Catching up with future coach Keshaun Smith ’14 (with son, Kameron) and future teacher Laura Kelly ’19.
Fenwick Graduation: 2014
Hometown: Maywood, IL
Grade School: Irving Elementary
College: Illinois State University (Normal, IL)
Major: Recreational Management
Internship: Crossfit Iron Flag and Athletic Performance
Career aspirations: To train children and teenagers to become drastically better at whatever sport they are playing. Eventually, I will begin coaching football or basketball. Now that I’ve graduated from college [last month], I am taking over my dad’s furniture-moving business (Smith Furniture Service).
Fenwick achievements/activities: three-year varsity basketball starter; two-year varsity football starter.
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: Ms. Carraher/Megall
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: Spanish III with Ms. Megall
Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: Coming in early in the morning before my second-period class freshman year to tutor for Spanish. I had never been taught Spanish before high school, unlike all of my classmates. I struggled the first semester, until I began tutoring with Ms. Carraher. This turned out to be the best thing I could’ve done because it made me comfortable speaking with my professors [in college], especially when I needed extra help.
Fenwick experience that changed you the most: My junior year. I remember driving to Ms. Megall’s house to get tutoring in Spanish III. I realized how tough her class was early in the semester and I made sure I was going to pass Spanish III. This changed me because instead of ignoring my struggles as I did first semester freshman year, I took action and actually passed Spanish III. I was afraid of Ms. Megall’s class because I heard about how hard it was and how ‘mean’ she was. As I began to get to know Ms. Megall, I realized something and this is what changed me: I realized Ms. Megall was actually a very sweet woman and I would never listen to anyone else’s opinion about another teacher again until I see for myself. Ms. Megall’s class is challenging but if you put in the work, I guarantee you will succeed.
Note: Before transferring to ISU, Keshaun played football at Loras College in Dubuque, IA, then basketball at Dominican University in River Forest, IL.
Fenwick Graduation: 2019
Hometown: Western Springs, IL
Grade School: St. John of the Cross
Current School: Fordham University (New York City)
Major: Digital Technology & Emerging Media with minors in Italian and Theatre Performance
Summer internship: Unfortunately, my opportunity to be a counselor at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in northern Michigan for the entire summer was postponed. However, I just accepted a position as the Arts Administration Apprentice at BAM Theatre in Hinsdale. I have worked at this program for several years as an intern and assistant director, but now that arts education is occurring in a virtual format, I am able to take on a new position and can explore how teaching and performing can still happen remotely!
Career aspirations: In eighth grade, I was voted “Most Likely to be a Teacher,” but I never really understood why … until I came to Fenwick and met Ms. Lamoureux and Ms. Hennessey. At some point in my life, I would love to be a secondary educator and theatre director so I can work with young people and shape their lives just as my favorite teachers have shaped mine. Using the major I am pursuing at Fordham, I am also very interested in working in media management for entertainment companies like Netflix or Spotify.
Fenwick achievements/activities: Middle America Regional Champion in the Optimist Club Oratorical Contest with Mr. Arellano, National Honor Society, Illinois State Scholar, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Italian Honor Society, nine productions in the Blackfriars Guild, Honors Chamber Choir, girls’ tennis team, contributor and Diversions editor for The Wick, Write Place tutor, Kairos leader and rector.
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: Ms. Hennessey was my Italian teacher for four years, and I am extremely blessed for that. I decided to take Italian on a whim, not knowing anything about the language, and it ended up being my favorite class for four consecutive years. She is more than an amazing educator, she is also a wonderful mentor. While she taught me about Italian grammar and culture, she also helped me through some difficult times in my life.
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: I have never considered myself a math or science buff; I have always thought of myself as very “right-brained.” However, honors physics with Mrs. Esposito was one of the best classes I took at Fenwick. It pushed my intellectual limits and taught me to never give up on myself. Mrs. Esposito was always willing to offer extra help during her office hours and really wants the best for her students. She helped me realize what I am truly capable of in a classroom setting.
Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: I sang (accompanied by Joe Zawacki, Teddy Oberlies, Sebastian Torres, Dan Castellano, and Vinny Micucci) for the closing act of the closing night of Banua my senior year. All of the senior Banua participants, many of whom were my best friends, came on stage and danced as I sang, and it was some of the most fun I have ever had. The entire audience clapped along, and the joy I felt on that stage is something I’ll never forget.
Fenwick experience that changed you the most: This may be a basic answer, but hands-down it would be Kairos. I was extremely fortunate to attend three times as a retreatant, leader, and rector (in June, September, and November). I have never made bonds that strong in such a short amount of time, and I am so lucky to still be in touch with some of my fellow leaders and members of my small groups. Kairos brought my class together right before we graduated, and it made the bonds between Fenwick alumni so much stronger.