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Spokesman Wheeling High School

900 S Elmhurst Rd., Wheeling, IL 60090

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Feature of Media Program

Volume 54

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A look into Flex Days

Issue 2

Page 9

Goldfinch Movie Review

Foyer continues remodeling Ana Cozariuc Copy Editor

While Student Council was setting up the decorations the weekend before homecoming, WHS staff installed couches, chairs and tables into the foyer. Although students could not see the full thing due to the decorations, they now can see how much the foyer has improved. This new layout not only makes the foyer look great but it comes with some perks as well, such as charging stations for your iPad or phone and, not to mention, no more dirty carpet. Before the remodel, the foyer was filled with carpeted benches that were basically part of the floor, but Henry Brown, associate principal, made sure that the couches could easily be cleaned and taken care of. These couches are also able to come apart so that the foyer layout can be moved around if necessary. A lot of students have expressed their opinions on the new foyer, most of it positive. “I’m definitely impressed by how it turned out and I really like it. It gives the school an almost modern feel to it,” Michelle Mendoza-

October 18, 2019

Sandoval, sophomore, said. “Looks pretty rad now. Love the new egg chairs,” Angelina Leon, sophomore, said. The modernness that the foyer now has is most likely due to the leather seats and stone-like chairs. These chairs can seat one to two people and are set in groups of four in a circle, which gives a little more space than the couches. Although the foyer looks great, it is not yet finished since there are a couple of empty spaces around the foyer. WHS is still waiting on three tables, chairs and benches. “I’m happy with how things have turned out thus far. The students I’ve spoken to enjoy the seating options. I only hope that our students are appreciative of the new furniture that Mr. Cook has allowed me to purchase for them. They deserve nice things in their school and we can continue buying more thing[s], as long as we take care of them,” Brown said. Brown noticed that the old seats in the foyer needed to be updated, but when the WHS staff took them out they found a lot of garbage. WHS students have a history of leaving places messy, and that can affect the school’s decision of what students deserve and get.

Page 12 Tracking fall sports records

Instituting conversations

Pictures courtesy of Jerry Cook, principal, and Dan Weidner, associate principal.

On Oct. 14, staff participated in one of their yearly institute days, a day focused on collaboration. The agenda for the day centered around several topics, including SAT data, strategies and planning. Story continued on page two.

Early bird gets the workout Kamila Walus

Associate Editor-In-Chief

Foyer photograhped after remodeling, including furniture.

Hallways scarce of posters Kristin Dawson Staff Reporter

Posters advertising clubs and sports all around the school have been taken down recently, and students and members are being left confused with their flyers disappearing. Henry Brown, associate principal of operations and student services, shares the truth about why club and sport posters being taken down. “One of the things I heard from our sports staff, our teachers, students and even a couple of parents was that we’ve got tons of great stuff that we’re doing but the information is not very well organized or centralized,” Brown said. There are several posters located around the school, and a couple that were “hidden,” according to Brown. “I’ve actually told people that when you have something, post it here and

it should be this size. We tell them as politely as possible, but some students have been disobeying and putting the posters wherever they want, and we’ve had to take them down,” Brown said. And not only is this situation a hassle for the associate principal, it’s an even bigger sore for the maintenance crew. “The maintenance people have to take down all the posters. There’s a certain type of tape the students are supposed to use, but they’re using other types of tape, and what that does is it chips the paint and it damages the walls and it makes it really hard for the maintenance guys to take down the posters,” Brown said. The bulletin boards are located in mainstream areas, like the foyer and the main hallway. From this point on, all club, sport, and event posters will only be permitted on the bulletin boards. If placed elsewhere, they will be taken down.

This year at WHS, administration reintroduced the Early Bird PE course that takes place during the zero hour in a student’s schedule. After being taken off the list of available courses back in the 2017-2018 school year, students now have the opportunity to take the zero hour course. “The reason it was taken away was because of the staffing components, it had nothing to do with the teachers, it had nothing to do with the students willingness to take the course, just that we didn’t have enough staff to provide the opportunity of taking this class for the last couple of years. Fortunately, for this particular academic year, the staffing was reinstituted, students always had interest in the course, and as a result, got back into the course,” Robert Sochowski, guidance counselor, said. Although the class starts at 7:00, students have cooperated well with the demanding call time. “I think for the most part we are traditionally on time, and I think it can be hard. The program itself is hard. The program is

meant to be challenging, and I think the class has responded especially well to that. First of all, it’s 6:40 in the morning. Second of all, we’re asking you to work right after you got up, so I think it’s been a positive response,” Brent Pearlman, PE teacher, said. “I wanted to take an extra class during the school day without having to take a sport during the fall. It is definitely hard to wake up and get to school before 6:40. Because it’s so hard, I switched my sleep schedule to where I sleep as soon as I come home at 6, and sleep until 12 and then do homework until early bird. I walk to school, so getting there isn’t a problem, but there’s definitely a decrease in my zero period class,” Syeda Khan, junior, said. Students say there is a clear difference between the early bird course and a regular PE class. “Early bird is more intense and focuses more towards self improvement and really working on your physical strength while regular PE provides a more basic form of physical activity,” Khan said. “I feel like I’m a lot more motivated in the morning, and Pearlman gets me more motivated than any other teacher as well. It’s pretty easy. I leave the house at 6:20, get there by 6:30.” Robert Bucko, junior, said.



Spokesman Staff 2019-2020

SAT workshops prepare students Kamila Walus

Associate Editor-In-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Santiago Cuevas* Associate Editor-in-Chief Kamila Walus* News Editor Kamila Walus Arts Editor Erica Hayden* Feature Editor Santiago Cuevas Assistant Feature Editor Daniel Aguiniga Focus Editor Jasmine Yusef* La Voz Editors America Munoz* Jesse Carrillo* Entertainment Editor Rachael Lawson* Forum Editor Ana Malagon* Assistant Sports Editors Matthew Posner* Jared Freeman* Mitchell Fister* Copy Editor Ana Cozariuc* Social Media Manager Kaidence Katz Web Manager Ethan Polak Adviser John Uhrik Advertising Manager Jasmine Yusef Staff Reporters Chrissy Makris Jessica Bezkhlebetskiy Kristin Dawson Jasmine Bautista Melanie Aguilar Cecilia Herrera Ben Williams Iran Terra *Staff members with asteriks are members of the Editorial Board

The birthday feature on Page 5 will be discontinued due to misinformation. Spokesman apologizes greatly for any insensitivities perceived.

This is the official student newspaper of Wheeling High School, 900 S. Elmhurst Road, Wheeling, Ill. 60090. Written, edited and distributed 8 times a year by advanced journalism classes, independent studies and other interested and qualified students. Produced by using desktop publishing and is printed by Son’s Enterprises, Inc., Skokie Ill. Mailed subscription $15 per year.

October 18, 2019

• Continued from page two. On Oct. 14, teachers met for an institute day while students stayed home. Although different departments had different workshops and tasks, the main idea of the institute day was to focus on preparing students for the SAT, writing letters of recommendation for students and making them feel more equipped to go to college. The SAT, a standardized test all high schoolers are required to take, traditionally takes place during the spring of a student’s junior year. Teachers gathered to discuss how to better prepare students when it comes to the standardized test. “One takeaway from today is that we are trying to, as a team, put all of our collective heads and brains together and decide how we could best support you guys as students, specifically regarding the reading part of the SAT. Diving even deeper into the SAT, is the evidence based reading and writing part. The

questions we know you guys struggle the most with after analyzing data, is the words in context. A lot of workshops today were based on thinking the way we teach, how can we change some of the ways we do things to better prepare you guys as you get to that test,” Michael Bosco, Spanish teacher, said. Two key components that were highlighted during the workshops were the use of words in context and the command of evidence throughout the SAT. “It was about what the SAT is asking our students in terms of words in contexts and command of evidence, and how we can shift our instructional practices in order to have students have stronger performance in those areas on the test, Rebecca Kinnee, English teacher and teaching and learning facilitator, said. Throughout the teachings, one thing the teachers were encouraged to implement into their lessons was the basic skills that emulate the words in context and the command of evidence demonstrated on the SAT. “I had a great conversation with two other teachers on how we could implement SAT style thinking and

Global News California

On September 30th, Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, signed the Fair Pay to Play Act. This act will not require colleges to directly pay the athletes, but it will allow college athletes in California to have the ability to make money off their name and image. For years the NCAA has been reaping in the profits from the athletes’ talent while the athletes receive absolutely nothing. Just to put it in perspective, in 2019 the NCAA made $900 million off of the college basketball tournament called March Madness while the athletes, who were the ones generating the money, don’t get paid. Because of this, some of the players like five star recruit, RJ Hampton have responded by leaving the U.S. to go play in the

By Ethan Polak

Australian Basketball League. Hampton had the chance to play for the larger schools like Kansas and Duke, but denied the chance to in revolt to the NCAA policies. He will still be able to join the 2020 NBA Draft, but his decision may help in the furthering of the passage of the Fair Pay to Play Act worldwide. Although the bill doesn’t go into effect until January 1st, 2023, this has started the ball rolling leading to other states like North Carolina becoming more interested in joining the movement to give college athletes the fairness they deserve.

Chicago This past Sunday, the Kenyan’s crushed all competition in the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Out of 45,000 runners, the Kenyans took home the men’s and women’s titles after placing first in both events. Kenyan’s male runner, Lawrence Cherono, won the entire race with a time of 2:04:06. Cherono was able to beat

questions in our own disciplines and practices. In AP United States History, all of this is kind of built in, when we talk about continuity and change over time, writing a thesis and looking at different historians and how they argue different points. While we still require you to do a lot of content, we also really stress the skills and how important it is to be able to write, think and communicate like a historian,” Bradley MacDonald, history teacher, said. Reflecting on the approach the teachers nowadays take, there was a difference between generations and education. “When I was in high school, school was very content driven and not very skill driven. Now I feel like school is a lot more, classrooms are focused on skill development and assessment, and less on real memorization,” Kinnee said. “I graduated from high school back in 1973, so many many moons ago. The approaches [to learning] are about the same, but we have more interventions to make sure that students are more successful today than they were years ago,” Robert Sochowski, guidance counselor, said.


For 40 years, women have been banned from all soccer games in Iran. Ever since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, there has been a cultural ban restricting women attending games because the women wore soccer jerseys instead of their hijabs. This was seen as extremely unfair and disliked by many Iranian women, so they took it upon themselves to protest. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, many Iranian brought banners to display their dissatisfaction towards the ban. This didn’t gain much media attention until a female fan of the soccer team Esteghlal named Sahar Khodayari or “The Blue Girl” was arrested for attempting

to attend a game dressed as a man in Cambodia. Khodayari was given this nickname because she wore her favorite soccer team’s colors while attending the game. Unfortunately, after being arrested, Khodayari set herself on fire. This caught the attention of FIFA commissioner Gianni Infantino who then forced Iran to let women into the games by threatening to kick them out of the 2022 World Cup. Infantino followed up with reserving 4,600 tickets for women to go to the World Cup qualifier in Cambodia. After much protesting and human sacrifice, the women of Iran are now able to attend soccer matches in Iran.

Her time was a 84 seconds faster than the previous world record held by British runner Paula Radcliffe. Kosgel was also four minutes ahead of the next female runner in the face The world record came directly after fellow Kenyan broke two hours in the marathon for the first ever in the INES 1:59 Challenge. Kosgei said she used this as motivation to push through and run an incredible time.

some of the top runners in the world like Mo Farah from Britain and Galen Rupp from the U.S., who both had ran poorly compared to their average. This was Cherono’s second major title of the year after winning the Boston Marathon earlier this year, becoming the second runner ever to do so. On the other side of the competition, Brigid Kosgei finished first for the women with a time of 02:14:04. With this time Kosegi set the women’s world record.


Letters- Spokesman is a limited public forum and welcomes a free exchange of ideas from all readers. Readers are encouraged to contribute letters to the staff in room 137 or mail them in care of WHS. All letters must be signed. Letters may be edited for length, style, possible libel, clarity, and adherence to our publication policies. Spokesman’s mission is to report the news objectively and truthfully. We will print any known errors here in the issue following our gaining knowledge of the error.

Family, friends and staff members gather to celebrate battles fought.

Advertising- For information, call (847) 718-7114 Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 3:19 p.m. Svetlana Fastovskaya, Janet Aschenbrener, and Peg Christiansen pictured together at the event.

Approximately 20 WHS staff members, many accompanied by their family and friends, gathered over the weekend at Busse Woods to honor those who have passed, survivors and those who are currently battling breast cancer. Although being organized in just two weeks, the team designed shirts

and managed to raise $1,654 while having a $1,000 goal. “It was a great way to honor the memory of those who are no longer with us, and it was very encouraging to the survivors who work in our building who were able to attend,” Timothy Piatek, E/ELL Division Head, said.



October 18, 2019

Lit lab tutors, the unspoken heroes of WHS Jessica Bezkhlebetskiy Staff Reporter

Lit Lab tutors, you know what they do, but you may not appreciate them. They pull you out of your study halls in order to do work that you do not want to do, but they have definitely impacted the majority of students and teachers in a positive way. “I think tutors are underappreciated at times because some tutors, like myself, gave up study hall to be there and sometimes people don’t even thank us,” Allison Wong, sophomore, said. Amanda Bhansali is an AP World History teacher and Lit Lab coordinator whose job is to recruit tutors, give them their schedules and train them. She also attends the regional tutoring conference, communicates with other teachers, organizes the rent a tutors and trains others on their sixth assignment. “During the 2013 to 2014 school year the Lit Lab was called the Learning Center. It wasn’t used by students or staff and no one really knew about it. The division head of English at the time asked if I would organize it into something better. She arranged it for me and Mrs. Carro to organize it, we worked in a small space with 16 tutors overtime it grew. We got Mrs. Rodriguez to be a coordinator as well. We helped design and they renovated the

Lit Lab and made it bigger. I want students to know that It’s here to help them, not to punish them. Our teachers here want to help students. You can get help all day long, in any subject. Even college essays. There are also so many benefits to being a tutor. It looks really good on college transcripts, and you get experience, many students don’t see the benefit but there are a lot. Before being involved in the Lit Lab all I saw were sophomores and I only existed upstairs in my social studies corner. Before coming here I saw my former students grow as tutors up until they’re seniors and seeing other students grow,” Bhansali said. Not only is the Lit Lab beneficial to

those who need help with their classes, but also to the tutors themselves. “This is my second year in the Lit Lab. I want to go for teaching in college and I think that doing this I can get a better connection with students early on and working with other students. I can see the growth in students and in a couple of days when they keep going it makes me happy to see how much they improved even if they don’t see it themselves. I want students to know coming here isn’t bad and there’s always the stipulation that if you get referred you’re doing bad but you’re not we’re just here to work with you and help you grow as a student. It’s definitely made me

“The Lit Lab tutors have helped me by reviewing what I learned and improving on that. They are all really nice and friendly and I think they should be paid because they’re great!”

Sam Lurusso, freshman, said.

truly realize everyone learns differently,” Angelica Kreul, senior, said. Tutors and teachers see the Lit Lab as an opportunity to see everyone in other class tracks and career paths and see how devoted other students are learning. “I think the Lit Lab is incredible to kids I’ve sent there from my caseload from the strategies classroom. It’s very positive and an amazing situation for kids to receive help, and they love the help from other students. [That] is the best part of the program I think. I try to teach kids going to the Lit Lab isn’t negative. It’s a great academic support system and the people who run it do a fabulous job,” Joseph Rupslauk, Special ed teacher, teaching transition math and strategies courses, said. “The Lit Lab tutors have helped me by reviewing what I learned and improving on that. They are all really nice and friendly and I think they should be paid because they’re great!” Sam Lorusso, freshman, said. “I feel like I’m serving a large population of students. When tutors go to get kids from their study halls, the students should appreciate what they’re doing for them. Kids are unenthusiastic to getting a referral and despite that, the tutors give help to others so our tutors really deserve praise,” Bhansali said.

Broadcasting program grows beyond initial roots Santiago Cuevas Editor-In-Chief

Here at WHS, a lot of change has been brought to the media and broadcasting program. The program has grown from simply being the announcements to being more than that. The program, which is now called, WCAT live has grown thanks to sponsor and teacher, Kyle Reinhart. “Coming in since last year we actually didn’t have any broadcasting at all and it was kind of our vision from our administration to have broadcasting here so it kind of tied in with the media job that was offered which I ended up having so it was kind of put in my lap but it was a cool challenge for me since I didn’t have much background for broadcasting bt it was cool and it was a good learning experience, just continuing to grow with it, it’s a fun challenge,” Reinheart said. WCAT Live broadcasts all types of big sports events. From soccer to football, basketball, WCAT does it all. Last year the program even broadcasted the spring school play, Clue. “Through this program I am hoping to be able to bring an opportunity to those whose can’t




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J o h n Mu g


Ev a Fu e n t e

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G av i n K ar

Spokesman interviews members of the Little Wildcat preschool class

C a r me l l a C

Li t tle Wi l d cats

come out to see the football, soccer, volleyball, and basketball. We are able to bring the games to those who are unable to come. I am also very happy that I am able to also open up the opportunity to those at school who normally wouldn’t be able to have the chance to work a camera, or work the operator board, or even be able to commentate the games,” said Jojo Stepek, sophomore. A goal for the WCAT live program is to establish instant replays during their broadcasts. “I wanna accomplish instant replays. Thats a big challenge that were facing the broadcast because if you’d watch a normal game on ESPN, or something, if a big play happens you miss it because your running to the fridge to get something and your like oh my gosh what just happened, it’d be cool for us to implement some type of instant replay. Even to put on the screen during a dead ball or nothing major happening,” Reinhart said. A future addition to the programm is also the implementation of podcasting. The programm hopes to grow from here on out. “So podcasting is the next big thing, not just in class, but in the club as well,” Reinhart said.

Q1: What’s your favorite candy?




Q2: What are you gonna be for Halloween?

A witch

The Hulk



Q3: What’s your go to lunch snack?



Grapes, Yogurt



Information collected by Iran Teran and Jasmine Bautista

October 18, 2019



Law program gets recognition F l y i n g Cecilia Herrera Staff Reporter

For many years Lou Wool and superintendents have been discussing bringing lawyers to school. It has been put on hold for so long because we are actually one of the first schools to do this, so we want to make sure it is done the right way. The goal is for students who have been in all four law classes help find what law pathway they wanna take based on what they’re interested in. This program is not mandatory at all and lawyers will even be criminally background checked to make sure it’s as safe as can be. Starting second semester in

the duel credit legal research and argument class students will be appointed to lawyers, prosecutors, paralegals, ect. to help shadow and mentor them. Students will be allowed to ask as much and any questions as they please. This gives kids a better understanding on what job they’re thinking of pursuing and gives them at least an experience even if they end up not liking what they are learning about. When Wool was in high school there was not even a law class to attend. Luckily his father was a lawyer which is where he received his help from and inspired him to be one too. “The only thing that influenced me is watching my father and listening

to him plus TV shows like Criminal Minds and Law and Order,” Wool said, but not everyone has that. This program provides guidance for those who don’t have a clear understanding and makes things a lot easier for our future law students. In addition it is very beneficial for the kids who will be apart of the program, they can use the lawyers as references when applying to jobs or schools, or can even go back and work there after college. With this opportunity and college like course it allows students to broaden their horizons when it comes to the study of law and opens many doors to career opportunities in the near future.

@signorahawkins Judges highlight key moments in their careers and how they ensured success through perserverence, drive and passion to WHS constitutional law class.

Fusekais: Pathway to the sky Cecilia Herrera

Staff Reporter

George Fusekais only a junior at Wheeling high school and is already flying planes. George has been thinking about the study of aviation for about 7-8 years and finally decided to start since at his age that’s typically when kids who want to be a pilot can begin. “Just the idea of being able to fly somewhere and being able to say I’m going to fly across the country, is what got me into aviation,” G. Fusekais said. He studies at Windy City Flyers Executive airport and attends class once a week every Monday for about 2-3 hours with many others but typically older people around their 40-50s that attend

it for business matters. At Windy City Flyers you can choose to make your own schedule, so on a nice day George typically attends ground school for about 45 minutes and dedicates the rest of his time flying and practicing maneuvers. On not so nice days George attends just ground school which is just the mechanical aspect of flying a plane. Although the material is occasionally difficult it’s just like how high school works, “if you study you’ll get it and pass with flying colors haha” G. Fusekais said. Aviation school can also get expensive at times but since it’s something Fusekais is passionate about and wants to turn into a career which his parents do support it’s all worth in the long run.

Cat Pack bringing more school spirit via leaders Jesse Carrillo Alan Chavez La Voz Editor

Staff Reporter

When you think of school spirit in WHS, the first thing that should come upto mind is Cat Pack. Cat Pack was founded in 2018, by Mr. Antosz, Mrs. Pedersen, Mr. Mueller, Mrs. Runyard, as a way to express school spirit. They are responsible for events around the whole school. When asked what your favorite part of being a part of Cat Pack, Prabhjeet Chahal, junior, said, “Being able to do so much. Create a bigger crowd in our football games. Be able to help my friends get crowds at their basketball games. Beings able to unite our school together and make us as one so we can accomplish much more and be together to help our school out.” Fellow Cat Pack member,

Ryan Gallivan, junior, stated, The ability to support the school and establish a culture within the school. Cat Pack has drawn a bigger crowd for events, and sporting events, getting all of the students together, and being united as one. Olivia Chavez, senior, stated when asked, what makes you a leader?, “I am not afraid to stand up and do what’s right. I love to take charge and teach others”. Cat Pack are the leaders of showing school spirit. When asked how will Cat Pack help you later in life?, Julia Lundstrom, junior, responded by saying, “Cat Pack will help later on in life by helping me learn to cooperate with and encourage others around me“. Overall Cat Pack should be evolving every year as more, and more students will join to change the atmosphere of school spirit here in WHS.

@WHSCatPack Cat pack poses infront of the bleachers at the first home football game. Members include Olivia and Alana Chavez, Alisha Saji, Lilybeth Jimenz, Emmy Fleses, seniors.

Join D214 for a *free* panel conversation with journalists and experts on the issues of the 2020 Presidential Election.

October 18, 2019 What did you like about Flex Days or what do you think could be improved?


“I really enjoyed Flex Days, it helped me explore different subjects I had been interested in for a while that I haven’t been able to get into. It also helped me explore new things. Overall, it was a really good experience to have in my first year of high school.” Bruno Diaz, freshman



Flex Days: Empowering studen educational system and take ownership in their learning.” Focus Editor Flex Days open students Sep. 24, 2019, marked up to developing their the first of six Flex Days at independence by exposing WHS. Created by Rebecca them to manage their time, ask Kinnee, Teaching and for help, and take charge. “We Learning Facilitator, Flex Days control a lot of their education offer students a break from and then we send them off. their curriculum, a chance to Many of them have never have a say in what they learn made real choices that have and the ability to explore their real consequences to learn interests. from,” Kinnee said. Jerry Cook, Principal Aside from offering of WHS, states that the goal of student choice in education, the Flex Days initiative is to, Flex Days allow students “Re-engage students into the to get community service Jasmine Yusef

hours, go on fieldtrips, and it allows teachers to participate in mandatory meetings. Combining these tasks that pull students and teachers out of the classroom and making room for them in flex days, time consuming activities from interrupting the education process. Sessions offered by whs teachers were all across the board. Teachers were assigned to come up with sessions that they would like to run and that students would find interesting and beneficial.

Flex Day Highlights “I liked how I got to experience different classes, and see new people. I didn’t like the office hours because I couldn’t focus. It was really loud and a lot of people were not doing their work. I think that there are definitely things that can be improved, but as time goes on I think it’ll grow. I would do it again.” Julia Kowalczyk, sophomore

The varsity football team went on a field trip to Whitman elementary school to promote literacy and fitness activities. The team experienced the opportunity to connect with their community and act as mentors for young students by reading with them and leading games of sharks and minnows, stuck in the mud and soccer.“The most important task my team was required to do: make sure everyone is involved. We wanted to create an image of what a wildcat is and represents,” Varsity football coach, Brian Hauck, said.

Adriana Soto held an outdoor mindfulness session where students practiced guided mediation and yin yoga. Soto started practicing yoga before teaching at WHS and thought it’d be helpful to teach students how to relax in spite of a sometimes overwhelming course load. Attention to controlled breathing and allotted time to bathe in the sun, gave students the ability to de-stress and decompress during a hectic week. “Personally I didn’t like flex days because the classes that I wanted to sign up for were all full so I had no other choice to either pick a class that I didn’t like or a resource period so I feel like there was no point in trying or even coming to school.” Allie Bedall, junior

“I thought it was pretty fun. It gave me a nice chill out day during such a busy week. I really liked that you could do fun activities or meet with your teachers if you needed help, and it’s kind of just a you day.” Elizabeth Castellanos, senior Photo opinion collected by Yesenia Diaz

The Frida Kahlo workshop led by Maria Rivas, spanish teacher, was a Mexican cultural revival focused on empowering students, succeeding despite adversity and celebrating differences within one another. The session discussed the life and struggles of Frida, who was diagnosed with polio and ridiculed her whole life for not conforming to societal norms. Students created colorful Frida inspired headbands, and wrote a single word that best represents them on a whiteboard to express self love.

In the library, Barry Hanrahan, librarian, offered a LEGO building session. The original idea was for students to model characters from books and create what they see. Many, however, just wanted to build, so he let them. Much of what was built did come out of “Harry Potter”and “Lord of the Rings”, but students were given free reign to be creative and use their imagination. The students who attended liked the session so much, they asked Hanrahan to save their creations and hold a LEGO session again.



October 18, 2019

nts to take charge in learning Changes from Flex Day one to Flex Day two At the end of the first Flex Day, Rebecca Kinnee asked students to reflect upon the day. She wanted to gain insight on the positive aspects and areas for improvement regarding Flex Days. Significant changes for the next Flex Day are below. • Academic shift in sessions • 45 minute lunch period • Lit Lab, office hours, physical education and lunch during the middle of the school day • Greater opportunity for field trips

First Flex Day attendance rate To the administration and staff’s surprise, many students skipped out on the first Flex Day and were absent. Out of the 1730 students that attend WHS, 563 students did not come to school. A part of the reason so many students missed the day was due to a lack of communication with parents. Jerry Cook states, “We didn’t explain well enough to parents that this was not an optional day. It may be a different day, but it is not a blow off.” Cook and Kinnee both expressed concern with the attendance rate. They feel that if the trend continues, Flex Days may not.

What did you like about Flex days or what do you think could be improved?


“I met a ton of new students that I don’t have in class, but was able to meet because of a shared passion. Flex Days could be improved with more structure to classes because we’re still an educational institute.” Matt Padron, science teacher

“I love that students have choice to fill their day with what helps them. I feel like there is a lot of work on the teacher’s end and that three flex days in the second semester is difficult to organize and do well with such little time.” Brianne Rand, math teacher

Use it or lose it

Jessica Bezkhlebetskiy Staff Reporter

Flex days are something I wish I had earlier on in my educational experience. I think they’re really beneficial to students, and hopefully they are something that will continue and grow. There are so many opportunities with Flex days and students can decide on what courses they want to have. It’s all about students anyway and that is the whole point of the day. It was disapponting to see so many of my peers not show up; they were missing out. Although, I think office hours can be improved

by make the sessions longer. With this alteration, we can have the ability to participate in more activities and have more time to meet with teachers in critical subjects we may be struggling in. Other than that, I believe Flex Days are a wonderful way of teaching students to take control of the way they learn. I wish they were more than six days a school year. Implementing Flex Days once every two weeks could allow for greater development in independence and a greater desire to learn. I, along with many other students really enjoyed the first Flex Day. Hopefully students

will take advantage of the opportunity to take charge of their education and have a say in what they learn.

Aria Giacomino Staff Reporter

There was a lot of hype for Flex Days, but in the end, they were mediocre at best. With all of the talk and praise about them and it being the first time, I expected much more. Classes filled up way too quickly which resulted in people who ended up choosing classes that they didn’t necessarily want to do or that they just weren’t interested in. While there were many good parts of Flex Days, I think that there is quite a lot that could be improved. There were plenty of

choices but most of them just filled up quickly, or you would find a session that you would like to sign up for and then realize that it’s not for your grade. I ended up having to sign up for classes I didn’t really want to do because I got kicked out of classes I didn’t know were not for my grade. I did not know this until the last minute which made me unable to take more sessions. At that point everything was full. At the end of the day, I had so much time and no sessions to fill that time. The first Flex Day altogether was not bad, I just think that there is quite a lot that could be improved.

“Flex Days promotes student choice. The diversity of what was offered allowed students to get enrichment and try new things I think six days is too much. One a quarter would be great and would still offer student choice.” Emily Rodriguez, math teacher

“Students got to interact with teachers in a way they wouldn’t have in a class based in curriculum. The dialogue between students and staff was more loose.That’s the way learning should be.” Chad Scoggins, English teacher Photo opinion collected by Jasmine Yusef


La Voz

Octubre 18, 2019

La Celebracion de El Dia de Los Muertos America Munoz y Jesse Carrillo

La Voz Editor

El mes de Octubre contiene mucha tradición e historia. Este mes celebra la vida de aquellos que han muerto con la celebración del día de los muertos. El día de los muertos es una tradición adaptada en los países hispanos pero se originó en México. Es un día para celebrar la vida de aquellos que se han ido. El día de los muertos comienza el 31 de Octubre a la media noche, donde las almas de los niños que han muerto regresan a visitar para el 1 de Noviembre. Y al día siguiente, el 2 de noviembre, las almas de los adultos regresan a visitar. Estos días no son para celebrar la muerte, sino para celebrar la vida de aquellos que han muerto. Para celebrar, muchos se reúnen en el cementerio. La gente se viste de muchos colores y pinta sus caras con diseños. Diseños como calaveras, esqueletos, y disfraces. Todos celebran con comida y música. En el cementerio, muchos ponen una ofrenda para los que

han pasado. Una ofrenda es una forma de recibirlos. En la ofrenda hay pan, agua, dulce. Muchas personas ponen fotos de los que han pasado. También decoran con flores y belas. También organizan algunos recuerdos especiales para los fallecidos que honran. La ofrenda recibe las almas y les da un lugar para visitar. Normalmente la ofrenda se pone por la familia del fallecido pero también se puede poner por los amigos o la gente que quiere recibir a un fallecido. Se cree que cuando no se exponga ninguna foto o altar para un miembro de la familia, será olvidado. Por esa rason El dia de los muertos recibe mucha attencion. Un ejemplo que muestra cómo se celebra el Día de los Muertos es de la película “Coco”, ya que la historia tiene lugar durante el evento, y muestra cómo las ciudadanos de esa ciudad celebran adorando a los fallecidos. Para aquellos que no pueden asistir al cementerio, preparan su propia ofrenda en su propia casa. La ofrenda contiene pan, decoraciones, aguas y mucho más. Muchas tradiciones como estas también se celebran en los Estados Unidos. Aunque no será lo mismo que México, es una tradición que no muere, al

Informacia reunida NBC news y National Geographic

Estudiantes dando compañía a los necesitados Melanie Aguilar Staff Reporter

El club Latino y estudiantes de Avid an estado haciendo visitas al Centro de Lexington Assistant Residence, estudiantes del club latino y Avid se reunen todos los miércoles después de escuela, donde van dos veces al año en grupo a visitar a personas de mayor edad. Los estudiantes dan dos horas de su tiempo para darle compañía a los que la necesitan. Este programa de ir a visitarlos fue empezado por Richard Rosen cual lo llamo “Generation to Generation”, donde también la Señorita Castro y Sánchez y el Señor Varela participan. El señor Rosen dice “Yo y mi hijo, Sam, fuimos durante tres años a visitar a un amigo mío, hasta el momento que falleció. Aprendí dos cosas de esa experiencia, puede ser muy solitario vivir en un centro de vida asistido para personas

mayores y lo acogedor que es que alguien venga a visitarlo y se interese en verlo”, donde se les da a estudiantes preguntas y oportunidades para “romper el hielo” que podrían usar para reunirse inicialmente con los adultos mayores, hacen conversaciones como dónde nació o qué hizo para ganarse la vida, a que se dedican, qué hacen en su tiempo libre. Después de eso están solos. Nayeli Galan senior dice “fue algo muy bonito, aprender sobre su generación, La emoción es extrema cuando nos ven entrar ya que varios no tienen familiares cuzzzales los visiten y nosotros somos la única compañía que ellos reciben.” Cada visita es inesperada ya que sus historias son diferentes ya que han vivido y sabido mucho más de la vida. Rebecca Castro maestra de Avid y Español dice “ Es una experiencia muy bonita, pero triste porque no vamos cada semana y no sabemos si la próxima vez volveremos hablar con la misma persona.” Es una oportunidad que muchos estudiantes deberían pensar en participar.

Comidas para celebrar El Dia De Los Muertos El pan de muerto es un tipo de pan semidulce que se hornea tradicionalmente en casa, pero también se puede comprar en una panadería local. El pan de muerto se coloca en el altar y también se comparte entre la familia y se puede comer con chocolate, champurrado, o cafe

Los estudiantes de WHS están ayudando y hablando con los ancianos. Photos Courtesy of Rebecca Castro

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Atole, es una bebida caliente hecha de maíz, Atole se bebe en muchas ocasiones diferentes, pero el día de los muertos se disfruta mejor con una galleta de hojaldras. Una bebida para disfrutar con la familia y mantenerse caliente.

El mole es un tipo de comida que se come durante el Día de los Muertos. Parece salsa y técnicamente puede ser salsa, ya que generalmente cubre el pollo. Es un plato delicioso.

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October 18, 2019



The Goldfinch: a confusingly unsuccessful film

Rachel Lawson

Entertainment Editor

Warner Bros. Entertainment’s new movie, “The Goldfinch”, hit theaters on Sep. 13. The film is an adaptation of Donna Tartt’s 2013 novel of the same name, and its starstudded cast consists of Ansel Elgort, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, Nicole Kidman and Finn Wolfhard. My first general issue with this film was the acting. None of the cast members did a particularly poor job playing their roles, but there was a noticeable lack of chemistry among most Staff Reporter

of the actors for the entire movie, enough to distract me from the film itself. Even more confusing than the performances of the cast was the film’s editing. Admittedly, the director, John Crowley, was tasked with condensing a nearly 800 word novel into a regular feature length film, which is no easy feat, and “The Goldfinch“ clocks in at two hours and 29 minutes, which is still longer than the average movie. The cuts from scene to scene were illogical and disorienting as an audience member. I understand why the editing turned out choppy, but it was still a flaw that I couldn’t ignore. The easiest way for me to evaluate the rest of this film is to break it up into three sections. The first section focuses on the life of the main character, Theodore, during the months immediately following

his mother’s death in a museum bombing, when he moves in with a friend’s family. In short, this chunk of the film was incredibly boring and should have been a lot shorter in order to leave room for the plot to unfold throughout the rest of the film. The next section was my personal favorite, and follows Theodore to Las Vegas, where he lives after moving in with his father. There, he meets Boris. Played by Wolfhard, Boris is a Ukranian immigrant who introduces Theodore to drugs and alcohol. Wolfhard’s faux-Ukranian accent heavily contributed to my enjoyment of this section of the film. Isolated from the rest of the movie, this middle portion lived up to its potential. Its tone was comparable to a coming-of-age movie, and the plot slowed down enough for me to actually be able to focus on one thing at a time

and start enjoying the experience of watching it. The final section of the film fast forwards to Theodore’s adult life, after he’s left Las Vegas following his father’s sudden death. A lot happens in the last 40 minutes of this movie, but none of it is memorable except for the multiple shootouts between Theodore, Boris, and a gang of art thieves. Aside from being a box-office nightmare, “The Goldfinch” simply wasn’t as captivating as it could have been. I liked the cast, the soundtrack, and the plot, but those elements just didn’t come together to create a movie worth watching.

RELEASE RADAR: Harry Styles made his dramatic return to the music scene on Friday, Oct. 11, with his new single “Lights Up”. Stream it now on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and YouTube.

An Editor’s Queue

Enjoy this nine-song compilation of tunes for hanging out with your friends by La Voz Editor Jesse Carrillo.

Post Malone gives a high energy performance at United Center Kaidence Katz

Social Media Manager

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, rapper Post Malone performed at the United Center here in Chicago. Before he went on stage, he had two openers, the first being a lesser known rapper, Tyla Yaweh, and the second being DJ ENICE. After they got the crowd going, Swae Lee performed some of his hit songs before Post Malone started his set. Overall, the concert consisted of high energy from everyone in the arena. His setlist did an amazing job of hyping up the crowd. He performed his hit songs such as “Congratulations”, “Wow.”, “Circles”, “Goodbyes” and “SaintTropez”. Although most of his songs are well known, he also performed some of his more underground numbers. Those include “Die For Me”, “Candy Paint”, “Over Now” and “92 Explorer”. In between most of his songs, he would briefly pause to say thank you to the crowd and actually acknowledge the audience members. Most singers pause once or twice throughout a whole concert, so this caught me by surprise. At the end of the show, before he performed “Congratulations”, he gave a short speech about how he got to where he is today and said words of encouragement and motivation to the audience. Yet again, it was a shock to see how he was so genuine about what he does for a living. Overall, Post Malone’s concert was worthwhile. He entertained the crowd throughout the entire night and helped everyone have an amazing experience.

Greta Lee in Christopher John Rogers

Vera Farmiga in Ryan Roche

Joey King in Zac Posen

Red carpet show stealers from the 2019 Emmy Awards

Zendaya in Vera Wang

Rachel Lawson The 71st Primetime Emmys took place on Sep. 22 at the Microsoft Entertainment Editor Theater in Los Angeles. The awards ceremony honored the best of U.S. television shows. “Saturday Night Live” and “Game of Thrones” both took home two awards each, but “Fleabag” was the leader with a grand total of four wins. Other than the actual awards, the red carpet was the most exciting part of the show. Above are some of my favorite 2019 Emmys looks.

What’s a TV show that you think everyone should watch? “‘The Flash’. It’s a really good show. It’s really action-packed and there’s a lot of drama,” Adam Ali, freshman, said.

“‘Friends’. It’s just such an original show, and it’s so good,” Martha Sczepanski, sophomore, said.

“‘Stranger Things’. It’s just good entertainment for me to watch with the action and intensity of it,” Dustin Azor, junior, said.

“‘Euphoria’. It talks about lots of things that other directors are afraid to talk about. I feel like it represents teens nowadays,” Andrea Isiorhovoja, senior, said. Information collected by Rachel Lawson



October 18, 2019

Despite conflicting opinions on theme, students underperform in spirit

Ana Malagon Opinion Editor

Homecoming week is a great time to show school pride. However, the WHS student body seems to lack school spirit. As the week of homecoming progressed, less and less people dressed for the daily spirit week themes. For some, homecoming week is an exciting time to dress up according to the

Homecoming spirit poster that shows the daily themes and lunch time activities.

Spanish teacher Erin Pedersen shows her WHS pride by wearing rainbow socks and rainbow glitter on her eyes.

theme. “I want to be able to go all out like other schools do. It’s not fun when nobody dresses up for the theme,” Martha Szczepanski, sophomore, said. Others disagree. “The themes are not great. Many people don’t have clothes to match the theme,” Julia Kwietniewski, sophomore, said.

Ana Malagon and Daniella Perez show thier school pride by wearing rainbow striped socks.

The freshman class show their school pride by wearing white.


O ve r the past few we eks, m e mbers o f Sp o ke s ma n h ave c a ught mult ip le s t ude nts va pi n g in t h e b at hrooms. Even af ter t he whole bat h ro o m lo ck i ng s cen ar io, s t ude nts s ti ll co nt in ue

Students believe that this year’s themes were not something they could have fun or be creative with. It is evident that Student Council and the WHS student body fell flat in terms of communication regarding this year’s homecoming theme. Nevertheless, it is still very disappointing

that Student Council put in hours of hard work decorating the foyer and gym to have the majority of the student body not participate in the daily themes. It is important to have school pride and showcase it, especially during the week of Homecoming when the opportunity is given.

The sophomore class show their school pride by wearing gold.

to vape despite the dan gers o f it and severe pun is hm ent t h at result s f ro m it. Spo kesman is deepl y disgusted w ith this co n st ant b ehav io r. Vap in g not o nl y ruin s the s c ho o l enviro n ment fo r m any b ut it also c au s es

The junior class show their school pride by wearing blue.

pro bl em s fo r the u s er. Vaping is an epidem ic that has s wept the entire co u ntr y. As of l atel y, vaping has c au s ed m u l tipl e peo pl e ac ro s s the US to die f ro m co ns tant u s ag e w ith the exac t c au s e is s til l u nk now n. Stu dents s ho u l d be

l ear ning f ro m t h e s e s itu atio ns rat h e r than co nt i n ui n g their u s a g e. Th at ’s w hy Spokesman bel ieves th at s t ud e nt s s ho u l d take i t up o n them s el ves to c h a n g e their habi t s a n d to pu s h fo r a s a fe r, n o n vaping l ife s t yl e.

13 out of 13 editorial members agree

Erica Hayden

Important reminder: pick up after yourself

Arts Editor

Homecoming: yay or nay?

The foyer was just renovated, and there is already an abundace of garbage. Help make the janitors’ jobs easier and stop leaving garbage behind. Clean up after youself; it’s really not that hard.

Garbage under new sofas in the WHS foyer.

The senior class show their school pride by wearing black.

Suits, dresses, corsages, high heels and crowns. All of these items make you think of one thing: school dances – Homecoming to be exact. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of school dances. I think we can all agree that a lot of the movies we watched growing up exaggerated the whole concept. “High School Musical”, “Mean Girls” and “Grease” are all examples of this overdramatization. To me, the Wizard of Oz theme

was very creative, especially with how all the decorations turned out. The foyer was turned into a whole different place, from the darkened lights to the realistic balloon trees. Before the foyer was remodeled with the new furniture, I worried about how they were going to be able to pull off this year’s decorations. It seems to me that it came out better than the previous years, regardless of the furniture situation, not to mention the cute door decorating contest that had everyone in Oz fever. I don’t know if I’m the only one to mention this, but there is a specific part of the Homecoming dance

that has to stop: grind circles. They make people uncomfortable, and they makes our school look bad. It is even weirder when the freshmen are doing it, since they are still about fourteen or fifteen and just a few months out of middle school. In all seriousness, Homecoming is a really great concept with spirit week, decorations, coronations, pep assemblies and various lunchtime activities. It is the first dance of the school year, which provides freshmen with the opportunity to hang out with their new friends and allows upperclassmen to enjoy what might be one of

H O M E CO M I N G CO U R T Chloe Drozdz and Javier Romano Jasmine Yusef and Tyler Johnson Jocelyn Beltran and David Zelek Grace Zambrano and Victor Gomez Lizeth Leon and Jason Rivas

HOMECOMING KING AND QUEEN Garbage under new table in the WHS foyer.

Victor Gomez and Jocelyn Beltran

October 18, 2019



The different perspectives on boys golf J.J Kasper is a sophomore who has participated in golf his freshman and now his sophomore Year. His best nine hole score is a 47. “I love to enjoy the nice fall weather and the community is pleasant to be around,” Kasper, said.”

Joe Placencia is a junior who has been is the golf program since his freshman year. The best nine hole scole of his career is a 38. “ When Nathan Feldheim swung his driver and it slipped out of his hands proceeding to hit a group of girls 15 feet away,” Placencia, said.

Gio Tamayo is a junior and this was his first season playing gold. His best nine hole score is a 54. “I wanted to play a fall sport so I joined golf because it is super chill, I also love eating at portillos with the team,” Tamayo, said.

Liam Murphy is a junor who has been in the golf program since freshman year with his best nine hole score at a 64. “It felt satisfying every time I hit a good shot, and doing well was always a confidence booster,” Murphy, said. Info collected by Jared Freeman

What is the best way to fundraise at WHS? “I think the pretzel sticks are awesome. They’re cheap, they taste good and they’re hassle-free,” Noah Tarnoff, sophomore, said.

“The chocolate bars sell really good. When I was a freshman I sold eight boxes for $52 each in a week,” Allie Bedell, junior, said.

Volley for the Cu re Matthew Posner Assistant Sports Editor

On Oct. 7, girls’ volleyball hosted the annual Volley for the Cure game against St. Viator. Volley for the Cure was started by two friends in 2006 to bring awareness to breast cancer. The Volley for the Cure match is designated as an awareness and fundraising event. The goal is to pack the stands with pink. Fundraising generated through the event will be donated to the local Susan G. Komen Affiliate, working to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures. Gift baskets were also raffled off at the game with all proceeds going to the local Susan G. Komen Affiliate. “My favorite part of this event is the fact that schools are coming together on a focused effort to cause a positive change for people everywhere,” Jason Kopkowski, volleyball coach, said. As for the game, Wheeling was defeated in two sets, 21-25 and 19-25. Even though the outcome wasn’t as the volleyball team had hoped for, the fundraising

efforts were a major success, as the gift baskets sold at the game alone raised over $1,000, and more than 225 T-shirts were sold as well. “The environment was awesome at the game that night. Great support and great crowd. They were extremely involved and extremely supportive,” Kopkowski said. This event not only promotes breast cancer awareness but it also promotes school spirit. The crowd was all together wearing pink, supporting not only their team but also supporting breast cancer awareness. Kopkowski says he hopes this event affects his players and teaches them valuable life lessons. “Hopefully our girls continue to learn that the relationships they make with loved ones can never be taken for granted. The experiences they have will shape them into the people they will become. Lastly, when you’re in a position to help others, you should always take advantage of it,” Kopkowski said.

Taken by Mitch Fister Ally Ferraro sets the ball while Grace Zambrano shifts to attack mode at the Volley for the Cure Fundraiser against St. Viator.

“The food items, such as popcorn, pretzels and cookie dough they get the people’s attention and interest and that gets people to buy them,” Tyler Johnson, junior, said.

“As a coach, the chocolate bars are a great way to fundraise because they’re cheap and students are more willing to pay money for those than some of the more expensive fundraising options,” Shelly Wiegel, girls athletic director, said.

Info collected by Matthew Posner

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October 18, 2019

Upcoming: 10.18.19 - Varsity Football @ Rolling Meadows 10.19.19 - Boys and Girls Cross Country @ Deer Grove 10.21.19 - Girls Volleyball @ Home 10.25.19 - Varsity Football @ Home 11.2.19 - Girls Varsity Swimming @ Fremd

CAT TRACKS: Fall teams leave their print Austin Hembd, senior, runs a touchdown against Buffalo Grove. Despite their current losing streak, the varsity team still puts their best foot forward in terms of effort.

Sara Bialas, senior, prepares for her swimming race by getting into stance. The girls swim team held their annual Retro Relays this past Saturday, Oct. 12. The girls varsity volleyball team held their annual Volley for the Cure event during the homecoming week.

Jose Sierra, senior, runs for Wheeling during a triangular meet at Heritage Park. The boys cross country held their annual invite at Heritage park on Saturday, Oct. 12.

The girls varsity cheer team fires up the crowd at the pep rally on Oct 11.

Photos taken by Mitch Fister

Congratulations to boys varsity soccer for winning the MSL East Divison, Vamos Gatos

Photo taken by Mitch Fister

Ethan Polak Web Manager

Congratulations to Symantha Rohwedder for being the IHSA regional champion Courtesey of Symantha Rohwedder

Last Thursday, Oct. 11, the Wheeling boys soccer defeated Buffalo Grove 2-1 for the MidSuburban League Eastern Conference title. Heroic goals by Ricardo Rosales, senior , in the first half and the game winner by Luis Aviles, junior, in the second half helped the boys edge out the Bison. “I was hyped really and I didn’t even know I scored until I heard everyone cheering,” Aviles said. Although the boys won, they had a bumpy start to their season after going 1-2-1 in their first four games. Kevin Lennon, head coach, said, “We have

struggled in a lot of the early games, and our message has been to keep working hard when things go against you.” This message obviously stuck with the boys as ever since then they have been on a roll. They finished the year with an overall record of 10-4-3 and 6-1-1 in the conference. With this record, the boys received the tenth seed in the regionals; however, the boys aren’t focused on regionals yet. “Right now our next goal is to win the conference,” Lennon said. WHS will have played for the MSL championship on Oct 17. Scores were not available during time of print.

Profile for Wheeling Spokesman

Spokesman Volume 56 Issue 2  

Spokesman Volume 56 Issue 2