LFA Blogs


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.

On his favorite Squash tournament: “So I play number three on the team- there’s two people above me and the rest below me- that’s my ranking. One tournament that stuck out was when the people above us couldn’t make it, so I stepped up and played number one, and that was kind of [a big deal] for me because I was playing ahead of where I usually play. And I played well, I won- so that was probably the biggest moment for me.”

On what topics she writes about in her poems: “Mainly like civil rights, activism, things regarding a lot about my identity, about being a Black person, being a woman. And then there’s just other things- self-growth, self-love, concepts regarding how you treat other people. Poetry is just really my way of interpreting the world, so it’s really based off of what I see around me- so like poverty, Chicago, love between other people. Things like that.”