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The Cupola

About The Cupola

The Cupola is a publication run by Elgin Academy students. The dedicated and creative student staff plan, write, edit and work collaboratively to put together each issue of The Cupola. They are supported by website staff, the communications department, and a faculty advisor. 

  From The Editor

Fall Edition: Letter from the Editor
Eesha Peddhapati '24

Dear Elgin Academy Community,

Welcome to the first edition of the 2023-2024 school year! I hope this edition finds you well.

We are incredibly excited for our first edition to come out this year. Our writers have been working hard these past few months to create pieces ranging from EA athletics to teacher interviews.

Thank you to the new writers who have joined the staff this year and especially to Mr. Thomas, Mrs. Moore, and Ms. Goist for making this edition possible.

Finally, I would like to say thank you to the readers. I appreciate your support of The Cupola. I hope you enjoy this edition!


Eesha Peddhapati '24

  Hilltopper Spotlight

Mrs. Anderson Interview
Ryan Zonts '24 and Rahul Gowda '24

Mrs. Anderson took over the college counselor position and became the US History teacher this last summer, and has transitioned very well in her efforts.

When being selected for the counselor role, she was told to be very “prompt,” since then, she has developed the ability to be very present with where students are emotionally and physically in the moment of their meeting, to assist them with their college search.

Mrs. Anderson likes to say that instead of feeling overwhelmed by her new roles, she feels excited about the new opportunities and ways she gets to help students flourish. She credits Mr. Raffety’s advice, the entire EA community’s acceptance, warm welcomes, and the mentorship offered by Mr. Sept for her immediate success. Mrs. Anderson explained how Mr. Sept’s tips on conducting yourself in terms of counselor played a significant role in her ability to accept two new positions at EA, as well as her organizational skills.

Being a history teacher, Mrs. Anderson has developed a habit of listening to history-related podcasts nonstop to brush up on her knowledge. Whether it’s before bed or on the way to school, she’s pumping history into her brain.

When asked about how she was able to develop relationships with the senior class, Mrs. Anderson explains that she feels honored to work with the grade and that her motivation is seeing them succeed beyond EA. She says that learning should be personalized and treats counseling the same way. Nonetheless, she looks forward to working with the junior class in the spring and knows that her previously built trust with them will aid her heavily. 

Mr. Druzinsky Interview
Eesha Peddhapati '24 and Arya Govula '25

In a recent interview with Mr. Druzinsky, the Head of Elgin Academy, The Cupola gained some insights into his reputation, experience, and aspirations. Looking back, Mr. Druzinsky appreciates the kindness shown to each student during homecoming. His tips to kids are to embrace their youth and to grab every opportunity in front of them.

As a past drama teacher, he eagerly anticipates the Fall play, exhibiting his love for the arts. Mr. Druzinsky’s zeal for sports is palpable, particularly as he looks forward to the upcoming basketball games.

An emotional connection to the school influenced his decision to lead it, as he recalled interactions with EA during his childhood in Chicago as he played various sports against us.

His view on life, "no good deed goes unpaid," shows his thoughtful approach towards life. Going beyond academics, he enjoys playing poker, stationary biking, and watching or listening to musicals, which exhibit his multifaceted personality.

As he starts his role as head of EA, Mr. Druzinsky has vowed to know the school's culture, empathize with students' challenges, and celebrate their wins. His commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive environment at EA shines through, promising a bright future for the school community.

  On The Hilltop

Fall Play Review - The Play That Goes Wrong
Kaan Bruss '25

The play was last week, and the actors have worked very hard. There are twelve actors and five crew members performing The Play That Goes Wrong.

From Mischief, Broadway masters of comedy, comes this smash hit farce. Welcome to the opening night of the Cornley Drama Society’s newest production, The Murder at Haversham Manor, where things quickly go from bad to utterly disastrous. This 1920s whodunit has everything you never wanted in a show—an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines). 

Kaan Bruss, an actor, says, “While we’re rehearsing, we sometimes start laughing uncontrollably.” He said he and his fellow actors were thrilled to present their hard work.

Katherine Sept, another actor, says, "This was the most fun play I have been in because of the physicality of it. This experience brought me closer to the EA community."

Thank you to everyone who watched!


  Clubs & Activities

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  EA Athletics

Cross Country Season- Fall 2023
Ryan Zonts '24

For the first time in a long time, the Cross Country team saw a rise in players, with six athletes on the roster, comprised of two freshmen, one sophomore, and three juniors. The team, who competed in thirteen meets during the season, all knocked down their Personal Best by a minute or better. This year was also the first time in over two years that they had a girl on their team. The team competed at Regionals on October 21st at Westmont High School, where they qualified for Sectionals, which took place on October 28th! For having a team made up of mostly new runners, they have done very well. Congratulations to Cross Country! 

Golf Season - Fall 2023
Sohan Avula '25

The Elgin Academy golf team had a great season of growth and achievement. The varsity team consisted of Hailey Vogt (11), Samuel Hendricks (10), Sohan Avula (11), Frieda Euscher-Klingenhagen (12), Omar Garcia (9), Arman Aurora (9), and Barret Wilcox (12). The Varsity team had great success throughout the season, most notably during the home match against Parkview Christain, where the team shot a score of 190, backed with personal records from Samuel (42) and Frieda (44).

At the Elgin Country Club girls' invitation, Hailey placed 14th out of 51 total contestants and saw similar success at conference (8th place), regionals (7th), and sectionals (18th). Frieda placed 7th at conference, 2nd at regionals, and 12th at sectionals. Frieda qualified for state and placed 36th out of 113 participants.

The JV team consisted of  Tyler Berlin (11), Quinn Padula (11), Kaan Bruss (11), and Rory Brown (9); while the practice squad team consisted of Nabi Noor Mohamed (11), Tessa Luke (9), Kolby Saurer (9), and  Malyada Medikundum (9).

Both the JV and practice squad teams saw lots of growth in several aspects of their game, and they look forward to displaying their improved play next year. 

Girls' Tennis Season - Fall 2023
Eesha Peddhapati '24

The girls’ tennis season was a tremendous success this year. Our team consisted of 7 players across all of the high school grades:

  • 1st singles: Addison Lanton (11)
  • 1st doubles: Eesha Peddhapati (12) and Saraya Singh (12)
  • 2nd singles: Priyanka Bhogaraju (12)
  • 2nd doubles: Katherine Sept (12) and Ashley McCormick (10)
  • 3rd singles: Selina Chen (9)

Our team has competed against various schools in numerous matches and tournaments. We have played nine schools this season. As an entire team, we have won five games and lost four games. At the ISL Conference Tournament, we placed 5th overall. As a team at the IHSA state tournament, we placed 4th place altogether. Looking at all of these numbers, our entire tennis team has already beaten previous records set in the past.

It is important to note Addison Lanton's (11) and Priyanka Bhogaraju’s (12) success this season. Addison was undefeated all season and won the state title once again! Priyanka also made it to state and placed in the top 12! Congratulations to them!

Nevertheless, congratulations to our girls’ tennis team for playing their best and representing our school in such a bright light this season!

Girls' Volleyball Season- Fall 2023
Kaan Bruss '25 and Velan Manivannan '25

Congratulations to the EA Girls Volleyball for another memorable season! With only three seniors playing this year, many underclassmen have stepped up to a bigger role on the team. The team consists of Isabella Shababy (10), Maggie Ingente (10), Naomi Grigsby (12), Ella Hoover (11), Liv Nagle (10), Abrielle Novelli (9), Ella Smayda (9), Mia Benitez (9), Amanda Alvarado (9), Tori Hill (12) and Talia Horn (12).

There were many memorable moments during the season, and Senior Naomi Grigsby’s favorite highlight was at sectionals when Maggie (10) got a kill in the last game in sectionals. From this season, Naomi learned to be patient and understanding and find the good in any situation, especially while overcoming the challenge of hurting her knee. In the next season, they will be back and improved.


Winter 2024 Athletic Season Preview
Rahul Gowda '24

With the fall season ending, everyone in high school sports looks forward to the basketball season. Elgin Academy will feature a girls' and boys' high school basketball team. The girls' team is being coached by returning head coach Eddie Mercado and assistant coach Drew Roling. The team roster will be finalized the week of November 6th.

The boys' basketball team is being coached by returning head coach Cornelius Wilkes and assistant coaches Dar Guyett and Tommy Sampson. The Boys' basketball team will feature six seniors, Rahul Gowda, Ryan Zonts, Tayten Wilder, Camren Horton, Jeremiah Walker, and Angelo Novelli, who have all had two or more years of varsity experience. In a tweet from Michael O’Brien, he makes some claims about the upcoming season. 

  Arts & Entertainment

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The Cupola Staff

Eesha Peddhapati '24

Sohan Avula '25

Priyanka Bhogaraju '24

Kaan Bruss '25

Arya Govula '25

Rahul Gowda '24

Velan Manivannan '25

Ryan Zonts '24

Contact The Cupola staff at