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The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

Faculty members leaving Lake Forest Academy

Photo by LFA Communications
Matt Boresi teaching his advanced acting class.

  Michele Vaca has been teaching at LFA for 15 years. She stated that it was the “hardest decision” that she’s made, in terms of choosing between this beloved community and her family. Starting her career at LFA in the History Department taking multiple maternity leaves, Vaca later fell in love with the culture, diversity, and community of the international students. Therefore, she decided to take a position in the ELL program. Vaca reflected, “It was never just a job to me; this was my passion. This was family.” Vaca especially appreciates the caring support from Head of School Chris Tennyson. In athletics, Vaca coached track and taught zumba. She said, “To watch them develop from the skill they had, and mature, and turn into young adults by the time they graduate is such a rewarding experience.” 

   Vaca hopes to continue her passion for teaching, and she’s already considering the future and giving advice to her current students. She hopes they can continue with their National History Day involvement, and carry on her legacy and their great achievement in the project this year. 

   Since Vaca is an ELL teacher, countless international students have learned from her. When asked what her greatest achievement was this year studying with Vaca, Jessica Xu ‘27 said, “Mrs. Vaca helped me a lot with my writing, especially when it is my first time participating in this kind of writing competition.” Besides writing skills, what she found most precious is the historical knowledge Vaca taught in class. 

   It was heartbreaking for Vaca’s students to find out that she is leaving. Anna Zhu, another freshman in ELL, burst into tears when Vaca first announced she was leaving LFA. Anna Zhu said, “Mrs. Vaca is more of a friend than a teacher. When I am stressed out, she is always there, and she is very supportive.” Students are already looking forward to Vaca’s visits in the future, so instead of saying goodbye, it is “until we meet again.”

   Matt Boresi has been at Lake Forest Academy since 2017 and is also bidding farewell to the school. Teaching acting, public speaking, directing, and writing for stage and screen, as well as directing the Fall Play and the Winter Musical. He has been an integral part of the performing arts community at LFA to people on either side of the curtain. 

   Boresi said that the move to uChicago Lab “makes a lot of sense geographically and educationally for [his] family.” However, he continued on to mention how much he would miss LFA. Apart from the free soup at the dining hall, he said, “Students get told every second that LFA is a special place, but it really is.”

   Similar to any play or musical closing, his departure from LFA is bittersweet. When any teacher leaves there are a number of challenges, but this is amplified in Boresi’s case. As the Director of Theater, Boresi has built relationships with many students participating in both the play and the musical, on both the acting and tech sides.

   Students in the arts are very impacted by this leave. Saige Chaseley ‘25 said that it is hard to replace art teachers, especially when “Mr. Boresi is really good at building a community within the play and the musical.” As one of his advisees, she also mentioned the potential challenges of four-year planning for younger students.

   Both Mrs. Vaca and Mr. Boresi have left their mark on LFA in a very positive way. The community will miss them both very much.

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