Remembering Lynne Kulieke


Photo by LFA Communications

Lynne Kulieke was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 1994 and named Ferry Hall Woman of Distinction in 2012. The Spanish award now bears her name.

Beverly Fishman, Senior Copy Editor

On September 16th, 2021, the Lake Forest Academy community lost a remarkable member, Lynne Kulieke. She was an exceptional woman with an array of accomplishments at and outside LFA. In 1966, directly after achieving her B.A. at Lake Forest College and her M.A. at Middlebury College, she came to teach Spanish at Ferry Hall. In 1974, following the merger of Ferry Hall to LFA, Kulieke taught a variety of English courses and supervised the school’s literary magazine. While an incredible and influential teacher to many students, she also earned her M.A.T from Northwestern University and became the Chair of the Modern and Classical Languages Department at LFA. She went on to hold this position for twenty years. 

Not only was she a welcoming member of our community and a great teacher, but also participated in LFA’s extracurricular activities. She was involved in school committees, active with student affairs, and was considered a leader within her departments. In 2004, her engagement and expertise in the language department earned her a “Mints Grant” to further her French education in France. Her continued teaching efforts and drive for knowledge are inspiring to students and teachers alike. 

She received many LFA awards for her excellence as a teacher and a leader in the academic community. These honors and awards include the Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence (2009) and the school Faculty Award (1984). She was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 1994 and was named Ferry Hall Woman of Distinction in 2012. 

She retired from Lake Forest Academy in 2014 after 48 years of service to our community.

Steve Ryder, a Modern and Classical Language Teacher at LFA, was a close friend of Ms. Kulieke. They had known each other for 38 years, and she was his first interviewer when applying for a job at LFA. “She not only hired me but was my mentor, a dear friend. She really helped me through my first years at LFA and steadied the boat that was the language department.” After his first few years at LFA, he learned to admire her teaching and influence, “She was a stickler for punctuation, drove me crazy. But after about six years, I learned to love and admire her teaching ways. She definitely influenced me as a teacher along with the rest of the department.” Her influence was amplified by holding the longest teaching position at LFA over the school’s long history. 

“It’s impossible to put her influence into words. She changed the lives of generations of students and colleagues.” A question was once posed to Kulieke, “What more do you want from life?” She then responded with, “I’m a teacher; what else more could you want?”

Ms. Kulieke’s legacy is everlasting. Her renowned skills as a teacher have set a precedent for all educators at Lake Forest Academy to come. Her success as a scholar and dedication to furthering the education of students are inspiring. She will be severely missed, but the memory of Lynne Kulieke will stand forever.