NEWS BRIEF – Senior Sara Guagliardo attended the IHSA state competition for journalistic writing last weekend on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. She placed fourth out of the 20 competitors in her headline writing competition.
Kailee Miller was a loving daughter and sister, a resilient teammate, a supportive friend and a dedicated student. As a senior at DGS and a captain of the Varsity soccer team, she left her mark on every person she met. Kailee Miller passed away March 30, 2015.
Miller was a part of the DGS girls’ soccer program all four years, an Honor Roll student and a member of Woodridge Storm Soccer Club.
Miller valued her family: she had three older brothers. Kailee Miller’s mother Karen Miller explained what it was like for her daughter growing up.
“She grew up playing sports with the boys, [she] learned early how to stand up for herself while developing a very strong sense of humor and playfulness,” Karen Miller said. “My brother said to me, we all tried to teach Kailee how to be a good person — strong in her commitments, how to work hard and give her all, and how to treat people right and respect everyone. Somewhere along the way, the tables turned, and she showed us how to live.”
One of Miller’s brothers Mark Makutenas explained what it was like to watch Miller grow up.
“Kailee might have been my little baby sister, but watching her grow up, and how she lived, she’ll always by my hero,” Makutenas said.
Miller’s grandmother Lee Jepsen explained a quality of Miller that is her favorite.
“She possessed the wisdom to recognize someone in need, and freely offered a kind remark, a friendly smile, maybe a silly grin to make them laugh, a warm hug, anything to lift their spirits and make them feel better,” Jepsen said.
As a friend, Miller was there for good times and bad times.
Miller’s uncle Kris Jepsen shared how he saw Miller with her friends.
“She was a true, loyal friend, one who would always listen and be there when needed, someone you could trust till the end, no matter what,” Jepsen said.
“Kailee shared that smile and love of life with everyone she came across. She comforted and protected anyone she thought needed it,” Karen Miller said.
Miller’s longtime friend senior Miyax Leon explained what it was like being friends with Miller for nine years.
“The friendship I shared with Kailee was truly one in a million. I know it’s cheesy to say, but she was genuinely my other half. In the nine years that we were best friends, she became more than that–she was truly a part of my family, and I was a part of hers…We always had each others backs no matter what,” Leon said. “Even though she is gone, she will always by my best friend, or what we used to call each other… my forever friend.”
Senior Brandon Smikoski explained how his friendship was with Miller throughout high school.
“She impacted me beyond belief…She was always happy and would do anything to make sure I was happy… I don’t think I would have [gotten] through these four years without her,” Smikoski said.
Senior Ava Porlier explained something that everyone should know about Miller.
“[What] Everyone should know about Kailee is how caring she was for everyone… Her energy was contagious and you could never be in a bad mood around her,” Porlier said.
It was Miller’s loving personality that caused her presence to touch the lives around her.
Those who knew Miller saw not only her love for those around her, but also her adoration for puppies. Senior Eric Denby reminisces on a time he saw Miller’s love for puppies shine through.
“She found a “lost puppy” in the middle of my street and would not leave the dog until it was back with the owners, even though I told her it was my neighbors’ and it was fine,” Denby said. “She was walking around with this dog for 15 minutes making sure it was safe, and was even thinking of putting it in her car and taking it home until the owners came outside and called for it to come back.”
Seniors Nicole Plzak and Ryan Taylor explained how Miller has impacted them during their years of knowing her.
“There are so many things I wouldn’t have done if it weren’t for her, and I’m so glad I got that push out of my comfort zone,” Plzak said.
Miller’s positive and upbeat personality never faded no matter what the situation.
“She was always the happiest girl, and never failed to put a smile on anyone’s face,” Taylor said.
Social Studies teacher Paula Kenny had Miller in psychology class.
“She came to class every day with a smile on her face. Every single day…all kids have good days and bad days, but she never took it out on me or out on us…She appeared to look at the world as though the glass was half full,” Kenny said.
Senior Annalee Roselieb also explained how Miller’s way of life helped make every moment something special.
“Kailee had a way of turning every moment into a moment to remember,” Roselieb said.
Miller’s determination for soccer was shown by giving her full potential at every game and practice. Math teacher Michael McGinnis knew Miller as a student and as a player.
“Kailee is what most teachers and coaches wish for. We try to teach good habits about being positive, working hard and everything in-between. Kailee was all of that and so much more. ‘Sports don’t build character, it reveals it,’ Kailee had all the character [someone] would want in a student or athlete, and the best part was her energy was contagious ,and she made everyone around her smile and shine,” McGinnis said.
Senior Jenny Adams was a teammate of Miller’s on the Woodridge Storm for nine years, and shared some of her favorite memories from then.
“Taking her grandpa’s RV to Morton every year for a soccer tournament was always so much fun,” Adams said.
Leon describes how having Miller as a teammate impacted her life on the soccer field.
“The biggest thing she impacted me with in high school was soccer, and being able to push [me] harder every day even when I couldn’t do the last sprint or the last 18. She was and will continue to be an amazing friend, captain and teammate,” Leon said. “Every day the DGS girls soccer team steps on the field, we play for Kailee.”
Describe Kailee in one word
Full of life- Sr. Anna Roselieb
Fearless- Sr. Ava Porlier
Exuberant – Sr. Eric Denby
Goofy- Sr. Brandon Smikoski
Spontaneous- Sr. Ryan Taylor
Positive- Sr. Max Soderlund
Memorable- Sr. Hailey Freko
Fearless- Sr. Rebecca Allen
Unforgettable- Sr. Abbey Czyz
Bubbly- Jr. Natalia Pinto
Loving- Jr. Hannah Rossi
Smiley- Jr. Lexi Dimovski
Outgoing- Jr. Sara Forensler
ach Michael McG
Smart- Teacher Paula Kenny
Beautiful inside and out… you can’t describe her in one word that’s almost impossible for Kailee. – Sr. Miyax Leon
Senior numbers are low, but morale is high for the DGS boys track team this spring. As they make the transition from indoor to outdoor, Sprints Coach Dustin Hausherr knows how different the two tracks can be.
“The largest difference is the tracks we are running on. You can compete on a 160-meter or a 200-meter track indoors.There are more curves that will equal slower times for the athletes. All the tracks outdoors are 400 meters and athletes can start to focus on the times and distances they need to hit to qualify for the State meet in [the] end of May,” Hausherr said.
Just like the tracks, this years team’s mentality has also changed. Losing by just a few points last year at the WSG Conference meet, Hausherr believes that the experience, while disappointing, has given this year’s team an edge that could not be taught otherwise.
“We fell just a few points short last year to Willowbrook, but I believe that has helped us regain our focus and has motivated us to work that much harder this season,” Hausherr said.
Junior Adam Gray is one of the team captains and not only sees this new mentality, but also a camaraderie within the team that isn’t found in the average cut sport.
“Our dynamic is unique having the team be a no cut sport, it creates healthy competition within the team by running in open meets and showing what you’ve got. But also, it has a family feel. Everyone knows everyone. We can joke and kid with each other, and I feel that’s a great thing to have within a team no matter the sport,” Gray said.
Junior Jeremy Taylor agrees with Grey and thinks that this team has the mental toughness to take healthy criticism because it benefits more than just themselves.
“We push each other because we want everyone to be better than they were before. Improving the individual not only improves them, but also impacts us as well as the team,” Taylor said.
After starting off the season at 1-6, the boys Varsity volleyball team has been on a hot streak. Their record is currently 9-8 overall and 4-0 in conference play.
This recent spike in their performances has expectations rising, especially since it’s been two years since the team won a State championship. This year’s team is full of youth, including only four seniors along with six juniors and four sophomores. Senior team captain Will Tischler described the differences between the State winning team of 2013 and the current 2015 team.
“I think one thing this year that is really different about this team than the past few is that we have a young team…It is a wide spread of emotions, personality and experience,” Tischler said. “Another thing is that this team has players from all different clubs, whereas in the years past there is usually one club that dominates. With that being said, we all have different backgrounds and different training. It’s just something different and something we need to work on, so we’re all on the same page,” Tischler said.
Senior Eddie Binion also believes that the team’s separation in club volleyball impacts their performance and team chemistry.
“We have never really all played at the same volleyball club, so we all learned things different ways. While the past couple years the entire team played for the same club team, which made it a lot easier to communicate and connect with the other teammates,” Binion said.
Head Coach Kevin Streur explained how club volleyball sets limitations on players competing with people of other ages, opposed to high school where there are players ranging from freshmen to seniors. Despite this separation, Streur believes that everyone eventually gets on the same page.
“With club volleyball growing and more players playing, it’s great to see the improvements and how hard players do work in the off season from high school…Until you have tryouts, you really do not know the makeup of your team,” Streur said. “With many players spread out to different clubs when they come play for DGS we get them to understand that we are a whole program from freshman to Varsity at DGS. When they put on a DGS volleyball practice jersey [or uniform], they not only [represent] themselves, but [also take] pride in [their] school and [their] teammates.”
Compared to the championship team, this year’s team requires more senior leadership for the younger, less experienced members of the team. Streur acknowledged the role the seniors have to play this year.
“[The captains] have taken on roles of not only leadership, but [they] also [give] advice to players when they struggle or the game is not going the way we want it to,” Streur said. “With them, they have the experience and feeling of being on that team two years ago, and whatever they can provide to younger players, they do and know what it takes to play at the top level.”
Tischler elaborated on his and his co-captains’ responsibilities and how they lead by example.
“As captains we, Kyle Harty, Jeremy Hroma and I, need to lead by example on the court. If it’s keeping the energy up or staying mentally strong if a few points don’t go our way, I think the younger guys look up to us, and we need to make sure we set a good example on and off the court. We want to keep a good name for the program,” Tischler said.
A bill called the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) was recently amended by the Republican-heavy Indiana Senate and Indiana House. According to the “Indy Star,” it was originally passed with a 63-31 majority. This bill directly impacted the already inhibited members of the LGBT community. One of the reasons why this issue is so sensitive is because of the various beliefs, both religious and not, that are “against” members of the LGBT community having the same rights as heterosexual people.
The original bill stated: “Senate Bill 101 would prevent state and local governments from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless the government can prove it has a compelling interest and is doing so in the least restrictive means.”
A lot of people interpreted this law to mean that if you own a business and you have very strong religious beliefs against the rights of LGBT, you have the right to refuse to serve the LGBT community.
In my opinion, this bill is hurting our core American values; it is open discrimination. As American’s, we pride ourselves on having a democracy and equal rights. It is appalling that in 2015 people are still unaccepting and discriminatory towards any group of people.
In recent years it seemed as though progress was being made for the LGBT community because gay marriage has been becoming legal in states across the US, including Indiana since October 2014. This in itself is great, kudos to you Indiana. However, the un-amended version of the RFRA seems to be a giant step backwards.Though the bill was recently amended, the fact that it was even passed in the first place is just despicable, and shows that discrimination and hate is still alive and thriving in “the land of the free.”
Some people argue that businesses who adopt this new law will only be hurting themselves; they will lose business and put themselves in debt, so why not just let them dig themselves into a hole? This is what some expected when Memories Pizza, located in the town of Walkerton, IN, refused to cater a gay wedding. The owners said they would not refuse service in the restaurant, but would refuse to cater a wedding. While many people boycotted the store and were enraged, there was an overwhelming amount of people who supported the restaurant’s decision. When the owners set up a Go Fund Me account (pretty much a personal online charity,) they raked in over $842,000 in just a few days by those who supported this bill and what the restaurant was doing. The restaurant had originally closed due to the anger of their customers and the threats they were receiving, but with all the money they received they were able to reopen.
This law could snowball into something even worse, if you can refuse service to LGBT people, what is stopping you from refusing service to African Americans, Jewish people or those of other minority groups because you claim it is”against your religion” to serve them? There is no telling how far this could go.
This is no different than an African American being refused service because of their race-something that Americans spent years protesting and fighting against. The fact that a bakery can refuse to make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple solely because they don’t agree with it is outrageous. Just because you personally don’t agree with something doesn’t mean that you can take away basic human rights from people.
The fact that it is 2015 and bills that allow discrimination are even in the realm of possibility is simply ludicrous, and it needs to stop. The bottom line is: respecting everyone is something that has been drilled into our heads since childhood; however, this “golden rule” seems to have lost its luster in modern times.
Every spring the DGS theater department puts on the biggest production of the year — the spring musical. This year the musical is a little different than previous years; they have ditched the angsty melodramatic musicals, the hard hitting emotional ones and the ever classic ones, to present a musical unlike most. This year they presented the viewers with Spamalot.
Spamalot is a spoof of Monty Python’s classic film “Monty Python and The Holy Grail.” The musical is about the tale of King Arthur and his knightmen on an epic quest to find the legendary holy grail, though it takes a slapstick approach to the tale of King Arthur, complete with feared rabbits, knights who lose their heads and limbs and flatulent frenchmen.
Joy Belt, the musical director of the play and choir teacher, explained as to why she and director Christopher Blum picked Spamalot as this years musical.
“ Mr. Blum and I go through a very large process of looking at a class we have, and then we go through anywhere to 20 to 30 musicals to see what would match personalities, skill level, and this show [kept] coming back [up] as something that would fit the people that we have in class,” Belt said.
Over 150 kids worked to put this whimsical musical together. Actors, backstage crew, make-up artists and choir kids had worked on it for about ten weeks, starting way back in the third week of January.
Senior Emily Rzeszutko talked about what she personally was going to do to bring out the comedic aspects that made this musical so memorable.
“ I’m planning to just really get into each character/role I have and play up the comedic aspects it brings to the show,” Rzeszutko said.
The show itself is filled with one-liners, breaking the fourth wall and songs that make fun of other musicals for having songs that ‘start off slow.’ Blum had also touched briefly on what the cast did to bring out the witty lines and songs heard throughout the show.
“ The cast is quirky itself. So these kids are just having a fun time with the material, and in a true Monty Python fashion. Their goal is to entertain and provide comedic relief,” Blum said.
With all the work that went into putting the musical together, the cast also managed to have a good time with it, putting in special guests as knights (Vice Principal Vince Walsh-Rock made an appearance during Saturday’s show.) Junior Patrick Mitchell, who played Sir Galahad, had talked about why the musical was fun for him.
“My favorite part of the show is the classic humor. “Monty Python’s The Holy Grail” is a classic and many of the jokes are quotable and hilarious,” Mitchell said.
After a long time of preparation for the humorous performance, the musical had it’s opening night Thursday, April 16 and went through Sunday, April 19.
The White House has recently added a gender neutral bathroom in order to prevent transgender people and others from feeling uncomfortable using the restroom. You would think that in this day and age discrimination would not be as prevalent as it used to be. Apparently this is not the case because transgender citizens are finding equality hard to find in some places. In Florida, Kentucky, Texas, Minnesota, Nevada and even Canada, bills have been passed to terminate their ability to express their gender freedoms.
What exactly is a transgender person? A transgender person is defined as a person who does not personally identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.
Originally in 2013, Canada enacted the C279 bill in order to prevent discriminatory acts against transgender people. All that changed in February of this year.
An amendment was added to the bill that excludes transgender people from using gender specific locations such as: prisons, crisis shelters, locker rooms and washrooms. This part of the bill was added because they wanted to insure “public safety.”
If a transgender person has to go to the restroom they were assigned at birth, this puts them at a greater risk of being assaulted. There have been zero reported cases of a transgender person physically or verbally assaulting someone in the restroom. They are more likely to be hurt rather than someone else
Transgender people are more likely to be hurt because others who are using the restroom are less likely to accept them as the gender they identify as. About 70 percent of transgender in the United States have been reportedly harassed and denied entrance while trying to use the restroom.
Senior Jordan Jones believes that no matter what gender you are, you should be able to use which ever bathroom that you prefer.
“I don’t think I would mind [transgender people using the same restroom]. If they associate with a certain gender then they should be able to go with what they feel like and feel comfortable with it,” Jones said.
The original intention of preventing discrimination was completely compromised once this amendment was added. How can they say that they don’t want to discriminate, but then they turn around and do it anyway? One can only guess.
Junior Ari Ganahl believes that no matter what gender someone is they should be able to use any restroom they feel comfortable and safe in.
“If you have a transgender guy there is no reason he shouldn’t be able to use the guys bathroom,” Ganahl said.
Transgender students that attend DGS are allowed to use the restroom of the gender they identify with.
Assistant Principal Vince WalshRock gives his input on how transgender students are allowed to use the restroom they prefer.
“For the students that have come out as transgender…we’ve given them options about bathroom usage. We make sure we continue to monitor their safety and checking in to make sure they feel secure about where they’re using the facilities,” WalshRock said.
Gender neutral bathrooms have been taken into consideration for the students who don’t know which gender they may be. But for some transgender students, these bathrooms wouldn’t be as useful to many of them.
Freshmen Alan Wright explains how the neutral bathrooms would work for others.
“For a person who doesn’t identify with male or female, or identifies with both, a unisex bathroom is more of a better fit for them,” Wright said.
Many government officials need to wake up and smell the coffee because transgender people are being treated unequally right in front of their faces. Gender neutral bathrooms should be available for those who need it, and transgender people should be able to use which ever bathroom they prefer.
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.
In downtown Downers Grove, small community shops line Main Street with brightly colored awnings and a variety of offerings–from candy stores to clothing boutiques. But right off of Main there is a small shop that is the focus of Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible – a television show that takes the original design of a restaurant and totally revamps its image in 48 hours. Upon hearing that Zest Bistro, a restaurant that is part of the Lemon Tree Grocer, had been redesigned, I was eager to check out their offerings and see the new corner cafe that adorned Lemon Tree.
I visited on a Sunday, and the daily special at Zest is brunch that runs from nine in the morning to three in the afternoon. Their menu has a great mix of breakfast and lunch foods, with meals ranging from eggs benedict and pancakes to burgers and panini sandwiches.
Sitting in the restaurant, it has a very homey feel. The casual aspect of grocery shopping on half of the store mixed with the small cafe setting in the bistro makes Zest a comfortable neighborhood place. The bistro is separated by large wooden dividers painted yellow and white that open vertically like windows, making the space more open.
The center of the restaurant is a display of wooden crates filled with lemongrass, giving a fresh feel to the atmosphere of the cafe. Booths and tables surround this structure, and full length windows pull light into the bistro and through the spaces between crates, highlighting the springtime essence of the yellow and white walls and other accents. Overall, the restaurant makes you feel right at home.
The host was very friendly while seating us, and our waitress was attentive to get us drinks right away, including a complimentary water carafe for the table to share. I ordered the freshly squeezed orange juice, and it definitely had a certain character that is not present in other fresh juices at different breakfast places. It was very tangy with just the right amount of pulp.
I ended up ordering their half pound original burger, which comes with hand-cut fries. The burger was cooked exactly to my specifications (medium well) and had a generous slice of American cheese sitting on top of the perfectly seared burger. The char was just right, and the fresh tomato, lettuce and onion complemented the buttery brioche bun–which was the icing on the cake. The fries were seasoned very well, and really didn’t need any ketchup to add flavor–it was all there.
I also sampled some meals from my family, and each was above my expectations. I tried Suzie’s lemon ricotta pancakes, which had blueberries sprinkled in the batter and was served with maple syrup on the side. The pancakes themselves were sweet enough with just blueberries, but plain portions of the pancake were served best with a topping of either lemon curd or syrup. Another dish I sampled was the chicken panini, which was topped with spinach artichoke spread that was surprisingly tasty. this dish was served with homemade potato chips, and they were a great complement.
Overall, the bistro surpassed my standards for this type of restaurant. I really enjoyed the atmosphere overall, and the selection of foods made Zest a oneof a kind experience.
The phrase “careful what you wish for” just turned into “careful who you stab in the back.” “Unfriended” gives a unique new look to horror films all around, using social media as a tool of terrifying destruction.
The film is all based around six friends, Blaire (Shelley Hennig), Mitch (Moses Storm), Jess (Renee Olstead), Ken (Jacob Wysocki), Adam (Will Peltz) and Val (Courtney Halverson). All who, according to Laura Barns (Heather Sossaman) had something to do with her suicide for posting an inappropriate video on YouTube that caused her to be bullied.
“Unfriended” starts off a little dull and boring, with Blaire searching away on her computer and skyping her boyfriend Mitch, but soon after the gore begins and, dare I say, the laughter. The comedy and unpredictable angle the film is what makes it highly interesting. Laura’s rather twisted spirit does give a few laughs and of course some disturbing yet creative deaths.
Like any other horror film, you can predict who’s going to die, but you can’t predict how angry the film will leave you–which is the best part of the film and a genius act by the director Levan Gabriadze. The anger is produced from both teenage angst and teenage drama.
With both angst and drama, Gabriadze had to add selfishness to the mix, which will have your undivided attention with how perfectly mastered the characteristic added fits the film. The film is definitely special with this mix; it makes you feel better about yourself and think twice about messing with someone who’ll hold a grudge even beyond the grave.
There is something rather distinct about the film, there seems to be no plot holes. The movie holds not a single hole in the story, it stay straightforward and to the point. Laura’s ghost really means business.
Now to the actors, who might I add did an exquisite job acting as egocentric teens. They played their part and not once did they fail to deliver fear, anger and tears, making both the acting and creative presentation of the film not falter in any sort of way.
Although “Unfriended” did have it’s star worthy moments, it did fail to present an enthralling ending. The last scene betrayed the concept of what was so great during all the imaginative deaths, making you feel cheated of what could have been a better conclusion
This R rated film may not be for all, but it is certainly a refreshing new look at 21st century horror. The film is bearable and it is most definitely a must experience more than a must watch, Laura would approve.