John Hersey High School

1900 East Thomas Street

Arlington Heights, IL 60004

© 2018 by The Dispatch. All rights reserved.


The Hate U Give Sparks Emotional Debate
by: Amelia Zollner

Everybody hears about police brutality and racial profiling everywhere: on the news, on social media, and in debate-driven conversations, yet, for most people, it’s still difficult to connect with incidents of racial profiling. Many people without personal ties to racial profiling don’t truly understand the psychological impact it can have, likely because most news stories regarding the issue focus on statistics rather than emotional stories. Yet the issue of racial profiling is more relevant now than ever due to the growing Black Lives Matter movement, and that’s why The Hate U Give, the new movie based on Angie Thomas’ bestselling novel, is perfect. Instead of briefly glossing over an incident of police brutality, The Hate U Give breaks it down, taking a more personal standpoint and focusing on the effect it has on one person, which allows viewers to experience every raw emotion that the main character Starr experiences.


The film opens with one of its most powerful scenes when Maverick, Starr’s father, gives his three young kids comprehensive instructions on what to do if they’re ever pulled over by a cop. Complying to these guidelines isn’t the only thing Starr has to do to live a relatively normal life, though. Through carefully worded dialogue revolving around white privilege, viewers realize that Starr is essentially stuck between two worlds; the high-crime, predominantly black neighborhood of Garden Heights and the private school her parents sent her to in an effort to provide her with shelter from the gang violence in her hometown, Williamson Prep.


Starr’s two lives are brought together when she witnesses her best friend Khalil’s tragic shooting after a cop racially profiles him and mistakes a hairbrush he’s holding for a gun. All while coping with her loss, Starr has to decide if she wants to risk her life to earn Khalil the justice that he deserves.


At times, The Hate U Give felt more like a horror movie than a drama. Over the span of a few days, Starr endures more pain than most people will ever go through in their entire lives. But although watching the plot unfold on the screen is terrifying, it’s even more disturbing that this happens in real life. The Hate U Give is incredibly harrowing and packed with passion for this reason, and the message it pushes shouldn’t be ignored.


50th Anniversary Homecoming Open House
by: Claire Dwyer

At the 50th Homecoming open house, alumni and staff got the opportunity to reminisce on the past fifty years of Hersey and their high school memories. The alumni open house, held in the East Gym, had yearbooks, newspaper articles, and memorabilia for alumni, staff, students, and family and friends to look back on and see the changes from the past fifty years.


Alumni also got the chance to tour the building and interact with current staff and students.


“It was really cool seeing so many people that used to go to Hersey. I met a bunch of people who graduated in the 1970s,” junior Erin Rodriguez said. “Also, I was standing by the East Gym, and this part of the school is fairly new, so it was cool to see everyone’s reactions. They were all especially amazed at our weight room.”


“This [small gym] was all outdoor space. The band was exactly the same, it was so funny and so was the theater and the Home Ec. room were the same. We used to call it the little theater but I don’t know why,” alumna Lynn Ekblad Sotlar (‘70) said.


Alumni shared memories of their favorite teachers, classes, and activities from their high school years. “The band was just the best thing in my whole life here. It totally changed my life. Mr. Caneva [the first band director] was a life changer and I think everyone in band would say that,” Sotlar said.


As alumni discussed their favorite teachers and classes, the lasting positive impact in their lives from these teachers became apparent.


“I was an associate news editor of The Correspondent, I was on it for two to three years it was a great time and it helped my writing skills helped me immensely. My time on The Correspondent taught me to think like a writer,” alumnus Bill Regan (‘72) said. “Mr. Wilferd [The Correspondent’s first adviser] made us think of five ideas of news stories every week. We were trained to constantly think of ideas to write about, and it really stimulated our creative thinking, which helped so much for my future career in the corporate world.”


Former teachers also got a chance to explore the school and talk to former students. Former French teacher Suzanne Sharer shared her memories from her first year teaching, “I was here on opening day because it was my student teaching year. It was actually the very first day the school opened. NIU sent me here because I was student teaching that year. I started student teaching at Hersey in the spring, and i was hired the for the following school year in September,” Sharer said.


Sharer taught from 1968 to 2002.


The 50th anniversary was a celebration of Hersey’s unique culture and the students and staff that have shaped it over the years.

To see footage of this event, click here.  Video by Hannah Grawe


Essay Palooza Opportunities
by: Marie Bechtoldt

As students fill out college applications, an important factor is the task of sharing their voice and allowing colleges to get a grasp of the students lives and experiences in a deeper way through the college essay. Whether a student has to write 2 essays or 20, many find it beneficial to get help from an adult or teacher to review the essay before hitting submit.


Essay Palooza is an activity offered to seniors in the fall prior to application deadline to get assistance in the editing process of the essay by a teacher. “This is our third year doing Essay Palooza and it came about because of the high need of students wanting their college essays checked,” Dr. Grow said. This unique opportunity is specific to Hersey as many other high schools do not offer help in this way. “I wanted this to be a schoolwide opportunity to help kids. Many other schools don’t look at or touch college essays because the student is applying to college,” Grow said.


Although applying to college and jobs is an independent responsibility to the student, skills given to students throughout high school are meant to prepare students for the future after high school.


Essay palooza is an extra thing to give students more confidence in the skills they already have. “We want essay palooza to cater to the kids that are applying to college so that those kids can attend that day”, Grow states.


It gives many seniors the ability to get different insight and angles on their writing that can help improve the final product. “I was given good tips on how to focus on my academic strengths while also recognizing my weaknesses”, senior Ashley DaSilva said.


Specific days set aside for teachers to help students gives students different benefits whether it being working through ideas or things as simple as grammar and spelling mistakes that otherwise are hard to catch in one’s own work. “Getting a teacher to read it over helped me a lot because I could read over my work a hundred times and still not catch some mistakes. It was really nice to have it reviewed as a final step to the process,” DaSilva said.


The combination of skills worked on in english class and additional help through Essay Palooza offers students an edge to use their voice to share about themselves through the college essay in a way that will be beneficial to not only their application but life in the future. “We focus on skill building and do a lot of stuff behind the scenes to adhere to these things,” Grow said.


Sleep Helps Memory
by: Trey Schmidt

Sleeping is a huge factor in performing well in activities during school and in academics. Getting the right amount of sleep means going to bed early. No watching late night shows on Netflix or studying late. These late night activities keep your brain active and running late but really you need to put away the activities and go to sleep. This is the best plan to get healthy rest and to prepare for the next day. Ideally, the goal for hours of sleep per night is 8-9 hours of sleep. That means going to bed early and getting those 8 hours of rest for your body to recover from the day,  it makes day to day activities will be smoother. Waking up in the morning the body is recharged and ready to start another day either starting off going to school or practice. This helps improve your lifestyle and every day activities. Sleeping also feels good. Waking up fully recharged or somewhat refreshed makes a day go smoothly. Another reason why sleeping those 8 hours is because it improves memory. Studying those notecards for a test that’s coming up is better to get rest because you are more likely to remember the written things on the note cards than staying up late to try and study more. If studying all night happens and you go to bed at 3 in the morning the things you studied that night won’t come back to you during the test the next day. The odds that the test goes well will be really high and won’t be a high test score. That is why getting that sleep is very important because your brain gets to rest and recover from the day. It gets to process all the information learned and makes it easier for you to remember the information.


Global Community Mourns, Responds to Death of Prominent Journalist
by: Carter Zagorski

“I was recently online looking at the 2018 ‘Freedom in the World’ report published by Freedom House and came to a grave realization.  There is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as ‘free.’ That nation is Tunisia. Jordan, Morocco and Kuwait come second, with a classification of ‘partly free.’  The rest of the countries in the Arab world are classified as ‘not free.’”

That’s the opening paragraph of the last published article by Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and author who contributed to The Washington Post (click here to read the Opinions piece).  Khashoggi, a critic of his home country’s government, was well-known around the world for his coverage of numerous stories of importance to the Middle Eastern region and the world.  On Oct. 2, as he entered the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey - two nations considered “not free” in the same Freedom House report - he was prepared to, according to BBC, “obtain a document certifying that he had divorced his ex-wife, so that he could marry his Turkish fiancée.”  He attempted to do so on Sept. 28, but was told to return later for reasons unknown. The events that would follow Khashoggi’s second entrance are unclear; what is confirmed is that Khashoggi did not leave his country’s embassy alive.

Immediately after the world knew of Khashoggi’s disappearance, the Saudi government declared that it had no knowledge of his fate, maintaining for two weeks that he had left the embassy after staying for no more than one hour.  The Saudi ambassador to the U.S. called reports of Khashoggi’s death “completely false and baseless,” and his brother, First Deputy Prime Minister Prince Mohammed, stated that “we have nothing to hide.”

Yet once news broke soon after on the country’s state-run television channel that Khashoggi was murdered in a “rogue operation,” and after a government official described how the journalist’s body was graphically disposed of, Saud al-Mojeb, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor, stated that Khashoggi’s death was premeditated.  Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan concurred, claiming in a speech to his Justice and Development Party members last week that his nation had evidence of the killing. Presently, both Turkish President Erdogan and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman have agreed to cooperate in the investigation through sharing information that could lead to the still-missing body.

Last week’s “Davos in the Desert” investment conference hosted by Saudi Arabia was due to feature guests including Fortune 500 executives and world leaders.  However, many reversed their decisions because of Khashoggi’s death, including Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon.

And after much contentiousness, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also did not go to the investor conference he was previously scheduled to speak at, though he did travel to Saudi Arabia.  “We have an important relationship with Saudi Arabia, focused on combating terrorist financing and focused on our common interests of stopping Iran’s spread of both terrorism and other issues,” he said in defense of the visit.

President Trump invited Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, to the White House last week following his administration’s increasingly forceful messaging towards the Saudis.  He vowed “very severe” consequences for the country, saying that the case “has caught the imagination of the world, unfortunately. It’s not a positive. Not a positive,” and that the U.S. will respond once the investigation is complete.

Cengiz declined her invitation, stating that President Trump’s comments “were simply statements to gain public sympathy,” and calling for “all those involved in this savagery from the highest and lowest levels [to be] punished and brought to justice.”

A memorial service was held Monday in London.


October: Michael's Take
by: Michael Somary

The 2018-19 NBA season is just underway and expectations are high. With storylines of LeBron James joining Lonzo Ball and the Lakers, and Gordon Hayward coming back from injury to team up with Kyrie and the Celtics, this NBA season is looking to be a season that is the Western Conference versus the Boston Celtics because LeBron left Cleveland and there are no other real competitors to take the East from Boston.


With Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, and the young stars of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, it finally seems as though there is a team that has enough firepower as the Golden State Warriors.


One team that could potentially give Boston a struggle in the east is the Toronto Raptors. With the Raptor’s addition of Kawhi Leonard, a top three player before his injury in the 2016-17 playoffs, the Raptors could be a top team in the east and challenge the Celtics.


The Western Conference, unlike the Eastern Conference, has a tough route for teams to make it to the finals. The Golden State Warriors are the early favorites to win the Western Conference, but have Houston, Oklahoma, New Orleans, Utah, and Portland in their path to the Finals.


The West is full of the last year’s MVP in James Harden and debatably the best player in the world in LeBron James. LeBron has plenty of experience facing the Golden State Warriors as he has faced them in the NBA finals the last four years. LeBron has been to the last eight NBA Finals, but that streak will most likely come to an end this season as his team just simply does not have enough star power as the Warriors or even the Houston Rockets led by James Harden and Chris Paul.


I predict that the Warriors and Celtics will play in the NBA Finals with the Warriors winning in seven games.