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Champion of Change Award Created to Honor Dr. Holland’s LFHS Legacy

Kailey Albus and Dr. Holland

Kailey Albus (left) and Dr. Chala Holland (right). Photo courtesy of Visual Image Photography.

In recognition of Lake Forest High School Principal Chala Holland’s “extraordinary” leadership and vision, District 115 families created the Champion of Change Award.

The $500 scholarship was awarded for the first time at Lake Forest High School Honors Night 2021, with senior Kailey Albus selected for the honor. Holland, who became LFHS principal in 2015, is leaving the District to become assistant superintendent of administrative services for Naperville Community Unit School District 203.

“I am humbled by the creation of this award but even more humbled by the opportunity to serve the Lake Forest school community,” Holland said at Honors Night, held May 26.

Attendees gave her a standing ovation.

“Dr. Holland's leadership and vision have been extraordinary at LFHS over the past six years, '' said Laura Adams, a District 115 parent who spearheaded the scholarship effort aided by a broad coalition of families. “She is loved by so many parents, students, and teachers and many families feel we were lucky to have her. … We wanted to send her off showing her how much we truly appreciated her.”

The award will be given each year to an LFHS junior or senior who, the criteria state, “embodies the mission and vision of  inclusion on campus and advocates for equity in our community.”

“When we heard she was leaving,” Adams said of Holland, “we wanted her legacy and vision of inclusion and equity for all students to continue. She had faced so much adversity during her tenure, from her hiring all the way through COVID-19. Yet she faced every challenge along the way with courage, conviction, and great character.”

The award was established, she said, to encourage LFHS students to advocate for understanding and growth in issues including education, health, and civil and human rights through such areas as service, participation in activities, artistic expression, and academic coursework.

The word “champion,” Adams added, “perfectly captured everything Dr. Holland has done at LFHS including, accomplishments such as lowering barriers to classes, increasing student participation in AP and clubs and activities, and winning the Principal of the Year for the Lake Region.”

Holland chose winner Kailey Albus (pictured below) and has agreed to continue to be part of the selection of future recipients.

Kailey Albus

Photo courtesy of Visual Image Photography.

“Dr. Holland,” Adams said, “has helped our students become more empathetic, more compassionate, and more affirming, and we hope that her vision of equity and inclusion continues to live on.”

View the Honors Night ceremony or read the program booklet for a full report on all 2021 honorees.

Champions of Change Award recipient and family

Pictured left to right: (top row) Martha Zeeman, Kailey Albus, Dr. Chala Holland, (bottom row) Teri Albus, Allen Albus, Laura Adams. Photo courtesy of Visual Image Photography.

Dr. Holl.and

Dr. Chala Holland