Page 1

1111 S. Dee Road • Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

1 e: age ur e p at Se Fe ial ew or N dit fE af St

October 14, 2011

Vol. 48, No. 2


RED and into the BLACK In a tough economy, Dist. 207 emerges from deficit spending

Park Ridge or Hollywood? City makes guest appearances in media Page 7

Bag the bag

The hidden dangers of using a brown bag Pages 10

Poster pressure Hallway advertisements prove unpersuasive Page 12

Athletes give back Hawks are champs off the field Page 14


Out of the

October 14, 2011

Vol. 48, No. 2



District 207:

Back in (the) black

How the budget crisis ended, and what it means for the future ily through tax revenue and also is property taxes. So interest income through interest income. said Super- went substantially down, 80% of intendent Dr. Ken Wallace. “A per- your budget is flat, all of a sudden news editors centage of interest income for us is now your revenue, which had been istrict 207 is once again op- a million dollars of income, and we on an upward trajectory is gone, and erating with a positive fiscal had not just one percentage, but two it’s going down.” budget, having earned a 6% surplus and three percentage differences in At the same time, school spenddue to cost-cutting and unexpected interest income. It’s a huge, multimil- ing increased. More staff was hired revenue increases over the past two lion dollar loss.” to decrease class years. During the 2009-2010 school “You saw a “It wasn’t just one person. I think sizes and many year, the District announced that it downturn in rev- everybody worked hard to really district employwas $16 million in deficit spending. enue in terms of try to be more prudent, to be re- ees saw salary Teachers were cut, class sizes grew, the state getting ally fiscally responsible and elim- raises. Mediand the District became the focal into trouble and inate things that weren’t neces- cal costs also point of much criticism. not being able to sary.” increased subThe District expects a final audit, give us the fund- Dr. Wallace stantially. to be issued in October, to show a ing that they had In 2009, surplus of roughly $5 million in been giving us in there was not a combined revenue and expenditures the past,” added Mary Kalou, Assis- Director of Payroll nor an Assistant of $280 million. For the 2011-2012 tant Superintendent for Business in Business Director. After one left take school year it had initially project- District 207. “You saw the consumer another job and the other retired, the ed a deficit of about $200,000. Al- price index drop substantially: one positions remained unfilled in an atthough this is progress, the district year it was one tenth of one percent, tempt to save money and lower adcontinues to diligently monitor its so that basically meant that we got ministrative costs. With fewer peofinancial situation. Future spending no new property tax revenue for the ple monitoring a multimillion dollar will be focused on improving school next year, where 80% of our revenue budget with various sub-parts, it was grounds, facilities, and technology.

Sarah Tarabey & Caroline Murphy


easier for the district to deviate from the fiscal plan. To help ameliorate the situation, a new business manager was brought in. Still, controversy ensued when the District first announced these fiscal problems in 2009. News of the $16 million deficit was met with intense criticism from students, staff, and parents. “I feel like that was just a way for the school to keep money,” said senior Kerry Warchol, on her initial response to teacher cuts. “It caused unnecessary panic because most teachers that kids liked were getting fired.” “I was angry that teachers were fired just because they hadn’t worked here as long as others,” added senior Christine Murphy. Many questioned why the debt was allowed to escalate to such a point. Accusations of mismanagement soon followed. “There was no mismanagement,”

A “Perfect Storm”: how 207 entered the red

Two years ago, District 207 announced it was in deficit spending, a result of several factors. The global economic recession skewed expected revenue projections within a matter of months. An increase in school spending for that year, coupled with a drastic cut in school revenue (which funds the budget and generally increases each year), plunged the budget into the red zone. “We derive our revenue primar-

Wait...what’s the difference again? deficit: the amount by which expenses exceed income debt: something that is owed



Winter 2009: News of District debt circulated

March 2009: District decides to spend $1.2 million on Maine South turf

October 2009: Cuts planned for $17 million deficit

January 2010: Students protest staff cuts in strike outside Maine South February 2010: School board votes to lay off 75 teachers

June 2010: Financial analysis released, district “runs a September 2011: significant deficit” D207 announces that March 2011: it is no longer in deficit 24 D207 teachers spending laid off July 2011: D207 approves budget with more than $3 million deficit

Vol. 48, No. 2

Revenues and Expenditures of District Spending 160,000,000

Saving Green by Cutting Costs


Spending (dollars)

The district’s financial situation changed due to internal efforts and external chance. Cuts were made across the board, and money came in from the state and reapportioned taxes. A deficit that was projected to be about $15 million for the 2010 school year was reduced to about $5 million. The District initially projected a $200,000 deficit for 20112012, but because of conservative estimates, the budget is now actually in surplus. In the spring of 2010, the district received 5% more than expected in property tax income, an increase of about $5 million in revenue. In Cook County, schools usually receive their tax revenues in 50% increments every six months. In 2009-2010, a change was made in the disbursement and the district got 55% where it had budgeted the normal 50%. Cost-cutting measures were based on more conservative revenue projection estimates. The district planned for more spending than occurred and less revenue than it actually received, which ultimately provided for more security in the budget. Contracts on big costs like natural gas and electricity were renegotiated and came in $425,000 under their projected budgets. Purchased services, like legal fees and transportation costs, are projected to come in about $1 million under budget. Staff as a whole monitored expenses, finding ways to use fewer resources more efficiently. Plans to update technology were delayed. 75 District 207 employees were laid off. Employee salaries and benefits were also almost $3.5 million under budget. Because of a large number of transfers, leaves of absence, job shares, and job reductions, 11 positions were not filled that had been budgeted in conservative estimates. Decreased usage of substitute teachers saved about $220,000. “It wasn’t just one person,” explained Dr. Wallace. “I think everybody worked hard to really try to be more prudent, to be really fiscally responsible and eliminate things that weren’t necessary.”


said Dr. Wallace. “That is a popular notion. That’s an urban legend, if you will. Mismanagement implies illegality and wrongdoing. Were there mistakes and human errors? Yes, there were.”

October 14, 2011

120,000,000 100,000,000 80,000,000 60,000,000 40,000,000 20,000,000 0 2007-2008 1

2008-2009 2

2009-2010 3

2010-2011* 2011-2012** 4 5

Academic Year

Key Some unanticipated forms of revenue also helped the financial situation. A Special Education payment from the state of Illinois for about $1.3 million was received earlier than expected. Revenue from the Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax (CPPRT), which Illinois collects on net corporate income, was $1.5 million higher than estimated. Although interest income was reduced by $830,000, total revenue was still about $2 million. Coming into 2011, all these factors contributed to a reduced debt. Also, many departments did not spend their full budgets. As a result, the district received revenues of roughly $2 million above budget for 2010-11 and totaled expenditures of approximately $7 million less than budgeted. In total, 6% of the $140 million budget was saved.

Ambitious Future Ahead

The district’s main future challenges will be keeping a close watch on the budget, being prudent in spending, and continuing to match revenue increases. Ultimately, the goal is stability and minimizing effects on students. But with the economy in an everworsening state, finding new ways to save will require innovative thinking. Plans by the state government to give

Revenues Expenditures

Source: District 207 Annual Financial Reports *Ms. Kalou’s estimation **2011-2012 Final Budget Report

homeowners tax reliefs could hurt Dr. Wallace. “We can focus on how the district, whose main source of to improve teaching and learning, and that’s the best news of all about income is those taxes. If this stability is maintained, the this.” As the district moves forward, district will focus on repair plans that it put aside a few years ago. Across personalizing schooling to fit indiall three Maine Township campuses, vidual students’ educational needs of students will maintenance be a topic of discosts will be “You’re always looking down cussion. One one of the the road for future generations. proposal is the first areas addressed. Maine We want to make sure that our introduction of East is in need employees, our students—ev- electronic tablets of an entirely eryone—has the same kind of to replace textnew roof, a environment and that we can books. Not only would this lessen project esti- sustain it into the future.” the weight of mated at $10 - Ms. Kalou heavy backpacks, million. At but it could exMaine South, technology is an area of concern. Im- pand greatly the number of educaprovement on WiFi throughout the tional resources available to students, especially if Internet or interacschool is expected. Regarding new staff, the district tive features are introduced. Other will be rehiring the teachers for posi- alternatives-such as online course tions left by retirees this year. It stress- programming, wider choices in stues, however, that hiring from now on dent arrival and dismissal times, and will be matched up with enrollment a move towards a more skills-based trends. In 2009, class size averages at curriculum-could also be realities Maine South were lower than many for future Maine South students. “You’re always looking down the elementary schools in America. A more balanced approach will be at- road for future generations,” said Ms. tempted in the future. Teachers will Kalou. “We want to make sure that only be brought in when necessary. our employees, our students-every“Being in a more stable position one-has the same kind of environis good and that’s where you want to ment and that we can sustain it into be, because now we can go in next the future.” year and not worry about this,” said



October 14, 2011

Vol. 48, No. 2


Big turnout at 5K race raises donation money Dora Bialy


news editor

n Saturday, Sept. 24, the 10th annual Anelise’s Run and 34th annual Park Ridge Charity Classic partnered to form a larger, single charity race with hundreds of registered participants and runners. Anelise’s Run is held every year in honor of Anelise Adam, a former Lincoln Middle School student who passed away at the age of 12 after being struck by a car while in-line skating. The proceeds from the combined race are going to the Park Ridge Park Foundation, the Park Ridge Rotary Foundation, Jeanine Schultz Memorial School, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In the ten years that the event has been held, eighty-five wishes have been granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The race was presented by the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce and Pickwick Theatre. The five kilometer (3.2 mile) race started at 8:00 a.m. with the starting line at 101 Summit Avenue in

Uptown Park Ridge. Following the Charity Classic course, runners had a mostly straight route with only one 180-degree turn and two 90-degree turns. Since the Charity Classic is part of the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA), the race brought in competitors from surrounding suburbs. The winner of the race was 23year old Christian Escareno from Mount Prospect with a time just under 16 minutes. Emma Keenan, a 2006 Maine South graduate, also twenty-three, came in first for the overall women’s division with a time of just over 17 minutes, beating her personal record. This is typical of the Charity Classic since it is known as Illinois’ Fastest 5K Course, and 32% of the All-Time Illinois Age Group 5K Records were set on it. The entire Maine South freshman girls’ volleyball team took part in the charity event in remembrance of Anelise, who played volleyball as well. One team member, Maureen Gaffney, who placed sixteenth in the female 0-14 age division, said, “It was pretty great because I had never ran that far before, and I had my team cheering me on and doing it with me. It was really tiring but it was the most awesome feeling when I finished.” Other Maine South students participated for more competitive rea-


Two local charity races combine

Christian Escareno and Emma Keenan, the male and female winners of the race, pose together following the September 24 race. Keenan is a 2006 graduate of Maine South and a graduate of University of Colorado at Boulder. She is now studying to be a nurse practitioner at Rush University. sons. “The reason I ran this race was to train for my next half marathon,” said Benjamin Woroch. Overall, according to event organizers, the single charity race

was a success; however, it is uncertain whether next year the races will choose to partner again. In the meantime, the four chosen charities will each receive a sizable donation.

the ranks of its students, then colleges want that information on the students’ applications. The debate over whether or not to rank is still ongoing. Still, the current ranking system is not set in stone. Optional ranking is most likely out of the picture, but there will be more school board meetings to further discuss this topic. “It’s a good decision not to rush it,” commented Stephanie Maksymiu, Maine South College Counselor.

and ACT scores who were not admitted to the school of their choice solely because of class rank. The board was very concerned about disadvantaging any student,” explained board member Bridget McGrath. There are also numerous alternative methods for high schools to rate students’ academic performance. One is a bell curve method that schools can use to show what percentile a student’s grades are in. Across the nation, high schools are dropping the class rank system. The National Association for College Admission Counseling reports that over half the high schools in America have chosen to eliminate the system. “Many school districts in the area do not rank, so I don’t think it is a done-deal” said Maine South counselor Tim Spiegel.

Class rank system changes again Original system is reinstated Kristen Van Tine


staff writer


his summer, at the July board meeting, District 207 officials decided to eliminate the class rank system. The proposed new system, which allowed students to choose whether or not they wanted their rank to be shown on their transcripts, created complications in the college admission process. The system was then switched back to Maine Township’s original method of ranking each class. The optional ranking system was not put into effect this year because it had some flaws. The new system gave


students the option to be ranked or not. If students chose to be ranked, then their numerical rank would appear on their transcripts, but students were not required to receive a rank on their report card. Two major factors contributed to District 207’s decision to change back to the ranking system. First, the electronic system used to make the report cards in Maine Township (Docufide by Parchment) does not give the option for individuals to make their own choices about whether their class rank is on their report cards. The system either ranks the entire school or no one at all. Additionally, when one student reports his or her rank in an application to a college, that college will request the ranks of all applicants from that district. If a school knows

Editorial: The class rank system should go for good. Page 13 The board will take its time in coming to a final decision, which will likely affect many, if not all, current Maine South students. “The board heard stories of students with good academic records

Vol. 48, No. 2

October 14, 2011

Popular bands launch comeback tours Nostalgic fans enjoy band revivals Nicole Shammo entertainment editor

usic preferences constantly change, and that means outof-favor artists are pushed out of the music industry. However, there are always those artists who attempt a comeback with a new album or tour. Not every artist can succeed at this, but the ones who do were usually very popular in the past. Here are a few bands who split up, got back together, and won back the hearts of their original fans. Blink-182: Despite their huge success, Blink-182 exited the mainstream spotlight suddenly and unexpectedly. In 2005, the members faced unresolvable internal conflicts over touring, recording, and management, causing the end of Blink-182. After the band split, Mark Hoppus, the lead singer, and Travis Barker, the drummer, formed a new band, +44. In the meantime, Tom DeLonge, the guitarist, formed his own band as well, Angels and Airwaves. At the 2009 Grammy Awards the three appeared together for the first time since 2004. There, Barker announced the reformation of Blink-182. The band has just released their comeback album, “Neighborhoods,” and has been touring since the beginning of August.

Def Jam. At the same time, Hanson released their seventh studio album; however, due to lack of promotional funding, the album was essentially a flop. The band left the label and began working independently. Unfortunately, this decision led to their quick decline in popularity. In 2010, Hanson released their eighth studio album, “Shout It Out,” and debuted at number 30 on Billboard 200.

singer, experienced panic attacks and anxiety and insisted on leaving the band. Frustrated by his departure, the group agreed to disband. In 2008, they reunited and released their seventh studio album, “The Block,” and began a reunion tour later that year.

Hanson: Hanson was the popular boy band of three brothers that had teenage girls head over heels in love in the late 1990s. Their most famed song, “MMMbop,” was the single that launched their success. They released their third album that same year, selling ten million copies. The following year, they began their first tour, which was also very successful. By 2000, the band’s label, Mercury Records, merged with Island

New Kids on the Block: This boy band was not one to find success with their first album, which was released in 1986. In fact, NKOTB was almost dropped from their label in 1988 after a single off their second album, which, similar to their first album, failed to win approval. However, a small radio station in Florida b e g a n playing the single, “Please D o n’ t G o G i r l ,” and it soon climbed to number ten on the charts – their first hit. By 1990, NKOTB was one of the most popular groups with almost 200,000 members in their official fan club. In 1992, allegations were charged against them for lip syncing and creative infringement. While the allegations were withdrawn, NKOTB faced heavy criticism for lip syncing and eventually, their popularity decline as did their album sales. While on tour in 1994, Jonathan Knight, the lead

Backstreet Boys: This ever-popular boy band rose to popularity in 1997 after the release of their second studio album, “Backstreet’s Back.” In 1999, their third album, “Millennium” was released and was the best-selling album for that year. In late 2000, their fourth studio album was released, but did not succeed to the degree of their first three albums. In 2002, the Boys were unhappy with their management company and desired to leave and sign with someone else. H o w e v e r, Nick Carter wanted to stay with their current label. Their inability to come to a consensus on whether or not they would leave the label led to their unexpected, indefinite hiatus. In 2005, they released a comeback album, “Never Gone,” but their unity lasted only a year when Kevin Richardson left to pursue his own interests. More recently, the Backstreet Boys went on tour for their 2009 album, “This Is Us,” and had a joint tour with NKOTB during the summer this year.

most votes from each individual tour stop. Surprisingly, the brothers have not grown tired of the hit that made them famous in 1996. Although their newest album “Shout it Out” was picked to be played at the Sept. 28 show, the brothers still included an acoustic version of “MmmBop” and “Madeline”—two singles from their very first album, “Middle of Nowhere,” which was released in 1997. Even with slightly deeper voices and shorter hair, the Hanson brothers continue to entertain. With a simple stage and banter between songs,

Hanson provided a completely laidback and casual experience. The brothers, all happily married with children, channeled an upbeat energy through songs from their newest album like “Give a Little,” “Thinkin’ About Somethin’,” and “Kiss Me When You Come Home.” Sprinkled in between songs from “Shout it Out” were songs from older albums. The brothers performed other songs from the early 2000s like “Great Divide,” “Go,” and “This Time Around.” For these songs, the brothers displayed their artistic abilities by switching musical instruments—showing that

each brother, on top of being able to sing, was capable of playing the drums, piano, and guitar. When their Sept. 27 show was cut short due to a fan falling off of the balcony and onto the fans on the floor, the group made sure to provide their fans with a double encore and a meet and greet after the show. Security at the next night’s performance assured fans that the man who fell off the balcony was fine. Hanson, even after 19 years of touring and performing, still captivates audiences and performs with youthful energy.



The Spice Girls: The Spice Girls were instant hits when they released their debut single, “Wannabe,” and they held the number-one spot on the charts for seven weeks in thirty one countries. The hype and publicity encouraged the girls to release two more singles which also topped the charts. Their debut album, “Spice,” held the number-one spot for fifteen nonconsecutive weeks in 1996. The next year, their second album was a global best seller, and the Spice Girls were deemed the best-selling pop group of 1997 and 1998. In 2000, their third album was released; however, their decline is credited to their decision to tour in pairs rather than as a group so as to cover more ground. Though they never officially split, they announced that they would begin working on their individual solo careers. In 2007, the Spice Girls reunited and they launched a world tour, “The Return of the Spice Girls,” tickets to which sold out within a minute.

Hanson concert brings back memories Ally Stevens


features editor

espite the 15 years since the chart debut of their biggest hit, “MmmBop,” Hanson has continued to tour the world, performing in front of both their loyal fans from the ‘90s and fans of their more recent records. Currently on their worldwide “Musical Ride Tour,” Hanson made two appearances at the House of Blues in Chicago on Sept. 27 and 28. As a part of the tour, the trio is allowing fans to vote for their favorites from the Hanson discography, performing the album garnering the



October 14, 2011

Vol. 48, No. 2

Trick-ortreaters’ guide to the neighborhood Adrian Adamiec


production head


alloween falls on a Monday this year, strippng many reputationconscious high-schoolers of the “I’m going to a party” trick-or-treating excuse. So you neglect to shave for a few days, don a green v-neck, and decide to rake in sweets as Shaggy or take to the streets laden with heavy makeup, passing yourself off as Samantha from “Sex and the City.” Your goal for the next four hours? Collect 25 lbs. of candy. To aid you in your quest, we at Southwords humbly offer you this guide. You’ll recognize common house-types, predict potential treats, and dodge those places giving out circa 1997 Candy Corn. Fold this baby up, put it in your pocket, and get ready to trick-or treat like a pro.

Spanish Revival

As far North as we are, these don’t show up often. When they do, chances are the owners believe snowflakes are a brand of cereal. Southern Hospitality

makes this home a must-visit on your route, but don’t bother with the usual greeting: Mother Nature will play enough tricks on this poor family in about a month, when they find themselves up to their short-shorts in white. Yup—should’ve closed the roof on that convertible. What to expect: Bag of assorted chocolate-bars. Occasionally, flan.

Post-war Suburban

Eight times out of seven, this house belongs to either your grandmother or somebody she plays Bingo with. Watch for cutesy wooden cutouts of rabbits, cats, or ladies in polkadotted skirts bending over to expose 19th century knickers. Ringing the doorbell is a gamble, as inhabitants are commonly either partially-deaf, or (if it’s after 5:30) sleeping. Pluses include a generally friendly geezer who is absolutely horrible at costume identification. If he thinks you’re his grandson, play along. Your pillowcase will receive: A handful of pennies, each one the approximate age of your dad; brandless, black-andorange-paper-wrapped taffy.

Folk Victorian

This residence can be summed up in one word: Average. Freshly cut grass, a moderate amount of Halloween decorations including Jack-o’-lanterns car ved by some 2.54 suburban offspring, and a bland siding paint job ranging from “vanilla-pudding beige” to the exciting “smoker’s teeth yellow” are all staples of this abode, much in the way the house itself is a staple of every single neighborhood you have ever been in, ever. Treat “variety”: John and Mary Smith ventured out of their comfort zone this year: expect pretzels.


Everyone on your block knows this behemoth, if only because the lot it takes up could fit at least four more houses. The circular driveway displays one of eight Lamborghinis (the orange one, to be festive) while two gargoyles flanking the double-doors make use of the extra underwear your mom made you bring. The address number of this house estimates the weight of chocolate you will receive in kilograms, providing you pull the

owner away from his/her private backyard concert headlining Yo-Yo Ma and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Paycheck: Jackpot, with a side of boiled goose.

The House Mailmen Won’t Even Approach

Was that lightning? I’m pretty sure I heard distant thunder too, but I couldn’t tell over the muffled, highpitched screams coming from this place’s basement. Half the stairs are missing, with the rest covered in what look like bite marks, while the lights exclusively go on between 2:20 and 3:45 a.m., and only then to cast horrifying shadows across your bedroom window. Know the one? Of course you do; you don’t mind doubling the speed limit when you drive past this thing after sundown. It doesn’t need decorations, it is a haunted house. 24/7, 365. Knock at your own risk. The last supper: Assorted rusty blades inside assorted expired fruit, blood-soaked pocket-lint, and BitO-Honey.

Fall play an adaptation of classic Paula Gawedzki staff writer


his year’s annual fall play is “Pride and Prejudice,” based on the novel written by Jane Austen. The show will be playing Oct. 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 each night, with a $6 admission fee. The cast has spent hours after school perfecting every detail of the play. At rehearsal, the actors have a different focus every day, working on a variety of scenes from the play. Scenes are divided, choreographed and practiced repeatedly, often times not in order. Despite the amount of work the cast puts into the show, acting isn’t the sole component of the production. Behind the curtain, a plethora of other components go into making the show: lights, audio, make-up, costumes, stage/set, and publicity, each with a crew of students. The play can be best described as a “British Gilmore



Girls” due to its speed, intelligence, and witticism. “Students who love Jane Austen or ‘Pride and Prejudice’ will enjoy this,” said Mr. Musynski, the director. “Even students who have never heard of her or read her book will enjoy it. This performance is an easy, accessible way to introduce someone to a classic in two hours.” The two lead roles are Mr. Darcy, played by senior Sean Cahill-Lemme, and Elizabeth Bennet, played by senior Claire Floriano. This play will be the sixth production Claire Floriano has been involved in at Maine South. “Practice is very fun,” Floriano said. “It doesn’t feel like you’re working and it always goes by quickly.” On the other hand, this is only Sean CahillLemme’s first Maine South production. “Hopefully I can deliver just as well as my experienced co-star and measure up to the previous wonderful actors and actresses the Maine South theater department has seen in the past,” Cahill-Lemme stated.

The male lead, Mr. Darcy, is a well-educated, wealthy man. He is narcissistic, and draws conflicted opinions from those around him. The female lead, Elizabeth Bennet, can be most simply described as clever, independent and strong willed. The relationship between the two leads is complicated because they come from different classes. Mr. Darcy is upper class and accustomed to the finer things in life, whereas Elizabeth is middle class. The play explores the relationship of two characters that couldn’t be more different from each other: Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. The script is written by Jon Jory who is an expert on adapting Austen’s work and turning them into plays. His adaptation stays true to the source material, keeping the play as similar to the book as possible. Jory selects parts of the novel that are necessary for a good understanding of the play, but manages to keep the dramatic, romantic, and comedic flow found in the famed, historic novel.

Vol. 48, No. 2

‘Action’ Ridge

October 14, 2011

Nicole Johnson


sports editor

espite the general consensus of Maine South students, the sarcastically-titled “Action Ridge” has received more action in the entertainment industry than it is credited for. In fact, more directors have said “action” in our neighborhood than you might think. From movies to television shows to commercials, both Park Ridge and District 207 have been featured in numerous widely-known productions.

“Blues Brothers”


Released: 1980 Starring: John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd Scenes in Park Ridge: A police chase with the two main characters begins when they are pulled over at the intersection of Cumberland and Gillick. Then they zoom past the Nelson Funeral Home and Shell Gas Station, up through the intersections of Talcott and Cumberland Avenues, ending with a spin out by one of the police cars, which occurred on the three-way intersection of Devon Avenue, Talcott Road and Courtland Avenue.

“The Breakfast Club”

Released: 1985 Starring: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald Scenes in District 207: John Bender (Estevez) swaggers across the former football field of Maine North High School. The Maine North gymnasium was transformed into a library set, where the Saturday detention was held.

“Sin Bin”

Coming Soon Starring: Michael Seater, Emily Meade and Bo Burnham Scenes in Park Ridge: Numerous takes in front of and sneaking into the Pickwick Theatre, and the house on the northwest corner of Prospect Avenue and Gillick Street serve as a full-fledged movie set.

“Shake It Up Chicago”

Aired: Disney Channel, 2010 Starring: Bella Thorne and Zendaya Scenes in Park Ridge: The outer view of the Pickwick Theatre is used as the Shake It Up Chicago dance studio.

“Dear Civic” (Chevrolet Cruze commercial) Aired: 2011 Scenes in Park Ridge: The exterior of the Pickwick Theatre was shown.

“Home Alone”

Released: 1990 Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern Scenes in Park Ridge: A Maine South letterman jacket is worn by main character Kevin McCallister’s older brother, Buzz.

“Bad Teacher”


Released: 2011 Starring: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch and Jason Segal Scenes in Park Ridge: The exterior of Lincoln Middle School on Lincoln Avenue was featured as the school in the film.

Future Hollywood Star?


he City of Park Ridge is not the only star appearing in Hollywood entertainment, Maine South student Joey Mack received his first minor acting role this past spring.

He is a featured extra in the upcoming movie “Sin Bin,” directed by Billy Federighi, a 1998 Maine South alumnus. The comedy revolves around the love life of high school student Brian and his titular van of ill-repute. Mack worked alongside “Life with Derek’s” Michael Seater and YouTube sensation and Comedy Central comedian Bo Burnham. “[Acting] is one of those jobs

where it is long days, long nights and lots of work,” said Mack. “When they shot multiple takes of the scene, it got very tiring and repetitive.” While Mack has no plans to pursue an acting career, he enjoyed spending time on the movie. “The overall experience was so amazing,” he said. “I am proud to say I can kick that one off my bucket list.”



October 14, 2011 Vol. 48, No. 2


Fashion classes pay off for MS grads Maine South alumnae find success outside of high school classrooms in the fashion world Kelsey Eichmann & Nicole Donnellan


staff writer and guest writer


housands of people invest hours of their time focusing on the fashion world. Fashionoriented television shows like “Project Runway” have been a huge hit, and movies like “The Devil Wears Prada” portray the fashion career many people strive for. For many, the addiction starts as a youngster—it is easy to notice a ten year-old girl’s burgeoning interest in fashion when she’s trying (and most likely failing) to find her sense of style. For many others, the obsession begins in high school. So where can fulfilling the dream of actually being part of this industry begin? At Maine South, Fashion I, II, III, and IV students learn the basics of sewing and soon progress into complex projects involving advanced construction skills. For those students not interested in only the construction of clothing, but also the production and business side of the fashion world, classes like Interior Design and Fashion Merchandising are offered. In addition, Maine South and Maine West collaborate to create a fashion show that showcases students’ fashion projects at the end of the year. Maine South has a program that makes it easy for someone already in love with the fashion world to fall even more in love with every side of it. The real question, though, is how can one pursue this career after high school? Is it even possible? If so, where and how can a typical Maine South student from Park Ridge do it? Although students interested in fashion may think they need to attend an arts school to pursue a career, which is not the case. Several girls came out of these exact same halls of Maine South and moved into the real fashion world to find out what fashion industry life in and out of college is like—girls that are currently attending such schools as the University of Missouri, Columbia College Chicago, and Philadelphia University. Maeve Kelliher, a member of the class of 2011, is currently attending Philadelphia University and is loving it. One of her favorite things about it is the fact that it is only two hours away from New York City. Not only was she able to attend Fashion’s Night Out, an international fashion event hosted by Vogue, but she was asked to help out with New York fashion week as well. She is studying Fashion Merchandising which means she is taking a mix of business courses and fashion courses. She says Philadelphia University is really well-connected and has heard of several upperclassmen having internships with Mulberry, Vogue, and Marc Jacobs- just to name a few. They also host monthly seminars featuring designers and companies like



Maeve Kelliher (second from left) and peers from Philadelphia University pose for a photo outside a New York store front during fashion week for the Vogue Council of Fashion Designers of America. Tommy Hilfiger and Anthropologie. Kelliher will be pursuing a mini study abroad program in Paris next semester. Rachel Rosales, class of 2009, advised high school students that they “need to love it.” She originally began her course of study at Columbia College in Chicago, majoring in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management with a focus in Fashion Business. “[Columbia gets] you involved in the industry immediately,” said Rosales. “Since the school is located in the heart of a large city, there were so many opportunities given to the students to be able to work professional fashion shows and get involved with up-and-coming local designers (and sometimes even big time designers). I remember the first fashion show that I got to work was a Pamella Roland runway show featuring her Spring 2010 collection. It was glamorous; tall, beautiful models, getting to physically handle the original sample pieces, Christian Louboutin and Manolos, and busy interns/workers organizing racks full of dresses... it was exactly how you would imagine it. And the best part about it all was realizing that I went from being just an admirer of fashion to actually being a part of it.” Rosales also loves that Columbia hosts an end of year fashion show to showcase their best designers. And she says they are very committed to connecting students with big companies through internships. One of her best friends just started an internship with Topshop, a British company that recently opened a new flagship in Chicago. Chelsea Vaccaro, class of 2009, chose to study at the University of Missouri. She is a Magazine Journalism Major with a minor in Textile and Apparel Management in hopes of writing for a fashion magazine in New York when she graduates. This upcoming summer, she plans to study in New York while interning at a fashion magazine. Some of her friends with similar plans have been paired with magazines such as Glamour and Cosmopolitan.

One of her best friends has an internship with Victoria’s Secret and acts as the liaison between the company and Mizzou’s campus. Several companies rent the runway and rely on students to set up promotional events and meetings on campus. During the year, she writes for the local newspaper, “The Columbia Missourian.” She’s also a part of a club called the Association of Textile and Apparel Management. Through this club she has “volunteered for a local fashion show, made donations and worked for campus yard sales, listened to speakers such as designers or owners of local vintage shops, helped with a ‘Cinderella Prom Project’ in which we find used prom dresses for local high school girls who can’t afford them, etc.” She also commends Mizzou’s efforts in networking for students. She has attended multiple career fairs at which several designers have been present. All four girls had similar advice to high schoolers. All noted that “you need to love it” and “you need to know what’s going on in the industry.” “If you don’t love it you will be miserable, but if you do love it, all of the hard work is worth it,” Vaccaro says. “Stay involved with fashion as much as possible.” “One way that high schoolers can prepare themselves is getting a job in retail because it’s important to know what keeps the industry alive,” says Justine Delgado, a member of Maine South’s class of 2009 currently working at Nordstrom. For those interested in the fashion industry for a career, the thought of being successful seems unattainable. The truth is, anyone can be successful as long as the right effort and connections are made. According to Kelliher, “You’ve got to keep up with current fashion news. Read all the magazines. You’re expected to know a lot about what’s currently going on. Take any fashion classes your school has to offer. Taking Fashion Design and Merchandising last year really helped me in my Fashion Merchandising class. Also, getting an after school or weekend job at a retail store helps a lot.”

Vol. 48, No. 2

October 14, 2011

Football named ‘Team of the Week’ Maine South football recognized as ‘Team of the Week’ by MaxPreps, the Chicago Bears, and the Illinois National Guard for their work on and off the field Nicole Johnson

The Maine South football team stand with the Illinois National Guard after receiving their ‘Team of the Week’ award. amongst the event’s top ten squads in the Open Division. Coach Inserra described the event as being “a tug of war against the airplane. It’s pretty cool. Fortunately, the planes are not moving.” The team donated a total of $1,000 to Special Olympics Illinois for this event—half of which was raised throughout the season, while the other half was awarded when the Hawks were named the MaxPreps Team of the Week. The recruiting site, the Chicago Bears, and the Illinois National Guard recognized the Maine South

football program during the Bears’ season opener on Sept. 11. Seven players—seniors Frankos, Danny Allegretti, Pat Barrett, Tyler Fahey, Luke Lenti, Ryan McCarthy, and Paul Preston—represented the Hawks, and traveled to Soldier Field to accept the accolade and check. “Our hard work as a team has paid off in more ways than winning championships,” said Frankos. “On and off the field, we are making an impact.” The boys received a little special treatment at the game, getting to watch part of the second half on

the field after accepting the award at halftime. “The coolest part was just being on the field. It was a once-in-alifetime experience,” said McCarthy. The criteria for judging vary; however, they are generally based on skill and overall performance. “[The honor] was not just for our performance this year but for our overall performance these past few years, recognizing our program as one of the top programs in the state,” said Coach Inserra. The Hawks football team is already planning ahead for the upcoming winter. Coach Inserra says the team will join the near 2,000 participants in the annual March Polar Plunge into the freezing waters of Lake Michigan to help raise money for the Special Olympics Illinois. It is clear that the Maine South football team relishes in their roles as volunteers and leaders throughout both the regular season and the offseason. “It brings attention to the fact that we are more than just football players,” said Frankos. “We love to give back to the community and to charities. The attention was well earned by our whole team and because of [the hard work of] players from the past. This award was an overall Maine South program effort.”


he Maine South football program, known for its work ethic and success on the field earned not only a state title last year, but also local recognition in a different venue as well. Police Chief Frank Kaminski presented the Hawks with the Chief ’s Special Award last April, commending the boys on their various acts of community service performed alongside the Park Ridge Police Department and for their commitment to Special Olympics Illinois. This year, the boys continue their tradition of service, specifically by raising money and increasing awareness for Special Olympics Illinois. Senior captain and wide receiver Jimmy Frankos believes in the importance of staying active in the community. “[As a team] we do numerous fundraisers for the Special Olympics and even the smallest contribution can make a big difference,” Frankos said. “We love giving back.” And give back they did. On Sept. 24, 20 of the football players participated in the annual Plane Pull at O’Hare International Airport to raise money for Special Olympics Illinois. They succeeded in hauling a ninety-ton airplane an impressive fifteen feet in 9.14 seconds, finishing



sports editor

Tumblers land at this year’s Homecoming Assembly Lauren Smith

Bueller’s Day Off.” Secretary of State, having now served under three The Jesse White Tumbling Team was named af- separate governors. He created the group in 1959 in Chicago as a lipping and diving across the turf, the Jesse ter founder Secretary of State Jesse White, who has White Tumblers performed for Maine South’s participated in gymnastics as a gymnast, teacher, positive alternative program for Cabrini-Green students and faculty on Sept. 16 at the Homecom- and coach. A well-known democratic politician, and Henry Horner public housing youth. MemWhite is currently Illinois’ second-longest serving b e r s must stay in school and maintain at least a ing assembly to kick off the weekend. C average (members and trainees whose “They were astounding,” said sophoGPA drops below this must attend tutormore Erin Ottesen. “It was like they were ing), and stay away from gangs, alcohol, in flight. If I could flip like them, I’d flip and drugs. With over 160 members as more than I’d walk.” young as six, over 13,000 male and female The Jesse White Tumblers are a group students have participated. of talented, well-known gymnasts. The The Scholars Program, established in troop performs over 1,500 times a year, 2000, provides academic and financial and travels all over the world to do so. support for current and former members Some of their destinations have included of the Jessie White Tumblers pursuing presidential inaugurations, television higher education. programs in Tokyo, and half time shows Not only gymnasts, the Jessie White at NBA, NFL, and MLB games. The Tumblers are entertainers whose perforgroup has also made many appearances mance at this year’s Homecoming Assemin American television and film, including “Late Night with David Letterman,” The Jesse White Tumblers perform at the Homecoming Assem- bly was a popular success among South “Good Morning America,” and “Ferris bly. Members of the cheerleading squad were used in the stunts. students and staff. PHOTO COURTESY MR. BEER


staff writer



October 14, 2011

Vol. 48, No. 2

Brown-bagging is easy...but is it safe?

Marisa Sclafani ccording to an informal survey, about 75% of Maine South students take a brown-bag or plastic bag to school for lunch. Brown-bagging is simple, fast, and extremely compact. What some students and parents fail to see, however, is that brown-bags are not always safe for food storage. Recent studies published in the Journal of Pediatrics show that sack lunches keep food at unsafe temperatures more than 90% of the time. The USDA recommends that perishable foods be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent risk of food-borne illnesses. Warmer temperatures allow bacteria to multiply at a faster rate, and the more bacteria that exist, the more susceptible one is to illness. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches may be fine for a brownbagged lunch, but all perishable foods need to be kept cold. There is a way to prevent common illnesses associated with warm




staff writer

10 SouthwordS

Temperatures at 7:30 am (°F)

Temperatures at 11:30 am (°F)

Insulated lunch bag with ice pack



Insulated lunch bag without ice pack



Brown bag



Plastic bag



food, such as using an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack. Elementary school students, parents, and grandparents use insulated lunch boxes, yet most high school students do not. An informal survey of Maine South students indicates that 92% of students who now use paper/plastic bags used an insulated lunch box in grammar school. Sophomores Gabi Lojewski and Ciosa Distasio agree that paper bags are easier for high school because they don’t need to be carried around all day and can be recycled. Jackie Ryer, a junior at Maine South, has an environmental perspective on lunch bags. “I use a purple, cloth sack that resembles a brown paper bag,” she notes, “I wash it every once in a while and it saves the environment and money. It fits perfectly in my backpack and is a

great size.” Although this lunch bag helps to reduce waste, it is no safer than a brown paper bag. In terms of keeping food fresh, only an insulated bag and ice pack will do. To prove how warm lunch bags become in a locker, Southwords conducted an experiment at Maine South. At 7:30 am, four bags were tested and temperature measurements were taken using a digital thermometer. An insulated lunch bag with an ice pack, an insulated lunch bag without an ice pack, a brown bag, and a plastic bag were placed inside a locker that registered 68.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Based on these results, it is obvious that the only way to keep food fresh is to use an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack. The ice pack helps to maintain a temperature below 40 even as the day continues. The insulated lunch bag without an ice pack becomes warmer than a brown paper bag and the locker itself. The heat is trapped inside insulation without anything to cool the food. No studies have proven that students have become sick from warm food in their lunch, but this may be because these illnesses are never blamed on food temperatures. For example, students who get sick during the day may blame their lack of sleep or contagious classmate instead of contaminated food. Whether you carry a rectangular lunch box or a lunch bag/tote, an ice pack can easily be added to keep perishable foods fresh. One lunch bag can last for months while paper bags must be bought and thrown out every day. The environment benefits, food stays fresh, and illness is prevented.

The Options:

Insulated Lunch Bag

Insulated Lunch Bag with Ice Pack Brown Bag

Plastic Bag


Student lunch temperatures are cause for concern

Planking paves way for new fads Charlie Vinopal



October 14, 2011


ver the summer, a new craze took the nation by storm. Everyone from grandparents to professional athletes were caught on camera lying in a horizontal position on the ground or on a unique plane. What I’m talking about, of course, is “planking.” There’s no doubting the success of the worldwide phenomenon that is planking, but the question, for me at least, is why? What exactly is so appealing about someone lying motionless face down in the grass? Planking actually originated in 1994 when comedian Tom Green went to a crowded market and introduced the now-familiar practice as a part of his variety show. What Green did was completely fine by me; it was unique, original and funny. I admit, the first few times that I saw someone partaking in the new craze, I was amused, but then pictures began to surface of just about everybody doing it (a National Planking Day was even established — May 25). From there, the fad quickly began to lose its novelty and my interest began to wane. However, this was not the case for the majority of my peers as planking continued to gain popularity. After much conversation with my classmates over the fad, I actually began to break down the appeal of planking. The spontaneity of the fad is a

main draw to the activity. As long as one has a spare moment and a camera on hand, the art of planking is possible. Certain fads in the past have met their demise simply because they require too much energy and preparation. Planking has a certain amount of simplicity to it, another aspect that draws the attention of the masses. People like that the practice really is nothing more than a person lying on the ground. A lot of fads have gone the way of the dinosaur and the dodo because they are too complicated. Some practices consist of too many things and lack the effortlessness that planking has. Planking lacks the gimmicks of other trends, which in turn kept it current. While the popularity of planking is diminishing, it is now beginning to evolve into slightly different and perhaps more dangerous practices. Fads such as “Batmanning” (which involves hanging by one’s ankles like our favorite superhero), “Owling” (in which one perches oneself on a pole or ledge to resemble an owl) and “Horsemanning” (in which one person makes it appear as they are decapitated while holding the head of an accomplice who’s body is hidden from view) are taking the ideas that make planking so appealing and turning it into their own trends. Obviously, the public is most likely not going to be talking about planking next year—or even next month for that matter—but the tenets that made it so popular will continue to be seen as long as social fads exist.

Vol. 48, No. 2

Exercise your voice—

write a letter to the editors Deliver signed letters to LRC 1 or e-mail to

Letter to the Editors I really enjoyed reading your article entitled "Internet killed the radio star" in the last issue of Southwords (Vol. 48, Issue 1). The article was very well written and demonstrated a level of research not often found in school newspapers. I also thought that the

graphic did a great job of showing students exactly what your article was all about. I plan on using some of the examples from your article when working with students on information access. Keep up the good work. —Mrs. Retrum

SouthwordS 11

October 14, 2011 Vol. 48, No. 2

Drinking posters’ irony not lost on students Otherwisegoodmessage clouded by irrelevance

drinking at a party doesn’t automatically mean I want to follow them—I, like many Maine South Austin Bryniarski students, am not a lemming. I’d managing editor rather the posters just tell us that s adolescents, we naturally drinking is bad and not have strive to be part of the group some outlandish statistic to presand obtain a sense of belonging. sure us into thinking that drinkPeer pressure dictates so much in ing is bad. our lives—whether or not we take These advertisements often the drive to Chipotle, or let someflaunt questionable statistics. one “borrow” math homework, or “77% of Maine South students drink. prefer pop over alcohol,” boasts As a matter of fact, we have one poster, entitled “Maine South been told all of our lives—by our students know what they like.” parents, our teachers, and our Alright, that’s great that almost coaches—to go against the grain, four-fifths of students prefer pop stand up for what is right, and reover alcohol—but that implies sist the pressure of our peers. that the other fifth prefers alThe thing is, though, that a sort cohol over pop, which is rather of “positive” peer pressure is being disturbing. Even the most recent used right here at Maine South: poster shows a surprising probdrinking posters. The often-ridilem. Four out of five students apculed, somewhat obnoxious, and prove of not drinking at a party, While drinking posters have an admirable always humorous leaflets that are but that means that one out of message, the execution is flawed. Perhaps scattered throughout the hallways every five—20% of students—do other methods of prevention should be used. may seem unimportant to the avnot tolerate when students don’t “The posters try to convince the erage student, but they actually drink at a party. The statistics student body that drinking is an un- that might otherwise convince us to have an honorable goal. The notorious posters are a prod- popular choice,” said senior Aman “go with the group” and not drink are uct of MCYAF (the Maine Communi- Kapoor. “They were made for good actually a darker portrait of some of ty Youth Assistance Foundation), an intentions, but I do not think they are the problems at Maine South. organization that wants to “provide 100% accurate.” According to Assistant Principal The thing is, the posters are not for Students Dr. Garlasco, the data residents with a foundation to make healthier choices.” The “Who Knew?” all that convincing to the typical high that MCYAF gets regarding drinkcampaign within the organization school student. Senior Connie Woo ing comes primarily from biennial is dedicated to gathering data about agrees. “To be honest, I don’t really surveys that evaluate perceptions and perceptions of drug and alcohol use pay attention to [the posters]. I don’t truths about the matter, and the next in the Maine 207 school district and think it really makes an impact on survey will be this February. Hopefuldisplaying the results—with a few people.” ly, the study finds that numbers have Why would I want to associate my- decreased, but students still seem to other things—on the posters that we self with that outcast Napoleon Dy- be laughing and pointing rather than see throughout the school. The technique used on the post- namite (who appeared on a fall 2011 learning a lesson. ers is referred to as “Social Norms poster)—the kid who eats tots out of I laud the efforts of MCYAF and marketing.” This entails updating you his pockets? What special connection understand that teen drinking is a on factual tidbits like how many stu- do I have to the pushover Grandma serious problem at South. Although dents don’t prefer alcohol over soda from “Happy Gilmore” (who ap- hard evidence from Northern Illinois or smoke in the last 30 days, and is peared on a winter 2009 poster)? I University and around the Illinois supposed argue that if a majority of didn’t watch the Royal Wedding…so suburbs seems to point to the argustudents don’t participate in those ac- what do I care if Prince William and ment that Social Norms marketing is Kate Middleton are the epitome of an effective way to curb use, no hard tivities, then neither should you. Wait a second, did the school just “classy” (appearing on a Spring 2011 evidence has yet been found that the poster)”? The content of the posters, teen drinking numbers have gone use peer pressure against you? While we can largely agree that as far as images go, detract from an down at Maine South. Perhaps more underage drinking is bad, this mixed already-diluted message. of the foundation’s resources could be While there is nothing wrong allocated to changing behaviors inmessage is almost hypocritical of the organization. We’re supposed to ig- with the fact that anyone would want stead of changing perceptions. nore our friends if they “pressure” us to curb underage drinking, it still Getting to the heart of the matto drink or do drugs—and it makes feels wrong that, in order to get me to ter—raising awareness of the dangers sense to not succumb to this pressure make the right decision, advocates of of drugs and alcohol, increasing parin order to avoid unhealthy decisions. individuality are—all of a sudden— ent involvement, and creating student But the same people that plead with believers in following the status quo. leadership—are all ways that MCYAF Just because, according to the has worked towards a society that us not to say “yes” to bad decisions, in effect, are using peer pressure to in- most recent drinking poster, four doesn’t base social activity on getting fluence us to make healthy decisions. out of five students approve of not wasted, and all with success.



12 SouthwordS

Maine South High School 1111 South Dee Road Park Ridge, IL 60068 Signed letters to the editor should be delivered to LRC 1, given to a member of the commentary staff, or e-mailed to SOUTHWORDS reserves the right to edit material for clarity and brevity and to reject obscene/libelous submissions. Editors-in-Chief Jimmy Loomos Charlie Vinopal Managing Editor Austin Bryniarski Production Head Adrian Adamiec News Editors

Dora Bialy Caroline Murphy Sarah Tarabey

Entertainment Editors Nicole Shammo Josh Timm Features Editors Des Mustafa Ally Stevens Commentary Editors Gianna Carrozza Sarah Hands Soren Ramsey Sports Editors Hope Allchin Nicole Johnson Erin Martell Copy Editor

Adam Smith

Photography Editor Josie Fioretto Adviser

Mr. Stathakis

Vol. 48, No. 2

October 14, 2011


Class rank takes away from high school experience

A source of this stress is obviously the question of how class rank affects a student during the college admissions process. A buzzword in the college admissions process is “top 10%”—a student in the top decile of his or her class makes him or her a great candidate for whatever college they choose to attend. This labels 90% of students as undesirable. What about those students in the 11th percentile of the class? What about those students in the 12th percentile? Are they really that different from the top 10%? For the Class of 2010, the last person who made the cut into the top 10% had a class rank of 65 and a GPA of 4.2703. The next person in line, with a rank of 66, did not make it into that selective group, because his or her GPA was 4.2500. That’s a two-hundredths of a percent difference in grade point average that made one student a lot more appealing to a college than the other. That could be a drama class a student didn’t take pass/fail, or the B received in freshman math, or the one final exam they forgot to study for. To rank students on nearly indiscernible differences is simply not fair. It’s not surprising to find competition in the academic sector of high school life. Class rank inevitably causes competition, and while some might say it motivates students, the number haunts more than it inspires. This source of stress is bound to make high school a less enjoyable experience. If your rank is 300, you may be concerned with the idea that number 299 is “better” than you. Don’t be. No matter where you are on the spectrum, there’s still the constant burden that your grades aren’t high enough or that you should’ve taken a harder course. Without class rank, students would come to school a bit more eager to learn rather than just to compete. Because it is so detrimental to the high school experience, a system with class rank clearly ranks below one without.

five-point scale. Taking advantage of other opportunities to avoid the lowering of GPA (and thus, class rank)—like getting out of state-required courses such as Consumer Education, Oral Communications, or Physical Education—is also quite common for the rank-obsessed student. The Pass/Fail system is also now used as a trampoline for students who want to take four-point courses without lowering their class rank. High school should be a time of academic exploration and examina-

tion of what we want to do for the rest of our lives. A large factor in determining how exactly that journey is taken is where one decides to attend college. Ironically, this fixation with college admissions can cause a student to veer off the path of learning-for-the-sake-of-learning. If learning becomes a competition, then school ceases to serve its original purpose. For so many students, class rank is a burden, keeping them from taking advantage of everything Maine South has to offer, hindering their abilities to learn freely.


high school experience should defined by the friends and memories one makes in four special years. However, to some, that experience boils down solely to college preparation. GPA, program of study, and test scores are all helpful in evaluating college readiness, but the “class rank” aspect of a high school transcripts does more harm than good. Instead of accurately portraying the performance of the student, class rank measures the performance of the student against his or her peers in one specific high school. If a student’s class rank is 124 in a class of 619, for example, only one thing is obvious: there are 123 students in his or her grade with a higher GPA and 495 students with a lower GPA. Class rank measures the strengths and abilities of an entire class rather than of a single student, and should not be one of the few numbers that represents a student during the college admissions process. Discrimination in the class rank system is also evident; Accelerated and AP classes are graded on a five-point scale instead of a four-point scale. A student with all four-point classes would then have a significantly lower weighted class rank than that a student with a few more accelerated classes. However, if both students worked equally as hard, received similar grades in their classes, and are both capable of success in college, shouldn’t class rank reflect that? Course tracking exists to put students at a level where their potential is best realized. The ability of a student to reach his or her full potential should be what shines on an application—not the number of five-point classes they took. Every student learns differently—the class rank system is not comparing apples to apples, but apples to oranges. Unfortunately, class rank becomes the primary motivation for many students when picking classes to take. “Cheating” the system is common, and it’s done in a variety of ways. Some students will take “easier” accelerated or AP classes—classes that have a reputation for not being too difficult, but still are graded on a



SouthwordS 13

October 14, 2010 Vol. 48, No. 2

Maine South athletes give back

Teams involved not only in competition but in community as well Nicole Johnson & Hope Allchin sports editors

Katy McCortney, Class of 2008 Illinois Wesleyan University Major: Psychology Sport: Swimming/Diving Record: Placed third in one-meter diving at the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Championships (2010).


dance teams Both junior varsity and varsity Hawkette Sept. 11 for on d crow performed for the 1,500-person ol. Scho High East Hope Fest at Maine

The varsity football team sent 30 of their players to volunteer at the Misericordia House in Chicago on Sept. 11. They helped to serve meals to the house’s permanent residents and the children who visit during the day.

Ian McGuire, Class of 2010 Illinois Wesleyan University Major: Business administration Sport: Soccer Record: Played in eight games and started one in his freshman year at midfield.

Tony Albano, Class of 2011 Illinois Wesleyan University Major: Business Sport: Golf

14 SouthwordS

y of m

Spencer Groessl, Class of 2011 Illinois Wesleyan University Major: Business Sport: Golf


Brendan Mullane, Class of 2011 Concordia University Chicago Major: Communications Sport: Soccer Position: Midfield/Forward

g r. kin

Freshman players to watch for:

co photo


eric freemo

The cheerlea ders are com pleting a min hours each imum of five to benefit th service e communit teered with y. They have numerous or volunga nizations, in bined Anelis cl e Run and the Park Rid uding the comHave Dream ge Charity s, and Park R Classic, idge’s Nation al Night Out .

photo courtesy of mr. inser ra

Frank Marchiori, Class of 2009 Illinois Wesleyan University Major: Accounting Sport: Soccer Record: Team captain, started all 16 games last season and 17 games his freshman year on defense.

photo by

ey photo Courtesy of ms. gran

Many talented Maine South athletes continue playing after high school. Here is a look at a few of them.

Maine South athletes are known for their high level of commitment, but they are equally dedicated to the community. Teams are stepping up as role models and advocates within the neighborhood and are setting an example for both elementary and middle school students as well as all members of the community through their volunteer work.

irls’ man g rh s e r f The m pa all tea volleyb in the comd ticipate nelise Run A d e idge bin Park R on e h t d an Classic Charity r 24. They be Septem e youngest th e r e w an the who r group 5K.

Vol. 48, No. 2

October 14, 2011

Girls’ swimming has high hopes for state editor-in-chief


he girls’ swim team has begun their season well and hopes to compete at the state level as the regular season winds down. Juniors Tyler Gooding, Maddy Coffey, Lauren Buszydlo and sophomore Jenna Zitkus went to state last year and the team’s main goal this year is to build on that success and send even more girls downstate. The team started the season off strong against Conant High School on Aug. 30, winning 117-38. From there the Hawks competed in the Highland Park Invitational on Sept. 10, beating out seven other schools on the back of a spirited performance by Gooding. The junior placed first in the 50-yard freestyle (25.87), first in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:13.11), and was a part of the winning 200-yard medley relay. On top of that, Zitkus won the 100yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke and Buszyldo was victorious in the 100-yard freestyle. As seen in the Highland Park invitational, the Hawks will be leaning heavily on the success of those who qualified for the state competition last season in Buszyldo,

Coffey, Gooding and Zitkus. Maine South continued their winning ways in the Sept. 17 Palatine College Events Invitational, placing third in the six-team event. Coffey led the way for the Hawks; she finished second in both the 200-yard freestyle (2:16.12) and the 100-yard freestyle (1:02.08). The team started off divisional play against Maine West on Sept. 23, emerging victorious with a 118-68 victory. The Hawks finished first, second and third in the 200-yard freestyle behind junior Christina Kaminsky (2:05.02), Buszydlo (2:07.87) and sophomore Hannah Ferstel (2:10.43) to help the Hawks win the meet. They also got the job done in relays, winning the 200-yard medley relay (1:59.74), 200-yard freestyle relay (1:48.22) and the 400yard freestyle relay (3:47.24). The news was not all good for the squad, however, as they fell 145-40 to a strong New Trier Trevians team on Sept. 30. The loss to the CSL South power dropped them to fifth place in their division. Even though the team has faced some hardship, Coach Kura is still pleased with their talent. “This year, we’re swimming well in both meets and invitationals,” said

Tyler Gooding practices her freestyle in preparation for the upcoming varsity meets. Coach Kura. “We’re doing a great job sophomores and two freshmen, the and even better than in years past.” Hawks are looking to capitalize on Fortunately, the Hawks still have the talent of their underclassmen in more than half of the season to catch the 2011 campaign. the Central Suburban League leaders. “We’re a young team and we like to With a collection of strong swimmers, have fun,” said one of the two seniors, the Hawks will continue to utilize Taylor Sutschek, “but when we get in the talent from the group who went the water, we give it our all.” to state last year and hope to send Even with their youth, the girls’ even more swimmers this year. With swim team has high expectations for only two seniors, seven juniors, three the remainder of the season.

The senior teams have triumphed in the annual event’s first two iterations. This year, they scored 30 points against the juniors, who scored none—the first shut out in Maine South Powderpuff history. Although Powderpuff is a relatively new tradition, the fan turnout has grown significantly during the last two years. The stands were filled

with a variety of fans from parents, to students, to teachers. Yet, the senior fans still outnumbered those of the juniors. The juniors attempted to stay on pace with the seniors’ explosive offense, but the upperclassmen proved too powerful. Senior Nicole Johnson caught two touchdown passes, with Maddy Vogg, Nina Duric, and Mor-


Charlie Vinopal

Seniors win third annual Powderpuff game entertainment editor




The seniors huddle up to celebrate after their win against the juniors in the event’s first shut-out victory.


omecoming week creates genuine memories for many students, especially during the culminating Saturday night dance. However, after the third-annual Powderpuff game, the class of 2012 has something far more unique to remember than simply the dance.

gan Faley each adding a tally of her own. Under the watchful eye of Coaches Young and Kaye, the seniors were able to keep the juniors off the scoreboard and went home with a victory. The juniors will have a chance at redemption next year when they go up against the class of 2014 in the next Powderpuff football game.


Nicole Shammo

Before the game, the juniors gather on the sidelines to discuss game plans.

SouthwordS 15


• girls’ volleyball • cross country • girls’ tennis • golf • boys’ soccer • girls’ swimming

Girls’ golf breaks school record staff writer

This year’s regular season was a remarkable one for the girls’ golf team. They were able to set a school record by finishing the year with the best dual meet record in the program’s history— an impressive 9-3 record. This record also landed them a third-place finish in conference. The girls were the champions of the Hersey Invitational and finished second at the Galesburg Invite, which is an annual favorite for the team. They get to spend time bonding while staying overnight in Galesburg and competing against strong competition from throughout the state. Not only was the varsity team successful, but the junior varsity team also made program history. They finished second in their conference and were an impressive 4-0 at home. Their

undefeated home record exemplifies their skill and familiarity with the Indian Boundary Golf Course, their home course, according to girls’ head coach, Mr. Hamman. The varsity team consists of ten players: Leia Atas, Valerie Castelluccio, Kathleen Daly, Carly Inman, Katie Krall, Meredith Machon, Kelly McCone, Claire McGuire, Sarah Ronan, and Nicole Schaul. But even with so many girls on the team, all are able to contribute to the team’s success. “All of our girls on the team have made significant contributions this season,” said Coach Hamman. “It has not been one or two girls carrying the load. Our girls know that each and every girl can step up at any time.” Machon, a senior captain and three-year varsity member, shot a career best 81 at the Hersey Invite

which earned her second place overall. Atas, a freshman, shot an 83 and finished fourth at the same invite. Another notable performance came from freshman Krall, who shot an 89 at the Central Suburban League Conference Tournament on September 27. With two varsity players scoring so well as freshmen, there is hope the team will continue this success in future years. What makes golf unique is that it is a highly individual game, so the girls are mostly working on individual drills and focusing on their short game. They regularly do different drills involving chipping and putting. Although most of their time is spent on the short game, the girls do spend quite some time at the driving range working on their power hitting and drives. Coach Hamman predicts more

wins in the near future. With a possible state run just around the corner, the girls are practicing like they have been all season, following the advice of taking it “one stroke at a time.” They advanced to sectionals for the first time since 2008, and they hope their run is not done just yet. Depending on their play, a strong performance from their top players could result in their advancement to the next round of the postseason. In such a high-pressured game, Coach Hamman focuses his team by always encouraging them to stay calm and just play. “In golf, you can’t worry about the other players in your group,” said Mr. Hamman. “Your main opponent is the golf course. The most important shot in golf is the next one. You have to be relaxed and take it one shot at a time. It is such a mental game.”

Keenan Mckenzie

Mady Baer

Joe Gryzik

Meredith Machon

What song has the most plays on your iPod?

“I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys

“Dancing Queen” by ABBA

“Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus

“Aaron’s Party” by Aaron Carter

What is the first Halloween costume you remember picking out?

An M&M

Wendy from “Peter Pan”

Darth Vader

A sheep

What is a food to avoid on a first date?


Meatball sub

Double-Dog at Gene and Jude’s


What Disney character do you consider yourself most like?


Jesse from “Toy Story 2”



What is your “guilty pleasure” television show?

“Desperate Housewives”

“Jersey Shore”

“Keeping Up with the Kardashians”

“Toddlers and Tiaras”


Kay Thursby

Vol 48 issue 2  
Vol 48 issue 2