Monthly Archives: May 2013

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By Emily Lorenz, Free-Lance Reporter

The DGS Key Club sponsored the first ever Sprint for Spastics 5K run/walk on April 7. The 5K helped raise money for the Spastics Paralysis Research Foundation and over $2,500 was raised for the foundation.

DGS Key Club had helped the foundation since 1980 by having small fundraisers at school and donating the money.

The foundation helps fund YMCA Camp Independence, a camp for children with Spastics Paralysis, the in ability to control mustle movement, to learn how to be more independent in their everyday lives. The foundation also helps fund research and aids families who have children with this condition.

The experience was a “feel good event” and it was good to see “kids wanting to do something good,” Key Club advisor and counselor Amy Klug said about the overall outcome of the race.

The Girls Varsity soccer team all went out to support the cause by either running in the 5K or volunteering with the water stands.

Senior and Varsity soccer player Caroline Porlier said “it felt good helping” and that she was glad the money raised was going to the Spastics Paralysis Research Foundation. According to Porlier, this foundation is a worthy cause to fund because they “need research,” Porlier said.

“By informing the public, they’ll be educated on this disease and funds will help the organization do more research toward this [cause],” sophomore and volunteer for the event, Ann Elapunkal said.

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 Recently, the two frozen yogurt places that have been mentioned time and time again to me are Red Mango and Cocomero. Up until about a month ago, I had never previously tried either of them and was quite intrigued to try what seemed to be the latest trend, and through the whole process, I decided Cocomero offered more to my taste buds and had more convenience in location.

The frozen yogurt craze has reached many students, including myself. Enhancing the obsession with a new Red Mango closer to DGS in the Bolingbrook Promenade, which opened April 27, it is at a convenient location for students to access.

However, my first experience, a few months ago, with frozen yogurt was with the Red Mango chain in Naperville, and although it was in downtown Naperville, the drive seemed worth it as I pulled up to the friendly little store nestled right by the Riverwalk. Upon walking in, I was thrilled with the self-serve option, as I can be picky.

The actual frozen yogurt options were quite strange, serving what I would not normally expect frozen yogurt, like pomegranate and Key Lime pie, to be- I opted for raspberry- but regardless, it was quite the process to decide between all the intriguing flavors. The next part, my personal favorite, toppings.

I may have gone a little overboard my first time around, stacking plenty of strawberries and blueberries onto my yogurt. I was pleasantly surprised that I must have done something right and my combination worked out, the mixture of the tartness from the blueberries and sweetness of the raspberry balanced the flavors out.

I was very interested by the process in which the yogurt is charged for, and since it is self-serve, the yogurt was priced based on the weight of it. This allows for one to spend as much money as they’d like, as well as provides the opportunity for more or less frozen yogurt.

Overall, Red Mango offered a memorable experience but I had still been seeing one too many pictures on Instagram about Cocomero so curiosity won me over. A week or so later, I trudged a few of my friends along to try out Cocomero, placed conveniently in downtown Downers Grove.

The bright atmosphere of colorful decorations was one of the main factors that truly dragged me in, along with also having self-serve. This time around, I decided to go a little more neutral on my yogurt flavor and went for a French vanilla.

As far as the toppings go, I was even more pleased with what seemed to be more options that looked appetizing to me. I again went with strawberries, but also grabbed some Oreo crumbles to put on my frozen yogurt, which I have decided was a superb combination of different flavors, from vanilla and chocolate, to a dash of fruit.

In the end, I must say I would go to Cocomero before going to Red Mango again because Cocomero seemed more friendly, customer service wise, and the proximity of it in Downers Grove was truly appealing but, with the new Red Mango opening in the Promenade, I would be interested in trying it again at the new location. Until then, the smiles and yummy frozen yogurt at Cocomero will keep me going back.

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Compiled by Dhara Puvar, Mira Marchioretto & Jenna Hinsdale, Staff Reporters

ADHD Treatment Options

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) diagnoses rose 22 percent between 2003 and 2007, 3 to 6 percent each year between 2000 and 2010 and have grown to even greater percentages in the last few years.  DGS works with students who have ADHD to create a program where they can succeed.

According to the CDC, ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder which makes one overly active and also makes it hard for a person to pay attention and control impulsive behaviors.

Evidently, this rise in learning disorder diagnoses can also be found throughout the classrooms of DGS.

According to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, researcher Darios Getahun, M.D., Ph.D and a scientist at Kaiser Permanente Southern California believes “it’s an increase that warrants attention… Growing awareness of the condition is one reason for the rise.”

 In the Classroom

There are several students at DGS who have had the disorder long since the recent increase in diagnoses.

Senior Brandon Harris finds the disorder to be debilitating but not impossible to work around after being diagnosed when he was 8 years old.

“Having ADHD has had a huge impact on my life,” Harris said. “Sometimes I feel like life is unfair for me. I [feel like I] have to work twice as hard as everyone else in class just to get the same grade. It gets discouraging at times but I’ve accepted that these are the cards I was dealt and I try to embrace it.”

Similarly, junior Joey Saponara was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 4 and also has dyslexia. She has found that it is something she has to live with.  However, it has not been an easy feat.

“You can never overcome ADHD, you just find easier ways to deal with it,” Joey Saponara said. “I have always [had] accommodations, [such as] getting [a] test read to me in a different room and people constantly trying to help me get organized and stay on task. It’s a constant struggle.”

Because ADHD has such an effect on students’ lives, DGS tries to make accommodations to make school a bit more manageable for them.

Teachers who work with students with ADHD, like Special Services teacher Sheila Liss, help by “breaking… assignments into manageable tasks” and reteaching concepts, so that students are able to fully understand them. The pace of the class may be slowed down and tangible examples are given. Students’ grades are also carefully monitored to ensure that they are on the right track.

“Think of it as taking a different path, but ending up in the same place,” Liss said.

Special Services teacher Alice Doro explains what types of programs are available at the school.  The school gives Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) to students who need them and provides a case manager for each student with an IEP.

Doro describes the job of the case manager is to “monitor the students’ progress throughout the year and address their specific needs,” Doro said.”The teacher assigned to the student keeps in contact with the student, his or her parents and all of the teachers that the individual student has that current year.”

In addition to having a case manager, Doro explained that “students with IEPs are also given a resource class instead of a study hall. The student can receive one-on-one support in the Learning Resource Center and access the support they need in order to be successful.”


Medication plays a major role in aiding those affected by these types of learning disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the most common type of medication used for treating ADHD is called a stimulant, and there are numerous treatments available. A few other ADHD medications are non-stimulants and work differently, but overall all ADHD medications reduce hyperactivity and improve a patient’s ability to focus, work, learn and in some cases, improve physical coordination.

Joey Saponara explained that she is prescribed to take Vyvanse. However, over the years, she has encountered multiple side effects that accompany this medication.

“I’ve tried many medications such as Concerta and Ritalin” Joey Saponara said. “It slows you down and helps you be less hyper, but at the same time you’re constantly tired, [while] some curb your hunger so I feel like I never want to eat and it’s difficult.”

Joey Saponara’s mother, Denise Saponara, explains the side effects and controversies associated with the medication when Joey Saponara was younger.

“There were kids dying from medication,” Denise Saponara said. “So do you risk the social, academic and emotional damage of not being medicated when you know that if you do medicate, the results typically are very good, but could be something as severe as losing your child?”

Along with Joey Saponara, Harris has experienced similar unpleasant side effects due to differing medications he has taken over the past 10 years. However, he currently relies on a common ADHD medication known as Adderall to help him cope with his disorder.

“Adderall has been like a constant motivator in my life. Pushing me in the direction I need to be,” Harris said.

 The Statistics

In response to the latest statistics regarding an increase in the diagnosis of ADHD, there are varying opinions as to why. Denise Saponara believes the medications associated with ADHD have led to the influx in diagnosis over the past few years.

“I think, in large part, [the increase in the diagnosis of ADHD] has to do with the medications that they use to treat [ADHD],” Denise Saponara said.  “It is a widely abused medication, so much so, that it has become a class II medication, meaning, you cannot get a refill on it, your prescription is only good for seven days after it is written, and there are other restrictions.”

Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology William Graf, at Yale University, recognizes that this could be one of the causes for a rise in diagnoses.

He believes that there might be “a sub-group that might be taking stimulants and might be coded as ADHD,” Gaff said. “But actually [they’re] healthy children who are using stimulant medications as study drugs. And that probably explains some of the jump.”

Doro also recognizes that diagnoses of ADHD have increased in the previous years.

“I feel that [the rise] is due to the acceptance of the disorders and the treatments available,” Doro said.

She describes the connotations behind the disorder to when she was in high school.

“The stigma of having a learning disorder is not seen as negatively as it has in the past,” Doro said. “When I was in high school, there were very few options for a student with learning disorders. Few schools had a program in place to address the needs of these children.”

However, Harris finds this acceptance to maybe not be as beneficial as it may appear to others.

“I’m not surprised about [the rise] because nowadays doctors are quick to write a prescription for hyper children,” Harris said. “I find it a little annoying because this makes others question if it really is a disorder.”

Students with learning disorders is a topic very close to home for Doro, as her older brother had dyslexia.  Doro believes this is why she started teaching students with learning disorders in the first place.

“I think having a brother with a learning disorder and the struggles he faced throughout his life has had a significant impact on my decision to become a Special Education teacher,” Doro said. “I also enjoy working with students and have gained many positive and rewarding experiences from [people in] this profession.”

These experiences include seeing students overcome their disorder.

“I am thrilled to see a student who initially struggles and then realizes [he or she is] capable of learning and can accomplish [his or her] goals,” Doro said.

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As I see previews for new additions to the recent trends of reality TV shows and competition TV shows, my initial thoughts are sometimes that they have the potential to be interesting, but often the potential to be terribly stupid. This was not the case for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) reality show “Splash!” as my only initial thought was “Why?”

Spoiler alert: The show is self-explanatory and anyone who has seen a commercial for the show knows its premise, and in my opinion, the show in its entirety. “Splash!” is literally nothing more than whiny celebrities trying to dive into a pool in order to earn a good enough score from the judges to make it to the next round.

Celebrities featured on the first season include former Playgirl Kendra Wilkinson, co-star of “Chelsea Lately” Chuy Bravo and former childhood TV star of “Drake and Josh,” Drake Bell. Many of the other celebrities featured are not ones I had previously heard of or seen prior to watching them dive into water, which is a task that is apparently a lot harder than many of us would think.

Apparently the creators of the show believed that changing the height of the diving board from episode to episode would be the key to keeping the show’s audience from picking up their remote and turning it off, which is exactly what I wanted to do about five minutes after turning it on.

Though I’m not always the biggest fan of reality shows or competition shows, I try to keep an open mind, which led me to watching “The Voice” when it first premiered, as well as “Dancing With The Stars.” The fact that “Splash!” was a competition show was not what made me dislike it; it was much more than that. My disliking for the show was not due to some deep, underlying issues such as being hydrophobic or bad past experiences with pools. The concept of the show just seemed dumb ever since the moment I heard about it.

I’m not sure if it was the fact that I was only familiar with three of the celebrity divers, or the fact that all of the celebrity divers were overdramatizing the challenge that was presented to them 16 feet above a swimming pool that turned me off of the show. Regardless of the case, it was more of a chore to watch the show than it was an enjoyment because I found it nearly impossible to become interested.

What would inspire producers and actors alike to make a show about celebrities jumping in a pool is beyond me, and what would compel people to actually watch the show is another issue in and of itself; my jaw actually dropped at the 8.8 million Americans who tuned in to the show’s premiere on March 19. However, I try to reassure myself that number will decrease as the season progresses and the show will end, almost as soon as it began.

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By Jenna Hinsdale


According to the annual Physical Activity Council (PAC) participation report released in early May, more than 50 percent of 6 to 12-year-olds take part in team sports and outdoor activities.

Additionally, statistics from the 2012 report state the percentage of individuals ages 6 and older participating in water sports was 12.5 percent, 6.6 percent in winter sports and 36.7 percent in individual.

These numbers may seem low compared to outdoor and fitness sports which ranked the highest with participation of 49.4 percent and 61.1 percent for those 6 years and older. Under these categories would be traditional American sports such as football and basketball that tend to bring in large crowds and players, unlike less popular and more seasonal sports such as surfing or snowboarding.

Senior Alec Masterson is a member of the DGS Varsity swim team, but also participates in a more individual based water sport that many find challenging. Masterson began surfing when he went on a trip to Outer Banks, N.C. where he first discovered his passion.

Senior Alec Masterson gets ready to surf at Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.

Senior Alec Masterson gets ready to surf at Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.

Throughout the past four years, Masterson has taken multiple trips to California. His most recent one was over Spring Break to Waikiki each in Hawaii where waves have the potential to reach 15 feet. He expressed his feelings and experiences while he’s out in the water.

“My favorite aspect of surfing is the rush you get when you successfully ride a huge wave because it feels like nothing you’ve felt before. It’s such an accomplishment and it’s hard to do,” Masterson said. “It’s pretty cool to just be chilling out in the ocean because of how peaceful it [can be].”

Currently Masterson surfs as a hobby and humorously stated that his main goal is “to have fun and not get eaten”.

Similarly, senior Brian Mejia has taken up snowboarding, an individual winter sport that many tend to overlook.


Senior Brian Mejia performs a tail press snowboarding trick at Copper Mountain in Colorado.

Mejia began snowboarding about two years ago on a trip with friends to a nearby ski and snowboarding hill known as Four Lakes in Lisle, Ill.

Mejia explained that initially he not only enjoyed snowboarding, but also used it as a means to keep his balance and coordination strong for skateboarding, another hobby of his.

“[Snowboarding is] similar to skating which is why I like it [and] I love the lifestyle as well,” Mejia said. “You can be creative with [snowboarding] and there are no rules to it unlike other sports [such as] football and soccer.”

Although Mejia currently snowboards in his spare time, he explained that he hopes to compete more in the future to improve his skills.

“The more I compete the better I’ll get,” Mejia said. “The only thing stopping me from getting [better] or learning tricks at times is fear. I just think of all the…things that can go wrong and happen to me [but] I’m slowly starting to control [these thoughts].”

Unlike Mejia and Masterson, who need a board to participate in their sports, junior Kim Donner needs a horse.

Donner began horseback riding when she was four years old, but has competed as an equestrian for the past eight years. An equestrian is “a person that is skilled in riding and horsemanship”.

Junior Kim Donner rides a horse named Double Click while jumping a two foot obstacle which won her second place.

Junior Kim Donner rides a horse named Double Click while jumping a two foot obstacle which won her second place.

Donner explained that horseback riding is incomparable to any other sport because one has to work with an animal as opposed to teammates or oneself.

“I love the thrill of it and the fact that you’re one with your horse, which has its own mind,” Donner said. “I think it’s completely different than any other sport because you can’t exactly talk to your teammate, you have to communicate without words.”

When it comes to her horse, Sporty, she has been able to teach him tricks such as how to give hugs and to paw the ground which strengthens their bond and helps with communication for their lessons.

Over the years, Donner has faced multiple dangerous incidents from horseback riding, one of which left her unconscious from being thrown off her horse. However, she still finds the sport to be very rewarding.

“My room has ribbons and pictures lined up along my wall to remember why I love riding so much,” Donner said.

At DGS, students aren’t the only ones who are involved in unique sports outside of the classroom. Science teacher and ultimate frisbee club advisor Drew Sobczak has been involved with the game of ultimate frisbee since his high school years.

Sobczak briefly played during high school, however, it was during his college years at University of Illinois at Chicago that he took it more seriously and joined a team that traveled and competed throughout the Midwest. He still plays to this day in various leagues, tournaments and teams.

Sobczak described ultimate frisbee as being a combination of soccer and football without the tackling. He also explained that the “honor system” plays a major role in the sport.

“What separates ultimate [frisbee] from other sports is what’s called ‘spirit of the game’,” Sobczak said. “Everybody who plays ultimate is encouraged to be positively spirited. The games are self-officiated, so the players call their own fouls…[which] enable players to play hard and try to win while still having fun and playing fair.”

Not only does Sobczak find ultimate frisbee to be his favorite sport because of its fun-nature, but he also emphasizes the importance of sportsmanship on the field.

“What many athletes forget is that you can play hard, want to win and try your hardest while still being a good sport about it,” Sobczak said. “Ultimate is based around athletes being good sports. That’s why I play it and why I encourage others to play it as well.”

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Senior Kristin Smith stands in front of an exhibit while working at the Brookfield Zoo and discusses an animal skull.

By Courtney Byczynski, Staff Reporter

Senior Kristin Smith stands in front of an exhibit while working at the Brookfield Zoo and discusses an animal skull.

Senior Kristin Smith stands in front of an exhibit while working at the Brookfield Zoo and discusses an animal skull.

For many people, Brookfield Zoo is merely a place for a fun day trip. However, senior Kristin Smith spends her summers volunteering there through the Chicago Zoological Society’s Youth Volunteer Corps.

Smith explained, “While I’m working in the summer, I stand in front of various animal exhibits during the day with different specimen like animal skulls or fur and I talk to guests about the animals and conservation.”

Although she does not typically work directly with the animals, she sometimes gets stationed at the goat yard in the petting zoo where she is at least working closer to the animals themselves.

Smith has always been a fan of working with animals and visiting the zoo, even at a young age. Her love for animals stemmed from always having cats and dogs in the house, eventually compelling her to want to work with more exotic animals, not just regular domesticated pets.

With this passion for animals in mind, Smith decided to take advantage of the opportunity a couple of years ago when she heard the Brookfield Zoo was accepting applications.

Smith’s supervisor, Debra Kutska, who also started her career with animals by volunteering at the zoo exclaimed that Smith’s “enthusiasm for the natural world comes through every time she engages with guests… and she has been an excellent volunteer.”

In addition to volunteering during the summer, Smith also has the opportunity to work two seasonal events.

The first event she works is the zoo’s annual Halloween celebration called “Creatures of the Night.” This event takes place throughout the month of October and it allows visitors to come to the zoo during nighttime. There is also an event for daytime visitors with younger children called “Boo at the Zoo.”

During this month-long celebration, visitors get to experience the “Trail of Terror” set in Stingray Bay, as all the stingrays are gone for season.

Additionally during this Halloween event,  there is “the haunted tram ride where guests take the tram around a dimly lit course and in it there are little sections with themes like werewolves, zombies, [and] horror movies”

The other event Smith gets to work is their winter event called “Holiday Magic” during which workers again dress up as characters or help escort others in costume.

Smith plans on working at the zoo for at least a few more years, and also plans on studying zoology at Colorado State University.

Studying zoology basically means she will “study animals, including their classification, structure, and behavior.”

Specifically, she wishes to pursue a career with wolves or large cats. Smith has always found wolves interesting as her parents and her “used to [visit] this place in Indiana called Wolf Park and they had overnight summer camps [she] would attend where [she] would learn about wolves and the environment around them.”

Her interest in big cats emerged recently when she saw a documentary about a man who trained lions and tigers that would be used in movies. What really stood out to her was the relationship shared by the animals and the trainer and “how they seemed like over- sized house cats in their mannerism [and how] they would purr and rub up against him whenever they saw him.”

Smith hopes that her love and compassion for animals eventually leads her to “work in a zoo or … an animal sanctuary where I can be involved with an animal [and] teach people about them.”

Volunteering at the zoo is fulfilling for many reasons. Kutska explained that “for teens interested in working with animals or in conservation, volunteering at Brookfield Zoo is a great way to gain experience and get ‘a foot in the door’ to this unique world. Teens in our program also make lasting friendships with students they may otherwise never have met.”

We’ve been conditioned to root for the little guy. The underweight and underdog boxer, your timid 8-year-old neighbor who’s brave enough to believe he’s the next Superman, the farmers who work hard to ensure we’re all fed.

However, rooting for the little guy becomes a lot more complicated when that little guy is so intricately tied to the big guy. Being the little guy becomes a lot more intimidating when the big guy’s place in your life becomes a bit too comfortable.

On March 26,  President Barack Obama signed the Monsanto Protection Act, which inhibits federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of genetically engineered (GE) seeds produced by the big guy.

Monsanto, according to Science teacher Jennifer Wolf is, “a biotech company that develops and manufactures GE seeds which they then market and sell to farmers.” While there is no proof the seeds are directly harmful to human health, they are damaging in other ways.

“The seeds that Monsanto creates have not been proven to be harmful for human consumption,” Wolf said. “However, over a period of time, the use of GE seeds has and will continue to affect the genetic diversity of plants, which could cause problems for agriculture in the future.”

To dismantle Monsanto and GE seeds entirely seems both counterproductive and difficult. They are an intricate part of the agricultural culture. According to Monsanto’s website “more than 275,000 farmers a year” use GE seeds. However, the Blueprint staff feels that the government should be working to restrict Monsanto, rather than to protect them.

This law does very little to protect the farmers using Monsanto, and even less to protect us- the consumers. Despite there being no proof that Monsanto is hazardous to human health, this protection act limits federal court intervention if issues are detected, meaning it would be much harder for major problems with the seeds to be reworked.

Senior and Advanced Placement Biology student Ammar Kalimullah feels the risks this act has put the consumers in is entirely unreasonable.

“The act makes it very difficult for the courts to protect people from [GE]  foods if the foods lead to health risks,” Kalimullah said.  “It benefits the companies that make [GE] seeds, but leaves the people in a very vulnerable position…I think this type of legislation is simply disgusting.”

More than that, the act makes it extremely difficult for farmers or consumers to sue the company if problems with the seeds are found. The act stifles the voices of farmers using Monsanto and gives the big guy complete control.

Although it is the farmers’ choice to use Monsanto in the first place, in this current economic state, it’s difficult not to. Despite these seeds being unable to be reused, the crops grown through GE seeds prove to grow quicker and turn out larger quantities than standard crops do. In order to keep up with their competitors, it seems almost unfeasible not to use GE seeds.

On top of that, Monsanto products help to benefit both the environment and farmers in different ways.

“The benefit of using GE seeds is that the farmers can cut down on pesticides that are necessary to deter insects from eating their crops,” Wolf said.  “By reducing the amount of pesticides used on the crops, there are less toxic chemicals being put into the ground which affect the ecosystem. The farmer can [also] save money by not purchasing as many pesticides which could reduce the amount of money he has to charge for his crops.”

Despite this, the Blueprint staff does not believe farmers should be completely at the mercy of Monsanto. We believe that the little guy should have a right to question Monsanto, an ability the protection act almost entirely stifled. We believe that farmers should be able to sue Monsanto if anything goes wrong, as well as negotiate with them as they see fit.

The Blueprint staff also proposes that the government require mandatory testing procedures for Monsanto products to ensure they’re safe. Although the protection act does not address labeling, we feel that the government should put into effect a law that ensures all Monsanto products are labeled.

Kalimullah feels that due to the possible risks, products grown with GE seeds should indubitably be labeled.

“Right now there isn’t much scientific evidence that genetically modified food crops are harmful, but people still have the right to be informed about what they are eating,” Kalimullah said.

Ultimately, the government should not work to protect Monsanto but rather the farmers and consumers. Monsanto needs to be monitored and tested to make sure those eating their products are safe.

As individuals, we need to recognize that knowing exactly what is in our food is a right, not a privilege. By refusing to eat products that are not properly labeled, we can send a message to the big guys. One that asserts that our health and diets are a conversation we demand to be in on.

This protection act disconnects imperative conversations: the one between the consumers and what they’re consuming, the farmer and the corporation, the big guy and the little guy. To hand the megaphone over to the established power is both harmful and unjust. Instead, the government should work to foster the conversation between all these parties and make Monsanto liable for the products they produce.

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The sequel to “Finding Nemo,” was recently announced.
The sequel to “Finding Nemo,” was recently announced.

The sequel to “Finding Nemo,” was recently announced.

The common theme between many Pixar classic films is that a continuous installment must be released more than a decade later. A sequel to “Finding Nemo” was announced to premiere in 2015, 12 years after the first one.

Students and staff show appreciation for the upcoming sequel because Pixar movies are known to teach its viewers valuable life lessons. For instance, freshman Ronnie Thottaplackal really enjoys every aspect of Pixar movies right down to the morals that each one teaches.

“I felt like ’Finding Nemo’ helped children learn that they need to have a close connection with their parents and love other people,” Thottaplackal said. “We have to remember that we always get lost in life [and so we should] have good thoughts…[and] good friendships with other people if you want to survive.”

Taking place alongside the shore of the California coastline, “Finding Dory” will be showcasing Dory as the main protagonist to be set one year after Nemo’s splashy ventures. The spotlight shines on Dory trying to get reacquainted with her family and find her way back home. On the journey to reconnect with her family, Dory–and here’s a shock–gets lost along the way.

Having talk show host Ellen DeGeneres voice the character of Dory again excites students like freshman Josh Realubit for not only being a fan of “Finding Nemo,” but DeGeneres as well.

“I like [how] Ellen DeGeneres [will be playing Dory again] because her show is amazing and she’s super funny,” Realubit said. “She…[will] put herself into the character itself and [as a result, ‘Finding Dory’ is going to be]…very funny.”

“Finding Nemo” came out in 2003 and managed to accumulate an 8.1 out of ten stars to date according to the “world’s most popular and authoritative source” for all things film, The Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

Along with “Finding Nemo,” other Pixar classics took numerous years to release a sequel or continuation film. Movies like “Monsters University” and “Toy Story 3″ took more than a decade to finish what were considered childhood films to many.

The children who watch these classic Pixar movies literally grow up with the films in relation to their lives. For instance, “Monsters Inc.” was a playful movie that was about finding unexpected friendships and now with “Monsters University” coming out 11 years later, it’s around the same time the kids who watched “Monster’s Inc” are off to university.

It is almost as if Pixar purposely did this so those who stick with a respective movie will always remember to keep the values and morals that they’ve learned and carry it on as they enter adulthood.

However, even though Thottaplackal is quite the fan of Pixar movies, he believes that the idea of these movies growing up with a certain generation “was an accident” and that it is just “a profit idea.”

“There…[really isn’t] any reason they should have done it this way, [so I think it is] just for the money,” Thottaplackal said.

Whatever the true motive behind this idea is, the Pixar corporation managed to craft these classic films to literally grow up with a generation.

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Students from the Prostart team, a culinary competition club recieve second place in the national competition held on April 21.

By Aiste Markevicius,

Students from the Prostart team, a culinary competition club recieve second place in the national competition held on April 21.

Students from the Prostart team, a culinary competition club recieve second place in the national competition held on April 21.


Senior Michael Bode and his sister have cooked breakfast for their family every Sunday morning since sixth grade. Bode developed this passion for the culinary arts by watching various cooking shows, such as the “Rachael Ray Show,” with this sister.

“We would usually [make] something we called a scrambler, which was scrambled eggs with a lot of stuff in it, like onions, peppers, cheese [and] tomatoes,” Bode said. “We would usually serve it with sausage or bacon, and of course we always had coffee with it.”

Bode continued to explore the culinary field when he attended DGS. After completing Foods I and II, Bode decided to enroll in the Technology Center of Dupage (TCD) Culinary Pastry Arts and Hospitality Management program his junior year.

Bode also decided to join the Prostart team that same year, which is a culinary competition club, and stayed on the team into his senior year. The competing team members this year consists of four students from neighboring schools, in which Bode serves as an alternate.

According to the National Restaurant Association (NRAEF), Prostart  “provides real-life experience opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime.”

The TCD Prostart team competes against other Prostart teams across the country annually. On Feb. 23, Bode and his team members received first place in the state competition and advanced to the national competition, which was held April 21 in Baltimore.

The team won second place at Nationals, with their three course meal that consisted of various food such as caramelized carrot soup, Maharajah spiced boneless lamb rack and white chocolate orange mousse.

With their achievement, each member of the team also received a $3,000 scholarship from the NRAEF.

Although Bode was an alternate for the team, he learned a lot through the experience and “you could not remove the smiles from [the team members’] faces for the rest of the night.”

TCD’s culinary arts instructor Matt Barker has known Bode for two years and is proud of his hard work.

“[Bode] has matured in the two years I have seen him and has started making strides as a leader,” Barker said. “[Bode] is a hard worker and will be very successful in this industry. He has the ability to talk to anyone which is great in the hospitality industry.”

Bode hopes to continue to pursue his passion as he attends College of Dupage, where he will major in culinary arts. Bode strives to become an executive chef, and his dream is to work at a fine dining restaurant.

“I like to make people happy,” Bode said.  “I would say that cooking and what I do with food…is what makes people happy and that makes me happy.”

Although Bode urges other students to explore the culinary field, he warns that one needs to be dedicated.

“I’d say you have to… be very passionate about culinary arts. If you’re not passionate about it, you’re not gonna make it. I say you have to be willing to put in a lot of hard work, a lot of long hours and if you’re willing to do that, then you’ll be successful and you’ll get a lot out of it.”

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Senior Dan Reeter has found a way to distinguish the difference between admiring celebrities’ talents and labeling them as role models.

Senior Dan Reeter has found a way to distinguish the difference between admiring celebrities’ talents and labeling them as role models.

By Emma Venetis, Copy Editor

There is no doubt that this current society is one that places a high value on accomplishments. Many families gather around their TVs on Sunday nights to watch whatever award show is on, excited over who will win each category. Adults and teenagers adore politicians whom they believe have fought and succeeded in making a change. People in our society that have accomplished something substantial become our role models. Unfortunately, it seems that people rarely bother to consider the attitudes and the values of these people that they are modeling themselves after.

The problem isn’t that students are interested in celebrities. Many students spend a lot of time reading about the latest Hollywood scandal, or learning every lyric to the songs by their favorite artist. It is perfectly acceptable for anyone to be interested about those in the news and in magazines. This interest only becomes concerning when teenagers begin to emulate those who are well-known, without considering their character.

Celebrities like Kanye West, Chris Brown, Kim Kardashian and Lebron James, all known to have unkind personalities, are prime examples of people who pose such a problem to teenagers. Senior Dan Reeter explains that he is fan of Kanye West, despite his negative reputation.

“Kanye West is probably the biggest and most self-centered jerk out of any musician or celebrity in general,” Reeter said. “But I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t one of my favorite artists.”

While Reeter is able to admire Kanye West’s music without admiring his personality, this can be difficult for many teenagers. Famous people are in the media for their talent and accomplishments, and because of this many young people look up to them. But often, those in the media do not have the important values and traits that one should be looking for in a role model.

Reeter believes that although many celebrities earn their fame, teenagers should not look to them as role models.

“Given [Kanye West’s]

talent, he definitely deserves his recognition,” Reeter said. “[Despite this], I…don’t look to him as a role model and I don’t think anyone should. Teenagers should definitely not look to [celebrities] for guidance, as being famous can misguide your decisions a lot.”

On the other hand, junior Cody Deacon, an aspiring music artist, believes that there are some positive lessons that one can learn by looking up to celebrities. Well recognized singers Lady Gaga, Marina and the Diamonds and Ke$ha have inspired Deacon “to take a chance with music and chase [his] dreams.”

Agreeably, success stories of how some celebrities worked their way from the bottom to where they are today are truly inspiring. It is just important to remember that their journey is much more inspiring than their final achievement.

The problem is that teenagers constantly see celebrities in the media, and the media doesn’t differentiate between who has positive values and who doesn’t. Teenagers see these people achieving their goals, winning awards and getting a lot of publicity. They believe that is what success looks like.

Those who believe that success is simply being famous or winning an award are not seeing the entire picture.

Reeter believes that success is based off of one’s individual happiness.

“A successful life is not determined by fame, it’s determined by your own happiness, which is why a lot of famous people send the wrong message,” Reeter said.

This is because when an individual’s face is always in the media, he or she is given the added stress of always having to monitor what he or she does, and make sure it matches up with how they want to be seen. This begins to switch celebrities’ focus from being happy about themselves, to making themselves likeable.

Sophomore Chelsea Octava believes that “the media tends to portray success as such an extravagant thing even if it isn’t necessarily like that in everyday life.”

If, in the end, someone wants to be happy, then they shouldn’t choose their role models based off of their accomplishments, especially if these accomplishments and the route to them are quite possibly skewed and misrepresented by the media.

When someone decides upon a role model simply because they are well-known, one is not setting themselves up for a successful future. Odds are that no one will be the person that they want to be just because they idolize someone whose accomplishments they admire. Teenagers shouldn’t look up to someone just because of their achievements, no matter how commendable they are.

This is because in the end, what you accomplish is not nearly as important as what got you there. The journey that these people had to embark upon, the obstacles they had to overcome and their attitude through it all is what led to their accomplishment, and what will lead many others to their own successes.

Unfortunately, as Counselor Cory Rasho explains, when you look to those in the media “you’re typically not getting the whole story of how somebody got somewhere and how they really feel inside.”

The people who have worked the hardest and kept their values may be celebrities that are seen everyday in tabloid magazines or they may be people whose achievements are much less known. Either way, it’s best for students to choose role models that they can truly learn from and can supply the best motivation.

Most likely, the road to someone’s success began by the personality and values that they had and kept. Their accomplishments were a result of who they were and how they acted. Therefore, being accomplished should never take precedence over being a good person. The values that one can learn and obtain by watching and looking up to positive role models are what will get them far, and ensure their happiness.

By learning from those whose personalities you admire, you can increase the likelihood of developing the same traits and values.

Obtaining positive values in life will help teenagers to create themselves, and shape themselves into the people they want to be. The only way one can learn these values is by observing them in others, in role models.

While the values that one wishes to adopt should be on an individual basis, Rasho believes that a few stand out as important for everyone.

“I think self-confidence is important…and I think being a hard-worker is going to help you no matter what you do. And [I think] being able to push yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of [is important],” Rasho said.

And no, having these values does not guarantee success in form of money or fame. But it ensures a life of happiness in which one has succeeded in being a great person, and has many options of where to go from there.

It is important for everyone to look to positive role models in the media. As teenagers, we are in the stage in which we determine who we want to be for our future. This is where we must learn who we are, and what our goals are. Simply wanting to be famous or rich is not a goal which is likely. Although not impossible, it is much more beneficial to adopt values that will help you to grow as a person, overall making you a more well-rounded individual prepared for whatever your future may throw at you.