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The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

LFA’s Achievements

The+Math+Team+poses+together+with+their+first-place+state+championship+trophy+at+Illinois+State+University.+
Photo by @lfacademy on Instagram
The Math Team poses together with their first-place state championship trophy at Illinois State University.

At Lake Forest Academy, our students’ achievements stand as a testament to our reputation as the best private high school in the state. From language arts to STEM, LFA has demonstrated its competence in all fields of academia, showcasing our ability to grasp diverse areas of study. This year, the Math Team, Science Olympiad, and Journalism students have proven their excellence in prestigious state and national competitions, bringing home impressive results. The unwavering persistence and tireless efforts of each team member have been a key factor in not only their successes but also the LFA community’s, inspiring us all with their dedication.

 

The Math Team continued its winning streak this year after their regional win in February qualified them for the state championship for Division 2A—for schools with a medium-sized enrollment—in April. The Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM) State Math Contest was held on April 6th at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. Through sheer dedication, effort, and endless preparation for the state competition, the team won by a larger margin than last year with first place and an astounding 825 points, 71 points more than the second-place school. With both team and individual placements across all grades, LFA students filled numerous podium positions, including the Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 teams all taking first place. Preparation for the state championship was no easy feat, as members spent countless hours dedicated to practicing their problem-solving strategies and reviewing math questions. However, the team maintained a positive outlook despite the demanding rigor of academics by incorporating math into team bonding activities. Yiwen Lu ‘25, one of this year’s team captains, reflected on her favorite memory from the season, where members had to mathematically decode a pancake recipe. She claimed, “It took some time, but the result was worth it; lower Corbin smelled like heaven that Thursday night.” With many wins under their belt, the LFA Math Team hopes to perfect their teamwork skills to, as Lu stated, “promote a sense of camaraderie and belonging” in the coming year. 

 

On the weekend of April 13th, the Science Olympiad team journeyed to the University of Illinois to compete in the annual state competition. Once the year’s events were initially announced in August, team members invested numerous hours outside of school each week for the invitational, regional, and state competitions. With the funding available, the team was unable to partake in every invitational out of the many that occurred; however, they still attended several, utilizing each as preparation for the big event. Following a third-place finish at regionals this year, the team advanced to state, where 50 schools were split into two divisions, partly based on school size. Despite LFA students’ split dedication between multiple activities, the Science Olympiad team achieved impressive results. Although the team placed second overall, students secured first in various events, including Tower, Agricultural Science, Anatomy and Physiology, and Flight. Adding to the challenge of this feat, the competition’s date overlapped with LFA’s prom, forcing students to juggle two major functions in one day. Reflecting on the win, Dr. Kerry Cedergren, Head Coach of Science Olympiad, claimed it was the highlight of her year, saying, “Seeing the kids so devoted and giddy with happiness after  receiving their results while at prom was really fun.” At Morning Meeting, the team showed gratitude by dedicating their second-place trophy to their coaches, Dr. Cedergren and Dr. Ruth Smith. 

 

Representing the whole of The Spectator staff—Amelia Sexton ‘25, Olivia Kelly ‘25, Emma Swanson ‘25, and Tanya Ganesh ‘24— brought home a spectacular achievement from Quill and Scroll. Competing with other private schools nationwide, LFA was awarded 3rd place for Continuous Coverage. Awards from Quill and Scroll, the Honors Society for Student Journalism, are some of the highest acknowledgement attainable for students. According to Amanda Krause, Director of Journalism, “We aren’t protected by state press laws, so we’re not able to do the same kind of investigative pieces and have the same level of freedom in student voice that a public school could.” Due to the limitations independent schools face, Quill and Scroll recently collaborated with the Private School Journalism Association (PSJA) to establish awards separately for private institutions. Advanced journalism students submitted two different portfolios, each being a group of stories related to certain topics extensively covered throughout the year. Of the two entries—the impact of national issues on college processes and women’s issues, the first entry won the title of 3rd place for Continuous Coverage.  Several topics covered on college processes were the delay of FAFSA affecting financial decisions, the impact of gun laws on college decisions, and athletes’ experiences applying to college. This unique award was the only category inclusive of the entire paper. The success of LFA students not only showcases their dedication but also underlines the strength of our program in tackling complex issues with depth and integrity.

 

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