

 

Ms. Megan Dorneker, AAA & Trigonometry

Getting To Know You: LFHS' Newest Teachers 3

Why do you teach math?

  • I teach math because I love seeing students understand something that they didn’t previously understand.

How many years have you been teaching?  Where else have you taught?

  • I taught for 14 years before this at York High School in Elmhurst, IL.

Words of motivation for students?

  • Stick with it and come in for help if you don’t understand something.

Favorite author?

  • Recently, I’ve liked a few books that I read by Kristin Hannah. I love to read.

Favorite band?

  • Sugarland.

Favorite ice cream?

  • Anything with caramel.

 

 

Ms. Meagan Bassett, Spanish 2

Getting To Know You: LFHS' Newest Teachers 4

Why do you teach Spanish?

  • I became a Spanish teacher after an extraordinary high school language experience of my own (and after the CIA didn’t quite pan out). I remember having so much fun while learning a great deal not only about the language, but about the world and about myself. Every year I set out with the goal of creating a fun, dynamic, and inclusive space where students can explore the target language and culture. I am hopeful that they will see or learn just one thing that will inspire them to continue their language studies or connect with the language outside of the classroom.

How many years have you been teaching?  Where else have you taught?

  • This is my 13th year teaching and my first at LFHS. I previously taught at Arlington High School in Arlington, MA. I also coached the AHS cross country team for 5 years.

Words of motivation for students?

  • Make sure you spend time doing what you love. It’s so easy to get caught up in the have to’s that we often put the want to’s on the back burner. If you love to knit, knit! If it’s your dream to sing and you can’t carry a tune, take a lesson. Find what makes you truly happy and carve out time to make it happen.

Favorite author?

  • I don’t know if I have a favorite author, but two of my favorite books are Paula by Isabel Allende and Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

Favorite band?

  • El Canto del Loco, La Oreja de Van Gogh.

Favorite ice cream?

  • Coconut Almond Chip.

What do you love most about teaching?

  • I love when I see students connect what they have learned in my class to life outside of high school. From current students who tell me that they were able to communicate with someone at their job to former students who reminisce about eating tapas on the Costa del Sol, making real life connections to the target language and culture is what it’s all about.

 

 

Ms. Stephanie Garvey, Counselor

Getting To Know You: LFHS' Newest Teachers 5

Why are you a counselor?

  • I am a School Counselor because I love working with students and I love being part of a school community. It is incredibly enjoyable to work with high-school students because they are passionate, curious, and hard-working.  

How many years have you been a counselor?  Where else have you worked?

  • I was a School Counselor for three and a half years at Round Lake High School before coming to LFHS this year.

Words of motivation for students?

  • I think it’s really important to find balance in your life and engage in self-care. High school and life require a lot of hard work and dedication in order to reach your goals. I don’t think this success is possible without having the skills to truly take care of yourself mentally and physically first.

Favorite author?

  • I have many but some of my favorites are Marisa de los Santos and Brené Brown.

Favorite band?

  • Hard to say! I love Miranda Lambert.

Favorite ice cream?

  • Coffee.

What do you love most about your job?

  • I love the relationships I get to develop with students, families, and staff. It is very rewarding to see students grow throughout their time in high school and continue working towards their goals. I’m lucky to be able to talk to students not only about their academic pursuits but about their post-secondary plans, their ideas, their passions, and life in general!

 

 

Mr. David Hain, Enriched Studies

Getting To Know You: LFHS' Newest Teachers 6

Tell us about what you do.

  • My teaching assignment is Enriched Studies.  I enjoy teaching the enriched studies classes very much, because helping students to be productive through organizational strategies is one of my greatest passions.  But, I also coordinate the intervention systems here at LFHS. That means I have a hand in developing and operating the assistance structures that help our students be happy and successful.

How many years have you been teaching?  Where else have you taught?

  • I’ve been teaching for many years in the Elgin, U-46 school district, and taught music, as well as interventions, previous to joining the LFHS staff.

Favorite author?

  • My favorite author is Herman Melville, or maybe Arundhati Roy, or perhaps Orson Scott Card, or possibly Tomi Adeyemi (my obsession at the moment).  My favorite movie is Rushmore.

Favorite band?

  • My favorite band is…um…the 20th century functional atonalists, or maybe Nas.  

Favorite ice cream?

  • I really like green tea ice cream.  
  • And to describe my feelings about teaching, a haiku—

Children grow like trees.

Flustered by storms, but steadfast.

School is their orchard.

 

 

Mr. Jeff Summy, PSGA & Math Administration

Getting To Know You: LFHS' Newest Teachers 7

Tell me about what you do.

  • I’m currently teaching PSGA (Plane and Solid Geometry Accelerated).  I also work with teachers to better understand techniques and strategies of how to deliver instruction with the focus in the content area of mathematics.

How many years have you been teaching?  Where else have you taught?

  • I have been teaching for 19 years.  I previously taught at Ankeny Centennial High School (where I grew up as a child) and Deerfield High School (where I grew up as a professional).

Words of motivation for students?

  • Fall down seven times get up eight.

Favorite author?

  • Malcolm Gladwell.

Favorite band?

  • Foo Fighters.

Favorite ice cream?

  • Not an ice cream guy.  If pushed, I would say a vanilla flavor that has a candy mixed in.

What do you love most about teaching?

  • Helping others to see something that they didn’t know was there.  If we can help others to change their perspective we are better prepared to see one another.

 

 

Ms. Ashleigh Malec, Student Activities Director

Getting To Know You: LFHS' Newest Teachers 8

How many years have you been teaching?  Where else have you taught?

  • I taught English at Lakes Community High School for 10 years before coming into my role as Lake Forest’s Student Activities Director. I started teaching because of my love of engaging students in fascinating texts and facilitating deeper conversations. As Student Activities Director, my job is to help all students find a connection to Lake Forest and to create success in their own way.

Words of motivation for students?

  • It’s never too late to get involved and to start on the path to who you want to be.

Favorite author?

  • Currently, Jenny Offill.

Favorite band?

  • I enjoy listening to CHVRCHES.

Favorite ice cream?

  • I like vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.

What do you love most about what you do?

  • Making connections and helping students to create something they are proud to share with others is my favorite part about working at a school.

 

About the Writer
Katie Pierce, Editor in Chief

Katie Pierce is a proud senior at Lake Forest High School. Besides being Editor-in-Chief of TFS, Katie is a drum major of the LFHS band, and spends most...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers

    In LFHS

    The Digest: Week of Dec. 3-7

  • Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers

    In LFHS

    Stairways to Heaven?

  • Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers

    In LFHS

    The Switch

  • Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers

    0Carousel stories

    Commons Knowledge: Holiday Edition

  • Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers

    In LFHS

    8 Things You Can’t Miss at the Holiday Concert

  • Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers

    0Carousel stories

    Friday Five

  • Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers

    In LFHS

    Student Led Bands: Carpool

  • Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers

    0Carousel stories

    Holiday Winds vs. Holiday Brass: Who Will Prevail?

  • Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers

    In LFHS

    The spirit of CROYA: Gina Sobhy

  • Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers

    Features

    A “Moving” Story

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School
Getting To Know You: LFHS’ Newest Teachers