Senior Spotlight: Yana Krutnyk


Yana Krutnyk, Class of 2023

By Rabia Chatriwala, Staff Writer

Senior Yana Krutnyk began her life in Ukraine until her family immigrated to the United States when she was two years old. As a Ukrainian immigrant, Krutnyk’s identity has shaped her and the kind of student she is. After moving to the United States, Krutnyk had to learn English while also trying to communicate with her peers.

“Being an immigrant also created this sense of compassion within me, as I understood what many kids had to go through when moving to a new country,” Krutnyk said.

For Krutnyk, being involved in school comes easily. Krutnyk is a cross-country runner, a literacy center tutor, a National Honors Society (NHS) member, the Spanish Honors Society vice president, a homeroom mentor leader and a part of Family Career and Community Leaders of America. With this said, there is no doubt that Krutnyk is a leader here at Niles West. 

As all high school students know, freshman year is difficult and involves a lot of adjusting, but Krutnyk has done so much to help ease students through the difficult middle school to high school transitioning period. As a homeroom mentor leader, Krutnyk has created various activities for freshmen to complete during homeroom, while also serving as a support system for them.

“I try to make everyone feel accepted and welcome, and act as a resource for students,” Krutnyk said. 

Krutnyk also has made an impact as a tutor in the Lit Center. Krutnyk has been a tutor since her sophomore year and has continued to help students in the Lit Center. 

“Yana brings so much to the Lit Center, from her positive energy to her constant willingness to help. As a tutor, she is both welcoming and supportive. We are truly lucky to have her in the Lit Center this year,” Literacy Center Assistant Reine Hanna said.

Not only does Krutnyk excel in her extracurriculars, but she is an outstanding student.

“Yana is an outstanding member of the Niles West community inside and outside of the classroom. Academically, she challenges herself with rigorous coursework, always trying to expand her knowledge and become a better student. Yana is always asking questions and participating in class with her peers and teachers,” senior Aryanna Wooley said.

Adding on to this, Krutnyk never fails to show her leadership skills. “One thing I’ve noticed about Yana is that through her in-class participation she’s become a leader, facilitating class discussions, guiding classmates through group projects and making connections with the people around her,” Wooley said. 

In her free time, Krutnyk can be found reading, spending time with her friends and family, volunteering, and working as a party coordinator for young children.

“I mainly want to work with children, possibly even in the education setting. I also hope to minor in Spanish to be able to expand my knowledge and continue studying it from high school as I find the language very interesting,” Krutnyk said. 

As for her post-high school plans, Krutnyk plans to study communicable sciences and disorders or speech-language and hearing sciences, in hopes of becoming a speech pathologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.