Friday, February 25, 2022

Mustang News - February 25, 2022

Friday Focus


Poetry Contest

Amateurs, semi-professionals, professionals and students of all ages were invited to submit original poetry in response to the 2022 Poetry Challenge. This year Highland Park Poetry challenged poets to write a response to one of three prompts, and Mrs. Behrens’s students focused on underwater life. Mrs. Behrens’s Freshmen Honors students: Andrian Afonso and Chloe Winkler were both awarded honorable mentions, and Logan Sill won 2nd place overall! In addition, their poetry will also be featured on the Muses’ Gallery on the Highland Park Poetry website throughout April & May 2022, and they will be invited to read their poems at a venue and date still to be determined.

Andrian Afonso

Chloe Winkler


Order Graduation Yard Signs HERE!!!

Mattress Sale

It's that time again!  The boys' track team is having our World Famous Mattress Sale.  If you need a mattress, or know someone who does, this is your opportunity to get a great mattress for a great price!  The date is March 13th, and the location is the school cafeteria.  All proceeds benefit the boys' track team.  Hope to see you there!  

5Essentials Parent Survey

On behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois 5Essentials Survey will be administered online by UChicago Impact at the University of Chicago. The survey gathers data related to five indicators that can predict important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains. 

These five indicators that affect and predict school success are:

  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environments
  • Ambitious Instruction

Prior research in more than 400 schools has shown that schools that were strong on at least three of these “5Essential” indicators were 10 times more likely to improve student learning gains in math and reading than those that were weak on three or more Essentials. 

We value your opinions about the operations of the high school and are looking for your input. This is your chance to provide input concerning your children’s education. MHS benefits from a strong response rate from parents in order for us to access to the data from the survey. The survey is available to MHS parents now and the deadline to complete the survey is March 22 but we encourage you to complete it as soon as you can. 

2022 Illinois Parent Survey

Link to survey:  

Parent Teacher Conferences - Wednesday, March 2
In order to accommodate all parents, spring Parent / Teacher conferences will be virtual
Conferences can be scheduled from 8:30am on February 22 to 11:00pm on February 28 using this link:

Early dismissal for students - 12:20pm dismissal
2:10pm - 4:30pm - 1st set of conferences (10 minute sessions)
4:40pm-5:30pm - Virtual parent presentation/Student diversity panel*
5:30pm - 7:40pm - 2nd set of conferences (10 minute sessions)

Register (new users)
Enter your email address and click "Login/Create Account".
Fill in the required fields and register.
For each child, enter a student ID and birth date (mm/dd/yyyy)

Sign In
If you've previously registered, all you need to do is enter your email and password. The system will recognize you and the children you have added to your account.

Each colored square represents an available meeting time. The legend shows you which teacher corresponds to which color, and the times increase as you go down the page. (Note: you will not see all of the teachers at your school, just the set of teachers that your children have classes with.) Click on a square to book that time.

You will optionally have the choice of setting a time when you would like a reminder email delivered.

Click "Create Appointment".

Repeat until you have an appointment with each teacher you'd like to visit with.
At any time you can click on "printable schedule" and print the resulting web page to get a hard copy of your schedule.

If you want to make changes to your schedule, you can log in at any time with the email address and password you used to create your account.

Click on “Your Schedule” to display and hide your appointments. There will be links to change the time, or cancel the appointment.

Please contact the Principal’s Office with any questions about Parent Teacher Conferences.
847-949-2200, X1230

Questions to ask during Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Does my student demonstrate specific strengths in your class?
  • How is my student doing in your class: Grades, attendance, missing assignments
  • How can my student improve his/her grade?
  • Is there some way that I can check my student’s progress in class?
  • Are there any upcoming projects or assignments my student should be working on?

*Student Panel:
Diversity from a student lens. Join MHS students live on Zoom as they discuss diversity at MHS and in our community. 

March 2, 4:30-5:30 pm

2022-2023 Early Registration Fee
The 2022-2023  Early Registration Fee item has been added to the PowerSchool fee accounts for the Class of 2023, 2024, and 2025.  If you choose to pay the Registration Fee by May 1st, 2022, you will receive the $25 discount currently applied in PowerSchool.  Starting May 2nd, the discount will be removed and the regular Registration Fee of $275 will be listed. Please know that all prior Registration and Course fees must be paid off before paying the Early Registration item. If you have any questions, please reach out to KC Olson in the MHS Payment Center at

Job Fair

On Tuesday, March 15 we are hosting an in-person Job Fair for students 16 years and older.  The fair will take place in the commons during 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th class periods.  

As you are aware, the workforce has many shortages.  Our businesses are excited about the possibility of their recruitment efforts at MHS. 

 This event will not only offer traditional part-time employment, it will also have employers like Medline Healthcare hiring for internships, and post high school career opportunities.  


Football (Mundelein Review)

Mundelein High School was chosen as one of three finalists in the state for the inaugural academic excellence award from the National Football Foundation.

A total of 62 finalist schools were chosen across the country for the award, which officials with MHS said was designed to, “inspire and foster a culture of academic excellence on high school football teams throughout the nation.”

The award ultimately went to Cypress Woods High School in Texas, but MHS Head Coach Vince DeFrancesco said to be chosen as a state winner in the award’s first year was still an honor.

“Being one of the first teams to be recognized … I feel like we’re in really good company,” he said.

The other winners in the state were 6A State Champions Cary-Grove High School, who finished an undefeated season this past season. Wheaton Academy in West Chicago was the third school in Illinois, which is a 4A school. MHS is a 7A school.

DeFrancesco is going into his fourth year as head coach of the MHS Mustangs. He said in recent decades the team has struggled to win consistently. As part of that, he said the opportunity to turn around a program made him excited to join on.

This past year, the team went 4-5, but took home some key wins this season that the team hadn’t seen in many years.

Even with more losses than wins, DeFrancesco said it comes down to the purpose of the program, which he said is about developing the players to be hardworking, accountable and good teammates.

As part of that, the academic side of things is imperative for his team. DeFrancesco said the average grade-point average for the team was at 3.1 out of 4.0 this past season. The requirement to apply for the NFF’s award is a 3.0. DeFrancesco called it the most important piece of building the program.

“You can’t win on the field until you win in the classroom and take care of yourself,” he said. “I think you have to start there.”

In addition to the academic requirements, those applying needed to fill out what DeFrancesco called a “lengthy” application. You also needed to have a successful football season, he said. Even though he said, the wins hadn’t added up overall, DeFrancesco said the improvement was noteworthy.

“I felt we belonged (with the finalists),” he said. “You see your name (with others) and you’re obviously excited and proud of the body of work everyone in our program has put in.”

Looking forward, DeFrancesco said the goal is to always raise the bar. He said his players have rallied around getting the team’s GPA up. For his role, he wants to continue preaching the importance of academics and community service, the latter of which he said the team has done a lot.

He also noted some of the leaders that came out of this year’s team, who took home several individual awards themselves. Linebacker Zach Frenzel and Quarterback Brock Paluch took home Academic All-State, meaning they were all-conference players with a 3.5 GPA or higher. Omari Rhinehart took home a 7A All-State Athlete award as well, which was only the second time in the history of MHS, and the first since 2004, DeFrancesco said.

“Our kids do a great job of stepping up,” he said. “I want to find more ways of how we can help Mundelein. We’re very fortunate to live in a community of the support we get.”

MHS Football Coach Vince DeFrancesco said academics, community service and building accountable people is what his program is about. MHS was recently recognized as a state winner for the NFF's inaugural Ac


Boys Swim/Dive

Coaches Corner: R. Sethna

State bound: Congratulations to the Boys Swimming and Diving team for their 4th place finish at the Stevenson sectional this past weekend. The team had a great day and had individuals and relays swimming in 7 of 12 events at the State meet this weekend. 

A special congratulations to: Michael Romero, Aaron Anastos, Matt Willis, and Omar Fathallah for breaking the school record in the 400 free relay and posting the 6th fastest time in the state at the sectional meet. 

Members of the state team include: Aaron Anastos, Johnny Anno, Omar Fathallah, Cameron Gilbert, Michael Romero, Edwin Serrano, Alec Sethna and Matt Willis.

200 Free Relay 2nd Place A.Anastos, E.Serrano, O.Fathallah, M.Romero

200 Medley Relay 3rd Place C.Gilbert, M.Romero, O.Fathallah, A.Anastos

400 Free Relay 2nd Place A.Anastos, M.Willis, M.Romero, O.Fathallah

Aaron Anastos 2nd Place 50 Free

Cameron Gilbert 6th Place 100 Back

Cameron Gilbert 6th Place 200 IM

Edwin Serrano 6th Place 500 Free

Johnny Anno 5th Place Diving

Michael Romero 5th Place 100 Fly

Omar Fathallah 1st Place 100 Free

Boys Track

Coaches Corner: Kurt Rutz

Boys' Track competed in 2 meets over the long weekend and had some great performances.  Sohan Karuturi led the way, winning the High Hurdles in both meets.  Marcel Siepko was the top sprinter, taking 2nd in the 200m on  Friday, and then 8th in the 60m on Monday, and Jake Prejna took 4th Friday and 5th Monday in the Shot Put.  Next up- Saturday at Lakes HS in a HUGE invitational.

It's that time again!  The boys' track team is having our World Famous Mattress Sale.  If you need a mattress, or know someone who does, this is your opportunity to get a great mattress for a great price!  The date is March 13th, and the location is the school cafeteria. All proceeds benefit the boys' track team.  Hope to see you there! 


Coaches Corner: Craig Stocker

Bryce Durlacher and Coach Stocker

Bryce Durlacher takes 5th at State 113lbs

Wrestler Bryce Durlacher finishes his Junior Season as an ALL STATER.

Bryce Finished this Season @ 113LBS for the Mustangs with a record of 40-4

All Conference, All Area and All State. 5th place in state.

Girls Basketball 

Coaches Corner: Greg Dorgan

Congratulations to Rylan Foster (So), Diana Nanos (Jr), Kate Hill (So), and Madison Werner (Sr), for competing in the IHSA Three-Point Contest. Rylan Foster finished with 10 made shots and advanced to the Sectional Round on Thursday, February 24th at Warren Township High School. Great job to all and good luck to Rylan on Thursday!

Girls Baksetball 3-point shooters

Congratulations to the Boys Basketball seniors and our senior Cheerleaders. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication.

Dominick Williams Cheerleader

Alex  "Buckets" Brown Basketball

Omari Rhinehart Basketball

Broch Paluch Basketball

Tyler Moenning Basketball

Toni Senise Cheerleader

Teresa Navarrete Cheerleader

Monse Gomez Cheerleader

Photos From the Week

During AP Art class on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Remy Loerakker '22 continues working on her painting in the Art Room.- Ashley Wolverton ‘23

During 5th period spanish class, students Felix Navarrete '24 and Edwin Lorenzano-Matias '24 study for their next test on Wednesday, Feb 23.- Ivana Rosillo ‘24

On Wednesday Feb. 23, Michael Zukhar ´22 and Diego Gonzalez ´22 work on their memoir book club analysis in english class during 7th period.- Keely Murphy ‘22

On Tuesday Feb. 22, Ap Art student Megan Rinzel ´22 works on her painting during first period in the art room.- Adrianna Nuzzo ‘23 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Mustang News Blog - February 18, 2022


MHS Black Student Union Presents @ West Oak MS

In the winter of 2020 students from Mundelein High School’s Black Student Union (BSU) under the guidance of Ms. Jeanne Herry, began a collaboration with the students of West Oak Middle School to Empower Youth voices within the community. In this event during Black History Month, we talked about Supporting Students Voices and Involvement. We highlighted how the murder's of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked a needed change within society, our schools and community. We held and partnered with different community stakeholders for events like Stronger together, the food bank mobile pantry, Mundelein’s Race Against Gun Violence, etc. 

This year, we presented on The Power of Mentorship.  Thanks to this collaboration, WOMS has started their own BSU. MHS’s BSU looks forward to fostering this continued collaboration to continue empowering the future generation. Thank you to Ms. Daisy Carrera for reaching out and amplifying students' voices in D76 and Brandon Pederson as well as Peter Cunningham. 

Renowned Children's Song Artist Visits MHS

Children say the most amazing things, explained Nanny Nikki, a renowned children’s song artist who visited Meredith Teuber’s Creative Writing classes. She's been able to use those little bits of wisdom, along with her experiences working with children, as her songwriting inspiration. 

Nanny Nikki, the stage name for Nikki Rung, will cross the red carpet at the Grammy Awards in April, but she took time out of her busy schedule to talk with a couple Creative Writing classes at Mundelein High School. Rung began her presentations with a welcome song where she played her ukulele and sang to the class a song about inclusivity that begins, “Welcome to my house, it is safe to share your fear...come in and stay awhile.”  This song, she told the class, she wrote to honor her LGBTQ+ students that she mentors and she proceeded to tell the class that, “All are welcome here.”  

Rung titled her presentation “It’s Not All Nursery Rhymes” and spoke with Mrs. Teuber’s classes about how she began as a singer/songwriter in the children’s and family music industry. She provided background on the evolution of current trends in children’s music with an emphasis on writing music that is representative of all children's diverse needs and backgrounds, and she discussed the importance of music education as, “Music is everything.” She also spoke with the class about her involvement in the Know Better Do Better Project; a project to turn songs with racist history into songs that do more than just erase the words.These new songs have a stronger message for today’s youth and families. 

Rung gave the students writing tips based on how she gets her inspiration, her drafting style, and what she does when she gets stuck. At the end of the presentation, she gave the students the advice to, “Go for it!” She shared that she regrets not trying to start her dream earlier in life and said if you have an idea, “go for it!”  

Nanny Nikki aka Nikki Rung is an inspiration.  Students in Teuber’s Creative Writing classes will dive into writing their own song lyrics using ideas and techniques Rung shared with Mrs. Teuber. Thank you, Nanny Nikki, for your inspiration and for joining Mrs. Teuber’s Creative Writing classes here at MHS.   

Nikki Grammy Nominee

Nikki Singing

Nikki's Song Writing Process


Order Graduation Yard Signs HERE!!!



Congratulations to our wrestling program as 2 wrestlers, Bryce Durlacher (113) and Henri Ortiz (220), advance to the IHSA state tournament. Eric Nova will be traveling as an alternate. Best of luck gentlemen!

Wrestlers Bryce Durlacher and Henri Ortiz headed to state.

Boys Swim/Dive

Coaches Corner: Coach R.Sethna

Congratulations to the following swimmers on receiving the NSC Sportsmanship medal. MHS Dominic Fidanze

NSC Boys Swim Sportsmanship winners

Great day at NSC Champs placing 2nd overall! NSC V Champions included: A.  Anastos, O. Fathallah, and M. Romero. Many other NSC V Medalists including: J. Anno, D. Fidanze, C. Gilbert, E. Serrano, A. Sethna, D. Tatevosian, and M. Willis! Also, JV finished 5th place.

Divers: Coach M. Sethna

Congratulations to Johnny Anno who took 5th at the NSC Dive meet for Varsity and for the JV level Toni Kharpak took 2nd place and Jeffrey Tieman took 3rd place

Johnny Anno took 5th place at the NSC Varsity level

Divers celebrating after NSC meet


Congratulations to Todd Parola! Officially inducted into the IHSBCA Hall of Fame. 603 wins over 23 years of dedication to our community, our athletes, and Mundelein Baseball. Thank you Coach for the impact you’ve had on us all!

Todd Parola accepts a well deserved honor in his induction into the Hall of Fame. A tremendous career winning 603 games and two state final appearances.

Clay Kovac, Jeff Sweno and Brett Wilhelm supporting Todd Parola at his awards ceremony

Girls Basketball

Coaches Corner: Greg Dorgan

Senior Night:

We honored our 5 seniors on Senior Night and thank them for their contributions to our program! Allison Binz, Brenda Mondragon, Madison Werner, Alyssa Cheverette, and Paulina Castaneda

Girls basketball senior night


Awards: Brenda Mondragon (Sr) - NSC Sportsmanship Award

Rylan Foster (So) - NSC All-Conference (Honorable Mention)


Cheering on Special Olympics Basketball Team - Making Posters:

Girls Bowling

Coaches Corner: Vanessa Prorok

At regionals over the weekend, Samantha Sciortino bowled amazing.  She placed #11 overall with a total pinfall of 1138. As an individual (they take the top 5 individuals), she finished #7.  We look forward to what is to come in the next couple of years.  Way to go Samantha and the rest of the Mundelein Girls Bowling Team! 

Samantha Sciortino

Boys Basketball
Congratulations to Kevin Moyer on receiving the NSC sportsmanship award.

NSC sportsmanship winner Kevin Moyer

Photos from the Week

During Creative Writing on Tuesday, Feb 15, Guest Speaker Nikki Rung gives a presentation to the students about song writing in room A105.- Alexandra Brimmer ‘22

Celebrating a French tradition, a French Club member successfully flips a crepe in the air winning a year of good luck according to the culture on Wednesday Feb. 9 after school in the foods room.- Avery Refka ‘22 

Supporting the boys basketball team for their last regular season game on Wednesday, Feb. 16, Daniel Connelly '23, Bennett Musser '23 & Adriana Nuzzo '22 cheer from the stands in the Main Gym.- Ashley Wolverton ‘23

After School on Tuesday, Feb 15 Ryan Heidner helps Jackson Shaltiel ´22 and Owen Smith ´22 to prepare for a unit test tomorrow in class.- Keely Murphy ‘22

During Current World Issues class on Monday Feb. 14th Gairette Louria '22 takes notes on human trafficking.- Adrianna Nuzzo ‘22