Lake Bluff Senior Earns National Merit Semifinalist Status

“Kaleidoscope" choral ensemble members named.

Senior Ingrid Watts of Lake Bluff has been named a National Merit Semifinalist. About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and include the highest-scoring entrants in each state. Watts is in the running for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $34 million that will be offered next spring.


The Woodlands Academy Council of Representatives (WACOR), Woodlands’ student government, is made up of three officers, plus class representatives from each class. Officers elected to the council are: President Madeline Oelerich of Chicago, Vice-President Bianca Wagner of Nassau, Bahamas, and Secretary/Treasurer Amanda Hermsen of Gurnee.

Class representatives to WACOR include:  Seniors Mary Dasso and Ingrid Watts of Lake Bluff; Leslie Dill of Libertyville; and Nicole Deberry of Green Oaks. Juniors Jennifer Flint and Isabella Alvarez of Lake Forest; Catherine Dorman of Chicago; and Emma Rodriguez of Beach Park; Sophomores Ellyse Keller of Lake Bluff; Caroline Hiteshew of Chicago; Anna Deberry of Green Oaks; and Janay Allen of North Chicago.  Freshmen Kelly Bowler and Sasha Carney of Lake Bluff; Avanna Kotlarz of Lake Forest; and Emily Zamora of Loma Florida, Mexico.

Service Club Co-Chairs Margaret Hambleton of Lake Bluff and Eleanor McEnaney of Northfield are surrounded with strong peer leadership in fellow classmates and Co-Vice Chairs Colleen Andersen of Lake Bluff and Caitlin F. McCarthy of Kenilworth.

A solid core of student representatives and alternates round out Service Club, including: Sofia Kubicek and Annie Kotlarz of Lake Forest; Margaret Andersen, Michaela Bowler, Siv DeBoom, and Britta Walker of Lake Bluff; Caitlin L. McCarthy and Caroline Moriarity of Winnetka; Melissa Bruns, Leigh Ketelsen, and Loren Ketelsen of Lincolnshire; Eleanor McEnaney of Northfield; Norma Serna and Francesca Mateo of Waukegan; Meaghan Long of Orland Park; Caitlin F. McCarthy of Kenilworth; Lizzy Denton of Wilmette; Mercedes Jasso of Zion; Megan Howe of Gurnee, Laura Bartusiak of Deerfield, Gabriela Reid of North Chicago; and Lili Wagner of the Bahamas.

Class officers were also elected to direct various class projects. The senior class officers are: President Gabriela Carrillo of Palatine, Vice-President Breanna Kendall of Evanston, Secretary Anna Lawler of Wilmette, and Treasurer Isabella Swift of Mettawa.

Junior class officers include: President Livesey Pack of Lake Forest; Vice-President Katherine Lourie of Northbrook; Secretary Katian Harris of Glenview; and Treasurer Catherine Dorman of Chicago.

Officers for the sophomore class are: President Caroline Watts of Lake Bluff; Vice-President Abigail Kendall of Evanston; Secretary Christina Carfagno, and Treasurer Anne Lotlarz, both of Lake Forest.

Freshman class officers include: President Shalonda Jones of Waukegan, Vice-President Gianna Hagnell of Lake Bluff, Secretary Oliwia Barteczko of Franklin Park, and Treasurer Molly Kirchberg of Chicago.

Elected to the Resident Community Council (RCC), Woodlands’ boarding school’s governing body are: President Ye Soo Shin, Vice-President Jin Young Won, Secretary Na Young Kim, all of Seoul, South Korea; and Treasurer Tianyi Lu of Beijing, China.

The following students head the 2011-12 Girls’ Recreation Association (GRA): co-presidents Margaret Hambleton of Lake Bluff and Breanna Kendall of Evanston. Board members include: Anna Deberry of Green Oaks; Katian Harris and Elizabeth Ustaski, both of Glenview; Caroline Hiteshew of Chicago; Katelyn Hughes of Beach Park; Abigail Kendall of Evanston; Alexandra Vela of Waukegan. 

H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Protect Esteem) is a student-founded organization whose purpose is to educate others about the harmful effects of bullying. Students selected to leadership positions in H.O.P.E. are: president Catherine Wanandi of Lake Forest and Vice President Leslie Dill of Libertyville.

Students elected to the Campus Ministry leadership are: Co-chairs Alexandra Lazar of Lake Forest and Ingrid Watts of Lake Bluff; Vice-Chair is Caitlin L. McCarthy of Winnetka; Secretary is Karly Anderson of Grayslake; Captain of Eucharistic Ministers is Leslie Dill of Libertyville. 

The following students were named to the staff of The Woodlander, the student newspaper of Woodlands Academy: Editors in Chief are Meaghan Long of Orland Park and Ingrid Watts of Lake Bluff; Managing Editor is Alexandra Lazar of Lake Forest.

The Model United Nations educates participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy, and the United Nations agenda. Leadership is provided by president Killian MacDonald of Lake Forest; vice-president Katelyn Hughes of Beach Park; and secretary Julia Rabkin of Antioch.

Editor of L’ Esprit, the Woodlands Academy yearbook, is Lizzy Denton of Wilmette. Grace Rudnik of Lake Bluff is Layout Editor.  Molly Dasso of Lake Bluff is Copy Editor.  Maggie Hambleton of Lake Bluff and Ye Soo Shin of Seoul, South Korea are Photo Editors.


Following recent auditions, Woodlands Academy Choral Director Elizabeth Kurowski has selected 23 talented students who will comprise “Kaleidoscope,” Woodlands’ award-winning select choral ensemble.

This year’s “Kaleidoscope” members are: Sarah Allen, Jennifer Flint, Stella Gilbertson, Killian MacDonald, Lilly McAveeney, Olivia Rozdolsky, Catherine Wanandi, and Madeleine Wenc, all of Lake Forest; Susan Tharp and Caroline Watts of Lake Bluff; Emily Bartusiak and Laura Bartusiak of Deerfield; Melissa Bruns of Lincolnshire; Gabriela Carrillo of Palatine; Catherine Dorman of Chicago; Jeong Lim Kim of Long Grove; Ke Li of Beijing, China; Yimin Zhang of Hebei, China; Zoe Murphy of Lindenhurst; Ellen Perkins of Waukegan; Lulu Ren of Zhe Jiang, China; Yue Sheng Wang of Gansu, China; and Zi Qing Ye of Hangzhou, China.

Cora Ives of Winthrop Harbor and Zhiting Liu of Shanghai, China are “Kaleidoscope’s” accompanists.

“Kaleidoscope” participates annually in state and national competitions. The acclaimed ensemble has performed in New Orleans, New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Montreal, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Seattle, and has won several top awards, including last year’s Gold/Superior rating in the Treble Choir division at the Heritage Festival national competition in Washington, D.C. 

“Kaleidoscope” regularly receives Division I and Gold Standard of Excellence rankings in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Ensemble competitions.

“Kaleidoscope” has recorded a number of CDs. Among the more recent is a collection of works ranging from American folksongs and spirituals to classical favorites showcasing the ensemble’s award-winning competition pieces.

Woodlands’ musicians share their talents every year at several charitable functions and at various local venues. Future “Kaleidoscope” performances include the Relief for Japan fundraiser on Oct. 27 at the school’s Lake Forest campus; the Advent by Candlelight service at the Sacred Heart Church in Winnetka (date TBD); the Woodlands Academy Christmas Concerts at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 and at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 2; and at Woodlands’ own Winter Wonderwalk on Dec. 7.

The group is available for other performances. For information, contact Kurowski at (847) 234-4300, ext. 301.


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