Thursday, December 17, 2015

Enjoy A Wonderful Winter Break!

With winter break beginning today, the MHS staff wishes each family a new year full of family, food and great memories!  Hopefully, this will be a restful two weeks.  Mustang News will resume in January.


National Honor Society sold 287 candy canes this past week.  The money raised was all donated to the #Bakerbrave fund.  Students sold the canes during lunch periods and delivered them to students during homeroom.



Orchesis is a dance club opened to all MHS boys and girls, no experience is necessary.
The club puts on 4 shows during the school year along with Dance Clinics for the youth in our community.

Triathlon Club

Triathlon Club is a new club offered to all students who want to train for a triathlon.  Students do NOT have to compete but it is highly encouraged.  Students will be given the opportunity to practice swimming, biking (indoors and outdoors) and running separately and also in combinations.  The goal for this school year is to host an indoor tri as well as an outdoor tri at the end of the school year.

Recycling Club 

Recycling Club is open to all MHS students.  Just a half-hour of your time Tuesdays and Thursdays can make a huge difference in doing something good for the environment and keeping our school looking great.  The club can be used to record community service hours as well.  Anyone can join anytime, just come to room B147 right after school any Tuesday or Thursday, or email Mr. Battista for more info at


Dance Team

Congratulations to Mundelein High School Dance Team who took 1st place at the Lake Zurich Dance Competition this past Saturday, December 12.  The dance team under the direction of Coach Melissa Schaefer has placed 1st two times in the last three competitions that they have been in.  Great work ladies.

New Athletic Director

The Mundelein High School District 120 Board of Education has hired Troy Parola to replace Perry
Wilhelm as MHS Athletic Director. Wilhelm will retire from the District June 30 and Parola will begin his new post July 1.

Parola currently works as Athletic Director at Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa, a position he has held since 2005. His previous experience includes seven years at MHS as a physical education and driver education teacher from 1998 to 2005. During that time he also coached football, wrestling and track. Other experience includes teaching at Grayslake High School for four years and Health/Physical Education Department Chair at Paxton Buckley Loda High School in Paxton, IL.

Parola holds a bachelor of science degree in education from Millikin University and a master of arts degree in educational administration from Northeastern Illinois University.

"I look forward to working with the students, parents, faculty, coaches and community of Mundelein. I am very honored and excited that I have been given the opportunity to lead the Athletic Department at MHS,” Parola explained.  “Each and every day we will strive to provide a positive and productive experience for all students during their time at MHS."

“We are happy to welcome Troy Parola back to Mundelein High School in a new role as athletic director,” said Anthony Kroll, principal. “We look forward to the leadership he will provide for our coaching staff and student athletes.”

Photographs from the week...

9th grader Justin So playing in the Holiday Music Concert.

Good news...I'm on the Nice List!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Book Love - Instilling the Passion in Reading

Few would refute that reading is a life long skill useful for any career and life activity.  MHS teachers have always promoted the importance of daily reading and being able to read for long periods of time.  However, this message is often lost among the distractions of video games, work, social media, or apathy.  Encouraging strong reading habits in students is a battle of epic proportions!

In the past two years, the MHS English department has taken a different approach to encouraging reading called Book Love.  In short, students are encouraged to read the book of their choice rather than having a book title forced upon them.  Students read daily in class, record the pages they read, and set goals to continually improve the quantity read.  Multiple courses meet on a particular period and for "Booktalk" groups - a time for students from different classes to meet and discuss each individual student choice book.  Teachers talk and conference with students to discuss the book being read on a daily basis maintaining a culture for the love of reading.

The results are breathtaking!

  • Students break personal records in the number of pages read and books completed in a single semester.
  • Understanding of author's tone, themes, and other literary qualities has improved since students have a personal interest in the book they have chosen to read.
  • Media Center circulation is UP!  
    • Fall 2013                           3,349 Total Circulations                44 Holds
    • Fall 2014                           4,747 Total Circulations                48 Holds
    • Fall 2015                           8,139 Total Circulations           141 Holds
Data only says so much.  The video below demonstrates how students describe their reading habits and have felt about Book Love.  What they share is typical with what many students share by the end of the semester.  Students were asked “What kind of reader were you before this class?” and “What kind of reader are you now?”

Parents invited to hear about bell schedule recommendations

Parents of current and future Mundelein High School students are invited to attend an open meeting to hear about recommendations for a possible bell schedule adjustment to be made beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. The meeting will be held Monday, December 14, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the MHS cafeteria.

A long-range planning committee previously prioritized issues with the school that needed to be studied and the current 4 x 4 Block Schedule was the number one item on that list. A faculty committee was then formed to look into many issues concerning the block schedule vs. a traditional eight-period school day.  The committee studied current research, examined bell schedules at nearby high schools and surveyed the staff. Director of Guidance Tom Buenik and Business Education Instructor Rahul Sethna head the committee which includes two faculty representatives from each department.

Following extensive research, the committee are showcasing four possible bell schedules to present to the District 120 Board of Education in January.  At the December 14 meeting the committee will explain the details of the four different schedules and allow for comments and questions concerning the potential change in the daily schedule for Mundelein High School students.

“Our main goal, above all, is to provide the best possible learning environment that supports success among all our students,” Buenik said. “We look forward to speaking with parents and answering any questions they may have.”


MHS announces Illinois State Scholars

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission [ISAC], the state agency committed to helping make college accessible and affordable for Illinois families, bestows this recognition to top Illinois high school students each year. This year, nearly 19,000 elite honorees join the other top state students honored for their academic achievements since the designation was first introduced in 1958.

The following MHS seniors have been recognized:

Stephen Adams, Mitchell Alberts, Hunter Ashton, Jiwon Baeq, Anahi Barraza, Sahana Belagur, John Bikus, Duncan Black, Monika Bowser, Elise Campbell, Darin Chaichitatorn, Katherine Chuma, Joseph Clow, Ian Cornejo, Josephine David, Madison Davis, Abigail Denson, Amanda Diaz, Clark Dumblauskas, Nicholas Duncan, Ryan Fairweather, Colten Fisher, Trevor Fox, Johnathan Frew, Kevin Fung, Adrian Grady, Zachary Green, Abigail Grein, Kelly Grove, Alexandrea Guiritan, Julia Harbison, Emily Hay, Colin Hecht, Kylie Hecht, Crystal Hernandez, Dylan Horswell, Andrew Hurley, Anthony Ko, Jeremiah Lam, Jennifer Lavin, Minh Le, Vivian Lee, Alexandra Levin, Anastasia Metropulos, Pawel Michalski, Jahnvi Modi, Megan Murphy, Ashley Nensel, Jennimai Nguyen, Stephen Nick, Camille Nowicki, Marisa Nuzzo, Lauren Owens, Jaryd Pacis, Angela Peterson, Haley Peterson, Christian Phillips, Rubi Rodriguez, Patricia Roques, Adriana Salse, Kaila Saunders, Emma Smith, Kishan Surti, Peter Sweeney, Melissa Tazioli, Nicole Teeters, Kyra Tessmann, Allison Wallace, Michael Yoo.

“It is always an honor to announce another extraordinary group of State Scholars,” said Eric Zarnikow, ISAC executive director. “At a time when postsecondary education could not be more important to future job and career success, these students have demonstrated the kind of effort and dedication that will help them advance not only their futures, but the future of the state as well. We wish each of them the best as they pursue their chosen educational path.”


Student groups to perform at Literacy Night at Barnes & Noble

Several groups of Mundelein High School students will help to celebrate the holidays with Literacy Night Friday, December 11, from 6 p.m. through closing. The event will take place at the Vernon Hills Barnes & Noble store.

Beginning at 6 p.m. students will be available to shoppers for gift wrapping. At 7 p.m. the MHS carolers will sing favorite holiday tunes. They will be followed by members of the Poetry Slam Club who will perform spontaneous prose and offer bedtime stories for children. The carolers will perform once again at 8 p.m. Throughout the evening Barnes & Noble will feature book tables with teacher- and student-recommended titles.

A portion of all sales, both in-store and online, will go to the MHS Media Center. Patrons may use the code 11716255 as the online shopping will continue for five days following the event.
“This will provide a great opportunity for us to get high-demand books into the hands of eager young readers,” said Rebecca Plaza, MHS librarian.

Toys for Tots collection underway

Once again, Mundelein High School will serve as a drop-off site for Toys for Tots. The collection is being coordinated by the MHS SADD [Students Against Destructive Decisions] organization.

Area residents are encouraged to drop off new, unwrapped toys to the box located just inside the main entrance to the high school. MHS student groups will be competing with each other to see who can donate the most toys.

The drop-site at MHS will continue through Friday, Dec. 18, the last day of school before the winter break. “It’s all for a great cause,” said Ryan Buck, SADD advisor. “Every kid deserves a toy for the holidays and Toys for Tots works to make that happen.”

MHS bands, choirs combine for Holiday Collage Concert

The instrumental music and vocal groups at Mundelein High School will combine to present a Holiday Collage Concert Tuesday, December 15 at 7 p.m. in the MHS Auditorium. Admission is free. The tradition of ending the holiday concert with the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah will also continue this year.

All MHS music groups will perform together and separately for the concert to include the Women’s Choir, Treble Choir, Select Women’s Ensemble, Master Singers, Honors Symphonic Winds, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and the Honors Wind Ensemble.

Some of the songs that the audience will hear include holiday favorites such as Sleigh Ride, Silver Bells, The Holly and the Ivy and Jingle Bells.

Jerald Shelato and Andrew Sturgeon direct the MHS instrumental music program while Stevee Bellas and Cory Thompson direct the vocal music program.


Mundelein High School will host a Girls Basketball Holiday Tournament starting Monday, December 21st  - December 26.  There will be 16 teams participating in this tournament.  Please check the website for the schedule.

Coming soon...our new mascot...stay tuned...

Photos from the last week:

Walking out of the building after a long 10 hours at MHS was a rewarding experience on Dec. 9th, as there was no snow on the ground. Taken by Cara Schaul

English teacher Jim Drier tries his hand at the pottery wheel under the guidance of MHS art teachers.

Katherine Miller ‘19 smiles wide as she stunts during the Boys Varsity basketball game against Libertyville. Taken by Emma Aculado

Orchesis club members Alana Dickens ‘16, Erica Peterson ‘16, Natale Fiocchi ‘16, Diana Guliyeva ‘16, Yadira Ramos ‘16, and Emily Olson ‘18 performed a special Christmas dance during the December show on Monday, Dec. 7th. Taken by Kate Chuma

Anatomy Field Trip to Cadaver Lab at North Park University.

Staff Spot Light

Mike Hickey - Physics Teacher

Life before MHS - I was a part-time faculty at Kiswaukee Junior College.  I taught a physical science course and a chemistry lab section.

What are your hobbies/ interests - My family, playing music/guitar, cooking food.

Insider tips for Parents - Know how your student is doing and provide appropriate pressure and support.

Best part of working at MHS - Being in Science Department that is professional and supportive of each other -- and often times hilarious.

College Attended - Northern Illinois University - B.S. Physics Education; M.S. Education Administration  and  Loyola University Chicago, Ed.D. Curriculum and Instruction

How long have at MHS - This is my 22nd year.

Favorite part of my job:  I have the privilege to have students discover for themselves some of the many amazingly cool physics principles whose explanations go against what most would commonly think would happen.

Who or what inspires me?  Professional athletes who excel at their sport.

New Building Construction Photographs

In preparation for choosing course for the 2016-17 school year, MHS students were given an opportunity to tour the new building and talk about new courses.  Below are some images from this event.

Looking North into STEM and Project Lead the Way Labs.

MHS students talk IHC construction site manager Jim Feltz.

Looking west 1st floor classrooms.

Monumental stairway in the middle of new addition.

Second floor view looking south.

Click HERE to see more construction photos from the month of November.

2nd Floor East

2nd Floor West

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Helping to Prevent the Flu

Families, students, and school staff can keep from getting sick with flu in three ways:

Practicing good hand hygiene - Students and staff members should wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

Practicing respiratory etiquette - The main way that the flu spreads is from person to person in the droplets produced by coughs and sneezes, so it’s important to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands.

Staying home if you’re sick - Keeping sick students at home means that they keep their viruses to themselves rather than sharing them with others.

Students, staff, and their families must take personal responsibility for helping to slow the spread of the virus by practicing these steps to keep from getting sick with flu and protecting others from getting the flu.

Photos from the Week:

Caitlin Pieklo ‘16 races up the court with the ball at the Varsity basketball game at MHS on Dec 1.

Niki Patel ‘16, Haley Peterson ‘16, and Amanda Diaz ‘16 worked the candy cane sale for National Honor Society during their lunch period. Taken by Madison Davis

On Dec. 1, Dr. Dave Greenwood addressed a crowd forming around the school’s new nano-microscope in the commons which will be implemented into the new wing. 

MHS Wellness classes began their bowling unit this week.

Thank you to Mr. Stewart for the new opportunity!

And roller skating!

Thank you to Mr. Evans for the new opportunity!


Senior Baby Ad

Your student will be graduating right before your eyes, so celebrate your student’s milestone by purchasing a Senior Baby Ad for the yearbook! Having a charming picture of your student when he/she was a baby, along with a little note to show your love and appreciation for your child as he/she has grown through the years, will make the yearbook all the better.

All sales go through our publishing company, Jostens, so please do not contact or send materials to our school. Click HERE to order a senior baby ad.

Each baby ad will be ⅛ of the page for $50. Your ad order must be received by 12/07/15.

Class Rings

Herff Jones will deliver class rings on Thursday, December 10 from 9:00 to 9:30 AM outside of the Main Office.  Final payment must be made prior to delivery. Personal checks will not be accepted for final payment. If you still need to order your class ring, please see Herff Jones on December 10. You can pick up a ring packet in the Main Office.


What would it look like if teachers were treated like sports stars?  Comedians Key and Peele show us...

MHS STAND UP Task Force with State Congressman Bob Dold


On November 12, 2015 United States Congressman Bob Dold (IL-10) met with the Mundelein
STAND-UP Task Force, community members, and Mundelein High School students, to discuss strategies to help Mundelein teens “Be the Majority” and lead substance-free lifestyles.

Academic All State

Colten Fisher and Davin Quebrado were named to the 7A Academic All-State team by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association.  Coach Larry Calhoun presented them with their award certificates during their lunch period on Monday, November 23.  To be nominated for this award, the student-athlete must have been selected as first-team all-conference, and have a G.P.A. of at least 3.5.

We are very proud of these two young men and their accomplishments!

College & Career Resource Center

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:

College Financial Aid Night -  Thursday, January 7, 2016, 7PM

FAFSA Workshop - Thursday, January 14, 2016, 6PM - 8PM

ZAPS ACT Prep. Seminar - Wednesday & Thursday, February 10 & 11, 2016, 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM

College Planning Night - Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 7 PM

More details to follow...stay tuned!


Spanish Speaking Parents

You are invited to attend the Course Selection Night for Spanish-speaking families on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 from 5:30-7:30 PM  hosted by the ELL Bilingual Department and Universidad de Padres. Please be on the lookout for a letter with more information. If you can attend, please RSVP to Maria Sanchez at 847-949-2200 ext. 1035 by December 1.

Mundelein STAND-UP Task Force

The Mundelein STAND-UP Task Force started in 2007 to prevent and reduce underage drinking and drug use among youth in Mundelein.  The group is comprised of community leaders, organizations, schools, police, churches, youth, parents, and neighbors who are concerned about the health, safety and well-being of Mundelein youth.  The Task Force meets the second Thursday of every month at the Mundelein Police Department from 8:30 am – 10:00 am. Meetings are free and open to the public.  For more information contact Task Force Chairman Deputy Chief Don Hansen at (847) 968-3779 or visit


Monday, December 7, MHS Orchesis club will present the second performance of the 2015-16 school year. Performance will include various styles of dance choreographed and performed by Orchesis club members and the Dance PE class. The club members will host a youth  dance clinic on Sunday, December 6th from 1:00-2:30 PM. Kids pre-school - 8th grade will work on dance technique and learn a dance to perform in the Monday night show. Cost of the clinic is $15 and includes a Tshirt. Admission to the show is $4 adults, $3 seniors and students.

Mundelein After School Coalition (MASC)

On Tuesday, November 24, along with the Mundelein Police Department, Mundelein After School
Coalition (MASC) members from Mundelein High School, Fremont Middle School, West Oak Middle School, and Carl Sandburg Middle School put together Thanksgiving baskets and deliver them to families.

Santa Claus is coming to MHS 

Mundelein High School’s vocal music groups will host a Santa’s Workshop Craft and Gift Boutique Saturday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the MHS main gymnasium. Admission is free. More than 30 vendors will be on hand with a variety of merchandise/services for sale. Santa Claus will be available to take photos with children or adults and/or pets for $3. Dogs must be on leashes to enter the building. Raffle prizes will also be available with tickets at $1 or six for $5. Throughout the event, MHS show choirs will perform holiday songs. Cory Thompson and Stevee Bellas direct the vocal music program at MHS.

Relay for Life Kickoff Party

Friday, December 4 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at Mundelein High School in the Main Gym •Dodgeball
Tournament and mingling from 6:00pm-7:00pm
•Hypnotist Ari Silver will be performing/hypnotizing from 7:00pm-8:00pm
•$3 Admission includes: Jimano's pizza and participation in all activities
•Candy, soda, and chips are available for additional purchase at the concession stand in the commons area (100% of proceeds are donated back to our Relay)
•Jamba Juice smoothies available for additional purchase (a % of the proceeds are donated back to Relay)

**You do not have to be a part of Relay For Life to attend this event- anyone and everyone is welcome. Feel free to invite friends, family, teachers...whoever!**

Please join and help us kick off the 2016 Relay For Life of GLMV Youth event season!
Hope to see you there!

Byte Club and Byte Bash

Byte Bash is an event that coincides with the nation Hour of Code Week whose sole purpose is to introduce as many students and teachers to programming, coding, and logic as possible. The event is informal and includes guided tutorials, games, contests, prizes, and free food for hour-of-coders! No RSVP necessary, just stop by and try your hand at coding. You don't need advanced math skills or the ability to read binary. All skill levels and interest levels are welcomed!

The MHS Byte Club, now in its first year as an official club, is dedicated to raising awareness and interest in computer programming and coding at MHS. Past projects include the Mustang Match match-making program and a ByteMe webgame. Members even recently had their game, Exit Strategy, selected as the best overall project at CodeDay Chicago in November. Our members vary greatly in background and experience. In any given meeting, you'll find members working on projects, challenges, tutorials, and learning new skills all in an informal interest-based format. Any student is welcomed to join/participate with no formal time commitment. We meet every Tuesday from 3:30-5:30 in A102.

Staff Spot Light

Rachel Kluber - Math Teacher

Life before MHS - I worked at Streamwood High School for two years teaching Algebra I and Algebra II.

What are your hobbies/ interests - I enjoy traveling with my fiance, who is also a math teacher! Our goal is to roadtrip to all four corners of the U.S.  Last year, we traveled from Chicago to California over a 3 week span. I love to camp, hike, and cook new recipes!

Insider tips for Parents - My best advice for parents is to encourage students to retest if the teacher offers that option. Retesting is a great way to prove proficiency and learn material that may have been missed the first time. 

Best part of working at MHS - So far, the staff's collaborative attitude!

You may not know...I love sushi! I could eat it every day. 

College Attended - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign / B.S. in Mathematics

How long have at MHS - This is my first year!

Favorite part of my job:  My favorite part of teaching is the look on students faces when they do something they thought they couldn't.

Book recommendation:  Read the Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker if you are in to Sci-Fi novels. 

Who or what inspires me? My grandmother, who was a mother of six and a full-time high school French teacher.