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TO: The Class of 2019

The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

Seniors, We are almost there…. In a few short weeks, you will have crossed the stage at Graduation, shook hands with the Board of Education, and received your diploma. You will have graduated, and you will officially be Grant Alumni. Grant will be part of your past, and the future will be yours to conquer. Graduation is always a bit bittersweet. There is so much to reflect on over the past four years, but there is so much to look forward to as young adults heading out beyond Grant’s walls. Think about how different you are from the person you were four years ago. Think about the person you have become and what has shaped who you are today. You have grown so much, and now the world is yours to embrace. It is yours to make into anything you wish. It is yours to make your place in. When you came to Grant for the first time at Freshman Orientation in August of 2015 we were all gathered in the auditorium, and I gave you some advice. It’s the same advice I give every new student. I challenged you to, “find ways to get involved, and find reasons to say “yes” to the opportunities that Grant offers.” I always give this same advice because the more experiences you have, the more doors will get opened up for you. And now that high school is ending, your world gets bigger, much bigger, but my advice stays the same: continue to find reasons to say “yes” to new experiences that open doors. Say “yes” because you will never regret giving yourself opportunities. High school was practice; so, use what you learned about the world and about yourself to make your future into whatever you will. Learn from your mistakes, grow from your experiences, and know that whatever you do, you will continue to be Bulldogs! Congratulations, and let’s have a strong finish and a great start to all the amazing adventures that await you!


The Senior Issue

The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

Table of Contents College Scandal

As I write this letter, I am faced with the knowledge that it’s over. I tend to write these letters last, like a retrospective piece on the entirety of the issue as a whole, and how everything has formed together. In a similar fashion, I write this letter as a retrospective on the past four years of my life here at Grant. To pretend I have any grand philosophical takeaways for you would be a lie. I have no big picture reasoning, no existential insights. I can only give you one piece of advice: find solace in the illusions. This might not have any merit to you, whoever you are, with this magazine in your hands, but if I have one last chance to impart anything, I want to impart that we understand the world through ourselves, and so does everyone else. Walk through the world and understand that life as you know it could very well be an illusion. These may have been the best days of your life, or the worst. You may be terrified about whatever’s next, or you may be positively jumping out of your skin, ready to get out and get going. As weird as it may sound, this perception you hold about this time of your life is an illusion. As is the perception that this is the end. This is not the end. But more on the end later, as it is not yet the end, in so many ways.

My memories are illusions, tinted fondly as the worst times fade. This is because of the people here, those that surrounded the bad times with the good. I find it almost be an obligation of mine to finally thank some people that I haven’t been able to, for one reason or another. Thank you to Mr. Austin, a source of unwavering support and sarcasm. I would not be the person I am today, writing from where I am today, if it was not for your place in my life. Thank you to Mr. Boton and Ms. Hutchings, for providing me direct access to the big picture, and encouraging me to remember that the big picture exists. There’s bigger problems than the little ones in my world. Thank you to Mr. Van Alstine, for telling me the brutal truth and having faith in my ability to succeed in your class, even if I had no faith in myself. Thank you to Mrs. Maestranzi for helping me keep my cool when this all got too much, too much stress, too much impatience, too much everything. And thank you for forging this path for us. Thank you to Mr. Schmitt for being there. I have no other words, only gratitude for your existence, your encouragement, and your passion for music. You may not know what’s next. That’s okay. Neither do I. My entire future has flipped directions about twenty different times in the past 12 months, and all I can do at this point is accept that and keep moving. You can keep moving. You can take what you need, find what you want, because any perception that you have that this is the end is an illusion, and only that. Congratulations, class of 2019. You made it.

Operation Varsity Blues

Senior Highlights The best memories of the year

Parallel Journeys Same school different path

Senior to Freshmen Self What would you say to your freshmen self?

Anomaly of and Athlete The lone recipient of the Fred Loffredo award.

Students Who Serve 2 profiles on students who enlisted in the military

The Gap Year Taking a year off before college

Stretch Schools Students who reached and achieved!

The Lockdown Thinking about freshmen year lockdown in retrospect

P5 P6-7 P8 P9-12 P13 P16-17 P20 P21





The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

Did You Know I...

“I enlisted into the army my junior year and completed training over the summer.” - Alycia Gauna

“I plan on studying biomedical engineering.”- Samantha Koch

“I know how to play 3 instruments: alto sax, piano, and flute.” - Samuel Winters


“I have designed and coded my own video game, and I am currently working on a second project.” - Amen Alexander

“I will be majoring in wildlife ecology at UWSP.”- Jessica Bielak

“I have played tennis since I was three, I’m on the varsity tennis team for Grant.”- Walid Rafeh

“I’ve been to 10 countries/ territories in the past year.”- Abigail Yoder

“I am going to MSOE to pursue a career in industrial engineering.” - Abigail Ranalli

“I’ve come up from starting in special ed then working hard to maintain A’s and B’s.”- Zachary Rodriguez

The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

Admission to college is often seen as a money game, and the most recent college scandal does nothing but confirm that.

How Did You Get Into College?

Kaitlyn Krueger

In early March, news broke about Operation Varsity Blues, a college admissions bribery scandal, one of the biggest of its kind. At least 50 people are alleged to have been part of it, a number of whom have pled guilty or agreed to plead guilty. Thirty-three parents of college applicants are accused of paying more than $25 million between 2011 and 2018 to fraudulently inflate applicants’ entrance exam test scores and to bribe college officials. This sent a shock through high schools around the United States, in some ways confirming a suspicion many have always had: the admissions process is highly fraudulent and based in money. Sam Winters, senior, explains the money game that can be the admissions process. “For those that don’t know, you have to pay an application fee just to apply to a college, with prices ranging anywhere from $40 to as much as $110. This is just to apply to the school, you have no idea if you’re going to be accepted or not.” He continued to explain the additional costs associated with sending SAT scores, AP scores, and possibly sending in financial information. “I

applied to 10 schools. Just applying to those schools cost my parents around $1000.” This deprives a lot of students of opportunities, opportunities given to students with a bigger budget. As Tori Vela put it, “it deprives real, hardworking students of any economic bracket, of the opportunity to be given an opportunity to attend a prestigious college.” This behavior puts a significant dent in the trust students have with the college system. Tori brought up the behavior of Ivy League schools, and in particular, Harvard. “[Harvard] is currently in the middle of another lawsuit that consists of them using algorithms to have a “quota” on what kind of person gets into their school.” College can often be viewed as a collection of elitists and trust fund babies, and scandals like this do nothing to promote trust in

these institutes of higher learning. Due to his safety with his athletic record, the news of this scandal did not affect Derek Kolb’s college perspectives, it did significantly diminish his opinion of these colleges. As he mentioned, “If these huge Ivy League schools can get away with it, why couldn’t these smaller schools get away with it, and much easier?” At this point, you may feel significantly more cynical towards these Ivy League schools, and college in general, and why shouldn’t you be? Having a blind faith in these institutions is a naive game that would be dangerous to play. However, do not take it as an end to opportunities. Go for that Ivy League college, try your best to get where you might want to go. Someone with a bigger pocketbook might buy their spot, but sleep peacefully, knowing wherever you go: you got there on your own merit.

“If these huge Ivy League schools can get away with it, why couldn’t these smaller schools get away with it?”


The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

Photo credit: Demi Grant

“Being a part of Grant’s first ever girls varsity badminton team.” - Demi Grant

“Playing varsity softball all four years.” -Calista Warmowski Photo credit: Calista Warmowski Photo credit: Miss Jansen

“Winning powderpuff twice.” - Julia Dunning

“I went to more Friday football games, managed boys volleyball, joined FBLA, and so much more.” - Laurice Lavajo

Photo credit: Miss Jansen

Photo credit: Miss Jansen

Photo credit: Julia Dunning/ Photography Team Photo credit: Miss Jansen

“Being a part of the Grant Chior all four years.” - Madison Hartman

“Playing football and the feeling being out there gave me.” - Zachary Rodriguez

“Homecoming weeks.” - Kaysee Williams

Photo credit: Emily McCalll / Photography team

6 Photo credit: Miss Jansen

“Band concerts.” -Gabriel Aberthany

“performing in the musical my freshman year” - Emily McCall

The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

Photo credit: Mr. Austin

“Joining clubs: Bass Fishing and Snow Dogs.” -Jessica Bielak

“Performing at the variety show.” -William Gonzalez

“Friday football games. I loved being part of the super fans.” - Stephanie Martinez

Photo credit: Miss Jansen

Photo credit: William Gonzalez / photography team

Photo credit: Miss Jansen

Photo credit: Miss Jansen

“Performing in Band and Theatre.” -Natasha Bivins

“Going to sport events, forming amazing friendships, meeting my favorite teachers, and learning how to balance life and everything in between.” - Abbigail Janquart

Photo credit: Miss Jansen Photo credit: Miss Jansen

“Qualifying for the FBLA State Leadership Conference two years in a row.” - Abigail Yoder

Photo credit: Miss Jansen

“Pep Assemblies.” -Carlis Moody


A Parallel Journey

The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

At first glance, Yamin Ahmed might appear to only be the popular and goofy boy that you always hear speaking at all of our pep rallies. However, Grant’s 2019 Grant senior class president has a deeper layer to himself that the public doesn’t always realize. Being a member on the boys wrestling team, treasurer of the student council, and also being voted in as senior class president are all examples of how he managed to stay involved within the Grant community to become a dedicated student. Along this journey of service, he has had the chance to

Grant, he also had the chance to take on a great role of responsibility by planning certain events. For example, Yamin took the role of supervising Senior Assassin this year, organizing the ABC countdown for seniors, and he also assisted with the planning of Homecoming Week with the student council. Throughout his time at Grant Community High School, Yamin had the chance to develop his character and dig deep into who he wants to be in the future aside from who he is now. “I wanted to be known for being more

talk with many people and even speak at several of the pep rallies. When asked about his relationship with his peers to whom he represents, he stated, “I think I worked hard to have a close relationship with my peers and everyone in my class. I wanted to be friends with everyone.” Along with building bonds with the students and staff within

involved. I wanted to run things and gain those leadership skills. I had this epiphany that I had a drive in me that wanted to do more and I just wish that I had started doing that sooner.” However, as high school begins to wrap up for Yamin, he is left with one final epiphany about his time here at Grant and the lessons he’s learned. He stated, “Everything comes and goes.

Shy, independent, and incredibly intelligent are only a few of the words that could be used to describe Drew Hinkle. Along with that, she is very focused on her dedication to education and time spent at Grant Community High School. When describing her high school career, Drew stated, “I would describe my high school career as fairly normal, nothing too special. I tried to have fun and participate with what I wanted to.” As a senior, she joined Environmental Club and took Yearbook, which were two activities she thoroughly enjoyed. Finding motivation to do well in school and maintain a decent academic life requires inspiration in general. Drew believes that her teachers have been the biggest role models and contributors to her academic success. “I would say my teachers definitely inspired me to always do my best and try my hardest. Every single one of my teachers have been there

and have always been willing to push me in the right direction.” However, she would also like to pay special thanks to her parents as well because they encouraged her to always do what she can and support her in every way possible. Throughout her four years at Grant, Drew has had a massive amount of time to reflect on her high school career. She stated, “I learned that throughout you just have to be yourself and enjoy life, have fun while it lasts because it goes by so quick. I also learned that you have to take some risks in order for you to get where or what you want.” Following that confident advice, comes certain fears for the precarious future. For example, graduation day itself is a worry for her. Drew stated, “I feel very nervous as the days approach...The ceremony will definitely be emotional because I am going to miss everyone and everything at that school.” Nonetheless, Drew has a bright future ahead of her no matter what


Written and Collected By: Elizabeth Newcomb

I’m not sure what the future has in store for me, but I know it’s going to be alright and I’ll find a way. I’m definitely going to miss everyone, but I’m also going to find new people too. I’m glad I’ve met the people I’ve met in my life.”

Pictured above is Yamin Ahmed with Ryan Tevaga. Photo was taken by VIPIS.

she chooses to do after graduation. She would like to attend CLC to take care of her gen eds before possibly transfering to a university where she will select a major to pursue later in life. Until then, she will carry with her the knowledge she obtained from high school as well as the skills she will utilize later in life.

Pictured above is Drew Hinkle. Photo taken by Elizabeth Newcomb.

A Life Worth Cheering For

The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

Ryan Tevaga

Written and Collected By: Elizabeth Newcomb Pictured above is Ryan Tevaga and Tiara Soedor at the homecoming dance. Photo was taken by VIPIS.

At each and every pep assembly, within the senior section, there always seems to be that one overly excited superfan who goes all out with school spirit. Rallying up the crowd and cheering at the top of their lungs seems to be that persons specialties. Every school has one and at Grant, his name is Ryan Tevaga. When asked to describe his high school career, Mr. School Spirit had nothing but positive statements to include. “In my opinion, high school has been one of the greatest experiences of my life... There’s always something happening which is kind of fun to me!” With being a member on the football, lacrosse, wrestling, and cheerleading team, Ryan learned great skills of leadership and communication as well. It also helped him grow as a person and learn new concepts. From freshman to senior year, Ryan claimed that there was a change within who he was as a person. He claimed that he got out of his shell and when talking about the advice he would give his fresh-

man self he stated, “Honestly I would just say to go out for new sports or try something new. Or even take an AP class, I mean why not?” Following that statement, Ryan opened up about what changed within him from his freshman to senior year. He described it as a very positive outcome. “My freshman self was more ‘inside’ compared to now, no matter what you can’t get me to shut up. I’m always trying to be that person that’s basically a class clown in every class.” Tevaga typically finds himself in front of the crowd whenever he can. Being around people within a social setting is what created his character. Naturally, that means that pep rallies, dances, and super fanning at games were his go-to places to express himself. Ryan stated, “For me, winning Homecoming King was definitely one of the best parts of my high school career. And at every football game when you see the fans in the stands it’s wow. Watching and listening to

the crowd as you’re playing the game it feels like a once in a lifetime feeling. You get this sort of jolt of adrenaline and have a moment of content because you know that they are cheering for you and are at that game because of you. That is what drove me to play everyday.” However, as Ryan’s high school career comes to an end, these moments of the fans in the stands and becoming HOCO king are all memories he will take with him for the rest of his life. To better show his point of view, he lends out advice to underclassmen. He stated, “You don’t need to try so hard to fit in. If you’re yourself, you’ll find your own group of friends. And you will get some sort of happiness out of it.”


The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

Embracing the Drive to Succeed

The Bark

Sam Winters Written and Collected By: Elizabeth Newcomb

Pictured above is Sam Winters, photo taken by Elizabeth Newcomb

Saxophone enthusiast Sam Winters has a ton of school spirit and an even better attitude to go along with it. Throughout his time here at Grant, Winters has made several connections and learned lessons that will last him a lifetime. Throughout the course of his four years, he has participated in Marching Band, Jazz Band, Concert Band, Pep Band, Fall Plays and Spring Musicals, Concert Choir, Chambers Singers, Anthem Singers, Barbershop Quartets, and Jazz Ensemble. Each of these have impacted the way Sam manages his time and also how to chase his dreams/pursue his passions. However, as anyone can infer, dreams don’t always come easily. They take hard work, dedication, and most importantly the drive to achieve those goals. Sam Winters knows this better than anyone else! Whenever he got discouraged, he reminded himself that it’s “okay to fail” and to pick himself back up again to retry. Advice for underclassmen


that Sam has developed throughout the years would be, “It’s okay to take a break or a day off. Mental Health is super important.” Following this statement, Winters also wanted to spread a message about college that he wishes he would’ve been told. He stated, “The college admission process is crazy, try not to compare yourself to others, your best is enough.” Compared to freshman year, Sam has made tremendous progress with the social aspect of his life. He stated, “Freshmen year I was really cold-hearted, I would say I’m a lot more empathetic.” This is a learned skill that he will take with him for the rest of his life as he continues on his journey. However, as high school begins to come to an end, Sam finds himself questioning what he will miss. What motivated him? Whose face will he miss seeing in the hallway? Or even which class he will miss the most? Each of these questions appear at the back of seniors’ minds

and it is safe to say that Sam has pinpointed exactly his answers. He stated, “I will definitely miss my teachers and seeing the people I never see outside of school everyday.” Following the concluding year for his education at Grant, Sam has larger plans approaching on the horizon. He stated, “I’m attending UIC in their Applied Health Science and Honors Colleges. My intended major is Kinesiology with a possible minor in Bioengineering or Music depending on how things work out. I will either be going to PA or Med school depending on which options work the best.” Nonetheless, whatever path Sam Winters chooses to take will be an adventure for him to embark upon. Whatever challenges he comes across, he will handle them proficiently based on the skills he adapted from high school.

The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

Learning in Order to Teach

The Bark

Sarah Kubicek Written and Collected By: Elizabeth Newcomb

Pictured above is Sarah Kubicek, photo taken by Elizabeth Newcomb

Whether it comes down to getting good grades, participating in school events, or being an amazing role model within the community, Sarah Kubicek does it all. Throughout her three years at Grant Community High School, Sarah has been incredibly dedicated to the well-being of herself and her education. Working hard to maintain honor roll while graduating an entire year early is one of the many goals she has achieved. Along with those accomplishments, Sarah has also been highly involved with extracurricular activities such as volleyball, softball. FBLA, student council, also jazz and marching band. When describing her almost graduated self, as opposed to her freshman self, Sarah found that she was way more confident. She stated, “I don’t let people push me around. I am strong and independent while on the other hand, as a freshman I was shy and a follower.” Becoming a motivated member within her school community has only positively benefited her.

She has been introduced to new and exciting experiences within society. For example, this year Sarah has began devoting her time to bettering her environment by volunteering with NICASA’S teen court. This is a wonderful opportunity for her to not only assist the public in an orderly way, but to also dip her feet into the impression of what a career in law would potentially be like. Sarah Kubicek is not only a fantastic volunteer, but she is also always hardworking and dedicated towards becoming an inspiration for others. In December, Sarah had the chance to visit Stanton Middle School and job shadow a teacher’s position for the day. From that experience, she learned what it meant to be empathetic as an educator and also how to interact with different maturity levels. These are both skills she will carry on with her for the rest of her life. Education has always been an area of interest for Sarah. Following the conclusion of her high school career, she plans on pursuing

a career related to educating young students. “I’m looking forward to completing my college degree in education and coming back here to the wonderful teachers and administrators to teach a long successful career. Hopefully, I’ll change high schooler’s lives like how mine did with me.” Based on that information, it is safe to say that Kubicek has a well drawn out plan of how she would like her future to go. Organization is another key factor that could be added to her list of successes that will also benefit her later in life as well. Currently, Sarah is eager to begin her journey towards further independence, however will never forget the memories she made here at Grant.


The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

Lending a Hand For Life

The Bark

Katie Dinschel Written and Collected By: Elizabeth Newcomb Pictured above is Katie Dinschel, photo taken by Elizabeth Newcomb

We’ve all seen one of Grant’s very own theater productions. Each and every time the audience is left amazed and proud of everyone on stage and behind the curtain. Katie Dinschel especially knows how all of the hard work and dedication that goes into each and every show. She has been a member of the theater crew for three years while attending school and Grant. Along with theater, Katie has also found interest in service activities such as joining Grant’s Chapter of the National Honor Society within her sophomore year. Her aspirations in life include the morals of helping others in need and lending a hand whenever possible. She enjoys volunteering her time, effort, and patience which develops her character. Nonetheless, she is also very talented at being an inspiration to others within the community. For example, annually Katie visits Stanton Middle School (the school where she attended) and speaks to the eighth grade graduating class. Her words of affirmation and encouragement are prime examples of how she makes an impact with the underclassmen.


When asked about the transitions she made as a person from her freshman year to senior year, she describes it as a very positive experience. She stated, “I am definitely a lot more ambitious and slightly more outgoing than I ever was when I started high school. I learned a lot about myself over the course of the last four years. I think a lot of people learn to grow out of their shells in the span of their high school career and most of it stems from how active a person is in his/her school community.” In her own words, Katie described how high school has been nothing but beneficial for her and her growth as a human being. Some of the lessons she learned are universal and underclassmen could benefit from learning as well. “‘Be nice to people and spread happiness’ has been my absolute favorite string of words to live by. You never truly know what a person might be going through, especially in a time as difficult as high school, so it’s extremely important to always be kind. A simple smile could change a person’s day. Life is too short to fester in the negativity.” Along with spreading positiv-

ity, Katie understands what it feels like to be anxious about new opportunities. For example, when she was entering high school her freshman year, she remembers being so nervous about it that she would watch Youtube videos about life hacks to make the experience easier. She highly recommends that to underclassmen as well if they’re ever feeling unsure about any aspect of high school. However, as high school begins to reach an end, Katie stated there were several aspects of high school that she will miss. She claimed, “ I will most certainly miss the relationships that I’ve developed with my teachers. Their unconditional support and friendliness toward me has built my character beyond measure and reminded me of the importance of doing the same for others.”

Anomaly of an Athlete The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

The story of Grant’s lone recipient of the Fred Loffredo award, Senior Carly Burgeson Bryce Mandala

The prominent and illustrious Fred Loffredo award. An award given to a select group of athletes who have competed in three sports seasons for all four years of their high school career. A true testament of persistence and time management. So select in fact, that only one individual from Grant’s Class of 2019 is receiving the award, Carly Burgeson. She’s competed in tennis in the fall, basketball in the winter, as well as Softball during spring for the entirety of high school. The level of commitment that this requires is quite superlative, and has the potential to become a real

conflict if one doesn’t have their priorities set straight. Carly touches a bit on that, and what her everyday life was like with managing her time wisely, “It was hard sometimes not having enough time to do projects and homework, especially when I had games that could start at 7 and last until 9. My everyday life was always busy managing sports and homework.” Carly’s schedule was hectic to say the least, but despite that, was still able to excel on and off the field/court. She made her schoolwork a top priority, able to receive the Scholar Athlete award for all 12 of her sports season, and closing out high school with an astounding 4.7 GPA. Carly didn’t just choose to make this commitment for nothing, her natural competitiveness and everlasting passion for sports is hard to match. “I believe that sports

challenge you mentally and physically, it’s competitive but it’s meant to be fun. There’s this heart racing feeling everytime I serve a tennis ball, everytime I step on a basketball court, and everytime I walk up to the plate. Sports are a break for me, it keeps me busy and I’ve never stopped enjoying them.” Well said words from Burgeson. Her dedication has not gone unnoticed among her friends and coaches either. Assistant Varsity Girls Tennis Coach, Max Boton, had the opportunity to coach her for the last two years in Tennis, as well as basketball her Freshman year. “When it came to tennis, she was always there in the spring and in the fall.


The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark College of Lake County

DePaul University Isabella Ehresman Megan Pahlow

Harper College Benjamin Boecke Sam Fugate

Robert Morris

Lake Forest Academy

Jennifer Duque

Bryce Mandala

Loyola University Chicago Charlie Granat Jennifer Colby

University of Illinois Chicago Ish Soni Liz Schram

Northern Illinois University Cesar Alvarez Kelvin Pittman

Chicago Masters Commission Jared Bengco

Nathaniel Quinones Brandon Hendricks Michael Galvan Madison Hartman Natalie Figueroa Nathan Momcilovic Joseph Califf Safa Abid Ben Truss Lizbeth Albiter Leila Manthi Amber Bush David Acevedo Kyle Rehm Drew Hinkle Aaron Raap Kevin Falcon Ruiz Kyle Penland Rachard Morphew Ethan Wagaman Andrew Berwanger Carly Burgeson Anas Deveci Jaqueline Hernandez Julieana Molina Nicole Porten Cameron Gorski

North Central College Kylee Frey Madison Rousseau

Bradley University

Olivet Nazarene University

Hayden Graham

Walid Rafeh

Illinois State University Ryan Tevaga

University of Illinois McKnedree University Matt Auckland


Tori Vela Skylar Bray Anna Maldonado

University of Cal


The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

Paving a Path

Take a look to see where these bulldogs are heading next!

South Dakota State University

lifornia - Los Angeles

erena Birkhoff

Katie Ramirez

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Madison Milwaukee Parkside Stout/Rockford Whitewater

University of Toronto

Jessie Bielak Ally Mahinay Gianna Kallenbach Nolan Bauer Travis Kolb Lawrence University Joe Gorden Laurice Lavajo

Angelica Waight

Northern Michicgan Univeristy Danielle Schlecht

Grand Velley State University

University of Utah

Marquette University

Happy Thompson

Leona Kondic Madison George

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design Breanna Vouga

Stephanie Martinez Madeline Perlini Robert Yerushalmi Georgia Lexi

St. Ambrose University Megan Mitchel

Oliver Bednarski

Michigan Tech Jack Marquez

MATC Brina Burton

Indiana State University

Milwaukee School of Engineering Abgail Ranalli Iowa State University University of Iowa

Rochester Institute of Technology

Megan Vanata

Abbigail Janquart

Belmont University Willa Staufer

Luther College Michelle Armenta

University of Missouri Columbia Kaitlyn Krueger

Georgia Southern University Marianna Crowe

Full Sail University Amen Alexander


The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

Serving Seniors The following is a sequence of short stories on seniors joining the military. Each student will represent the branch they will be joining explaining why they are joining and what they hope to gain out of this experience.

John OHagan: Navy

Image of John Ohagan taken by Mariah Ona

Seeing the world is a big dream to most but who says you can’t protect it at the same time? John OHagan will be joining the Navy with this idea on July 3rd of this year. When asked why he is joining he responded, “Just to travel the world and protect the country”. However, everyone has an idea of where they would like to travel. John would like to travel to “Hawaii or Singapore”. To him the military isn’t new, considering his uncle and grandpa are veterans. Not only will he be joining the military, but


he has plans after his contract “My contract is eight years.” After which he plans on doing “cyber security... it’s pretty much protecting from other people hacking into our networks” He has taken engineering courses as well here at Grant such as “Tech Exploration one, two, and Mech Cad.” So with many things to look forward to in his future, John OHagan will start a new life July 23, 2019 and make new memories as he goes on.

The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

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Alycia Gauna: Army Alycia will be joining the Army, and is currently on the reserves. She has been wanting to go into the Army for about a year now. A recruiter got her attention when they told her about the free schooling that comes along with it. “It hasn’t really been a dream of mine”. However Alycia was accepted into University of Florida with no cost. Everyone has a main goal in their life they hope to achieve and for the past four years Alycia’s has been becoming a veterinarian. When it comes to animals Alycia feels as though she is connected with the animal. “I just re-

ally love working with animals”. She currently has a puppy named Coco who is just a few months. In spite of loving her small dog being a part of a larger concepts fulfills her. Helping contribute to the world helps Alycia be herself. “I just really like devoting myself, to bigger things than just me and my family.” Joining the military will not only help her on her path to becoming a veterinarian, it will help her help others. Knowing that I can help other people in the long run, and starting something for my family, and new generation. For my siblings, my kids.”

Image of Alycia Gauna at basic training


Student to Teacher This is a spotlight to teachers and students becoming teachers, because there wouldn’t be students without teachers.


Image of Katherine Sagritalo in English Lab helping student

Even though this is a student highlight it’s always nice to get other relevant perspectives. So what is to come when these students officially become teachers? Several students stated interview and polls they enjoyed Sagritalo’s method of teaching. Her response to this was “Suprised, Happy, and Grateful”. As a teacher of twenty-eight years, fifteen of which at Grant, she believes she has not only taught but she has learned. “I’m always learning, which is really the part I probably like best about teaching.” In teaching environment, you learn new teaching styles, different curriculum, and new people constantly. Every year you get a group of students, watch them grow, then do it again. “The students are the absolute best part. I can come to school totally depressed and as soon as I am in the school, I feel better. It just lifts me up.” Yet there are still somethings we struggle to learn even with the best teacher. That’s why smaller class size is an improvement. More individual teaching with students. “I definitely like working one on one with

the students... that’s why I love working in the lab so much.” Even before Mrs. Sagritalo was officially a teacher she always had a love for it. “I’ve always loved teaching, and I’ve had lots of oppurtunities to do it.” Working in a school environment is also in her family. Her mother as a social worker, and her father as a teacher. “My dad, he was my social studies and English teacher when I was in seventh grade... Being in his class made me see how much fun he had with it.” When you can help someone in anyway it brightens up your own day. Teachers do this as a job. “I love the Aha moment when someone realizes something has a connection with a text or something that they read, and they feel proud of themselves. That’s exciting when I can help facilitate that in a person... That’s what I want. That’s when I care.”

Avija Olds

Image of Avija Olds taken by Mariah Ona

Understanding what it’s like to learn is a different experience for everyone but everyone goes through it. Some people learn easily while grasping concepts might come difficult to others. Avija Olds is one that learning has come easy to.“I had always been interested in my classes and the way they run.” Many people when going into teaching want to be the cool fun teacher but there’s a fine line between being fun and walked all over. The teacher Avija wants to be looked at as is “a nice, fun teacher, but also one that does get things done.” Looking for more control over what she will be teaching her go to choice is English. “I feel like there is a lot of freedom in teaching English, because it’s not just teaching the same lesson over and over. You can learn a lot more from your students than you can other subjects.” Learning just comes easy to her, so teaching should as well. “I haven’t done any formal tutoring but with my friends I have. I asked them how I could help them. I know I reviewed a few people’s essays and gave them comments.” She has tutored people younger than her as well. “Little kids I’ve helped from time to time.” However she prefers teaching older kids. When asked what grade level Avija hopes to teach, she responded, “Probably high school… and then I was thinking about being a college professor just because I like to deal with higher classes”

Sarah Wolkowitz Of all the different grade levels to teach Sarah chooses to teach elementary. “I absolutely love kids; there is something about seeing that they are going to be the future.” Sarah hopes to help kids grow academically and as individuals. Hoping that when she becomes a teacher her future students won’t feel as though they must constantly have their guard up around her, yet also respectful. The two schools Sarah has been debating are Bradley and Drake University, both of which she has been accepted to. However, our past builds our future and while it may not be much longer in high school for Sarah she had some inspiration from teachers Sagritalo and Swearengen, who taught her teaching is also learning. Being very dedicated to a specific type of teaching for each student just helping someone understand things brightens up her day. “(Swearengen taught me) it’s not about these simple subjects we learn, it’s about how we learn them.” One of the most important things is to know every kid is different. Every kid has a different social life and intelligence. All of this comes patience. A kid not knowing something is not their fault. It’s simply because they were never taught.

Image of Sarah Wolkowitz taken by Mariah Ona

A Leap of Faith...

The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

This piece is a spotlight on a student at Grant taking a Gap Year. Many people take Gap Years for different reasons this is just one story. While the idea of taking a Gap year isn’t an uncommon one, people take them for many different reasons. Some may use it as a break but Abigail Jackson’s gap year differs from the usual in several ways. Typically we think of it as a year off from your senior year in high school to freshman year in college. Unlike the usual, Abigail will be taking two years off from her Freshman year in college to her sophomore year in college. Jackson will “do service and spread gospel”. The timing is different from most gap years because of why she is going on her gap year. “ I’m a member of the church of Latter Day Saints... when girls turn nineteen they can go on a typical Christian mission.” Her mission is different from a service mission. “The kind of mission I’ll be serving is a cross-line mission... like knocking on people’s doors and inviting them to hear more about Jesus Christ” The typical Mormon mission is eighteen months. Meaning Abigail would be gone for a year and a half missing two years of school. “ I know it’s a bit unconventional the reason I took a gap year.” Yet her taking a Gap Year isn’t news to her family. They have known since her freshman year. “I would say we’re fairly religious” quotes Jackson. Before her Gap year even starts she has yet to of-

Infographic on Gap Years


Image of Abigail Jackson taken by Mariah Ona

ficially decide what her plans will be after. “I’m going to be studying English... I might change my major to psychology, I will use my first year to see that.” Jackson will be attending Brigham Young University owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Looking even farther into the future Jackson not only has her mission and schooling to look forward to but her career. “Either I am going to be a lawyer or a licensed psychologist.” By taking this jump she can influence others to do the same on her mission and live a fulfilled life like herself.

Reaching for the Dream The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

A reach school is a college that one has a chance of getting into, but your test scores, class rank, and/or GPA are a bit on the low side when you look at the school’s profile. Here are three students that have made it into their reach schools! By Kaitlyn Krueger

Angelica Waight is ready to leave the United States and head up north for better academic oppurtunities.

For Angelica Waight, her reach

Serena Birkhoff is headed out to the west coast to her dream college, beating out the odds on the waitlist.

Chris Munwam is prepared to take on University of Iowa’s engineering program.

Some people’s reach schools aren’t

For those applying to schools uni-

school breached international lines, stretch-

what you’d think of a typical reach school.

versally deemed as reach schools, those Ivy

ing into Canada. The University of Toronto,

Deceptively easy, but the particular program

League schools, the saving grace for many is

known for its exemplary research programs

is difficult to get into. This was the case with

the wait-list. It is both a disappointment and

Chris Munwam, who applied for the engi-

a glimmer of hope for many students, includ-

neering program of The University of Iowa.

ing Serena Birkhoff.

and close proximity to downtown Toronto, was the perfect choice for Angelica. It was simply a matter of if could she make it in with her scores. “The application process was tough,” she explained. “I was constantly

He ended up needing to retake the

SAT, something he wholeheartedly recom-

checking my work and I made thousands of

mends. “I really recommend for other stu-

drafts for all my personal statements.”

dents to keep their GPA up, retake the SAT

to get the best possible test score, and get

But still, even once her application

was entirely in, the terror wasn’t over. Now

involved!” He also truly believes that part of

she had to wait to hear back from admis-

the reason that he made it into the engineer-

sions. “I am the most impatient person in the

ing program was because of his involvement

world, so waiting for my status to update was

in a variety of extracurricular programs. “For

brutal. Even worse, I had been rejected from one of my other reach schools at the time, and I’d feared I’d get the same response.”

Angelica admits that her confi-

dence had been a bit low towards the whole

me, getting into my stretch school means

Most of the colleges she applied to

were reach schools, and ended up getting rejected from most and waitlisted by her dream school, University of California, Los Angeles. Her only safety was Loyola. “The waiting [to find out] sucked, because I kept getting rejected, which is the worst, and really had to deal with. When I found out I was waitlisted at UCLA, I was really upset, but there was a glimmer of hope.”

So why bother with all the addi-

that all my hard work paid off. You really

tional effort of dealing with adding more to a

had to work hard to leave a mark in your

waitlisted application, instead of going with a


perfectly good safety school? Because it can

application process, since, “The University of

Toronto is a top 20 school, out of the entire

students must feel, getting into his reach

my position and poured my heart out in the

world, so I felt I didn’t stand a chance!”

school removed a massive weight from

writing portion, and I waited. And I kept wait-

Chris’ shoulders and a significant worry.

ing. Through the rejection and failure I had

as she is headed to her top choice this fall.

Some students’ paths may not be the same,

never dealt with before, I learned a lot about

Her note to those wondering if they should

and may involve trial and error, and even

myself and grew as a person.”

bother trying to apply for reach schools?

requiring the committment to retake a test to

get the best scores possible.

ing about how her self worth doesn’t need

to be defined by what colleges she does or

That doubt is now since gone,

“When I opened that letter, I felt all my dreams become reality. To all you dreamers, never stop dreaming because when you least expect it, they really do come true.”

In the end, like how many other

But if Chris is any example, if you

potentially work out in the end. “I accepted

In the end, Serena described learn-

do everything in your power, you can make

doesn’t get accepted to. There’s an extra

it to your top choice.

happy ending to this story, as Serena was accepted into UCLA just recently and will be attending this fall.


The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

Retiring Bulldogs By Andrea Lowry

Miss Pomije (Pictured Below)

Ms. Pomije As many peowple would agree, it takes time to find a job in which you love. Miss Pomije, a special education teacher, has worked here at Grant for 16 years. Throughout her years of Grant employment, Miss Pomije has tried out different jobs across the school, searching for her passion. “I started [in 2003 as a] part time Foods teacher,” says Miss Pomije. “I really enjoyed that, but I wanted to spend more time with my kids so I decided not to return. [...] I came back in 2009 subbing for spring semester 2010, [I was asked if] I wanted to work up

Photo by Andrea Lowry

at the front office [to fill in for an absent receptionist.]” Miss Pomije didn’t find her passion in the special education field until she was offered the job with the front office, “I got to know a couple of teachers aides sitting up there,” says Miss Pomije. “I would ask them about their jobs. [...] I have always wanted to be more in the background, [...] so I became a teacher’s aide and I really liked it, it was a good fit for me.” After working with Grant, Miss Pomije is sad to say goodbye. “I never woke up and said ‘Oh, I have to go to work’, I was always like ‘i’m so happy to come to work’. [This

Ms. Ziegler For many people, working the same job for 12 years is way too much. For Miss Ziegler, 12 years was just enough. Miss Ziegler is a registrar here at Grant, and she’s been working with the high school since 2007. Before starting at Grant, Miss Ziegler was trying out something a little different than school work. “I’ve wanted to work in a school,” she says. “I worked corporate for a whole lot of years, until my company went out of business. [When that happened, I saw the] opportunity to come here.” Miss Ziegler has always wanted to work with a school, and she was sure a high school is where she wanted to be. “It’s fun to be with


job was] just perfect for me.” After retirement, Miss Pomije plans to do light traveling with her husband, and basically just relax and spend time with her family.

Miss Ziegler (Pictured Below) Photo by Andrea Lowry

little kids, I love my grandchildren dearly,” she says. “But I think it’s easier to communicate with teenagers. [...] They may not let you know it, but they understand what you’re saying. Little kids are a bit tougher to communicate [and get across] to.” When thinking about her overall experience working as a registrar, she couldn’t be happier with the route in profession she chose to head in. “I’ve enjoyed working with teachers,” she says. “I’ve also enjoyed working with students, and [overall] all of the staff that’s around here.” After retirement, Miss Ziegler plans on staying home and relaxing with her grandchildren, along with focusing more on her

favorite hobbies. “ I’m going to be a grandma on call,” she says. “So I’ll probably do a lot of stuff with my grandkids. [...] I do a lot of crafting, sewing, quilting, etc. I’m looking forwards to being able to spend time doing that.”

The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

Mr. Reitz 20 years of teaching, and forever a woodworker at heart. Mr. Reitz is a tech and woods teacher here at Grant, and he is sadly preparing to retire and say goodbye to the job he knows and loves. Before starting as a woods teacher at Grant, Mr. Rietz was exploring the teaching opportunities in other high schools. “I taught woodworking mostly all my life,” he says. “I’ve taught small engines, I’ve done 3D CAD, [...] I did some cat classes, and technology classes.” For Mr. Reitz, working as a woods teacher was definitely

something he wanted to do. “I like to prepare students for a career,” he says. “Especially if they’re going into the trades because I was in the trades myself. I was a carpenter for 22 years.” Mr. Rietz gained an interest for woodworking when he was young. “My father was pretty handy, he did a lot around the house,” he says. “My uncle was also a contractor. So, by the time I got to junior high, I was really excited to take the woods class.” After retirement, Mr. Rietz plans to continue woodworking as

Mr. Reitz (Pictured Below) Photo by Andrea Lowry

The Bark

a hobby. “I plan on making custom cabinets, stuff like that,” he says. “My wife has a huge to-do list for everything around the house, [so I also plan to use woodworking to help out.]”

Mr. Evans (Pictured) Photo by Andrea Lowry

25 years of Service Mr. Evans

25 years, and several more to go. Mr. Evans is an instructional coach here, and he has spent the last 25 years working with the students of Grant. Through the past 25 years, Mr. Evans has experimented with a few different roles around the school. “I taught Spanish 1, 2, and 3 and Honors Spanish 2-3. That’s pretty much all I’ve taught for 21 years,” he says. I was also an assistant athletic director for 4 years while also being a classroom teacher. This is the third year of being a fulltime instructional coach.” Once Mr. Evans started instructional coaching, he knew he found his calling. “I love what I’m doing,” he says. “If I’m able to do this for the rest of my time here, then great!” When thinking about the last 25 years with Grant, Mr. Evans is happy to have been here. “The staff I got to work with in my Spanish Department is an outstanding group of people,” he says. “In addition, I am fortunate for a supportive administration who has provided me with

opportunities to grow as an educator in different capacities, along with the sports teams that I’ve coached (Football and Track and Field). I’ve been able to coach alongside many amazing coaches, and of course, work with many fine student-athletes outside the classroom. The past four years being an instructional coach [...] has been a great experience so far.” Mr. Evans hopes to be able to continue with instructional coaching in the future of his career at Grant. “I absolutely love what I do. Relationships are very important to me and to this role, and to be able to get to know and work with so many great teach-

ers each year and hopefully support them well enough to make an impact on the educational and social-emotional growth of our students is truly a blessing.”


The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

A reflection of what so many rooms looked like during the lockdown, just aged up four years.

The Lockdown: A Retrospective Kaitlyn Krueger Hannah Goodwin looks out the window at the now-empty parking lot, thinking back to a long lost date four years ago, but one that someone is likely to forget. “I remember, at first, being very confused. I thought it was just a practice lockdown at first, but it went on longer and longer and then people started reading the news in class. As a freshman in the beginning of my high school life, I was terrified, and it didn’t make sense to me how something could happen.” On September 1st, 2015, a few minutes before second period, Grant Community High School went into a lockdown. This lockdown continued until nearly four in the afternoon, when students were slowly released to their guardians. Over the following months, more and more news about the events that transpired were released, and prior


beliefs about what had happened were shattered. As important as these details are, it is just as important to look back on these events in a considerably more closed perspective: the perspective of the 2019 class of Grant graduates. This is the last class to have been in Grant when the lockdown took place, the last class to remember huddling in corners, the last class to remember desperately checking the news every ten minutes to get some kind of update on what was happening. It’s not exactly something that would fade from memory, but

everyone has an entirely different perspective. Bree Vouga reports being in the comcon room where, “Because of all the windows, even when it was clear, we had to stay against the walls in one corner basically the whole time. It was weird, especially since I didn’t really have any friends in that class.” Another student, Bela Villarreal, recalls the experience of being stuck in the choir room during the lockdown. “We were pretty closed off from everybody and everything. Nothing too crazy happened [...] but in the beginning I remember people were crying, and really freaked out.

“I thought it was just a practice drill at first, but it went on longer and longer..”

The Senior Issue Finally, we got some service and figured out what was happening, which was really a huge relief.” Other students reported a wide variety of different experiences, but many echo this same trend: fear and confusion, slowly melting into acceptance. In fact, many students, such as Josh Kolak, state that they “never felt to be in any immediate danger.” This is, of course, partially to the capabilities of the staff. Leila Manthi remembers that all the staff members seemed to be, “Super calm. They had zero info and they handled this as best as they could. Who knows what could’ve happened, but in that day, I felt safe and calm at Grant.” Now, not everyone views how the lockdown was handled in the same way. However, in defense of the school and the situation, how does one handle something that often exists only as a theoretical? In an interview, Principal

In Mrs. Zegler’s Intro to Art class, in 2015, the freshman students wrote an enormous manifesto detailing their experience’s with the lockdown.

Special Edition Spring 2019

Schmidt brought up this exact problem and how the Grant staff had to come up with solutions on the fly. Prior to the lockdown, there was, of course, a set of instructions on what to do in the case that something like this happened. From since then though, “We have made the system [of letting students out] very procedural. It’s very, very clear. Everyone has detailed plans and assignments, like where to be to make this run like a system. So that part was something that was we’ve really developed and worked a lot on. We have also worked with the police department and other security advisors on that plan. And that’s something that we’re really proud of.” Mr. Schmidt continued to describe how Grant has now shared this plan with other schools, to transfer their plan from being as theoretical as ours had been, and instead into something more concrete and action based. Grant has also advised other schools on the matter of communication. “One thing we learned was the speed that information will get from kids to their parents. Yeah, students probably have cell phones, they’re watching the news, texting parents, friends, whatever you’re doing during the lockdown. The flow of communication is much faster than we ever expected. We had to try to recognize that anything that we told the staff members would reach those students, and then get to the parents.” He continued to explain the difficulties with controlling communication and preventing panic. “If you’re trying to control the flow of information, moms, dads, they’re hearing things

The Bark

from students that we hadn’t told them yet, because we told teachers and then the teacher heard it, and then they told the students and immediately the kid was texting. So now, we communicate everything all at once, to the teachers and the students and the parents.” The procedures of Grant continue to shift and evolve with events like the lockdown, and just as we changed our system to be significantly more concrete, the view of Grant was significantly changed in the eyes of the students within. For Hannah, “I feel like it brought Grant together since we all went through a similar experience and felt a similar wave of emotions.” As the class of 2019 looks back at their past four years here at Grant, it is nearly certain that the lockdown will hold as a formative moment. And yet, for many, this is not a bad thing. In fact, for many, it is a unifying factor. Leila walked along the slowly emptying halls as everyone left the school for the day, saying “It’s weird to think I was only like 14 when I experienced it, and now I’m 18 and no one else after I graduate will know what it was like to sit in those dark classrooms, listening to a police scanner off of someone’s Iphone 5s.” She gestured briefly around, before shrugging and smiling, continuing. “I feel like, in a weird way, it did really affect us. It really set the tone of how high school was going to go for us. It left a big impact on us, so we left a big impact on Grant.”

“no one else after I graduate will know what it was like to sit in those dark classrooms, listening to a police scanner.”


The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

On the Move

See where your bulldogs play next year! Matt Auckland


Written and collected by Ethan Dicken

Matt Auckland’s decision to go to Mckendree was a no brainer for him.

He wanted to go to one of the best bowling schools in the country and that’s exactly what he did. “McKendree has been #1 ranked in the country for 4 years now and they have the best coaching in the country. I could have gone to Nebraska and started first year or I could have gone to McKendree and got the best coaching out there, and with how far I want to take myself with the sport and how good I believe I can be, McKendree” he says. To say bowling is new to Matt is an understatement. Matt joined the sport of bowling just 2 years ago and is going to college with only 2 years under his belt is an accomplishment in itself. “I love the sport a lot and to have the opportunity to compete at the highest level possible with only two years of experience is insane to me” he says. To prepare for the next level, Matt is trying to smooth out the edges of his game by practicing for 2 hours everyday and also competing in tournaments and leagues over the summer. McKendree isn’t ready for what this young prodigy can do with a bowling ball.

Austin Vass

College of Lake County

Austin Vass is going to CLC so he can be close to his family and friends

and also have them come to some of his baseball games. Going to college playing baseball for Austin is a dream come true for him as he has always wanted to play ball in college. The people who have helped him get to this point in his baseball career is his parents, he says. They have been there since the beginning helping him practice, get to games on time, and make sure he is prepared for every game. To be ready for the next leave, Austin is studying more and trying to keep the same routine of working out,eating right, and working on his game for another 4 years.

Calista Warmowski


Calista chose Marian to be able to be away but still close enough to see

her family and friends. Calista also liked Marian because of the campus and town. “The town has so many adventurous things to do” she says. Calista has wanted to go to college for a long time and now to be going for softball is crazy to her. The people who have helped Calista get to where she is now is her parents and her coaches. “My family has helped me so much, especially my mom. My coaches have also helped me quite a bit. Both travel and school” she adds. Calista is working really hard to get herself ready for college ball. “I’m jumping right into Sports Rec and Management” she says. Calista is also working off the field to make a smooth transition. “I need to start working on my time management skills, trying to manage practice and get all my work done” she explains. People are going to know where Calista came from when she gets to Marian.


Megan Mitchell

The Senior Issue

St. Ambrose

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark

Megan’s choice to go to St. Ambrose isn’t just about playing volleyball.

To Megan St. Ambrose was the perfect college to go to in her opinion. “St. Ambrose truly is the perfect school for me. Being three hours away, I will be able to visit my family on weekends if I want to come home. In addition, the volleyball conference plays other schools close to home so my parents will be able to attend a majority of my games. Most importantly, their nursing program is phenomenal” she says. Megan is also a fan of all the relationships she will be to make. “The campus is relatively small and my class sizes will have a max of 25 students so I will be able to form relationships with other kids and teachers” she adds. Megan has always wanted her future to go to college for sports and that future is now.

Carlos Martinez

Rock Valley

People have doubted Carlos all his life and he now finally gets to prove

those people wrong by going to Rock Valley for baseball. “ It makes me feel really good to play baseball in college because a lot of people doubted me in my life saying “you’re not good enough to play” “ you’re too small to play.” That motivated me even more throughout my life and being able to succeed in baseball and play college ball is the best thing in the world I could ever ask for,” he says. Carlos picked Rock Valley because of the togetherness of the team and the great academics. “What made me go to Rock Valley College was the brotherhood they have; their the team chemistry that school carries with baseball and the love they have for the game. Also the academics is amazing over there and it’s a very good college and I’m very grateful to be going to a beautiful college like this” he adds. Carlos is giving his all this summer to get ready for the season. “I am working harder each and everyday no matter what. To me there are no breaks if you take pride in what you do and what you believe in then you will put in the blood and sweat into what you enjoy doing no matter what. That’s why I’m going to play at Rock Valley College. That’s why no one will ever pass me up or stop me because I will always give 110 percent into what I enjoy doing” Carlos says. Rock Valley is getting a unique player who has a lot to give.

Walid Rafeh Olivet Nazarene

Walid finally had his dream come true of playing tennis in college. Walid

has decided to attend Olivet Nazarene due to a lot of factors. “The community, the team, the coaches, and the staff were really welcoming and it felt great. Similar to being home, I felt immensely valued. Their tennis team is really good and the level of competition is really high. Also obviously the scholarship offered was a main factor too” he says. Walid has always seen playing tennis in college in his dreams and that dream is a reality now. “It’s a dream come true. When I was little this only happened in my dreams, now it’s a reality and it’s tough to believe” Walid says. Walid owes a lot of his success to people outside of the country. “I owe a lot to my coaches in Venezuela and Aruba that helped me immensely. My family and friends always supporting me and helping me through tough times. Definitely last but not least God for giving me this opportunity I feel immensely blessed and grateful” he says. To help prepare Walid is also traveling back to Venezuela to get some practice in with his coaches. The sky’s the limit for this tennis superstar.


The Senior Issue

Special Edition Spring 2019

The Bark


Profile for GCHSTheBark

The Bark - Volume 1. Issue 6 - The Senior Issue 2019  

The Bark - Volume 1. Issue 6 - The Senior Issue 2019