Zoe Kukla, a senior, is jumping into her final semester at Forest Hills Eastern with a load of responsibility. She is a vital member of the team of seniors who lead the Hawk Team program. As the B-Hall liaison, she not only serves as a role model to her own flock of hawklings but to all of B-Hall. In a position where most would be stressed, she takes on the role with grace, saying “I really enjoy directing hawk teams and interacting with all of the leaders and underclassmen.”
With graduation looming closer each day, Zoe is excited to see what the rest of her senior year will bring. The class of 2022 has grown so much closer in recent years, and it has been amazing to see their development since meeting each other at the beginning of seventh grade. “I feel like our class has grown exponentially closer since middle school. It’s really nice to see how everyone can hang with anyone and no one is afraid to talk to anyone. We’re all here for each other in a way we’d never been before and I think that’s really special,” Zoe shared. She is looking forward to the last few weeks of school above all else this year, explaining that she “can’t wait for all the stress of classes to fall away and just be left with the excitement of graduation.”
Hawk teams were first introduced during Zoe’s freshman year, making the class of 2022 the first grade to have them all four years of high school. The program provides grade connectivity at Forest Hills Eastern and makes everyone feel more comfortable in a school environment where they always have a friend. There are many things Zoe and the other hall liaisons plan on implementing. “Our hope is to leave a strong enough foundation for the next group of liaisons and teachers to follow and some basics so that they can stick to the hawk team vision but cater it uniquely to their class,” Zoe explained. She is excited to see what happens to the program in the coming years and has great hopes for it.
Kukla feels that her time at Eastern has been very beneficial and has prepared her for lots of opportunities. Everything from working on hawk teams, dual enrollment, ETV, homecoming court, and creating Project KIKI. From AP Gov to Grassroots work, Eastern’s teachers, students, and classes have given her the skills to succeed. Her greatest accomplishment was being awarded a scholarship to the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership World Leadership Congress. “I was very grateful for the award and my time at the congress taught me a lot of quintessential qualities of leadership and rallying a community,” Zoe said.
After graduating, Zoe plans to attend a university to study political science and African American studies. She is excited about the new experience and to make new memories, but will always remember and cherish her time at Forest Hills Eastern.
Her favorite memory from her time at Eastern is show week during the musical. “It’s always such a fun and uplifting time and closing night is bittersweet,” Zoe explained.
“If I could be remembered for anything that I did during my time at Eastern,” Kukla says, “It would have to be creating Project KIKI, B-Hall Liaison, and dual enrollment at The University of Michigan.”