Friday Five

Each week we highlight five people who are doing their part to make LFHS a better place
Five more Scouts worth celebrating.
Five more Scouts worth celebrating.
Taylor Ross

Veronica Ibarra

Senior Veronica Ibarra is one of the most kind-hearted people you will ever meet. Whatever the circumstance, she will always turn a not-so-good situation into a memorable time with your friend. 

Veronica is extremely engaged in her academics, as well as her life outside of school. She has been involved with Croya since her freshman year—making sure to attend all activities and meetings, which paid off considering she is now on the executive board. She is also involved in the Human Rights Club and the Women’s Club. She spent the first two years of high school involved in the Lake Forest Swim Team, and she’s now part of the swim and dive team. And don’t forget about her moves on the JV Soccer field.

Senior Alexandra Mower has been friends with Veronica for many years, and couldn’t help but share all the great things about her friend.

“Veronica is a great friend because she reads rooms very well; she can tell your mood just by looking at you and always knows how to cheer you up if you need it. She’s always pretty outgoing. She is someone who goes out of their way to make someone feel included or wanted in a classroom whether or not she knows them,” Mower said.

Mower also said that they talk a lot in class together, but Veronica is always making good relationships with her teachers and staying respectful in class.

Senior Lulu Flavin who has been by Veronicas’ side since their childhood days said Veronica is “easygoing” and “sociable.”

 “Veronica is always engaged when it comes to learning about people. She is so friendly and truly wants to get to know everything about someone even if their interest is different from hers… She is the kind of friend who will make sure to find a way to make you smile when you are feeling low,” said Flavin

Veronica also received a Scout Way award from her art teacher Mrs. Jennifer Thomas, who emphasized that Veronica is a “quiet leader.”

 “Veronica brings leadership and kindness to class each and every day. She understands how to coach others to improve their work with compassion and empathy. When other students in class need assistance, she is always willing to step up and support them if I can’t get to them right away. On top of all that, Veronica is incredibly coachable. She is open to feedback on her work and will engage in conversation around it rather than blindly accept it. She quietly does the right thing and others definitely take notice. Keep up the great work, Veronica!” said Thomas.

Nate Williams

Photo by Joel Lerner

Junior Nate Williams is a talented, charismatic student here at LFHS. He is a member of the football team, as well as the track and field team.

I played alongside Nate on the football team for the past two years. He is extremely competitive and brings life to the team. He has the ability to change the outcome of a game on one play.

Unfortunately, Nate was hurt for the majority of the season this year, but when he was on the field he was making explosive plays on offense and defense, , as he showed when he returned a punt for the first Scout touchdown of the year this season. He is a lockdown corner as well as a shifty wide reciever.

“Nate’s an incredible athlete and has great work ethic. He always wants to stay after practice just to get better everyday,” said junior Charlie Markee. 

Off the field, Nate is a great friend and never fails to make you laugh. Nate transferred to LFHS for his sophomore year and he fit right in. I’m sure it can be tough being put into a new environment like that, but it seemed to work well for Nate. 

“Nate’s a great guy and always fun to be around. He makes me laugh all the time and always looks out for me. He has a great personality and is an amazing friend,” said Markee.

Nate is also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. This is a group that meets during the mornings and talks about what it means to be a Christian. There are coach’s that come in to speak to the athletes about certain topics regarding Christianity. 

Nate is a natural leader. If you watch him in any aspect of his life, you will see that he does it the right way and doesn’t take short cuts. 

Even when he wasn’t playing this year because of his injury, he always brought positive energy on the sideline. This can be hard to do when all you want to do is play, but Nate made sure that he was supporting the team in any way he could. 

Mrs. Erika Kuzera

Science teacher Mrs. Erika Kuzera never ceases to provide a comforting, inclusive atmosphere for her students. Recognizing each person as a unique individual, she encourages everyone to flourish and thrive in her class. Her approach to teaching is very engaging and entertaining, incorporating interactive examples into her lessons so that students gain a better understanding of the topics presented.

Junior Sophie Portalatin, who had Mrs. Kuzera for both her freshman and junior year science classes, says Mrs. Kuzera ” is one of the most caring and passionate teachers” she’s ever had.

“You can tell how much she loves to teach, but she doesn’t lack creating relationships with her students. Mrs. Kuzera will always check in on how our days are going, and loves hearing about everyone’s weekends.”

A Lake Forest College graduate, Mrs. Kuzera has worked as a part of LFHS’ staff since 2006. Making impressions on all her students and fellow staff, anyone you ask always has something good to say about her.

One of Mrs. Kuzera’s coworkers, Mr. Thomas Galla, talks about his experience with her in the workplace.

“Mrs. Kuzera has been such an easy person to work with over the years because of her caring nature and sense of humor. Every day, I see Mrs. Kuzera work tirelessly to improve her lessons, collaborate with other teachers, and build relationships throughout the building. She is truly the epitome of ‘not enough time in the day,’ but somehow magically manages to put together lively and engaging lessons for her students, while also being a friendly person to everyone,” he said.

Junior Isabella Adams, who has had her for two years, expresses her gratitude for Mrs. Kuzera’s effort to get to know each of her students. 

“I like Mrs. Kuzera because she is really down to earth. She’s always asking us questions about ourselves and also telling us more about herself and her family. She makes class interesting because she is so passionate about what she teaches. She understands what she is teaching and it makes the class more engaging.”

James Wang

Sophomore James Wang is a pleasure to be around and a truly remarkable person. As a swimmer for LFHS Boys Varsity Swim team, James is an active member of the school.

Not only is James a swimmer, but he is also incredibly musically talented. He is a member of LFHS’s band and the wind ensemble. He has been playing since the 5th grade. In addition, James was in the Madrigal’s tenor his freshman year. 

 James found a passion for playing the piano early and loves to play in his free time.

“James always holds himself accountable to the standard of excellence and is never judgemental,” says senior Ariel Ellison.

Academically rigorous, James has been on the math team, including the calculator team that won 9th place at State. He is also the only sophomore in his AP Calculus class. 

“Jame’s dedication to everything he does is truly incredible,” says senior Sara Khater.

One of the class’s favorite memories of James is when they were making pancakes in their AP calculus class and he forgot to flip them and almost served them raw. It was definitely a memorable moment! James always has something to say and every time it makes his class smile.

“James has such a kind heart and always acts responsibly,” sophomore Matthew Kim said.

Hudson York

Freshman Hudson York is quickly making an impact at LFHS. 

York plays basketball for the high school and will be trying out for lacrosse in the spring. Additionally, York plays club lacrosse, where his team was recently ranked #3 in the country. 

“Hudson is an outstanding teammate. He is such a positive influence on everyone; he cares more about the team’s successes than any individual accolades,” said Mr. Ray DelFava, York’s freshman basketball coach.

Although it is not just York’s athleticism that makes him such a valuable student, but his academics as well. York takes AP Comp Sci, and nearly all his other classes are honors level.

This of course comes with a heavy work load. Despite this, York still finds joy in being a great teammate and friend. 

“When I first met Hudson, I was super impressed by how all the kids around him looked up to him,” said senior Tommie Aberle.

Freshman Emmet Lee said Hudson is a “great friend.”

“He will always be nice and is very competitive in sports. He’s a funny fella and will always make you laugh. A very good lacrosse player as well!” Lee said.

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  • A

    AnonymousDec 1, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    There aren’t only two freshmen in AP Comp Sci. There are two AP Comp Sci classes: AP Comp Sci Principles and AP Comp Sci A. There is a decent amount of freshmen in both classes. I would recommend getting rid of this inaccuracy. Overall, great article!

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    • T

      The Forest ScoutDec 2, 2023 at 10:57 am

      Thank you! We’ve made the correction. Sorry for the error.

      Reply