The Mustang: News


 New addition builds up students' futures
Image from
Jimmy Corbin
Features Editor
March 19, 2015

  Imagine working for science professors in order to help them with their research, participating in a Shark Tank-like business class where students can conference with real business leaders to see if they would fund their projects or maybe experimenting with a three-story hole in the floor.      

  These opportunities will be available with an addition in the B-wing.   

  By the start of the 2016-2017 school year, a brand new, high-tech, career-oriented addition will be added to the campus of MHS. This plan will add 15 classrooms, seven science labs, one business lab, one Project Lead the Way Lab and one STEM lab.

  Project Lead the Way is the nation's leading provider of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs that help students succeed in a global economy.

  As for what the new addition will bring to school experiences, “flexibility and collaboration are key,” said Dr. Anthony Kroll, principal.

  The new classrooms will stress working together in more group activities, as they have been designed to be adjustable to fit the tasks at hand.   

  Different arrangements can be formed through breakaway walls. Rooms can be enlarged for more collaborative working. Conference rooms will be added near the classrooms where students can work in a quieter, more independent setting. Not only will the classrooms be new, but the equipment inside of them will be, too.

  Science Teacher Jackie Hogan said, “I’m so excited! The new state of the art technology will enable us to try a lot of new things.”

The innovative technology and equipment seems to be a large part of the excitement.

  “I think it will help those who are looking to go into a scientific field of study and give them insight on whether it will be a good fit and an opportunity to experience the new technologies for when they continue onto college,” said Sophomore Gabby Antenore, who is on the Dream Team, a group of students who focus on publicizing all aspects of Mundelein, including the high school.

Students will be able to participate in the career fields of their interest while still being in high school. Some classes will involve mentorships, in which a professional will communicate with the student on a weekly basis about their work.

  “Students have a say in what they’re learning. . . It will make the transition from high school to college easier,” said Hogan.

  Some courses will give students opportunities to participate in tasks not offered until their junior or senior year in college, and because not every high school in the area provides these experiences, students from MHS should be “highly desired by colleges,” said Hogan.

  The addition will break ground this spring when preparation begins in the B-wing courtyard. The first day after spring break will see big machines coming in to start laying the foundation.   

   The B-wing entrance from the parking lot will have to be widened so that the machines and equipment can be brought into the courtyard. The new addition won’t be enclosed with walls until January or February.

  During the construction, plywood or some type of fencing will be placed on the windows to eliminate sound from intruding into nearby classrooms.

  Furthermore, the B-wing beyond the Dean’s Office will have a huge wall in place, so students will have to take a detour to get to the other side.

  All in all, the construction will take two summers (2015 and 2016) and one school year (2015-2016).

  Besides the educational benefits, the construction also will offer a courtyard outside the new addition. The plan is for the courtyard to have a hill where people can sit and tables with umbrellas.  

  Classes can be held outside (during nice weather, of course) in two other empty courtyards. Benches could be set up for students to learn on while enjoying some fresh air.

  As for costs, the state is paying for a third of the project, leaving the school to pay for the rest without taxpayers seeing an increase in taxes to pay for this project.

  Kroll said the community will be proud to see this new addition that will benefit the future citizens of Mundelein.



 Social Studies Department earns award for teaching excellence

Adriana Feijoo
Special Interest Editor
March 20, 2015

   Mundelein’s Social Studies Department recently won the Daughters of Liberty award for being outstanding educators.

   “I chose the MHS Social Studies Department because I have witnessed many great lessons and activities tied to patriotism and education. The DAR [Daughters of the American Revolution] also stressed women's roles in American history and the showing of “Raising Ms. President” went along with that ideal,” said, in an e-mail, Business Teacher Kristen Bartholomew, the chairwoman of the American History Committee in the Chicago Daughters of Liberty Chapter.

   The viewing of the movie “Raising Ms. President” is just one example of how the Social Studies Department is educating the students on real world issues.  The premise of the movie focused on young women learning the basis of politics and how to become community leaders.  Students from Social Studies and Language classes attended the November event held in the school auditorium.

   But MHS social studies teachers are really earning a reputation for revolutionizing the learning process within their classrooms.  

   “Mr. [Neil] McCarthy is always super fun. He uses accents and ties in current events to what we are learning. The PowerPoints he uses have pictures from his real world experiences, and they help make us feel like we are actually there,” said Carter Pacis, freshman.

   Through the use of innovative teaching techniques, the Social Studies Department has been able to grab the attention of students who used to dread studying history.


photo by Ben Szalinski
Social Studies teacher Neil McCarthy blends history with current events in his AP World History class.

 The teachers here genuinely care about teaching the students information that will help them become knowledgeable citizens.  

   “We all have our own personalities and our own classrooms, but we all have the common thread of wanting to show students different viewpoints on topics,” said Michele Bondaies, AP government teacher.

   Some teachers focus on sharing their travel stories to bring history to life while others tell historical anecdotes with specific details to help students remember the material.  Several teachers focus on letting students lead the discussions in class so that the students can discuss the topics they have questions on.

   Said Dean Petros, AP Psychology teacher, “Our department really works hard to make sure we create students that know about their country's history, are politically knowledgeable and work to be productive and engaged citizens.” “The Social Studies teachers made me actually enjoy the subject,” said Michael Ventrella, senior. “Mr. [Andrew] Hirshman is the only reason I know anything about economics and business.”



 MHS Discontinues PE Varsity Courses

Michael del Rosario
News Editor
March 18, 2015

   This winter, as MHS students began the annual course selection process to plan out schedules for the 2015-2016 school year, a major difference was apparent, specifically for student-athletes.

   This difference was that MHS would no longer be offering varsity PE courses for athletes.

   As opposed to regular PE classes where students are instructed to participate in a variety of sports and types of physical training, varsity courses allow athletes to practice and develop skills for their respective sports.

   When the removal of these classes was announced, Junior Ian Cornejo sent an email to MHS administration expressing his sentiments on the topic.

   “I took the PE Varsity Tennis Class in the fall,” Cornejo explained. “The class still gave a positive atmosphere to the sport. It allowed me to practice my skills and reduce the rust that happens [while] out of season.”

   After communicating with MHS administrators, Cornejo said, “They explained the problem [was] with spreading teachers thin and creating too many classes with small rosters,” and removing Varsity PE Courses was a possible solution to this problem.

   Although she is a senior and will not be at MHS next year, softball player Hannah Bulgart does “not agree with [MHS] removing the classes, especially when our season first starts. We need the gym space.”

   She explained that in PE Varsity Softball, the team is guaranteed to be able to use the gym, a rarity since many other winter and spring sports are also in need of the gym space throughout the school day.

   Regarding this change, Bulgart commented, “Gym classes would definitely be bigger,” and “[athletes] would have to participate in regular gym classes, which is obviously good for their health, but it wouldn’t be directly improving their skills in their sport.”

   She also said that she believes “many of the varsity athletes would likely exempt from PE classes” altogether since they have that option while in-season.

   Similarly, Cornejo also said that removing varsity PE courses “will definitely weaken all sports in Mundelein. One of the key reasons the program was great was that it introduced the sport to a lot of people. . . . After the nine weeks of playing it, they gained a greater respect for the sport.”

Another sport that will be affected next year is the MHS Track & Field team.

   Junior Crystal Arroyo, a member of the team, is currently enrolled in PE Varsity Track. 



photo by Stefani Zeiger
Students participate in a Team Sports PE class. This also will no longer be offered in the 2015-2016 curriculum.

She said, “The class is very helpful to get in shape before track season begins and get in extra weight lifting and conditioning once the season has started.”
   When she learned that these classes would be removed, Arroyo expressed that she views the decision as “pretty idiotic to remove something that benefits specific students in their after school activities.”

   She added that the change will cause after school practices to be longer since athletes will no longer have time to practice during the school day.

   “This will impact our after school activities as well due to the fact that many of the students in track need as much time as possible after school to get things done after training,” said Arroyo.

   Alison Finn, Wellness Department chair, explained why the school has made the decision to cut Varsity PE classes from the curriculum.

   “The original intent of varsity PE class was to be a venue for strength and conditioning education,” she said. “Since 2004, Varsity PE does not meet the needs of a Wellness curriculum containing learning objectives, instructional strategies and assessments.”

   Finn clarified that the format of Varsity PE courses serve as a practice session for sports and do not fit the format of other Wellness classes. Therefore, the school can no longer include them in the Wellness curriculum.

   Finn continued to state that the implementation of a strength and conditioning education program “will be able to support all athletic teams by providing individualized training for all students. . . . This eliminates the need for after school practice time to be spent on strength and conditioning.”

   Regarding students’ concerns about larger PE class sizes, Finn also stressed that “wellness classes will have approximately 40 students in them.”

 Students deliberate over world issues at Model UN

Melissa Burgett
Sports Editor
March 19, 2015

   A common stereotype of teens is the generation’s lack of political participation on a national scale, let alone global.

   Contradicting this point, students of MHS’s Model United Nations group travelled to downtown Chicago in early February to attend a conference presented by the University of Chicago.

   For four days, students debated topics surrounding individual committees, such as the International Olympic Committee, the International Agency of Atomic Energy and the International Monetary Fund.

   Mundelein students, the largest delegation in the state of Illinois with 60 representatives, represented the Republic of China, Yemen, Zambia and Equatorial Guinea.

   “It’s amazing; you see 15, 16, 17-year-olds in these unbelievable discussions,” said Stacey Darcy, Social Studies teacher and Model UN adviser. “The skepticism about these kids would blow away every predisposition of teenagers.” 


   The notion of the lack of political awareness in teens can stem from the preceding generations, who sometimes write younger generations off as ignorant and uninformed. 
The University of Chicago’s perception is far different. Beginning on day one, students are treated as 
intelligent adults and prove themselves to be just that with the work they put into creating resolutions for
  issues regarding their committees, often creating possible headway into solving actual world issues.
Darcy noted that while many of these students won’t necessarily go on to lead the nation, the tools gained from this experience will greatly benefit future careers. The ability to intelligently debate, research to find complexity in arguments and the preparedness to compromise are all characteristics that every student has the capability to achieve, yet do not have the stage to present. Model UN is seen by many as a unique opportunity to prove those skills.My own Model UN experience was unique as a member of the Press Corps. Writing three articles a day, I would travel to several committees to report on the progress made by those representatives.


Local church forks out Free Lunch Friday

Adriana Feijoo

Special Interest Editor
March 18, 2015

   Free Lunch Friday, a free lunch service provided for students at the Mundelein Chapel every other Friday of each month, blossomed from the hearts of two men-- the senior pastor and a member of the church.

  “We wanted a way to create a safe environment where students could feel welcomed and loved,” said Thomas McArthur, Senior Pastor at the Mundelein Chapel. The two men pondered over ideas until one stuck.

  The idea spread as students who attended The Chapel began to promote it to their friends.

  “Almost all my friends go, and the food is always delicious,” said Larissa Brown, junior. “The atmosphere is always super chill, and it’s a great place for teenagers to hang out.”

  The number of students, upperclassmen with lunch privileges, increasingly rose as more students began to hear about it. The normal attendance on any given Friday ranges around 80 to 100 students.

 This year marked the fourth year of this tradition. As a celebration on the first Friday, Chick-fil-A  provided a meal of chicken sandwiches and fries for the 325 students who attended.
 Some students are hesitant to attend due to religious pressing, but according to Senior Pastor McArthur, students are in no way pressured to participate in any religious activities. A Bible verse is presented at every lunch, and students are allowed to ask questions if they are curious.
Each Friday a new theme is introduced. 




photo by Adriana Feijoo
MHS Juniors and Seniors attend Free Lunch Friday in February

The themes vary from breakfast to Mexican to hot dogs and hamburgers.
   “It is very relaxed, and they don’t push religion onto any of the students,” said Jordan Ader, junior.

  Free Lunch Friday allows the Mundelein community to come together as one, as it allows the gap between teenagers and adults to be filled. Volunteers from the community help prepare and bless every meal for the students. 
  Senior Pastor McArthur said he has been able to see the Mundelein community grow immensely as students and adults come together in an environment filled with good food and a positive atmosphere.

Bias in the media: DOORS career panel opens the door to journalism as a career
Ashley Wolfe, Stefani Zeiger, Kate Siltman, Melissa Burgett
Editor-in-chief and Editorial Staff
December 19, 2014

 When faced with the question, ‘what do you plan to do after high school?’ many teens have no clear or definite answer. Although quite scary to think about, planning for the future is crucially important.
   For this reason, MHS’s DOORS (Doors of Opportunities Relevant to Students) hosted a Career Panel—a conference-like meeting between students and journalism professionals--to inform students about careers in journalism.
   “Our main goal is for students to see connections between what they are learning in the classroom and what professionals do,” said DOORS member David Greenwood in an e-mail. “We also want to expose students to different career options they may or may not have considered.”
   The Career Panel included appearances from Chicago Tribune reporter Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune
Photo Bureau Chief Stacey Wescott, and DuPage High School Director of Public Relations Danielle Brink. 
   The trio shared their career experiences and offered personal advice about work ethic, handling criticism and finding a job.
   English 2 classes have recently focused on tone and utilizing the author’s word choice to portray a message. This was a main focus in the panel, as each journalist discussed her use of literary devices, such as metaphors and avoiding hyperbole, in the pieces they’ve written.
   “The discussion started with tone and turned into bias,” said English teacher Meredith Teuber. “The brainstorming of the students about what they found most interesting was good; they liked knowing how [the
panelists] came from different pasts.”
   Objectivity was a recurring theme among the topics discussed at the panel. Journalists know the power
they hold in word choice could manipulate how articles come across to readers and have to recognize when personal biases are affecting an article too heavily.
   “The panelists said they need to remain objective, but it’s difficult,” said Teuber.
   Student review was positive for those interested in the subject.
    Jennie Christensen, sophomore, liked “how they related it to any career and not just journalism.”
   She enjoyed the aspect about learning how there is bias everywhere, even outside of the media.
   Christensen has been applying what was learned from this panel to her learning in English, regarding how tone and bias connect.
   Because she enjoyed the panel, Christensen’s advice to further this panel would be to “put it in the auditorium so you can see [the panelists]...and have a bigger audience.”
   Although some may have enjoyed the panel, the panel did not impact every student. Sophomore Steven
Van Belleghem said, “I am a very biased person, and I am not changing how I write. Being biased helps me prove my points [when writing an essay for class].”
   Even though Van Belleghem was not moved by the panel, he did comment that it was a learning experience for him. He noted that he did not realize how difficult it was to not be biased in the news.
   One aspect that Van Belleghem did enjoy was the interaction that Black had with the students. 
   He said, “I found it interesting when [Black] talked about her own journalism experiences.”

Members reveal what’s behind MASC
Jarielys Cepeda
Staff Reporter
December 19, 2014

Many high school students at MHS and even some middle school kids are involved in After School Coalition, but not many people acknowledge what these students are doing for the community, as many have never heard of it or don’t know the club’s mission.  
   “Mundelein After School Coalition is a community organization with a sole purpose of serving the community as best as we can,” said Senior MASC President Judi Gill.
   Club MASC serves the community in a variety of ways.  They raise awareness about selling alcohol to anyone under 21 in liquor stores, participate in Adopt-A-Highway, donate food and materials to less fortunate families, maintain a year round pantry with food, clothes and hygiene products open to those families and participate in Feed My Starving Children to help eliminate hunger on the global scale.
   “Club MASC not only helps the community, but it also helps the club members get leadership experience, community experience. [It also teaches them] how to do acts of kindness,” said Assistant Principal James Ongtengco.
   Members even helped with a dance for middle schoolers at Carl Sandburg Middle School, open to West Oak and Fremont middle schoolers as well, back in October.  
   “The MASC members know they have to be leaders to younger generations,” said Ongtengco. 
   MASC member Ivette Flores, junior, went to the dance as a skeleton with wacky hair and participated in the haunted hallway at the school.
 ¨My experience was great because it was different,” said Flores. “I’ve never done anything like that before. My number one concern was not knowing how to be scary. But, a couple of kids going through were actually scared; it was great seeing their reactions.”
   In the month of November, MASC prepared turkey baskets for less fortunate families and went with Mundelein police officers to deliver the baskets first hand.
   “We also participate in events hosted by Mundelein Police Department and the Mundelein Park District,” said Gill.
   For example, MASC members help make sure the park district’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony runs smoothly, and they also help the police officers host a community spaghetti dinner.   
   “Many people should join MASC because it helps with the community, and it makes you feel good as a person just because you’re helping people and making the community a better place,” said Flores.
   MASC is always looking for members who want to make a difference.  If you are interested in joining MASC or have questions, contact Ongtengco or Gill for more information.
   Gill said, “It's a fun and easy way to make Mundelein the best it can be. It allows students to experience feelings of reward and accomplishment due to their servitude.” 
   MASC members are expected to be responsible individuals willing to contribute their time and effort to the After School Coalition. Additionally, they must live and promote a drug and alcohol free life.  They also must be respectful and kind to their peers while maintaining good grades.
School puts bullying in check with No Bully November
Karlee Busscher
Staff Reporter
November 25, 2014

Bullying exists not only in the halls of a school, but over the web between fellow classmates, and it happens much more than students would imagine. 
   To combat these threats, MHS promotes No Bully November. 
   “As a teacher, I typically hear about bullying than see it. Most of my knowledge about it comes from students,” said Vanessa Prorok, math teacher. “I realize, though, that a good amount of bullying occurs through social media.”
   While the intention to spread awareness about bullying is great in the eyes of many students, others find that the activities most schools do to promote No Bully November are not effective in the prevention of bullying.
   “Some students take to heart what is said and want to make a change, but a majority of the people don't take it seriously,” said Kylie Hecht, junior.
   One step the school has done for no bullying is to make it easier to report incidents of bullying. All students have to do is go onto the school website, click on the link that is on the right sidebar and fill out an electronic form.
    Link Crew also went into freshmen homerooms to 
talk about bullying. The Link Crew leaders discussed different examples of intentional and unintentional bullying.
 But many students felt that the message would have been more effective if the school reached out to more students and got more students involved in the movement.  
   “There shouldn't be any bullying, period, but a good way to get people to pay attention to it and open their eyes to see the problems that are going on is by showing more videos and by having a school-wide assembly,” said Meghan Ehemann, sophomore. 
   And many students have experienced or witnessed bullying first hand.
   One student at MHS, who wished to remain anonymous to prevent further bullying, was bullied about a year ago as a sophomore.  
   It started with a few rumors being spread about her, which didn’t really bother her to begin with. However, the bully continued to spread rumors about her and attempted to turn her friends against her. Eventually, it got out of hand, and the school became involved. 
   “I learned that it doesn't matter what others think or say about me,” she said. “It’s what I think of myself that matters, and the only people that matter are the ones that are going to be there for me.”

November offers a hairy way to raise awareness
Marybeth Stone
Staff Reporter
November 25, 2014

   November, like most months, has been claimed in its own way to combat cancer and raise awareness: No-Shave November and Movember. 
While most people have probably heard of both, it’s likely the significance of either is not entirely understood, even by participants. 
   No-Shave November, according to the movement’s official website, is available to everybody and aims to raise support for cancer. Men and women alike can participate by growing out their body hair in order to strike up a conversation and raise awareness, or just to donate to the cause. 
   The idea of letting one’s hair grow wild and free came from the fact that often times cancer patients have to lose their hair, so those who have the ability to keep theirs should embrace it. If you’d like to donate to this cause, visit, and click donate today.
   Likewise, Movember originated to support men’s health. Growing out a moustache, especially by those who do not keep facial hair regularly, will spark a conversation, raise awareness and prompt people to donate.    Donations to the cause help combat common men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s mental health problems. 
   For this cause, MHS has its own team-- Mustang Nation-- and has already raised over $800. If you’d like to donate to Movember, visit the donation page at this link:
   “A lot of men typically ignore their health situations,” said Anthony Kroll, principal, who is participating in 
   “They don’t always know the ins and outs of their healthcare and maybe it’s just a guy thing, but it’s to bring to light some very common men’s issues; it’s an awareness.”
   Along with Kroll, many male staff members at MHS are participating in Movember. New Superintendent Dr. Kevin Myers; James Ongtengco, Assistant Principal; Steve Castle, Director of Special Education; David Mork, Department Chair of Fine and Applied Arts; David Greenwood, Department Chair of Science; and Jonathan Meier, teacher, are just a handful.
   “Men’s health issues don’t quite get the publicity like other issues. [They] need some attention, too,” said Meier.
   Many participants get involved for the participation, knowledge and awareness that unite a community for a similar cause and find it’s a beneficial way to come together and accomplish, or be a part of, something bigger. 
   “It’s good fun, raises awareness, and it doesn’t hurt anyone who participates, so there’s no reason not to [participate],” said Zachary Levy, junior.
   So, next November, let your competitive nature take hold. Grab a group of friends and have a moustache or hair growing competition, go against fellow teachers, or just do it for yourself. In the long run, it will help a great cause and hopefully create some fun and hilarious memories. 
   And who was winning in the staff competition as of week two in Kroll’s opinion?
   “Joe Plucinski [maintenance]...his [moustache] is the best.”

College Week prepares students for college culture
Alissa Angelo
Staff Reporter
November 25, 2014

College spirit wear, college trivia games, college preparation panels, “Think College” staff t-shirts and college infographic decorations marked the school’s annual College Week held Nov. 17-21.  
   The week was hosted by a college preparatory elective called the AVID program, or the Advancement via Individual Determination.  
   The program’s teachers and tutors help students in AVID prepare for college by teaching them note-taking strategies, by providing some organization tips and also by assisting them with the college selection process.   
   “[The students] are aware of college options,” Kristen Behrens, English and AVID teacher, said. 
   She really stressed how important college is but also added that “not all students should go or are ready for college, but if that’s what they want to do, then [the teachers] should help them with their dream.”
   Students in the program find the strategies learned useful because school can be a struggle for some.
   “School isn’t easy,” said Senior Adriana Santoro, 
who has been in AVID for four years and has learned proper note-taking and organization skills as well as the importance of meeting deadlines.  
   To encourage students to remain interested in their education even if they find it difficult, College Week activities aimed to show the benefits of making it through college.  
   Teachers, who received college certifications made by AVID students, talked with their classes about their college experiences.  Some teachers presented about Study Abroad options during homeroom.   
   “[College Week] is good because students can get a clear idea of how college works and what they can do before college,” said RaeQwan Lucas, junior.
   And Lucas’s quote sums up the purpose of AVID and why College Week is necessary for many.
   “[College Week] is to show students the importance of college and college culture,” said Behrens.   
   Ultimately, though, the AVID students realize that their education is on them and that the teachers and tutors can only do so much. 
   AVID Senior Bianca Herrera said, “It’s up to you to go on to have a better education.”

MHS Black Friday, Cyber Monday shoppers strategize for deals
Alex Loding  
Staff Reporter
November 25, 2014 

 What is better than running around and shopping on a full stomach? 
   For many, absolutely nothing.  
   That’s why 226 million people last year, after filling up on turkey and stuffing, went out shopping to buy Christmas presents for their families on Black Friday; several MHS students were no exception.  
   “People shop on Black Friday because everything is cheap and on-sale,” said Sophomore Sheridan Hurtig, a regular Black Friday shopper.
   According to multiple sources, shoppers in total spent around $11 billion last year alone, all for the biggest and best deals that kick off the holiday season.   
   Department stores, like Target and Walmart, offer huge savings, so shoppers can save anywhere from 25percent to almost 75 percent. 
   Deals like these bring in huge crowds, each person with a particular strategy to make the most of the day. 
   “On Black Friday, I usually shop at Target, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods and tons of other outlet stores. They usually have great deals,” said Dominic Foreman, sophomore.
   Other students pick stores, not based on name, but rather on access.
   “I find the least crowded stores first, before going to other popular stores,” said Hurtig. 
   Some students shop for specific products.     
   “On Black Friday, I tend to buy tons of electronics, such as an Xbox and a new computer,” said Alex Yonan, sophomore and regular shopper.
   During the shopping season, many stores unveil new products, particularly technology-based ones. The new 
Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have headlined Black Friday the past couple years.
   These much-anticipated products draw lines of customers miles long.  Some customers even wait all night outside for the stores to open.  Because of the long waits and limited products, some shoppers create mayhem.
   “I once saw two men furiously arguing over a 60-inch HDTV which ended in one man storming away. It was funny to watch,” said Foreman.
   While Black Friday can create chaos, others use Black Friday as a time to focus on families.
   “I shop for my grandparents and aunts and uncles. I want to get them something they will love,” said Foreman.
   Many students also go shopping with their families and strategize with them before the event.    
   “My family makes a list of presents to buy, runs into the store, shops quickly and then meets up at an assigned spot,” said Foreman. 
   Despite the previous years of having millions of shoppers, predicts that only 28 percent of shoppers will do in-store shopping on Black Friday. That is a 72 percent decrease from previous years.
   This drop could be because of Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday when shoppers are encouraged to search online for the presents.  More deals are offered, then, too.
   “I prefer to shop on Cyber Monday because shopping online is much easier,” said Yonan. 
   Multiple sources reported that people spent about $2.29 billion online during Cyber Monday, and according to, Cyber Monday is supposed to have a 55 percent increase from last year.

NFLC teaches lessons out of school, out of state
Hannah Koehler
Staff Reporter
November 25, 2014

One of the biggest events of the year for all FBLA members is NFLC, otherwise known as the National Fall Leadership Conference. 
   Each year, schools from all over the country travel and take part in various business conferences, workshops, and motivational speaker sessions. This year the conference took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from Nov. 13-16. 
   Upon arriving on Thursday, we all went to the Mall of America for dinner and shopping.
   “My favorite part was visiting the Mall of America. I’ve been there once, but my family only went there for dinner, so this time I actually got to go shopping and see more,” said Kathryn Bauer, junior. 
   The conference sessions took place on Friday and Saturday of that week. 
   All students were expected to wear proper business attire and remain professional at all times during these workshops. 
   “It’s important to learn about the fast-paced nature of the business world and learn how to differentiate yourself from being average,” said Lauren Ewing, senior. 
   There were a variety of workshops to choose to attend, ranging from networking, entrepreneurship, motivation and college tips. 
   “I took a lot about interacting with others in a business session, and those were very valuable because they taught me things such as how to get over nervousness and improve public speaking skills,” said Erin Hoffman, senior. 
   Even if you’re not interested in a future in business, many found they could get something useful out of the conference.
   For example, Bauer said that she attended a few workshops about college and that it was extremely helpful because it helped her eliminate some of her fears about the future.
   NFLC also includes a general opening and closing session for all members in attendance.
   At these sessions, the national FBLA officers speak as well as a keynote speaker. 
   The speaker, Josh Shipp, whose official website has the tagline of “Helping adults understand teens and teens understand themselves,” gave an encouraging speech about not letting problems and obstacles in life hold a person back. 
   “The highlight of this year’s trip was the opening session with Josh Shipp. He provided an inspiring message with a great deal of humor,” said Amy Amber, one of the FBLA advisers. 
   At the closing session, the MHS chapter was awarded with having the largest number of students in attendance for the third year in a row with 143 members present.
   It’s a place where FBLA members have the opportunity to meet “like-minded students who take learning about business seriously,” said Hoffman. 
   From all of the workshops, attendants were able to learn skills and tips to apply to the future competitions while meeting new students they wouldn’t normally meet in a school setting. 
   “It was good for students to take a break from the classroom and hear from business professionals about what it is to be a leader in today’s world,” said FBLA Adviser Chris Hoster. “Sometimes I think those things can be missed in a typical day at school.”
   And outside the classroom, lessons were learned.  
   Hoffman said, “I learned that if you set your mind to something, you can always achieve it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Gettin’ the funds: Student, staff views on fundraising
Ashley Wolfe
November 25, 2014

 As the year progresses and a desire for various parties and activities develops or a need for new equipment arises, many clubs and sports look to fundraisers to cover the costs. From pastry dough to chocolate bars, MHS has no shortage of fundraising projects.
  “It’s not mandatory,” said Assistant Principal’s Secretary Amanda Parola. “[Every club doesn’t] have to, [but] they all can.”
  A few of the clubs/organizations that fundraise include Band, Winter Guard, Black Student Union, and Best Buddies. There are plenty of others, of course, and their fundraisers vary widely.
  According to Parola, what makes a fundraiser most effective isn’t entirely the product sold or the amount of meals offered to hungry guests, but rather the quality of the advertising.
  “They have to get the word out to the community,” she said.
  Others, like Junior Steven Surmin, believe there are other factors that make a fundraiser effective. A band student himself, he has participated in various fundraisers and knows firsthand what it’s like. 
   “When I see someone fundraising, I try to contribute, and I think a lot of people do that,” he said, explaining that the feeling of raising funds for an important cause is well known and therefore 
encourages many to help out by purchasing products.
  Freshman Girls’ Basketball Coach Stephen Douglas displayed a different point of view on how effective fundraisers are. 
  “They help parents more than students,” he said. “Because the more we fundraise, the less parents have to pay for things like equipment or shoes.”
   While he does believe the benefits of fundraising fall more heavily on parents, he did agree that students benefit from them, too, by saying, “[It] helps students socially [by encouraging them to] interact with students and in the community.”
  While everyone can agree on the potency of MHS fundraisers, one thing that seems to spark varying opinions is personal experiences.
  Gabby Potillo, junior, admitted there was nothing specifically she liked or enjoyed about the physical aspect of fundraising.
   “Actually going door to door and selling [items] to people [is most challenging],” she said. “You have to find the time and the courage [for that].” 
  Potillo isn’t the only one with this opinion. Freshman Laura Bauman said that one of the most difficult parts is “trying to sell [items] to people and having them buy it.”
  However, she also had a few good things to say about this charitable act.
  “It’s a good way to participate in the community.”


MHS theater hosts world wide high school premiere Of "Trust"

Katelyn Siltman
Features Editor
November 14, 2014

   Cell phones and computers have become an everyday use for communication. New forms of social media surface frequently where strangers can chat with each other, but is that person on the other side of the screen being honest about his or her identity?

   To address this question, MHS is hosting the World High School premiere of the play “Trust” on Nov. 13-15.

   “Trust” was  written by David Schwimmer, known for his role on the TV show “Friends,” and Andy Bellin.  “Trust” tells the story of a 14- year- old girl who befriends what she thinks is a 16- year -old boy on the internet, but he turns out to be a 35- year- old man manipulating her into a sexual relationship.

   “Trust” has only been performed once before by Chicago’s Lookingglass Theater in 2010.

    “The main reason [I chose “Trust”] is because it’s an important story for the students,” said Jonathan Meier, the Director of Theater at MHS.

   He added that this is a “cautionary tale,” and the students and community need to realize the dangers and the guidelines on the internet.

   What makes this performance different than the first one in Chicago is that Schwimmer rewrote the ending of the play and included three new characters to the cast.

   Meier also said, “The sensitivity [of the play] is the challenge. The cast and I are being mindful of that, and we plan on making it into a massive educational  opportunity.” 

   MHS is working with organizations, such as the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Mundelein Police Department and the Community Youth Network, to help with the production of the play, whether people from these organizations have met with the cast to assist them in their performance preparations or by being at each show to give a short presentation regarding the material in the play.

   "The purpose of creating “Trust” was to generate awareness and inspire conversation among students and their peers, parents and educators,” said Schwimmer in an MHS press release.  “I couldn't be happier that MHS, under the direction of Jonathan Meier, is bringing this play to the community with such commitment and passion."

   Sophomore Thomas Ferro, an actor in “Trust,” said that being a part of this production has been a learning experience for him.   

   “It’s an interesting concept...I never really thought about it,” he said. “The concept is important...and everyone should attend because of the learning experience they will have.”

   He also quoted Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center, a group that has been meeting with the cast, by adding, “Rape is a silent epidemic.”

   Junior Marissa Nuzzo, the Assistant Director of “Trust,” said, “‘Trust’ is tasteful, educational and necessary. It makes sense, and it is easy to understand. It has an empowering message that you cannot find elsewhere.” 


 Mundelein welcomes new superintendent
Katelyn Siltman
Features Editor
October 2, 2014
Kevin Myers, new superintendent of MHS, welcomes students and staff at the Back to School Assembly.
Photo by Natalie Stuckslager 
  This year MHS added another new member onto the staff list-- Dr. Kevin Myers as superintendent.
  Before becoming a superintendent, Myers worked through previous positions as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and director. He also continued his education by earning his masters and doctorate degrees, which led to his superintendent license.
   “[It’s] one of those situations where you keep wanting to make a greater impact on the students we serve,” said Myers, as he began to describe why he wanted to be a superintendent.
  With this position, Myers said he has to be a “cheerleader for the school district” and “make decisions for the greater good.”
   He also oversees all the branches of the school district and works with universities, feeder schools, the community and politicians.
  “[My job] is to also make sure [MHS] is putting everyone in a position to be successful,” said Myers.  
  Because of the wide range of electives, numerous AP courses and the diverse community that MHS services, Myers believes that MHS is the best place to prepare students for the real world.
  “Dr. Myers strength is reaching out to the community… He’s been able to promote our student body to the community and show how talented the students are,” said Anthony Kroll, principal.
  Being a superintendent not only involves working with multiple people but also having the right qualities to work in this position.
  Myers said that superintendents have to be good communicators and listeners. They also would have to be level headed and not “take things too seriously.”
  “[Myers] has helped create a very comfortable environment where there is good work getting done and the people enjoy working together to get it done,” said Kroll.

    Before working at MHS, Myers has worked with six schools and four districts. 
 “MHS has a little bit of every school I’ve worked with,” said Myers,
“which is what makes it appealing."
  What sticks out the most about MHS to him, though, is the diversity and how it has embraced a staff that is eager to work with students.
 Myers said his favorite part of his job is interacting with the students and staff on a day-to-day basis. He enjoys when he gets invited into classes and to be involved in a classroom setting.
   Being with the students helps Myers better represent the school when he works with the politicians and the community.  It allows him to better communicate what is best for the school.
  Myers could not just pick one favorite thing he has about MHS. He enjoyed the welcoming from everyone, which included the staff, students and the community. He also enjoys how it is just simply a “fun environment.”
  “I want students to make the most of everyday they are here, academically and socially...For the staff, I want them to give everything they have to make an impact on the students,” he said.
 Myers said that the advice he would give the students is to get involved. MHS provides many after and in school activities for the students to participate in, which is another aspect Myers favors about MHS.
 The start of this school year was one thing that Myers was most excited for and the student body did not let him down. Myers looks forward to the upcoming events throughout the school year and to see Red Rage in action.
  He said, “Let’s keep the great start going forward!”


The Princess Project makes a difference

Hannah Koehler
Staff Reporter
October 2, 2014

   As homecoming season approached, many MHS students were busy finding dates, making arrangements and voting for the court. However, the junior class Student Leadership was hard at work organizing the Princess Project to help girls find the perfect dress for the dance.

   The Princess Project is a national non-profit organization that began in February of 2002 when a girl from San Francisco needed a prom dress and could not afford one.

   According to the official Princess Project web site, the organization has helped over 20,000 teens find free prom dresses since it began.

   At MHS, the dresses are free, but there is a suggested donation of $5 to $10.

   “Not everyone is able to afford a new dress for every season and dance, so it provides the opportunity to find new dresses in style for each dance,” explained Alexandrea Guiritan, junior class secretary.

   Not only was MHS involved in the Princess Project for prom of the 2013-2014 school year, but they also expanded the project to the 2014 homecoming dance.
   “We decided to get involved because it’s a great way to help MHS students who don’t have time  

or can’t spend a lot of money on dresses for a dance,” said Daniella Feijoo, senior and school-wide president. “We offer certain days after school where they can pick out a dress that has been donated by their fellow peers.” 
   This is the third year that MHS has participated in the Princess Project. According to Feijoo, the junior class began collecting dresses at the beginning of last March, and the amount of dresses that have been donated has reached over 120 since then.  Approximately 40 girls have picked up dresses to wear.

   “The project has been really successful in receiving dresses, and we’ve been able to give dresses to a lot of girls; however, we’re looking to get even more out this year by extending the project to homecoming and turnabout rather than just prom,” explained Kylie Hecht, junior class president.

   Hecht added that going to see all of the donated dresses and the variety of styles can help raise more awareness about this project.

   This year, Student Leadership organized a mini fashion show during an assembly to show off a few types of dresses that were available.

   Feijoo also explained, “It’s important to get involved in these types of community service projects because a lot of times we reach out to the community as a whole, but this is specifically targeting teenagers in the area at Mundelein High School.”


Back to School Bash boosts school spirit
Kroll gets dunked
Principal Anthony Kroll finishes up the Back to School Bash soaked after being dunked in the dunk tank.
photo by Marybeth Stone


Marybeth Stone

Staff Reporter

October 2, 2014

   The start of a new school year is often met with the unhappy groans of high school students everywhere. But this year, MHS took a new standpoint on it. Student Leadership threw the first annual Back to School Bash-- a party of sorts, with food, games and other fun activities-- for students to come get pumped for the 2014-2015 school year.

   “I thought [MHS students] did a great job showing spirit and were lively and vibrant at the bash,” said Paul Anderson, social studies teacher and Student Leadership senior class sponsor.

   Such good attitudes were not fully expected considering the Bash was thrown on Aug. 22, roughly a week and a half after the first day of school.

   Students were still mourning the end of summer vacation, but the Bash made it apparent that the excitement to be back had mounted.

   Starting at 7 p.m., the event lasted a total of three hours, and in that time, roughly 250 students from various grades showed up to kick off the year.

   “The food encouraged me to go,” said Junior Ryan Jones.

   On that night tables lined the North parking lot full of delicious junk food that could only be fully appreciated by people in their teenage years. Cookies, potato chips, candy, soda and pizza were dutifully consumed by the MHS students.

   “The best part was watching Max and Noah’s band [Redstone] play because I love jammin’ out to some good music,” said Senior Marissa Martin.

   During the Back to School Bash, attendees were treated to live music by Redstone- a band of MHS students who rocked out the night. MHS seniors Noah Ballek, Max Wiecek, Shane Krummick,  

Meggy Huynh and Jefferson Davis offered up their tunes for anyone who was willing to listen, and the crowd that surrounded them seemed to approve.   
   Besides listening to music or eating food, students had a variety of things to do, including the jousting arena, the blow-up obstacle course, the dunk tank, or just plain socializing.

   “[My favorite thing was] the dunk tank because it was the only chance we got to dunk the teachers all year,” said Jones.

   A grand total of about eight teachers-- plus one class president-- were dunked during the Bash.

   Students stood in a line sometimes twenty or thirty deep to get the chance at throwing a baseball-sized yellow ball at the target in hopes of sending their victim crashing into the water.

   “On the one hand [getting dunked was] humiliating and cold, on the other...awesome,” said Anderson.

   Student Leadership worked alongside teacher Randy Lerner to make the whole night happen.

   “We know the student body coming back to school is really excited. We just wanted to create another event to get kids excited about being back at Mundelein,” said Lerner, Co-Lead Sponsor for Student Leadership.

   And excited they were. Students were all smiles throughout the bash and seemed to be genuinely having a great time. Since the annual red and gray scrimmage, where the JV football team plays varsity and the freshmen team plays the sophomore team, was scheduled for the same night, students had the ability to switch between both events.

   Student Leadership hopes to bring the Bash back next year with the similar teaming-up with the scrimmage.

   Lerner said, “We [Student Leadership] weren’t sure what we were getting into. Now we can brainstorm ways to make it bigger and better.” 

 Mundelein hosts Fourth Annual Fine Arts Festival

Jarielys Cepeda
Staff Reporter
October 2, 2014

On Sept. 6 and 7 at Kracklauer Park, next to Santa Maria Church, was the Fourth Annual Mundelein Fine Arts Festival.  

   This event, put together by volunteers, showed off the artistic talents of Mundelein community members.

   It included work from all ages and from different mediums, which drew a diverse group of people.  

   “I was amazed by seeing the different types of arts being used. I saw plenty and different versions of wooden art, painted art, geometry art, computer art and jewelry art,” Michelle Becerra, junior, said.

   It was Becerra’s first time going to the festival, so she expected just regular art; she wasn’t expecting all the creative ideas and uses of the various art mediums.

   “I enjoyed seeing the different art.  I am an 

  artist myself, and I loved viewing the different ideas that I could try and incorporate into my own drawing book,” Becerra said.   

   The art submitted by the high school participants were chosen by teachers from MHS and Carmel High School. Teachers targeted students who are considering an art major in college because of the types of prizes available.
   While judges awarded prizes for various reasons, two $500 scholarships were available.  

Megan Murphy, junior, showcases her artwork and represents MHS at this year's festival.
Photo by Jarielys Cepeda

   No one from MHS won this year, but MHS did have artists representing the school.    

   Megan Murphy, junior, was a first-time participant who displayed her dog portrait at the festival.
   “I was excited knowing that my art would be in the art show, and I was excited to see the creativity of other artists,” she said.

   To draw more people to the event, the festival also offered live music and food from locally-known restaurants, such as Luke’s.

   “I would be more than glad to return to the festival next summer because it was a great time to spend with my friends,” Becerra said. “If I had to rate this event, I would give it an 8 out of 10 because it was an interesting event, and I enjoyed seeing the creativity of other people.”

New renovations make life more convenient for students, staff

Natale Fiocchi
Staff Reporter
October 2, 2014

   This past summer MHS stepped up its appearance by adding a few new changes throughout the school.

   Downstairs in the D wing hallway there are two new sets of bathrooms. The bathrooms are similar to the other ones around the school. They have brand new stalls and hand dryers that work compared to the ones before that did not.

  “They’re very elegant,” said health teacher David ‘Whitty’ Whitson. “For a school bathroom, it’s a Taj Majal.”

   Before the new renovations, there were no bathrooms downstairs, so it’s especially more convenient for staff and students in the D wing to have two sets of bathrooms.

   “More people are able to use the bathrooms now,” said Whitty.  “Before I had to walk to the bathrooms by the band hall, all the way from downstairs.”

   Bathrooms often serve as an important place for people’s everyday lives.  It can be a place where teachers and students get a break from their day.

   “The new bathrooms are great; I’m just upset there aren't any whiteboards in the stalls,” said Whitty. “That’s where coaches come up with their best plays and ideas.”

   Besides the bathrooms, there are also a couple of new water fountains throughout the school. These are not just any water fountains, though; they are meant to be new and innovative for the benefit of staff and students.

   “Having these water fountains makes it way easier during my soccer practices,” said Junior Yann Nsoga. He also mentioned that “you can just chill with friends while at the same time filling up your water.”

   The water fountains allow students and staff to place their water bottles under a dispenser for hands-free fill up.

   “I love them!” exclaimed social studies teacher Susan Theotokatos. “I carry water to all my classes, and now I can do that while helping the environment!”

   Because of these new fountains, teachers like Theotokatos and students find it more convenient to carry reusable water bottles rather than the plastic ones that can be bad for the environment.

   Many have found that the bathroom and fountain additions have helped them in their everyday lives while also improving the building’s appearance.

   Whitty said, “These really give a great impression of the school.”

English Department sparks new discussion among students

To end the book talk, Junior Brett Stuprich completes his self-evaluation, which includes grading himself on his overall presentation of his summer reading.
Photo by Dalyne Yanez

   While some students tend to shy away from class activities involving group discussion, much of the 
feedback centered on the positives of this type of group interaction.      
 “[I like it because] I get to practice sharing information,” said Andrey Shor, freshman.

     The idea of sharing information and working with a new group of people weren’t the only satisfying aspects.
   “I like the idea of grading ourselves,” Senior Cage Murawski said.
   According to Diane Covert, English Department Chair, and Melissa Sethna, MHS Literacy Specialist, students were given a rubric which they used to evaluate themselves. The rubrics gave a list of specific details that the students were expected to share about their books.
Following their discussion, students wrote a reflection where they explained why they deserved the grade they gave themselves.

     In the end, the book talks were meant to be beneficial to the students.

     “Actually, I learned something about a possible novel to read in the future,” said Senior Shane Krummick.

     Along with Krummick, others like Junior Sylwia Skutnik saw benefits in the department-wide discussions.

     She praised the book talks, saying, “I think this activity really helps students become interested in a lot of different books.”
      Staff members had positive things to say as well.

     “The teachers thought it was a success,” said Sethna. “Overall, I think [they] were very happy about it.”

     Because of the success, both Sethna and Covert agreed that the book talks will continue in the future.

     “It gave students an opportunity to talk about books the way we do in the real world,” Covert said. “It gave them a real world experience with books.”

Ashley Wolfe
September 30, 2014


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
Dr. Seuss,

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

     To begin the year, MHS English classes reserved an entire day to engage in book talks as a way to share and analyze books read by students over the summer. All grades participated, creating diverse and varied discussion groups. According to a few students, these diverse groupings were definitely something they liked.

      “I like how [those in charge of organizing the book talks] mix it up with different grades and classes so [that] many ideas are present,” said Junior Max Vidales.

      In addition, the combination of students from different grades provided an opportunity for some to collaborate with those outside of their normal social circle.

     “I usually don’t interact with upperclassmen or lowerclassmen,” Sophomore Payton Cousins said, explaining that this experience allowed her to meet new people and not just those in her grade.

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