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Taking pride in DIVERSe representation

Newly-elected officials shatter glass ceilings, pave way for minority groups

WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL: A little girl watches the TV on the evening of Nov. 7 when the Associated Press called the presidential race for President-elect Joe Biden. California Sen. Kamala Harris will be the first female vice president, the first Black vice president and the first South Asian vice president. “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris said in her speech. “... Every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.” (painting by Ondine Cella)



DECEMBER 16, 2020

landmark election brings political diversity


first openly-transgender woman to be elected to a state Senate seat

NEW YORK REP. ritchie torres one of two first openly-gay Black men to be elected to Congress



hen Prospect’s new Associate Principal Iris Dominguez first joined the administration at North-Grand High School in Chicago, one of the security officers informed her that a lot of students had been asking him if she was the new security guard. Unlike her coworker, Dominguez was not offended at this assumption. In that school, the only people wearing walkie talkies were the security officers and the administration. 81.1% of the school’s population is Hispanic, 17.3% is Black and only 0.6% is white. She knew that it was very possible that those students had never seen an administrator of color before. “That is [when] it really became apparent to me the need for students to be able to see themselves in different roles,” Dominguez said. “I respect every role, but [a student of color’s] only option is not just to be a security officer in a school. They can also be a teacher; they can also be a leader.” On Nov. 7, California Sen. Kamala Harris made history. She is to be the first female vice president, the first Black vice president and the first South Asian vice president; her mother is an immigrant from India, and her father is an immigrant from Jamaica. Across the rest of the country, there was increased representation of various marginalized groups with the election of new LGBT, Black and female representatives (see photos at top of page). According to senior Monique Louis, representation of various races and backgrounds is important in all aspects of the world. For a student of color like Louis, who is Black and Colombian, these representatives have signified a new age of hope in politics. Dominguez immigrated from Mexico with her parents at the age of three, and she believes that her identity as an educator has been strongly influenced by her heritage. As a first generation college student and the first to graduate in her immediate family, she values education greatly. Growing up, Dominguez never had a teacher of color. When she first began teaching, she worked in Chicago Public Schools, which are primarily made up of minority students — 46.7% Hispanic and 35.8% Black. “When my students would come back from their weekend and they would share what they did … [the Latino students] didn’t really have to explain to me [what] they ate or how they celebrated things because I knew,” Dominguez said. “I remember [thinking], ‘I wish I would’ve had that when I was growing up.’” Dominguez remembers that she chose not to share these sorts of stories with her teachers in order to avoid having to explain them as a shy student. Because of all of these experiences she has had as a Latina educator and student, Dominguez prioritizes providing opportunities for all students, no matter their background. For example, there will be a new senior English course available next school year called Multicultural Literature. According to Dominguez, multiple students reached out to express interest in taking this sort of class. “We’ve been talking about ensuring that students see themselves reflected in the curriculum and in the topics that are being discussed,” Dominguez said. “We thought that we needed a very intentional space that we needed to create for [those discussions].” English teachers TJ Garms and Michael Piccoli will be designing the course in a way that allows them to incorporate a lot of cur-


one of two first openly-gay Black men to be elected to Congress

rent events. Therefore, Dominguez said that they will have a lot of freedom in terms of what texts they decide to bring in. Louis has also never been taught by a teacher of color, but she finds it very important for students, especially young students of color, to have a person like them who can guide them through the early stages of life. Additionally, she said that teachers of color can be a support system for a student to come to when they are experiencing issues with racism — a support system who “knows what it’s like” and won’t think the student is overreacting — so that their concerns are not dismissed. Louis was ecstatic to see a woman of a similar background as hers become the Vice President-elect. Louis’ father is an immigrant from Haiti and her mother an immigrant from Colombia. She felt that Harris’ win signified evidence of the American Dream. When she found out that President-elect Joe Biden and Harris had won the election, she felt an immediate sense of happiness and relief. She, like many other Americans, had spent the week checking the news tirelessly for updates on the voting count. “That Saturday was the happiest I’ve been in four years,” Louis said. “ … I went downstairs, and there it was. I took a breath; I just let out all of that negativity from the past four years, and [I thought] ‘Maybe something will change.’” Throughout her lifetime, whether in politics or in the media, Louis has not seen much representation of people who look like her. When Louis was in preschool, the girls in her class told her that she could not play princesses with them because “princesses weren’t Black.” “I kind of just looked past [the lack of representation]; I didn’t think too much about it [as a child],” Louis said. “[So] when ‘The Princess and the Frog’ came out or when ‘Black Panther’ came out, I didn’t realize how much they would impact me or how much I’d enjoy them.” This was why Louis was overjoyed to see posts all over social media of parents posting their young daughters watching the TV during Harris’ speech on the evening of Nov. 7. She finds it really important for young girls to know that they could also be elected into office when they grow up. For some Indian Americans, Harris’ win set the tone for the recent celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights, which occurred a week later. Senior Vani Sharma’s celebration of this holiday looked different this year due to the pandemic, but she was feeling “lots of joy” at the news of the election. Sharma, who identifies as Sikh, feels that the election offered a feeling of light and hope for a lot of Americans, especially women, who celebrate Diwali. For Sharma’s family specifically, they are eager to see how Diwali will be celebrated in the White House next year as Harris was raised both Christian and Hindu. Shar-

VIRGINIA State REP. Taylor small

first openly-transgender member of Vermont legislature

MISSOURI REP. CORI BUSH Missouri’s first Black congresswoman

ma feels that this will be a huge milestone for people of color seeking representation. “As a child, I kind of struggled to find [South Asian] identities that I could look up to or see as an inspiration,” Sharma said. “[There was] also the whole concept of being Asian American, [and] Indians weren’t always considered in that.” While most of the American population’s focus was directed toward the presidential race, glass ceilings were shattered all around the country. Most notably, Democrat Sarah McBride of Delaware made history as the first openly transgender woman to be elected to a state Senate seat. According to The Conversation, she will be the United States’ highest-ranking transgender elected official ever. Senior Claudia Madsen, who is a part of the LGBT community, thought that it was amazing to see more conservative states elect LGBT officials as well. “I hate to say [McBride winning] was a surprise … I hate to say I did not think that there would be a first, but it’s amazing; it’s unbelievable,” Madsen said. “Sarah McBride is just opening those doors for people in a way that’s probably really scary and dangerous for her, too.” For some, such as Madsen, this election was particularly stressful. She expressed that a lot of LGBT Americans were very fearful with the passing of former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 18. Ginsburg was an outspoken advocate of gender equality and a supporter of LGBT rights. Following her death, Ginsburg was soon replaced by new Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated by President Donald Trump on Sept. 26 and confirmed to the court a month later on Oct. 26. With this confirmation, Madsen fears that the legalization of same-sex marriage in all 50 states — protected by the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 — is at risk of being reversed. This law was passed with a 5-4 vote, and two of the five justices who voted in favor of same-sex marriage, Ginsburg and former Justice Anthony Kennedy, are no longer on the court. After Kennedy retired in 2018, he was replaced by Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh has voted against the LGBT community in past cases, most recently in Bostock v. Clayton County in June. In this case, it was decided that an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This case was decided with a 6-3 vote, and Kavanaugh authored a dissenting opinion that, as it was written, Title VII does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status. Currently, six of the Supreme Court justices have been nominated by Republicans and three by Democrats. This “conservative majority” worries people such as Madsen. Even so, she feels extremely hopeful to see an increased amount of representation of the LGBT community in this election. Other than Ellen DeGeneres, Madsen noted that she has not seen many LGBT women represented in the media and has instead sought out these figures herself. She

I respect every role, but [a student of color’s] only option is not just to be a security officer in a school. They can also be a teacher; they can also be a leader.” - Iris Dominguez, Associate Principal


Wyoming’s first female senator (photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

More lgbt Candidates ran for office this year than ever before, at least 1,006. That is a 41% increase from the 2018 midterms. *information courtesy of the LGBT Victory Fund feels that this is because LGBT women are often over-sexualized, and as a result, are not a topic presented to children. “Unfortunately, [the LGBT community] is controversial; a lot of people don’t want to see it, don’t want their kids to see it,” Madsen said. “[Acceptance of the LGBT community] is slow going; it’s taking its time.” For example, when actor Elliot Page came out as transgender on Dec. 1, various media outlets published headlines using the name that Page no longer identifies with. Political commentator Ben Shapiro’s YouTube video, by the title of “Actress Ellen Page Declares She is a Man Named Elliot,” is an example of one of these. “It happens to be a real truth that Elliot Page is, was and will remain a woman, even if Elliot Page believes that she is a man,” Shapiro said in the video. “You are under no obligation, moral or otherwise, to suggest that men can become women or to teach that to your children.” Madsen feels that it is of utmost importance for children to be educated about all members of the LGBT community in order to prevent these sorts of headlines and comments. Although Madsen said that she cannot speak for the transgender community, she believes that people referring to Page with the wrong pronouns or refusing to accept his identity are simply coming from a place of ignorance. “People who choose to belittle trans people like that are trying to be like, ‘Look, we’re changing,’ but they don’t want to change,” Madsen said. “It’s not acceptance; it’s not anywhere near acceptance.” Across the country, in cities like West Hollywood, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City, the LGBT community held large celebrations in the streets once the presidential race was called on Nov. 7. “It’s so awesome just to know that people feel like they’re heard and like they’re safe,” Madsen said. “ … I think it was just a huge sigh of relief for everybody, and it’s so nice to see after the last four years of kind of sitting and waiting for the worst.” Louis, Sharma and Madsen all agree that this election has brought a sense of hope for minority groups. They are eager to see what Harris will achieve while in office. “Voter turnout specifically for Joe Biden — the fact that he got the most votes [of] any other president in history — [means that] a lot more people want change … We want to take a step forward and try to address those issues,” Louis said.



DECEMBER 16, 2020

Fundraiser dedicated to leukemia patients KAILIE FOLEY Features Editor


prayer garden at St. Emily’s Catholic Church in Mount Prospect was dedicated to the life of Molly Kohl, a 10-year-old patient who battled Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia for 18 months shortly after she passed away on July 25, 2011. In the middle of the garden, a statue of a yellow flower was built to blossom forever in memory of Kohl — whose favorite color was yellow. A white butterfly covered in dark and light blue handprints rests upon the flower, preserved in place. Kohl’s father told freshman Kelly Robinson, who is currently participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Students of the Year Program, to wait a little longer before she filmed her nomination video. He wanted to have just the right amount of time to decorate Kohl’s prayer garden for the holidays. After Robinson had waited to visit the garden, on arrival, she admired the snowman, penguin and Santa decorations surrounding the garden. “It was so cool to see when we got there how decorated and festive it was, and it made it kind of come to life,” Robinson said. Robinson, who was family friends with Kohl, loves that even people who do not attend the church can access the prayer garden. Robinson is taking part in the sevenweek student of the year program from Jan. 23 until March 13. Like other candidates, Robinson’s goal is to raise money to help find a cure for leukemia and lymphoma. She hopes to reach her $25,000 goal by reaching out to people in different states with her team and hosting two main events to raise money. After going to a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society workshop on Dec. 5 and hearing many stories of patient’s experiences with blood transfusions, the importance of the availability of blood drives was further defined inside of Robinson’s mind. She recognized the impact that blood transfusions made in various treatments, and she noticed how much each patient had to go through with receiving blood donations. Robinson had previously done a few blood drives during quarantine, and she thought that doing one for the program would be an impactful idea to keep the community together. She plans to host the blood drive on Jan. 30 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wynburg Cafe in Arlington Heights. “Of course we just want to make sure that all of those people have an easier time receiving blood,” Robinson said. Robinson’s second event that her team is planning is that Stan’s Donut Truck will be coming to Prospect from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 14. Stan’s Donut Truck

will be donating 10% of the money made to Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Each week, Robinson plans to highlight a family who has been affected by leukemia and lymphoma to show the general public how often this diagnosis occurs. Since leukemia is the number one cancer for all kids and teens, Robinson believes more people should be aware of the severity of it. Campaign Development Manager Amanda Gutzwiller works for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society — the largest nonprofit funder of blood cancer research. In the last 70 years, they have invested $1.3 billion in blood cancer research. Gutzwiller has friends who are cancer survivors, and she knows firsthand that it is often a concern that a person’s cancer could come back. Her goal is to live in a world “where we don’t have to worry about cancer and have to suffer from the devastating effects.” “I am always inspired and blown away by [each survivor’s] resilience, their passion, their ability to not give up to keep fighting,” Gutzwiller said. “And those sort of qualities personally motivate me to do my absolute best with my job.” In the last 40 years, four drugs have been developed specifically for children with blood cancers; because of this, Gutzwiller thinks that it is important to make sure National Institutes of Health funding is directed towards childhood blood cancers. “Cancer is not always something that people talk about publicly,” Gutzwiller said. “So the more awareness we can raise, the more compassion we can have for individuals who are going through it.” Each time Gutzwiller hears a new story of someone fighting leukemia shown in the students of the year campaign, she is reminded of why she feels like she must keep doing her work. Gutzwiller sees so much leadership, drive and passion displayed by each candidate for the campaign. The campaign was launched in Chicago in 2016. Nationally in 2020, over 1,100 student-led teams raised $30 million for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Students are nominated by peers or volunteers, and they can also apply directly online for the program. Gutzwiller is very inspired by the younger generation of students and how creative and committed they are with problem solving. Robinson is excited to participate in the students of the year campaign. She was four years old when her family coordinated the team “Marching For Molly” and participated in the “Light The Night” walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Robinson remembers wearing big bundledup yellow shirts with penguins on them because penguins were one of Kohl’s favorite animals. Ever since Kohl was diagnosed, Robinson’s life has revolved around service. “I feel like my parents have done a very good job teaching me that kindness really changes people’s lives,” Robinson said.

REMEMBERING MOLLY: A prayer garden at St. Emily’s Catholic Church was dedicated to Molly Kohl after she passed away in 2011 while battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Her father decorated the garden for the holidays. (photo by Mara Nicolaie) She believes that service has molded her into the person that she is today. Robinson feels as if her life would be immensely different if she was not spending her time and dedicating her life to help patients battling against blood cancers. Kohl was a 10-year-old straight-A student who found joy in playing basketball and soccer, singing and dancing, going swimming, doing art projects, playing on the computer and baking cookies. Robinson often thinks about how there are chances that anyone around her could be diagnosed with leukemia from a young age, and this is part of what drives her to raise awareness for those fighting. Robinson’s family created an organization called “Made by Mary’’ that has been continuing for the past two years. Her family delivers baked treats to people who are going through hard times, usually with a handwritten card. There are over 30 bakers that work for “Made by Mary’’ who often alter recipes for the dietary needs of receivers. The desserts tend to include gluten free Rice Krispie treats, cakes, cupcakes and brownies. Robinson is usually the one who decorates personalized cards for each person receiving the baked goods. “I usually find a quote that’s special to the person’s situation and what they’re going through,” Robinson said. “And then [I] use my … flair pens and highlighters just to decorate a colorful card to brighten their day.” Robinson is not only running for Kohl, but she is also dedicating her service to the life of Matthew Ives who passed away while attending to South Middle School, where Robinson went as well. Ives was an athlete and student who passed away from leukemia at the age of 13. The South Middle School track was dedicated

to Ives on May 6, 2004. In Robinson’s eyes, this dedication was a great way to raise awareness for patients and inform people who may not know much about leukemia. “Especially while making the video … I was just thinking about how this boy who was my age passed away and how much of an impact he had on everyone around him that he had a whole track built for him,” Robinson said. Every year, an eighth grader at South Middle School is selected by their peers to receive the Matt Ives Award. Robinson received the award herself when graduating in 2020. Robinson hopes to reach out to as many people as possible to share the stories of Ives and Kohl. Whenever she sees a picture of Kohl’s or Ives’ smiling face, she immediately thinks of the stories that live behind the photo. “I think of the people who were impacted by their story,” Robinson said. “And I hope that I can continue to spread the stories of them for them and their family so people have more knowledge about leukemia and lymphoma and how they can help.” Robinson will be accepting donations sent in via her fundraiser page starting on Jan. 23. She hopes that the people around her will be able to understand that anyone could be diagnosed with leukemia and lymphoma. Robinson hopes that her fundraiser will make a difference for the lives of people who are going through hardships. “It’s not always the people who have leukemia and lymphoma who are affected the most but also their family members and their friends,” Robinson said. “And just to hear them talk about how people they know have experienced it is eye-opening and so disheartening, and I’m really thankful to have this opportunity to hopefully brighten up some of those stories.”

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DECEMBER 16, 2020

No homework breaks are essential Thanksgiving break this year was supposed to be a no homework weekend, according to Associate Principal Iris Dominguez. However, according to a Prospector survey of 247 students, 42.9% of students had homework to complete over Thanksgiving break that was not make-up work. Senior Naiya Rooks was one of these many students; she had math homework over the break as well as projects for some of her other classes. According to Rooks, Thanksgiving break left her just as stressed as she was before. Rooks feels that she is receiving more homework this year because teachers are placing less value on classwork, so she often finds herself having to teach herself the material during homework assignments. Additionally, Rooks feels that the loss of a traditional senior year has contributed to her lack of motivation to learn and complete assignments. “I feel like I’m just trying to get by … instead of trying to excel in my classes like I used to,” Rooks said. “I just want to be done with everything; I don’t have as much to look forward to.” We, The Prospector, were disappointed to discover that almost half of students did not get to enjoy a homework-free Thanksgiving break. We acknowledge that teachers are trying to find ways to manage the loss of two hours of instruction per week, but assigning homework over a “no homework” weekend is unacceptable. This is especially distasteful in the midst of a pandemic that has taken a serious toll on students’ mental health. It is time to stop simply talking about how much teachers care about students’ mental health; it is time that the school implements tangible changes. In order to actively try to alleviate some of that stress, teachers must uphold promises — such as no homework breaks — to reduce some academic pressure. This means a break where a student can genuinely disconnect from their computers and iPads without being penalized or guilted for it. Initially, the division heads sent out emails to the teachers to inform them of the no homework weekend. When Dominguez was approached with concerns from parents, she sent out an additional email to clarify to teachers what constituted this no

situations, we need to be empathetic and try to understand and give people the benefit of the doubt,” Minter said. Furthermore, Minter said that AP teachhomework break. Dominguez added that a no homework ers are feeling increased pressure to prepare break should include fair deadlines, mean- students for the AP tests in May with less ing that a teacher cannot assign homework time to do so. Keeping all of these factors in mind, a week prior and have it due on the day students returned from break. Looking ahead Schaffeld began working in June with a to future no homework breaks, she said that team of psychology teachers from around she will make sure to be more explicit the country to determine which parts of the AP Psychology curriculum were the most eswhen reminding the teachers. AP Psychology teacher Daria sential. They did this by analyzing past free response questions and released AP exams Schaffeld, who is typically strict on deadlines, did not assign home- to see which units they could move more work to her students over Thanks- quickly through. “It’s actually really good teaching to algiving break because she wanted ways critically look at what you’re doing and to give them a chance why you’re doing it,” Schaffeld said. “Someto unplug times that happens very naturally as an educator, and sometimes you’re forced into it from remote like we are right now.” learning. Furthermore, Minter feels that students Schaffeld may feel less overwhelmed if they took the said that many peo- extra two hours at the beginning of the school day to work on homework. He knows ple are exthat this is not required of students, but it periencing a lack of con- is time that they would have typically been trol due to spending in school. Due to the fact that 72.7% of high school the pandemic, which students do not get enough sleep on school is some- nights, we do not feel that it is realistic for thing that students to wake up at 8 a.m. to complete their school work. The later start of school can bring days this year is beneficial to the student heightened body as we know that teenagers’ minds work anxiety — e s p e c i a l l y most efficiently at a later time in the mornfor someone ing. Minter encourages students to communiwho was alcate with their teachers individually if they ready struggling with mental illness beforeare struggling or need additional help with hand. To combat students’ lack of motivation, a subject. “I really do think most teachers will try to Schaffeld tries to be honest with her students help or to figure out a plan if they know [that and acknowledge that learning over Zoom is tough. She feels that it is very important to a student is struggling],” Minter said. “A lot of times, they just assume everything’s try to find the positive in every situation, fine if no one is saying anyeven though she admits that thing.” it is not always easy to do. A student can reach out Conversely, Rooks said to a teacher to ask for an that her teachers have been extension or for them to resurprisingly strict with open the dropbox on Schooldeadlines. However, she did ogy, but this does not solve say that they have been acthe issue at hand. The stress commodating when she sent of falling behind only adds them an email individually. more pressure to the student “I’ve seen a lot less symbecause they cannot keep up Voting results of The pathy,” Rooks said. “… with a copious amount of Teachers think that because Prospector staff in homework. we’re at home we just have regards to this editorial. Rooks’ experience with infinite time [to complete homework]. In reality, it’s even harder to feeling a lack of motivation is not an isolated keep your mind on school when you haven’t one in our student body. It is true that students may have more time to complete work, left your house in weeks.” Principal Greg Minter agrees that the but we should not forget why that time is pandemic has posed challenges for students there. It is the result of sports games being takand staff alike. He has had conversations with the teachers to encourage them to focus en away, competitions getting cancelled, not being able to see friends or family and so on. on only assigning the most essential work. For the sake of the student body, we ask “Given that we’re not in the most ideal that teachers’ actions reflect their words.

Staff Editorial

Teachers think that because we’re at home we just have infinite time [to complete

homework]. In reality, it’s even harder to keep your mind on school when you haven’t left your house in weeks.”

- Naiya Rooks, senior





Assuming impedes acceptance of advice afraid to express herself As I waited for the firework freely and talk about all that she show to start in Disney World felt with an open heart. on New Year’s Eve last year, my I had forgotten along the way eyes met a giggling child with of growing up that I was once a missing front tooth. just as open-hearted Life and curiosity before people I grew filled her eyes as up and went to school she observed bubwith told me not to bles flying through talk about my feelthe dimming blue ings. Being labeled as sky from the Ariel overly-emotional and bubble wand in her weak from a young hands. Her appearage caused me to covance immediately er up who I truly was. caught my eye; she After seeing the girl’s looked almost idenbright personality, I tical to my childKAILIE FOLEY decided to take off the hood self. Eventumask that hid how I ally, she began a conversation with Features Editor felt from the people around me and step me and stacked bubout of the shoes I had tried to fit bles on my hands with focused into that were not my own. eyes while telling me stories. Meeting a person similar to “Blow them out and make a who I was as a child taught me New Year’s wish,” I said. that an individual can receive “No, I’ll blow them out and advice by observing another’s you make a wish,” she said back. experience or way of living. It seemed as if a reflection Speaking to the young girl also of the child who I once was had helped me understand that adbeen placed in front of me, askvice comes from all different ing to be heard. She was not

OPEN TO ALL AGES: Keeping an open heart while giving and receiving advice is important. Assumptions about age can lead to missing an effective life lesson. (cartoon by Grace He) types of people and does not always take the form of words. Some people believe that age immediately shows a person’s emotional experience and intelligence. This often causes adults to ignore advice from children or to listen only to a child’s words from a distance. In reality, being open to people of all perspectives can give a person advice that they may not

have received otherwise. In the novel “The Idiot,” Russian Novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote, “Grown-up people do not know that a child can give exceedingly good advice even in the most difficult case.” School psychologist Dr. Jay Kyp-Johnson agrees that emotional intelligence does not correlate with age.

SEE ADVICE, page 5.



DECEMBER 16, 2020

ADVICE: Ability is not mirrored by age

CONTINUED from page 4

assumptions about others, and it is important that people acknowledge this to be able to “One of the areas that people are so differlearn from others with an open mind. ent is in emotional intelligence,” Kyp-JohnIn 2019, I traveled to Kansas City, and my son said. “Some people just have a natural family planned to meet my grandma’s best proclivity for that, you know … some people friend and her husband. I was initially relucdo have an intense understanding from an tant to come because I assumed that the exearly age.” perience would mostly consist of small talk. Social worker Doug Berg notices that at Luckily, my family told me to come anytimes there is “a bit of distance from that way; I would have missed my favorite life exemotional intensity that adults have as they perience if I had not come along. get older.” This is why many children can As soon as I walked into André’s Conoftentimes be good at understanding how fiserie Suisse, where we met them, I noticed intense or important some relationships are. a man walking into the bakery full of joy. I This idea was similar to what I had realized he was my grandma’s best friend’s learned from the young girl; I no longer husband as soon as he sat down next to me. wanted to distance myself from the strong Immediately, the conversation took off, and emotions I felt as I grew older. he told stories after each topic talked about Kyp-Johnson and Berg agree that unat the table. derstanding is sincerely important when it His laugh was full of life, and he found the comes to advice. joy out of every experience. While sharing “Most advice is only good if you’ve seen advice, he spoke about how even the smallthat there’s some kind of caring and considest moments were symbolic. Talking about eration behind the advice and some depth of his own career, he told me about how there knowledge about the advice that’s being givwere many paths in life to doing what you en,” Kyp-Johnson said. truly love. Even if advice is not He even stressed the something that is initially importance of not making asked for, people can learn assumptions about people from another person by listen to the second episode and meeting them with a cusimply listening to what rious and open mind. This of “girl talk” where Editors someone has to say with was something that I clearcaring intentions. Elizabeth Keane and Genevieve ly had to learn, considering Kyp-Johnson believes I thought this conversation Karutz discuss teenage relationthat if a child had a parwould not contribute to my ticular life experience ships and how to get through a life the way it still does to relating to a person’s isthis day. breakup. sue, then a child can give It felt as though he had advice on that issue. This understood me from the mois why it is important to ment he walked in. He told have an open mind when life through stories, which meeting people. If assumpreminded me that is what I tions are made that a child want to do with my own life. can’t possibly give good I learned so much about myadvice, people could miss self and the world from him an opportunity to learn sharing his experience and and grow. way of living after sitting “Assumptions [and] CHECK OUT KNIGHT down with him for just one first impressions can day. VOICES ON SPOTIFY sometimes just lead you “It’s usually the interpreaway from a good thing,” FOR MORE PODCASTS. tation of the advice that beKyp-Johnson said. comes the crucial element,” A lot of us have made Kyp-Johnson said.

I agree with Kyp-Johnson that, no matter what advice is given, how a person interprets another’s words and possibly implements them into their own life is sincerely important. Whenever I feel as if I am not truly being myself, I think back to meeting that young girl. I hope that she never changes, no matter what people tell her to be. This helps me implement being my true self into my everyday life. It can be hard to accept myself even for the parts I view to be the worst. The thought of the conversations which I had no idea I would find in Kansas City and Disney World help me with acceptance each day. From observing the man at the bakery, I noticed he had that same quality inside of himself that the young girl at Disney World had. They both lived to tell and hear stories, which ultimately helped me realize, in that way, life comes full circle. Suddenly, it felt like a new life path had been laid out in front of me — just from meeting these two people. They had both taught me to dream even as I grew old and even if the world told me not to. This is why being open to talking and listening to all people, regardless of your initial thought of them, is very important in life. Berg agrees that the outcome of the advice, regardless of wherever you get it, is the most important. “I think timing is important because somebody has to be ready to hear the advice,” Berg said. “If they’re not ready, it could be the best advice in the world and it [still] won’t help them because they won’t take it.” Sometimes people give advice to others but do not live by that advice in their own life.

“There are a lot of gray areas which make people feel a little bit uncomfortable,” Berg said. “And sometimes it’s hard to trust their own instincts if they’re emotionally invested in the outcome.” Berg often proposes a simple question to people when they are not implementing the advice they give others into their own life: “What advice would you give your friend if they were in the same situation?” When I was in middle school I was asked a similar question: “What would you tell someone going through what you are?” This question has stuck with me to this day and struck a chord with me immediately. I realized that the words I needed to help myself were already inside of me. Kyp-Johnson believes that it is important for advice to be shared at the right time and said often enough for the person listening. This is why it is also crucial to listen to yourself when it comes to the advice you are giving others. “It’s up to us to pick our experts and … weigh the information based on that search,” Kyp-Johnson said. Sometimes people have the knowledge of how to make a decision to change a situation for the better, but they are hesitant to make the decision or are possibly emotionally attached to the outcome. “Life is really hard. You can make so many mistakes, and you can make a lot of mistakes without seeing it,” Kyp-Johnson said. “So advice and wisdom and philosophy are just so important to people to be able to have some control over their life rather than just moving from one mistake to another.”

Grown-up people do not know that a child can give exceedingly good advice even in the most difficult case.”

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist

The power of the Butterfly Effect can ‘rock’ your life There are small, almost insigenth and eighth grade I dealt with nificant moments in one’s life that symptoms of social anxiety which can change the course of one’s fuI never sought help for or told anyture. For many people, it’s someone about. I recall having a panic thing as simple as where they chose attack in seventh grade and being to go to lunch one day or something terrified because all I could do was a person says to them. For me, it sit and watch myself spiral out of was meeting a group control. of heroin addicts. I can’t say for certain This phenomenon why I had these problems is known as the Butin middle school, but I terfly Effect, which can say that I can thank is the concept that the Red Hot Chili Peppers the most subtle acfor being an influential tions, like the flap of contributor to helping me a butterfly’s wings, fix them almost entirely. can trigger major outThe authenticity of their comes, like a tornado lyrics and the carefree naon the other side of ture of their songs fueled the world. Butterflies confidence in myself that GENEVIEVE aside, the theory sugI never had previously. KARUTZ gests that small, inI listened to them evExecutive significant acts can erywhere I went through have significant reOpinion Editor my headphones. Whensults on one’s life. ever I felt anxious or bad Getting back to the whole heroabout myself, I would simply turn in addicts scenario, I entered high up the volume to one of their songs school with a mere two friends and drown out every negative from middle school, and had many thought and everything that bothinsecurities. Like many other ered me. freshmen in high school, I didn’t Over the next few months, after fully understand the importance discovering their songs, I noticed of individuality and being my own huge changes in my life due to my person. I didn’t think people would newly gained confidence. I became like me if I were myself, and I bemuch more social and comfortable lieve that this was part of the reawith being myself. In most classes, son I felt isolated and out of place. I would actively participate and I might still be like this today if talk to classmates — sometimes so I hadn’t listened one spring mornmuch it distracted me from my own ing to a live performance of the ‘90s education. rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers on The old me began to fade to black the car radio. Just like a butterfly as my true colors finally blossomed flapping its wings, a simple song, for the world to see. Of course, I “Can’t Stop,” from that band of still had times where I fell back into four former drug addicts gave me my old ways. But, I began to realthe confidence to be myself. ize how much easier life was when I was immediately in love with I didn’t care what others thought. the band, captivated by the ‘90s This always pushed me forward punk rock sound that I had never and helped me to stop fearing being been exposed to before. During sevmyself and helped me minimize my

anxieties. I became more confident, happier, improved my grades and got more involved in school activities, all because of one song. The whole experience was surreal to me. Did one moment of hearing some random song really change my entire mindset? Looking back on the whole situation, it seems hard to believe. Feeling suspicious, I started wondering to myself if this moment was destined to happen. As an atheist, I tend to be dismissive of the idea of “destiny” and pre-determined fate. I believe people have the power to create their own destiny and change their own outcomes. But as much as I do believe this, like the Red Hot Chili Peppers situation, there have been moments, like playing volleyball for the first time or meeting my best friends, that feels like it was meant to be. But how would I be able to determine if it was meant to be or just luck as a result of my choices? World Religions teacher John Camardella often hears a phrase that reflects predetermination: “If it is meant to be it will happen.” I also often hear this as a justification for why something happened. But to be honest, I don’t think I agree with the sentiment. As much I would love to believe that there is some life plan already laid out for me, when I think about all the people who face horrible misfortune in their lives, I don’t want to believe that was a fate they were meant to have. Is my entire life determined by an outside force? Is there a powerful being looking down on me, controlling my life like a game of “The Sims?” Has my whole life led to writing these words right now?

TAKING THE WHEEL: A girl drives down an empty road as a song plays on the radio. Many times insignificant moments, like hearing a song, can create life changing outcomes for a person, known as the Butterfly Effect. (photo illustration by Alyssa Schulz) Questions like these occasionally pop into my mind on late nights when I definitely should already be asleep. According to Camardella, followers of different religions believe in the idea of fate. For instance, Calvinism, a religion in the Protestant branch of Christianity, encompasses the idea of predestination which many claim that God chooses whether someone will go to heaven or hell prior to creation. Other religions, like Islam, say phrases like “Mashallah,” which means God willed it. Of course not all followers of these religions view ideas similarly, but it is clear that fate is a concept widely believed in. Even Drake has a song called “God’s Plan” that promotes the idea that God carves a path for every person to walk.

Despite these examples of fate, I still believe that I have the power to control my own destiny. Sometimes I think back to that special day I found my favorite band for the first time. I always thought it was the band that changed me, until I realized that the whole “Butterfly Effect” couldn’t have occurred without me. I used their music as a stepping stone to reach a positive state of mind. I was the one who had the power to build my own confidence and create my own happiness. I have control of my life and always will. Now more than ever, I feel that I have life by the steering wheel. I may not be the best driver, but knowing I can control where I end up is a great feeling.




Home for th DECEMBER 16, 2020


Tier three transforms travel ALYSSA SCHULZ Copy Editor

*name changed for confidentiality The last thing sophomore *Allison Reed wanted to do over Thanksgiving break was travel. She thought that it was best to stay home as long as it was needed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. But, according to Reed, she “didn’t really get a choice” in the matter as her parents made the final decision. She didn’t want to stay at home by herself for the week, so she flew with her family to St. Augustine, Fla. and stayed in a condo over the break. However, many others have decided to take extra precautions, which were encouraged by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, as coronavirus cases have continued to rise. In fact, in a recent Prospector survey of 196 students, it was found that only 5.1% of students are traveling for the holidays. Additionally, 53.3% of students stated that they had to cancel plans because of COVID-19. Junior Daniel Boy is one of those students that had to change his plans because of the coronavirus. For the last 10 years Boy traveled to Peru to visit his family over winter break. However, the tradition will come to an end this year. “I don’t want to endanger my family, especially my grandparents because they are older,” Boy said. “I don’t want to put them at risk of anything.” To still keep in touch with his family from home, Boy and his family will have a Zoom meeting with his extended family over winter break so he can still communicate with them. However, he feels that it is not the same. “Sometimes people say ‘I’m fine’ but you know that they aren’t,” Boy said. “I can’t tell via Zoom whether or not someone is doing all right or not.” English teacher Joyce Kim is also using Zoom to connect with her extended


of students traveled for the holidays

family during the holidays. However, she also laments that she will greatly miss seeing her family. Although she believes that a second wave in coronavirus cases is here, she also recognizes that everyone has different viewpoints on the matter. “There is a large spectrum of people who haven’t left their houses since March and [also] people who don’t believe in coronavirus,” Kim said. Reed noticed the latter when she was at the airport where there were a few people that were either wearing their masks wrong or not wearing one at all. However, she felt safe in the airport because there were only a small number of people there, allowing space for social distancing. Additionally, there were safety measures in place at the airport and on the plane to ensure the safety of travelers. These included temperature checks, wipes and pre-packaged food. While in St. Augustine, Reed and her family took additional precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of others. They wore masks whenever they were outside or around other people. Throughout the trip Reed felt as “safe as to be expected” considering the circumstances. Despite all of these precautions, Reed still was able to have fun. She and her family spent most of their time in the pool, which, as her family was the only one in it, she felt safe. However, Reed urges that if people decide to travel it is important to not “forget about the virus” as soon as they leave. She states that you can still have fun even while being safe. Although Reed is nearly certain that neither she nor her family contracted the virus, her family did quarantine for two weeks upon returning to be as safe as possible. Principal Greg Minter stated that if students travel, they should quarantine as Reed’s family did. Additionally, they should follow all the Illinois state guidelines to do their part to help the community and get tested if they think they may have been exposed. “If you are traveling, be safe, don’t be dumb,” Boy said. “Follow the rules and the guidelines, and don’t do anything crazy.”

53.3% 46.6% 53.3%


did not of students cancel their canceled their holiday plans holiday plans

of students did not travel for the holidays information according to a survey of 197 Prospect students

CURRENTLY ON KNIGHT TV... Learn how Covid-19 affects the Holiday season and what factors could impact the number of these cases.

ALL IN THIS TOGETHER: A girl connects with her family over Zoom. This year many families are forced to see each other remotely as coronavirus cases increase (cartoon by Grace

Pandemic causes desp CHARLIE DAHLGREN Executive News Editor


ince COVID-19 reached a record number of infections in May, more than eight million new Americans have slipped below the poverty line, according to The New York Times. As a result, the nation is facing its worst homelessness crisis in almost a century. With homeless shelters full and food banks empty, nonprofits like Northwest Compass started to take desperate measures in order to support those in need. “Each and every day we have to place somebody in a hotel — even though we have no funding for it,” Northwest Compass Executive Director Sonia Ivanov said. “We cannot just leave someone sleeping in front of our building. [If] we [know] they were sleeping on our stairs during the night … [it’s] impossible for my staff not to help them.” Northwest Compass is a Mount Prospect-based nonprofit organization that provides aid to those facing crisis in the Northwest Suburbs. They specialize in helping youth and families facing socio-economic downturn by providing food, counseling, shelter and guidance. Northwest Compass runs a food bank and organizes volunteer opportunities for the community, but like many other businesses, they have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Ivanov, as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, each volunteer, intern and fundraiser successively called Northwest Compass to cancel their donations as millions of Americans braced for the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression, according to the International Monetary Fund. Among the most noteworthy cancellations

was the United States Postal Service “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive in May — the largest single-day food drive in the country. In past years, Northwest Compass could typically expect about 20,000 pounds of food from this drive. Ivanov is seeing less donations and more people in need, which is especially worrisome with the cost of operating her organization now raised because of the additional need to meet personal protective equipment requirements. In August, September and October alone, more people came to Northwest Compass in search of their services than in the previous nine months combined. These desperate times result in financially unsustainable business practices — like having to put the homeless in hotel rooms. During a season that normally celebrates giving back to the community, Northwest Compass is struggling to keep their head above water. “Thankfully, I have a very dedicated, smart, committed staff that I am blessed to have because everyone works extra hard to help everybody in need in our community,” Ivanov said. As donations slowed to a crawl, Northwest Compass had to rely heavily on government-issued grants. However, before receiving a federal or state grant, nonprofits have to agree on certain conditions. These can include anything from requiring the organization to return large sums of money to the government to forcing them to put the money towards specific demographics. These requirements often put the nonprofit in a situation that is difficult to sustain when relying on federal or state grants. “Every dollar is attached to a thousand strings,” Ivanov said. Consequently, organizations like Northwest Compass rely heavily on donations from the community. Luckily, some of that weight will soon be


he holidays DECEMBER 16, 2020


Better way to Black Friday KEVIN LYNCH

Entertainment Editor

peration for donations lifted off their shoulders. Prospect’s Associated Student Body (ASB) debuted the Prospect Provides Community Drive this winter which will give the Prospect community a way to give back to those in need. The drive, which ran from Nov. 5 to Dec. 9, benefited five groups in the Mount Prospect and Arlington Heights area including WINGS, the Mount Prospect Fire Department and Northwest Compass. The goal of the drive is to teach Prospect students about giving back to the community and to help out those in need during this holiday season, according to ASB advisor and Prospect Provides organizer Chris Cirrincione. “People really want to give back around the community,” Cirrincione said. “We want to channel that desire to give back during this season and connect students, staff and community members with a way to do so.” Prospect has hosted many drives for different goods in the past, but this marks the first year in which all drives were combined into one. This was done so community members could donate whatever they could afford to. The ASB will then sort through the donated goods and see that the items get to the organizations most in need. In early November, John Hersey High School organized a similar food drive which also benefited Northwest Compass. After their donation was dropped off, Ivanov and her staff members were so ecstatic about the foods they received that many were brought to tears. According to Ivanov, it is an amazing feeling when they can find exactly what a person needs in the food pantry. “Sometimes people may not think that a can of food would make someone’s life much better, but when we check the food pantry and find

something that a client needs, it makes all the difference,” Ivanov said. “That’s why any food drive will be extremely helpful.” Ivanov said that the community response has been the silver lining on all the issues Northwest Compass has been facing. Although many have stopped their donations, the people who have stuck with Northwest Compass, including volunteers, have been extremely generous and have gone out of their way to support the organization. “We have the best community ever, no doubt,” Ivanov said. “Whenever somebody can help, they do. It’s not just about the food they bring or the monetary donation; it’s the fact that we see that people care and that they want to help, which brings us so much hope. Truly, truly [it] has restored our faith in humanity.” Cirrincione’s time at a previous school has allowed him to see how fortunate the students and staff of Prospect are. He realizes how lucky he is to have so many resources at his disposal, and more importantly, he feels lucky to be a part of the Prospect community. “We really are a community high school,” Cirrincione said. “I think it’s important as a school to give back, since the community always supports us and gives so much to us.” Cirrincione is excited to make the Prospect Provides Community Drive an annual event, but organizations like Northwest Compass rely on donations all around the year. This is why Prospect Provides is focusing on teaching Prospect families about how to give back — an essential first step in greatly improving the community. “We [have to] preserve the spirit of giving for each and every day of the year and spread kindness,” Ivanov said. “Kindness is the one thing that is truly free … If that’s ingrained in the mind of everyone, the world will be a better place.”

For senior Georgia Smith, there are two things she associates with Black Friday: great deals and large crowds. However, one was notably absent this year when she and some of her friends went shopping at Woodfield Mall on Black Friday. “There’s usually a lot of people there, but this year, there was barely anyone,” Smith said. “ … Even though because of COVID-19, there [were] store limits … the lines were still a lot [shorter] than what it would normally be at Black Friday.” Smith typically goes Black Friday shopping every year, and she noted that due to the limited crowds, she was able to finish her holiday shopping far faster than in past years. As COVID-19 cases climb in Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has urged people to avoid exposing themselves and others and to only leave their house for essential services like grocery shopping. This conflicts greatly with the central premise of Black Friday, which is infamous for its large crowds and skirmishes over big deals. Consequently, many companies made discounts available online so as not to discourage customers concerned with safety. Many stores employed a “pull-forward” strategy this year by starting deals earlier, giving customers the option to avoid large crowds and helping the company retain market share. Target, for example, advertised their deals as Black Friday all month, with sales beginning on Nov. 1 and lasting until Black Friday on Nov. 27. Some deals even continued into Cyber Week. For those who did shop physically, the majority of restrictions were non-intrusive. In Smith’s case, the only major hindrance was that she had to wait for others to clear before walking over to the shelf to pick out an item. While she prefers to shop in-store because she likes to feel her clothes and make sure they fit, she concedes that this year, online was more heavily supported. “For most of the stores that I looked at, I got a lot of emails [afterward] for Cyber Monday, and they had way better deals than they did on Black Friday, so I feel like [online shopping] is just more practical,” Smith said. In a Prospector survey of 185 students, only 18.4% said that they shopped or planned to shop in stores for Black Friday, while 43.2% stated the same for online deals. According to AP Economics teacher Christine Stanford, part of the appeal for online shopping this year, outside of safety concerns, stemmed from the restrictions limiting store capacity, leading to potential for longer lines and people waiting outside in November weather. While this Black Friday was relatively clear of precipitation, the temperature this year still resided in the high 30s to mid 40s, according to the National Weather Service. The shift was clearly visible this year, as online sales reached $9 billion on Black Friday, 21.6% higher than last year’s $7.4 billion. This marks a new record for Black Friday’s online sales, and, while still a sizable increase, the online sales numbers fell on the low end of the predicted sales spectrum, according to TechCrunch. This year’s Cyber Monday, also shattering records, reached

$10.8 billion in sales according to MarketWatch, handily beating out 2019’s $7.9 billion. While online traffic surged this year, only a few notable websites experienced issues due to the increased number of users. The new circumstances have also forced some to adapt in ways they never expected. Stanford had to teach her 77-year-old aunt how to use Amazon because, although she is typically skeptical of making transactions online, her aunt reasoned it was the safer way to shop for the holidays. According to Stanford, her aunt will probably continue to shop using Amazon because it’s more convenient and believes that this may be the case for others who experienced online shopping for the first time this year. Stanford also says that the difference between the sales from online versus in-store shopping is minuscule for most larger stores. “I think they just want the sale however they can get it,” Stanford said. “I mean, if they buy it in store you’ve got the extra cost[s] of the overhead and the employees, and if [they] buy it online you’ve got the extra costs of the shipping and the fulfillment.” While shopping via the internet may be easier for some, it creates repercussions for stores without quite as large an online presence. Stanford worries this could be especially true for small businesses that rely on Black Friday to draw customers in. “I think those guys have the big super specials that get people into the stores,” Stanford said. “… Then people get into the store and maybe they pick up other items … I think the idea that Black Friday has been like a holiday where people go out, and they go physically to the stores for shopping, I think that benefits the smaller stores.” In her visit to Woodfield, Smith was surprised to see that many smaller stores were closed on such a traditionally busy day. Though they were stores she wouldn’t normally consider shopping at, she still found it odd to see their doors shut while the larger retailers were open like normal. However, every year small businesses have their day in the spotlight immediately following Black Friday with Small Business Saturday or Shop Small S a t u r d ay. This year, organizations used social media to give guidance to small businesses on how to make customers feel safe and advertised alternative payment methods to aid in this mission. No matter the future of Black Friday, Smith will continue to shop in-store because of the unique experience available just once a year and believes others will follow suit. “I think it’s fun,” said Smith. “It’s … an enjoyable experience to go out with a friend or two and just … wake up really early and go shopping.” In the same vein, Stanford recognizes the importance of continued in-store shopping at local and small businesses despite the convenience and popularity of online shopping. “We like to have things to look forward to,” Stanford said. “Next year, maybe, if everything’s normal again, we might have a resurgence [in physical shopping] because people are like, ‘I couldn’t do this last year, but I’m doing it this year’ … So, maybe online [shopping] right now … [is] very attractive, but in the future it may or may not be.”




DECEMBER 16, 2020

Seniors support variety of issues, candidates President-elect Joe Biden


Electoral Votes

81 MIllion Popular Votes (most all-time)

RICK LYTLE Editor-in-Chief

It is rare that an incumbent president loses re-election. Including President Donald Trump being defeated in 2020 by President-elect Joe Biden, this has happened only five times in the last 100 years of American history. Because of the rarity of this event, it is important to understand why voters voted for who they did to unseat an incumbent. What issues mattered to them? When did they decide who they would vote for? Were they voting for their candidate or against the opposing candidate? Who would they like to see on the ballot in 2024? Questions like these are vital to understanding the thought process of American voters, so Editor-in-Chief Rick Lytle interviewed a number of seniors at Prospect to get their perspectives on the candidates they supported.

*name changed for confidentiality

Four more years

Senior wants New climate policy, more diversity Senior Irena Hong was not old enough to vote in the 2020 U.S. Election, but she was an avid supporter of Biden. Her single most important issue this election was climate change, and she is excited for Biden to have won and what that means for this issue. “Not only does [Biden] believe and accept the science of climate change, but he has a legitimate plan for slowing the rate of climate change,” Hong said. “And, if we want to save our earth from climate change, we need a president that is able to work with other world leaders.” She has been dismayed by Trump’s response to this issue over the last four years. “Trump refuses to acknowledge the urgency to fix climate change by mocking it, refusing to accept established science behind it and has proven unwilling to work with other world leaders to find a solution for it,” Hong said.

She is supportive of Biden’s stances on other issues as well, including increasing access to affordable healthcare, combating systemic racism, reworking immigration policy and looking to stop the spread of COVID-19. She does wish that he was more passionate about some of these topics but is overall excited about the move away from Trump. “Many people’s lives are at a low right now, and it’s very clear that we need change,” Hong said. She is similarly excited to see a woman of color, Kamala Harris, as the Vice President, along with a more diverse presidential cabinet. “I believe that since the government makes laws for all Americans, we should have every type of American involved in those decisions,” Hong said. “We should have a government that reflects the makeup of the American people.”

Republican sees a need for change When Senior *Jim Johnson went to vote in the 2020 Election, he voted for Republicans up and down the ballot— except for one key race. Standing inside the polling booth, Johnson still could not decide who he wanted to vote for in the presidential election. As a Republican, Johnson believes that Trump would be better suited to lead the country’s economic recovery after the pandemic. However, he said that what he believes the country needs right now is change, and that Biden would be the better candidate to bring about that change. So, after a minute of standing in the voting booth and pondering his choices, Johnson cast his vote for Biden. “I think it would be better for the country right now if Biden was president,” Johnson said.

According to him, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are better suited to handle two major problems in America right now: a divided country and pressing social issues. Johnson believes that, at the moment, these issues are more important than the economy. “Trump doesn’t really handle social issues well at all, where Biden is more understanding,” Johnson said. Johnson would like to see a more moderate Republican candidate in 2024, saying that they would be better suited to persuade swing voters. “If you have another candidate like Trump, you’re not going to get any onthe-fence Democrats or on-the-fence Independents,” Johnson said. “I think the only way they would win the election would just be having a moderate candidate.”

A simple goal: Defeat trump “It was kind of a no-brainer for me because, honestly, normally in a president I see that position as someone who is better than the average American,” Senior Noax Marx, a Biden voter, said. “They’re proper, they’re nicer to people and I feel like they should handle everything respectfully and responsibly. Just the way Trump handled himself on social media and to other people … I feel like he did not treat people with respect at all.” Marx referenced the economic boom and employment increases under Trump as something he saw as a successful aspect of his presidency. However, he said that Trump’s presidency divided America to a point more than any other time during his life. Marx also voted for Biden in the Democratic primary, not because of any single policy issue but because he believed he had the best chance of defeating Trump, which was Marx’s priority when voting. On the rest of the ballot, Marx didn’t vote entirely for one party. He mostly voted for Democrats but also voted against the Fair Tax Amendment—something he knows is a more Republican-leaning position to take.

Marx has more policy views that align with the Democratic Party, but also has a number that align with the Republicans. He would like to see the national debt decrease and is not a supporter of the socialized healthcare plans that people like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have pushed for. For the coronavirus pandemic, he would like to see mask mandates and fairly strong rules regarding COVID-19, but he also believes that Illinois has gone too far in their regulations and has hurt some small businesses. In general, he says that he more often agrees with Republicans on fiscal issues and Democrats on social issues. Looking ahead to 2024, Marx said that he will probably be voting Republican, and gave examples of moderate Republicans, such as Paul Ryan, for the types of Republicans he would like to see run. For now, Marx is just relieved by the Biden win and not having to constantly track the president’s Twitter account. “Finally I’ll hear a press conference ... instead of seeing a Twitter storm every other day,” Marx said.

Senior Emily Cole wasn’t 18 by the date of the presidential election, but she is a strong Trump supporter. She listed gun rights, abortion, taxes, LGBT issues, COVID-19 and racism all among a number of issues that she believes are important and that Trump is the stronger candidate on. She sees his pro-life stance, support of the Second Amendment, tax cuts and focus on keeping the economy open during COVID-19 as key Trump positions. Cole also referenced Trump holding up the rainbow flag––commonly associated with support for the LGBT community–– as evidence of his pro-LGBT stance, something Cole supports and an area she believes Trump is the stronger candidate in. According to Cole, Trump came around sooner on support for LGBT rights issues than Biden did; however, she does believe that Biden has evolved. Cole states that Trump still has improving to do in this area as well, evidenced by his attempted ban on transgender people serving in the millitary. Racial issues are another policy area where Cole believes there is no easy answer in the Trump-Biden debate, but she does say that Trump is often treated unfairly in this area and what she sees as misspeaks by

Trump are often amplified and continually brought up. “He is not racist … all the information that people will say are opinions, allegations or straight up false information,” Cole said. Cole also points out racist statements made by Biden, specifically his recent remark that “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.” “I don’t think [Trump’s] the best person, but out of the two, he was the better one,” Cole said. Some areas where Cole doesn’t fully agree with Trump are the death penalty, climate change and mask-wearing. She says that while Trump now supports wearing masks, it took him too long to be sure of his stance on the issue. Cole describes Biden as a “decent guy” who “has good morals,” but she is ready to look ahead to the 2024 election. She thought Candace Owens would be a good candidate but believes that she has become too controversial recently. In a pivot away from Trump, Cole would like to see someone run “who is very Republican but very considerate and respectful to everyone.”

keeping Economy open a priority Senior *John McAfee is a Republican who was always set on voting Trump. The two main issues that he cared about were low taxes and opening the economy up both during and after COVID-19. For taxes, he is afraid of Biden reversing Trump’s tax policies, such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. McAfee believes that Trump did not get enough credit for having what he saw as the strongest economy in American history and for being President during the lowest unemployment rate for Black Americans and Hispanics in American history. While there is frequent debate about how much a sitting president can actually take credit for unemployment and the economy, McAfee believes that Trump’s tax cuts certainly helped a number of these metrics. For the coronavirus, McAfee is worried about Biden shutting down the economy and doing what he sees as overreacting to COVID-19. He is also worried about schools being shut down for a long period of time. McAfee doesn’t believe that Trump

could have done anything better campaigning this election cycle, but does believe that some things Trump said in the past may have come back to bite him. One example he gives is Trump’s previous unsavory comments about Mexican immigrants and how he believes that may have caused his poor performance with the Hispanic community. While Trump did improve with Latino voters compared to 2016, he still received just 32% of their support. However, McAfee sees a double standard in Trump’s previous comments being brought up but not those of Biden or Harris. While McAfee likes Trump and would like to see him run again in 2024, he believes Pence may be less of a controversial figure and may have more success. However, he also thinks that Pence might not be a likeable enough, and believes Candace Owens would be a good choice for the Republican Party. So, while he is disappointed with the 2020 election result, he is ready to look ahead to 2024.

President Donald Trump


Electoral Votes

74 MIllion

Popular Votes (2nd most all-time)



DECEMBER 16, 2020

Self defense resists societal structures Combat training places importance on mentality, empowerment OLIVIA KIM Copy Editor


ealth teacher and self defense instructor Aaron Marnstein was on the train in Chicago with his wife when she asked him to switch seats because the man next to her was making her feel uncomfortable. Marnstein was confused and looked around to see that the stranger in question had his hand up a woman’s skirt. In shock, the woman was unable to react. The time where Marnstein had to decide whether to use his defense skills and confront the perpetrator had come. Marnstein yelled loudly, “Stop!” He called attention to the situation and prepared himself for a possible physical altercation, not knowing how the stranger was going to respond. Luckily, the man ceased what he was doing and got off at the next station as bystanders whispered. His wife asked him later, “What if he had a knife?” If he did have a weapon, Marnstein responded, then he would have dealt with the situation as it came, but he felt that it was necessary to make the first step PULLING NO PUNCHES: Junior Thorri Borozdin (right) wins the National Silver toward confronting that attacker despite Glove Boxing Championship in Independence, Mo. earlier this year. From her expepossible dangerous consequences. rience in boxing and martial arts, Borozdin feels greater confidence in her ability to Even though Marnstein did not physically confront the perpetrator, him shouting fight back both inside and outside of the ring. (photo courtesy of Thorri Borodzin) was a form of self defense. Some people do male doesn’t mean you know how to fight,” importance in not realize that verbal training is part of Marnstein said, “[It] doesn’t mean you know having these self defense which how to defend yourself, [and it] doesn’t skills. pulls aspects of difmean you know what situational awareness “I feel like ferent martial arts. is... The misconception is ‘I’m a guy, [so] I girls don’t talk However, Marnstein don’t need to worry about it; I can handle about [the fear of thinks that it is just myself.’” sexual assault a as important to This mindset referred to by Marnstein, lot] because they learn, and he taught that genders have different combative want to keep to this course through capabilities, leads Borozdin to think that themselves, but, D214 at Focus Marthis is the reason why many parents refrain obviously, I feel tial Arts & Fitness from having their daughters take defense like at least a along with owner classes: because they deem martial arts couple of times in Jim O’Hara before “too violent” for women. However, Borozdin their lives ... the the pandemic hit. thinks that those skills are important to thought [of being Many choose to learn because self defense is more than just attacked] does learn how to properrun through ly physically defend their mind,” themselves in order to help prevent becoming the nearly one *according to the CDC Borozdin said. in five women who have experienced comBorozdin understands that a time mited or attempted rape. when she will need to physically defend Marnstein instructs a number of stuherself may be rare; however, that posdents that have experienced sexual assault sibility is still there and grows whenevand understands that it is important to be er she is outside at night alone. an instructor that balances teaching and “I definitely have more confidence not pushing students too far. But, he thinks knowing that I can [respond to dangerthat a strong mentality and a certain level ous situations] and, if something does of confidence can create a proper foundahappen, that I’m going to try my best to tion for defending oneself. save my own life,” Borozdin said Junior Illinois Olympic Boxing ChamBecause of the kinds of fears that pion, National Silver Glove Champion and Borozdin and many women face, Prospect junior Thorri Borozdin has pracMarnstein thinks that a misconception ticed karate since she was eight years old. of self defense is that “boys [naturally] While she initially started practicing these know how to fight,” but in reality, they sports because her family had a history in do not if they aren’t practicing it. participating in them, she found a profound “Just because you’re a


1 in



Women have experienced commited or attempted rape

Whwos no

Junior Dylan Gavin

Taco Bell

photo courtesy of Thorri Borodzin

Hey There Delilah

It’s A Wonderful Life

The Boyfriend

Junior Millie Costello The Sub Subject ject


e tYt o u er?


Foundations for Learning and Development

physical combat. She says that martial arts and boxing has taught her drive, determination and the ability to be forceful — something that she does not see a lot of girls being taught. “People think girls are weak and they can’t do anything, but in reality, girls are strong, and they are powerful,” Borozdin said. “Once they have that mindset of ‘I will fight back, and I will come out on top,’ you’re going to feel the empowerment.” Another aspect of self defense training where Marnstein can see women lacking that empowerment is in verbal training. This skill is used to draw attention to a situation to widen a chance of escape or show the attacker a level of confidence. However, Marnstein notices that many of the women he instructs are apprehensive in using this skill at first because they are not trained to be confrontational in society. He sees another example of this socialization of women in physical combative training, too. As an instructor, he risks getting harmed from students practicing their learned skills on him during instruction. Marnstein stresses that in martial arts and in self defense, all actions have to be 100% in effort and intention; however, many women apologize for harming him when going through the techniques. Marnstein attributes this response to the fact that women are socialized to be quiet, to not cause a problem, to apologize, even if they’re in the right. However, Marnstein believes that this practice should be challenged. “If somebody is doing something to you that you don’t like, and you’re going to defend yourself, you shouldn’t have to be sorry,” Marnstein said. “A lot of [self defense] is just mentality. It’s, ‘Hey, I’m standing up for my rights; you are violating my rights. I’m going to defend myself from that violation.’ And a lot of times, it’s teaching people, both men and women, to understand that they have the permission to do that. They shouldn’t feel sorry.” Marnstein and Borozdin understand that confrontation is difficult in dangerous situations and that fear is inevitable. To them, however, self defense is about being able to use that fear to one’s advantage and still being able to empower oneself to respond. “It feels great [being a self defense instructor],” Marnstein said. “You know you’re giving people the tools to take charge of themselves, to be able to defend themselves [and] to be able to make sure that they’re their own best protector.”

Senior Nikki Kaminski The Best Friend

Favorite Animal? Cow

Favorite Class?

Favorite Fast Food Restaurant? Foundations for Learning and Taco Bell Development


Definitely not Math


Hey There Delilah

Favorite Christmas Movie? It’s A Wonderful Life

Hey There Delilah


Favorite Song?




Discourse flows unfiltered online JOEY DELAHUNTY Executive Entertainment Editor


uring the 2018 midterm election, Illinois Sen. Ann Gillespie — not yet a senator at the time — and her then campaign manager Jack Lockhart encountered a flyer while out on a walk. The flyer, an attack ad from Gillespie’s opponent, included a list of policies she supposedly held. Gillespie wanted to set the record straight, but her grassroots campaign did not have the funds to mail out counter-ads. Luckily for her, she didn’t have to. All she had to do was have Lockhart aim his phone, and she could do it herself. As suburban traffic passed in the background and autumn leaves crunched on the ground, Gillespie told her voters, “I’m proud to give you the plain truth, so here we go.” It’s no surprise that politics evolve with technology. It’s often claimed that former president John F. Kennedy won the 1960 presidential election partially due to former president Richard Nixon’s appearance at their televised debate. A combination of a recent hospital visit and a refusal to wear stage makeup made N i x o n look sick and worn


DECEMBER 16, 2020

out, and his grey suit blended into the monochrome background. Kennedy, in contrast, was a much younger man who wore a stark black suit and had his stage makeup done by his team. Just as television did, the internet started influencing governmental function. In the modern age, the online world grows ever more important to our society, so politics try — and sometimes fail — to keep up. According to Media Analysis teacher Cambria Myers, one of the biggest effects the internet has had on politics is the prevalence of disinformation. When all sources are given an equal platform, it becomes difficult to tell the difference between the truth, bias and outright lies. During the 2020 general election, platforms like Twitter and Facebook were flooded with political conspiracy theories by automated accounts and news-looking websites. Myers worries that it’s not possible for social media platforms to battle this disinformation effectively, even with their recent minor fact check tags. One reason for this is that there may be too many sources for any platform to effectively filter, but it’s also worth noting that these websites likely don’t mind spreading disinformation. “Ultimately, their goal is not to get factchecked, trustworthy information out to the public,” Myers said. “Their primary goal is to make money.” The platforms are not purely weapons of disinformation, though. Gillespie has been able to use the internet to combat disinformation in the past, like in her video about the political fliers. However, comments and replies are a perfect breeding ground for unchecked lies and toxic political conflict. Gillespie and her staff try not to get into debates online, but the comments are still there.

Myers believes the solution can’t and won’t be enacted by the platforms themselves, so she says individuals need to be vigilant. “The true solution is for people who are users of social media to be good, active news consumers,” Myers said. While Lockhart, who is now Gillespie’s chief of staff, acknowledges this problem, he also sees many positive effects that social media has had on politics. Gillespie’s campaign was very homegrown at first, and platforms like Twitter and Facebook were an invaluable resource to them. “The benefit [of] the internet is that it democratizes who’s able to communicate to a lot of people at once,” Lockhart said. “Back in the day, we only had four TV channels ... It used to be a lot harder for people to break through that barrier and communicate.” Social media also allows political figures to directly interact with constituents in a way that older media didn’t allow. “I think it lends a [sense of] spontaneity and a human touch, which sounds kind of weird since it’s not faceto-face,” Gillespie said. “But because you can respond quickly to things ... I think that it enables you to connect in different ways than other kinds of media communications.” According to Gillespie’s Communications Specialist Zach Braun, social media has become even more important during the pandemic, as it’s become a major way to answer questions and get information to the public. Social media has also greatly affected the way a politician’s relation with the public works. Politicians have always tried to appear likeable and charismatic, but according to Braun, it’s become even more important recently. “[Social media is] certainly good for getting your personality out there. It’s like personality politics now,” Braun said. “You’re trying to fall in love with a politician rather than their policy, so in a lot of cases, it can help.” One of the more recent examples of this is when New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hosted an “Among Us” Twitch stream with popular streamers to encourage voting in the 2020

Ultimately, [social media’s] goal is not to get fact-checked, trustworthy information out to the public. Their primary goal is to make money.”

- Cambria Myers, Media Analysis Teacher

election. The stream became the fifth largest ever, having around 435,000 viewers at its peak, according to The Verge, as well as around a million views of its unofficial recording on YouTube. Ocasio-Cortez has been active on social media since her initial campaign in 2018 and has been a proponent of it as a helpful tool for connecting with constituents. This type of behavior from politicians isn’t just a product of the internet, though. According to Myers, politicians participate in fun, casual events to make themselves more relatable to the people; Barack Obama went on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” and Bill Clinton played his saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show.” “[Those appearances are] not a social media trend necessarily, but those are attempts by those politicians to seem more like everyday people,” Myers said. “To show some aspect of their personality, their character, to kind of get on people’s level. “… If an elected official does something like that — and does it well — then it improves people’s ... perception of them.” Myers and Lockhart agree that social media has done some amount of damage to the political climate with endless disinformation and political bots. However, Lockhart argues that looking back isn’t the solution, either. “I don’t know whether I harken towards some old age of Walter Cronkite reporting the news because back then, I think we were still pretty limited on which certain voices were heard,” Lockhart said. “Now we’re hearing more voices, but we’re also not getting as reliable of information.”

DISCONNECT: Two people argue, both seperated and amplified by the internet. In recent years, social media has given every voice a platform, for better and for worse. (cartoon by Ondine Cella)

Review: ‘Rules for Being a Girl’ is a new kind of YA novel ELLA MITCHELL Staff Writer When the ghost picture TikTok trend was dominating teen pop culture, my friends and I decided to hop on the bandwagon. Decked out in a light pink fitted sheet and sunglasses, our trio headed to the park to try to get some spooky shots. Running around as ghosts and basking in the true glory of the Halloween season, we were yanked from our fun when we saw a car start circling the park. Once. Twice. Thrice. “I might just be paranoid, but that car has circled three times,” I said. I could feel the weight of my friend’s look through the sheet as she dramatically lowered the sunglasses from her eyes and gave me that iconic “duh” look. “You aren’t paranoid; that’s just part of being a teenage girl,” she said. “Rules For Being A Girl” by Candance Bushnell and Katie Cotugno is a tribute to every girl who thinks they are paranoid. It examines the societal standards to which women are held to on a daily basis while exploring themes like

feminism and teen advocacy. A quick read that pulls no punches, “Rules For Being A Girl” is perfect for the young adult audiences. The main character, Marin, has gotten too good at following the “rules.” She isn’t too loud, she smiles and nods and she doesn’t dare to show off her dress-codeviolating knees. In the book, when her English teacher, Mr. Beckett, crosses the line into pedophilia and being an all-around creep, Marin is horrified. The worst part is, she somehow thinks it is her fault. Did she lead him on? Was it a miscommunication? Marin is done being quiet. She is done with people telling her she is confused. Armed with Munchkins and some strong opinions, Marin is ready to speak out. Her solution: the formation of a feminist book club. It is the perfect medium to have important discussions while also channeling her rage with the situation. Featuring reads such as “We Should All Be Feminists” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” topics such as casual sexism and intersectional feminism are brought to the limelight. The way people, as a collective, reacted to Marin exposing her teacher as a predator is very

telling. Why is the initial response to ask if the victim was confused? Why is society so hardwired to make excuses? Worst of all: why do we belittle the experiences of emerging women who speak out? The way the book was written compelled the reader to ask all of these questions. It made me consider my own privilege as a white woman, think about how to use my voice within my own community and also made me want to spit fire at the principal of Marin’s school. Loosely based on the author’s

experiences from college, Marin’s narrative isn’t a new one. It’s a sad fact, but even more reason why we need to see these themes within young adult literature. “Rules For Being A Girl” is one of many books to set the path to newer and bolder themes in the young adult genre. Gone is the dystopian era of “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight,” opening up a shining new era of books about teen activism, social justice, politics and feminism. And before you argue that one book can’t make a difference, I object. Media like books, movies and Instagram are ever-present forces in our daily lives that influence everything we do. Not in the robots-taking-over-the-world — looking at you, Ultron — sort of thing, but rather it shapes the way people, especially the younger generations, look at the world. For example, Gen Z put a hard stop to the yoga trend in the 2010s. But as soon as Emma Chamberlain wore yoga pants, rebranded as “flared leggings,” they were suddenly selling out of stores all over the United States. Never mind the fact that these “flared leggings” are the same monstrosities that the Gen Z previously called taboo. One small picture was able to change

the entire way we look at yoga pants. So why can’t one book force us to take a look at feminism? Answer: it can, and it will. We need empowering books that force us to take a look at the world’s problems. We need to take a look at the daunting injustices that people face and not run scared, but start chipping away. We need to change the narrative that teenagers don’t have a voice.

ELLA’S BOOK RECCOMENDATIONS Want to read some books over the holidays? Check out some of these.

“Reccommended for You” by Laura Silverman Set in a bookstore during the holiday shopping season, the employees of the shop try to one-up each other to win the holiday bonus.

“Her Royal Highness” by Rachel Hawkins Want to travel vicariously to Scotland this holiday season? Yeah, me too. Check out this book for a Scottish boarding school, random rock trivia and royal disasters.

“The Afterlife of Holly Chase” by Cynthia Hand “A Christmas Carol” told from perspective of the afterlife.


DECEMBER 16, 2020

Bolithon leaves art legacy RACHEL ZURBUCH Executive Features Editor


leven-year-old Cody Bolithon was standing in front of a crowd of tens of thousands with a microphone in his hand and a smile on his face. Bolithon was ready to sing the national anthem for a Chicago Bulls game. Amazed he had this opportunity, he was taking in this experience with awe and respect as he started to sing. This opportunity to sing was one of Bolithon’s most important moments as a singer, especially since it was at such a young age. In order to perform at the game, Bolithon participated in the Chicago Bulls Kids Talent Search that consisted of a series of competitions. First, he auditioned with a song called “Who’s Lovin’ You.” With that song, he won the primaries and then sang again for the finals. This was when Bolithon was in fifth grade, and then, in sixth grade, he performed the national anthem in the Bulls’ game. Being able to do this was revolutionary for Bolithon because of the attitude it started to instill in his life about the fine arts. “Just the fact that I did it, and I got through it,” Bolithon said. “I felt a lot more capable of performance in general and that I can perform to a large crowd of people.” Bolithon, now a senior at Prospect, has been involved in the fine arts since he moved to the U.S. from Japan when he was eightyears-old. He started lessons and joined groups at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center and continued that all the way up to Prospect, where he has participated in

show choir, choir and theater. Bolithon credits his initial involvement in the arts to his family. “Performance has always been a part of my life and my family’s culture,” Bolithon said. “... [We] really value art and music in general so that’s always been a part of my identity.” Bolithon has always looked up to his sister as a mentor. He remembers going to her school productions and being in awe. Bolithon began doing Metropolis summer programs at a young age, and throughout elementary and middle school, he performed in some professional theaters in Chicago. In fourth grade through seventh grade, Bolithon performed in “Oliver,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Billy Elliot the musical” and “Christmas Story.” However, Prospect was where Bolithon got to be involved in a choir for the first time. That jump led him to love the fine arts community and appreciate time working together as a team. This was especially prevalent in the show choir program. Bolithon participated in show choir from his freshman year until the program ended last spring during his junior year. Through show choir, he got the opportunity to do solos in their group performance. Sophomore year, his solo was in the mashup of “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran and “In the Still of the Night.”Junior year his solo was in the song “Walking in Memphis.” His sophomore year he won best male soloist at the Chicagoland and Brodhead competitions. His junior year he won awards at the Chicagoland and Milton competitions. During his time performing solos, he developed more confidence

as a performer. “You really just have to have a ‘go for it’ attitude when it comes to performance,” Bolithon said. “You’re always going to be second guessing yourself. You just have to go out there and trust yourself and your ability to perform.” Bolithon’s choir teacher and former show choir director Jen Troiano agrees that Bolithon’s confidence has grown immensely throughout his four years. Troiano remembers the first time that she met Bolithon when he was auditioning for show choir. “When I heard him sing, I was like ‘Holy cow. This voice is just wow. He’s got it. He’s got a natural talent,’” Troiano said. Troiano explains that since then, he’s worked to improve his skills. She explains that she knew he was shy coming in freshman year, but he’s really flourished in his skill level and confidence while performing in show choir and choir. “There [were] certain notes that he was not comfortable singing … Now he’s not afraid of any notes. He’ll sing anything now. He really learned and grew as a vocalist,” Troiano said. Bolithon agrees that he’s more secure in his voice now. “Adolescence is a big time of insecurity for anyone,” Bolithon said. “Performance has always been the one thing I’m good at. Having that one outlet in my life that I can feel sufficient in has really helped me overcome [challenges].” Prospect ‘19 grad Gianna Shaw was in show choir with Bolithon for his freshman and sophomore year. Shaw has always been in awe of his humbleness. “We kind of mentored each


STAGE FRIGHTless: Current senior Cody Bolithon performs his solo in the song “Walking in Memphis” during the show choir Chicagoland showcase. Bolithon has been performing since he was a little kid. (photo courtesy of Cody Bolithon) other in a way,” Shaw said. “He’s helped me gain more confidence in myself … [and] we kind of helped each other branch out and be more comfortable with others within the program.” Troiano loves the way that Bolithon has been the type of leader who leads by example. “Cody is dynamic in the most quiet way,” Troiano said. “It’s behind the scenes. He would talk to people personally and made that personal connection of ‘You’re doing a great job’ or ‘You’re so talented.’”

Bolithon plans to major in contemporary vocal performance in college. Currently, he has applied to Columbia College, Miami University, UC Berkeley, Belmont College and University of Southern California. “The biggest lesson I have learned from my time performing is a journey of learning that you are enough,” Bolithon said. “That just you going out and delivering at your full capacity, doing the best you can, that will be received by the audience. I’ve had to learn that I am enough.”


Currently on Knight TV...

Click the photo to follow two pairs of sisters’ successes through their end of season cross country meets. (photo courtesy of Pete Wintermute)


Year in Review: PHS sports CAMERON SULLIVAN

Executive Sports Editor


ith a 2020 sports year in shambles, sports fans haven’t had much to be excited about. While some sports came back, it truly has not been the same. Unfortunately, due to the IHSA suspending all winter sports and activities, sports fans are missing out on more sports. With this sports drought, it’s fun to look back on some of the sports that did happen this year. Here are five of the best sports moments for Prospect sports during this COVID-19 riddled year, including some pre-pandemic moments.

DOMINANCE: Even with an odd sports year, Prospect athletes have still found a way to be successful. These successes are numerous accomplishments from girls’ cross country winning regionals, sectionals and nationals, to wrestling having two wrestlers place at the state meet. (photos by Abby McKenna and Alexis Esparza and courtesy of Pete Wintermute, Jay Renaud and Brad Rathe) #1 Girls’ cross country brings home numerous titles

#2 Basketball’s upset win in the regional

#3 Boys’ cross country wins regional for first time since 2016

#4 Two wrestlers place at individual state meet

#5 Girls’ golf wins regional with individual medalist

MSL East, MSL conference, regional, sectional and the Hoka Postal National champions are all titles that the Prospect girls’ cross country team earned during the unusual 2020 season. “[Winning all of those is] rewarding for the work the girls have put in,” head coach Pete Wintermute said. “It’s been a lot of hard work. I think each week [has] made us appreciative of where we were.” In the Hoffman Estates Regional, the girls had four runners finish in the top five. Sophomore Hailey Erickson placed first with a time of 18:59.00, junior Audrey Ginsberg placed second with a time of 19:07.82, sophomore Cameron Kalaway placed third with a time of 19:17.12 and senior Annika Erickson placed fourth with a time of 19:23.09. After the regional meet, the girls won the Hoffman Estates Sectional with a total team score of 69. The next closest was Loyola Academy with a score of 99. In that meet, Erickson placed sixth with a time 18:11.70, Ginsberg placed 11th with a time of 18:33.57 and Kalaway placed 14th with a time of 18:38.20. These meets were very different this year as the runners weren’t able to run together, taking away the “pack mentality.” Instead of all runners starting at the same time, the top three runners would run together, then the next three highest ranked runners would run together and so on. Once all runners had finished, the times would be compared and the runners ranked just as if it were a normal pre-coronavirus meet. Lastly, the girls took home the honors of winning the Hoka One Postal National. In order to get their own times, there was an event held underneath the lights at Prospect. The girls were split up into individual races based on their ability and ran in order to get their times. Every high school did this same thing where they ran their own races and sent in the times. In the end, the times from schools across the country were compared, and Prospect won due to the fact that they averaged 11:39 per two miles and ended up being ranked number five all time, with their overall time of 56:36.8.

It’s tough to beat the same team three times; it’s just common sports knowledge that it is not an easy thing to do. Coming into the regional championship game, Buffalo Grove had beat Prospect twice before, once 63-61 and the other time 72-59. Buffalo Grove, led by then sophomore Kam Craft averaging 23 points per game, had the task of beating Prospect for a third time in the regional championship at Grant High School. “You’re never going to stop [Craft], the hope is to contain him,” head coach John Camardella said in an interview with the Prospector after the game. In that game, then junior Chase Larsen was able to lock down Craft by holding him to 11 points, well under the 23 he had previously been averaging. Larsen also had a solid offensive performance of his own, scoring 17 points. “Obviously [Camardella] is an unbelievable coach, but the way they were able to [get over] some bumps in the road early in the season and come back and win the regional like that … it created a pretty cool experience,” boys’ athletic director Dan Deboeuf said. With then senior Matt McAleer out with an injury, then junior Luke Zardzin stepped up and played a big role. He hadn’t started in any meaningful game all year long, until the regional semi-final against Barrington which they won 48-35, so this would be a challenge. Zardzin was up for the challenge, however, as he held one of Buffalo Grove’s top scorers, Damian Zivak, to zero points. Coming into the game, Prospect was the 11 seed, and Buffalo Grove was the three seed. The Knights ended up shockingly taking down Buffalo Grove with a 45-26 win. They then moved on to the sectional semi-final which was hosted at Prospect. The Knights took on Mundelein, and while it was a close game, Mundelein ended up winning 46-42. “I’ll remember this team; that’s one heck of a run,” Camardella said in an interview with the Prospector. “They did what a [Prospect boys’ basketball] team hasn’t been able to do in about a decade, so it’s a really big deal for our crew.”

Boys’ cross country head coach Jay Renaud had big shoes to fill after Hall of Fame coach Mike Stokes retired at the end of last season. It’s safe to say that Renaud at least began to live up to Stokes’ legacy as the team brought home their first regional championship since 2016. “It felt really good, obviously, for the whole team to just come together and win the regional championship in a season where we haven’t had that many chances to compete on a scale like that,” junior runner Sean Kura said during an episode of Prospect Sports Weekly. “It felt really good … to win it with that group of guys where we’ve all been working towards it for so long. It’s good to see it all come together.” The team’s goal heading into the year was to bring back a regional title to Prospect, and they did just that. In that meet, the Knights had a score of 54, easily beating the next closest team Maine West who scored a 75. The boys had five runners inside the top 15: senior Jack Dechoudens, who placed sixth with a time of 16:08.72; sophomore Luka Kuzmanovic, who placed ninth with a time of 16:11.46; senior Nic Squillacioti, who placed 11th with a time of 16:21.35; Kura, who placed 12th with a time of 16:24.26; and junior TJ Garland, who placed 16th with a time of 16:38.96. The win at regionals qualified the team for the sectionals meet, where they placed eighth. If there had been a State meet this year, they would’ve missed qualifying for it by 12 points. “I think we’ve set a really strong precedent. Last year, we finished sixteenth at the sectional and everyone was really upset, and I don’t think we said a word,” Renaud said on Prospect Sports Weekly. “We left this sectional meet really happy because a lot of kids ran really well or exceptionally well. We can’t control what other teams do just what we do, but winning a regional championship was huge in getting our momentum going again.”

For the first time since 1965, Prospect had two wrestlers place at the individual meet at state. Then freshman Will Baysingar and then junior Jack Milos both placed in the top five in the state in their respective weight class during the 2019-20 wrestling season. Baysingar had a record setting feat of 48 wins heading into the tournament and Milos had 47. “[Baysingar setting the record] was very impressive. [Baysingar] and [Milos] had a race going on pretty much all season, they were neck and neck,” head coach Tom Whalen said during an episode of Prospect Sports Weekly. They were both undefeated at this time as well. At the state meet, Baysingar only lost one match and managed to place third overall for the 106-pound weight class. Similar to Baysingar, Milos lost in the semi-finals, and he ended up placing fifth overall for the 132-pound weight class. “I didn’t expect it to go that well,” Baysingar said in an episode of Prospect Sports Weekly. “Even though I thought it would, I didn’t really think in my head that it was going to happen that well. It’s just a great feeling knowing that we’re making history.” In order to get down state, Prospect had to have an impressive regional and sectional performance, which they did. They won regionals for the sixth time in the past seven years with a total of 201 team points. They then went on to win sectionals as well, in the process they sent five wrestlers down to the state tournament. These wrestlers were Baysingar, Milos, then freshman Damien Puma, then junior Joey Miller and then senior Caleb Smith.

2013 was a great year for girls’ golf; they took home their second state championship in three years. 2013 was also the last time they won the regional, until 2020, when second-year head coach Brad Rathe led the girls’ team to a regional title. “It’s such a competitive area for golf, winning any kind of postseason tournament like that is a pretty big accomplishment,” Rathe said. “... [We have all these] powerhouse schools right around us that are really good at golf so it was a really cool accomplishment.” At the regional meet, senior Emma Preissing shot the best for Prospect with a score of 75 to help the teams total score of 324. By achieving that score, she was also a medalist, which means she won the regional tournament for individuals. “I know that [Preissing is] trying to play at the next level, and it’s just a really cool thing to put on your resumé,” Rathe said. Some of the other top scorers for this regional meet were senior Bri Arzbaecher, who shot a 76, and junior Abby Knott, who shot an 84. As a team, they beat out the next closet team, York, who scored 343. The Knights then advanced to the sectional, but on a cold and windy day, it did not go the way they had hoped. The team shot a 355 and placed fifth overall. Arzbaecher had the best performance for Prospect that day as she shot an 80 and placed eighth overall.

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Profile for Jason Block

Issue 4 2020-21  

Issue 4 2020-21