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September 2015 Volume 86 Issue 1

East Leyden High School

3400 Rose Street

Franklin Park, IL 60131

A culture that won’t be dominated T Karina Kosmala and Zitlali Montiel-Martinez

aking charge last month, school administrators along with other students counteracted a series of harassing Twitter accounts with some #Leyden-

Love. On the first Saturday of the school year, harmful tweets began being published anonymously. The tweets included details–possibly lies–about students’ sexual behavior, negative comments about Leyden sports, and hateful criticism of many others. But these mean tweets were soon met with concerned Leyden students, staff, and parents, who reported the account. The deans and principal all received multiple emails from students, staff members, parents, and community members. Mr. Jason Markey answered these emails letting people know that the first step should be reporting the account directly to Twitter. Although it took a while, eventually the account was shut down ending this controversial situation. And while there were reports of other accounts with similar actions, they have not gained nearly the follower count of the original. The school has also discovered the identities of some contributors, and this issue did not go unpunished. Consequences can vary. In fact, there was a conversation with law enforcement regarding the legal status of these tweets. According to Markey, “There were some extremely inappropriate, abusive remarks that were made that impacted other students, impacted our school, so certainly the range could lead from conversation with those student

all the way up to a suspension from school.” But the real story here may be the good behavior that came from these bad decisions. This issue sparked students to do more than simply avoid bullying. Some fought back through the creation of #LeydenLove via the following account: @stop_the_smack. Mariel Lavatos, Gleanne Rosales, and Gabriella Gryc designed the #LeydenLove page on Twitter to take a whole different ‘spin’ on the issue. According to Lavatos, the account was created when one of the creators (Gryc) saw what was going on and said, “You know what we should do, we should make an account that does the exact opposite of what the smack account does.” So it seems that #LeydenLove has had a positive impact on the students, and the administrators appreciate students standing up for one another. Dean of Students Mr. Dennis Byrne explained that

an event like this can’t be prevented, but the way students react can make a difference: “The students were really going after this page, and they came up with their own page to draw attention away from it.” Although Byrne and Markey have seen this type of Twitter account for other schools, they were both really pleased how certain Leyden students handled this situation. Byrne attributes this positive reaction to the culture that administrators, such as Markey, and students have contributed to Leyden: “We couldn’t have been more proud of how the students were handling it.” To those who responded positively, Byrne would “like to thank the students who reached out to us and helped us get to the bottom of this. Again, we are all really proud how the majority of students reacted to this…the majority of feedback that we heard [is that] our kids are sick of this and don’t want this.”

New teachers share first impressions Leslie Palacios

Too New for a


Brandon Pemberton Dawn Erickson Music Student Services Dana Thomas FACS

Megan Doherty Business Ed.

Rebecca Burger Special Ed.

“Something that caught my eye was the overall morale at East Leyden. Between the teachers, staff, students, and administration there is such a high level of enthusiasm and enjoyment.”

“When I walked through the door, I noticed right away how proud the students are to go to East Leyden; even though there are a lot of different types of people here, you all come together to root for your school.”

There are many things that have caught my eye at East Leyden. The one thing that sticks out to me is the student body. The students at East Leyden are positive, polite and they display excellent character.

AP law changes Piotr Morawiec The Illinois legislature has passed a law that requires all public Illinois colleges to accept an AP score of three or higher, effective next fall. Senior Rene Leyva is considering going to the University of Illinois at Chicago, yet before this change, the school only accepted a score of four out of five and above for a Psych AP class. He received a score of three. By next year they are required to accept a score of three. This credit may be used to bypass taking some classes. “I feel like this law helps anyone who got a three. It would save me a lot of money because now I wouldn’t

“One thing that caught my eye at East Leyden is how supportive the students are of one another! It’s really exciting to see so many great friendships, and know that students genuinely care for one another.”

“One characteristic that is quickly noticeable here at East is the friendliness of the Leyden community! Since arriving, I have felt welcomed and accepted by staff and students alike.”

Alicia Funes Student Services “When I was first introduced to #LeydenPride I thought it was an incredible platform to share the amazing things going on here at Leyden. I am proud to say that I can be a part of this movement!”

have to pay for classes anymore. It helps a lot,” Leyva said. Last year, out of 637 AP exams taken at Leyden, 198 exams scored a three. Before the law, the students who got these scores would stress out thinking about colleges accepting them. Some colleges accept fours, and some accept threes. Now they have less to worry about. The bill, otherwise known as HB 3428, has a financial note attached to it which states that the bill can “decrease the amount of tuition revenue received by the public institutions [by letting students] bypass costs associated with earning those credits.” The bill, however, does not specify what type of credit and how many credits the students would receive. Kristin Smigielski, a University of Illinois Admissions Officer, said “details [...] will be worked out over the

Anthony Martinez Jessica Greenberg Social Studies Special Ed. “One thing which has caught my eye at Leyden has been the level of support and positive attitude from both other staff members and the student body. This positive attitude and support has allowed me to return to Leyden and feel as if I had never left.”

“What has caught my eye is how much East Leyden students love their school. I have seen it throughout #leydenpride and even in the halls. It makes me so happy that the students of East Leyden feel a sense of community and see the school as theirs.”

Matt Rusek Math “I think the most significant eye catcher was student pride in their school community! Students find many ways to show their #LeydenPride, whether through academic and athletic endeavors or involvement in school organizations.”

course of the next several months. It is up to each public institution to determine what type of credit will be awarded. Credit can include elective credit, general education credit or credit for major requirements.” Colleges are struggling to find the balance of the right amount of credit per score. They have a multitude of elements that they must consider, such as whether a student who has taken an AP class in his or her major should be able to bypass a class and whether different rules should apply to students who do not have the intention of continuing studying it. A lot of the details have not been settled, Yet this law will help students by letting them bypass paying for classes and receive the credit that they worked very hard to get.


The Eagle’s Eye


September 2015

More Colleges Making Applications Test Optional Gleanne Rosales and Sarah Fiala hen filling out applications this fall, many seniors will focus heavily on their ACT scores to gauge their chance of acceptance; however, a recent trend in application requirements may signal a shift in focus for this year’s seniors and future applicants. Over 800 colleges as of 2015 have stripped their applications of the ACT/ SAT requirement, leaving test score submissions optional. The list of 800 includes various Illinois schools, including Depaul and Augustana. Instead of test scores, these institutions are looking at extracurricular activity and coursework, forcing many Leyden students to fill that gap in their applications with extra community service, academics, and involvement. For the students relying on their incredible ACT scores, it may be necessary to devote more time to the other areas of an application in order to be what colleges call “well-rounded.” Schools are eliminating their test requirement due to concerns that these well-rounded students won’t apply if their scores falls below the school’s average. The theory that standardized tests are not effective in ranking students’ ability has led many schools to jump on the bandwagon, possibly making the ACT and SAT obsolete in future generations of college applications.


According to senior, Ronahy Alzagha, a student’s ACT or SAT test score is not as important as other aspects of the application process. “A two-digit number can’t show who you really are as a student, so I don’t think it should be a big determinant on getting into college,” she said. Bright side is, if colleges don’t require test scores, it can get rid

of the stress that the ACT or SAT causes for most students. Alzagha believes that test optional could help students focus more on extracurricular activities since colleges may need students to do more outside of the three hour test. Ms. Christine Schulz, a Leyden counselor, said that if a school doesn’t require test scores, they’ll just look at other things in a student’s application more heavily. “DePaul has had [test optional] for three or four years. It was one of the bigger schools that did, and students have to write four additional essays so DePaul can have something else to assess students with.” However, the ACT/SAT isn’t just for applications. Ms. Patricia Muldoon, another counselor, said that colleges may still take a look at scores to make sure that a student’s “college readiness” is there. “The ACT also plays a big part in scholarships, so it’s not just for college entrance,” Muldoon added. Regardless of a student’s ACT score and GPA, this change signals a major shift in the application process. The fact that various colleges are now weighing the ACT as less important, and in this case not required, means that many well-rounded students with lower test scores will have a better chance of acceptance. However, students who were relying on their ACT scores to get them into a good school will have to beef up their applications.

Good News: Highlighting Events with Hope Piotr Morawiec

We all know that when we turn on the news, someone died, something tragic happened, and they illustrate that the world is horrible. Yet the world is not all bad, the good things are overshadowed. So in this section, we will try to highlight the good in the world, covering good news from all over the world. FDA Targets Cigarette Claims

Helping a Neighbor Out

Last month, Ayoub El-Khazzani boarded a train with an assault rifle and a slew of guns, soon taking everyone on board hostage. When Mark Moogalian heard gunshots, he immediately tried taking down the gunman. He was shot in the neck and was left in critical condition. Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone, and Alek Skarlatos then went after the attacker, tackling him unconscious, saving the lives of everyone on board. All four heroes received France’s Highest decoration, la Légion d’honneur.

Cigarette companies have come under fire as the FDA announced a plan to take down the misleading labels of “natural” and additive-free cigarettes. Cigarettes have had a drop in sales year after year. In an effort to make cigarettes more appealing, companies slap on these unchecked labels. As a result, the FDA has sent out letters to the major companies to either take down the labels or be subject to scientific testing whether these claims are true.

15 strangers, who have been recruited through Facebook, have showed up in an elderly manś home to help him repair his roof. David Perez noticed that his neighbour, Richard Dubiel, was trying to fix his roof. Richard Dubiel is 75 years old, and was still getting onto the roof to finish the job. Perez decided that he needed help, so he posted a photo of Dubiel working on the roof to Facebook. This post was spread around, and 15 volunteers showed up to help. People brought refreshments, and all of them were done in four and a half hours

This story shows us the horror that could have happened. It shows us what could have been a massacre, yet it turned out to be good. Humanity got through, and bravery ultimately saved the day. We need more people like this. The news should not be scary, it should be empowering.

The US government is largely perceived as shady. But when we hear that they are trying to help the people, and not the companies, a little faith rears its head. That’s why it deserves to be in this section because it restores the government’s credibility.

This story shows us that through the power of organization and goodwill, we can accomplish things that would have taken a long time to do. It shows us that not all of the people are out there to kill you, but there are people out there to help and to support you. They might even be complete strangers.

The Eagle’s Eye Staff

Hostages turn into Heroes

Editor-in-Chief Natalie Taborska

Broadcast Editor

News Editor Piotr Morawiec

Web Editor

Opinions Editor Isabella Valdez In Focus Editor Shelsea Reynoso Features Editor Zitlali Montiel-Martinez Arts & Entertainment Editor Karina Kosmala Sports Co-Editors Paulina Castelan and Jasmin Gonzalez

Gleanne Rosales

Gerardo Heredia

Visuals Manager Charlie Zielinski

Social Media/Marketing Manager Robert Gussy Copy Editors Mireya Cano Sarah Fiala Social Chair Jasmina Abdic

Reporters Cristina Aguilar Krystyna Cardona Melissa Coral Leslie Correa Jonjalee Fisher Errol Lucas Rebecca Miranda Giovanni Montes Leslie Palacio Shelsea Reynoso Essence Tolver Tania Trejo

Follow us: @EaglesEye212

The Eagle’s Eye is produced by students enrolled in English IV Journalism and English IV Journalism Honors. The opinions expressed are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the district. Readers are encouraged to check out our full collection of content and submit story ideas via the web site. For inquiries or corrections, please email

The Eagle’s Eye


September 2015


Behind the Laugh Track

Chico and the Man and other sitcoms have a history of disguising racism as humor.


hen we turn on our TVs, it is not unusual for us to see ignorant stereotypes that are often in regard to race, disguised as “innocent” banter and behavior. And although we may not realize what these actions and words are insinuating, or maybe we write them off as

“fiction”, but they are common in nearly all of our favorite shows. The entertainment industry claims that it’s become more cautious of shows’ content, more careful about the images they perpetuate; however, it seems they have just learned to camouflage them more intricately. The main character of All in the

Family, a 1971 show, was an elderly man who understood stereotypes to be the right way to associate a person’s character with. Four minutes into the twenty third episode of the fifth season, the man, whose name is Archie Bunker, tells his family that he believes smoking is okay behavior since God “put it on the Earth.” His daughter retorts, saying “What about marijuana?” and to that, Archie says “God didn’t plant that; the Mexicans did.” This comment was then followed by a laugh track. Television might appear to have evolved from this blatant ignorance, but has it truly changed? In 1974, Chico and the Man, a TV series about two men overcoming cultural differences to run a business, was introduced to the screen. A Caucasian man begins to kick Chico, a Latino man, out of his garage, saying things like “get out of here and take your flies with you,” and he later tells him he can’t give him a job because “everyone knows your people are lazy, and if I gave you a job you’d just take a break.” These comments portray Latinos as acceptant of the negative stereotype, as they agree with the statements. The scene characterizes Latinos as a lazy, submissive, and ditzy people. But that was forty years ago, right?

Cristina Aguilar In 2014, a middle aged Latina with big dreams starred on the comedy show titled Cristela. This time, the story revolves around a hard working Latina trying to become the best lawyer possible to show all those who said she couldn’t do it. The problem at hand is that her boss constantly makes comments about her and “her people,” implying her and Mexicans are all the same. Behind every racist comment, in 1971 through 2014, there is always a laugh track, or chuckles that tell the audience that racism is not so malignant when it’s inside a box. These days, TV tells America “Hey! it’s okay to say these offensive things because the Latino community thinks it’s funny too.” Cristela always comes back with a witty comment after something offensive is said to her, but it’s not good enough because she’s not actually solving the problem of her racist environment. The stereotypes in our screens haven’t changed much. These are all family shows, and when a child watches them they are being taught that it’s okay to make offensive comments about cultures, all because the people on TV laugh at it.

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do?

Price of Progress Isabella Valdez


he Digital Age has been relentless. With updated models of countless products coming out every month, each one promising more efficiency, easier usage, and a more customizable design, it’s nearly impossible to keep up. Three years ago, Leyden became one of the ⅓ of schools nationwide to provide their students with some kind of mobile device, in Leyden’s case Google Chromebooks. And after only two years a new model was issued. This leads to one question: Why should Leyden keep Chromebooks when they will constantly need to be updated? So I asked Leyden’s Director of Technology, Mr. Bryan Weinert, about the perpetual (not to mention expensive) need for newer models. He explained: “At this point, we are not sure exactly how often we will need to update our fleet of devices. When the time comes to refresh our devices, we will certainly consider all options. However, the current benefits of Chromebooks are still proving to be the ideal solution for our 1:1 teaching and learning environment.” Weinert’s response is uncertain, but it’s also expected. We don’t know how much more demanding the technological world will become. The students actually seem to be keeping up just fine as it is. And the kids born this year will be even more savvy than we are since they will be raised in an environment where touch screens and sensors are the norm. And that’s the point, I think, of using mobile devices in schools, to instruct students on a future that promises to be grounded in technology. However often Leyden chooses to “refresh” their mobile devices, I’m sure they won’t fall too far behind.

The images we associate with school pride need an update to include more than just sports.

Isabella Valdez


have no visible school spirit. I don’t paint my face for football games or even go to the football games. I don’t like spirit week-I purposely wear black when we’re supposed wear our class colors or neon or tie-dye. Junior Olympics isn’t fun for me, and I don’t own any Leyden wear besides my gym uniform. However, this doesn’t mean I’m not involved with and happy to be a part of Leyden because I am. My brand of school spirit might not be classic: I’m more of a Creative Writing/Movie Club kind of kid. Leyden has provided me with the opportunity to branch out of the strictly-sport cloud that surrounds high school pep. Nonetheless, I still think an overwhelming amount of school spirit is trite and semi-exclusive. Though it’s true that most extracurriculars are open to everyone at Leyden, high schools, in general, seem to place and over-exaggerated importance on athletics, especially those involving males. It’s easy to lose sight of the kids who play chess or draw portraits when we have wrestlers going to state. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA) acknowledges that school spirit includes more than just sports: “[It] involves a student’s pride in his or her school, a student’s propensity to get other students to be active in school events, and a student’s plans to return

to his or her school for special events after graduation.” And Leyden’s Director of Student and Community Outreach, Mr. Tony Pecucci, echoed that definition: “Just getting involved, being around people, collaborating with people, developing with relationships. I kind of look at school spirit and school pride as one. If you take pride in where you’re going to school you’ll probably be a little more involved in school.” My issue, however, is that even though Leyden considers students who stay after school as spirited, there is an exaggerated emphasis on sports. Junior Olympics are, for the most part, an athletic challenge. It takes skill to shoot baskets and poise to wheel yourself around on a scooter. Spirit Week revolves around the Homecoming football game. The Pentathlon serves as a gym class substitute. Crowds clap at the games, but where are they at the scholastic bowls? Some individuals who best represent “#leydenpride” are seldom showered in blue and gold at their events. And it’s not only Leyden, many schools are taking on the strictly-sport version of school spirit but not exactly representing the non-athletic extracurriculars. Both the Tampa Bay Times and the NFSHSA report that kids who have school spirit “perform better academically, are more

engaged in social and civic matters and are happier in general than their less-spirited peers.” But both articles are accompanied by sports images. One is at a game and the other is a pep rally, which are generally held before a sporting event. I concede that being involved with school, as Mr. Pecucci stated is, “a reason to go to school, [a reason] to care more about school.” And the fact that students do better, not only academically but socially as well, when they care more about their school, is irrefutable. Yet, the Women’s Sports Foundation reports that “Female high school athletes receive 1.3 million fewer athletic participation opportunities than their male counterparts,” and the United States Census that “children were more likely to participate in sports (35 percent) than clubs or lessons like music, dance and language.” Not only do schools and their students tend to focus on athletics, but male-only athletics. In order non-athletic extracurriculars, as well as female sports, to gain equal attention as male athletics, we need to recognize the passion and drive every student who stays after school has for as well as the academic and arts clubs All the iterations agree: school spirit consists of being involved and being supportive. We’ve got the involved part down most places, now we just need to scatter support.


In Focus

The Eagle’s Eye


September 2015

Q: How likely are these relationships to last? Q: What’s your opinion on high school love? Q: Is finding a high school partner important? Q: Is a long-term, high school relationship healthy? Q: Is a long-term, high school relationship healthy? Q: When do we call it “serious”? too much because you have to realize somecould be a good thing, it could be a bad thing. not a big deal. I feel like I could see someone that as long as it is a healthy relationship honest answer as a mother and a teacher is no. you’re completely infatuated with each A: “Not A:“It A: “It’s A: “Iandthink A: “My A: “When times the person is going to change, and things too. My aunt and uncle were together since high school, that I love in high school as long as it’s the person I helps them and makes them a better person, I think dating in high school can be very distracting other. You’d do anything for that person. Meetand now they have three kids together. It could be good, but if it’s not, I wouldn’t stress over it. Focusing on school at this stage is more important, at least to me. I’d rather get into a good college than stress over a relationship.”

--Anonymous student

to teenagers, and I worry that it gets in the way of more serious obligations. I wish that students could be mature enough to date and fully attend to all of their classes, activities, sports, and involvement, but I’m not sure they’re capable of doing that.”

ing their parents is also a step into ‘seriousness.’ There isn’t a specific time in your relationship to determine seriousness with that person because some people just naturally click. You’ll definitely know when you’re serious.”

--Ms. Amy Stolarsky, English teacher

--Amanda Zysko, Senior

Questions & Answers about the value of long-term relationships in high school

Wait? Date?

love, you know? I could find them. I don’t know if I will, and it doesn’t seem like I have, being single and all. But I can see it happening.”

--Rene Leyva, Senior

--Irvin Ortiz, Senior

What happens

Am I Hopeless?

After High School? Mireya Cano

hether or not you have a high school sweetheart of your own, it’s fascinating to picture what a couple’s life will look like a few years down the road. There’s always that uncertainty that lies ahead. Will you two still be together in five years? Will that special someone end up being the one? Or will you find someone else to love at college or at work? The only certain way to find out whether long-term relationships in high school are a good idea or not is by letting it all unfold and play out for itself. A less scary alternative to help guide us through this time of uncertainty is to seek advice from those who lived through it already. Kurt Schuett, an English teacher, dated a girl his junior year of high school all the way up to the beginning of his sophomore year of college. While he attended school in Missouri, his girlfriend went to school in Indiana, making that a solid seven to eight hours apart each other. On top of this, they were both actively involved, but they managed to make it work until that first month of sophomore year when they opted to part ways. After having been through his own longlasting relationship, Mr. Schuett came away with this advice: “At the high school level, it’s important to date a variety of different people - and even in your first couple years of college.” To him, it’s important to get a sense of what kind of people are out there, and the only way to figure out which kind of people you click with is to go out and date them. The earlier someone starts dating, the better it is to find someone they can see themselves with for a very long time. Since we’re all in high school at the moment, it’s especially important to keep things light, according to Mr. Schuett. He explained that there are just “so many more important things for you to put your time and energy towards.” Between a rigorous course load, sports, clubs, a job, and maybe some other activities out of school, maintaining a relationship could be a little too much for some people. Relationships take a lot of time and effort to maintain, but so do grades. It’s important to prioritize at this stage in our lives, and since “you have the rest of your life to worry about it (long-term relationships),” Schuett believes school should be at the top of your priorities. A common mistake high schoolers make is choosing a college based on where their significant other wants to go. Mr. Schuett explained that he strongly suggests you don’t

1: You take forever to respond to texts. Responding ten minutes later? Okay that’s normal. Taking three hours to respond to a simple text? Something doesn’t seem right here. Maybe you just aren’t texting the right people, or you’re at a crazy point in your life, but if it takes that long to respond, it’ll be a struggle finding someone that’ll stick around.

then yeah, it definitely is a good idea. But if they’re involved with a person who is affecting their school work in a negative way and bringing them down, or making them feel bad about themselves, then I feel like it’s important for them to know that they should end that type of relationship.”

--Ms. Jen Thomas, Math Teacher


Find a Soulmate?

5 Signs You’re Not Ready for Long-Term

You might not like that, and also when it comes to college, you don’t know their plans or even your own plans yet. So basically it all depends on where you both are going eventually.”

Yearbook photos of Mr. Kurt Schuett and his high school girlfriend. ever pick a college based on your high school sweetheart’s wants. It’s all about finding the perfect fit for you. Not only that, but who knows, you and your high school sweet heart may not even last through college, leaving you at a school you were never really too fond of to begin with. This is why it’s all about being independent at this point in your life. While having someone there to support you through your endeavors is helpful, Mr. Schuett says that it’s important to remember that people come and go, so “you have to learn to become self-supportive.” If you do decide it’s a good time for a long-term relationship, then that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As long as you date someone mature who will allow you to grow, you’re okay, says Mr. Schuett, but at the same time, he believes “most people will find their significant others after high school.” He didn’t actually find his until well after some casual dating and finally settling down to that one person who was just the right fit for him. Math teacher Jerome Patt is one of those rare success stories. He met his high school sweetheart his freshman year of high school, but they didn’t start dating until second semester of their senior year, and they’ve been together ever since. It seemed like an unlikely pair from the start, as he explained, since they we’re completely different, but “when you know, you know, and I knew.” Although it worked out in the end, Mr. Patt and his sweetheart’s had some bumps in the road. The first semester of their freshman year in college, they had struggled with distance. Since his girlfriend attended an all girls college, she had to travel all the way to his school. Besides the weekly visits, they made sure to make one phone call a week, switching off who called who each time. Through the constant planning, Mr. Patt found it was worth it in the end, considering it was only that

2: You can barely find time to breathe. Looking at your schedule, you’re thinking maybe a manager isn’t such a crazy idea. It’s hard to have time for love when you barely have time to take a breather.

first semester of college until she had transfered to the same school as him. The second semester of freshman year was another story. Being new to the campus, everyone seemed to have his or her group of friends figured out, including Mr. Patt. Naturally, he wanted to hang out just with his buddies from time to time, but it wasn’t easy when she hadn’t found her own group of friends at that time. Because of the lack of space from each other, they ended up taking a break, but by the time sophomore year came around, they had it figured out. Mr. Patt reflected on dating now versus dating back in the day and came to the conclusion that “long distance now is as easy as Skyping or texting so you can make it work. We did.” For those of you who are scared of commitment, or are afraid of picking the wrong “one,” Patt advises you just relax and breathe. It’s natural to have anxiety over whom you might want to spend the rest of your life with, but for now, this is the time to dip your toes into the pond of dating. As he put it, “someone that has never had that won’t know what it’s like until they know what it’s like. You simply can’t describe it to someone that’s never had it,” and in his case, “I knew and she knew that we would probably get married.” Sometimes it’s just that simple. Either way, however you choose to experience high school is completely up to you. You can either take the advice of Mr. Patt, and “Don’t sweat the small stuff because if you know, you know, and if it doesn’t really matter to you, don’t fight about it.” Or you can follow the words of Mr. Schuett because “There’s no reason to get serious on the high school level. Keep things light. Have lots of friends, go on lots of dates with different people, and get a feel for the type of personality that’s going to be best suited for you.”

3: You’re too in love with yourself. One look at your reflection and your head over heels in love all over again... with yourself. Maybe you don’t need a significant other. Perhaps all you really need is a mirror and a front facing camera.


Gleanne Rosales

ove is a word that either gives you a feeling of butterflies in your stomach or the sensation of lunch coming back up. Some are okay with waiting for love to find them, but others are always looking for it. And sometimes, they may even get a little lost. Though we’re only in high school, some believe that finding a partner soon is a big deal, thus they’re unhappy with the single life. So if you’re like that, have you ever wondered if you’re a hopeless romantic? High school sweethearts are cute and all, but if you try and force a long-term relationship to happen, then ask yourself: are you even ready for the tough reality and challenges of a committed relationship? But what’s a hopeless romantic? There’s no exact definition for it since it’s all opinion, but I believe they’re the ones who are in love with the feeling of love. According to teacher Lori Garcia, her understandings of a hopeless romantic are “someone who has allowed themselves to get swept up with the ideas of romance that are portrayed in the romcoms of Hollywood and bad YA literature.” Basically, when someone desperately pursues fictional romance, they lose hope because reality disappoints them. Senior Robert Doody describes a hopeless romantic to be someone who wants to share and receive romantic affection but doesn’t genuinely care about their partner. “It’s like they’re using the person to release romantic frustration,” he added. Everyone probably went through a phase of being a hopeless romantic. Sometimes it could only be with that one crush. Other times, the phase happens again or never ends. These phases come in different ways. For example, Mrs. Garcia said she was a hopeless romantic when she was on and off with a boy in high school. The relationship went on until college, but they kept getting back together because she thought that in the end, it’ll all work out…except that’s not how it ended. However, despite that heartbreak, guess who’s happily married with two adorable daughters? Yet, in another scenario, a Leyden student said that he felt he was a hopeless romantic when he discovered that a girl he crushed on was already in a relationship. The feelings of lost hope and heartbreak got him to start liking another girl and rushing into things, only to realize that he ended up leading the girl on because his feelings disappeared just as quickly as they had come. But hey, if you fall in love, then fall in love. But does it have to be now? Does it have to be in high school? I’ll admit, I was a hopeless romantic. I might still be! But it caused a lot of insecurities and feelings of loneliness, and it distracted me from school. Tired of it all, I gave up on looking for love. I’m not rushing anymore, and so I haven’t broken my own heart. As social worker Meg Goins had told me, being a hopeless romantic can be a set-up for disappointment. When you fall in love, no matter when, just remember that love and romance are two different things. Love is appreciation, while romance is a quality of love. When it comes to showing affection, there’s also a line between romantic and creepy. Creepy is usually when the “lover” overdoes all the romantic gestures and persists on doing them even when the “loved” has clearly rejected the lover’s approaches. So remember, no means no, and don’t be afraid to say no. A nice gesture doesn’t mean you owe the person your heart or body. If you just really want to marry a high school sweetheart though, or have that cute romantic story in general…then I’m sorry, but maybe you shouldn’t be falling in love. You fall in love because of the person, not the idea or the chance to maybe be an inspiration for a John Green novel. Love is about appreciation, not possession. So if you ever wonder if you genuinely love a person, think: is your love for them conditional? If they rejected you, will you become bitter? Or will you thank them for their time and still think they’re amazing? If you see them with someone else, will you be jealous? Or will you be happy that they’re happy? If you’re a hopeless romantic, don’t feel bad. We’ve all been there. However, just let love find you or look for it when you’re ready. If you’re just going to use the person you “like” to have a label or an escape for your romantic or sexual frustrations, then you’re not ready. Desperation isn’t love, and it’ll bring a lot of problems later on in the relationship. But there is hope! Like with Mrs. Garcia’s story, she was able to find a new guy and be happily married. Like with my dad, who’s first engagement got cancelled because his fiancee’s parents didn’t like him, he found someone new a year later who eventually became my mom. Like with me, who decided to give myself a break from looking, was found by a nice guy in California during a college visit. And who knows, when I go to college there, maybe we can finally be together. Love is patient, and you should be too.

4: You’re not an open book. Relationships are all about communication, and if you find yourself struggling to even share what your favorite ice cream flavor is, you may have a problem here.

5: You’re not really into sharing.

One recurring thought you have is “But do I really have to share my food?” Your Netflix password, your favorite drink, your gum.. Whatever it is, you find yourself thinking there’s no way, there’s enough for two and definitely not on a daily basis. Mireya Cano


The Eagle’s Eye


September 2015

Should I Study a Language? T

he answer is oui (that means yes). It’s no surprise that Leyden offers many opportunities for taking a language class, such as Italian, French, or Spanish. As part of the curriculum they also offer language courses at the regular, and honors level, while only few are offered at the AP level. Senior Elizabeth Preciado decided to take Italian because it is the most similar to her first language, Spanish. After taking Italian for the last three years she was able to go to Italy this past summer as part of the Italian exchange program. She commented, “I highly recommend that if you plan on going somewhere you take the language and you learn it, you love it, you live it, everything.” She has moved on to Italian V this year and hopes to return to her Amici Italiani next summer. Meanwhile, she stays in touch with her new friends and host by skyping and chatting, putting her Italian to the test even back in the States. Eli doesn’t regret her decision of taking on another language because “It’s a great addition to my life... I mean, I like learning new languages, and I feel like it’s going to help me later in the future for my career.” Senior Yailin Quiñones was lucky enough to travel to France this past June with the French exchange program after completing her third year of this language. Knowing both English and Spanish, she wanted to take a new language that would Seniors Yailin Quiñones and Angela Gonzalez at The Louvre over the summer. test her skills. Certainly, there are not a lot of people that speak French at East it on the weekends. He is grateful that he took a language Leyden so going to France was certainly the ultimate test. that is so common because he “[uses] it at work because... There are a lot of things to love about the culture: some of the managers don’t actually speak English. I also “Well I enjoy the food, talking to people, I like the accents... speak Spanish with my girlfriend’s grandma sometimes.” Hopefully I [can] go to France again and visit my French Hoping to enroll into a college, he knows having four years exchange student.” Taking a language opened up doors to of a language will come in handy for college applications. Yailin that she never thought were possible, adding “I never After moving on to Spanish V AP he is grateful for taking thought I would ever go to France, and then when I went it a language after seeing how many opportunities open up changed my mind and my view on life. Now I want to travel.” for him as a result of knowing more than two languages. Mati Szelazek, senior, has not been able to put his As these fellow peers retold, taking a language Spanish to use outside of the country, but definitely uses opened up doors for them that they never thought were

Leyden Welcomed at White House


eyden was one of only twenty-two schools nationwide invited to a Maker Ed conference held at the White House this past summer. Superintendent Dr. Nick Polyak and Industrial Technology Department Chair Mr. Frank Holthouse attended to learn and share information about how schools can generate a more creative and interactive classroom experience. The Maker Ed movement encourages educators to create more hands-on environments for students, prizing invention and innovation rather than memorization and regurgitation. To illustrate this type of classroom, Dr. Polyak and Mr. Holthouse brought a student-made project along with them. Freshman Fabian Bartos started out designing and developing 3D models of his middle school as well as the East and West campuses, but Fabian’s dedication and incredible attention to detail prompted Dr. Polyak to ask Fabian if he’d like to create a 3D model of the White House for the Maker Ed conference, which was only a week away. Though time was scarce and some difficulties arose with the design, Fabian persisted. According to Holthouse, Fabian truly embodies the Maker Ed way: “He did something, he didn’t succeed, but he wasn’t like, ‘Okay, I tried. It didn’t work.’ You know? He had some grit and some perseverance. And I think that’s where the making comes in a lot. You get these creative, novel ideas out of not necessarily being successful.” While Leyden’s Industrial Tech classes seem to be shoe-ins for the Maker Movement, there are many ways to implement the “maker way” into any classroom. Dr. Polyak explained, “It’s really about student creativity. It doesn’t have to involve devices or 3D printers and things like that. In an English class or a history class you might be creating

Natalie Taborska & Isabella Valdez

Photos Courtesy of Yailin Quiñones

Zitlali Montiel-Martinez

possible. For two of these students, they were able to travel across the world for a few weeks. For another student, he was able to receive a promotion because he spoke three languages. According to The Economist “Assuming just a 1% real salary increase per year and a 2% average real return over 40 years, a 2% language bonus turns into an extra $67,000.” Once college students graduate and go out into the real world looking for jobs, those who know more than one language have a higher chance of getting the job. Especially those students who want to pursue a career internationally, taking on another language is crucial to their success. Although taking on an ‘academic elective,’ let alone a (foreign) language, is difficult, it is evident -at least to these students - that this work does pay off. Taking a language for all four years will help students stand out in college applications. It gives students the opportunity to travel to a new country even before they graduate high school. How many students can say they went to France when they were 17? Not many. So gracias, merci, and grazie to all the teachers who impact these students lives.

Return of the Blue Crew Jonjalee Fisher

a movie or a video vignette of something or you might be creating your own work of literature.” Once we remove the fear of failure, the possibilities are limitless. And in the end, that’s what Maker Ed is looking to do. It’s a movement that “encourage[s] students to be creators, innovators, and makers,” regardless of what they’re interested in making. Simply put, it provides the opportunity and the attitude that drives people to invent relentlessly. Both Dr. Polyak and Mr. Holthouse are interested in creating a Makerspace at Leyden, a place where students would “be able to explore without a grade, without the clock ticking behind them, just openly explore and go through the learning process.” Of course, finding a time and space most accessible to students would need some sorting out. But that’s the Maker Ed way: finding what works through what doesn’t.

Leyden has brought back the Blue Crew. Senior, Aileen Padilla explained, “The blue crew plans to bring back the hype that we lost a couple years back.”The goal of The Blue Crew is to have more school spirit throughout the school and even at games. Padilla says that they plan to go to football and basketball games, including away games, and bring spirit to the games.“Students in blue crew thought it would be a good idea to have a bus that brings students to away games, and over 70 students signed up.” Blue crew also comes up with the cool themes for football games.The first away game trip was at Fenton and the turnout was great, as over 70 students signed up and used two buses to fill the stands at the game at York.

The Eagle’s Eye


Dance Your Heart Out T

September 2015


Wildcats coming to Leyden

Karina Kosmala and Shelsea Reynoso

he hit movie that most of us grew up with and still love is finally coming to Leyden. Leyden Theater presents “High School Musical,” where we follow the story of Troy, Gabriella, and the students of East High with the “jocks, brainiacs, thespians, and skater dudes”. They deal with typical high school conflicts, such as, relationship troubles, differences between friends, and extracurricular activities, that can get pretty hectic and cause anxiety. Like last year’s Annie, High School Musical is a familiar story, but it is different from previous Leyden musicals. According to director Ms. Stacy Cunningham, “HSM is set in the current time period and almost all of the characters are HS (High School) students, which makes it easier to relate for our students (most musicals have very few HS student characters)!” Of course, the story on stage will not be identical to the movie version. “With any live production, you can’t recreate a movie for a lot of reasons, the most obvious being the set - movies are taped in several locations, live productions are all on the stage - the stage becomes different locations, but it’s not like the movies,”Cunningham explained. The live cast includes 60 students, so “staging that many bodies can be challenging, but we have a GREAT team and we will make it work, ” she added. Carlos Torral, who plays the lead role of Troy Bolton, has previous experience despite being a freshman. He played the lead role in Aladdin in eighth grade and participated in sixth grade in his school’s Annie and Beauty and the Beast productions. He said,“Balancing school and rehearsal is the toughest part. I get home from school very tired, but I still have to run my lines and learn the songs.” However, he has a system of mastering his struggles:“Running my lines and listening to the music before bed has been my routine and it helps a lot. The best part is that the soundtrack is fantastic, so I enjoy listening to the music.” The struggles and challenges of any production

This year’s musical includes an emphasis on choreography. strengthen the cast members according to Ms. Cunningham. “They will come out being better communicators, stronger team players, better performers, gain confidence, friends, and memories that last a lifetime,” she said. Come out to see

Living up to Potential

Eagle’s Quill Robert Gussy

Orchesis Roster: Emily Sanchez, Breane Bowling ,Taylor Pesch, Kimberly Ortega, Aileen Padilla, Shelsea Reynoso, Daisy Fernandez , Menecis Garriga, Hannah Cullerton, Dania Gonzalez, Ashley Soller, Majda Causevic, Estefania Moreno, Lynn Nguyen, William Flores, Stephanie Barrera, Jessica Gonzalez


fter three days of tryouts, Ms. Stephanie Zeppetello found the missing pieces of her Orchesis team and expects all her dancers to live up to their full potential and be ready to improve as dancers and people. During open tryouts from August 17-21, Zeppetello saw what she believes will be a successful team. “I taught the most difficult tryout I have since I began at Leyden. Dancers with no prior experience whatsoever took everything I threw at them and refused to give up. The dancers I saw on Monday are not the same ones I saw three days later. Their improvement in less than a week is astounding. I cannot wait to take that passion for dance and build a team that will only get better and better as the year progresses.” Like last year, Zeppetello plans on showcasing these dancers by providing them with examples of dance

Leyden’s Theater Production, High School Musical, (not your typical musical), on October 30 at 7 p.m., October 31 at 2 p.m., November 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. Be reminded that you need to pre-pay your tickets.

Gerardo Heredia and Errol Lucas all around the world and working on new creative ideas to add to choreography. “I expect them to be open to new ideas and styles of dance, to try to achieve personal improvement and to feel safe and ready to create,” she said. The team will also again rely on different dance instructors and even Leyden alumnus for choreography. The craft is something Zeppetello clearly cares about. She explained, “Dance is one of the most visceral forms of inner expression, because it is a physical art. You are literally putting yourself out there, on stage, to tell a story through movement. That is an incredibly personal experience that you are able to share with the world. Dance is my escape and how I communicate. It is when I feel most free. I love the chance to be able to share that with Leyden students who make the team.”

Sophomore Michael Barajas has reintroduced an opportunity for Leyden’s creative students: a literary magazine. “The idea for the magazine actually came up when I was wondering to myself, ‘Where would I be able to submit a short story?’ So then the idea came to me,” he said. This big idea was all him, but in order to make it happen, Barajas is looking for support through school. The first step was getting club recognition and a faculty sponsor. Thus, a new club has formed to develop a student-run magazine that will have poetry, nonfiction, fiction, photography, song writing, and much more. “I think Michael’s big idea is perfect for Leyden. We have so many talented students; they deserve to have their work published in a formal forum and to be rewarded for their talent,” club sponsor Ms. Michelle Marchese said. The first problem for the club to solve will be to get people to submit their work and advertise the magazine’s presence. To resolve the conflict, Marchese and Barajas plan to publicize it on the morning announcements, put up flyers, go to access classrooms to talk about it, hold meetings, and ask other English teachers to offer extra credit for publications. If you have a piece right now, you can submit by sending it to Ms. Marchese’s email ( with the subject “Eagle’s Quill Submission.” If it is a piece of artwork, you may turn it in to room 208.

The Eagle’s Eye


September 2015

Soccer Success: Deep playoff run expected L Jasmin Gonzalez & Rebecca Miranda

eyden soccer jumped into a season that has won them a 5-1 record with one tie. In the past seasons, they have shown that they are a phenomenal team. Varsity head coach, Mr. Mark Valintis, knows what the boys will have to deal with this season in order to reach his expectations for success. “We expect a lot from this group, more so than in years past. We set goals of winning conference, winning the Pepsi Showdown, and winning our regional–making it to state.” he explains. “They’ll do fine, like most other teams we aren’t as fit as we need to be, but we are better than most.” The expectation is built on past success. The team has won regionals for the past three years, and for the past two years, it has been nominated for the Pepsi-Showdown. These opportunities have given them a reputation that will make them succeed more, or try to avoid any possible failures. Due to their achievements, the team also carries players that are passionate and highly devoted to the game. Senior and three year varsity player, Albert Arabik discussed his hopes for the year. “We are striving for success. We all want to win state this year, so that is our main goal right now”, he said “A lot of my teammates played last year, and they’ve gotten pretty far. I think we are going to be a better team than the ones before” Senior David Senk plans to make sure that “everyone works as a unit and not like a bunch of individuals.” He said the team will need to “make sure they get everything right and make sure they push themselves.”

Photo by Rebecca Miranda


Alan Martinez looks to the goal in the team’s first game.

Swimmers eye relay record Jasmina Abdic and Leslie Correa

The team poses for a shot after taking yearbook pictures.

Mindset, intensity keys for cross country Jonjalee Fisher and Tania Trejo On August 25, Cross Country took its first win against 10 other teams at the opening meet in Elmwood Park. They took their second win, beating 10 schools on September 12 at IC in which Estefania Ramirez, senior, set a new course record. Senior Michalina Szelazek said, “Our first meet was amazing! Girls’ varsity got first place at the Elmwood Park Invite! We received a plaque that will be placed with our other school awards!” As captain, Szelazek knows that commitment is what earned the team that plaque. Estefania Ramirez, senior at West Leyden said, “The varsity girls have been racking up mileage since the summer. The top runners do some workouts with the boys, and we run longer than most. In all, we keep a positive attitude about our workouts and our meet and we believe in each other more than we believe in ourselves. We have a strong bond and that’s what helps us do so [well] in meets.” Being positive and having good sportsmanship is the way all the girls keep each other striving for their best times and good achievements. Vanessa Gallegos, junior at East Leyden said, “We do intensive workouts and long runs throughout the six days a week that we practice. Staying hydrated and

getting proper nutrition throughout the day is what gets us the energy to push our bodies in meets.” Not only does staying positive with each other help them win meets, but also eating well and staying in shape is what helps them as runners. Ariana Cardenas, senior at East Leyden said, “The team [not only] prepares [themselves] by practice, but [also] by mentally preparing ourselves as well. Motivating each other the night before a meet is always necessary to guarantee a healthy mindset before a race.” Despite the girls having a nervous mindset, they support each other when it’s their turn to run. The team has been preparing for this season since early June. They had summer camp that lasted six weeks from 6:00 to 8:00 in the morning Monday through Thursday. This group of committed girls remet on the second day of school and have been training ever since then during daily practices and Saturday practices as well. They support each other all the time and continually grow closer each day. With all the commitment the girls have put into the summer and beginning of season, it gave them the result of winning their first meet at Elmwood Park High School against different schools. The Cross Country team still have many more accomplishments to meet.

November 14, 2015, is an anticipated date for the girls swim team. Members of the team are hoping to break a team record. For seniors Ada Bulka and Zitlali Montiel, this is not a first. Ada Bulka, who is well known on the varsity swim team, is very excited to be participating in a record-breaking relay. Before a meet, Ada gets nervous because she wants to be the best and is scared of not reaching her expectations. To prepare for a meet, she tries to relax and take a couple breathers and eats something to calm her nerves. She stretches to relieve some nerves and then pictures herself actually swimming and that usually does the trick for her. Ada commented on her Coach, Mr. Cook,“He’s always cheering us, takes care of the team, and just basically acts like a father figure. We’re grateful to have him as a Coach.” To start of the year Coach Cook had planned a team bonding trip for the girls and they went caving. What inspires Ada to be the best she can be is to set goals for herself. Coach Cook swam all through his high school years and even set records at Leyden, so he is another inspiration for Ada! Lastly what truly inspires Ada is her team-mates. They’re like a family. We asked Ada if swimming is something she wants to continue or if it’s just a hobby, her answer was “It’d be really fun to swim in college, but it all depends on if it’s a D2 or D3 but after college I’d probably stop and just do it for fun.” Senior Zitlali Montiel, who is also well known on the varsity swim team, is ecstatic about being able to break a record. Zitlali’s pre performance routine is very specific, “Usually the days before a meet I eat lots of pasta and I try to stay away from junk food. I also try to get a lot of sleep.” Her feelings before a match are very similar to Ada’s, “I get really nervous, anxious. I get a lot of butterflies but [I’m] also very excited.” Zitlali also says that her coach is the person who really inspires her. “He puts in a lot of time and effort, and I just want to make him proud. I want him to know that all those hours he put in, are going to pay off senior year.” Just knowing you can make someone like your coach so proud is one of Zitlali’s goal. We asked Zitlali if she plans on swimming after high school and she said, “I would like to for sure keep swimming in college and then after college just as a hobby.” We wish nothing but the best for the Ada, Zitlali and whole swimming team!

September 2015 Eagle's Eye  
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