The 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

Ford Davie

When you walk through the second floor of LFHS, it’s hard to miss the large New Media mural painted on the wall outside of the classroom and studio. Upon peaking in, you will likely see equipment, computers, one long table, and passionate students demonstrating hands-on learning. 

But wait, there’s one thing missing from that list… Without a doubt you will definitely see sophomore Ford Davie leading the room of 25. Whether it’s making an analytical point about a movie, complementing his peers’ films, sharing his knowledge with first semester students, testing out new equipment, or working on extremely advanced projects with eighth semester new media seniors, Ford’s efforts in new media are invincible. 

“I respect Ford based purely on the fact that he will work as hard as he can to achieve his dreams! I’ve seen it first hand in our new media class, he carries a high level of professionalism and maturity towards what he loves. Even though Ford is only a sophomore, his work is already at such a high level because of the amount of devotion to what he loves. It not only inspires me but also the rest of the class,” senior Ryder Gamrath said. 

And remember, Davie is a sophomore. This is just the beginning. 

Davie has been a talented asset to the new media program even before he was in high school. As an eighth grader, Davie helped out on a Chicago Summer Stories film set in the creation of a pilot episode.

From this moment on, Ford immersed himself in the program with great enthusiasm and determination to fulfill his creative filmmaking dreams. 

Davie’s love for movies began when he was just 10 years old. He would get together with a group of friends and film fake music videos on a mini ipad. And now six years later, Ford Davie has already produced an approximate 20 projects in his first two years of new media. 

With having a plethora of experience under his belt, Davie took on the advanced position of Director of Photography (DP) for a three day Chicago Summer Stories film camp over the summer prior to his sophomore year. 

“It was so cool seeing Ford step up as a sophomore for such a big job. The camp is designed to be a collaborative experience with kids from all around the area. While this may be intimidating for some, Ford made sure everybody was included, trying new things, and teaching those around them. It’s the people like Ford that make the films turn out well,” said senior Lucy Partington. 

Following the experimental film camps in summer, Davie was one of the ten selected to be a part of the competing team for the All American High School Film Festival in New York City. Davie was the First Assistant Camera Operator to senior Director of Photography, Simon Pasquesi. 

“It is always a great time working on camera with Ford and teaching him things. He brings great humor and energy to whatever we are doing,” Pasquesi said. 

When in the midst of all the craziness shooting in New York, Ford would pull out his phone and capture behind the scenes of everyone working so we could use his footage of us in later reflection projects. It is evident his intent is not to brown nose or draw attention to himself; rather, it’s always been to highlight those around him. 

When he isn’t in the studio or working on set, catch him on the tennis courts as a crucial member to the boys JV Tennis team. 

“Playing tennis with Ford is the best thing ever. He constantly brings energy to the court and makes the match enjoyable, win or lose,” teammate Joshua Back. 

For the past two years now, every Friday in new media is called “Ford Friday,” a day to celebrate friendship, leadership, supporting one another, similarities, and compassion. Ironically, Ford naturally embodies these traits; I think this day describes Ford well. 

Davie’s authentic problem solving strategies, coupled with his natural leadership skills – and intriguing movie ideas – makes Ford the one of a kind person he is. 

Mrs. Cheryl Kyrias

Mrs. Cheryl Kyrias is a well-respected, highly engaged, and committed teacher, who is passionate about the subjects she teaches and her students.

“I was in Mrs. Kyrias’s class for two years, where I made some of my favorite memories from high school! Mrs. Kyrias is an amazing teacher. She cares so much about her students and is genuinely passionate about the subjects she teaches. Thanks to her classes, I stay informed about U.S. and world politics to this day. I’m so grateful for Mrs. Kyrias,” said 2020 LFHS graduate Litsa Kapsalis. 

Kyrias teaches numerous social studies classes including, AP Seminar, AP Government, and US History.

She graduated from Oak Park River Forest High School and has degrees from all three universities comprising the University of Illinois System.

Kyrias was awarded the James Madison Fellowship in 2015 to assist in her master’s level studies at Georgetown University. She has two Masters degrees, one in political science to go along with her undergrad degree in history.

When Kyrias started her teaching career, she originally worked as a middle school teacher until she switched to teaching high school. She has been working at LFHS since 2016. 

Kyrias married her high school sweetheart, Matt, and has a son, Finn, who will be starting Kindergarten in the fall and will be attending the Russian School of Mathematics.

Her dedication to teaching and commitment to her students is evidenced by her two nominations for the Distinguished Educator Award. 

“Mrs. Kyrias has been a great addition to our department and our school. She is a wonderful teacher, she is really clever and works hard to make sure that her students perform the best that they can,” social studies teacher Julie Harris said.

Not only does Mrs. Kyrias do a phenomenal job teaching her students the course material, but she does so in a fun, interactive, and engaging fashion that keeps students entertained and engaged while learning.

“Mrs. Kyrias is a great teacher and she has made AP Gov. one of my favorite classes. You can tell that Mrs. Kyrias genuinely cares about her students and she is very easy to talk to and have fun with while still teaching difficult concepts. Class with Mrs. Kyrias is always so much fun because of her witty humor, and unique brain breaks such as practicing Tai Chi and telling funny anecdotes about her son Finn. I know that I will always leave her classroom smiling,” AP Government student Lauren Eglite said.

In a typical class period with Kyrias, it is not unusual to witness her interpretive dances, singing, Tai Chi practice, and the occasional appearances of Meryl and Deryl – Cheryl’s alter egos. 

Kyrias is not just entertaining, her breadth and depth of knowledge is formidable. She can effortlessly cite all of the Amendments to the Constitution while adding quick-witted responses to questions or providing much-appreciated comic relief to lighten the mood while teaching serious topics.

“Mrs. Kyrias is a hard worker, super organized, always willing to share, and has a great sense of humor,” social studies teacher Cindy Collier said.

Kyrias’ teaching goes above and beyond the course syllabus. She teaches important-life skills that are essential for interacting with the real world, beyond the confines of the classroom and high school environment.

“I love going to AP Gov. every day because Mrs. Kyrias cares about us not only as students but as people. She is always checking in on how we are doing, recognizes when we are stressed out, and adjusts the class accordingly,” said AP Government student Emma Stadolnik. “After our AP exam, Mrs. Kyrias is going to take the time to teach our class of seniors various “life skills” such as filing taxes and doing laundry, which I think is really unique and speaks to her ability to connect with young students.”

In her free time, Kyrias follows numerous pursuits, she is a running enthusiast, enjoys taking adult ballet lessons and Peloton classes, and enjoys watching shows with historical and political undertones, such as The Crown and Homeland.

In high school, Kyrias ran for her school’s track and cross-country teams. Her love for running remains strong, as evidenced by her ongoing training and participation in marathons and triathlons. 

Kyrias is always willing to help others and involve herself in the LFHS community. Whether that is through her volunteering to be face-pied to raise money for UNICEF, participating in a teacher wall-climbing event for a PE class, or serving as the teacher sponsor for the Muslim Students Association Club.

“Mrs. Kyrias is a perfect example of what a good teacher should be. She runs the Muslim Student Association and is an exceptional leader. Whether that be helping organize bake sales or talking about her own experience, she truly has a passion for her job and ensures that her classroom is a great place for students to thrive,” said MSA member Ibrahim Hasim. 

Kyrias is the kind of teacher that makes a real difference in the lives of her students. She makes the moments spent in her class enjoyable and laughter-filled through her genuine, unique, and lively personality.

Reese Kelly

Those who know sophomore Reese Kelly know that she has a sense of humor like no other. After making the Varsity Cheer Team her freshman year of high school, she came on the team ready to work and proved just how vital of a role she played. 

Kelly’s skills are beyond her years as a sophomore on the team, and her teammates notice just how extraordinary she is not only as an athlete, but as a person. She is focused and has been an asset to the team for the last two years, but teammates see her as a jokester in practice.

“Reese does an awesome job balancing her impeccable work ethic with her outgoing personality. She consistently pushes herself above and beyond her limits and gives 110%,” Varsity Cheer Coach Debbie Vargas said. 

Over the summer, the cheer team attend “Camp Jeff,” a multi-day camp that consists of tireless hours of stunting (lifts), tumbling, conditioning, and pyramids (connected lifts). While the long days can feel exhausting, junior Hannah Conley knows that the “time flies” when Kelly is there, laughing and motivating the team through it all.

“She is an all around great teammate,” Conley said. “Camp Jeff is so long and physically demanding, but Reese is always cracking jokes and making the practices fun.”

As a base and tumbler on the team, Kelly has continued to push the boundaries, and has proven to be one of the most versatile tumblers. She’s grown immensely in the last few years on the team, and junior Sam Schacher is “excited to see where she takes the team in the future.” Schacher also mentions that her sense of humor is “indescribable.”

“I honestly don’t know how to describe it, but she makes so many jokes and says the most random things in practice that wouldn’t make sense to anyone else,” Schacher said. 

While her cheer life is extremely demanding and time consuming, many of Kelly’s other peers in school agree that her infectious personality is one that makes her stand out. 

“I’ve been friends with Reese for as long as I can remember. She’s always there when I need someone to talk to or have my back,” sophomore Maddie Rode said. 

Finishing off her sophomore year will be bittersweet, but she is prepared for the years ahead of her as a student, friend, and especially a teammate. 

“We are looking forward to continuing watching her emerge into a leader as an upperclassman in the LF Cheer program,” Vargas said. 

Mr. Joseph Dudeck 

Mr. Dudeck may teach his classes in the lowest level of the building, but his spirits are sky high. 

He teaches several applied science classes, including guitar making and all four levels of robotics. While his approach to his upper level classes is mostly student-led, he is always there to offer his expertise and criticism to help students.

A big part of his philosophy is encouraging students to get out of their comfort zones. And it work: He has students who haven’t touched a circuit board working with Arduino in under a week.

For lower level students, Dudeck may seem blunt but upper level students are often thankful for his honesty. I can confirm that he has told me that one of my designs just wouldn’t work. I was stubborn and didn’t listen but in the end he was right. Now, as a senior, I seek out his advice he will always  give me an honest answer. 

When I joined woodshop, I was one of the only girls in the class, but Mr. Dudeck made me feel welcomed, and even now after I’ve finished , he still invites me back to both the woodshop and robotics room whenever I’d like,” Lucy Mulloy said. 

He truly leaves a huge impact on all students he teaches. His life experiences as an engineer lends him to be a fantastic applied tech teacher.

Katie Silvay

Wise for her age and ready to get involved, freshman Katie Silvay shows ambition and determination in all of the activities she’s involved in. Involved in Model UN and Debate, Silvay often brings a well balanced voice to discussion, and her creative problem solving shines through. 

“Katie really has a wise nature, especially for someone so young. You can tell she really knows a lot about the world. Whether it’s understanding the significance of a global conflict in debate or bettering her public speaking skills, Katie is always ready to learn,” said Debate Co-President Ana Dollard. 

Throughout her freshman year, Silvay has shown an enthusiasm for learning and growing not only in her breadth of knowledge, but in her character as well. 

“You can tell everyone enjoys hearing what she has to say because it’s clear she’s thought deeply about it before the words even come out,” said Dollard.

While Silvay is only starting her high school career, she will definitely be a person to pay attention to in the coming years. Not only is she already intelligent, kind, and compassionate, but her love of learning will guide her to a bright future.

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