Thursday, December 17, 2020

Mustang News - December 18, 2020 - End of Semester 2


MHS Families,

Thank you for the support during the first semester of this school year.  Remote learning has been hard for everyone.  The MHS staff is appreciative of the kind words and support throughout the fall.  In addition, thank you for being patient while we worked out problems during the semester.

I was speaking with a student the other day and when asked how things were going for me, I made the comment to him that I really missed having students in the building.  The student stopped and stated that he would never have imagined that an adult would have said he/she is missing students.  My response was heartfelt - No matter what, the adults of MHS miss being in the school with students and want nothing more than to be together.  May we be together soon.

May the new year bring health and happiness for everyone in your family. 


Anthony Kroll, Principal 

Notables spreading holiday cheer!

During the last week of school before winter break, students from The Noteables (our all-abilities choir) usually go caroling around the building for staff and students. Since this wasn’t possible this year, we wanted to share some holiday cheer with you, virtually!

Due to the constraints of recording each student individually we can’t sing for you, but we would love to share the song “A Holiday Road of Carols” with you as well as some of our plans for winter break! We learned this song during class and love singing it on Zoom. 

“A Holiday Road of Carols” combines many holiday songs into one. Check out this video we made and use the lyrics on the screen to sing along to some of your favorites including “Holiday Road,” “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Hall,” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”

Pool Noodle Cardio Drumming takes off at MHS; Chicago Cubs organist joined in

Pool noodle cardio drumming at Mundelein High School began as a collaboration between the district occupational therapist, Julie Hupp, and the adaptive PE teachers, Todd Parola and Reed Christensen. During remote learning, the group worked together to come up with movement ideas in an effort to engage and develop the student's motor skills in a fun and interactive way.

According to Hupp, Pool noodle cardio drumming combines motor movement with auditory and visual feedback. Since it is multi-sensory, it facilitates increased engagement. This makes it a great tool to strengthen a variety of skills for students such as improving body control, facilitating specific arm movements, increasing eye hand coordination, strengthening the upper extremities, and midline crossing. It also helps with grasping, fluidity of movement, and overall motor skills. It increases the heart rate and blood flow, resulting in an effective aerobic workout, all while having fun!

We sure had fun making the videos and the students love them,” Hupp said.

Recently, the Chicago Cubs organist, John Benedeck, joined some of the MHS staff, Transition Center staff, and administration to make videos to use with the students during PE and therapy.

For additional information, contact Jamie DiCarlo, assistant superintendent for student services, at


Siberian Orchestra

We will Rock You

Cubs song with the Cubs organist!!

MHS Jazz Ensemble Performance for 2020 International Band and Orchestra Festival
This past spring we shared with you the excitement that the Mundelein High School Jazz Ensemble was selected as a performer at the 2020 Midwest Clinic: International Band and Orchestra Festival.  This festival has been held in Chicago for the past 75 years welcoming nearly 18,000 professional musicians and educators from the United States and more than 40 countries.  The audition process consists of submitting audio and video recordings from the prior year’s ensemble.  This year, Mundelein High School was one of only four high school jazz bands from across the country selected to perform.  Of course, this year is different and the convention turned digital while the selected performing ensembles have had their performances deferred to the 2021 festival…. but our performance time had been scheduled to be this afternoon, December 17th at 1:00pm, and the students put together a virtual performance for the occasion. 


Students Excel in Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge

Several students in the App Development and Coding class at Mundelein High School excelled in the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge recently. Two different class sections competed and the first place winners were Xander Ede, Ella Kasamis and Caden Minehart. Second place went to Enrique Gonzalez, Marshall Maxim and Erich Robb. Third place finishers were Michael Chen and Vytautas Zumas.

Students programmed a virtual version of Hercules, the robot used in Amazon fulfillment centers to bring shelving pods to workers to pack orders. “Amazon has a sophisticated system of fulfilling its orders and a lot of computer science is involved in making it happen,” said Chris Hoster, teacher of the course who attended a live virtual tour of a facility. “The Robotics Challenge allowed students to connect their programming knowledge to real-world innovations that solve problems and create innovative solutions,” he explained.

The competition was provided by the Amazon Future Engineer (AFE) program at MHS which supplies coursework and programs for students who are interested in computer science and engineering. The program also offers scholarships for seniors, virtual and in-person tours, class meetings with real Amazon engineers, internships, teacher support and more as it continues to build this program. “Amazon knows there is a huge demand for these jobs that pay very well and wants to increase the interest in our youth to explore computer science and engineering,” Hoster explained. The US is projected to have only 28 percent of computer science graduates to fill the 1.4 million computer science-related jobs available (Bureau of Statistics, 2020).

App Development and Coding, AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A are courses that are part of the AFE program at MHS.

Mundelein volunteer earns state award

Mundelein resident, Veronica Villaseñor, has earned the Illinois State Board of Education Award of Meritorious Service for Community Volunteer, for the work she does for the Mundelein schools and community. She was nominated by three members of the MHS staff who work with her: Jamie DiCarlo, assistant superintendent of student services for districts 75 and 120; Stacey Gorman, assistant

Veronica Villasenor

superintendent for teaching and learning, District 120; and Sol Cabachuela, parent liaison for District 120.

“Typically, we would have celebrated these accomplishments, along with those of many others, at our annual Teacher of the Year/Those Who Excel banquet in October,” said Dr. Carmen Ayala, state superintendent of education. “It is unfortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the event to be canceled,” Ayala explained.

“Veronica has worked tirelessly bringing relationships and communications between our bilingual families and the schools as her children have attended both District 75 and District 120 schools,” DiCarlo said.

Villaseñor volunteers in a number of ways in the community including bridging relationships and communications between bilingual families and the schools, being active in the Latino Police Academy in Mundelein, the Mundelein High School Parent Ambassadors, Universidad de Padres and the MHS Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee. “She serves on various panels and focus groups as well and is truly invested in increasing access and comfort levels of families when it comes to school,” Gorman explained.

Throughout the pandemic, Villaseñor has been at every food distribution event of every type, never missing an opportunity to support the community. This includes more than 30 food/supply/gift distribution events that she has been part of. Two to four days a week she volunteers to distribute breakfast and lunch at one of the MHS food distribution spots in Diamond Lake. “We are better because of her and we learn from her,” Cabachuela said. “She is selfless and patient and also hilarious and she really manages the whole crew at our volunteer events.”

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, Villaseñor was instrumental in the organization of the District 120 Welcome Center and all of its events. “She volunteers weekly to organize new donations of food, clothing and supplies at the Welcome Center and facilitates families getting what they need,” Gorman explained.

“She never stops and is nothing short of absolutely amazing,” DiCarlo said.

“You took on the challenges associated with an unprecedented pandemic with an unwavering determination that has been a shining example for all students of how to handle adversity. I truly admire you and your wonderful accomplishments and personally thank you for all you do for students in our great state,” Ayala concluded.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Mustang News - December 11, 2020


COVID Vaccine Sign Up
The Lake County Health Department has announced that the Lake County AllVax Portal is open. Please register today so you can be notified when a COVID-19 vaccine is available. Registering online can be done by visiting You can also register over the phone by calling the Lake County Health Department at (847) 377-8130. For more information, view the press release from the County Health Department English Press Release; Spanish Press Release. 

By entering basic information and answering a few screening questions on the portal, you will be notified when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available. You can register yourself and others on the portal. Once you are registered, you can also schedule your vaccination appointments through the Lake County clinics or facilities through the system when a vaccine is available to you. The portal also includes answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination.

Because vaccine supply will be limited at first, certain groups of people who are at higher risk will be eligible for vaccination before others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is helping state and local health departments distribute the vaccine fairly. Learn more about these guidelines on the CDC’s website.  

For information about the COVID-19 pandemic from state and federal sources, visit the State of Illinois, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites.

MHS Bookstore Hours

The MHS Bookstore is where parents or students may pay fees as needed.

The bookstore services are available each morning from 8am – Noon @ the Annex.  In the afternoons, bookstore services are available from 1-3pm @ the high school.

Free drive-through flu shots

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is hosting free flu shots on Tuesday, Nov. 24, and Dec. 15. 

The Care Mobile clinic will be available from 9 am to 3 pm at Carl Sandburg Middle School. Flu vaccines are only available for those between 4 to 18 years of age who are Medicaid eligible or no insurance. Flu shots are open to all of those eligible and not limited to only District 75 and District 120 students.

A registration form must be emailed to Kathy Gouzoules at by Saturday, Nov. 21.

Participants should arrive at least 10 minutes before their scheduled appointment time for COVID screening and temperature checks. Each appointment is expected to be 10 minutes in length.

For assistance or questions, please email Jamie DiCarlo or Kathy Gouzoules

To register, please visit:  

Blood Drive

In years past, Mundelein High School has hosted blood drives to help keep the supply strong in our geographic area. The pandemic which hit last March changed everything but it has not changed the need for blood. Every few seconds someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion to help them survive surgery, trauma, recover from cancer treatments or a blood disorder.

Due to remote learning and social distancing, Mundelein High School will hold a Virtual Blood Drive to take place over a four-week time period from November 16 through December 13. Donors, who must be at least 16 years old, may include students, staff, family and friends.

“Tell your neighbors and friends to donate,” said Justin Hart, MHS Wellness Department Chair and coordinator of the event. “Wear school apparel and take selfies to post on social media,” he said.

Here are the details:

Donate blood at any Vitalant Donor Center (formerly LifeSource). The closest sites are in Gurnee and Lake Bluff. All locations may be found here:

All donors who provide the group code MN07 (or school name) during the screening process at the time of donation will receive a coupon for a FREE large one-topping pizza from Papa John’s and will give the school credit for the scholarship dollars.

Vitalant has responded to the pandemic with many safety measures including temperature checks, social distancing, continuous sanitation of donor-touched areas and the use of masks by donors and staff.

Signing up online is easy. Visit and click “Donate Now” on any page. First-time users should click “New Donor” and proceed to complete the registration

Mention Mundelein High School or the group code MN07.

“Every use of the group code helps MHS earn scholarship dollars through the Vitalant High School Scholarship Program,” Hart explained. “These funds help us with student scholarships here at the school.”

Student Leadership Pie Sale

Help raise funds for Student Leadership - and make the holiday season easy! Market Day is offering holiday pie bundles with big savings! Spend more time with your loved ones this season, and out of the kitchen. Market Day's restaurant quality pies are sure to be the talk of the family meals this season! Choose from one of our Holiday bundles and save!


Mundelein Theatre senior, Matthew Callas, auditioned and was selected as part of the All-State cast of the  2021 Illinois High School Theatre Festival (IHSTF).  Audiences may recognize Callas from his various roles on the Mundelein Theatre stage, such as Marius in Les Miserables, Eddie in Sister Act, John Merrick in The Elephant Man and most recently as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing.

Matthew Callas
Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the 2021 IHSTF was canceled. “Though the in-person festival was called off, the festival committee worked diligently to bring many of the elements of the event virtually to the high school students and teachers of Illinois,” said Jonathan Meier, Mundelein Theatre Director. The IHSTF is proud to announce a special streaming performance featuring a select ensemble of the top high school actors, technicians, and musicians from the 2021 graduating seniors throughout the state of Illinois.

Rehearsals for the Virtual Cabaret have taken place online over several long weekends during this fall, culminating in the first of two performances on Saturday, November 28 at 7 pm. The second performance will be on January 9, 2021. Admission is free, and the performance link is posted on both the IHSTF and the ITA websites: and

All-State Director Kevin Long (Harper College) said, “I have truly enjoyed working with these talented young artists from across the state of Illinois.  As Hamlet says, ‘The time is out of joint.’ These young artists have not let anything stop them from creating meaningful theatre. Their energetic spirit and positive attitude have made this unique project very special. I am incredibly proud of them and I thank them for being kind, brave, safe and for being themselves. It’s been an honor.”

Now in its 46th consecutive year, the Illinois High School Theatre Festival (IHSTF) is the largest and oldest non-competitive high school theatre festival in the nation, and is produced by the Illinois Theatre Association. Over 4,500 students, teachers, university representatives, exhibitors, and volunteers come together to put on theatrical workshops and various high school productions.

AVID College Acceptances to Date 

College & Career Center

The CCRC is still offering College Counseling Drop in hours every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. until December 16, 2020. Follow the Zoom link below to join us!

 CCRC Morning Drop In

College scholarships for Seniors are in full swing, so be sure to catch up on any of the scholarships that are being offered through Naviance. 

Also check out our Twitter and Instagram accounts for upcoming events.

As a reminder, if you have not yet done so, please take a moment to review and bookmark the Virtual College and Career Resource Center. (Virtual CCRC)

Financial Aid Assistance: Don’t forget, MHS has a wonderful representative from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission who is happy to help you work through your financial aid questions! Reach out to Alexis any time, or connect with him on Wednesday during his dedicated MHS hours! You can find Alexis’ information in the Virtual CCRC or by using the link below.

Connect with Alexis

Remember, if you have questions at any time you just have to schedule an appointment with Mrs. Rusk, our College Counselor, and we can connect via Zoom to talk through any questions or concerns you may have!


Even though we, winter sports, are not physically able to meet, our coaches are busy with zoom meetings with their teams. Hang in there!

Girls Basketball Zoom

Girls Gymnastics Zoom

Photos from the Week

Student Leadership 

Left to right: Bella Feijoo, Rayna Carreathers, Kristina Spada, Isabel Sioson, Elizabeth Heraty