Grant Day at LFHS: Many Projects Receive Funding from LFHS Foundation


Patrick Philpott

All of the photos embedded within the article are courtesy of the LFHS Grant Committee and Nikki Rhomberg.

April 28, 2017 marks the 15th anniversary of LFHS Foundation’s Grant Day. Over the course of the entire school year, teacher and school workers put their applications in for funding that the LFHS Foundation provides the funding to take care of  new projects and innovative change within the school. As always, the LFHS Foundation decided on the recipient winners for this year’s Grant Day. The grants that the teachers and school receive go towards various things, such as new computers, books, programs, and classrooms.

This year the LFHS Foundation gave away 19 grants to various teachers and school workers. In total, the LFHS Foundation has given away close to 250 grants over the years that have been benefiting the school since their inception. The grants that were received in 2017 totaled over $230,000 dollars that is going to improve and benefit LFHS. Last year, the LFHS Foundation gave out over $150,000 dollars to fund projects such as the new Business Incubator. If you can believe it, the LFHS Foundation has doled out almost $2 million dollars to help the school improve itself and make it what it is today.


Austin Scott

Mr.Scott, one of the most impactful English teachers at LFHS, received a grant to pay for the widely respected school newspaper, The Forest Scout, and its fees for printing hard copy issues. As Mr.Scott received his award, laughter and excitement filled the freshman English room. Although it wasn’t the largest grant of the day, The Forest Scout couldn’t continue printing their hard copy issues that are distributed throughout the school and Lake Forest community without the supplementary funding. 

A group of men standing next to person

“ I feel blessed that our program can continue the print copy, which is still in full swing. I’m honored and flattered that the Foundation was able to help us out with the funding.”

Austin Scott


Carolyn Bielski

The graphic design and photography department isn’t cheap when it comes to funding due to the expensive cameras and computers used to make some of the best artwork that LFHS has to offer. Mrs.Bielski, a renowned art instructor at LFHS, received a grant to purchase 28 digital cameras for the photography department, which is going to help replace old or broken cameras. Excitement and happiness filled her face while receiving the the award as she thought about the future for her art students

A man standing in front of a store

“This is going to change our program and update our classes…Thank you so much!”

Carolyn Bielkski


Chris Morehead

The excitement and appreciation felt after Chris Morehead received his LFHS grant was more than present. The Lake Forest P.E. teacher applied and received new iPads to use for the various classroom activities. This is going to replace and add new iPads for the different P.E classes to use in the weight room and in various health classes..

A group of people posing for a picture

“ I’m extremely grateful and excited to use the new iPads!”

Chris Morehead


Graham O’Connor-Brooks

The Special Ed. department is more than grateful for the grant that they received this year. This department is made up of some of the nicest and most caring people who help to make school enjoyable, interactive, and fun for the kids in their program. The grant that they received is going to pay for various things in the disabilities classroom. The emotions can only be described as elation as the excitement for the kids was definitely present when the award was being presented.

“ Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Graham O’Connor-Brooks


Matthew Lowry

Mr. Lowry is one of the science teachers that make up the LFHS Science Department. Without a doubt, Mr.Lowry is one of the most famous and well-respected science teachers in the school and this year he received a grant to help upgrade the software for the science computers. This PASCO Physics software upgrade is going to improve labs and make more detailed calculations. His excitement and enjoyment was written all over his face as he received the award during one of his science classes.

“Super…Thank you so much!”

Matthew Lowry


Matt Wilen

Mr. Wilen is another science teacher that helps make the LFHS science department the great department that it is. After receiving the grant, the entire class, including Mr.Wilen, was giving off an excited and thankful vibe that spread across the room. The grant that he received is going to pay for high speed physics cameras that are going to improve the experience in the science department. 

Grant Day at LFHS: Many Projects Receive Funding from LFHS Foundation

“Am I gonna cry…? I don’t know maybe hahaha.”

Matt Wilen


Tamar Cooney

Yet another LFHS science teacher, Mrs. Cooney, received a grant award and Friday. While teaching a freshman science class, she was awarded the grant and the smiles began to spread around the room. Even the bunny in the classroom started to share a smile. This grant is going to purchase a Bio-Tech upgrade to help upgrade old equipment for the science department.

A woman standing in a room

“My bunny and I are so so so grateful!”

Tamar Cooney


Kristen Anderson

The act of rollerblading is no easy feat to learn and Kristen Anderson is going to use her grant money to purchase new rollerblades, helmets and pads for the Outdoor Ed. classes. Her excitement, as well as the smell of the class’ freshly made cookies spread around the room. The classes excitement was felt deeply and smiles filled the crowd as Mrs. Kristen Anderson received her award.

A group of people standing in a store

“Thank you so much. I’m gonna go home tonight and tell my husband how excited I am for the future classes!”

Kristen Anderson



The library is no unfamiliar place for anyone who attends LFHS, but do you ever wonder how all the wonderful things we have in the library are paid for? Well, the great library and tech crew members use the grant money that they received to fund that. This was, in fact, the largest grant that was given out on Friday. The first floor of the library is going to be seeing new seats, tables, televisions, and a new 3 year subscription to WeVideo for the use of the students. The second floor is going to see a new collaborative learning center near the peer tutoring area, creating the design of a second incubator center. Also, the Library staff will add a new sound studio that our own podcasters in the Journalism program will have full access to. 

A group of people standing in front of a window

“ Thank you so much. I’m excited for the opportunity to put this grant to use as it is a tremendous gift”

Monica Fumarolo


Special Ed. Program

Jenny Sterpin is Head of the Special Ed. program at LFHS and she received a much needed Social Thinking Education class trip that is going to be taking 4 Special Ed. teachers to a national program that helps teach and spread new emerging ideas for education. The feeling of excitement in Jenny Sterpin’s voice was inspiring as she talked about how amazing this clinical training program is and how exclusive this convention is.

Grant Day at LFHS: Many Projects Receive Funding from LFHS Foundation 1

“This will really help the kids. We are so excited to get the grant!”

Jenny Sterpin


Amy Birtman and Kristen Carlson

Teaching a classroom is hard enough, but with the aid of two new wireless classroom systems, it could be made smoother. Kristen Carlson is going to use her grant money to fund these two new projects being added to classrooms in LFHS. These systems let multiple computers or smartphones connect to a smart board or projection system. It really is useful for teachers to be able to have this tool for the learning process to be made smoother.

“Oh my gosh! You just made these kids so happy! What an incredible gift.”

Kristen Carlson


Stephen Dunn

The social studies and English departments are made up of some of the most inspiring and influential people in the building Mr.Dunn is going to be using the grant money that he received to fund the subscription to Newberry conferences. This is a convention for teachers to go to professional development conferences with guest speakers and workshops to help benefit LFHS.. The upperclassmen class filled the room with excitement when they found out what their teacher had received.

A group of people standing in a room

“Thank you so much. This is gonna be awesome!”

Stephen Dunn


Business Department

The Business Ed. Department at LFHS is a new and emerging program that everyone at the school holds in high regard. When it comes to teaching kids about the real world and how they are gonna take care of themselves financially, the Business Department helps students learn the necessary skills. The Business Department  filled with excitement and joy as they received their grant. This is going to allow them to use the new grant to help refurbish the basement business room to the status of the newly made business incubator.

A group of people standing next to a sign

“Thank you so much. This is going to be super awesome and I appreciate it!”

Katrina Anderson


Darren Barndt

The New Media and Art department is full of new, up-and-coming film directors and artists; but they were full of even more excitement when they heard about their new grant. Darren Barndt was amazed to receive the grant and will use the money to fund art room renovations to benefit the inspiring art that comes out of that department.

A man standing in front of a box

“This is an amazing program and this is amazing. Thank you, thank you!”

Darren Barndt