LFA Blogs


LFA visitors interact with students in China.
  • Dean of Faculty Entry

Jacqueline (Jackie) Leib, Executive Assistant to LFA’s CFO, traveled to China in October 2019 with other LFA faculty and staff on a professional development trip. One of Jackie’s favorite experiences on this trip, in addition to meeting current student families, was her interactions with the students and administrators of Greentown School in Zhoushan, Zhejiang, China. She said, “We may not speak the same language, but smiles, giggles, and kindness were how we communicated with each other. Oh, and the use of the iTranslate app on our phones.”

One thing that really struck Jackie during her visit was how she felt during her time there. Being unfamiliar with the language, culture, food and her surroundings made her reflect on how the international students at LFA must feel when they arrive on campus. Upon Jackie’s return from China, she made a pact with herself to increase her efforts to touch base with international students throughout the year; she wants students to make sure that they know her as a friendly face for anything they need, including for a dish of her famous brownies.

Jackie Leib joined Lake Forest Academy in 2012. She has her BS in Business Administration and Management and has extensive experience in full-service administrative support positions for high-level executives in Chicago area businesses

science teacher Kevin Hagen in the mountains with other LFA teachers
  • Dean of Faculty Entry

Science Teacher Kevin Hagen has been working on his masters degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He has kept busy taking one or two online night classes each semester while balancing coaching and raising his three-year-old son Owen.

The courses have allowed Kevin to travel to Andros Island, The Bahamas over the winter of 2019-2020 to study coral ecology; he hopes bring LFA students one day. Taking his courses synchronously online has prepared him well for e-learning and e-teaching this semester. Kevin hopes to finish his degree by Spring 2021 and is currently developing his capstone research, which will incorporate his AP Environmental Science curriculum.

Kevin Hagen joined the LFA science department in 2015. He teaches AP Environmental Science, Environmental Psychology and Biology 1, and has also been a co-teacher of the Global Concentration Cohort for juniors this year. Kevin is the head coach for JV boys basketball and JV boys volleyball.

Faculty Spotlight: Jason Koenig, Fine & Performing Arts Faculty, Chair

2019 Laima Salcius Award recipient.

Jason Koenig received the Laima Salcius Award at the 2019 Move Up Day ceremony. Head of School Emeritus Dr. John Strudwick, in his presentation of the award, referenced Koenig’s dedication and work ethic. In many ways, this wasn’t just a recognition of his work in the past year, but rather a recognition of 16 years of growth as a teacher, of his countless hours behind the curtain, and his drive to gain more knowledge.

In his time at Lake Forest Academy, Koenig has worn many hats as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and many more. He has also worked behind the scenes in They Cressey Center for the Arts to develop the theater into a state of the art production space. In working alongside the administration and Advancement department, Koenig developed the 2015 Gala project which upgraded the theater’s audio, lighting and projection systems while adding a professional camera system to record events. 

The award came as a complete surprise and caught Koenig off guard. He has been humbled by this honor, especially in seeing the many esteemed faculty who have received it before him. In receiving this award, Koenig would like to acknowledge the support of his wife and family, recognize the many students whose work alongside him built this program, and plans to use the award as motivation to build upon his career at LFA. 

Jason Koenig joined LFA in 2003 as a Visual Arts teacher and the Production Manager of Cressey Theater. He took on the role of Fine and Performing Arts Department Chair in 2020. He has taught various visual arts courses at LFA, including Three Dimensional Design, Freshman Foundations in the Arts, and Ceramics. He currently teaches courses in Woodworking and Foundations in Visual Arts. He does residential duty in Macintosh and resides on campus with his family.

On advisory traditions: “We usually go to Egg Harbor [Cafe], at least once or twice a year, we try to go to Egg Harbor on some late start morning... And we bring other members of the community, that aren’t just our advisees.” - Ms. Hagar (left)

“I do love making my scones, I like making treats, but my favorite advisory tradition is Fabulous February and Awesome April- that’s when most of our birthdays are, so it’s just a lively time where we’re able to celebrate a lot, and there’s always something fun going on.” - Ms. Wagner (right)

Faculty Spotlight: Paul Makovec, Math Department Chair, Mathematics Teacher
  • Dean of Faculty Entry

Takeaways from the Teaching Contemporary Mathematics  Conference.

In January 2019 and 2020, Math Department Chair Paul Makovec attended the Teaching Contemporary Mathematics (TCM) Conference at North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) in Durham, NC. Topics at this year's conference included implementing coding into the high school mathematics curriculum, designing interactive lessons using Desmos and its computational layers, and teaching through mathematical modeling and problem-based learning. 

Makovec has been applying what he learned into his daily curriculum, including Desmos, modeling, and some coding. He believes that the impact of his professional development has a direct and immediate effect on his students.

Paul Makovec joined Lake Forest Academy in 2011. In addition to teaching math at LFA, Makovec is the varsity boys soccer coach, a class advisor for the class of 2021, and is a dorm parent in Warner.