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

Ella Rubenstein

Junior Ella Rubenstein is passionate and purposeful with everything that she does, as she always acts with intention.

One look at life from her perspective has the potential to inspire many.Rubenstein is a successful business owner and is involved in many things which allow her to support others. 

Photo courtesy of Ella’s Instagram

Over quarantine, when she was only 13 years old, she started her very own clothing business called “Byella.” Byella’s success is a direct result of Rubeinstein’s relentless enthusiasm and determination.

One of the clubs within the school that Rubenstein is involved in is Scout Buddies. In Scout Buddies, her cheerful attitude does not go unnoticed as she is able to create a positive environment for everyone.

“She puts so much thought into making each meeting enjoyable, is so great with all the buddies, and makes sure everyone feels included and accepted,” fellow Scout Buddies member Addington Leahy said. “She’s just overall such an amazing person that cares so much about her impact in Scout Buddies.” 

Everybody should take a page out of Rubenstein’s book and learn to look at life in the same way she does, as it may help many to better themselves.

Allie Hektor

Photo courtesy of Allie Hektor

While many know senior Allie Hektor for her kind and charismatic personality, over the years Hektor has built an impressive resume excelling in her academics and her immense involvement in the LFHS community. However, what many don’t know about Hektor is that she is an exceptional chef.

“She’s always been an amazing cook. Her recipes are incredible and she always seems to be cooking up something new and delicious,” said close friend Lucy Hanlon. 

You can find Hektor’s creation on her cooking instagram where she showcases all of her amazing recipes. From Rhubarb Upside Down Cake to Beef Wellington- she can do it all. 

“Ever since I’ve known Allie, she’s always been cooking. She’s always in the kitchen trying to make new recipes and exploring new ideas,” said senior Franca Stolghren. 

While being an excellent chef is already impressive, Hektor is also a two-sport athlete in badminton and golf, along with holding leadership positions for National Honors Society, Enviro Club, and Latin Club.  

“She is never selling herself short. If she has the opportunity to showcase her skills she’ll take it. She’s just so talented,’’ said Stholghren. 

Stholghren is not the only one with positive things to say about Hektor. Golf teammate Evelyn Marshall describes her presence as “uplifting” and “always bringing a positive attitude to the course.” No matter the circumstance, Hektor is always putting her all in everything she does. 

Hektor’s outgoing personality and curiosity has allowed her to involve herself in many different activities and create connections with anyone she encounters. 

Even with her talents in the kitchen and her copious involvement in the community, many do not know about her hidden talents in the Art Department. Having taken Graphic Design for five out of her eight semesters, she grew a passion for exploring new ideas. 

Hektor’s wide variety of interests allows Graphic Design Teacher Mrs. Carolyn Bielski to describe her as a “renaissance woman.”

“Allie does not stop learning. She just has this innate curiosity. She has so many interests between art and the environment. She does it all,” said Bielski. 

But above all of her other incredible talents, Hektor is an amazing friend. 

“Allie is so fun and spontaneous and is always down to do anything. She truly always puts others before herself and brings her positive energy to everything,” said senior Lucy Schlachtenhaufen.

Mrs. Meaghan Cook 

English teacher Mrs. Cook is always trying to find the positives in everyone’s day. She is an optimistic and down to earth person who never fails to make the best out of every situation. Her energetic attitude and humorous style of teaching makes her class enjoyable to all of her students. 

“Mrs. Cook is a great teacher in class because she prioritizes each individual student and makes sure everyone understands what we are learning,” said Junior Maggie Gillieran. “She is also extremely understanding and keeps things lighthearted and not overwhelming for everyone.”

Mrs. Cook is an English teacher for freshman and junior students. She teaches at honors English levels such as English 1 honors and AP levels for upperclassmen.

“I had Mrs. Cook for my freshman year English 1H class as well as my junior year AP Language and Composition class.” said Junior Lexi Bentley. “I am so grateful to have her as a teacher because she motivates me to always do my best.”

She understands the material from both a student and teacher perspective as she attended LFHS growing up and took the same classes she now teaches. 

Although Mrs. Cook is always very busy at school and with teaching, she also takes the time to share stories about her life at home with her two little kids, George and Claire. She begins each Monday in class with a “Rose, Bud, and Thorn” which is another way of asking her students the best part of their week, the part they are most looking forward to, and the worst part. During this, she will always share at the end and her responses are usually full of amusing information about her kids. 

Not only is Mrs. Cook a great teacher and mom, she is also a Soccer Coach in the springtime. She assistant coaches for the Girls Varsity Soccer team and dedicates her time during the week and weekends to helping her athletes excel in practices and games. When she attended LFHS, she also played soccer which has helped deepen her connection to the team as a coach. 

“Mrs. Cook is an extremely understanding and kind person in the classroom and on the field.” said Varsity Soccer Team Member Ava Walsh. “She knows how to make the whole team laugh and also have a good time while getting prepared for games.”

Mrs. Cook can also be seen supporting LFHS and its sports teams when in the stands at home football games with her kids. Supporting the teams as well as her student athletes, she is always wearing scout pride clothing to school on Fridays and games to show her school spirit. She also wears a Varsity Soccer Shirt to school on the team’s game days to demonstrate her excitement and dedication! 

Torian James

Senior Torian James has played a big part on influencing his peers and teammates alike in the best way possible. He’s played basketball, football, and track, but is most influential for the way that he brings together his friends and lifts up everyone around him.

Joel Lerner

TJ is known for being a positive role model when it comes to being there for others and putting a smile on other’s faces with his humor. One of his closest friends and co-team manager for the LFHS Varsity Basketball team, Alan Mackic, even agreed with this saying, “He’s very oriented around lifting others up,” and that he is a person “who you can put your full trust into.”

Although TJ is known for his commitment towards others, he is also incredibly passionate and committed to the sport of football. Outside of school TJ is very motivated on improving himself in any way he can and puts his time and effort into everything he does to better himself – which paid off because he is now committed to Illinois Wesleyan for football! 

TJ is an incredibly hard worker who many have come to rely on. He wants to be great at everything he does, especially when it comes to the things he truly loves. “Outside of school and sports, he is a very fun person to be around. His laugh is contagious, and he is always laughing,” teammate and friend Ryan Hippel adds. 

His smile and laugh alike are enough to not only brighten up a room but also bring a sense of unity.

Anyone who knows TJ knows that one of his favorite artists is Rod Wave. His friends say that his love for music creates the best atmosphere. “He sings the ad libs and everyone sings the rest. We all just have a good time,” senior Bolurin Taiwo comments. 

It is clear that TJ is not only the life of the party and a funny person but also a leader who through his one of a kind personality brings people together. How could you not love him?!

Chuck Spagnoli

Mr. Chuck Spagnoli, a favorite among the students and staff at LFHS, is compassionate, enthusiastic, and charismatic. His contagious happiness never fails to put a smile on everyone’s face. 

Mark Kodiak Ukena

Whether Spagnoli is teaching Woodshop or Strength and Conditioning, he is always making class engaging through his funny and encouraging personality. But what makes Spagnoli unique as a teacher is he is the only one that teaches Integrated Wellness: the ELS wellness class. 

His high energy paired with his enthusiasm for the program makes him the perfect teacher for the class. He is able to build a bond between a group of people unlike anyone else, and always ensures everyone is included. Spagnoli never fails to make people laugh, even on their worst days. 

“He finds fun and unique ways to make class interesting,” junior Boden Rupprecht said. ”He always makes everyone feel included.”

When Spagnoli isn’t teaching, he is coaching the football program. Spagnoli has been the Head Varsity Coach for the last 21 years. His hard work and desire to make everyone better is why Spagnoli excels as a coach. “He holds us to a high, but reachable standard,” said junior Charlie Graham. “He not only makes us better players, but also better people.”

That’s what makes Spagnoli so special. Whether it’s in the classroom or on the football field, his desire to build students into confident, determined young adults is always prioritized. He continuously encourages people to be the best version of themselves, and teaches that through his own vibrant personality. You don’t even have to talk to Spagnoli to learn something which is why he is such an amazing teacher to have at LFHS.




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