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Meet the Editors of Polyphony H.S.

Editor-in-Chief, Mikaela Ritchie.  Mikaela is so excited to start another year with Polyphony. She’s a member of the class of 2017 at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, where she is a Varsity tennis player and plays trumpet in the band, jazz band, and orchestra. In her free time, she likes to read, especially Jane Austen, fantasy, and Greek mythology. She has three older sisters and a chocolate lab named Miracle Max – Max for short.

Jane Agler  is a senior from Chicago, a die-hard Arsenal FC supporter, Thierry Henry’s number one fan, and a pianist. When she is not editing Polyphony submissions and attending classes at school, she is often listening to British punk and Frederic Chopin, reading Jane Austen, and watching movies by her favorite directors (Wes Anderson, the Coen brothers, and Martin Scorsese).

Kristen Altman is a student at Choate Rosemary Hall graduating in 2018. She enjoys writing, metaphorically running from one commitment to the next, and actually running on the varsity cross country team. A current Second Reader, Kristen would describe her experience at Polyphony as entertaining, insightful, and humbling.

Joshua Anil, a Genre Editor, is a student at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, that will be graduating in 2017. He loves playing piano, whether it be classical, pop, or improv, but ragtime is where his heart lies. He obsesses over sports, and will forgo doing all work when his beloved Dallas Cowboys are playing. While he is not the next Federer, he does like racking up DIII collegiate tennis offers from small colleges in Alabama. He once hated English, so the fact that he is on this website is proof that miracles do indeed happen.

Theodore Baas is a Sophomore at Holland Christian high school in Michigan. He is the founder and head editor of the Curieux Academic Journal, an academic journal for high school students. When not editing Polyphony submissions he enjoys doing mathematical research in the field of graph theory, reading philosophy, and writing. His writing has been published in Imagine Magazine and honored by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Olivia Baker, class of 2019, is a Second Reader at Polyphony H.S. A self-professed space cadet, a confused human, a hopeless introvert, she’s the personification of the city of Chicago. She puts olive oil on everything, seemingly, and it’s not because it’s name sounds like hers (really, it’s not because of that). Her life revolves around trivial matters– a myriad of television series (like Sherlock or The Office) and her high score in the highly addicting game of Tiny Wings, for instance. And, to the dislike of many people, she lives by the philosophy that “everything happens for a reason.” Because it certainly does…but perhaps she’s biased.

Scout Baker is a student at the Latin School of Chicago. During her free time (if that really exists…) she raids the fridge and watches action movies. She loves spinning around in circles and volunteers teaching acting to small children.

Marleigh Belsley is a proud Chicagoan. She is 16 years old and a member of the Latin School of Chicago’s class of 2019. Aside from being a Second Reader for Polyphony HS, she is the captain of her sailing team and sings in the Chicago Children’s Choir’s top preforming ensemble, the Voice of Chicago. When she is not on the water or performing, she is often found taking photos or daydreaming.

Paakhi Bhatnagar is a Second Reader and a student of Delhi Private School, Sharjah; class of 2018. She is an indulgent reader, writer, blogger, and a self-proclaimed fierce political activist. She is proud to have many of her pieces published in Feminine Collective, as well as her local newspaper, The Gulf News. She also possesses the uncanny ability of turning everything into a debate.

Ned Bless is a member of the Class of 2018 at the Latin School of Chicago. He has lived in Milwaukee, New York City, and Carmel, California before moving to Chicago. While not writing or editing submissions for Polyphony, he is playing tennis as a member of the varsity team, playing guitar, or spending time with his two Golden Retrievers.

Riley Grace Borden, a junior from Whidbey Island, Washington, is overly excited about joining Polyphony this year. Her love and vengeance for ballet is a reliable theme in her writing, as is her terrible habit of sending out rough drafts. Her guilty pleasures include solitude, propagating Sylvia Plath, Ayn Rand, and Native American rights, eating too much ice cream, and letting her mind and possessions wander.

Lily Campbell is a member of the class of 2019 at the Latin School of Chicago. When she isn’t dancing, Lily enjoys hanging out with her dog, watching Grey’s Anatomy, and stalking Andrew Shaw on his various social media accounts. She enjoys photography, trampolines, and funfetti cake. Lily is thrilled to be a part of Polyphony’s editorial staff!

Kavya Chandra is a member of the class of 2017 at Sanskar School in Jaipur, Rajasthan (India). She considers herself a budding poet who absolutely loves people and their idiosyncratic personalities. When she isn’t penning down poetry or obsessing over the details of living, she can be found psychoanalyzing strangers and friends alike. She is currently trying to grapple her way through high school and entertaining the prospect of studying Psychology/Criminology in college.

Allison Chen is a student at Hamilton High, class of 2017. She is currently a First Reader at Polyphony H.S. Aside from writing, she enjoys theatre, dance, speech and debate, music, and traveling the world. She has been published or forthcoming publication in Paha Review, Canvas Literary Journal, Shine: Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2016, Brush Talks Magazine, The Writer’s Slate, Coleridge Bulletin, JUST POETRY!!!, the National Poetry Quarterly, Cargo Literary Magazine, and Burningword Literary Journal.

Yongyu Chen is a senior at Farragut High School in Knoxville, Tennessee. He loves junk food including (but not limited to) Haribo gummy bears, Cheez-Its, and barbecue chips. When not editing for Polyphony, he spends time playing violin and watching soccer. (He is an ardent supporter of Tottenham Hotspur.) Currently, his favorite song is “Elevator Operator” by Courtney Barnett.

Emily Cho is a member of North Shore Country Day School’s Class of 2020. She is a Second Reader at Polyphony H.S. Emily enjoys all forms of art, particularly theatre and writing. As a Korean American, she lives her life between two universes; the crowded streets of Seoul, and the Wilmette, Illinois suburbs where she currently resides.

Isabella Cho is a member of the class of 2020, and is currently a Second Reader for Polyphony H.S. She loves to read and write poetry, and has received five gold keys from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Two of her favorite poems include “Rothko’s Last Meditation” by Bob Hicok and “Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong” by Ocean Vuong. She enjoys Calculus, English, and Latin, and likes to watch Korean television with her family on Saturday nights.

Brianna Chou is a member of the class of 2018 at New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, she is born in the year of the rabbit. Rabbits are symbol of creativity and a sign of noble beauty. When not editing Polyphony submissions from all over the world, she plays the piano at music festivals and enjoys hitting tennis balls with her friends. Her nighttime routine includes FaceTiming with friends indulging ice cream.

Christopher Chu is a member of the Class of 2017 at the Latin School of Chicago. He is the middle child in the family, sibling to former editor Caroline Chu. He enjoys dirty jokes, destroying the sanctity of marriage, doodling on all his classwork and writing. Praise from his teachers include: “I love checking his homework because he always has fun little drawings on it.” –Lia Hoying. “At least you did your work.” – Jonathan Legendre. “I know you’re all bored right now and I can see that Chris is drawing but I’m just going to let him do his thing.” – James Joyce.

Arielle DeVito is a high school senior from Shaker Heights, Ohio, who can often be found lurking in libraries and comic book stores.  She has been published in Navigating the Maze and Dancing with the Pen! She has also been recognized in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and the Johns Hopkins Creative Minds Contest, among others.  In her spare time, she enjoys procrastinating everything and anything, painting self-portraits, sewing ball gowns, using power tools on her school’s robotics team, and baking (usually cupcakes).

Isabella del Hierro is a member of the Latin School of Chicago class of 2019. When she isn’t editing for Polyphony, you will likely find her immersed in a good book, playing volleyball, or browsing various social media sites.  She also loves traveling and spending time with her friends in Chicago.

Katherine Du, a junior, is a literary soul mate to Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austen. When fencing, chess, or original soundtracks fail to occupy her mind, she can be found enmeshed in wonderful Polyphony submissions. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and published by Teen Ink, and she is proud to be a member of Polyphony’s editorial team.

Maggie Eames, a redheaded resident of Andover, MA, is a member of the class of 2019 attending Lawrence Academy in Groton. She has been recognized by and published in a variety of literary journals and contests, and will be attending the New England Young Writers’ Conference in May of 2017. When Maggie is not acting on submissions for Polyphony HS as a Second Reader, she can typically be found reading, sleeping, or attempting to dance (despite her extreme lack of coordination).

Kelly Farley, a member of the Class of 2018 at the Latin School of Chicago, is a Genre Editor for Polyphony H.S.  When not editing, writing, or reading, she spends her (admitted limited) free time practicing, whether that be for volleyball, softball, piano, or math team.  Her talents include detecting which of her two younger sisters is walking down the hallway based on the sound of the footsteps, somehow burning even simple foods like oatmeal, and tumbling into webholes about everything from the power dynamics established by punctuation in emails to the use of game theory in explaining why yeast cells cooperate.

Joseph Felkers is a Genre Editor and a member of the class of 2018 at Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  His poetry appears in decomP, SOFTBLOW and Rust + Moth, among others. He edits for Polyphony, reads for Adroit, and scoops ice cream professionally, for now.

Madison Fernandez is a proud Brooklynite/New Yorker and student at Bard High School Early College in Manhattan. When she was younger, she swore that she would never read and would never attend college… look at her now! Although she holds a black belt in kickboxing, she believes that the pen is mightier than the sword (or fist, in this case). She has been published in Teen Ink, a number of poetry anthologies, and has won keys in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. If you can’t reach her, she’s probably stuck on a train somewhere.

Liana Fu is a student at Barrington High School graduating in 2017. She founded a club called The Writers’ Block, loves reading (nonfiction), and chases pigeons. In addition to Polyphony H.S., she edits prose/poetry for Inklette Magazine, The Blueshift Journal, and Textploit. She also contributes to to Sprout magazine and reports for The Mash, Chicago Tribune’s teen news site.

Richa Gupta is a member of the Class of 2017. She is a high school student from Bangalore, India. Her poetry appears in New Plains Review, Literary Orphans, Yellow Chair Review, Poetry Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her essays and articles have been published by The Huffington Post, Voices of Youth, Youth Ki Awaaz, and Her Culture. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Moledro Magazine.

MacKenzie Guynn is a member of the Latin School of Chicago’s class of 2019. Born in Chicago, MacKenzie has lived in the city with her three sisters her whole life. MacKenzie spends her time rowing, playing with her dog, Logan, and listening to music. She also enjoys watching the hawks and baking delicious treats to enjoy later. MacKenzie is very excited about joining the Polyphony staff!

Kira Horowitz is a senior from central New Jersey. In her spare time, she enjoys reading historical fiction, creating vegan recipes, and playing with her four rescue dogs. She also loves studying art history and watching TED Talks online. She is grateful for all her Polyphony experience has taught her. 

Abraham Joyner-Meyers is a homeschooler from Takoma Park, MD. He is an avid reader, a music lover, and an epee fencer. He loves to fiddle at the local farmer’s market, visit the museums in DC, and shelve books at the town library. He spends his summers playing violin in a string quartet in Virginia and playing frisbee at Duke TIP in North Carolina.

Lily Keiderling is graduating from the Latin School of Chicago in the class of 2018.  When she is not playing soccer, Lily can be found making lists for the all the books she wants to read, Polyphony submissions, and recipes she has yet to do.  Her favorite non-academic activity is experimenting with molecular gastronomy to use science to turn classic recipes inside out.  She hopes to one day open her own bakery/ice cream store/book store.

Lia Kim is a member of Latin School of Chicago’s class of 2018. She loves being an editor for Polyphony H.S. because not only can she help others improve their writing, but by being exposed to such a wide range of submissions, she can also improve her own writing. When she isn’t editing, Lia enjoys practicing piano, eating (she’s a big foodie), hanging out with her friends and spending time outdoors. She is thrilled to be apart of the Polyphony H.S. team!

Rachel Kulik, a member of the class of 2017 from Brooklyn, NY, loves poetry, problem solving, piano pounding, park swings, and anything penguin-related, and would win gold in all-around nerdiness (check out her Self-Study Initiative on FB). She teaches creative writing to younger kids and has been recognized by the Scholastic Writing Awards and Teen Ink. Rachel enjoys unearthing details in writing and in math (call it over-analyzation if you dare) and helping others, and can combine both through her work with Polyphony!

Michael Lai is a member of the Jericho High School Class of 2017. He is an avid writer and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. His writing has also been featured in the Health and Wellness Division of Rosen Publishing. When not writing, he’s an editor for Polyphony H.S., a member of his school’s debate team, and captain of his school’s varsity swim team. During his free time, he indulges in ice cream (cookies and cream) and watches Game of Thrones.

Regina Lankenau is a student at the American School Foundation in Mexico City, Mexico. Though she was born in Monterrey she has lived in Austria, Poland, and Texas. When she’s not reading Kurt Vonnegut, blogging about nondescript things, or struggling to survive under the stress of IB, she’s having adventures with her brothers in new countries and singing Les Miserables from the top of the stairs. Her lifelong dream is to meet Julie Andrews before she dies (she being Julie, not Regina), and write something of significance.

Daniel LeCoque is a student in Chicago belonging to the Class of 2017. Born and raised in the Windy City, he has grown up in his ideal urban environment. Daniel has had a number of accomplishments in his 17 year-old life, yet for the sake of modesty and word count they won’t be included. Daniel owes many of his influences to his favorite musical artists and the late Kurt Vonnegut. On any given day you may see Daniel, but that’s not likely as Chicago’s a big place.

Victoria Lei is a member of the class of 2018 at Brownell-Talbot School (in Omaha, Nebraska, although a lot of people may call it the middle of nowhere). Most of her time is spent practicing forensics or cheerleading. She loves a good rainy day to work on submissions, write pieces for newspaper and yearbook, or to play Chopin. Sometimes she even tries to do all three at once. When all else fails, she turns to George Orwell and a bowl of frozen raspberries to relax.

In the urban depths of the district of Chicago, Lucy Limanowski attends the Latin School. She is a Genre Editor of Polyphony H.S., and active member of Teen Ink. She also is in a band where she is the rhythm guitarist, bassist, and lead singer. Volleyball, running, swimming are her main sports that she loves to participate both in and out of school. In her free time when she isn’t working with Agency Galatea, she loves to draw, paint, or watch Supernatural and Gossip Girl.

Pearl Liu is a Genre Editor and high school senior in Connecticut. When not editing, doing intense and/or creative things with the environmental club, or reciting poems for Poetry Out Loud, she might be found reading, writing, or dancing in hallways, yogurt aisles, or ballet studios.  She also likes pretzels, oranges, and rain.

Marimac McRae, Executive Editor, is from Nashville, Tennessee, and she attends Harpeth Hall. Marimac enjoys running, writing, and listening to anything Beyoncé any time, anywhere. Her writing has been in The Round, Blue Marble Review, Teen Ink, and a RunSmart Blog, and she loves to edit for Polyphony

Lisa Miller spends her time making costumes or designing makeup for her school’s theater productions or fencing épée when she is not editing as First Reader for Polyphony. A member of the class of  2019 at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, this Chicago native listens and loves all genres of music, especially if it is poetic.

Theodora Moldovan is an over-achieving high school sophomore from Satu Mare, Romania. She spends a large portion of her time online, either reading op-eds or watching obscure comedy. Reading for Polyphony H.S. allows her to step out of her comfort zone and read some poetry alongside all those political pieces.

Lindsay Peigh is a member of the class of 2018 at the Latin School of Chicago. When she’s not playing with her dog (which is most of the time), Lindsay enjoys walking through downtown Chicago, traveling the world, and binge watching Friends on Netflix. She is a proud city kid who loves exploring new restaurants, stores, and neighborhoods in her city. This is Lindsay’s third year editing for Polyphony H.S., and she loves being a part of the staff!

Stephanie Racker is a member of the class of 2019 at the Latin School of Chicago. She is an avid equestrian and a huge Chicago Blackhawks fan. In her free time, she enjoys playing classical piano, re-watching Leonardo DiCaprio movies, and reading any good book she can get her hands on. Having had the pleasure of living in Chicago all her life, she also loves to explore the many restaurants the city has to offer. She is honored to be a part of the Polyphony H.S. editing team!

Giancarlo Riccobon, a member of the Class of 2017 at Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School, loves any writing that experiments. He has led his school’s Role-Play Writing club for over three years and, co-writing with his brother, he has met his word-count goal for National Novel Writing Month. He is a feminist and a follower of Pixar movies. When not writing or editing — a rare time indeed — he can be found volunteering at the library or devouring novels (sometimes mentally critiquing them).

Gemma Ryu was born in the great corn-filled state of Illinois but moved to the mountain-filled state of Colorado to pursue her dream of becoming a master ice sculptor. She enjoys long walks on the non-existent beaches of a land-locked state and knits ferociously in her down-time. She’s a gifted napper and cat trainer. She’s a woman of mystery and power, whose power is exceeded only by her mystery. She hears whooshing sounds as deadlines fly by.

Lauren Salzman is a member of the class of 2018 at the Latin School of Chicago. When not reading, writing, or editing the school newspaper, she enjoys hiking, spending time with friends, and playing basketball! She is a proud Genre Editor for PolyphonyHS and can’t wait for this next year with Polyphony.

Grace Scullion lives in Winnetka, Illinois. When not stewing over syntax and extended metaphors, she loves to dance, act, and has recently dabbled in public speaking. Grace enjoys Thai food and cats, although due to her brother’s supposed “allergy” she does not have a feline friend. If she did, however, she would name it Cat Stevens because she has a horrible sense of humor.  

John Schuler graduates in 2017 and is a Genre Editor. Academically, science and english have always peaked his interest. John also enjoys many sports but will never skip an opportunity to play soccer, and if you can’t find him on the soccer field or in class, he is most likely at home rewatching The Office.

Rachna Shah is a senior from Barrington High School, where she leads a club called DECA, a competitive business and marketing organization. When not editing for Polyphony, she can be found writing about the ordinary and peculiar, perfecting her slide sidekicks, and learning more about urban economics. Her favorite writer is Ray Bradbury, whose short stories and books she often re-reads while eating strawberry yogurt and almonds.

Alizia Sheriff was born in London, England, however currently attends International Academy in Michigan. When not drowning in the swamp of work imposed by the IB, she spends time soaking up the classics- immersing herself in the warm and unfamiliar world of stories, supporting her favorite soccer team, working out and, of course, exploring her own writing.

Jessica Sommerville, Director of Executive Editors, is a member of the Class of 2017 at William Mason High School, in Mason, Ohio, where she loses sleep over her school newspaper The Chronicle. She is a Spotify listener, an on-again, off-again runner, and an aspiring world traveler who loathes planes. Polyphony is her favorite magazine.

Lucy Spahr is a member of the class of 2018 at New Trier high School in Winnetka, IL, where she plays on the varsity tennis team and tutors English. When Lucy isn’t editing as a Genre Editor for Polyphony HS, she can be found drinking a chai tea latte while working on a film. Lucy enjoys discovering delicious ethnic meals in nearby Chicago.

Jackson Unikel is a student at the Latin School of Chicago. He loves to write, play guitar, and eat vanilla Oreos (never the chocolate kind). Philanthropist, artist, and a scholar of Quentin Tarantino, he can almost always be found playing video games, watching old movies, staring wistfully out of windows, or perfecting his drawings of penguins.

Joyelle Van Eron is a member of the Class of 2019 at the Latin School of Chicago. She favors warm weather, which is ironic because the city she lives in unfortunately can be extremely cold and windy. She loves acting, playing musical instruments, singing, studying current events and issues, and art. Her favorite sport to play is softball as a shortstop. She’s an expert pancake maker (that’s pretty much all she all she can cook) and loves spending time as a camp counselor at her school over the summer!

Chris Wang is a fun-loving, adventure-seeking high school senior in Fremont, California. An enthusiast of art, food, and travel, he blogs and writes extensively. His writing has been recognized by Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and published in The Best Teen Writing. He has been editing for Polyphony since his sophomore year and is currently a Genre Editor.

Margo Williams is a sophomore at the Latin School of Chicago. She’s in her 6th year of taking Mandarin and plays on the girl’s ice hockey team. She loves public speaking and hates that her feet get cold so easily. Last summer she summited Mt. Shasta in California.

Sidney Wollmuth is technically seventeen years old, but her friends will tell you she’s actually an old lady in disguise. She can be found running abnormally upright, fretting over her millions of unfinished drafts, or standing in the clothing aisle of Target. Her work is forthcoming in The Blue Marble Review, and has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing competition. She is a member of the Class of 2018.

Lillian Yuan is a member of the class of 2017. When she’s not engrossed in an elaborate con book or sappy romance story, she enjoys planning community service activities, channeling her inner Glee through her school’s Show Choir, and making up ridiculous games with her twin sister (fraternal, but no one ever believes them). She is known for laughing so hard until she cries on a daily basis.

Grace Zhou is a Second Reader, a violist, and a junior from Georgia. She loves cheap clothing, rainy weather, and school lunch. She can usually be found staring at her phone, reading books on the Kindle app. In her free time, she watches movies and writes culture articles for ComicVerse.com. One day she’d like to write a screenplay.

Joyce Zhou is a Genre Editor and a member of Neuqua Valley High School’s class of 2018. Her work has been recognized by Scholastic Art & Writing, Princeton University and National Poetry Quarterly, among others. In addition to writing and editing, Joyce is also actively involved with volunteering, badminton, violin, and Science Olympiad.

Lily Zhou (Class of 2018) is from the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently works as a Genre Editor. Her writing has been recognized by the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the Poetry Society of the UK, the National YoungArts Foundation, Gannon University, and Columbia College Chicago, and has been nominated for Best of the Net. Her work appears in Winter Tangerine Review, The Blueshift Journal, SOFTBLOW, and on Verse Daily.



A student-run national literary magazine for high school writers and editors