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

Quinn Bukaty

As CEO of her business class and a beacon of light for many of her peers, freshman Quinn Bukaty is the epitome of leading by example. It’s not every day you meet someone as positive through difficult times, diligent in demanding circumstances, or optimistic in every way as Quinn.

Bukaty’s Business Entrepreneurship class created ‘LF’ designed wrapping paper as their product to sell this year. As CEO of the company, voted on by fellow classmates, Bukaty brings the vision of the product to life and is in charge of leading the class on a day-to-day basis, a role she takes very seriously, according to teacher Mr. Sortal. 

She works very well with others and is a great teammate, which is where she shines. Her genuine ability to be a loyal leader to her classmates speaks volumes, and her commitment to her role in the class is apparent.

“She has an infectious personality, which is why she’s the CEO of our class,” Sortal said. “If you meet her once, you know her.  She’s personable and friendly to everyone.”

Sortal said that these qualities are just “who she is as a person.” 

When the business class had to cut the wrapping paper before selling it, Bukaty was all hands on deck and was leading by example every step of the way. Not only was she taking charge and excited to do so, but Sortal said that she was “bubbling over with enthusiasm.”

Bukaty is mature beyond her years, and she is seen as a role model to fellow students. ‘#Quinnwillwin’ is her ‘game name’ in freshman biology, and this exemplifies her attitude towards whatever she does: driven and optimistic. 

According to her biology teacher Mrs. Pranke, Bukaty has multiple unique qualities about her, but her thoughtful personality is what stands out the most. Every time she walks into class, she comes in with a positive, “admirable” attitude 

“When someone needs something in class, she always offers to get someone else that thing too,” Pranke said. “She’s also very thoughtful and friendly with everybody, and she thinks about everybody.” 

Her “ray of sunshine” personality is how Pranke thinks of her as a human being, someone who can light up a room the second that they walk into it. 

Bukaty exemplifies the saying “to know her is to love her,” according to classmate and close friend Bridget Lucier. Lucier has heard different people talking about Bukaty in different classes, and they’ve mentioned just how great she is as a person, and how fun it is to be around her. 

Lucier also acknowledges Bukaty’s resilience. She played lacrosse throughout middle school on a higher level team, but after facing an extremely hard situation, she had to take a break from the sport for the remainder of her middle school career. However, she re-tried out for the freshman lacrosse team and made it, pursuing her love for the sport despite an unprecedented circumstance. 

She became a “special person” to Lucier after Lucier needed someone’s help with another friendship, and she did not hesitate to step in to be there for her friend. Bukaty “swooped in and was supportive of me. I immediately fell in love with that,” Lucier said. 

Though Quinn might not always win in Kahoots or brain breaks, she will continue to win over everyone she meets with her one of a kind personality. 

Austin Okada

Senior Austin Okada is a standout guy. 

He was the captain of varsity soccer, a track and field athlete, member of numerous clubs, and  a National Merit Finalist. His dedication is recognized by friends like senior Logan Carter.

“Ever since I became friends with him, I have always admired Austin’s ability to push himself and push the people around him in all aspects of life. Additionally, I admire his honesty and passion relating to helping others,” said Carter. 

Austin’s skills impressed Northwestern University too. He will pursue his higher education in the field of biological sciences in Evanston this fall. 

“It’s hard to find any area Austin is weak in. He’s definitely the smartest person I know, crazy athletic, and always a fun person to be around,” said senior Hardik Singhal.  

Carter even credits his friend with helping him become a more adventurous eater.

“While this may seem insignificant, ever since I started hanging out with Austin, he encouraged me to try new foods. When I was younger I used to be an extremely picky eater, but because of Austin my pallet and willingness to try new food has expanded,” said Carter.

Austin always finds a way to influence his peers positively without even realizing it.

“Austin is extremely down to earth and is never afraid to be real with anyone he knows, friend or not. He is also someone that you can easily confide in and provides great advice when you need it the most,” said senior Daniel Lim. 

Sophia Brincat

Sophia Brincat, also known as “Barb,” has served a vital role on the Lake Forest Varsity dance team as a sophomore and underclassmen this past season. If you ever encounter Brincat, you will realize immediately just about how outgoing, energetic, and humble she is. 

In her first year as a varsity member, she created such a strong role as not only a teammate but also as a supportive friend. 

She created unforgettable bonds, memories, and friendships with the girls and set a good example for other teammates with how easily she is a shoulder for anyone to lean on. 

“After Sophia made Varsity in the fall, I have loved spending each day with her and getting to know her inside and outside of practice because she is just such an easy person to talk to,” said senior Ellery Newman. “She knows how to have a fun time but is also such a hard worker, always laughing and never taking anything too seriously. She made this year on the team so special.”  

Brincat can be serious at times, but often you can find her making light out of any situation by continuing to have a positive attitude and a good sense of humor. 

This is just one of the qualities out of the countless that stick out to her teammates. 

 “She’s one of those people who truly doesn’t hesitate when it comes to giving her all. She commits to accomplishing her goals with full energy and enthusiasm,” junior Kate Westerman said.

Another thing about Brincat is her commitment and dedication to improve, but still knowing how to limit and reward herself at the right times. Once something needs fixing, she will go out of her way to prove she is doing the work to get it right. 

“Sophia is the most persistent person I know with her tenacity being something that all of her teammates, including myself, can look up to. Since making Varsity, Sophia has consistently been setting high standards for herself which has been playing a significant role in our team’s performance throughout the season,” said Junior Lyla Carney. “With consistency being one of the key factors that our team strives for, Sophia demonstrates what it means to be a reliable and diligent worker which makes me so lucky to be able to call her my teammate.”

Taylor Rode

Senior Taylor Rode is an outstanding student, athlete, and peer to many members of the LFHS community. While always seeming to look on the bright side, Rode has worked hard to maintain her goals while also providing a shoulder to lean on.

“Taylor has always been such a great friend. I definitely look up to her as an athlete and as a person,” said sophomore Ellie Carter.

Rode, who will attend the University of Michigan in the fall, is on the Varsity girls lacrosse team and competes with the Lake Forest sailing team. 

“Taylor is the most positive person you will ever meet. She has been a great friend and teammate of mine since freshman year and is probably the sweetest, most genuine and kind-hearted person. Last year she tore her ACL during a lacrosse game, which would devastate any player, but Taylor took her injury with such grace and had such a positive attitude and outlook. She is truly an incredible person and an inspiration,” said senior Chloe York. 

Rode has been on the road to recovery ever since last spring. It can be easy to lose motivation when facing a hardship like this, but Rode never let it get her down, and continued to show up to the lacrosse games to support her teammates during both her junior and senior year. Her pronounced positivity and her determination to recuperate does not go unnoticed. 

“She’s such a positive force on our team. Even though she can’t play, she’s our biggest cheerleader and helps us when we are down,” said senior Lissy Blume. 

Rode is a well-rounded individual who people enjoy to be around. Many of Rode’s peers value her companionship and admire the positive influence her presence has on the LFHS community.

“Taylor is such a great friend. She is always there for me when I need her, and she never fails to make me smile,” said senior Mollie White.

Jordan Miles

Junior Jordan Miles is a bright figure that inspires her fellow classmates every day. 

Pursuing many extracurriculars, Miles is a member of Model UN, Band, Badminton, and Mock Trial Club. Despite her multiple areas of focus, she succeeds in putting in the effort into each activity she’s a part of. 

“[Miles’] is really cool and they are super good at Badminton,” junior Lauren Kiesling said. 

Thanks to her charismatic personality, Miles has been able to excel as a leader as a secretariat for Model UN, as well as being the holiday percussion section leader. 

Outside of school-coordinated activities, Miles pursues music through her band Anomalist in which she plays electric guitar. They recently performed at the Lake Forest Talent Show which was received well.

Junior Alice Rayome said “[Miles] did amazing.”

They also plan to play at the CROYA Battle of the Bands on May 10.

Beyond her activities, Miles is a humorous individual who can be caught nerding out over pop culture, not limited to learning the ins and outs of an entire fictional language from The Lord of the Rings series. 

Seeing Miles walk in to school makes it abundantly clear that they have an astute fashion sense. Whether it be dressing for the holiday, or just wearing an abundance of confidence, Miles knows how to impress. Basically, Miles has swag.

Miles is known for their diverse interests, diving into a wide variety of niche hobbies. If you see Miles in the hallways, chances are they do something you do.

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    MaeveApr 19, 2024 at 8:45 am

    Yay Quinn!!! Truly a Ray of Sunshine. Your positive impact on others around you never ceases to amaze me.