September 2019 Issue

Page 1





LHS implements changes for new school year 7 LOCAL

Illinois implements new LGBTQ history law


The Value of Standardized Testing 18 COLUMN

Video games don’t cause violence



Breaking Down the USWNT Pay Discrimination

JOIN US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @lhsdoi Libertyville High School Drops of Ink

@lhsdoi Visit us at

WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU Contact us at Contents by Cali Lichter Cover photo by Charlotte Pulte and Sarah Bennett




The Fall Edition 9-11


Guarding the Money: The Loophole that Assists Wealthy Families from the North Shore 12-13 STAFF AND STUDENTS

Bring Your Child to Work Day Every Day 14-16 YEARBOOK

Disintegrating Quotes 20 CROSSWORD

Pop Culture Crossword

14-16 SPORTS 21-23 NEW POOL

Back In the Swim of Things

21-23 STAFF


AMANDA BLACK Managing Editor





News Editor

Layout & Design Editor


Sarah Bennett Sara Bogan Sayre DeBruler Jade Foo Mara Gregory Rowan Hornsey Brooke Hutchins Natalie Isberg Jasmine Lafita

Megan Lenzi Cali Lichter Maguire Marth Anika Raina Christian Roberts Peyton Rodriguez Lillian Williams Rayna Wuh

Features Editor



Faculty Adviser

Opinion Editor



LETTER TO THE READER Welcome back! With yet another year of school beginning and another season changing, we’re all settling in and starting to get back into our routines. From catching up with friends to stressful exams, the good, the bad and the ugly of the 2019-20 school year has begun. Our school has undergone lots of changes since last year (which you can read about on page six) and so has our magazine! This year, DOI’s editors have decided to have fewer focuses, where most of the stories in the magazine relate to one topic. For example, this issue does not have a focus concept. Because of this, our staff members could have proposed any idea they would like to write about; we hope this will lead to more creative, fun stories for our audience! Speaking of our audience... Drops of Ink is a student news publication; it’s Libertyville High School’s student news publication. It’s your student news publication. Our staff strives to deliver important, timely stories that matter to you, the student body. The cover of our magazine now has the words “Libertyville High School’s student news publication” to reflect this idea. Our hope is to encourage you all to take ownership of this magazine and tell us what you’re liking or not liking about our content so that we can adjust ourselves to deliver the stories that you want to read. That’s what this is all for. We welcome all feedback and questions, and you can always contact us through our website. Another change to our magazine is the addition of a new, regular feature -- a crossword puzzle! Over the summer, the editorial board met and discussed some of our goals for the year; one of the really important ones we decided on was to make our magazine more interactive and engaging, including more appealing to you guys. Because of this, I wanted to add a piece to the magazine that the readers could actually finish for us, so I suggested to the editorial board that we include crosswords in our magazine. I, for one, am super pumped to be making these for our readers to complete and enjoy. Go check out the first DOI crossword ever, Pop Culture Trivia, on page 20! In relation to interactive content, this year we will be utilizing QR codes more in our magazine, to link stories we’ve posted online. This issue in particular has a QR code linked to our video tour of the new pool (find the code on page 23). Our staff members work extremely hard throughout the year posting stories on our website, so go scan these codes to find awesome, new content online. We thank you for supporting student journalists, and we hope to provide you with some great pieces this year! Good luck, everyone! Best wishes, Charlotte Pulte Features Editor P.S. The answers to the crossword can be found on our website (




Seniors paint their carpool parking spaces

”Blinded by the Light” shines bright with brilliance

Girls swimming and diving competes in new pool, loses to Fremd


What’s Trending : Fall Edition Rowan Hornsey

Jade Foo Stade’s Farm and Market (pronounced stah-dee) in McHenry was the first local orchard available to go apple picking this season. The farm is around a half-hour drive from Libertyville. The varieties of apples available in late September and early October are scheduled to be Honeycrisp, flaming early red, red jonaprince, empire, september wonder fuji, red cameo, cox’s orange pippin, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Winecrisp and Rosalie, according to their website. A quarter peck, which is plenty enough for a week’s worth of apples, is $6, but there is also a half peck, peck, and half bushel options for higher prices. The orchard is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. when apples are in sears, so if you have a few hours free and are looking for a quick snack or a fun fall outdoor activity, this is a great option. In addition to the apple orchard, Stade’s also has a fall-themed park open until Oct. 27 on Saturdays and Sundays in Sept. and on Friday-Sunday in Oct. Some common attractions of the park are the petting zoo, pumpkin cannon, giant slide and corn maze.

Photo courtesy of Paige Bleck Both the home and away football games this year have had a successful fan turnout thus far. The next home game is against Mundelein on Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m., and the theme is a pink out for breast cancer awareness. The last scheduled home game is against Zion-Benton on Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m., and the theme is a rock ‘n’ roll out. Many students have worn their spirit pack shirts to the games, but some have also decided to rely on their personal style and created outfits on their own.

Fun fact:

In most recipes, pumpkin spice isn’t

made with any pumpkin ingredients, only cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.

In addition to those activities, the fall brings many 5K races and seasonal food festivals. Some local festivals are the Vernon Hills Fall Festival from Sept. 28-29 and the Highwood Pumpkin Festival from Oct. 11-13. You can expect both to have lots of music and pumpkin-themed crafts. Other events to keep your eyes peeled for are the Oktoberfest at the Lake County Fairgrounds on Oct. 26 from 6-10 p.m. and the Knights of Columbus Oktoberfest in Lake Zurich on Oct. 5 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Oktoberfest originates from the celebration of a German royal wedding, but currently is more of a fall-themed event with traditional drinks and Bavarian music. Some local 5Ks this fall are the Cancer Schmancer 5K in Grayslake on Sept. 28, the Lake Bluff Pumpkin Chase on Oct. 26 and the Long Grove Turkey Trot on Nov. 28. SEPTEMBER 2019




Brooke Hutchins

Over the summer, decor was added to the outside of the main entrance. Part of the design recognized last year’s blue ribbon award.

The athletic program has been working to create a set of values that embodies everything LHS athletics stands for. This mural, placed outside the west gym, outlines these beliefs.


to be because the work that we put in behind the scenes and how we treat each other and [opponents].” A similar message is displayed to those who see the new murals and decor as they enter through the school’s front doors. “We’re Libertyville High School. Go Wildcats!” exclaimed Mr. Woods.“That’s who we are. So we brought this sense of pride in who we are and branding all over the place.” Additionally, there is a new recording studio behind the Studio Theater. The Electronic Music class, recently renamed Music Production and Sound Engineering, will utilize this space, although it will be available to others as well . The space was previously used for the LHS radio station. The studio will be in use again after a floor reinstallation. Mr. David Ness, who teaches the class, described goals students would pursue throughout the year. “[In] music production, literally, [students are] producing the music from beginning to end. From the beginning, where there’s nothing, to the end when [they] have a recording that you can play,” he explained. Mr. Ness hopes that some of the students’ recordings will eventually be played in the hallways during passing periods. Policies regarding use of the music hallway doors are also new to this school year. Seniors are no longer allowed to exit the school for lunch release through the band doors. In addition, the use of mobile food delivery services like Uber Eats and Grubhub are also forbidden. Head of Security, Mr. Robert Uliks, cited the main purpose for the changes as an attempt to control entry access to the building. In past years, students had let others in through the doors, which became difficult to regulate. For online food services, issues arose from inconvenience as opposed to safety concerns. “We were getting sometimes 50, 60, 70 [orders] a day from students. So there was just food that was piled up,” Mr. Uliks described. Although carriers generally did not enter the school, the security team not knowing any of the people bringing the food, in conjunction with the buildup of food, ultimately led to that decision, Mr. Uliks said.

ith the 2019-20 school year in full swing, several changes have been implemented all around LHS, including those relating to Parchment, AP Classroom, the athletic department’s core values and school security policies. Seniors will be the first to experience change in the form of Parchment, a college application resource that allows students to send their transcripts directly to the schools they are applying to. Although Naviance is still a useful college search tool, College and Career Resource Counselor Ms. Amy Belstra described that its previous use to send scores was not intuitive. “Based on what I’m seeing, I think everybody’s going to like [Parchment]. I think it’s much easier, it’s much clearer. It’s just taking the middleman out of the equation,” she expressed. In addition, for students taking AP classes, there is now a fall registration date as opposed to one in the spring and increased resources available online through AP Classroom. However, Associate Principal Mr. Raymond Albin explained that the AP courses at LHS are essentially the same. The alterations by College Board merely supplement pre-established courses and guidelines. His main suggestion is for students to keep track of a single College Board account for all testing to accommodate the recent consolidation of College Board’s resources. In the athletic department, the acronym PROGRAM was developed to reflect its core values. It was created over the course of five months last year, with input from the coaching staff as well as hundreds of students. LHS athletic director Mr. John Woods was largely responsible for initiating the new vision. In order to unify more than 90 LHS sports teams, Mr. Woods first asked students to name athletic core values and how they imagined them in action. A committee of coaches then grouped similar words into categories, producing umbrella words to represent different submissions. The chosen words -- Passionate, Respectful, One, Grit, Reliable, Accountable and Mindful -- along with the athletic mission and vision statements, are now displayed in a mural outside the West Gym. “ If we do get recognized for our successes on the field, it’s going






Peyton Rodriguez

t the beginning of August, the Illinois Congress passed a statewide law stating that, at the start of next school year, schools must implement LGBTQ history into their curriculum. According to this recent legislation, the Inclusive Curriculum Law, students must be well-informed of LGBTQ people who have contributed to state and national history by the end of eighth grade, meaning the law does not officially apply to high school curriculum. The bill was introduced and sponsored by State Representative Anna Moeller from the 43rd District and State Senator Heather Steans from the 7th District. Government and psychology teacher Mrs. Laura Brandt believes that the “Obergefell v. Ho dges case [was] sort of a grassroots movement [for the bill].” This 2015 Supreme Court case legalized gay marriage throughout the country, and Mrs. Brandt believes that this helped to push states like Illinois and California to pass laws concerning LGBTQ history. She also remarked that it would make sense to compare the similarities and differences between the fight for civil rights in the ‘60s and the fight for gay rights now. While not required at the high school level, Mrs. Brandt suggested U.S. history classes could combine an African American civil rights unit with one on the LGBTQ civil rights movement. U.S. history teacher Mrs. Sarah Greenswag also considers combining the two to be beneficial. However, Mrs. Greenswag believes that LGBTQ rights should be brought up a multitude of times, not just in one unit. The first part of history that Mrs. Greenswag sees as significant for the LGBTQ community is the era of cowboys. Because so many men were living among each other with no women, “there was all of this homosexual activity that was happening, but nobody cared because it was just seen as normal because that was your only option,” Mrs. Greenswag stated. Mrs. Greenswag also strongly believed that while the law does not technically require high schools to teach LGBTQ history, they still should. She asserted that “a lot of students and teenagers in

general don’t know their sexual identity before eighth grade.” As a result, Mrs. Greenswag believes that teaching LGBTQ history in high school is a fantastic way to help students better understand exactly who they are and realize “there’s a lot of people like [them].” Teachers are not the only As a member of the LGBTQ ones to have opinions on Illinois’ community, LHS senior Albert new law. Albert Sterner, a senior, Sterner is happy about this new law getting passed. was quick to point out how many people did not know that homosexual behavior had once been considered a crime in America and was labeled as a mental illness until 1973 by the American Psychiatric Association. Because of this lack of knowledge, Sterner stated that “it’s really frustrating to talk to someone about queer history, and they just don’t understand.” Sterner believes that teaching LGBTQ history will help people understand that being part of the LGBTQ community is not a bad thing. Like Mrs. Brandt, Sterner explained that looping an LGBTQ unit in with the civil rights unit makes sense: “It wasn’t just people of color fighting for rights. It was gay people. It was disabled people.” However, Sterner explained that learning a lot about the subject after eighth grade makes more sense to him than before. Sam Krinninger, another senior, agrees with Sterner that LGBTQ history doesn’t need to be required before high school. However, his views come from his belief that people “who aren’t supporters of the LGBTQ [community] could possibly find it offensive” and wouldn’t want their children learning about sexuality at a young age. Krinninger also stated that learning “how the LGBTQ community [in general] started” should be an important part of the curriculum. At the start of the 2020 school year, LGBTQ history will start to be integrated into the new history curriculum in Illinois schools. Pins courtesy of Libertyville’s GSA club sponsor, Ms. Nasland.




Coming Soon 854 S Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville, IL

Serving açaí bowls smoothies avocado toast and more



Visit us online at



Guarding the Money the loophole that assists wealthy families from the North Shore Claire Salemi Amanda Black Ian Cox

“I was so surprised that people who can probably afford college were going through that much trouble.” - Anna Wilms


n July 29, a new college admissions scandal arose -- not one where Aunt Becky (Lori Loughlin) from “Full House” gets her kids into USC, but instead, one involving North Shore families, including ones from Libertyville. An article written by Jodi S. Cohen and Melissa Sanchez was published on ProPublica Illinois’ website -- an independent news organization that investigates abuses of power -- examined the families’ actions. After the story hit the internet, the scandal made national news, with pieces written by National Public Radio, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The article exposed that some affluent Lake County families have been found changing the legal guardianship of their children in order to reduce the cost of college tuition. In doing so, they are taking money from needsbased scholarship funds. Some families were caught when the University of Illinois’ Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Andy Borst, had a “high school counselor from an affluent Chicago suburb [call him] about a year ago to ask why a particular student had been invited to an orientation program for low-income students,” according to the ProPublica article. Borst said the addresses of some of the students attending the low-income programs were in million-dollar neighborhoods. The ProPublica and The Wall Street Journal articles exposed that some affluent families were working with an independent college consulting firm called Destination College to find a loophole to more easily pay for college as tuition costs continue to rise. The firm itself is located in Lincolnshire, 20 minutes from Libertyville High School. It has billed itself as a resource for Lake County families to help reduce the cost of college as well as plan for a student’s future in assisting them with the college selection process, according to Destination College’s website. For a fee of $5,000, Destination College’s owner and consultant, Lora Georgieva, guided families to hand the guardianship of their children over to friends or family members, as reported by USA Today. According to LHS’s College and Career Resource Counselor, Ms. Amy Belstra, “[Georgieva] had a couple of clients who were lawyers who helped confirm that if they handed over their guardianship to others, then the child didn’t have to fill out the parent portion of the [Free Application for Federal Student Aim].” Then, when the student filled out the FAFSA form, they wouldn’t have to write in the parental income status since they aren’t their legal guardian. The students then show up as financially independent, giving them more access to federal scholarships and student loans. In the past year and a half, it is believed that Georgieva has assisted many of the 38 guardianship cases of high school juniors and seniors that have been approved by Lake County judges, reported USA Today. Although the actions of these families are legal, “it is very unethical,” Ms. Belstra stated. “It takes away money from families who are more in need of money.” Ms. Belstra said she was aware of one LHS family who participated in this practice prior to the articles’ release, but she emphasized that unless someone speaks of a plan to use the loophole, the school would have no way of knowing they were doing so. Ms. Belstra added that, given the publicity of these incidents, she doesn’t suspect there will be any more families trying to use the service. Senior Gianna Whitney, who is currently in the college application process, would agree with Ms. Belstra’s statement, arguing that “college is very expensive and everyone is looking for a way to bring that cost down, but I also find it odious that families who are more economically well-off are willing to trick the system and are taking away funds from kids who actually need the money.” Drops of Ink attempted to contact two families who are believed to have used the loophole, as well as Georgieva, but did not receive a response back to interview requests. DOI also reached out to a Libertyville family who has used the Destination College service, but they declined to comment in order



Percentage Percentage of of students have students whothat receive financial financial aidaid

to preserve the privacy of their student’s application process. At the University of Illinois, there are 14 students who have been discovered to have used the loophole according to ProPublica. Reports have shown that other colleges, including the Univer70 sity of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Missouri-Colum65 bia and Indiana University, have found students involved in 60 changing their guardianship sta55 tus to get more money as well. LHS parent Merry Hirons has 50 a senior daughter applying to three out of the four schools 45 that have so far been found of having students use the 40 loophole. Whitney is also applying to Indiana University. 35 Both of them agreed that the financial aid system needs to 30 be looked at more in depth to make sure that the money is 25 going to the right recipients. Most Libertyville students and 20 parents or guardians go through the various steps required in the 15 college application process: creating a budget for schools 10 based on their household income, scoping out 5 universities, applying to colleges and then filling out the FAFSA form. Senior Anna Wilms, who is University of University of University of Illinois Wisconsin-Madison Missouri-Columbia currently applying to universities, emphasized that she “got a budget from her According to, 52% of the University of Illinois’s student population has parents and [she] has been received financial aid, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has given 42% of students scholarships comparing which schools best fit.” and 61% of students at the University of Missouri-Columbia received scholarships in 2019. After the form has been filled out, the student or family will be who had actual financial issues. evaluated on how much money they will receive. It is calculated by “I was so surprised that people who can probably afford college taking the cost of the school the student is attending and were going through that much trouble,” Wilms also voiced. subtracting the amount of assets and income the family and/or As for the future, according to the Daily Herald, some Illinois student has. Financial aid can be in the form of a scholarship, grant or lawmakers are trying to close the loophole and have trained Lake loan. Hirons emphasized that even though it wasn’t particularly County judges to be on the lookout for cases attempting to change helpful to their family, they still made sure to fill out the FAFSA the guardianship status of an affluent high school student. Only the since any bit can help. future can foresee if this will be enforced. Both Hirons and Wilms stated their anger about the issue. They explained how they wished the money had gone towards students






Anika Raina

Ian Cox

Picture this: You're walking through the hallways of LHS when your mom suddenly comes around the corner. For some students, they don’t need to imagine this scenario -- it happens all the time! Some LHS students and parents recently opened up on what it’s really like to have your mom at the same high school, or even in the same class.

The Gourleys Mrs. Sara Gourley, who teaches Algebra I and AP Statistics, enjoys having her daughters, junior Abby and senior Amanda, at LHS. She describes her work as a balance between “home life” and “work life.” “It’s just a nice way to combine being a mom and being a teacher all at the same time. I get to have everything happen right in one place, which is awesome,” Mrs. Gourley articulated. Amanda and Abby have been coming to LHS since before they were students through the “Learn to Swim” program and “Bring Your Child to Work Day,” where they still receive a free lunch each year. Their childhood helped create an easier transition for them to LHS, since they both already knew the staff and their way around the school.

Mrs. Gourley works as a math teacher at LHS. Her two daughters are Abby, a junior, and Amanda, a senior. Amanda is in Mrs. Gourley’s AP Statistics class this year. Amanda expressed that she sometimes wonders if she should call Mrs. Gourley “Mom” in class, although she chooses to clear her throat or raise her hand to get her mom’s attention instead. “I said [to Amanda], ‘You know what, if that happens, that’s okay.’ There have been years when people have referred to me as ‘Mama G’ and they’re not biologically related to me at all,” Mrs. Gourley said. Amanda said that she likes having her mom as a teacher. She laughed while discussing how, when Mrs. Gourley creates math problems in class, her mom uses their own cars or Amanda’s favorite memes as examples. On the other hand, Amanda worries that if she performs poorly on a math test in the class, her mom may be disappointed. Abby, who likes to visit her mom frequently during the school day, feels similar pressures at LHS: "A lot of people are like, 'Yeah, you have to be good at math because your mom's a math teacher' and I'm like, 'Well, no.' I happen to be, but it doesn't really relate," Abby expressed.

The Cashmans Sophomore Chloe Cashman is glad that her mom, Mrs. Katherine


Every morning Chloe sees her mom, Mrs. Cashman, as she walks into the G-P LST.

Cashman, a secretary in the G-P LST, is at the same school as her. Chloe explained that “it’s nice having a family member in the building because if I need something, I can just come [to the G-P LST]... If I just need to tell her about something, she’s right there and

FEATURE it’s fun to come get candy.” Although Chloe considers candy a major benefit, she also likes that her mom is the assistant director of Orchesis, an LHS dance company which Chloe participated in last year. Chloe recalled the experience, laughing, “If [Mrs. Cashman]’s watching our rehearsals, our practices, and I’m not paying attention, she’ll be like, ‘Stay on task’ and she’ll stare right at me and I’m like, ‘Don’t target me like that.’” However, having her mom at school does come with some drawbacks. Chloe mentioned how her mom checks PowerSchool

more frequently because the website is part of Mrs. Cashman’s job. She also arrives at LHS at 7:30 most mornings with her mom, which Chloe describes as her “hour-long study hall every morning.” Chloe is very enthusiastic when she sees her mom at school. Mrs. Cashman remembered one day when she was running passes to one of Chloe’s classes, “[Chloe] stuck her tongue out at me and I just instinctively stuck my tongue out back at her and I thought, ‘Oh no, the other kids in this class probably think that I just stuck my tongue out at a random stranger; they don’t know I’m her mom.’”

The Neubergers This is Judi Neuberger’s 25th year working as a counselor in the A-F LST. She has three children: junior Grace Neuberger and two others who have already graduated from LHS. Grace and her friends frequently come to the A-F LST before school. Grace enjoys the snacks there and how she can drop her belongings off in her mom’s office, which Mrs. Neuberger called “their locker.” Some teachers and students frequently recognize and comment on Grace’s last name. “Sometimes people will just connect the dots that she’s my mom and then they’ll be like, ‘Oh, I love your mom!’ and I don’t really know what to say to that, so I’m just like, ‘Me too!’” Grace laughed. Mrs. Neuberger loves that she is more involved with her kids’ lives by seeing Grace and her friends throughout the day. She was also able to help out with a prom ask for her older daughter, Claire. “Oh my gosh, [the prom ask] was a huge scavenger hunt thing! There were five other teachers involved. There was a piano song on the stage in the auditorium. I mean, it was the most elaborate ask I’ve ever seen in my life, but I was happy to help out,” Mrs. Neuberger exclaimed.

Mrs. Neuberger is counselor in the A-F LST and poses with daughter Grace, who is currently a junior.

The Cardinales

Tony Cardinale is a senior and his mom, Mrs. Cardinale, works at the College Resource Center at LHS.

Tony Cardinale, a senior, was very supportive when his mom, Mrs. Sara Cardinale, received the opportunity to work as a College and Career Resource Center secretary at LHS. As this is her first year, she has enjoyed becoming a part of Tony’s high school experience and understanding his perspective, rather than just having a typical parent’s point of view. Mrs. Cardinale added that when meeting new people, talking about her kids -- Jordan, who graduated from LHS, and Tony -- works as a “nice icebreaker.” Mrs. Cardinale helps Tony with his college search and answers questions about Naviance, a website that helps students discover colleges. “It’s kind of nice to have her [at LHS], especially because I’m a senior this year and she’s working at the CRC, which is some place I have to be involved with a lot,” Tony voiced. Although Tony stops in at times to say “hi,” Mrs. Cardinale explained that her distant location and their busy schedules make their lives at LHS still very separate from each other. Tony emphasized that he has a good relationship with his mom and was excited that she can now better understand him when he discusses LHS.



g in

t a r g e t s n i e s t i d quo Each year, Libertyville High School’s yearbook staff reports that between 20 to 25 quotes submitted by the senior class are removed for including inappropriate content. Consequently, the 2019-20 yearbook will not include senior quotes. Though many factors played into this decision, the largest motivator was the school’s desire to avoid seemingly inevitable harm. The incident that sparked discussion about the topic at Libertyville took place at nearby Highland Park High School (HPHS) last 14 DROPS OF INK

spring. Before working at LHS, Principal Tom Koulentes held the same position at HPHS; his son graduated last year in the midst of the tumult caused by the controversial quotes. “While my decision wasn’t a direct result of what happened at HPHS, that situation certainly weighed heavily on my mind as I processed this situation with our administration and our yearbook staff,” Dr. Koulentes shared via email. At HPHS, two quotes deemed offen-

Ella Marsden Amanda Black Jade Foo

sive managed to get through the filters of yearbook staff and school administration and were published in their yearbook. According to the Chicago Tribune, one of the controversial quotes read, “If you tell a big enough lie, and you tell it often enough, it will be believed.” Though attributed in the yearbook as “anonymous,” it is commonly associated with Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany. Once the books were distributed, the quotes raised commotion among the

assumptions about the editing predominantly Jewish commuprocess. As Plunkett explained, nity; these quotes caused the there’s an elaborate process to school to halt distribution of edit senior quotes. the yearbooks. It’s unclear which “All the editors and our advisor other quote was brought to the run through [the quotes] at least attention of the HPHS administhree times, then it’s sent to tration for offensive content. Mrs. Uliks and a few other people When this story hit news at the administrative office, and channels, the LHS administration they check over it, and then send and Dr. Koulentes began converit back to us. And [finally,] we sations with the LHS yearbook check it an additional two more staff about the issue. Dr. Koutimes.” lentes explained the rationale for Additionally, Plunkett meninitiating these talks: “For us as tioned that getting seniors to adults, we were looking and seesubmit their quotes was a difing that these yearbook quotes ficult process in itself. Between had the potential to become waiting on initial responses and something that really created weeding out the inappropriate a lot of division and negativity ones, this process takes up a and pain in a school community significant amount of time. at a time when it should be very The time the yearbook staff joyous and celebratory.” will save by not including senior The decision to remove the quotes allows them to focus quotes was not made quickly, on other aspects of the book. nor was it solely the adminisThey’re aware that students are tration’s. “Before any decision unhappy with the decision but was made, the yearbook sponsor haven’t let that affect their work (Ms. Kristen Connolly), [Student ethic. Activities Director Mrs. Jen“The whole negative [renifer Uliks] and I met with the sponse] isn’t really having a great yearbook staff,” Dr. Koulentes effect on our staff as a whole. explained. If anything, it’s making us work “We told the staff our conharder and make other aspects cerns, and we listened to their of the book more encompassing concerns—because quite franktowards the seniors who did lose ly, there were some students this privilege,” Plunkett explained. on the yearbook staff who For example, there will be an were also concerned about the additional spread in the yearbook quotes,” Dr. Koulentes said. “We Due to the controversy caused by previous inappropriate devoted to seniors as a different came to a consensus that we yearbook quotes, Dr. Koulentes and the yearbook staff have way to pay tribute to the gradwould not be including quotes made the decision to no longer include senior quotes. uating class. In the Student Life anymore in the yearbook.” section, this will include a story Dr. Koulentes emphasized checked with our school’s legal firm, and we that while the yearbook staff did focusing on senior activities as believe that we’re operating clearly within have swaying power in the verdict, the final well as a spread of photos from the year, the bounds of the law and of student rights,” Plunkett said. decision to eliminate senior quotes was his. Dr. Koulentes clarified. Before making any concrete decisions, In an email sent to the entire school, While some students may believe that Dr. Koulentes ensured that removing senior Dr. Koulentes expressed that he is happy senior quotes are a long-standing LHS quotes would not violate any free speech to hear ideas for a different way the senior laws, including the Speech Rights of Student tradition, Ms. Connolly pointed out that class could leave their mark on the school: they were an addition to the yearbook at Journalists Act. This state law, according to “I’m open to thinking about what the senior Libertyville in 2016. So while they have been the Student Press Law Center, “provides class would want to do as a way to say ‘This a tradition in recent years, it’s not a persethat student editors are responsible for the is who we really are and this is what we vering tradition that’s been around since the stand for as a class,’” he wrote. content of their media. School officials can beginning of the yearbook. intervene only when the content falls within As an alternative to publishing senior The yearbook’s editor-in-chief this specific categories of unprotected expresquotes in the yearbook, Dr. Koulentes also year, senior Mark Plunkett, added that he sion.” brought up social media. He explained that thinks when people heard about the deci“Before we made this decision, we virtually every student has some sort of sion to eliminate senior quotes, they made checked with our district office, and we social media account where they can attach SEPTEMBER 2019 15


“The whole negative [response] isn’t really having a great effect on our staff as a whole. If anything, it’s making us work harder and make other aspects of the book more encompassing towards the seniors who did lose this privilege,” - Senior Mark Plunkett their quotes instead. “If you learn that the quote you put in was hurtful to somebody, even though you didn’t intend it to be, you can immediately pull that down and put a new quote in; in the yearbook, you can’t do that,” Dr. Koulentes said. Senior Jennifer Short also has a possible replacement for senior quotes: seniors could decorate their graduation caps. After seeing that nearby Mundelein High School seniors decorate theirs, Short wants to bring the tradition to LHS. “It just so happens that the year I’m a senior and was going to try anyways to make it happen, we got rid of senior quotes, so I think that decorating our caps could be a sort of trade-in,” Short said in a text message. The decision to remove the quotes has not been universally accepted by the senior class; in fact, senior Christian Voelker created an online petition with hopes of changing the minds of the members of the district’s Board of Education. This petition was eventually blocked by the school’s Wi-Fi. Dr. Koulentes said he did not know the reasoning behind it being blocked but suspects that the petition did not comply with the school’s acceptable use policies. This would result in the inability to access that page while connected to the Wi-Fi network, he explained. When Voelker and fellow senior Jonah Armenta realized that the petition could no longer be accessed on the school’s Wi-Fi, they created a paper version. They collected roughly 260 signatures primarily from the senior class but also received support from some underclassmen. Voelker expressed that his anger was rooted in the fact that having a senior quote is something that he had been looking forward to throughout his high school career. To finally reach senior year and have this privilege taken away was frustrating, Voelker shared. He added an idea for a way that the yearbook could continue publishing senior quotes while avoiding potential harm: 16 DROPS OF INK

“If a student submits a quote that’s highly inappropriate, maybe they get some form of punishment other than getting their quote removed. That way everybody else still gets to have a senior quote.” Though initially mad, once Short heard the reasoning behind the decision, her viewpoint changed: “When I got the entire story by talking to my friend who is on yearbook and reading the story about what happened at Highland Park, I see why we would get rid of them due to the stress it puts on the

yearbook staff.” Ultimately, Dr. Koulentes understands that students may not be happy with his decision but hopes that they remain respectful towards the yearbook staff. “It’s really important for people to understand that this isn’t something that just happened at another school by one student one time,” he said.

Mark Plunkett, the yearbook’s editor-in-chief, provided insight on the complicated process for editing and acquiring senior quotes. He also explained that there will be new pages devoted to seniors featuring senior activities and photos from throughout the year.




n what should come as a surprise to no one, there is not one person on the Drops of Ink staff who holds a positive opinion of standardized testing. At best, people were ambivalent. Test scores are an integral part of the application process for colleges, and this, working in tandem with the one-dimensional view of students they exacerbate, is a source of mass discontent among high school students. And how can you blame us? There are multitudes of circumstances that could potentially influence — for better or for worse — the score a student receives, none of which a test score has the capacity to measure. Although there is a growing movement among some colleges to place less stock in test scores, the majority of institutions still utilize them as a baseline to see if a student’s application should be considered. Naturally, this leaves many students feeling disheartened and ultimately frustrated, as anyone would be if the validity of their efforts spanning four arduous years of high school hinged on a single test score. Additionally, a dichotomy exists between the content of these tests, the manner in which they are prepared for and the reality of the college experience. This is evidenced in how they are tutored for, where many students are not taught content but rather test-taking strategies and time management. As a measurement of college readiness, many people hold that tests like the ACT and SAT do not live up to what they claim to measure. Compared to the plentiful variety of majors offered for undergraduate students, the range of subjects assessed in these tests are shockingly deficient. The one somewhat relevant proficiency that standardized tests gauge is mental endurance, which is ultimately made a moot point in recognizing that there are very few instances when college students will take a four-hour test. To circumvent this, it would be nice to give students a choice in the order that they take the sections, so that nobody would have to take their worst section last, when they are mentally exhausted. But there is one thing that seems to be ever-central to the debate surrounding standardized tests: their “fairness,” or whether or not they live up to the standardized component of their name. A “standard” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “an idea or thing used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluation.” However, in taking into account economic circumstances and fluctuations in the quality of education from district to district, can we call these tests standardized? Wealthier school districts have a clear advantage in that their focus is not expended on preventing students from

The ACT/SAT is an integral part of the college application process. However, does standardized testing fairly determine college readiness? dropping out, as opposed to less affluent districts, meaning their central goal is college readiness. Furthermore, many residents of wealthy districts have excess money to spend on commodities like pricey tutoring hours and prep books, meaning that their children go into test day better prepared than those who are unable to afford the same luxuries. In discussions among students at LHS concerning the equity of standardized testing, the influence of economic circumstance is not often brought up, at least not in a manner directly related to its effect on us. Although there are many facets of these tests that unequivocally ought to be improved upon or even completely changed, it is important to recognize the privilege that the students of LHS enjoy regarding these tests. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and frustration wrought by expectations placed upon us by peers, parents or colleges. However, we are one of the best public high schools in the state, with SAT and ACT averages, respectively, soaring above the national average at 1211 and 25.9 in comparison to 1068 and a 20.8. So, despite the animosity that students at LHS may feel towards these tests, it is essential to acknowledge the privilege we possess on account of where we live, which serves as nothing but a benefit in the long run. Although the same problems with these tests do also apply to us, by no means have we gotten the short end of the standards. Note: As this piece is a staff editorial, it is representative of the opinions of the 25 students on the Drops of Ink staff. The author(s) of this piece did not place their personal opinions in this story; they merely reflect the students’ thoughts.






he United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) is considered $400 million and a winning team take-home of $38 million. Womthe best women’s soccer team in the world, and they have the en’s play has a total of $30 million and a $4 million bonus if they win, stats to back them up. Their recent victory in the 2019 World Cup according to Fox Sports Network. was preceded by four Women’s World Cup titles and four OlymAccording to the Fast Company business magazine, the $30 pic gold medals. In addition, the notoriety of the USWNT has only million prize money for this past women’s World Cup was actualincreased with the recent controversy over the lack of equal pay ly double the $15 million prize money from 2015, but that’s rather between the men’s and dismal when compared to women’s U.S. national the $400 million in prize teams. money for the 2018 men’s The issue of equal pay World Cup. between men and women Experts have predictin sports on a national level, ed that the lawsuit may especially for soccer, has not even have to come been pushed to the fore to fruition in the courts. of the discourse because Rather, the USWNT can of a lawsuit hearing set negotiate more equitable to take place in May 2020 pay with the FIFA money between the USWNT ros(due to the obvious dister (which consists of 28 crepancy) but not with the players) and the U.S. Soccer U.S. Soccer money, which Federation. would solidify a stalemate The focus of this sobetween the USWNT and called debate is whether U.S. Soccer. Ultimately, the pay differences are a the gender discrimination result of gender dislawsuit will most likely crimination or, rather, if benefit the USWNT, at Courtesy of Flickr it stems from fundaleast according to sports The victory of the United States Women’s National Team in the 2019 Women’s mental distinctions in the commentator Julie Foudy, World Cup ignited a debate over equal pay and how exactly the sports world system that explain and a former national team handles differences between men’s and women’s athletics, especially financially. justify why pay differs; for player herself, especially example, the women have considering U.S. Soccer a fixed salary, while the men have a play-for-pay system. According should want the women’s team as loyal employees for the federato The Washington Post, female U.S. soccer players sign contracts tion rather than as their enemies. After all, U.S. Soccer is a non-profit with an annual salary of $100,000 and receive additional bonuses for organization (with budget control nevertheless) that claims to want wins and ties. The men don’t get annual salaries, but they get much to raise popularity for soccer, an objective the women’s team easily larger bonuses per match; this includes a guarantee of $5,000 if they accomplishes. lose. Another bonus relates to World Cup appearances. According The controversy over equal pay begs the discussion of how men’s to The Guardian, the players on the USMNT would have received a and women’s sports coexist. With the current systems in place, any $108,695 bonus if they qualified for the 2018 World Cup (which they kind of reevaluation of pay would have to prove that in spite of the did not). Members on the USWNT, conversely, earned $37,500 each inherently different systems, the female athletes have been lowfor entering the World Cup. balled in payment. According to USA Today, prior to 2017, if the women played and Perhaps the best way to go about navigating these crises isn’t to won 20 exhibition games, they got $99,000 for the season ($4,950 immediately form a stance, but to fully educate ourselves on the per game). The men’s team, on the other hand, would get $263,320 complexities of the situation -- of the gray area that few seem ($13,166 per game). Following that contract, the USWNT was able to want to acknowledge. Puzzling out the details of a problem not to make a new collective bargaining agreement with a 30 percent nearly as clear-cut as it should be can be confusing and frustrating, increase in base salary as well as certain “bonuses,” the exact value of but if we don’t even try to understand, we unknowingly undermine which are unknown to the public. Still, a large pay gap exists even its relevance. with the 30 percent increase. The discussion of pay discrimination between the men’s and In terms of the World Cup, to make matters more complicated, women’s team is complicated by different systems that dictate how the players’ checks come from two separate organizations: The and when pay is distributed, but ultimately, the USWNT, through the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and U.S. 2020 lawsuit, is looking to finally get the pay their immeasurable Soccer. For the FIFA payments, the men’s tournament has a total of popularity, work and success merits.



video games don’t cause violence

Christian Roberts

Peyton Rodriguez Ian Cox


rowing up, video games were an integral part of my childhood. I still remember playing video games, some of them violent, like “Battlefield 2” and “Medal of Honor: Rising Sun” on PS2 at the age of 7. To this day, I, and many other kids like me, play video games on a daily basis, and have never once had the urge to commit an act of violence or partake in a physical altercation with one another. Video games have come under fire in the news recently by many powerful Republicans for supposedly desensitizing kids and for causing some to commit mass shootings and other horrible acts of violence. President Trump weighed in on the issue, saying, “We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.” GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was also amongst the people arguing for regulations on the video game industry and the sale of violent video games, appearing on several news stations to spread this message. The lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, claimed, just one day after the El Paso shooting, which killed 22 people, that he sees “a video game industry that teaches young people to kill.” Since his statements on Aug. 4, at least 65 shootings have occurred, which have killed or injured more than 372 people, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Not all of these shootings were considered “mass shootings,” however, as a 2015 Congressional report identified mass shootings as “four or more people being killed.” However, these aren’t new sentiments. After the Columbine school shooting in 1999, which killed 14 people, calls were made by then-President Bill Clinton to investigate violent video games and their correlation with violent behavior. Even Senator Mitt Romney, in his 2008 presidential campaign, cited video games as an inspiration for a 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech that left 32 people dead. It doesn’t end there, though. Following the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, claimed that video games were the main factor of the shooting, stating that the video game industry is a “corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.” Ironic, right? Politicians often insist that there are studies to back up their claims but such studies don’t exist. In fact, of the studies that do exist, they all point to the contrary. Oxford University published a study in February 2019 stating that “adolescents’ recent violent video game play is not a statistically or practically significant correlate of their aggressive behaviour.” The University of New York and the American Psychological Association also both published studies reporting the same findings early in 2019. Even the Supreme Court denied the existence of any such correlation between video games and violence. In a 2011 court case called Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, which sought

Many video games have recently come under fire including creative video games like Minecra ft and more violent video games like Call of Duty. to get rid of a law that banned the sale of violent video games to children, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the video game industry, claiming that “psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively.” Even after these countless studies on violence and video games have reported that there is no correlation, politicians still constantly blame video games for mass shootings and other inhumane acts. Why? Because it’s easier for politicians and organizations to use video games as a scapegoat rather than addressing the complex social and political issues that underlie the ubiquitous gun violence in America. How come every first-world country plays almost as many video games as the U.S, but the U.S is the only one with a gun violence issue? The U.S ranks 10th in firearm-related deaths per 100,000 people per year, at 12.21 deaths, per the CIA World Factbook. Countries with more deaths than the U.S. include dangerous places such as Honduras, Venezuela and Swaziland. The next-closest first-world country near the U.S. was France, with a rate of 2.83 deaths, and they are the seventh-largest video game producer in the world, per World’s Top Exports. Statistics don’t lie, and these ones show that we shouldn’t be worrying about banning the sale of violent video games, but instead combating the other underlying factors that cause people to commit these senseless acts of violence. SEPTEMBER 2019 19


Charlotte Pulte



5. This up-and-coming rapper took his horse to the Old

1. Miranda Cosgrove portrayed this menacing little sister

Town Road after releasing his debut single last December 8. The best-selling trillogy that just announced a prequel novel will be released in 2020, set in the rebellion-ridden, fictional country of Panem 10. This North Carolina-based chain just kicked off pumpkin spice season with their new cheesecake-filled doughnut 11. This trio recently made a comeback in the music scene after an almost eight-year break since their boy band days 14. Oldest Kardashian sister’s name 15. Truth Hurt when this female artist took a DNA test 16.This major media company announced it will pull all of its movies from streaming services and will be creating its own service 17. This alt-pop singer/songwriter rose to stardom soon after releasing her debut single “Ocean Eyes” 18. This female rapper recently shocked fans by tweeting that she plans to retire from her music career

in the Nickelodeon TV series about two stepbrothers 2. This ex-boy band celeb “respectfully declined” playing Prince Eric in the upcoming live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” 3. The name of Cardi B’s daughter with Offset 4. This April 2019 box-office hit is now the higest-grossing movie of all time 6. This controversial Netflix Original just released a third season 7. This fast food chain released a new chicken sandwhich to snuff out competitors like Chick-Fil-A and completely sold out after only two weeks on the market 9. The territory that President Donald Trump expressed interest in purchasing 12. This country-turned-pop star plans to re-record all of her music 13. The Avenger who recently left the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Answers found online at 20 DROPS OF INK


Back In The Swim Of Things Lilly Williams


he wait is over. So much chatter, so much anticipation of a newer, bigger and better pool at LHS. It’s finally here, and the LHS community is eager to get their feet wet. And who can blame them? Once you take a look inside this facility, you’ll see what the commotion is all about.

Out with the old, in with the new Unlike the old pool, which could only fit one PE class at a time, the new facility can

Rowan Hornsey

Jade Foo

hold up to four PE classes at once. It also includes a classroom located in the downstairs area of the pool to hold lifeguarding classes, or any other class that may need it. “It’s like I was walking into the YMCA or something,” explained senior Michelle Hogarty, describing her thoughts when entering the pool for the first time during her outdoor education class. The new pool also includes much brighter lights, which drastically changes the atmosphere for anyone who enters. Mr. John Woods, athletic director of LHS, claims that “when [the] lights come on, it is lighter

than daylight in [there]. The [lighting] is so incredible, it really gives you that outdoor space feeling.” An immense viewing area also was introduced, which seats more than 400 people, ensuring that there’s no shortage of room for the LHS swim teams’ eager fans. “This is definitely a huge morale booster because now [the pool is] kind of one of the envies of the state,” emphasized coach Cunningham, head coach of girls’ swim and dive team at LHS.

The new elevated viewing section of the pool, which includes a back on the bleachers, spans larger than the other pool and offers more viewing space and increased ways to enter and exit, including an elevator. SEPTEMBER 2019 21


Three black and orange banners span the eight lanes that the new pool boasts.

Diving right in The pool’s size does more than just boost morale. It also benefits the swim teams in a multitude of ways. In the old pool, each swim and dive team needed to practice at separate times due to the lack of space. However, the new pool allows every team to practice all at once, which strengthens the unity of the swim program. Junior Cate McCarty, a member of the varsity girls’ swim team, expressed that “it’s not like we’re three different teams anymore. We’re all swimmers.” Coach Cunningham agreed, declaring, “We’ve only been here for two days, and already we’ve seen the girls just excited to be getting in the water, being in the new pool, even super bright and early, they’re so excited to get in and get going.” Along with team unity, larger home meet crowds could contribute valuable spirit to the program at each meet. Hogarty believes that the new facility will potentially “encourage students to go to more games, 22 DROPS OF INK

to realize that they do deserve that larger space.” The extra cheers from the fan section is definitely not going unnoticed by the swimmers. When discussing one of the girls’ swimming first home meets, McCarty stated, “we had a huge turnout of people which just made the swimmers’ hearts so warm.”

Soaking it ALL UP Whether it’s intense competition, a new activity, or some chill downtime that you’re looking for, the pool seems to have a little something for everyone. Not only does it have space for more PE classes, but more room for activities such as kayaking, since the pool is that big. As a result, the infamous swim portion of PE classes is anticipated to be much less dreadful now for the students who may not typically enjoy swimming. “I used to dread the swim unit,” voiced Hogarty, “but it was just really nice, honestly,

because there was more room for everyone so I got to have some me-time, float on my back a little bit, so it was actually therapeutic, which was so nice.”

Belly flops Big or small, every transition has its struggles and hiccups; this new addition was certainly no exception. The sentimental aspect of the old pool was one of the major hardships, especially for the members of the aquatic teams. “The first two days of practice in the new pool were kind of weird, and it was a bit different getting used to it, but we’re just so fortunate to be able to have that, it was definitely worth it,” expressed McCarty, who had been swimming in the old pool since first grade. Another obstacle was the girls’ swimming and diving teams not having a pool to practice in for the first few days of the season, since the pool wasn’t yet ready for


"it's not like we're three different teams anymore. We're all swimmers." -Junior Cate McCarty-

use. Instead, they commuted to Vernon Hills High School for practice every day. Along with the burdens on the swim team, some students also disliked the construction process. However, many students feel the result was worth that burden. “I walk around the front instead of the back for two years, and then I get this like, big, beautiful beast of a pool, that people are going to get to use for generations,” stated Hogarty. “It was worth it, one hundred percent.”

Scan To see a video tour of the pool

With the diving boards in a separate section of the pool from the main lanes, more events can be run simultaneously at swim meets when the divider is put in the middle of the pool. SEPTEMBER 2019 23

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