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Volume 91, Issue 8 May 15, 2018

2017-2018 Staff Listing Hannah Hutchins, Editor-in-Chief Savanna Winiecki, Online Editor Lola Akinlade, Features Editor Rachel Benner, Features Editor Anya Belomoina Amanda Black Molly Boufford Ariella Bucio Jenna Carnazzola Ian Cox Olivia Devin Rachel Dudley Moira Duffy

Maria Thames, Editor-in-Chief

Maggie Burnetti, Sports Editor Matt Smith, Sports Editor Maggie Evers Megan Fahey Katie Felsl Lizzie Foley Zachary Ford OIivia Gauvin Demi Glusic Jenna Grayson Kath Haidvogel

Sam Nelson, Photo Editor Olivia Griffith, Layout Editor Colleen Mullins, Social Media Editor Ella Marsden Kylie Rodriguez Claire Salemi Bulat Schamiloglu Kelly Shinnick Nate Sweitzer Dylan Trott Megan Wolter

Emily Hamilton Dylan Heimert Abbey Humbert Maggie Hutchins Ben Kanches Jacob Kemp Corey Kuchler Anna Legutki Stephanie Luce

Introducing the 2018-2019 Editors

May 15, 2018


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News New changes coming to LHS next year



It’s rare to find a student at LHS who takes AP Calculus BC during freshman year; Liam Tucker is that exception.

The 2018-19 school year will bring many new changes at LHS, both academically and with the building itself.



Students traveling to Europe for the summer


Opinion Suggestions for a more successful school


Not a numbers game


My merit, not my race



The CRC Trifecta

The three women who work in the College/Career Resource Center help students seek further knowledge on life beyond high school.

A geographic look at where LHS students who are planning to play a sport in college are headed next year.


The Journey to Becoming the 6 Percent

Ready for Retirement

Three LHS staff members will be retiring after this school year; find out about their experiences at LHS and what they plan to do in the future.

Meet six athletes who share their experiences of playing sports, their recruitment process, and the decision to commit to play their respective sport at the collegiate level. Contents

The First Generation

First-generation college students, some of whom emigrated from other countries, reflect on their upbringing and on being the first member of their family to receive a higher level of education.

Sports Wildcat Stats


Mind the Gap

Take a deeper dive into why students decide to take a gap year instead of attending school right away.

The influence of affirmative action, among other factors such as test scores and a student’s resume, on college acceptance is explored.


College Isn’t the Only Option

Attending a four-year school upon graduation is not for everyone; three LHS seniors have instead decided to attend vocational school or start their careers right upon graduating.

Students applying to college often are tossed into the number games -- driven by test scores and GPA -- which are used in their admittance; however, these numbers don’t tell the full story of the student.


The Senior List

Find out where LHS’s graduating class of 2018 will be headed in the annual college list!

Drops of Ink staff members reflect on what aspects of our school environment could be improved in the future.


Restricted Rights for Teachers As government workers, teachers express how they are able to voice their opinions despite having different rights to their freedom of speech than students.

Some LHS students will be traveling abroad this summer to Spain for a cultural experience, and others are headed to Ireland and Switzerland for the Global Leadership Summit.


Feature Freshman ‘Genius’


Contents and focus cover paragraph by Demi Glusic Cover and focus cover design by Nate Sweitzer Staff list designed by Jacob Kemp Drops of Ink

New changes are coming to LHS next year By Claire Salemi

Photo by Matt Smith Similar to the LED (a collaborative place for teachers to go to learn more about technology), the Drop-in Lab will be moved to a different room, where it will become a group project area with lots of technology available, such as TVs and Smartboards. At the start of the 2018-19 school year, LHS will experience changes within the curriculum and the building itself. Many physical classrooms themselves will change. The PAWS room (007) will be moved and that space will be converted into a casual study center for students. Before and after school, teams and clubs will be able to use the space as well. This summer, LHS will be modernizing the computer lab in room 122, and the FLEX lab (151) and Drop-in Lab (150) will be changed. “The DIL and the FLEX rooms are going to be converted into student innovation and collaborative rooms so any teacher can bring any class down to use that room,” said Principal Dr. Thomas Koulentes. “It’s going to have a lot of technology and a lot of comfortable furniture. It’s kinda gonna look like a Google office.” In addition to the new furniture in the resource centers, there is also some being added in certain classrooms. Dr. Koulentes stated that this furniture will be there to enhance the comfortability of students, which can help improve their academics too. Some of the furniture will include couches, booth-like seating, high tops and more modernized seating. Another improvement will be a new heating and cooling system on the second level to help prevent the extreme temperatures in the upstairs classrooms, according to the school board minutes for the March 24 meeting. The press box by the football field will also be getting a makeover with new siding. In the parking lot and some classrooms, new LED lights will be installed as well. A big change could be the school start time being moved up. The district has recommended a later time for school, but the teacher contract for next school year hasn’t been finalized, which affects if this will be implemented. The D128 board meeting minutes from the end of March state that “several important components regarding the recommended schedule are subject to the collective bargaining process, which is currently ongoing. When agreement is reached, it will become part of the final agreement.


“The [teacher] union is a full collaborative partner in this discussion.” On a curricular level, one change will be the addition of the AP Research class. In the class, students will pick a topic they have an interest in to do a yearlong research project. The project includes a 4,000-to5,000-word paper and a presentation. AP Research’s prerequisite is AP Seminar. If students take both AP Research and AP Seminar, they are eligible to receive AP Capstone certification. According to College Board’s website, “AP Capstone™ is a College Board program that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges.” Another change to the AP courses includes the switch of AP Psychology from being one semester to a full year and AP Macroeconomics being changed into AP Economics. In AP Economics, the class will cover both the AP Macro and Microeconomics material in a yearlong class instead of a semester of AP Macroeconomics. LHS is also offering blended Algebra II and Chemistry classes as well as a pilot Rape Aggression Defense training for some sophomore girls in P.E. The P.E. department will be adding advanced weightlifting and advanced CrossFit due to high demand. Sophomores will also be able to exempt from P.E. class if they are on any level of LHS athletics next year. In previous years, only seniors and juniors could exempt, but the 2016-17 school year was the first year that upperclassmen could exempt if they were on a JV sport. “Expanding the opportunity to sophomores as well would be beneficial. A student-athlete is already getting their physical activity through the sport they are in,” said freshman athlete Morgan Spaulding. “Being in a sport, you have less time to study and do homework outside of school, so when gym is replaced with a study hall, I think that helps out a lot with the balance of school and sports.”


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Students traveling to Europe for the summer by Molly Boufford

Illustration by Amanda Black Between the summers of 2018 and 2019, some students from LHS will have the option of traveling to England, Ireland and Switzerland, France, Spain or Italy. This summer, Libertyville students, through the World Languages department, have the opportunity to travel to Spain in June, as well as to Ireland and Switzerland in July for the Global Leadership Summit Program. From June 5-18, current freshmen, sophomores and juniors taking Spanish classes will to travel to Spain and explore the northern half of the country. The trip includes six main cities: Madrid, Burgos, Cantabria, Bilbao, San Sebastian and Barcelona. Starting in Madrid, the students will participate in a city walk and tours, seeing churches, the Cibeles Fountain and the St. Mary’s synagogue. In Cantabria, the group will go on a city excursión to Getxo and Portugalete exploring the province of Biscay in the Autonomous Community of Basque Country. Spending the last three days in Barcelona, students will have some free time to explore the city and also relax at the beach in between visiting Gaudi’s Sagrada Família (a famous church) and going on sightseeing tours. This is third year this trip is available to students in Spanish classes. When Mrs. Jennifer Goettsche, the department supervisor of world languages, started working at LHS in 2014, she learned there were no opportunities for students taking Spanish to actually go to Spain. “I realized that we had not been giving the option for students to travel. I think it had been 20-plus years [since the last trip like this],” said Mrs. Goettsche. After talking about the issue with the other teachers, they agreed to create a Spain trip for the first time in the summer of 2016. “That first trip went so well and was such an amazing experience that we had already started to plan this year’s trip,” said Mrs. Goettsche with a smile. While sophomore Rachel Bond is a little nervous about getting sick on the trip, she is mostly excited to learn about the culture. “I hope to learn more about the Spanish culture and improve my Spanish. I also hope to gain closer friendships with the people on the trip,” said Bond in a text message. Mrs. Goettsche also expressed her hopes for the future of being able to do an exchange program, similar to the French exchange program available at LHS. “We’d like to do a home stay on our next trip and possibly have kids come here [Libertyville], but I would say that’s on the horizon, hopefully,” stated Mrs. Goettsche.


In the following month of July, four students from Libertyville and Vernon Hills High Schools are going to Ireland and Switzerland for the Global Leadership Summit program. They will depart on July 5 and return home on July 15. Last summer, Dr. Rita Fischer, the district’s superintendent of curriculum and instruction, attended the summit for the first time as a professional development opportunity. Mrs. Emily Koerner, a Spanish teacher, is the supervisor for the 2018 conference as well as in 2019. “Summer of 2018 is the trial run of the trip,” explained Mrs. Koerner, over email, as to why there was only a small group of people going from District 128. “There are 40 students from both LHS and VHHS signed up for the 2019 trip.” During the trip, the group will visit Belfast and Dublin in Ireland. Then, they will travel to Switzerland to explore Zurich and Davos. In Belfast and Dublin, students will visit the Titanic Belfast Museum, take an excursion to Derry, visit the Hillsborough Castle, and see the Book of Kells at Trinity College. After flying from Dublin to Zurich, students will travel to Davos by train. The last three days of the trip in Davos is when the leadership conference will be held. Freshmen Ashley Born will be attending the 2019 conference as her first international trip. “I’m most excited for the landscape tours in Ireland, and the conference itself in Switzerland,” said Born over text. The conference’s theme is the power of communication. Students attending will be learning about thoughtful leadership, personalized learning and innovative thinking. Students will also be working with other students at the conference on a international stage to learn new skills for the future. “We hope that this trip will offer students the unique opportunity to utilize design thinking to solve one of today’s global challenges,” expressed Mrs. Koerner. Along with the two international summer trips coming up, a couple of other trips for the 2018-19 school year have also been approved by the Board of Education. Students enrolled in art classes will be offered the chance to go on a Japan trip for spring break and all students are invited to explore Italy, France and England in the summer of 2019. Registration will be open through December 2018.


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A=1/2(d1+d2) x²=4ay



a²+b²=c² E=mc²



A=πr² C=2πr



Freshman ‘Genius’: A glimpse into Liam’s passion for math



By Rachel Benner Photos by Bulat Schamiloglu Layout by Ella Marsden

When Liam Tucker was a child, his mom read the book “How to Raise a Brighter Child.” Many around him, including his sister, senior Nora Tucker, can attest that whatever their mom learned from the book seemed to work; Nora describes Liam as “a genius.” Liam Tucker is only a freshman, and though his peers are enrolled in Algebra I or Geometry, he’s taking AP Calculus BC. The ability for such a young student to handle a course at this level is unseen by most teachers, yet Tucker excels in higher-level math despite his age. with a teacher who would give him individual assignments and worksheets. In the sixth grade, he was taught geometry, the highest level of math offered at Rondout. After the completion of the class, he began attending math courses at LHS, starting in seventh grade with Algebra II. Every morning, before Rondout’s 8:20 a.m. start time, Tucker was driven by his mother to the high school. In eighth grade, he progressed further and began taking precalculus at LHS.


When Tucker was in kindergarten at Rondout Elementary School, the math he was taught was too simple for him. “In kindergarten, people were learning about shapes, but I found that easy, so I moved up to second-grade math, and then I moved up [further in math] in first grade also. I was going up at the normal pace, but I was way ahead of the other kids in my grade,” explained Tucker. By the end of third grade, he was being taught fifth-grade level math because he “didn’t see a difference between them. You’re pretty much learning the same thing over and over.” As a child, Tucker was always interested in math. According to Nora, he would memorize math facts and share different sports statistics he had individually researched with his family. At Rondout, when he was given the opportunity to write books, “all the books he wrote were about math and math puns. They were all about this math guy that gets stuck on this island and has to use math to find his way off,” stated Nora. “So even when he was in other classes, math was the only thing on his mind.” Freshman PJ Liphardt, Tucker’s close friend since elementary school, described what it was like to be in class with him: “When we were in fifth grade -- sometime around then -- Liam was well beyond us in math and this was before we learned how to square root and all that other stuff. So we would be like, ‘Oh Liam, what’s the square root of 738, and he could’ve just said some random [number], and we would just be like, ‘wow, that’s amazing!’ because we didn’t know any better...a lot of the time, [the answers] were right.” Since Tucker was ahead of all the other kids in his grade, he would learn one-on-one throughout his elementary and middle school years



Upon entering high school as a freshman, Tucker enrolled in AP Calculus BC, the highest level of math offered at the school. Tucker said the class covers the hardest math he has ever done, but it doesn’t pose as too big of a challenge. “He usually understands things just fine and if he has questions, he asks. He’s not hesitant to work with the other students in class -- they are almost all seniors. He gets along well with everybody, he understands, jumps right in and is not hesitant at all. [He is] pretty confident [and] successful,” said Mrs. Amanda Warfield, Tucker’s calculus teacher. Tucker is the first freshman she has had in this specific course. This year, Tucker was also a member on the school’s math team, which ended their season with second place in State. Competitions are broken up by grade, so as a freshman, Tucker mostly solved algebraic problems, his favorite math to do. Mr. Rick Brenner, a math teacher at LHS and coach of the team, called him “well above average” and “a valuable asset on the math team.” Throughout the whole season and all of its competitions, out of 40 detailed questions, Tucker only missed four. “He’s probably the smartest freshman I’ve ever had on the math team,” stated Mr. Brenner. One of the things Tucker loves most about math is that there is one solution to every problem. “I like [that math] is not really subjective because in English, when


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reading a poem...the whole idea is there are multiple things you could infer in English, there are multiple ideas,” explained Tucker. “In math, there is one answer, and I find it just easier.” Though he doesn’t know specifically what classes he will be taking for his additional three years at LHS, he said his options include AP Statistics, AP Computer Science and Calculus III, an online math class provided by the University of Illinois. Nora said that their family jokes that since Tucker will be attending classes at LHS for six years rather than the traditional four, it is taking him longer to graduate: “So even though he’s this super smart freshman, the running joke is, ‘Well, at least it’s only going to take the rest of us four years to graduate high school.’”


In addition to AP Calculus BC, Tucker is in Honors Chemistry and AP Human Geography, classes that are traditionally for sophomores or juniors. On top of his advanced classes, he participates in a number of activities: varsity track, the freshman soccer team and he plays the bassoon in the school band. Despite all these activities, he doesn’t find it hard to balance everything. “He’s one of those people who is a math person but is still good at everything,” Nora explained. In addition, both teachers and students alike mentioned how sweet and humble Tucker is. “He’s not cocky; [he] doesn’t let it go to his head. He’s very personable, very willing to help the other math team members. He never brags,” expressed Mr. Brenner. “Just a good guy overall.” Liphardt echoed these sentiments, stating, “I’m almost positive he is the smartest freshman in all of LHS, 100 percent. As far as the school goes, he’s up there for sure,” expressed Liphardt. “It’s something you really wish you could be too, you wish you were as smart as he is and could whip out answers to problems. But it’s also not like he makes fun of it too, it’s not like he’s like, ‘Oh, I’m smarter than you’ or anything, which is great. He’s not a jerk, he’s very humble...He’s just something else.”

On Wednesday, May 2, when the bell rang, all students were asked to stay in their classrooms until further notified. While most of his classmates stopped reviewing at this time, Tucker and his group continued their meticulous preparations for the AP exam.

Despite being a freshman in AP Calculus BC, Liam Tucker (middle) is treated as if he is the same age as his fellow classmates. Here, Liam helps his fellow classmates, junior Lisa Lamb (left) and senior Ellie Cho, with some review questions for the AP Calculus BC exam. Feature


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E=mc² A=1/2(d1+d2)

“He gets along well with everybody, he understands, jumps right in and is not hesitant at all. Pretty confident, successful.” -Mrs. Amanda Warfield


A=πr ² V=πr²h




a²+b²= c²

E=mc² a²+b²=c²

Restricted Rights for Teachers By Ella Marsden

Photo and Illustrations by Claire Salemi


hen teachers step foot into school, their First Amendment rights are restricted. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the First Amendment only protects public school teachers when they are speaking as private citizens, not when they are speaking as part of their duties relating to their job. In other words, teachers can say (almost) anything they want when they are outside the classroom, but in the classroom, as representatives of the school district, they must keep their speech objective. As Libertyville High School Principal Dr. Thomas Koulentes explained, “the goal of our school is to help students learn to think for themselves by studying the situations, finding research and perspectives that help [them] evaluate a situation and ultimately selecting evidence that leads [them] to a position.” The newly adopted mission of District 128 is to develop students who are “daring.” This acronym stands for Dreamers and Doers, Aware, Resilient and Healthy, Inquisitive, Nimble and Global. This mission is meant to, as Dr. Koulentes said, help students learn to think for themselves and build a productive future. Mrs. Nikol Olszewski, a math teacher, echoed this message: “I personally feel like it’s our job to kind of help our students with their views and how to support them…It’s our job to be accepting of everybody,” she

Layout by Maggie Hutchins

stated. After the Parkland school shooting in February, some teachers brought up the incident in class while others remained silent on the topic. These different reactions may be due to the restrictions on teachers’ First Amendment rights. “As a public employee, [a teacher has] to be able to work with all students and all families,” Dr. Koulentes said. “What they need to do is refrain from forcing political viewpoints or opinions onto students.” Teachers have their own explanations as to why they think their rights are different than those of private workers. “Some people say teachers can’t talk about [their opinions] because we’re in a position of power, we’re in position of authority, we’re in a position of influence,” said Mr. Ryan Ebling, an English teacher. In their teenage years, students are learning to think for themselves and develop their own ideas and beliefs. If one of their teachers discusses their personal beliefs in class, a student could feel as though they’re being forced to feel a certain way or believe in a specific idea. In an email interview, sophomore Matthew Murbach supported the restrictions that exist: “I don’t think that teachers should express their political beliefs because their jobs are to teach, not indoctrinate students to their political ideology.”

x+4=17x+18 Textbook



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“It’s important to me that [my students] know that I would do anything to keep them safe in any situation.”

“It’s important for students and teachers to engage with all ideas.” “It’s our job to be accepting of everybody.”

However, some believe teachers should talk about politics during class, but the conversation should remain as objective as possible. “I think that it’s important for students and teachers to engage with all ideas, and it’s impossible to speak about things objectively because we all have a point of view,” Mr. Ebling said. “So I don’t think you can ever really have a real conversation about it if you don’t introduce [different] points of view.” Mr. Ebling specified that this type of discussion should lean greatly on the opinions of students and that as a teacher, he would refrain from discussing his personal views. Junior Thomas Pearson believes the restrictions on teachers are too severe. “Everyone has their right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression and that needs to be something that’s at the forefront of our discussions -- that everybody is heard,” he said. “To a certain extent, [teachers] should [discuss their political beliefs at school] because it’s part of who they are.” Pearson also discussed that a teacher’s belief should not interfere with the material being taught. A student is in school to learn about fact-based subjects, he noted. When a teacher discusses their personal opinion, the conversation is no longer based on facts proven by evidence as much as it is on individual ideas and beliefs. The issue of keeping classroom conversations objective applies more easily to some courses than others based on the nature of the class’s material. “I teach physics. That’s what I’m paid to do,” said Mr. Mark Buesing. “There’s not a lot of politics involved unless it pertains to some histori-


cal, political situation that led to some scientific discovery.” When a tragedy like the Parkland shooting occurs, teachers each have their own ideas about the best way to respond to it in the classroom. Mr. Ebling chose to discuss the event with his class; he explained that he tends to be more in tune with his emotions than he is with the politics around this type of situation. “I feel like most of the discussion I had [with my class after the Parkland shooting] was about processing those feelings, processing the fear,” he explained. Mr. Buesing expressed a similar stance: “It’s important to [me] that [my students] know that I would do anything to keep them safe in any situation.” Mrs. Olszewski explained that she thinks it’s important to bring these topics up: “I think that if you don’t talk about major issues or things when they happen, it’s a missed opportunity for teachers to help students form opinions in a healthy way.” As a student, Pearson favors these teachers’ approaches. “I think that if the teacher can be the one to facilitate constructive and peaceful and...actual good conversation that that can help not solve those issues but to help us as students to prepare for the real world when… we’re kind of put into that situation,” he said.


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T he Senior List Alabama Auburn University Lauren Heraty Thomas Siegel

University of Alabama Amanda Pignone

University of Alabama at Birmingham Mary Bertini Arianna Nevarez

Arizona Arizona State University Alec Doctor Kyle Erlandson William O’Malley Kaitlin Sartin Adam Sparks Anthony Venturi

By Hannah Hutchins and Colleen Mullins Graphics by Maggie Hutchins Layout by Ian Cox and Olivia Griffith

University of California, Los Angeles Riley Hoff Carl Macpherson

University of California, Santa Barbara Benjamin Arnold

University of Redlands Jenna Grayson

University of Southern California Ololade Akinlade Olivia Griffith Maxwell Moulton


Colorado School ofMines Margo Lawless

Northern Arizona University Shannon Long Natalie Spilman

University of Arizona Kailey Christianson Aleksandar Dupor Gavin Ridgell Grace Walsh


Pepperdine University Zachary Ford

Saddleback College Dylan Foster

San Diego State University

ColoradoStateUniversity Justin Chung Jackson Czajka Sarah Hoyer Ian Nagle Eileen Rice Nathan Sanderson Ian Wettlaufer

University of Colorado Boulder Grace Arthur Rachel Dudley Jordan Ginnetti Madeleine Laue Mary Rill Alexander Sorensen Alexander Thompson Christopher Thompson Emma Weegar Rachel Weis

Western State Colorado University

Luke Herr

Scripps College

Ethan Goebeler Hunter Schweiger

Anna Burns

Senior List


Florida Eckerd College Anna DeMartini

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Wesley Sharon

Florida State University John Militante

Tulsa Welding School Cameron Szabo

University of Florida Sara Matheo

University of Miami Leeanne Fang Joseph Recker


Emory University Leah Hartung

Georgia Institute of Technology Suraj Rajendran

Savannah College of Art and Design Paula Baworska Ryan Kates

Hawaii Brigham Young University-Hawaii Trinity Carlisle Jocelyn Stephenson

Idaho Brigham Young University-Idaho Haylee Chandler

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Illinois Augustana College Ainslie Lounsbury

Bradley University Jenna Carnazzola Anna Margarites

Kenndrick Kanoon Richard Linn Kaitlyn Matthew Margaret Musso Jacob Roberts Parker Roberts

Joffrey Ballet Priyana Acharya

College of Lake County Jackson Adams Vittorio Barigazzi Holly Brown Bryce Brown-Morris Brice Boyer John Carrington Smith Liam Cooney Forrester Cotterman John Durning Jr. Nicole Flamank Michael Graham Joshua Groskopf Yonathan Gunawan Aidan Hackett Audrey Haywood Maddin Herberger Joshua Lewis Kacey Lindsey William Magill Grayson Manchik Benjamin Martin Lucas Minor Yvonne Montano Katherine Mulligan Savannah Piwowarczyk Sava Prodanovic Thomas Rigali Emilia Rodriguez Jacob Schuster Andrew Spence Kristina Strampel Kharisma Strawder Rizza-Angelie Talosig Emily Tiffany Hannah Walsh Joseph Welch

Columbia College Chicago Christopher Palmer Matthew Welsh

DePaul University Liam Hettinger William Marinis Olivia Tomassetti

Lake County Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committe Vincent Bitner

Lake Forest College Michelle Katta Nicole Kelly Felisa Umadhay Kyle Wallis

Loyola University Chicago Madeline Bartusch Alexander Dzierozynski John Hugdahl Mary Lothspeich Savannah Pakosta Yumna Siddiqui Rinny Singapori Maria Del Mar Villanueva-Guzman

National Louis University Angie Rose Baquiran

North Central College Samantha McCarthy

Northern Illinois University Lais Boa

North Park University Gavin Johnson

Northwestern University Ramon Neira Lauren Randolph Charles Schmidt Mariam Tolba

Southern Illinois University Caroline Phagan Matthew Rankin

Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy Matthew Cortina

Heartland Community College Timothy Jean

Illinois State University Brilynn Dawson Claudia Fiorenza Olivia Fiorenza Alexandria Hibbard-Brown

Senior List

University of Illinois at Chicago Brendan Gallagher Derrick Joseph Dylan Maldonado

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Sydney Bauer


Jasmina Bogojevic Grace Bonamarte Maxwell Chan Yoon Min Cho Sean Coughlin Jake DeBruler Tara DSouza Brian Flanagan Elizabeth Foley Matthew Friel Riley Gowens Ryan Greenberg Ethan Hertzler Benjamin John Daniel Kaputa Lauren Kavathas Alex Lu Melissa Manetsch Kathleen Manley Christopher Martin Allison Morettini Kieran Nair Kristina Nelson Tyler Padilla Bryce Parker Joseph Perrone Laura Pressley Manikandan Raja Richard Rogers Margaret Rogin Emily Roller Taylor Rossi Jorie Ryan Grace Schamberger John Scott Christina Simley Benjamin Sutter Kevin Villanueva Claire Wagner Tyler Wang Dewa Wardak Madison Zaengle Monika Zbroja Stacy Zeng

Indiana Ball State University Molly Goebel Lauren Rossa

Butler University Annalisa MacAyeal Nathan Charles Nicholas Neumann Malcolm Sullivan

Indiana University Austin Becker William Bertaud Colleen Burke Michael Chamoun Morgan DeGregor James Dietmeyer Brooke DiLullo Audrey Manfredini

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Alyssa LaRoi Sofia Loffredo Stephanie Markos William Neason Katherine Roleck Alexandra Siskovic Joshua Smithey Alexandra Weaver Kaitlyn Zabadal

Hannah Miller Madison O’Brien Marco Scopacasa Dylan Seth Ryan Wittenbrink

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis Collin Feldman

Marian University Tanner Chester Purdue University Grant Bair Jared Edwards Manit Kaushal Gregory Krikorian Julia Mollenhauer Michaela Olsen Nathan Pacholski Erin Rooney McKenzie Vanyek

Massachusetts Maritime Academy Jessica Fu

Wellesley College Jenna Ocheltree

Kansas University of Kansas Avryl Johnson Hussain Ali Kanji Madelyn Fisher Noah Payant Sara Scheibler Lauren Tarman


University of Notre Dame Nora Tucker

Valparaiso University William Bennett Colin Fields Kyra Ritchie Gina Sylvester

UniversityofKentucky Patrick Conway Kylie Kloser Chloe Latka Chae-Rin Lea

Michael Flanagan

Dominic Fiore

Iowa Cornell College

Louisiana Tulane University Emma Kosowski Edward Moy


Christopher Allen

Drake University Emily Agemura

Grinnell College

Johns Hopkins University

Iowa State University

University of Maryland, College Park

Alice Hubbard

Morgan Jensen Mason Maniloff

Evan Boettcher William Shinn Paul Sommer Luke Thunga Michael Woo Zachary Zerwas

John Benoit


College for Creative Studies Nathaniel Sweitzer

FerrisStateUniversity Jamie Eastmond

Grand Valley State University Allison Neumann Megan Wolter


Vincennes University

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Brandon Simberg

Hope College Micah Holzwarth Grace Kennedy Madison Kerber Alanna Naftzger

Lawrence Technological Institute Jared Hedlund

Michigan State University Brendan Bazar Sarah Keating Katelyn Kubalanza

University of Michigan Nicholas Harvey Alexandra Stavrakos Tess von Rueden Peter Wacnik

Wayne State University Massachusetts Berklee College of Music Dylan Boyle

William Ghantous Philip Nauman

Luther College Alexander Dikelsky Lukas Plunkett

Boston University

Brian Nelson

Gordon College

University of Dubuque University of Iowa Max Abderholden Margaret Cayce Megan Fahey Cormac Haverty-Dennis Alexander Jackson Mallory Kimpler Riley Konigseder

Kathleen Storiz Vanesa Stoynova William Perkins

Harvard University Aaron Chen

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Margaret Shutts Allison Tong

Senior List


Western Michigan University Sarah Distenfield

Minnesota University of Minnesota Mia Clark Olivia Devin Allison Friello Sophie Richardson Thomas Smithey Emily Stone

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Missouri Lindenwood University Jonathan Schlapper

University of Central Missouri Eric Jenner

University of Missouri Anton Alesna Erin Borcia John Copeland Ariana Dismer Emma Gorman Sacha Knuti Julia Long Julia Picchietti Brian Quist Bulat Schamiloglu Rachael Thomas Zi Tompkins Elise Weiglein

Grace Mazurek Matthew Olson

Matthew Rudolphi

Rochester Institute of Technology

Xavier University Hannah Daguinsin Amy Steeno Ryan Winiger

Jillian Vang Spencer Vang

North Oklahoma Oklahoma State Carolina University High Point University Eliza Dembinski

University of Oklahoma

Caroline Schaffer

North Carolina State University

Andrew Quane

University of Tulsa

Alexander Aksland

University of Missouri St. Louis Austin Stevenson Emma Stevenson

Washington University in St. Louis Kathleen Lund Emily Regan Lewis Wang

Montana Montana State University Colin Beattie Emily Benish Samuel Stortz

North Dakota North Dakota State University Brendan Cook

Ohio Bowling Green State

George Legan


University of Oregon



New York Colgate University Colin Miller

Hofstra University

Case Western Reserve University

Carnegie Mellon University

Cleveland Institute of Art

Pennsylvania State University

Brian McLinden

Heather Wilson

The College of Wooster Jillian Ness

Miami University

Griffin Murphy Allison Southwick Jack Stevens Makenna Yoor

Jacob Rudolphi Maria Thames

University of Dayton

Senior List

Jason Edmunds

Daniel O’Hara

Thomas Jefferson University Josephine Barnabee

Jacob Prillaman

Matthew Templeton

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Colby Roberts

South Ohio Northern University Carolina The Ohio State University The Citadel, The University of Cincinnati

The New School

Jack Otto


Scott Bonebrake William DeBruler Morgan Manski Sophia Pearson Daniel Richardson Alexander Tam

Martin Brannaman John Draa Timothy Franz Serryn Lenners Kelly Litwitz Cole McClurg Luke Weiland

Bucknell University

California University of Pennsylvania

Colin Hawkinson

Nebraska University of Nebras-

Joshua Lilja

Julia McGormley John McGuan

Nicholas Angel Alexander Ferreira Emma Kraft


Military College of South Carolina Christopher Schuk

Clemson University Mary Buchert Hannah Kenzer

Coastal Carolina University Sarah Toohey

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College of Charleston Trevor Evans Natalie Seitz

University of South Carolina

Vermont Champlain College Elizabeth Garcia

University of Vermont Meredith Goldin John Richardson

Charlotte Bettridge Suzette Garcia-Stam Hayley Holson Clare Hoult Max Kratcoski Victoria Moy Kristin Wenner


College of William & Mary

South Dakota University of South Dakota Leo Zombolo

Tennessee Rhodes College Veronica Houle

University of Tennessee Morgan Basich

Vanderbilt University

Nicholas Berklan Luke Ekdahl

University of Richmond Franklin Borre

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Nicholas Harrington


University of Washington Hannah Hutchins

Washington D.C. American University Claire Mills

Carter Schaffnit

Texas Baylor University Charles Bloom Emory Orlando

Wisconsin Carroll University Jenna Silverman

Carthage College

Rice University Drew Peterson

Texas A&M University Nathan Valley

Texas Christian University

Brandon Allen Nico Calace Brian Klimek Matthew Paluga Morgan Verbeten

Lawrence University Jacob Dikelsky

Marquette University

Emily Hilldale Mitchell Kenston Alexander Stanulis

University of Texas at Austin Francesca Quenan

Utah Utah State University David Creager Chase Eyre Emily Hamilton

Erin Joyce Elizabeth Liu Carl Michelotti Ryan Muller William Powers Anna Risley Song Hyun Suk Annalise Valente John Yurek

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design Demi Glusic

Senior List


Alex Niemann

St. Norbert College Sarah Townsend

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Abigail Humbert

University of Wisconsin - Green Bay Claire Neuberger

University of Wisconsin - Madison Julian Bok Nicole Haderlein Laura Holzer Bridget Horvath Maxwell Johnson Stephanie Luce Aditi Mehra

University of Wisconsin - Platteville William Hare

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Mark Demaree Colin Janaes Tyler Janaes

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse Tori Ruzzier

International University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) Aarush Tripathi

Gap Year Michael Campeau Trevor Hansen Hayden Marth Danielle Navarro Nicolas Palacios Ian Rosen-Rich Katherine Stahnke Albert Su Colin Wilson Laura Zeng


Ian Hebert Matthew Lieber

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24.10% 40.30% 13.60% 22.00%

Senior List


What Seniors are Most Excited to do at College

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College Isn’t the Osti conecaecti tes doluptincia eaquoditias dolesti squidesequi vellend

“Two roads diverged wood, andre nam, I—tendi aessin por aliquaestem essit officatisin eumasam excearc hillori I took the one less traveled by,

While most LHS seniors will be starting their college years next fall, Cameron Szabo, Jackson Adams, and Priyana Acharya are a few of the LHS seniors who have chosen the road less traveled. They will be either beginning their careers immediately after high school, or attending vocational school.

And that has made all the difference.” - From a poem called “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.

Priyana Acharya Priyana Acharya has been in many dance productions such as, The Magic of the Nutcracker at Dance Center North, The Nutcracker at Joffrey, Don Quixote, and Windy City Live where she performed for their special show. Next year, Priyana Acharya hopes to become a professional ballerina. Acharya explains her passion for dance, “I love dance because you can never be perfect at it,” she explained. “Dance is also very subjective. You’re always striving to do different things and there are so many different obstacles. I just love being constantly challenged.” Although Acharya’s intense passion for dance did not begin until she was 12, Acharya’s interest in dance and music began when she was very young. She danced, played the piano and ice skated, but stopped piano and ice skating when she started to dedicate more time to dance. Acharya knew she wanted to pursue a dance career when she was accepted into the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Connecticut at 14 years old. This year, Acharya balances her schedule between online high school classes and training five days a week at Joffrey Academy in Chicago. She wakes up daily at 5 a.m., and then takes a 6:40 train to Chicago to get to Joffrey by 8 before her first class at 9. Acharya stays in Chicago until about 5 or 6 p.m., then hops back onto a train to get home. Once home, she focuses on her high school classes online. Acharya said her whole family has supported her dream of becoming a professional dancer, especially her parents, who have been a great influence for her. Another role model that Acharya looks up to is Misty Copeland, an African-American ballerina who dances for the American Ballet Theater. “She inspires me to keep pushing past the boundaries of the color of my skin,” Acharya said. “Ballet is very specific on body types and what you look like, so she inspires me to keep pushing

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This year, Priyana Acharya has been training in ballet at the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago and taking online classes to fulfill her graduation requirements. Next year, Acharya is deciding between being a trainee with Charlotte Ballet in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Joffrey Academy of Dance.

past that so I can keep working hard for my goal.” Acharya has been recently offered traineeships with Charlotte Ballet and Joffrey Ballet and is still deciding which she will be attending next year. While Acharya’s primary focus right now is dance, college has not been ruled out. According to Acharya, your body breaks down after dancing for a long period of time, so she wishes to pursue her dream right away and not lose any time. Because dancing is not a lifelong career, Acharya plans to eventually go back to school to pursue a degree in business and/or marketing.


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Only Option Cameron Szabo

In order to pursue his dream of a welding career, senior Cameron Szabo will be attending the Tulsa Welding School in Jacksonville, Florida, immediately after graduation. Currently, Szabo attends the Lake County Tech Campus daily for welding classes.

By Ariella Bucio Photos by Kylie Rodriguez Layout by Corey Kuchler

Although not a common choice for many, vocational school is the choice for LHS senior Cameron Szabo. Vocational school, sometimes referred to as trade school, is a school in which people learn how to do a job that requires specific skills, such as welding. After taking a welding class at the Lake County Tech Campus for the past two years, Szabo was inspired to pursue a welding career. “I just thought [welding] was cool and I took the class and then decided I’d go to trade school for it,” he said. His decision to work towards a welding career was not only inspired by his passion for welding, but also due to the shortened period of time required to complete the vocational school. Szabo will be attending the Tulsa Welding School in Jacksonville, Florida, after graduation. According to the Tulsa Welding School website, the program can be completed in less than a year, unlike a traditional four-year college or university. According to Szabo, he will be able to complete Tulsa Welding School in a shortened amount of time without the higher amount of student debt associated with a traditional college or university. After going to Florida for vocational school, Szabo plans on moving back to the Midwest. He hopes to start his welding career immediately after completing vocational school and pursue it for the rest of his life. Although vocational school is completed in a shortened amount of time, Szabo explained that his schooling may not end there: “the more certifications you have, the better job you can get.”

Jackson Adams Senior Jackson Adams never really had a strong inclination for school. So, he’s decided to pursue a personal training career immediately after graduating high school. “I had a tough time in school, so I figured I might as well just work,” he explained. Although Adams admitted that school hasn’t come easy to him, his passion for his future job was sparked by some classes he took at LHS. “I got into [personal training] in the beginning of high school, and I just loved it. I really like human physiology, so I decided to pursue it,” he said. Adams plans on spending his summer interning at the Orangetheory Fitness Gym in Highland Park. Adams will be observing certified trainers during the internship. This will then influence his decision on whether he wants to become a full-time personal trainer or take on a different career. Despite his dislike towards school, Adams plans on taking a couple of classes at the College of Lake County some time next spring, and he may take some business classes at CLC if being a personal trainer is not a good fit for him. Although he’s not positive about being a personal trainer for the rest of his life, he is sure about starting off with this job.

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Senior Jackson Adams will be interning at Orangetheory Fitness Gym in Highland Park this summer in order to pursue a career in personal training; he is also considering taking a few classes at CLC next year. 19

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MIND T HE GAP By Anna Legutki

Illustration by Demi Glusic

The pressure to go to college immediately after high school can be an ever-present feeling, especially in the culture at LHS. With the accumulated stress of deadlines, challenging classes and standardized tests, some students find that they need to do something different after their four years of high school. The choice to take a gap year - though uncommon - is a fully viable option that is open to students after their high school graduation. A gap year is often, but not always, taken between one’s senior year of high school and freshman year of college. Though a gap year is often seen as a year off, most students will choose to travel, partake in a program of some kind or do some kind of volunteering rather than starting their formal post-secondary education. Though taking a gap year isn’t as common as going to college immediately after school, they are slowly becoming a more common option for students to take. Approximately 230,000 take them every year, according to Year Out Group, who also reported that 90% of students who intend to go to college after their gap year, do. Reasons for a student taking a gap year can vary; for some students, just needing a change of pace after high school can be enough of a rea-

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Layout by Corey Kuchler

son. But, in a broader context, the pressure of having to choose what one wants to do at such an early time in their life can be daunting. “Making a kid pick at 17 and 18 something that is apparently going to set the trajectory of their life -- which I also don’t think is entirely true -- seems so silly,” said Mr. Ryan Ebling, an English teacher. This comment sums up much of the reason that some students choose to take gap years. Leaving high school, some students feel pressure to decide immediately who they want to be following graduation, and they are not ready to do this. Continuing, Mr. Ebling added that, “I think, of course, it’s good for people to go to college, but I also don’t think that college is a good fit for everybody.” Ms. Amy Belstra, head of the College Resource Center, has a glowing opinion on gap years and sees them as a beneficial path for students to take: “You learn so much more about yourself and what you’re capable of because you’re independent,” she said. “You’re navigating a different experience without your parents, and students learn they can do that as well as whatever they’re learning along the way, whether [that’s] another culture or topic or something like that.” According to the Gap Year Association, an organization that helps pair students with gap-year programs, gap years are appealing and beneficial because they give students life experience outside of high school. By leaving home and placing oneself in a location they aren’t accustomed to, it gives them a chance to mature and have time for personal reflection. Many students see high school as an obstacle on the path towards college. Senior Katie Stahnke, who plans on taking a gap year in Seoul, South Korea, expressed that high school is stressful, and committing to


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“Making a kid pick at 17 and 18 something that is apparently going to set the trajectory of their life -- which I also don't think is entirely true -- seems so silly," -Mr. Ebling another four years immediately after it can be less than ideal. Stahnke will being doing a program through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLIY) after doing a six-week program through the same organization in South Korea last summer. She hopes that, through this one-year program that she will be doing in lieu of college next year, she will be able to better learn Korean and after college, work for Samsung in Korea. Despite all the positives that could come from a gap year, there are still stereotypes and concerns around the idea of taking a gap year. One concern from many parents is that taking a gap year will deter their student from going to college after the year is over. After a year without school, it can be easy for parents to foresee their student being enamored by the idea of not having to be held up to the standards of grades and deadlines. Though parents’ concerns about their student choosing not to go to school are common, it is often out of fear that their child will not follow the regular track that most students take. Ms. Belstra says that “I think a lot of parents worry that ‘oh if my student doesn’t go to college right away, they’re not going to go. They’re going to love not having to be in school.’ I have never experienced that.” This fear is often misfounded because a gap year can help a student figure out what they’d like to do in the future, Ms. Belstra suggested. “A short-term benefit is that you understand why you are going to college. What the educational benefit of that is for you. You learn so

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much more about yourself and what you’re capable of because you’re independent,” she said. “Long term, I don’t think everybody should necessarily go to college right out of high school,” Ms. Belstra added. Hayden Marth, a senior at LHS, is taking a gap semester in order to go to South America and do service work, where she will be “volunteering at schools, hospitals, orphanages and just helping around the communities and learning about the culture,” she said in an email. Marth said she plans on doing a gap semester because after volunteering on a trip to Cambodia with LHS’s Caring for Cambodia, she found that she loves being able to do service work. After going to a gap-year fair and finding the right program, she decided to take a gap year because she “[hopes she] can learn more about [herself] and see the impact [she] can make.”


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For years, students across the United States have attended school in search of the college education their parents never received in this country. Whether they come from families who immigrated to the U.S. in search of a better life or families who did not have the opportunity to attend college in U.S., the title of “First-Generation Student” encompases those who are among the first in their family to take a step towards a college education in America. From a young age, senior Felisa Umadhay was always surrounded by science, particularly relating to the medical field. Her mother and father were born and raised in the Philippines, and both studied nursing in their home country at a private Catholic school attached to a hospital. In comparison to much of the schooling in the United States, her parents’ education was

Felisa Umadhay, a senior, will be studying biochemistry at Lake Forest College. Umadhay has felt a calling to science from a young age because of her parents’ background in nursing.

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stricter: “They were taught very differently from people in the U.S., especially in nursing and how the practices [work],” Umadhay explained. “Seeing the standards of a Catholic education, [they are] higher standards of performance. [Students] do things differently, but it’s the right way, and it works.” The constant influence from her parents’ work with the medical sciences is what inspired Umadhay to develop her personal interest in the sciences, particularly biochemistry. Like Umadhay, senior Suraj Rajendran has always had an interest for science and continuous learning. While he was born in India at the time that his father was studying software engineering and his mother was studying education, Rajendran was primarily raised in the United States after his parents immigrated. While not the traditional first-generation student, he is still recognized as the first generation in his immediate family to attend school in the United States. Because his parents never went to school in the United States, Rajendran sees some strong differences between his parents’ education versus his education today. “As I grew older, [my parents] got more experience with the education system here, and I think they found it different in the way that it was a lot more competitive in the United States,” Rajendran explained. “It’s a lot harder to stand out from an educational standpoint because everyone is achieving so much.” Rajendran addressed the common stereotype that Asian parents push their children to perform at the most academically elite levels, and expressed that coming from an Asian family, he’s never felt that particular pressure. For Rajendran, he emphasized how his life in America has not been as oppressed compared to other ethnic groups immigrating to America. “I don’t really have any complaints, per se.


I’ve gotten the best [education] that I can. But I know that our immigration system has its problems. [We] need to fix those problems,” Rajendran concluded. As Rajendran alluded to, controversy surrounding America’s immigration system is often seen in today’s media; this discussion largely centers around those immigrating from Latin America, particularly Mexico. Lancy Marcos, a junior at LHS, is the first member in her family to be born in the United States, and her family officially moved to the United States from Mexico when she was just a toddler. As Marcos explained, her parents wanted her to be able to have better opportunities for not only herself but for her potential future family as well. While not yet in the process of applying to college, Marcos feels optimistic for her future in regards to tertiary education. She noted that the education her parents received was hindered due to required family farm labor. “I don’t think my dad even finished elementary school,” Marcos explained. Her father left school to work on his family’s farm when he was just a child, as did her mother, who stayed in school until the sixth grade before she left to work. Marcos emphasized how her parents’ lack of education is what drives her to continue her education, and she noted how they have strongly insisted that she attends some form of education after high school. “The way I think of it, my parents came here just for [my education],” Marcos explained. “They’ve always told me that if you get a college degree, you’ll automatically get a better job than if you didn’t… For me, it feels like I kind of have to prove that them [immigrating] here was worth it.” Marcos further explained how receiving a

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post-secondary education is one of her main priorities today. She is interested in studying sociology and international studies after she graduates from high school. Students at LHS aren’t the only first-generation students either, as some staff members are the first individuals in their families to receive a college degree in America. Mrs. Regina Odishoo, a speech and language therapist at LHS, was a first-generation student born into

Senior Suraj Rajendran will be studying biomedical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. His parents did attend college, but he is the first in his family to attend a university in the United States. a family that immigrated to the United States from Jerusalem. Her parents were living in the middle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and sought a future in America in hopes of a safer life for their children.

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Mrs. Odishoo’s grandparents were survivors of the early 20th century Armenian genocide, and because of their violent experiences, taught their children and grandchildren to prioritize education above all else. “[My grandfather’s] saying was that education is like gold or jewelry, that no one can take from you,” she explained. “That’s how I was raised. I didn’t have a choice, I was going to college; I was going to get an education.” As a speech therapist at LHS, Mrs. Odishoo said she has met many intelligent students who can’t always clarify their thoughts due to their language barrier. She emphasized that despite a students’ ethnic background, “I want them to be able to recognize their strengths, [as well as] what areas may be difficult for them and honor it. Don’t be embarrassed of it… Just keep trying to learn more.” The concept of first-generation student doesn’t just apply to those whose families immigrated to the United States; it is an overarching term that even encompasses individuals whose parents never received a post-secondary education. Dr. Jennifer Loika, a mathematics teacher at LHS, was the first person in her family to go to college and considers education to be one of the most important qualities in her life. “I have always loved to learn. I knew from a young age that I just wanted to go as far as I could in school, no matter what it was. I wanted to go all the way,” she explained. Dr. Loika underscored how while education is extremely important to her, she specifically wants her children, as well as her students, to take advantage of the opportunities provided for them in the United States. “My family had financial issues, yes, but we are so privileged to have been born in our country, in Libertyville,” Dr. Loika emphasized. “Take full advantage of all of these opportunities. Don’t take them for granted; just take them and run, and see how far they will take you.” Those interviewed are not the only individuals at LHS who are first-generation students. Students all across the country take steps each year as first-generation students, in search of furthering their education. Today, regardless of their backgrounds or ethnicities, millions of children across the country attend school to further not only their educations, but their futures, and whether or not these children are first-generation students, they are undoubtedly a significant proportion of the future generation.


Ms. Regina Odishoo’s parents immigrated to the United States, where she graduated with her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Speech and Language Pathology at Illinois State University. She is currently earning her Doctorate in Reading, Language and Literacy at Concordia University Chicago.

Dr. Jennifer Loika, a math teacher at LHS, was the first in her family to go to college. She has a total of three degrees: a BS in Mathematics from the University of Illinois, an MA in Education Leadership from Concordia University Chicago and an EdD in Teacher Leadership from Concordia University Chicago.

Lancy Marcos, while not decided on a college because she is a junior, is interested in studying sociology and international studies. Her parents did not complete a higher-level education because they were needed for work on their farms in Mexico.

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By Maggie Evers Photos by maria thames layout by hannah hutchins

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rightly lit from the windows and smiles in the room, along upperclassmen, especially seniors, because their “comfort level [about with the colorful decorations hanging from every wall and college and their career] is growing,” explained Ms. Belstra. the ceiling, the College/Career Resource Center, commonly When the school year comes to an end, the women gear up for another referred to as the CRC, is a unique space for students to learn round the following year but also look for ways to improve their process. and work in at LHS. This relaxed space revolves around the Looking ahead to next school year specifically, the CRC is converting to three women who work in it: Ms. Amy Belstra, Mrs. Jennifer a completely paperless system in the hopes that it will be more accessiLund and Mrs. Michelle Jones. ble and faster for students. Ms. Belstra has been the College and Career Counselor at LHS for “Every year the seniors only go through it once. So the process is new eight years. Similar to the other counselors around the building, her prievery year to the seniors, but we are still teaching the same thing. So we mary role is to engage with students and help guide them for their life af- tweak things,” explained Mrs. Jones. ter high school. The only difference is she doesn’t have a caseload, or set Having worked together for five years now, the trio emphasised their number of students to help, like the other school counselors; this allows love of working with each other every day. Mrs. Jones described her faher to interact with anyone who voluntarily chooses to meet with her. vorite part of working in the CRC as “the people I work with. Honestly. Helping her with all of the events, meetings and scheduling is Mrs. We just work so well together.” Jennifer Lund, the CRC secretary. She also sends out emails for all of the The constant laughter and smiles in the CRC indicate the strong relaCRC events, reminders and any community opportunities, such as jobs tionships that not only the trio has built up in recent years but also those or scholarships. Going on her seventh year working at LHS, Mrs. Lund secured with the students. is known for her bright smile when greeting students at the door. “I think [the students] feel that we’re relaxed. When they first come in Finally, but certainly not least, is Mrs. Michelle Jones. As the transcript here, they are intimidated sometimes because college is kind of scary to manager for five years, she ensures that all of the official college applithink about, but I think the more they’re in here, they get to be more laid cation documents, back,” explained such as the tranMrs. Jones. scripts, recommenTo some LHS studation letters and dents, the CRC has counselor letters, become their home are updated in the away from home, system in order to supported by the be bundled and sent three women inside. off to colleges. Between the reEach fall, about sources in the room 200 college repreand the helpful staff, sentative visits are students like senior scheduled by Mrs. Ramon Neira turn Lund. These repreto the CRC as their sentatives talk with go-to place within interested students, the building. answer questions “I just go there and try to encourage whenever I have a students to consider free period or get a their school moving chance to do that. forward. It’s the staff, but it’s “It’s a great oppor- Mrs. Jennifer Lund, Ms. Amy Belstra and Mrs. Michelle Jones are in charge of all things college and career related at LHS. Despite also the atmosphere tunity that, I wish working on their own responsibilities, such as scheduling visits with college representatives, meeting with students and sending [that I like],” said going into the future, transcripts to colleges, the three work as a team to make sure every LHS student is prepared for their future, whatever path that Neira. “It’s really students would really relaxed and you can take advantage of be- may be. talk and don’t have to cause there really is nothing like creating that nice relationship between worry about someone telling you to be quiet, and they’re really nice.” the representative from each of the colleges that you are interested in,” Starting his junior year, Neira used the CRC to meet with Ms. Belstra explained Mrs. Lund. for college guidance, and he now attends it for his first-period study hall As college application deadlines approach later in the fall and in the every day. He plans on attending Northwestern University in the fall winter, they can cause a frantic rush for seniors to complete and submit with the hopes of studying biomechanical engineering. their official documents. The CRC assists during this time by hosting Junior Carrie Jeffrey is new to the CRC this year but has already taken different events that are targeted with helping students figure out not only advantage of all of the resources, specifically the community opportunities. where to apply, but how to apply. “I remember one time I went because I wanted to volunteer at the “It’s always my goal to have more students than parents at those [col[Adler] Planetarium and I asked [Mrs. Lund] if she knew of any opporlege events] because I know how busy [students] are. Parents are a big tunities, and she sent me an entire list of volunteer things that I could do. part of the process, but they don’t own it. The students do,” explained They’re all super helpful and have so many resources,” explained Jeffrey. Ms. Belstra. She utilizes the CRC space for her free period every day and plans on The CRC’s main focus begins to alter course during winter, when it continuing her visits until she graduates. becomes more about scholarships, mostly aimed at seniors. The CRC anBesides having a fun place where talking isn’t restricted, LHS senior nually hosts Honors Night as a way to celebrate and recognize students and future student of Valparaiso University, Gina Sylvester, enjoys the who have won community and department scholarships at LHS. company of the dynamic trio inside the CRC. Moving into the spring means bringing in new faces to the CRC, as this “They’re not only there to help you, they’re kind of like moms, which is the time when juniors really start to become “curious and start thinkis awesome,” explained Sylvester. “They give you advice on life and ing about college,” according to Mrs. Jones. The CRC mostly deals with are always super sweet.”

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for Retirement

By Kath Haidvogel Photos by Abbey Humbert Layout by Katie Felsl For many teachers, retirement is something to look forward to. Most can’t wait to sleep in, no longer have to attend meetings and have more overall freedom in their choices. Although there are plenty of things to look forward to, there are also many things that are missed in retirement. From students and colleagues to extracurriculars, the three staff members who are leaving Libertyville High School this year each have their own aspect of LHS that they will miss.

Mrs. McPhillips Mrs. Jodi McPhillips has been working as a librarian at Libertyville High School since 2006. She previously worked as a social science teacher in the McHenry area starting in 1985. From May 1988 to August 1989, Mrs. McPhillips and her husband took a year-long sabbatical and traveled to Denmark. There, they coached the Denmark professional and junior basketball teams, in addition to volunteering with younger students. She was also the head librarian at Johnsburg High School from 2004 to 2006 before starting her job at LHS. “I loved teaching, and I’ve always said that the library is the biggest classroom in the building, and I wanted to be a part of that,” Mrs. McPhillips expressed. Mrs. McPhillips’ first impression of the school and favorite memory from her time at LHS was when she came for her interview for the position. “I came up and there was a student on the curb and he’s like, ‘Can I help you?’ And I said, ‘I’m looking for the entrance,’ and he’s like, ‘I will go with you,’ and he walked with me around the side of the building. I was telling him I was here for the interview to become the librarian. We got to the doors and he was like, ‘good luck and I hope you get the job.’ It was so sweet...I was like, ‘wow, if this is what this building contains, I want to be in here.’ It was a wonderful, wonderful introduction to Libertyville High School,” she expressed. Mrs. Amy Wiggins and Mrs. McPhillips have become close friends in the five years that they have been working as librarians together. “Just the thought of [her retiring] makes me cry that I’m not going to see her every day,” Mrs. Wiggins explained. “She is Aunt Jodi to my young son, so she is like a family member, and I know I will keep in touch with her, but it will be hard not seeing her every day...and [having to] make a time to see each other versus just knowing that I get to see her Monday through Friday.” Mrs. Wiggins explained how Mrs. McPhillips inspired her to be a teacher-librarian, which is a certified librarian who also has training in teaching. Mrs. Wiggins described her as “genuinely a good person...She’s everything you would want in an educator and in a friend.” Mrs. McPhillips is excited to be able to relax and have more freedom in her choices. She is going to try to do more yoga. Mrs. McPhillips is also looking into going around to different clubs and libraries in the McHenry area to report on a presentation that she has made involving the history of the McHenry area. “ I [want to] embrace whatever might come my way,” Mrs. McPhillips explained. “The first thing I’m going to try to do is nothing. I think that’s going to be really a challenge to totally shut down, so to speak,” she stated. She also plans to move to Great Britain because she “write[s] a blog on the Tudor England and so I would like to...do some more research,” she explained. One of the things she is looking forward to in retirement is “not being controlled by the bell.” However, she will miss LHS. The thing she will miss most is “...working with the students and [the] faculty. I’m sure that’s what everyone says, but it’s true.” Despite looking forward to her retirement, she expressed that “I know I’m going to miss it; that’s all there is to it!”

“I know I’m going to miss it; that’s all there is to it!” -Mrs. McPhillips Focus Feature


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Mrs. Kasel

Mrs. Carolyn Kasel has been working at LHS since 1986 but taught in the Milwaukee area for two years before working here. She knew that she wanted to become a teacher in high school, but she was unsure what she wanted to teach. She went to live in France for a period of time in college, and that’s when she realized she wanted to teach French. She originally started studying Special Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison but switched her major in order to become a French teacher. Mrs. Kasel stays at LHS for first period only and then commutes to Vernon Hills to teach more French classes for the rest of the day. She has been commuting for about two-thirds of the time that she has worked in the district. “It is nice because I get to see everybody. I get to see what is going on in the entire district,” Mrs. Kasel explained. In addition to teaching French, Mrs. Kasel used to coach cheerleading at LHS. “I knew nothing about cheerleading, but [I] had so much fun and it was really nice to see students outside the classroom,” Mrs. Kasel expressed. One of the things that Mrs. Kasel has loved is when she has students more than one year in a row. She was recently able to have the same students that she had in French I in French II the following year. Junior Erin McCane had Mrs. Kasel two years in a row and describes her as “an incredible person and a great teacher.” “I feel like you never really know what you have until it’s gone. And I think that after having her for two years and then not having her this year, you realize....it’s the little things that she did,” McCane expressed. Mrs. Kasel and Mrs. Sara Gourley have become best friends over the 21 years that they have known each other. Mrs. Gourley described her as “the sister who wasn’t born into my family but that I chose for myself.” They were introduced at a Fourth of July party the year after Mrs. Gourley began working at LHS in the math department. “She was the person who came over to my house two days before I got married... [and] she’s the person who came to the hospital when my babies were born,” Mrs. Gourley explained. Mrs. Kasel plans to go on a trip to California with her husband this summer and hopes to get a dog in the future. They are also looking at buying a condo in Madison, Wisconsin, in order to be closer to her parents but will still keep their house in this area. Mrs. Kasel is looking forward to catching up on her reading and taking long walks in her retirement; she is also excited to spend more time with family and friends in her time off. One of the things that Mrs. Kasel will definitely miss about LHS is seeing the school spirit when a sports team is doing well. “I really love the spirit that I see here. I think LHS has a really long tradition of being really proud of their school and of all the accomplishments that have happened in, and beyond, this building,” Mrs. Kasel said. She will also miss her students and colleagues. “My colleagues are like a second family to me now,” Mrs. Kasel expressed.

Mrs. Stevens

Mrs. Nancy Stevens started her career in social work in 1999 at Warren High School. She worked at Grayslake North starting in 2004, and then was a school counselor at Cyd Lash Academy for six months before coming to LHS in 2006 for a job as a school counselor. “I [wasn’t] sure what I wanted to do when I was growing up...and then I found social work and I just loved it. Then [I] decided that I would like to check out school counselors... so I went back and got my master’s in school counseling. So I started that when I came here,” Mrs. Stevens explained. Throughout her years at LHS, Mrs. Stevens was involved in Best Buddies and former clubs called ACE (Athletes Committed to Excellence) and SPARK (which encouraged students to support peers in being healthy). “I am a co-sponsor of Best Buddies, so I’m going to really miss that and that interaction,” Mrs. Stevens expressed. One of Mrs. Stevens favorite memories is “the first day that students arrive and we…[are] reuniting with students that we haven’t seen for the whole summer. I think that’s an exciting day,” she said. Ms. Cameron Traut, the school nurse, and Mrs. Stevens have worked together for 20 years. They worked together at Warren High School before starting at LHS. Ms. Traut said that her favorite thing about Mrs. Stevens is her positive and friendly attitude. Ms. Traut knows that Mrs. Stevens has been a great counselor because she is “always working hard to help students be successful.” Senior Gina Sylvester and Mrs. Stevens have formed a close bond over the four years that she has been Sylvester’s counselor. “You could tell her anything, and you know she won’t show judgement at all,” Sylvester explained. “Everything about her -- she just warms your heart. You just can’t not smile when you’re with her.” Mrs. Stevens plans to move to Florida this summer to work as a social worker in the medical field. “I’m...looking for some new challenges and just a different environment and being in warmer weather doing that. I don’t want to shovel snow anymore,” Mrs. Stevens expressed. Mrs. Stevens also is looking forward to spending more time with her children, grandchildren and friends. She is very excited to be able to go to the beach whenever she wants to. Even with all of her future plans, she is definitely going to miss working at LHS. “I do have a lot of mixed emotions. I’m going to be sad because every day I get to come here, and I have all of my friends that I work with, and then I have students that I’ve known and families that I’ve known for a lot of years. I have a lot of emotions. I am a little nervous, a little sad and a little excited. It depends on the moment,” Mrs. Stevens explained.

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Suggestions for a successful school ek Illustrations by Emilye Hamilton We

Staff Editorial





Layout by Jenna Carnazzola

LHS continually changes -- for better and sometimes, for worse. There is always room for improvement, and there are some things students want to see done differently at school. The two Drops of Ink class periods recently participated in group discussions about what changes we hope to see at LHS in the following years; below are some of the ideas that were presented.

Physical Welfare • Students in intense, everyday club sports should be able to exempt from gym class; coaches outside of school could communicate with the department so that participation is legitimate and verified. • Update the health class curriculum to emphasize consent, the inclusion of sexual orientation, emotional readiness and healthy relationships. • Gym should not be required for every semester, all four years, which exceeds the state law’s minimum requirements. • Physical education should not be included in a student’s GPA.

Courses and Curriculum • More honors-level classes, instead of only regular-level or AP options (specifically for American Literature, physics and consumer). • Greater differentiation between assignments for AP and Honors courses of the same subject (it was noted that APUSH and HUSH have a reputation for having the same amount of work Week and occasionally the same tests). of the Artist • More accurate, detailed explanations of courses, possibly provided to students by their counselors. This information could include how rigorous the course is, according to past students, how many kids typically drop the class and the average workload per night. • Teachers who teach the same subject and level should communicate more so the classes have equal rigor and workload, making different classes of the same level fairer.

Students • Fewer weeks for Link Crew -- the program is able to cover all necessary information in a shorter amount of time. • A greater amount of Lville Pride; for example, more encouragement from Student Council for spirit days and increased participation from the students on those days. Week of the Artist • Bring back Athlete of the Week and possibly create an Artist of the Week to recognize their talents as well. • Students should be given more freedom during lunch and free periods to walk around rather than having to stay in the same space they started in for all 50 minutes.

Other • More interaction between administration and students; events at the beginning of the year could be held to grow that relationship and bridge that gap. • Workshops or courses on empowerment, race and diversity, and other topics related to non-traditional school subjects should be offered for interested students throughout the year. • More therapy dogs! • The cafeteria should accept debit cards as a method of payment. • The orange walls should not be as bright; walls that are going to be painted should have calmer, lighter colors.

Note: As this piece is a staff editorial, it is representative of the opinions of Drops of Ink staff as a whole. The staff is comprised of LHS students from each grade level and spans a wide range of opinions from two class periods, with 45 students total. The author(s) of this piece did not place their personal opinions in the story; they merely reflect the staff ’s thoughts.



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Not a Numbers Game By Maria Thames Photo by Zachary Ford Layout by Jenna Carnazzola


egardless of if you are a freshman, senior, teacher or parent reading this, I’m sure you’ve had a conversation about the college admissions process. Maybe these conversations have been centered on the evident and unfortunate problems that are present in the admissions system. For example, college-bound students spend immense time, effort and money on applying to college, and after all of those efforts, they still may be rejected for no apparent reason. While the system is flawed in more ways than one, the largest flaw present within the process is how students are evaluated based on numbers and, consequently, are forced to play a numbers game. This numbers game refers to students’ standardized test scores and grade point average (GPA), and it is often what determines the colleges students apply to and whether students are accepted into these colleges or not. As more competitive schools have higher thresholds for average GPAs and test scores of admitted students, it makes sense that the students who fall within those thresholds generally apply to those schools. The same is true for less competitive schools. With a logical and numerical approach, this system makes perfect sense. However, with that being said, students are being defined by numbers that show nothing about who they are. Sure, a brilliant student may receive a 36 on their ACT, but a brilliant student may also receive a 20 on their ACT. The ability to sit down for four hours and take a test on four subjects says absolutely nothing about a student’s ability to persevere. It says nothing about their passions. It says nothing about their grit, their aspirations and what they are truly capable of. That is simply unfair. As far as GPA goes, a student who works day and night may have a 4.5 GPA, and a student who works day and night may have a 2.0 GPA. While GPA is a slightly more holistic view of a student’s intelligence, as it is built up over four years -- as opposed to four hours -- it doesn’t say who a student is as a person or what all of their intelligence consists of. While there is truth to the idea that students who work hard and study hard can achieve scores and grades that are equivalent to “naturally” smart students, the concept of intelligence goes beyond the realm of academics. I’m not trying to say that these numbers aren’t important or that they, in some way, do not indicate what students are capable of academically speaking. But students are more than two numbers and should be treated as such. The whole purpose of these two numbers is that they

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help to create a threshold for students to be admitted to college. Once students are at college, they are studying their specific interests in order to become knowledgeable on whatever field they may want to enter post-college. Students aren’t going to college to build a perfect GPA or get an A+ on every single exam; they’re attending school so they have the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience they can apply to their future jobs. In order for students to be able to do this, they need to understand that the impact they are going to have in their fields must and will go beyond the number that they earn on a test or the GPA they earn over another four years of school. This understanding cannot be realized through the current admissions system. The real world isn’t demanding for workers to simply be able to complete a task, as is expected in standardized testing, nor is the real world demanding workers who solely focus on obtaining a perfect track record, as is expected with GPA . The world is rapidly changing and developing; new skill sets are needed in the workforce now that stretch beyond simply task completion. As indicated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the labor force in University of Phoenix conducted a “national survey [to] recognize the importance of soft skills, behavioral competencies like the ability to learn new things, interpersonal communication, and collaboration, in getting hired”. From the survey, the top skills needed are as follows: ability and willingness to learn new skills (84 percent); critical thinking and problem solving (82 percent); collaboration and teamwork (74 percent); interpersonal communication (72 percent); and the ability to analyze and synthesize information (69 percent). Prioritizing numbers and putting endless time and effort into them is simply not as important as being able to exemplify the characteristics listed above. If colleges are looking for students who are going to change the world, they’re going to have to start admitting students based on their experiences, their creativity, their ability to problem solve in a pressure-filled situation and their ability to collaborate. While I have no clear answers as to how this can or should happen, maybe more emphasis could be put on the essays students submit or maybe college admissions officers could reach out to the students they are evaluating, as it’s their job to admit students based on the information they have. Regardless, there is one thing that I do know: it’s time to stop playing this numbers game.


Drops of Ink

My merit, not my race An opinion on affirmative action by Lola Akinlade

As soon as I got into my dream school, a whirlwind of emotions overwhelmed me: joy, euphoria and relief were the most prevalent ones. However, as more people found out about my acceptance, my hidden fear emerged. Those positive emotions quickly dissipated and were abruptly seized by the voices of strangers, peers and even friends, who boiled down all my hard work to one superficial aspect: the pigment of my skin. These voices echoed sentiments like, “Well, I’m sure being black helped;” “A reason you stood out was probably because you’re black;” and “Yeah, it’s easier for you since you’re black.” Yeah, I’m sure getting into highly selective colleges had nothing to do with my rigorous course load, strong ACT score and GPA, well-written essays, countless hours spent interning and volunteering or my array of leadership roles and various awards. Not to mention numerous all-nighters and 4 a.m. study sessions. My success all had to do with the pigment of my skin; not me as a person. In fact, I’m sure the admissions officers saw the box checked “black” and stopped reading everything else and just admitted me instantaneously. Blackness equals college admission always. Some people often justify this belief by citing affirmative action as to why it’s easier for “people like me” to get into highly selective schools. Affirmative action is an active policy that some businesses and schools choose to employ in order to improve the employment and educational opportunities of disadvantaged minorities and women. However, it’s important to note that a famous Supreme Court case, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, upheld affirmative action while specifying that race could only be one of the several factors in the college admission process. So, if two students with the same GPA, ACT, course rigor and leadership experience applied to a college with only one spot available, the only difference being that one happened to be a disadvantaged minority, the minority would likely get in if the school used affirmative action policies. Some people who don’t directly benefit from affirmative action policies argue that it’s unfair, as you don’t get to choose what race you are born into and therefore should not be “penalized” for that.

I agree. Life can be unfair and race is something that no one on the planet has control over. It is unfair that schools were only integrated in 1954, leaving many minorities with a significantly poorer education than white people, even today. It is unfair that, according to The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit organization created in 1986, wage gaps between whites and blacks have increased since 1979 primarily because of discrimination rather than the often-misconceived idea of lack of education. It is unfair that minorities face unequal job opportunities solely based on the name they were given at birth. It is unfair that many minorities live in constant fear of losing their lives just for walking down the streets or holding literally any object. It is unfair that minorities, specifically black males, face the highest incarceration rates. It is unfair that the lingering effects of slavery are still seen today. And the list goes on... The whole purpose of affirmative action is to try to level the playing field that has been inequitable for too long. Accepting races that are often discriminated against gives qualified students a chance to finally experience one aspect of life that many white people have had the privilege of always receiving in America, which leads to better jobs, more money and an opportunity to break the poverty trap. In America especially, education is seen as the key to success. However, for centuries, many minorities weren’t given that key. So even though I was well-deserving of my college admissions based on who I am as a person, I’ve noticed that when minorities like me accomplish or excel at something, some people simply attribute the achievement to race. In another more recent Supreme Court case, Fisher v. University of Texas, Abigail Fisher, a white student, sued the university for not accepting her because of its affirmative action policies. However, the court ruled that she was rejected simply because her grades were too low to qualify for admission. This Supreme Court decision further emphasizes that merit trumps skin color. So, if you genuinely believe that a college didn’t accept you solely because of the pigment of your skin, then it’s a good thing you weren’t accepted into that school. This flawed belief is evidence of ignorance, and one thing I’m sure of is that college admissions officers are not attracted to ignorance.

GPA Merits Extracurriculars Focus Opinion

Word Art by Ben Kanches Layout and Graphic by Jacob Kemp

GPA Merits Extracurriculars 31

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Wil� �t Sta By Matt Smith Layout by Kelly Shinnick

These graduating student-athletes plan on playing their sport at the next level next year. The Senior List (pages 12-17) provides the name of each college these athletes are attending.


Brendan Gallagher- Track and Field Riley Gowens- Baseball Timothy Jean- Baseball Charles Schmidt- Football


William Bennett- Swimming Colin Fields- Baseball Ryan Wittenbrink- Soccer

New Yor�


Brian Nelson- Football Lukas Plunkett- Baseball

Mas���h��e�t� Allison Tong- Soccer


Nico Calace- Football William Hare- Football Claire Neuberger- Diving Sarah Townsend- Cross Country and Track Morgan Verbeten- Soccer


Tex�� So�t� Car����a Mis����i Drew Peterson- Basketball

Nicholas Angel- Baseball Jack Stevens- Volleyball Alexander Tam- Cross Country and Track

Matthew Rudolphi- Football Matthew TempletonWrestling

Sarah Toohey- Cross Country and Track

Jonathan Schlapper- Lacrosse Austin Stevenson- Swimming Emma Stevenson- Swimming

Jack Otto- Water Polo Colby Roberts- Golf

Brendan Cook- Football

Micah Holzwarth- Baseball

Pen��y��an�� Nor�� Dak��� Mic����n Focus Sports


Drops of Ink

A journey to becom By Megan Fahey and Katie Felsl

Andrew kim

photos by


Junior Andrew Kim committed to play baseball at the University of Illinois on Oct. 17, 2017. The recruiting process was short for Kim. “It all happened so fast, within a week,” he said. Kim had his first offer, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in early October. However, he had visited the University of Illinois a few times and felt that “the coaching [staff] was very welcoming, the campus was awesome and they have what I want to study there (kinesiology).” Kim’s preparing to play at the collegiate level by increasing his training regimen, working on communication with his teammates and loving the game more to prepare for the collegiate level. “I would say I’m more excited to go to U of I than nervous to perform,” stated Kim. Kim will be joining senior Riley Gowens at University of Illinois: “We’re pretty excited to go there together.”

The journey to becoming a collegiate athlete is a long and tedious process. Therefore, it may not be a surprise that, according to statistics published by the NCAA, just 6 percent of high school athletes play at the college level. Each athlete’s story is different, yet together, they hold many commonalities. For example, some athletes -- especially the juniors featured below -- commit to a school early, which alters their experience from those who do not sign until later in the process.

Evan rasmussen

Jack Stevens


Senior Jack Stevens always wanted to play collegiate volleyball but didn’t think it could be a reality until his sophomore year, when the coaches from his club team, Adversity, told him that college coaches started showing interest in him. “[My recruiting process] was pretty rough because I had a lot of injuries when a lot of schools were scouting. My injuries definitely limited [which schools] could see me [during tournaments] and what the process was like,” Stevens said. At the end of the process, this past January, Stevens received offers from the University of California-Irvine, Loyola University and the Ohio State University. Stevens ultimately chose Ohio State because “[he] wanted a school that would be a good place for education and his major. [The Ohio State University] has a good engineering program and a good volleyball program.”

Focus Sports


On Nov. 24, junior Evan Rasmussen received his first offer to play college soccer, from the University of Michigan, which he accepted. Rasmussen has many ties to Ann Arbor, as his family is from there and it is where his brother, Jacob Rasmussen, is currently enrolled as a junior. Evan described it as his “dream school” ever since he was little. Rasmussen’s biggest fear about attending the University of Michigan in 2019 is balancing his academic and athletic responsibilities. To help athletes adjust, “[the University of Michigan has] a building where a lot of their athletes hang out. There’s one for soccer. It’s a pretty nice facility and they’ve got tutors,” said Rasmussen, adding that he plans to take advantage of this option. In order to be better prepared for the athletic challenges at the University of Michigan, Rasmussen is “looking for a good high school season next year and there’s a chance [he] might switch clubs to play at FC United, which is just a higher level that will prepare [him] for college.”

Drops of Ink

ming the 6 percent Ben kanches

layout by stephanie luce

morgan verbeten


Although six student athletes are featured on these pages, a total of eight student athletes were interviewed for this story. The QR code takes you to an article on the Drops of Ink website where all the athletes’ stories are posted.

Charlie Schmidt

Soccer has been a large part of senior Morgan Verbeten’s life since she was 4. She has always had a love for the sport but didn’t embark on collegiate pursuits until her sophomore year. At one point, Verbeten had hesitations about playing soccer in college, stemming from the large time commitment. Because of this, Verbeten ultimately decided a Division III school would fit her best. “I didn’t want to go D1 and not enjoy college at all…I want to have a life,” reflected Verbeten. During recruitment, Verbeten emailed Carthage College to ask their team’s coach if she could come watch Verbeten play in a tournament. The coach was impressed with her style of play and began to pursue her, resulting in an offer that she accepted on April 20, 2017, toward the end of her junior year. “[Committing] was the biggest relief ever. All of my friends were applying to colleges first semester and I literally only applied to one school in July, and I was accepted before school started in August,” she said. “It was just so easy and so nice.”

Thomas pearson


Senior Charlie Schmidt received many offers throughout his recruiting process to play Division I football from universities such as Iowa State, Vanderbilt, Syracuse, Northwestern, Toledo and Central Michigan. Though his recruiting process was long, Schmidt held a more positive outlook for the duration of his recruitment compared to many athletes. “A lot of people say that [the recruiting process is] stressful, but I don’t really see how it’s stressful. I looked at it with more of an appreciative view,” he said. “I thought it was really cool to be in that position to choose where I wanted to go, and I was happy through the whole process.” On March 5, 2017, Schmidt verbally committed, while still a junior, to play football at Northwestern University. To prepare for the upcoming college football season in the fall, Schmidt has been trying to get into his “best shape” through several methods. “I just finished up wrestling season, so that was really good for my cardio and flexibility,” he said. “Right now I’m in track, which is really good for my lifting. I’m just trying to get better every day.”

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After winning the 2015 IHSA 3A State championship, goalkeeper junior Thomas Pearson wanted to achieve this feeling at the collegiate soccer level. With a championship ring on his finger that year, Pearson knew he could live his dream of playing in college. Pearson had offers from Rutgers University, where his dad played soccer, along with the U.S. Naval Academy. His recruiting and commitment were all very quick. About “two weeks before [his commitment to Navy], I had been going back and forth with Rutgers,” he said. However, Pearson knew he wanted to serve in the Navy, as he has ties to the Naval Academy through his uncle. So, on Feb. 21, Pearson committed to playing at Navy. His hope while on the team “is, first and foremost, winning a conference championship [in] the Patriot League.” Pearson knows that playing in college takes more work, mentally and physically, and with this in mind, he said, “[I’ve been] changing the way I train, the way I eat, all that stuff now, to just kinda give me that edge.”


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