School Plans Further Design Changes 
by: Jessie Carlquist

The school has gone through many changes in the past couple of years to help students flourish academically within their core and elective classes. The feedback from staff and students has proven the changes to be a success. For the future, the school’s administration is planning on continuing to develop new classrooms and other, more general alterations to the school.

In the last two years, a few classrooms in the Career Pathway program have been updated to create a better environment for students who are choosing their path. “The Board of Education [BOE] was in awe last spring on a visit to our Health Sciences room and Law room,” Associate Principal Joseph Krajacic said. Getting positive feedback from organizations like the BOE helps in allowing Hersey to continue to renovate classrooms so students can get the best education possible.

Renovating the school and improving the career pathway programs is all to benefit the students and is a step towards a better education. “I believe these improvements help students see their own future rather than have the future seem so uncertain,” Krajacic said. Being able to see what the students like allows them to concentrate on a path earlier in their lives and have a better understanding of their futures and the directions they could go.

Hersey has plans to continue to renovate over the summer in order to be ready for next year. “We have the initial plans. First and foremost, this summer, we are addressing the need to upgrade sections of our building's roofs.  In addition, we hope to paint our lockers,” Krajacic said. 

Being able to have these experiences can create a college-like experience, preparing students for the next stage in their lives while also preparing them to make the decision of where they are going to take their career. “We have to be able to address student learning and growth in order to meet the needs of our future. I think all schools in the District are addressing these "pathway" rooms, but not every school will be able to address all pathways,” Krajacic said. The administration is always thinking of new ways to create the best learning space for students to blossom, but having everything is unrealistic.

 These renovations cost money and need a space in order to be executed. It is difficult to provide every single career with a space in our school, so providing the most popular pathway rooms first is the idea that our administration chooses. “What are the renovation plans for 2020?  That all depends on the money. We are presently eyeing a renovation to the manufacturing area,” Krojacic said. In the future, it is possible to see more and more renovated rooms pop up as the school is provided with more money and space.

The school is constantly working towards providing the best education for its student body and making it easier for students to think past high school and into their futures. As time goes on, students can expect to see more improvements and renovations within Hersey as long as the school has the time, space and money to do so. 

New Classrooms Spark Interest in Career Pathways 
by: Teodora Zhaklinova

Hersey has been guiding students towards a career pathway of their choice rather than just general study through improving the career pathway classrooms. It has allowed students to explore different careers until they find the right one. To enhance the student’s learning and understanding of the career, the school has redesigned several classroom to fit better the career pathway. In the past couple of years, different career pathway rooms have been made or redesigned in several different ways. 

One of those classrooms is the entrepreneurship room, which is also shared with the computer science students. Originally the room was from the 1970s and as entrepreneurship teacher Daniel Vesper explained it was very unmobile and unpleasant looking. “Our Hersey students deserved way better, and they got it!  New carpeting. New ceiling tiles. New paint. New mobile tables and chairs.  New lounge area. Six flat screen TVs where students can AirPlay their business/coding ideas, and 30 Apple laptops for our amazing students that needed advanced technology to create their apps and startup businesses, “ Mr. Vesper said. The room has a very clean look now and is a great space for collaborating on creative projects. 


The students that use this classroom have access to any technology needed and have a very convenient room that lets them work better in groups. “This room provides resources technologically and structure wise that make it very easy to present and research. This room is 100% a better working environment than typical classrooms primarily due to the space and allowance for collaboration,” senior Claire Fink said. The students can use their iPads, laptops, and TVs as resources to work on business or develop apps. 

Another business room that has been renovated is the marketing room which, until 2016, was an old computer lab with limited space. “I have better technology — a big projector screen and 7 big screen TVs — and awesome furniture.  The room is brighter and is set up in a way that makes it easier to move around and get to students who need help. The table height can be adjusted, the chairs are more comfortable and they are on wheels so we can modify the work space arrangement as needed,” marketing teacher Becky French said. The room allows students to collaborate better and makes it easier for the teacher to present and to help the students. 

 As both French and her students have pointed out, the TVs in the room have really benefited the learning environment. “The TVs in the room are definitely the best part of the room because our teacher can use them to put up slideshows and material. Also, we can use the TVs in our groups to help with collaborative work,” senior Anthony Carlson said. The large, adjustable tables and movable chairs also contribute to the collaborating process and makes moving around easier.   

Another career pathway that has a redesigned room is the law pathway. The room was created last year and has been developing over the past year. “It's so helpful because we do a lot of mock trials and court preparation, so we can practice for our mock trial,” law teacher Jodi Blazek said. The room helps students better understand what it would be like to work in court and prepares them for their future as lawyers. 

The room recreates a real courtroom, allowing students to get a better feel of the environment they would work in for the rest of their lives. “Just the experience of being in a courtroom everyday for a class really just helps them buy into the whole concept and topic, whatever we are talking about for the day, and kind of the big picture of law,” Blazek said. 

The room is used not only by the students that have chosen law as their elective but also for the law club after school. “The room has helped me while practicing for law team and for in class mock trials,” senior Kirstin Cook said. The students can practice everything related to law in the classroom to prepare for their future. 

A very recently modified room is the media communications classroom, which is used by the students who write for the newspaper and produce videos, announcements, and podcasts. “It now resembles an industry-like experience with equipment, space, and function. The room is something you would see at a 4-year university and no one in the area has a space like this,” communications teacher Todd Hatfield said. The students have access to a very technologically advanced room, a podcast, and a studio to create whatever their heart desires and to participate in monthly newspaper issues. 

The room design is very similar to college and professional settings, preparing students for their future in any field of communications. “The experience is the most important part. Kids are now leaving this program writing stories, shooting photographs, shooting video, recording audio, and knowing how to edit all of it,” Hatfield said. 

The different aspects of the room have allowed students to participate and explore many different fields of media. “The room has helped me explore various aspects of media production, such as the podcast area which has allowed me to work on my public speaking and audio production,” senior Josh Ho said. 

This course, like many others, is based around working in teams and helping each other out, so having big tables and chairs that move around is very beneficial to the students. “This room’s open tables have helped me collaborate with others and get to know everyone in my class,” Ho said. 

The health career pathway has also grown over the last year. They have taken an old sewing room and turned it into a flexible high school doctor's office. “It's more flexible, we can make it what we want. We also have a sink. Next year all the beds we see, we don't use those, but next year it will be ready for the CNA [Certified Nursing Assistant] to come in from Harper,” health teacher Tricia Moore said. The room shows students what their learning environment in college would be like.

The more functional classroom enhances the learning process and helps the students work more efficiently on their projects. “It prepares them because you get the terminology and you get to see the paths you can take, the occupations. If you’re going into a medical based position this has prepared you a lot. Anatomy, Med term, and CNA are all courses you have to take in college,” Moore said. 

The new health room is much bigger than what they had prior and more convenient for both the teacher and the students. “It is a better working environment because it’s bigger and there are more things to do there, and we do interactive activities, and it’s easier to work with groups when in tables which is good since in the field we will most likely work with a team,” junior Natalia Kubsik said. The class allows students to narrow down their career and helps them be prepared for their future in the health department. 

Hersey has made many changes to the look and functionality of the school to boost the learning in career pathway classrooms. There will be more improvements happening in the future to make sure that Hersey students are prepared for the work outside of high school. 

Extracurriculars Guide Students to Find Their Niches 
by: Teodora Zhaklinova and Jessie Carlquist


Many students practice in another culture and language at home, which allows them to communicate in more than one language and compare cultures. Latin American Student Organization (LASO) focuses on keeping Latin culture and history alive and helps the Latin community in different ways. “Our mission is to change stereotypes about ourselves as young Latino students, provide support for Hersey students, learn about our culture, keep it alive, and provide service to our community,” Spanish teacher Michael Ayala said. 

     LASO is one of the longest-running student led clubs at Hersey established in November of 1994 by Dr. Michael Ayala. “Our values as an organization are responsibility, honesty, diversity, and above all respect,” Ayala said. 

     LASO students unite to help organizations like Feed My Starving Children, tutor at local elementary schools, provide gifts and entertainment to celebrate Christmas with the Hermosa community, and participate in other service-related activities.  LASO Club includes students from all ethnicities that are interested in learning about the Latin culture. “My favorite part of the club is that we are all united. We’re not united by our ethnicities or what we like, or what we do, or what we used to do, instead we’re united by new things,” senior Jovanna Casillas Leos said.


The school has a very strong student deaf program, so many students are interested in learning sign language through the American Sign Language Club in order to communicate with deaf students. ASL is a great language to learn since about 500,000 Americans use it to communicate, according to the StartASL organization. “ASL Club is a place for students to learn American Sign Language vocabulary and practice communication skills. The goal is to learn how to communicate with people who are deaf/hard of hearing that use ASL, including some of our own Hersey students and staff members,” math teacher Jessica Brtva said. 

The students in ASL learn new vocabulary at every meeting and practice it through communicating with each other. ”I really enjoy the overall atmosphere and meeting new people that are in the club and it's a really useful skill because you can just connect with more people,” freshman Lily Miller said. This a great club for any students eager to learn how to sign and communicate with deaf people. 


Service Over Self (SOS) is well known for organizing the Food Drive every year, but they actually do a lot more than just that. “SOS performs 40 projects that service our community on various levels.  We do both inside our school and outside with various community groups,” SOS teacher Mark Gunther said. Through the year they host the Food Drive, Veteran’s Day Card Making, Dance Marathon, Love Bus, Senior Citizen Day, Funner Day Olympics Students in school and many more outside of school activities. 

Students split the work between groups to be able to perfect everything to the tiniest detail and help the community, often learning new values along the way. “Students will not only learn skills of leadership, compassion, inclusion, and gratitude but also develop a healthier sense of self,” Gunther said.

The students not only get to participate in the whole process but also get to see the smiles they bring to people’s faces bringing both sides joy. “My favorite part of SOS is seeing the community come together and physically seeing the impact of our hard work pay off,” senior Ashlyn Park said. SOS is both a class and a club, making it very easy for students to get involved. Students can choose to be both in the class and the club so that they can participate in more events or if their schedule doesn’t allow they can participate through the club in the events they are interested in. 



Scrubs Club is a great club for students looking to join the health field. “The goal of Scrubs Club is to benefit students who are possibly interested in pursuing a health-related career,” biology and healthcare teacher Kelley Pataky said. Students on the executive board help in organizing speakers, activities, blood drives and all things that create opportunities for these students. 

Students participate in many different activities and events. Kelley Pataky explained that they participate in not only speaker events, but also attend field trips, help coordinate the Annual Dance Marathon, and organize the biannual Blood Drive. “[Scrubs Club] offerer the Dr. B. Vital Series in which Dr. Brottman, a retired pediatrician, teaches our students how to use a stethoscope, take a manual blood pressure, test reflexes, and perform a cursory eye and ear exam,” Pataky said. 

Scrubs Club helps many students find what they want to do as they are allowed to choose which speakers and activities they attend based on their desired career. “The speakers that come in are great and they do activities to push people towards a medical career. [Scrubs Club] gives us stepping stones to build on and gives us connections to many careers in the health area,” senior Molly McKavanagh said. Students that have not chosen a specific path within the health field can visit different events to help them make their decision. 

Math Team:

Math Team is a favorite among students. Everyone involved prepares for a year-long season as they compete from August till the state meet in May. These students go beyond the walls of the classroom and learn math most students do not. “Our team (we are not a club) offers a chance to improve mathematical and problem solving skills beyond those seen in a typical high school curriculum,” teacher and coach Jackie Ballarini said. 

The students create a strong bond between each other while working through challenging math problems. “There are also many opportunities for fun and team bonding,” Jackie Ballarini said. With the chance to improve mathematical and problem-solving skills beyond a typical high school curriculum while working together with other students, Math Team is ultimately a good experience. 

Math team is a great option for anybody with a passion for challenges and problem-solving. “I enjoy math because it provides an extra challenge that is fun to try and figure out, but also it was a great way for me to make friends when I joined freshman year,” junior Clara Menninga said. Students involved can compete in something they’re truly passionate about and make friends along the way.

Student Service Work Extends Beyond the Classroom
by: Teodora Zhaklinova

As most students already know, the school puts a lot of energy into helping our community and any other community in need. From the Food Drive we organize to A Soldier's Journey Home, students have found many ways to contribute and help people in need. The many clubs and classes like Service Over Self have taught our students the importance of helping and have given them many opportunities to make the world a better place. Some students have taken the idea of making the world a better place to heart and decided to spend time over the summer helping a community in need. 

Senior Holly Panfil traveled for 8 days to Angola, Zambia in Africa through her church, Little Creek. “Our church partners with another church in Angola, Zambia and we got to repaint their church and their school classrooms alongside the teenagers of that community, so we got to work with them and we got to know them as we were working,” Panfil explained. She helped kids in a poorer community have a more comfortable church and classrooms while learning about a new culture and way of life.  

While Panfil was helping repaint and clean the church and classrooms, she got the opportunity to explore new cultures and become friends with kids from the community. “I got to talk with a lot of people that are my age in the community we were in and just hear about their life and compare American culture to Zambian culture. It was interesting to see that level of poverty versus how we live here,” Panfil said. An experience like this not only allows a person to help out but also teaches them to appreciate what they have and be more aware of how lucky they are. 

When traveling to a different country people learn about that country’s culture and how they celebrate important events. “One of the days we got to go to a market in the community and people offered to take us into their houses and show us around. They taught us how to make a traditional meal that they eat during the holidays so it was really cool to see their homes and cook with them, and learn about their different traditions,” Panfil elaborated. Being able to compare different cultures allows a student to see the world from a different perspective. 

Another two seniors, Grace and Claudia Groeling, traveled for 2 weeks to Tanzania in East Africa, where they got to build a school through a non-profit organization called WE. “I built a school that provides education for children in the primary schools and it will also lessen the number of students in each classroom because there are about 200 in each class, so providing more schools will provide more space for learning,” Grace said. Building schools allow these kids the opportunity of education and communication with other schools and jobs from all around the world.   

Grace and Claudia’s group was responsible for the first step of the building process.”We did the flooring and mixed cement and covered the floor, and then started helping build the walls and it was all from brick,” Grace explained. With the hard work the Groeling put in and the many volunteers who were navigated by experts, the school could be built much faster for these kids. 

Their trip showed them a different side of the world where families live in very poor areas and deal with bad conditions. “It made me value my education a lot more because it made me realize how many resources we have and how easy we have those resources while other people don’t,” Claudia said. Seeing the way those families live makes anybody appreciate what they have more.

Another student, senior Dominic Borrelli, traveled to the Dominican Republic over the summer to help build a playground for kids. “... the role I played was helping bring this park to the community and helping get it build, and kinda bring joy, and bring a place for recreation for these kids that otherwise would not have it,” Borrelli said. He went through a government-sponsored program called Youth Ambassadors and was there for 3 weeks. 

As many students said, there is great joy in knowing and seeing that their work is appreciated and that it’s making somebody’s life better. “As the park kept getting built, I could see more and more of the community’s kids coming to the parts that were completed,” Borrelli explained. Seeing the effect on these kids’ lives motivated him to keep working and helping.

Borrelli built a sandbox inside a boat, crafted benches, constructed slides, and painted sea creatures on the boat. “When we got there we just saw kids running around loose and everywhere and after when we left it seemed like almost every single one of these kids were at the park playing,” Borrelli said. Thanks to Borelli’s work, the kids in the community now have a safer space to play games. 

There are many more students around our school that have participated in similar programs showing their positive attitudes. Helping communities in need brings happiness to both the people of the community and the volunteers seeing their positive attributes. There are many ways students can participate in similar programs and get involved in making the world a better place. 

Staff Works to Help Less-Developed Countries
by: Jessie Carlquist

The school’s staff helps the school and community in all ways possible and is always eager to help the students in their struggles. Not only do they help the Hersey community, but they also help less fortunate cultures around the world. Some staff members decided to continue helping different communities reach their potential over the summer by teaching and building homes. 

Eric Wolf, a chemistry teacher, visited Senegal in West Africa through the Fulbright Foundation and taught chemistry to high school students this summer.  Wolf values education and wanted to help spread it to other cultures “We could help avoid disasters like world wars if we can get people in touch with each other and experience each other’s cultures and education,” Wolf said. Sharing new ideas between different groups is important to Wolf, so he spent his two and a half weeks not only teaching his new students and bringing new equipment for the class, but also learning from the students and teachers in Senegal. He brought the new ideas back with him to help improve his teaching.

Wolf saw his impact on each student as they engaged in the labs and activities. “The students really wanted to be there and they really thought the teacher was on their side,” Wolf explained. Seeing his impact on the students made him realize the difference it would make if teachers strived to engage their students more. 

Wolf wants his current students to be in touch with those back in Senegal much like how he has a relationship with the teacher he met while there. “He and I now have a personal relationship and we are trying to get our students to communicate with each other,” Wolf explained. With his students being able to interact with those back in Senegal, his ideas and teachings are helping students at our school and across the globe. 

Another staff member, Polly Knudsen, a food teacher, went back to Guatemala for the fourth time to build homes for people who can’t afford them. “We want to do something that would improve their lives,” Knudsen said. In the 10 days Knudsen spent in Guatemala, she helped the building process of the homes and created "healthy home kits". In each kit were different objects, for example, a box used for filtering water to make it safe to drink and cook with, to improve the families’ lives. Knudsen and her team worked to finish four healthy home kits and made a huge impact on the building process to help the next team that came ready to build. 

Knudsen goes on many trips like this one to build different types of houses that have a positive impact on the community. People who help alongside Knudsen make sure the houses will last for the rest of these families lives. “The safety and security of a home that is structurally sound is very important,” Knudsen explained. Habitat For Humanity, the organization which Knudsen is providing service through, is striving to build safe and comfortable homes for each family. 

Knudsen enjoyed connecting with each family, as opposed to when she used to teach in less developed countries and never connected with each child she taught. “We had such a close connection with the families and celebrated with them all,” Knudsen said. Having connections and relationships in Guatemala and around the world, Knudsen celebrates all the work she’s put in with the communities she’s helped.

Through our staff traveling to and aiding these communities, it puts into perspective how lucky students are to be in a community like Hersey. Here, people have homes and people have an opportunity to an education. Some lesser developed communities don’t have that. “One of the things I want my students to realize is how blessed and how lucky we are at our school,'' Wolf says. 

What Fits This Summer
by: Natalie Wozny

You can always tell summer is around the corner when it’s time to clear your closet of winter essentials. One of the best parts of summer is trading in those sweaters for t-shirts and pants for shorts. Students prepare their closets for the summer each year by doing a deep clean and splurging at the mall. 

As the summers pass, there are certain pieces that never got old. Sandals, especially espadrilles, can top off any outfit. “Some trends I’ve noticed coming up this summer are cork wedge sandals, also known as espadrilles. They match to pretty much any type of summer outfit,” said sophomore Joanna Malec. 

Another popular shoe trend in the past year has been crocs. The comfy shoes come in a variety of colors and are easy to slip on for a day at the beach. Swimsuits are also summer essential and often are the first thing that comes into mind when hearing “summer fashion”. Along with swimsuits come oversized t-shirts and shorts. Those two make the perfect combo after swimming or hanging out during hot days.

Certain summer trends can be seen each year. When asked about a trend coming back from the past, sophomore Ava Dudick said, “Gingham! It was a big trend last summer as well but I think it’ll be just as cute this summer whether it be pants or a cute bag.” Gingham is a plaid pattern in style almost every summer. 

It’s exciting to see what new styles become popular each year as well. This summer, animal print is definitely a big one. Animal prints, especially cheetah print, have been popular since the start of 2019 and are probably going to stay fashionable this summer.

“Neon is really starting to become big and I won’t be surprised if I see that start to emerge even more,” Dudick said. Neon colored clothing has been popping up all over stores as the summer approaches. 

No matter the upcoming or consistent trends, some pieces are just special. “My favorite summer piece that I wear each year are my red and white striped “paper bag” tied shorts. I got them in Poland a few years ago and they’ve been my favorite pair since!” Malec said.

When getting ready for summer, fashion always comes to mind. Summer is all about making memories, and the clothing you wear each summer is tied to those memories.

Getting to Work: Student Summer Jobs
by: Teddy Zhaklinova

 As the summer is approaching, students are on the search for ways to make money. By law, a students must be 16 to start work. A lot of kids start working the moment they turn 16 either to help out their family or just to make their own money. Students in school normally share their work experience with others and try to have more friends with them at work; creating a big conversation on different ways of making money.


A common choice is working at the movie theater. Students not only get to watch movies for free, but often get to see their friends around as well. Workers don’t do the same thing every day because this job has several parts to it (cleaning and selling tickets/ food and beverage), which offers different schedules every day as explained by junior, Paulina Rak. “From this job, I can get more practice with human interaction and having the feeling of making my own money,” said junior Nelihan Kahraman. It’s a great place to create more friends, enjoy some movies, and make money.


Another often heard place is Starbucks. A place that most teenagers love to visit to relax with friends or do homework and switch around their homework environment.”I have to take orders from customers and make sure everything goes smoothly. From this job i get experienced with communication with people and being in a work environment,” explained sophomore Nelisah Kahraham. Workers get to learn how to make delicious drinks and work on their communication skills.


Some students have found more unusual jobs. “I was down at cinespace working as an apprentice on the show Chicago Fire with Swing Gang which is the group that goes in on the set and moves all the old furniture out down to the hooks on the wall and then we put in all the new stuff for the set, ” explained senior Kat Mandziara. Mandziara gets play around with her creativity while setting up the stage for the next show.


Students have hundreds of option to make money as long as they are willing to put in the time and effort. At the end of the day, they get their paychecks and are learning to be independent. “I recommend finding a place that is close to where you live and finding somewhere where you are comfortable working in,” said Paulina Rak. Working in high school is a good way to prepare for the future and learn the value of money

Apps Open Opportunity for Extra Earning
by: Marie Bechtoldt

There are an abundance of apps that are just a touch away that have not only been created for various entertainment and games, but also away to shop and make money.


Along with well known stores that make it easy to get the items you want and need, apps centered around buying and selling lightly used clothes and shoes for less are surfacing the internet.


“I have had a profile on Poshmark since 2016,” junior Lia Sommer said. Poshmark is one if the most popular apps that allow users to post their items and create their own mini resale site. “It is really easy to get started, just make a profile and hopefully by gaining followers more people can see what you posted which means more buyers will be on you page,” senior Kelly Tangney said.


Users control pricing and write a description for the clothing piece while Poshmark handles shipping and payment in a safe way. “The app makes it super easy to ship clothes out, so I can sell whatever I want and it can get to the buyers and quickly and securely,” Tangney said. “It’s a great way to make extra money to spend on other clothes and it is super easy to try out,” Tangney said. Students that have an abundance of clothes or even a few things in good condition that they have no use for can benefit from apps such as poshmark, Wanelo, Etsy, and many more.


Etsy specifically allows the users to promote their own businesses. From jewelry to revitalizing clothes, anyone that wants to express their creativing, make or fix up a product, and make extra money can find great value in this platform. “I love buying vintage and renewed clothing as well as custom jewelry from small businesses because it's inexpensive and really unique,” Tangney said.


Exploring apps and using them to the full advantage can open up opportunities to make extra money in an unconventional and fun way

The Happiness Project
by: Marie Bechtoldt

Senior Jake Lavin faces significant success from his Online store and business “The Happiness Project.” Lavin started his new company less than two years ago, with goals of making a difference in sight.


“I’ve had a few friends with depression and anxiety and I loved helping them know that everything would be okay,” Lavin said regarding his motivation behind creating The Happiness Project. “Whether that was sending them a quote in the morning or telling them small things throughout the day to keep them going,” Lavin said.


With a passion and a goal in mind, anyone can take that and turn it into something greater. “I don’t only want to do this for a few, but thousands of people,” Lavin said. Using his entrepreneurship mindset and combining it with his love for helping others, The Happiness project was born.


Lavin encourages getting out and doing instead of just talking about what you want to do

March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month
by: Teodora Zhaklinova & Marie Bechtoldt

March symbolizes national brain injury awareness month. According to the brain injury association of America, the theme for the 2018-2020 campaign is #changeyourmind. This platform is used to educate and spread awareness about types of brain injuries and give information about treatment and diagnosing these traumas. The goal of educating more people on all areas of brain injuries hopes to take strides toward de-stigmatization of brain injuries. Conversations surrounding preventing, noticing, diagnosing, and treating brain injuries is especially crucial among children and teens involved in physical activity, due to high rates of concussions and traumas in this age group.


Programs like the Concussion Legacy Foundation have been created to study donated brains of athletes. They have found that severe concussions and history of repetitive brain trauma could lead to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and can not be diagnosed in a living person, but symptoms could be seen in people as young as 17 years old.


Hersey alumni and Harvard graduate Chris Nowinski created The Concussion Legacy Foundation. “In 2008, we partnered with Boston University and the VA Boston Healthcare System to start the world’s first brain bank focused on CTE,” Nowinski said. The foundation’s mission is to study CTE brains and gain knowledge about the effects of brain injuries. “As the outreach and recruiting partner, we have created a system that has yielded 700 donated brains from athletes and veterans, resulting in nearly 100 research papers than have revolutionized our understanding of the effects of brain trauma,” Nowinski said.


According to the Brain Injury Association, a large proportion of brain injuries occur in children and teens involved in athletics. Many athletes return to play too soon and fail to recognize signs and symptoms of concussions. “It’s not that coaches or parents were bad people, it’s that they didn’t have a deeper understanding of what was going on,” said Track and Field Coach Jim Miks. “I thought I was alright to go back in to the game,” Jenna Hill said. Hill experienced strong symptoms the following day. “I couldn’t make it through the day. Later I went to a concussion specialist and he diagnosed me with a pretty serious concussion,” Hill said.

Concussions can happen from hitting the head on hard objects or contact with another person’s head. There are many symptoms of a concussion, but a headache is the most common one and is normally accompanied with nausea and dizziness. “Headaches seem to be the first symptom that students notice and the last one that goes away,” said Head Athletic Trainer Enrique Bacon. “I got a concussion from head to head contact during soccer. I went to the doctor a week after having symptoms of headaches, dizziness, and short attention span,” junior McKenna Kopeny said.  Bacon explained that the most common symptoms are sensitivity to light, sensitivity to noise, feeling out of focus, difficulty concentrating, and having a hard time processing information.


Symptoms normally start right after the hit and could last up to two weeks. “75-85% of concussions typically resolve in 7-10 days and the rest of them are within that 14 day process,” said Bacon. If the symptoms don’t end within that period, a neurological doctor should get involved.

Every patient has a different story and the trauma has different effects on the body. Some recover fairly quickly and some could have lifelong effects. “Don’t give up, and keep being an active patient open to trying new therapies. Doctors don’t always know what treatment will help your symptoms until they try it,” said Nowinski. Because every case is different, there isn’t a specific treatment that can help every patient. Treatment is individual to the brain trauma and the effects it had on the person.

“When I was a Hersey athlete we were very lucky to have two athletic trainers, Hal Hilmer and Tracy Bogard, who were both ahead of their time. Mr. Hilmer gave us a speech about Kurt Thyreen, a former Hersey football player who had died of second-impact syndrome after an undiagnosed concussion, and urged us to report concussions,” said Nowinski. The national brain injury association along with many other organizations are pushing toward more research and better understanding of brain injuries in hopes to prevent them and long term effects.

Exploring Chicago's Unique Attractions
by: Joey Ivanov

Chicago is a city rich with history and famous for many unique attractions and events. While the city may be our own backyard, there are many things students have yet to discover. Since Chicago houses all four seasons, each season provides new opportunities for students to go out and experience new adventures.


One of the lesser known attractions Chicago has to offer is found tucked away off Randolph and Halsted. BomboBar is a side-concept, walk-up eatery, that offers coffee, gelato, and Italian pastries to go. Their main attraction is Bomboloni: an Italian hole-less doughnut, they come in a variety of flavors such as; Salted Caramel, Raspberry, and Nutella just to name a few.


After consuming their delectable doughnuts, they have amazing options for thirst-quenchers in the form of coffee and tea. Hot and cold alike their unique drinks perfectly compliment the large gelato selection showcasing Eggnog, Oreo, Apple Pie, Coconut and nine more for anyone with a large pallet.


After trying a unique snack, a short 13 minute walk down Monroe takes students to the Wndr Museum: where beauty and imagination meet. The wndr museum offers the imaginative mind a new experience unlike any other. The museums main purpose is to provide creative minds the perfect backdrop for their social media.


The museum showcases 19 “experiences” crafted by different artists. Swing seats floating by balloons, “zero gravity ball pit,” and an infinity mirror room just to name a few. The Wndr Museum is the perfect place to have a unique experience like no other and the perfect photo op for all the social media gurus.


For those looking for something fun with a group try out one of Chicago’s hugely successful escape rooms. The Great Escape Room located on Grand Ave is truly an escape from the ordinary. With five unique rooms this is truly the ultimate experience for those looking to really test their mind.


All rooms require puzzle solving and scavenger hunting in order to escape and require critical team cooperation. These rooms are designed to help improve the bond between teams, coworkers, or just friends looking to have some fun. Only $25 per student, these rooms are practical and great fun for everyone.


Chicago is home to many attractions, some more well known then others, but also showcases a lot of underground art and exotic foods.

Service Over Self continues strong traditions
by: Teddy Zhaklinova

The annual food drive was created 49 years ago by Wil Kozlowski, who also created the SOS program. Teachers remember him as a very outgoing and energetic person who made the food drive a big part of Hersey. “He was active, he was always running around the school, he was smiling at everybody, he knew every kid in the building, just an incredible positive force field of energy coming out of this man,” Kent Borghoff said. 


Around 25 years ago, Mark Gunther took over the SOS program and evolved Mr. Kozlowski’s ideas. “You know, people were afraid when Mr. Kozlowski left and Mr. Gunther has done an unbelievable job picking up the button and not only continuing on the tradition of what SOS is but growing it as well,” John Novak said.


The food drive is sponsored by different organizations and it began with the Saint Augustine Center. “We had a partnership with the Saint Augustine Native American Indian Center who gave support to Native American Indians who were relocated off of their tribal lands and put in the cities. We worked with a man named Father Powell who was providing services, counseling, training, and even food assistance to those people and people in the city around his Indian center. So that was how it started way back then and it has continued and grown for 49 years,” Gunther said. 


As the food drive grew, the Saint Augustine Center couldn’t keep up with the amount of food raised. As a result, Hersey had to find a way to get other organizations involved. “A couple of years ago they told us that they no longer had the staff to be able to take our food, so Mr. Gunther went out and found some different local food pantries. You know, we have partners now, Mr. Gunther has partnered with Jewel for the bags for the bag and tag. I’ve been able to work with U-Haul for the last several years and they’ve donated trucks for the food drive,” Novak said . 


The original plan of the food drive was to just bring in as many cans as possible; bag and tag or the family boxes weren’t part of that plan. “Family boxes we’ve been doing a long time, I’d say the biggest change is that it is now a much higher quality food box for our families,” Gunther said.


Around 15 years ago, bag and tag was added to help out with the amount of cans raised and to get people from the community more involved. “The choir actually started tag and bag as their secret way to get more cans for the food drive competition. And then another class picked it up the next year and then another class did it and then we started making mistakes by tagging and bagging the same house and community members were confused, so SOS stepped in and we standardized the whole bag and tag system,” Gunther said. Ever since bag and tag has started, the school and the community has raised over 20,000 cans each year.  This year's drive totaled over 46,ooo cans. 

For more on this story, click here to watch a video from this year's food drive.  The video was created by Hannah Grawe and Susan Schmidt.

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.

Funding the Future
by: Magda Wilhelm

As seniors are swept up in a whirlwind of college essays and applications, another hurdle is slowly creeping their way- costs of tuition. Although costs of tuition seem to be overwhelmingly high, our school and outside sources offer plenty of help to ease that pressure that all students face.


Our school itself offers a variety of different scholarships that students can be nominated for by their teachers. Whether it’s academics, leadership, co-curriculars, or sports, there are a variety of qualities that can get a student qualified for these scholarships. Although these scholarships cannot be applied for, students could still strive for excellence.


School scholarships, including national and college scholarships, are not the only option available. A variety of local groups and organization offer small scholarships with a lot less competition.


“Well, I would say the first place to look would be on Naviance,” says Anges Knott, the College Career Assistant. “There’s a scholarship tab, and on there, everytime I hear about a scholarship, I try to put it up there for the students. We have about 100 now,” she continues. “I would say that’s a good place to start. Even as a junior or an underclassmen you can see what’s out there and see what you can work towards.”


College scholarships, though, can offer more valuable scholarships. “If you thought about the total pie of scholarship dollars that are out there,” Nancy Davis, the College Counselor explains, “the vast majority come from colleges. They give the biggest scholarship dollars. So when we work with seniors, the first point we make to them is that the most important thing you could to do to get scholarship money is to turn in your applications early because most colleges have early scholarship deadlines.”


Of course, each colleges’ scholarship programs/requirements will differ, so applicants should check the specific guidelines and requirements for their specific schools.


The government could also help aid with the costs of tuition. “FAFSA is something that’s used to qualify you for financial aid. In particular, the primary purpose of FAFSA is to qualify you for need-based aid. It basically looks at family income and family assets. So the less money your family makes, the more money you receive from the government as financial aid,” says Davis. “However, some scholarships would want to know about need, so some scholarships will require you to fill out a FAFSA form to consider you for a scholarship.” Nancy Davis concludes by saying, “to optimize your scholarship opportunities, I would get college applications in early and file a FAFSA form. Then, I would actually focus on the local scholarships before the national scholarships. . . I would do the national ones last- not because they’re not great and not that you can’t get them- but because the competition is so much higher.”


All in all, Naviance is the place to look in order to find resources to ease financial issues in the future. Offering resources like the scholarship tab and the national scholarship search, Naviance offers a variety of resources to help you plan ahead.

Walking Towards College
by: Teddy Zhaklinova

All students face hardships on their way to college, but first generation students have a lot more on their plate to handle.


Many student don’t understand what a first generation student is. “The exact definition is that neither of your parents completed a four year degree,” college counselor Nancy Davis said.


Students whose parents went to school in a different country also feel like a first generation students because their parents don’t understand the American school system. “You don’t have that family support necessarily, they are anxious to help you but they don’t have the background to help you,” Davis explained. Every country has their own school system.


Our school has hundreds of first generation students. “1/3 of the students in Hersey are first generation students,” Davis said. Many of which are not aware of the hardships they will have to face in the future.


First generation students don’t have the family support that other students may have. “There is no one to help me and to hold my hand, I have to go through this process by myself in order to get this information otherwise I would just be behind,” senior Miglena Boshnakova said. Their parents aren’t able to help their kids with applications and choosing schools, which puts even more pressure on the student.


These students often come into high school without knowing anything about college and where they would like to go. “I had to find out which colleges I can go to from scratch, because I never heard of any and I don’t really know much, but seeing that other people were doing that and they already knew colleges and had an idea of where they wanted to go even starting freshman year, they already knew what they had to do to get to college,” senior Nubia Denekew said. These students didn’t grow up with their parents college stories to guide them in the future.


Often, first generation students are afraid to ask questions. “When I came into high school I felt like I was kind of a burden, like asking my teachers and my counselor little stupid questions and I didn’t want to bother them with those kinds of small things, but then when you hear that there are few hundred students all together whose parents didn’t either complete college or high school it kind of reassures you that you are not the only one going through this,” senior Veronica Lesak said. Knowing that there are other students that can help you out makes it a lot easier.


There are people in school that can help and support first generation students. “For many many years what I have done is I tried to see as many first generation students their junior year as I can in small groups, so I typically run about 3 groups of 15 to 20 students. What we talk about are the kind of things perhaps a student may have talked about with their parents had their parents been familiar with the four year system,” Davis said.


Students can also talk to Ms. Davis individually as she said, “My door is always open for any student that has a question.” No student should be afraid to ask questions.


The district runs bus trips for first generation students and their parents. “Our fall 2018 first-generation bus trip is December 6; we're visiting University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Carthage College. Students from all schools can attend,” Executive Director of District 214 Education Foundation Erin Brooks said. There is a bus trip without parents later on in the year.


The district wants to help parents understand the school system better as well. “Our hope is that students and parents get a true sense of college life and a feel for both public and private colleges, and leave with a better understanding of their next steps in the process,” Brooks said. Parents should know what they are investing in.


Seniors that have walked the hard path of being a first generation student took it upon themselves to create a group for freshman and sophomore first generation students. “Because Ms. Davis only works with juniors, we wanted to expand that group and work with the freshman and sophomores as well, so they do have that strong foundation to their high school carries and they are not just waiting until junior year to find out all this information and that they have the same start as kids whose parents went to college,” Lesak said. Seniors Miglena Boshnakova, Nubia Denekew, and Veronica Lesak created the first generation group to prepare students from the beginning.


First generation students go through the school system all by themselves which is very emotionally draining, so many people have taken the time to help these students. Students can talk to their counselors or the college counselor, go to the bus trips, and participate in the first generation club where they will get advice from students who have already walked the hard path.

The Future of Security
by: Magda Wilhelm

As the school takes a new approach on security, staff and students have been affected and have reacted in many different ways. Both students and teachers have to adopt to the new security rules.


A new requirement teachers are adjusting to is closing and locking doors during each period. “I don’t have to change anything except not forget to lock my door and take attendance every morning,” English teacher James Schiferl said.


Until this year, many classrooms would leave their doors unlocked. “I’ve always kept my door unlocked until this year,” history teacher Kent Borghoff said. He finds this a little inconvenient because “...anybody who comes to deliver a pass or anybody who comes from the washroom or is late to class is standing at a locked door, which means that a student has to get up and let them in or I have to stop what I’m doing and let them in,” Borghoff explained.


Even with some of the new inconveniences, teachers still find the new rules helpful. “I hope it’s the beginning of a collaboration between staff and students that recognizes that we are definitely nowhere near against each other, that if it comes down to it in crisis we got each other’s back,” English teacher Jim Miks said.


Coaches have also been significantly affected by the new security rules. Coaches now  have to escort students in and out of the building during practice and PE class. Teachers have to balance the safety of the class and the individual.


This is even harder for sports that have to go to a different school for practice like the swim team. Senior Lucy Bornhorst said, “Our coach has to stand at the door and let all of us in, which takes time from what they could be doing to prepare for practices.” This wastes a lot of time students have to practice with their coaches.


According to Maureen Sell, the school’s tutor coordinator, the Academic Resource Center would be affected by the rules as well. Once students start getting restricted from going out during lunch because of grades, “... those student will have no place to go during their lunch period, so we will have more students coming into the ARC then we already have during lunch and I think that could be a problem,” Sell said.


Students have to remember to bring their ID everyday, and get used to using only the main doors to enter and exit the building.


Many students don’t like that they can use only the two main doors to get in and out of the building because it takes more time. “It makes it hard to get to the parking lot on time because you can’t leave from the door that’s closest to your car,” Bornhorst said.  Students that drive use the door closest to their parking spot to get in and out and now they have to walk around.


Teachers pointed out that checking belongings isn’t invasion of privacy in a public space, “My bags get searched when I go to Wrigley Field, my bags get searched when I go a concert, my bags get searched when I go to the airport, so any time you have large accumulations of people I think it makes sense to try to limit the possibility of somebody who wants to do harm,” Borghoff said. Checking backpacks will happen only with probable cause and all with the intention of protecting the school.  

“I think there will be security measures that will continue to happen and continue to get stricter until this stops or slows,” Miks said. Both teachers and students believe that there will be more security measures taken in the future to protect staff and students to the full extent possible.

Locked in On the Future
by: Teddy Zhaklinova

Morning ID checks, limited entrances and exits, and modified campus privileges are new changes that have left upperclassmen either disgruntled or confused. Students and staff have wondered what prompted these changes and if more changes are to arise.


“We had initiated a safety/security audit last winter, before the Parkland school shooting incident,” said superintendent Dr. David Schuler. “When the school shooting at Parkland occurred, I heard from a large number of students, staff, and parents who were concerned about safety and security in our buildings. Through the results of our audit, and in conversations with the principals, we agreed on the safety measures we are putting in place,” Schuler said.


Associate principal Joseph Krajacic also commented on these concerns. “As long as we follow the security requirements of the audit, our school will get grants towards working towards making our security better.,” Krajacic said. “You guys are our future. We just want to keep you safe.”


As for what’s to come, no drastic changes await. “We will continue to adjust security where needed until the next audit that will be in another 5 years,” says Krajacic.


One of these adjustments will be an increase in emergency exit doors throughout the building over the time span of the next year, according to Dr. Schuler. “Our long-term plan will be to continue with the procedures we initiated this year,” Schuler said. “We will engage students in this review, and we will continue to conduct safety security audits on a regular cycle.”


Although these changes are new and at times inconvenient, they are changes crucial of ensuring the safety of students and staff within the building. The administration will continue to make adjustments to security where needed in order to prevent any tragedy or complication. Students and staff have begun to grow accustomed to the changes, and will continue to do so.

John Hersey High School

1900 East Thomas Street

Arlington Heights, IL 60004

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