Caxys on Campus

An Inside Perspective for LFA's Future Engineers

On August 31st, students enrolled in the Principles of Engineering and related science courses attended a lecture by Grace Baird, a rail engineer who works in the civil engineering industry. She has designed complete streetcar systems in Cincinnati, Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, and Seattle to ensure the public's safety from high voltage in overhead wires. After working on projects with Amtrack, New Jersey Transit, and Metro North, Grace is currently continuing her career in York, England as a collaborator for large scale electrification projects.

Amanda Byron, a member of LFA's English Faculty, invited Grace to speak to students during Grace's visit to Chicago. Their friendship goes back to when they first met in New York during their college years, and Grace accepted the opportunity to share information about a field that many LFA students pursue after graduating from college. During her presentations, Grace answered various questions, and found that the students were thoughtful, curious, and willing to learn about her profession.

To students who may not have had a chance to visit her sessions, she gives several pieces of advice:

  • "Engineers are creative problem solvers. Almost everything you come into contact with was designed by an engineer, like the road you drive on, the elevator you use, your phone, sports equipment, musical instruments, etc."
  • "Majoring in Engineering gives you the math and science background to approach any type of problem when you begin working in the real world. Engineering is a very rewarding field because you get to see your designs become real objects that people interact with. It can be stressful, but it is also very rewarding. I encourage anyone who is interested in solving problems to look into engineering."
  • "If you aren't sure about which specific type of engineering you're interested in, check out the course requirements for civil, mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering when considering colleges. You'll get an idea of what you will be learning, and then make your choice based on what is the most interesting to you. The more interested you are in the subject, the better!"

Posted by Ms. Grace Kim in September 2017 on Monday September 11, 2017
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Meet LFA's Master Keys

(L-R) Shreya Singhvi ’18 , Katy Morrison ’18, Emily Xu ’18

The Caxy Key program is a unique way for prospective families to find out more about LFA. Every year, over 150 students give tours, guide applicants during open houses, and help out on shadow days, which allow new students to walk in the footsteps of a Caxy. Our Master Keys, the Caxy Key leaders, talk about what their roles mean to them.

The Caxy Key program is invaluable to LFA. It gets me out of my comfort zone by leading tours and having shadows, but also lets me learn more about the school. It's a great way to get more involved and to help the admissions office in all that they do.

I was so grateful to receive the Master Key title for this school year. With this role, I can get to know some of the underclassmen and hopefully ease their transition into high school, and contribute to improving the LFA community.


Being told that I was to be a Master Key for the 2017-2018 school year was one of the greatest moments I've had during my time at LFA. Not only was it a position that I've wanted since freshman year, but it's also something I had worked for since then as well.

The main reason I wanted to be a Master Key was because being a Caxy Key has always been my favorite way of being involved at school. I thoroughly enjoy working on panels, writing postcards, and most of all, interacting with prospective students and simply sharing my love for the school and community. Being able to do this and work closely with our admissions office is a true privilege, and I look forward to working with the new students as well.


During my first campus visit, I watched my tour guide confidently introduce LFA to me. That was exactly when I decided to become a Caxy Key. Lucky for me, I was chosen to be one of the Master Keys and am in charge of presenting all things LFA.

I am more than willing to show my view and perspective of LFA. We have a welcoming and embracing environment that fosters not only students’ academic capabilities but also the overall LFA culture. I love dissolving any concerns and questions from people who don't know much about LFA, and I enjoy being a representative of the student body when expressing our thanks and enthusiasm to our trustees and families. Above all, I love being a Master Key who can truly reflect LFA's spirit.


Posted by Ms. Grace Kim in September 2017 on Friday September 8, 2017
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#GoCaxys - Football and Girls Swimming Update

Boys Varsity Football vs. Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School – 8.26.17
Boys Varsity Football vs. Alden-Hebron High School – 9.2.17

In their first game, the football team welcomed Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah (WI) High School to LFA's Alumni Stadium. Led by new coaches Blake Annen and Mike Buchanan, the Caxys played an exciting game and came away with a 31-14 victory.

This past Friday, the Caxys played their first away game as they faced the Alden-Hebron High School Giants. It looked like it might be a close match for the first quarter, but the Caxys took control in the second quarter and went on to win with a strong performance, ending the game with a 31-6.

It would be tough to mention all the highlights of the past two games, but strong contributors have been Joey Kotlarz ’20, Mike Mesrobian ’18, Donte Sibley ’19, Jamari Edwards ’19, Payton Gryniewicz ’18, Nathan Barnes ’19, and Denzel Annan ’18. A special shout out to Dieter Villegas ’18 who has offered a strong kicking game for the Caxys, and who also had a tackle that forced a fumble in last Friday's game.

The Caxys will try to go 3-0 when they welcome Westminster Christian High School for a home game during Reunion Weekend.

-Director of Individual Philanthropy, Garry Sloan P’19, ’21, on behalf of Coaches Blake Annen and Mike Buchanan

Varsity Girls Swimming @ Highland Park JV Invite – 9.2.17

This past Saturday, the Varsity Girls Swim Team participated in their first meet of the year at the Highland Park JV Invite. It was the first meet for some of the girls and a great start to the season.

The team was split into two levels. "JV 1" ended up placing 5th of the 7 teams (just 3 points behind Waukegan), and "JV 2" took 3rd of the 7 teams in their level.

Highlights include:

  • Diana Tlaseca ’18 took 4th of 12 in the 150 freestyle with a 2:16.38.
  • Lorenza Vazquez ’18 placed 2nd of 12 in the in the 200 freestyle with a 2:24.05.
  • Marilyn Wen ’20 took 2nd of 12 in the 50 free with a 34.13.
  • Mia Castle ’20 and Courtney Bradac ’18 placed 1st and 2nd respectively in the 50 freestyle.
  • Sofia Vazquez ’18 placed 1st in the 100 butterfly with a 1:09.66 and 1st in the 500 free with a 6:06.51.
  • Corlene Rhoades ’19 placed 3rd in the 100 IM with a 1:30.96.
  • Mia Castle took 2nd of 17 in the 100 free with a 1:03.76.

The final relay, the 400 free relay, with Sofia Vazquez, Lorenza Vazquez, Julia Knauz ’19, and Mia Castle, placed 1st with a 4:16.60

-Head Coach Natalie Schawel

Posted by Ms. Grace Kim in September 2017 on Wednesday September 6, 2017 at 06:23PM
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#GoCaxys - Boys Soccer Update

Boys JV Soccer vs. Grayslake Central – 8.30.17

On August 30, the JV boys soccer played a good game against Grayslake Central, but unfortunately succumbed to a physically bigger and stronger team with a score of 0-3. We managed to keep possession for periods of the game and moved the ball quite well.

One of our opponents' goals was an own goal because of some disorganization in our defense. In the last five minutes, we threw almost everyone into offensive play, but Grayslake managed to break away and score in the last seconds of the game.

Our defense played very well, with excellent performances from freshman Brooks Osborne ‘21 and senior Brian Park ‘18. Our goalies, including Andrew Crawford ‘20, also did very well. Junior Alex Alutto ‘19 had a good game spearheading our midfield. Our cause was not helped by the fact that only three free kicks were awarded to either team in the entire game, and only one of those in our favor!

-Head Coach Steve Ryder

Boys JV2 Soccer vs. Round Lake – 8.31.17

The JV2 guys played their first game of the season on August 31. The guys came out a bit nervous and quickly fell behind by 2 goals in the first 15 minutes. The boys fought hard and trimmed the lead to 2-1 halfway through the first half thanks to a wonderful strike from freshman Rohan Miglani ‘21. They worked hard to stay in the game but the Round Lake substitutions made the game difficult for us to keep up. Late in the 2nd half, the opponents scored a breakaway goal and scored the 4th goal on an unfortunate deflection, resulting in an own goal. It was much closer than the final score of 4-1 indicates.

Shout out to the entire team, but special recognition should go to Conor Fryer ‘21 who made his first start at goalie and did a terrific job. Krishna Nair ‘18 also did a fantastic job on defense, blocking 7 or 8 shots and winning countless balls out of the air.

-Head Coach Sam Wold

Boys JV Soccer vs. Grayslake Central – 9.2/9.3.17

The JV boys played a three game home tournament in less than 24 hours over Labor Day Weekend! We started on Friday with our first win of the season against Antioch. We moved the ball well in the first half but could not find the net. In the second half, we scored two good goals, the first coming from Azi Nigmatullin ’19 from an assist by Zhenya Dubavets ’18. The second was the exact reverse with Azi returning the favor for Zhenya's great finish.

On Saturday, we took the field against an impressive Waukegan lineup. We struggled to keep possession, but the defense stepped up and played very well through the leadership of Clint Shi ’18 and Brian Park ’18. Despite the defeat, there were notable performances from Brooks Osborne ‘21 and Andrew Crawford ’20 as goalies.

30 minutes later, we took on Round Lake, the eventual tournament winners. Despite multiple minor injuries, we hung in there valiantly, holding them to just one goal until late in the game. In the end, our fatigue took its toll and we conceded two late goals. Assistant Coach Mathias Kerr and I were really proud of the boys, who stuck to the task very well in difficult circumstances. By the end of the game, our whole defense had some kind of injury. It was a Herculean effort by the boys that was not reflected in the score. Once again, Andrew Crawford was outstanding in goal, catching the eye of the opposing coach, who was astonished to learn that Andrew had never played soccer before!

All in all, it was a productive weekend in which the boys learned a lot and improved significantly. Kudos to one and all!

-Head Coach Steve Ryder

Varsity Boys Soccer @ Evanston Tournament – 8.29/8.31/9.2.17

On Tuesday, we played reigning tournament champ Evanston Township High School. It was a wonderful game to watch. ETHS put one past us early in the first half. LFA held them off for the remainder of the half. We played great soccer and had many chances in the second half to even the score. It was great to see the team come together to play this very well disciplined team. ETHS took the game 1-0.

On Thursday, we matched up against Payton High School. Ian Strudwick ’18 scored our first goal in the last minute of the first half off of a penalty kick. Payton came back with another goal early in the second half. Keeper Henry Jacobson ’19 made his first assist to Jason Woo ’20 who scored a hard fought goal late in the second half to win the game 2-1.

On Saturday, LFA played Mather High School. LFA went into the half down one goal. The boys pulled it together and scored 4 goals in the second half. Ian Strudwick put in the first one off of a PK. Rich Park ’20 assisted Ian Strudwick for the second goal. Chris Morrison ’18 scored the third and Rich Park had his second assist of the game to Scott Skinner ’20 for the final goal.

-Assistant Coach Jessica Gimbel

Posted by Ms. Grace Kim in September 2017 on Wednesday September 6, 2017
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#GoCaxys - Cross Country Update

Girls Cross Country @ Lake County Art Campbell Invite - 8.30.17

They are off and running! On August 30, the Girls Cross Country team traveled to Lakewood Preserve in Wauconda to participate in the Lake County Art Campbell Invite. The entire team participated in the meet running in either the Varsity Girls Race or the Coed Open Race. Both returning and new members of the team tackled the heat and put forth an amazing effort in their first meet of the season.

Top finishers included: Kennedy Hayes ‘18, Katy Morrison ‘18, Elizabeth Campisi ‘20, Lizzie Dozois ‘21, Audrey McGrail ‘20, Becca Dee ‘18, and Ava Ascroft ‘18.

-Assistant Coach Kassandra Hayes

Boys Varsity Cross Country @ Lake County Invitational – 8.30.17

Last Wednesday, the Varsity Boys Cross Country team participated in the Lake County Invitational. It was a beautiful day that was a bit on the muggy side, and the course was fast and rolling. The boys ran hard and now have a good sense of what they need to do for the rest of the season. The order of finish is as follows: David Sun ’19, Jared Felitto ’20, Thomas Leonetti ’20, Alex Zhou ’20, Aiden Dee ’18, David Krivoshik ’18, Pliny Smith ’18, Calvin Osborne ’21, Calvin Wang ’18, and Justin Hone ’18.

-Head Coach Ed Shaughnessy

Girls Varsity Cross Country @ LFA Home Meet - 9.5.17

They raised the bar! The team took first place in yesterday's home meet and many of the runners set a new personal record. The team hit the course with determination, grit, and speed. The top finishers included Kennedy Hayes ‘18, Katy Morrison ‘18, Elizabeth Campisi ‘20, Lizzie Dozois ‘21, Audrey McGrail ‘20, Becca Dee ‘18, and Ava Ascroft ’18 again.

-Assistant Coach Kassandra Hayes

Posted by Ms. Grace Kim in September 2017 on Wednesday September 6, 2017
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#GoCaxys - Girls V & JV Tennis Update

Girls Varsity Tennis vs. New Trier - 8.30.17

On August 30, LFA walked away with a respectable 4-4 tie against New Trier for their first match of the season. The girls played 8 games with a line-up of four singles and four doubles for two rounds of matches.

Coming out with wins for LFA were:

  • Anna Schilling ‘20 played a very challenging match to come out on top at 8-5.
  • Freshman Lizzie Frekko ‘21 dominated with an 8-2 win.
  • New students Chloe Franzia ‘19 and Lexi Aronin ‘20 came back from being down 3-6 to win 8-6.
  • Seniors Gracie Kilborn ‘18 and Nikki Rust ‘18 won in a tie breaker 8-7 and 10-8.

Challenging and competitive matches were also played by:

  • Elizabeth Christoph ‘18 and Norah Ntagungira ‘18 who took nearly every single game to deuce and never lost their "fight" during their 1-8 match.
  • Anna Chigrinova ‘20 showed impressive singles strategy during her 4-8 match.
  • Montse Borjas ‘20 and Tonya Muzhylko ‘19 showed fierce net play during their 3-8 match.
  • Emily Nash ‘20 fought hard and ended her matches 7-8 and 10-12.
  • Dagny Birkerts ‘21 played an incredibly impressive 6-8 match as her very first match on the varsity team.
  • Sarah Roppel ‘19 was quick on her feet and powerful in her strokes during her 3-8 match.

-Head Coach Kim Graham

Girls JV Tennis vs. New Trier - 8.30.17

On August 30, the JV Girls Tennis team welcomed New Trier's freshman team for the first match of the season. The girls played best of three sets with 10 point tie-breakers deciding the third set, no ad scoring. With a freshmen class of over 1000 students, New Trier proved to be tough opponents, and LFA unfortunately lost 1-7.

Special mention goes to Nora Lee‘18 for claiming victory at 3rd singles (6-3, 6-2) and to Yiran Liu ‘20 who played amazingly at 2nd singles in a marathon match, just losing out in the 3rd set tiebreaker. Congrats also to our new players - Vita Cao 21, Maria Johnson ‘21, Christina Ma ‘21, Natasha Sokhi ‘21, Gabby Womsley ‘21, and Kalina Honczarenko ‘20- on their LFA athletic debut.

-Assistant Coach Mark Copestake

Girls JV Tennis vs. Rochelle Zell Jewish High School – 8.31.17

Last week, the LFA JV Girls Tennis team defeated Rochelle Zell Jewish High School 5-3.

The first round players played the best of 3 sets with a super tie-breaker for the last set. The second round players played either an 8 or 10 game pro-set.

  • 1st singles Ananta Srivastava ’18 played strategically to win 6-3, 6-4.
  • 2nd singles Yiran Liu ‘20 lost in a hard-fought tie breaker 2-6, 7-6, 7-10.
  • 3rd singles Nora Lee ‘18 won 8-6 after coming from behind 3-5.
  • 1st doubles Tori Glass ‘18 and Christina Ma ‘21 lost out to strong opponents 2-6, 1-6.
  • 2nd doubles Natasha Sokhi21 and Gabby Womsley 21 dug deep to win 6-1, 4-6, 11-9.
  • 3rd doubles Maria Johnson21 and Emma Chen ‘18 came from behind to win in a tie-breaker 3-6, 7-5, 11-9.
  • 4th doubles Bella He ‘18 and Zoe Zuo ‘18 used their experience to win 10-5.
  • 5th doubles Vita Cao 21 and Kalina Honczarenko 20 lost out to strong opposition 0-8.

-Assistant Coach Mark Copestake

Posted by Ms. Grace Kim in September 2017 on Wednesday September 6, 2017
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#GoCaxys - Girls Varsity Field Hockey Update

Girls Varsity Field Hockey vs. New Trier - 8.30.17

The game started off very exciting with LFA's very own sophomore Margaret Waldman '20 scoring the first goal of the game (and her first of the season!) from a pass by Suzie Newton ‘18. Our defensive corner unit, consisting of Annie Gifford '20, Kiki Hood '19, Izzy Moody '18, and Lena Ansari '19, shut down New Trier's 4 offensive corner opportunities in the first half, leaving LFA up 1-0 at the end of the half.

The second half started out strong with LFA being awarded 2 offensive corner opportunities. Unfortunately, we were unable to finish. New Trier was able to put one past our keeper halfway through the second half to tie the game 1-1. Again, our defensive corner unit was a force to be reckoned with, shutting New Trier down 5 times to keep the score 1-1 to the end of the second half.

In the first overtime session, Lena Ansari scored the first goal unassisted. She was able to capitalize on New Trier failing to get the ball out of the circle by taking the ball baseline and shooting it to the far post. Unfortunately, New Trier came back one minute later and scored to tie the game 2-2.

In the second sudden death overtime period, New Trier scored the winning goal.

The final score was 2-3 in favor of New Trier. We are very proud of how hard the team worked during the game.

-Assistant Coach Lynn Lazzeretti

Girls Varsity Field Hockey @ Gateway Classic Tournament – 9.2/9.3.17

Over Labor Day weekend, the varsity field hockey team traveled to St. Louis to participate in the Gateway Classic Tournament. LFA won each of the 3 games played, shut out all opponents, and won their pool. All of the girls had fun playing on turf for the first time this year, and are excited to bring home some hardware!

In the first game of the tournament, LFA beat Parkway West 2-0. Although the girls dominated in the first half, the score was tied 0-0 going into the second part of the game. After halftime, Carlee Wolters ’18 scored her first goal of the season, with Izzy Moody ’18 and Lena Ansari ’19 each recording an assist. Isa Blankers ’18 scored the second goal off of a high tip from a hard hit into the circle by Lena Ansari. Both goalies, Lilly Bellino ’20 and Cher Li ’20, made some great saves to keep Parkway West from scoring. Izzy Moody had great ball control in the middle of the field and earned Player of the Game.

In the second game, LFA beat Barat Academy 5-0. Our offensive corner unit scored the first three goals of the game. Isa Blankers put the ball in play, Izzy Moody passed to Lena Ansari who took a shot and scored. For the second goal, Isa Blankers put the ball in play, Lena Ansari passed the ball to Izzy Moody who took a shot and scored. Later, Isa Blankers took control of the ball a third time and passed to Lena Ansari again, leading to a third goal. Yvie Gerber ’21 made the fourth goal with Lena Ansari and Isa Blankers each recording an assist. Lena Ansari scored the fifth and final goal with Izzy Moody and Yvie Gerber earning assists on the goal. With a hattrick and 2 assists, Player of the Game was awarded to Lena Ansari.

In the final game, LFA defeated Brentwood 4-0. LFA came out strong in the first half. Suzie Newton ’18 scored the first goal of the game by tipping in a shot from Lena Ansari on the second offensive corner. The second goal was scored off a pass from Adriana Rivera ’18 to Lena Ansari on the right wing to Izzy Moody in the center who ultimately scored. In the second half, Isa Blankers scored back-to-back goals, each from a scrum in the circle. Player of the Game was awarded to goalies Cher Li for making some great saves, especially on defensive corners, to keep our shut-out streak alive.

-Assistant Coach Lynn Lazzeretti

Posted by Ms. Grace Kim in September 2017 on Wednesday September 6, 2017
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All-School Photo - The Faces of LFA

Have you ever imagined what a crowd of 500+ people looks like from above?

If you haven't, it may be because you've seen previous editions of our All-School Photo. For the third year in a row, we asked the LFA community to get nice and cozy next to each other over the course of ten minutes for two iconic shots. The first photo is for the yearbook, with a gap in the middle of the crowd to give room for the book binding, and the second photo is one that can be enlarged and framed.

Check out our time lapse video, and see if you can spot yourself and people you know!

Posted by Ms. Grace Kim in September 2017 on Friday September 1, 2017
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#GoCaxys - Sports Update

Girls Varsity Field Hockey vs Homewood Flossmoor - 8.26.17

"It was an exciting start to the game as Yvie Gerber '21 scored in the first 30 seconds, assisted by Suzie Newton '18. The same girls switched roles for the second goal, with Suzie Newton scoring off a pass from Yvie Gerber. Lena Ansari '19 scored the third goal off a tip from Izzy Moody '18 on a corner. Isa Blankers '18 made the fourth goal with assists from Suzie Newton and Annie Gifford '20. Yvie Gerber tipped in a high shot from Izzy Moody for her second goal of the game, and Sarah Tobin '18 scored the sixth goal of the first half with assists from Isa Blankers and Lena Ansari.

In the second half, Lena Ansari took the ball about 75 yards, beating the vast majority of the opponents, and scored the seventh goal of the game unassisted. Yvie Gerber scored the eighth and final goal of the game.

The final score was 8-0 in favor of LFA. Goalie Lily Bellino '20 earned her first win and recorded a shutout. Player of the Game goes to Yvie Gerber!"

-Assistant Coach Lynn Lazzeretti

Boys Varsity Soccer @ Lake Forest High School Tournament - 8.22/8.24/8.26.17

"Another soccer season has begun!

On Tuesday, we played Deerfield, winning 2-1. David Oluwale '21 had his debut with an assist to Carlo Castillo '19 for a goal midway through the first half. LFA was up 1-0 at the half. 20 minutes later, Ian Strudwick '18 set up Chris Morrison '18 with a beautiful cross for another goal. Deerfield came back with a goal but LFA held them off for the remainder of the game.

On Thursday, we played Round Lake. We saw the group come together to come back from being down 2-0 at the half. Ian Strudwick scored our first goal off of a penalty kick, and Tyler Medvec '19 assisted Sergio Hernanz '19 with another goal to tie the game. Unfortunately, Round Lake snuck in one more goal, ending the game 2-3.

On Saturday, we played Lakes of Antioch for 3rd place. Our boys were tired after a long week of practice and two games. We held possession of the ball and dominated the first half, but after a hard fight, Lakes took the game for a final score of 0-3.

Head Coach Paul Makovec and I look forward to another great season. We play in the annual Evanston tournament this week. Our first home game is against Round Lake on September 5."

-Assistant Coach Jessica Gimbel

Posted by Ms. Grace Kim in August 2017 on Wednesday August 30, 2017
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A 25-Year-Old Tradition

LFA officially opened its doors today for its 161st academic year, and a brand new start means another All-School Handshake! Starting at 9:15 a.m., the LFA community gathered in the Formal Gardens to continue this 25-year-old tradition. After the coin flip by Head of School Dr. John Strudwick to determine the direction of the handshake, he and this year's All-School President, Dieter Villegas '18, began shaking the hands of students, faculty, and staff. By the end of the hour, all 436 students had shaken, high-fived, and fist-bumped the hands of their peers.

The tradition started during the 1992-1993 school year when Thomas and Mary Ann B. "Bondy" Hodgkins were Heads of School. The All-School Handshake brings LFA together after a summer away from campus, and serves as a great way for every member of the community to greet each other. Happy New Year!!

Posted by Ms. Grace Kim in August 2017 on Monday August 28, 2017 at 07:43PM
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