Leah Kaplunovich tackles heavy course load, ambitious plans


Photo courtesy Wootton Athletics

Junior Leah Kaplunovich prepares to play in a football game.

Every student has busy schedules and packed days, but junior Leah Kaplunovich seems to have it all under control, and is working hard to achieve her ambitious future plans.

A multi-talented multi-tasker, Kaplunovich takes on hobbies and commitments that establish her weekly routine in hopes of providing strong support for her future. She plans on going to college and earning her medical degree to pursue a career in cardiovascular surgery. Not only does she aspire to be a surgeon, but she wants to enlist in the military and be an active duty doctor. Doctors in active war-zones attend to soldiers on both ends of the war, combating Kuplonovich’s recognition of mistreatment in privatized health care facilities. “While eventually I want to help improve the system, I don’t want to contribute to its horrible ethics and discriminatory practices toward many groups. I don’t see myself working in a privatized hospital, so this brought me to the military. One thing I know for sure is that I want to help as many people as possible. Losing a family member or friend overseas must cause unimaginable grief. By helping soldiers out in the field I would not only help them but the family and friends waiting at home,” Kaplunovich said.

Though she is shooting high, it’s s evident she has the tools for success. Kaplunovich is currently enrolled in AP Calculus BC and AP Biology where her science and math skills prevail. She handles her schoolwork while simultaneously helping her peers whenever needed. She tutors math during the weekdays and even on the weekends. Though juggling all her academics is stressful, she maintains a dedicated routine that helps motivate her. “Most importantly I focus on knowing the due dates and getting everything in on time, most of my free time during the week is getting work done. School is my number one priority,” Kaplunovich said.

Along with tutoring and high level academics, she is also on the school football team. Beginning as a freshman, this is her third year on the team and she plans to continue playing through senior year. She joined the team in order to get more involved with the school community and found interest in the sport. “Football is a really big time commitment. Practices are right after school and can last up to four hours. It’s hard having to get home at seven when most people get home at three and still have all the schoolwork to get done,” Kaplunovich said.

The long practices are compensated by the overall team experience. The team is connected in many ways. “We all relate to each other through having to balance football with our other commitments. It’s nice to know we’re all in it together,” Kaplunovich said.
The team bonds through their similarities and through their motivation to perform their best. “During Friday night lights, being in the bleachers is one thing, but being on the field is a whole other feeling. The lows are low but when we win the feeling is incredible, it makes up for all the hardships,” Kaplunovich said.

On top of all of this, Kaplunovich is an ice-skating coach where she uses her past skill to pass on her love for skating. She figure skated competitively from the age of one to 16 for Synchronized Skating and was committed to the sport. She had daily practices before school and dedicated the months of October through April for traveling around America to compete with her team. Though she recently stopped skating competitively, Kaplunovuch hasn’t fully left the ice. “I coach now and donate time as well. I dedicate two hours a week to teach kids with mental disabilities to skate,” Kaplunovich said.

This tremendous commitment had its ups and downs as well, “I began to dislike skating because of the insane commitment, it felt like all I could do was skate, but through doing it less I re-found my love for it and am considering rejoining my team in the future,” Kaplunovich said.

In spite of all of the time management and hard work required to achieve her goals, Kaplunovich continues to persevere and what motivates her most is her idea that, “It’s really important to bring the world together and ensure futures for the people risking their lives.”