Authors Posts by Michaela Burton

Michaela Burton


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Senior Mike Fogarty will be attending the University of Minnesota next year, where he will be studying biological engineering.

 “I’ve always been really interested in working with alternative energies, and that is one of the routes you can go when studying bioengineering, so I felt like it would be a really good fit for me,” Fogarty said.

 Fogarty enjoyed the atmosphere and the vibe the Minnesota campus gave off.

 “I felt really comfortable there. It had a nice social environment and good academics. To me it just felt like home,” Fogarty said.

 Fogarty also talks about his excitement to learn new things and to met new people.

 “I’m really excited about all of the opportunities that are going to be available to me in college, both recreationally and academically. Minnesota is also a pretty large school so I’m excited to meet all of the new people on campus,” Fogarty said.



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Senior Caitlyn Minnis has a full summer ahead of her before she starts her freshman year at Iowa State in the fall.

Being accepted into a summer program called Academic Program for EXellence (APEX), she will be living on campus taking three to four classes over a course of eight weeks.

 “I’m really excited and blessed by the opportunity. It’ll be great to get to know the campus and have a taste of what college is like before fall,” Minnis said.

 Minnis feels that this time will give her an opportunity to get to know her way around the campus before school starts and already have a few credits on her transcript.

 “[One thing I'm looking forward to is] studying what I’m interested in and growing close to new people,” Minnis said. “Also the Iowa State community is full of people looking to see you achieve your dreams.”

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Junior Kristen Lea hits a double to score her teammate junior Kristen Bialek in a game against Wheaton Warrenville South on April 23.Photo by Alexis Carpello

Junior Kristen Lea hits a double to score her teammate junior Kristen Bialek in a game against Wheaton Warrenville South on April 23.
Photo by Alexis Carpello

The girls Varsity softball team is undefeated and ranked number one in the state, and hope to continue their success all the way to the end of the season. Head Coach Ronald Havelka is heading into his 23rd year of coaching the Varsity team, and talks about his coaching experience and his expectations for the girls this season.

“I coached softball at the junior high level for 13 years, and then became DGS’s varsity coach in 1993,” Havelka said. “Besides coaching softball I coached sophomore basketball at DGN and junior high boys and girls basketball. I also coached two years as an assistant football coach at Hinsdale South High school.”

Havelka has achieved many accolades in his time coaching at DGS. Among them are 19 conference championships, 15 regional championships, five sectional championships and being elected into the Illinois Coaches Hall of Fame in 2007. His experience and dedication to the team has lead them to a successful start to their season.

“We have won our first seven games and hope to continue the run against a tough upcoming schedule,” Havelka said. “We advanced to Supersectionals two years ago, and last year we made it to the sectional finals. We have set our goal [this year] to advance to the State finals and compete for the State championship.”

The team and the DGS community have also been very supportive towards Havelka. Megan LoBianco, who plays short-stop for the team, talks about how Havelka helps her and the team play better.

“Our coach is extremely supportive of the team. He helps us to realize our mistakes and shows us the way the game is supposed to be played,” LoBianco said. “We still have to continue working hard and play every game to our greatest potential.”

Focus is not the only way to do well; with winning comes a lot of hard work. Pitcher Payton Buresch talks about the season and working with all the girls on the team.

“Our season so far is going great. We have all worked really hard in the off season and I think we have all came out stronger this year. We have also gained some really strong players that should help us along the way,” Buresch said.

The girls Varsity softball team plans on taking it all the way and continuing to work hard to win the State championship.

“Our girls have trained hard in our off season weights and conditioning program. We will continue to practice hard and continue to improve in all aspects of the game,” Havelka said.

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The DGS speech team placed third at State overall with eight individual qualifiers and four State finalists and three qualifiers in two events. The team headed down to Peoria on Feb. 20-22 to compete in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) State competition.

DGS senior Zachary Kennedy was the double State champion in Original Oratory and Humorous Duet Acting. For him, becoming State champion was something he had wanted to accomplish to end his last year of speech.

“I wanted to be State champion…. This year I vowed I would go down in history as a State champion,” Kennedy said. “But not only that, I did something that is almost unheard of: I was double State champion….

This is the best possible way I could imagine to end my four year speech career.”

Not only did he accomplish his personal goal, but the team’s goal as well. Senior Jessica Ley, who placed sixth at State in Radio Speaking and Prose Reading, talks about what the speech team’s goal was and how they achieved it.

“Overall though, as seniors especially, we just wanted to have fun…. this year we acted much more as a unit which pushed us to be successful not only for ourselves, but also for those who have worked so hard to help us get to where we are today,” Ley said.

“As a team we had a goal of finishing in the top three at State, which in the world of speech is a huge deal. I am proud to say that my friends and I did just that and took home third place,” Kennedy said.

Assistent head coach Christopher Blum talks about how he felt the season went and what he plans for next year.

“I was extremely proud of all the kids and coaches. There are a lot of hours that go into coaching for the IHSA series and their hard work and dedication reflect that in their success,” Blum said. Our plans are to continue to educate and cultivate execellence in public speaking, acting, debate and interpretaion.”

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phillipenes school girl

Most think that the school days at DGS are long, but in comparison this may seem shorter than most. Schools in the Philippines have up to 10 hour school days.

Unna Fernandez, a junior at DGS, lived in the Philippines until she was 14 years old, then immigrated here for freshman year.

“The high schools [in the Philippines] start in 7th grade and end in 10th grade”, Fernandez said. “[They also] start at 7-7:15 [and end at] about 5.”

She also talked about how they had quizzes every day at school, so since she’s come here she has more time to prepare and study for tests and quizzes. “We had quizzes every day [in the Philippines, so] here I have more time to study,” Fernandez said.

Another positive aspect that came with shorter school hours is more time for her to do activates outside of school. “I joined a lot of activities so I made friends pretty easy.”

Katherine Callahan, an English Language Learners (ELL) teacher, talks about how she thinks that all students are different and learn to adjust at different speeds.

“I think it depends on what country they’re coming from and what their education experience was like in their native country. Some students have a completely different educational experience than we do here in America,” Callahan said.

With this new knowledge of schools in other countries, students should learn to appreciate the things American schools have and not take for granted how much shorter school days are compared to those in the Philippines.

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Mark your calendar—every Thursday at nine are you busy, why? You must watch “How To Get Away With Murder.” A brilliant professor Annalise Keating appoints five of her best law students to help her at her law firm. Wes Gibbins, Michaela Pratt, Connor Walsh, Asher Millstone and Laurel Castillo will do anything to help Annalise win her clients’ case and earn them back their freedom.

To the students this isn’t just a job to do, it’s a competition. Whoever does the best in class during that semester is given a trophy by Annalise and becomes her new favorite student. This trophy is very symbolic and becomes very iconic later on in the show.

As much as I love drama in TV shows, it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s going on. Every episode has new secrets that threaten to be spilled and when they come out they bring out the worst in everybody.

This show also contains scandals that show each character’s true personalities. Everyone has their own secrets that they try to hide from each other. When someone’s secret comes out their image in the eyes of their Annalise gets jeopardized and they promise to do anything to make sure their secret never gets out.

Every time I finally get caught up with what’s happening in the show they shove something new in my face. It’s always taunting me saying “You’ll never understand what’s going on!” It’s so confusing but it leaves questioning what they have in store for next week.

This is absolutely my new favorite TV show because it always takes an unexpected turn and keeps viewers guessing what’s going to happen next. I highly recommend watching this show in your free time, or recording it to your DVR to watch it over and over. Trust me you’ll probably need to re-watch it a couple times to fully understand what’s going on.

Besides the overall amazing plot of this fantastic show, it’s got so many twists and turns that I’m practically chasing myself in circles trying to figure out the newest scandal of what just happened. In addition to all the twisted scenes and intense filled drama, every episode ends in a cliffhanger, suspending you until the next episode comes out.

This show airs on ABC every Thursday at 9 p.m. I guarantee your brain will be worn out by the end of the episode.

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For junior Emily Tom and freshman Lindsay Tom, gymnastics has been a part of their lives for a long time. They started gymnastics at the Park District when they were about three years old and fell in love with the sport. They decided to continue with it by competing in meets all across the state.

They now continue their journey by trying out for the DGS gymnastics team and hope to contribute by helping them do their best this season. For Emily, gymnastics has taught her many life lessons.

“I have learned that you are stronger than you think you are and that if you set your mind to something, it is possible to achieve. I have also learned to never give up,” Emily Tom said.

Following in her sisters footsteps, Lindsay Tom hopes she can learn valuable life lesson from gymnastics.

“From gymnastics, I gain being more confident, and I’ve learned how to be more outgoing,” Lindsay Tom said.

Lindsay Tom is also looking forward to the opportunity to compete for the high school with her friends and learn a lot of new skills. She’s also excited to compete next to her sister.

“My goals for this gymnastics season are to be competing a tsuk on vault and double back off of bars by the end of the season,” Lindsay Tom said. “I think trying out with my sister makes it a little bit more relaxing in a way because then you don’t have to worry about not knowing anybody, and I’m looking forward to competing with her this season.”

DGS gymnastics coach Kristyn Campos is excited for the upcoming season. Her plans for this season are the same as always.

“I want the girls to learn and develop their skills and have fun while they do it,” Campos said. “Gymnastics requires hard work, dedication, discipline and mental and physical toughness. We work to help girls gain strength and confidence so they can do their very best.”

Campos said that with hard work the girls will be able to repeat their success from last year’s season. The girls came in first place in the JV and Varsity level, and did well in regionals.

Although Emily went to state last year and placed within the top 20 out of 60 girls competing there, she never compares past seasons with present ones.

“[I plan] to do my best and have fun and not worry about how past seasons are going to compare to this season,” Emily said.

With meet season just around the corner, the girls are preparing for tryouts, which were held on Nov. 11-12.

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It is clear that election season is in the air when commercial after commercial is a political smear of the opponent. The T.V. is littered with clips of candidates talking about policies and promising changes that seem confusing to most teenagers.

According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, this lack of interest has led to a five percent decrease in the voter turnout from 2008 to 2012. As another governor’s race approaches, students that can vote are faced with the question: Why should we care about the governor’s race between Republican candidate Bruce Rauner, and Democratic candidate Pat Quinn?

Rauner has many issues that he feels need to be addressed. According to his website, he wants to make higher education more affordable and enhance educational opportunities. In addition he has clearly stated that he has no social agenda.

The opposing candidate Quinn has also addressed some problems he would like to change.

The state government website stated that he wants to ensure everyone has access to good healthcare and improve the health of people. The Sun-Times has stated that Quinn’s plan is aimed toward raising the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10. Junior Akila Shanmugham agrees with this proposal.

“This beneficially affects the lives of many workers across the state who are often working as long as 40 hours a week with a meager annual income of $16,000, placing them well below the poverty line,” Shanmugham said.

Despite these important issues, most students still don’t feel interested in the campaigns and elections.

Laura Rodey, the AP Government and Politics teacher at DGS, stresses the importance of every election.

“This particular election between Quinn and Rauner could drastically change the course of action for Ill. government. Although these issues might not affect high school students immediately, there will be lasting effects that will be felt for years to come,” Rodey said.

To better inform the students about the elections and important issues each candidate proposes, the DGS AP Government and Politics classes conduct mock elections throughout the school. Two students are chosen to each represent the Republican and the Democratic candidate.

Robyn Fardy, the AP Government and Politics teacher says that this gives students the chance to experience what a real election is like.
“We want to give students the opportunity to experience what it might be like to participate in a real political campaign,” Fardy said. “Our goal is for students to figure out what issues to focus on, how to connect with voters and how to work as a campaign team towards a common goal.”

For the upcoming elections, senior Zachary Kennedy has been nominated to represent Quinn and senior Kevin Panthaplackel as Rauner.

Although there’s still time before the debates things have already begun heating up.

Both candidates have different outlooks on which policies are most important to work on in the upcoming years.

Rauner candidate Panthaplackel says that education reform is the most important policy to work on. He argues that education reform needs to focus more on the teachers.

“Education is the foundation of society, and we have to ensure that the teachers who provide this invaluable asset are qualified, promoted, and receive adequate funding to bring technology and innovation into the classroom,” Panthaplackel said.

However, Kennedy has taken a different stance on important policies, arguing that social and health care issues are crucial to improve.

“If I am elected governor [of the mock election], my immediate focus will go to healthcare and women’s/LGBT rights. Healthcare is a basic human right and my goal is to make it affordable so everyone can have access to it. And on the subject of women, I will seek to end workplace discrimination against pregnant women, as well as promote a pro-choice philosophy,” Kennedy said.

The two students will be going head to head during the mock debates on Oct. 27.