The Crown The student news site of Marian Central Catholic High School Mon, 21 Oct 2019 19:05:37 -0500 en-US hourly 1 Monitor Monsters Wed, 09 Oct 2019 19:21:05 +0000 A new school year, some new students, and one important new program. School starting also comes with big changes, just like the new program that monitors students’ laptops. What does the program exactly do? Students know it allows teachers to see what they are viewing on the laptops, but they want more information. 

The infamous monitoring program is called Dyknow. The Dyknow software shows teachers what students are looking at while they’re in that teacher’s class. From the teachers’ point of view, they see a small version of their students’ screen and it shows what every student is doing on their laptop. Teachers can click on specific screens to see what that certain teen is doing as well. “I can see whether or not people are paying attention,” said Mr. Lalor. Then if the student isn’t doing what they should be doing, teachers like Mr. Lalor may send them a message or even block the website they are on. Teachers are able to block whatever website they would like, but only if it is for the current class period. Despite all of this newfound responsibility and power that is given to the teachers, some students are still curious about why.

So why was Dyknow added to the Marian community? How was this new program decided upon? Was Dyknow the best choice for Marian and its students? “There was a lot of off-task behavior.” said, Mrs. Novy. Since students were getting off-topic and not paying attention in class, some teachers started to not use the technology in class at all. “We tried different options,” said Ms. Dietz, who had problems with students messing around during lessons. Over an evaluation period, the staff tried three different programs in total, but Dyknow was the easiest and best program to use. 

Overall, Dyknow seems to have made a positive change in both the staff and students. It helps the students stay attentive in class and hopefully help them to be more productive. This program also allows the teachers to stop worrying as much about their students. All in all the new computer monitoring isn’t a monster at all. 

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To Apply or Not To Apply Wed, 09 Oct 2019 19:17:17 +0000 All over the nation juniors and seniors in high school are preparing for a brand new adventure: college. It is a long and tiring journey with monsters to conquer at every turn, like the ACT and college essays. Students everywhere are overwhelmed with this quest, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. With the proper research and the correct tools, every student can feel more confident during this tricky process. This is a simple guideline to follow to ensure you are prepared for this daunting quest.

The first tool is research. When preparing a college application it is best to know what that college is expecting. Every college is different, so make sure to do research on each school and take note of what they want. Some important things to be aware of are the college’s deadline dates; whether they need SAT or ACT scores; how many letters of recommendation they require; if they have an interview process; whether they require a resume; or if they have a school-specific application to fill out. Most colleges will use the common application but always double-check on anything you are not sure of. Better to be safe than to be sorry. 


In addition to researching your school, a great asset that everyone has is their student counselor. Schedule a time to meet and talk with them about how your application process is going. Marian Central college counselor, Mr. Stamakos, comments on how speaking to counselors can help with growing nerves, “The more people are in here and the more they’re talking about college stuff, the less anxiety they have about [college].” Student counselors are great people to ask if you need information and don’t know where to look. Let them help you set up a plan on how to go about applying, they can make this process easier in the long run.


Applying for college is a long and tough process, so it’s best to start ahead of time. Ask for letters of recommendation early. Salamatako says to ask two months in advance to give teachers time to write. It’s best to keep a folder specifically for college application information to keep yourselves organized and make sure to never throw anything away. Senior, Mary Narusis (12), has already begun her journey and when reminiscing about her process she said,  “I think the hardest part about applying is trying to remember everything.” Being organized and attentive while applying is beneficial to help keep track of all your information. Also, see if the schools you are applying to have interviews and make sure to practice for them; your counselor is a good person to ask if you don’t know what to expect. Once you’ve finally submitted your application make sure to contact the college a few days later to ensure they have received it, this helps show the college you are excited and interested in their school. 


When beginning this journey it is best to take your time and thoroughly research your college’s process. A common mistake some students make is applying for early access and committing when they aren’t sure that school is for them. This adventure is a process, one that is unique to you. Researching your school, talking to your counselor, and keeping track of time is only a few of the many ways to prepare for this journey. Gather your tools at your pace and then take the first step in this exciting new direction. 

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Meet the Hurricanes Wed, 09 Oct 2019 19:08:09 +0000 As the 2019-2020 school year kicks off, returning classmates not only welcome in all the freshman and transfer students, but also the new teachers and administration. Over the course of this school year, Marian hopes to get to know them more and learn some of the goals that they want to achieve. This week, the featured teachers are Mr. Toledo, who instructs music, Mr. Herman, one of the newest English teachers and Ms. Graf, who coaches and teaches science.

Mr. Toledo is new to teaching highschoolers and says, “The high school aspect is different from what I am  used to.” He taught for twelve years at various elementary schools in the Rockford diocese. This year he is able to teach and work with students of all grade levels. One of the reasons Marian Central stands out so much is because “Students seem to take care of each other and each need is met” claims Mr. Toledo. This year he intends to adapt to the brand new environment all while keeping the legacy of Mr. Rome alive. Marian is grateful to work with Mr. Toledo and is excited to see what he accomplishes.

Mr. Herman teaches English for juniors and seniors. He taught at Northridge Preparatory School in Niles, Illinois for 30 years. He also worked at various schools in Chicago for underprivileged children and a special education school. Mr. Herman then became a substitute teacher for Marian and other Crystal Lake public schools. He explains that “Marian is a wonderful school and has wonderful intentions for students. Everyone is working toward accomplishing great things.” One of his main goals is to be able to spend some time in the art room and work with a kiln. He also wants to build confidence in his students and allow them to discover some hidden talents. Mr. Herman is a wonderful addition to the school and Marian is lucky to have him as a full-time teacher.

Ms. Graf works with all grades for science. She recently graduated from South Dakota State and Marian is her first teaching job. She also is a Marian Alumni (Class of 2012). From personal experience, she knows that Marian prepares students well for college and that students are held at a high standard. Her main goal for this year is that she can, “Teach skills that students need in high school, college and future years.” Ms. Graf will also be coaching girls soccer in the spring and is one of the advisers for Key Club. Marian is excited to welcome back a former student and is looking forward to seeing what she achieves.

This school year will be full of goals and accomplishments, but with that comes changes. Marian is always looking for ways to improve and succeed and with the help of these new teachers it is ensured that each student will achieve something exceptional.

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Summer Around the Globe Wed, 09 Oct 2019 19:01:44 +0000 The summer had finally arrived. Students were eager to rush out the doors as school came to a close. The season of no homework, no classes, and no tests was in session. Summer vacations were now starting and the excitement to get out of school was overwhelming. Not everyone’s exotic vacations were away from school.

For one student, Tawan Niemann (10), school in Thailand was just about to begin again in a month. A distance of 8,367 miles away from home seems like too far for most people, but for Niemann, Thailand is his second home. This isn’t the first time Niemann has flown to different parts of the world over the summer. The school year schedule in Thailand is different from the U.S. It begins in July instead of August or September. The Thailand school system operates differently compared to the various school systems in the U.S which includes that Thailand schooling is free of charge until ninth grade. This isn’t Niemann’s first time going to school across the world. Niemann has been visiting his friends and cousin, Nattapus, at Trattakarnkhun school in Trat, Thailand for a while. They all speak Thai and no English at all. Niemann had a hard time reading Thai but his ability to speak is remarkable.

Niemann left for this distinguished school about two weeks after summer began. Niemann attended Trattakamkhun for six weeks. His family went over to Thailand to visit relatives, including his cousin Nattapus, often called “Nook.” Many people in Thailand go by nicknames as opposed to their actual names. Niemann was able to talk about his wonderful trip with me. “Being able to spend time with my friends and experiencing the different and unique school life culture of Thailand was my favorite part of the whole trip,” says Niemann, without a doubt. He went on to explain how different the transition is. “I think the schooling in Thailand is different in America because of the distinct environment, the relationship between teachers and students, and the physical structure of the building. Each class would be separate buildings.” This statement is like schools in Florida where they are more based off the outdoors. 

   Thailand has shaped Niemann into who he is today. He had a special opportunity that most people will not be able to experience in their life. The culture and tradition Niemann continues to influence his life here. Even though school is not ideal in the summer, his friends and family make it all worth it.


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Start of Something New Wed, 09 Oct 2019 18:59:43 +0000 Just like that, a new school year has begun. The first year of high school is bound to be full of memories, laughs, and maybe even a nervous stomach. These excited, yet nervous, freshmen start off their high school career at the freshman orientation with an assortment of questions of whom they will meet and what is in store for their high school career. Some worry about coming into a new school, but the mentor program welcomes them with open arms. This program is a group of upperclassmen who are more than enthusiastic to help out the new high-schoolers. “I became a mentor because I wanted to be a part of the program that made my freshman year so amazing.” shares Benjamin Schnieder (12). 

Along with the worries of new transitions, the main question most freshmen ponder is the typical, “Whom am I going to sit with at lunch?” Whether they know someone going to Marian or have to go out of their comfort zones to make new friends, everyone struggles in their own way. Getting involved in various school activities is a great way to meet new people.  “I stayed open to the possibility of new friendships and joined poms to meet more people,” says Olivia Striedl (10). Like Olivia, many students and alumni agree that by joining one of the many clubs and sports Marian has to offer, friendships are made that will last a life-time. 

Although the freshmen are nervous, the day starts off tranquil with Father Twenty celebrating mass with them. Once filled with the Holy Spirit, the freshmen go into homerooms to meet new people through various ice breaker games, like the name-slap games. “I’m really looking forward to making new friends!” shares Madeline Huff (9) after her first homeroom. Once their homerooms come to a close, they venture off to walk through their schedules with help from their teachers and mentors. 

However, they are not done with the day quite yet. It is time to dance! As a tradition, the freshmen learn the dance while in homerooms that they will, later on, perform onstage. It is a part of the freshmen orientation they will always remember. Just as the day began, it’s ended. The now-settled freshmen are saying their goodbyes to new friends as they are taking one last glimpse at their schedule, ready to face the start of their high school journey.

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Not All Superheros Wear Capes Wed, 09 Oct 2019 18:52:27 +0000 Being a freshman is filled with a variety of emotions, whether it’s scared, excited, or nervous, the mentors are there for you every step of the way. Even if you need help with a class or are scared about starting the new school year, you can always turn to your mentor. The mentor program at Marian is there for new students to feel comfortable and welcome. High School can be overwhelming, but knowing you have someone to turn to is very comforting. 

To start, mentors do more than just help their mentee(s). The process of becoming a mentor is filling out an application, waiting for the selection process, if you are selected, then you have many training days and after that you can start helping your mentee(s). As long and difficult as that may sound, the job these mentors take on is also a very rewarding one. “The rewarding factors are being able to see your mentee use the advice you have given them and see them succeed in their freshman year,” said Kevin Blaz (12). 

To continue, becoming a mentor is an excellent way to help your school. Whether the mentor does it for their college applications or to help incoming freshmen their job never goes unnoticed. As Maggie Gillaspie (11) states, ” I became a mentor because I remember the stress that comes with freshman year and I want to make that transition as easy as possible for incoming freshmen.” The big question is would mentors recommend this job for others? “ I would definitely recommend becoming a mentor because it may seem like it doesn’t help much but I believe the advice we give to freshman helps them set the habits for the rest of high school and help more than you think,” Blaz answered. 

In conclusion, mentors at Marian have a rewarding job. They help the freshman get settled in and help them with any concerns they have throughout the year. All in all, the mentors at Marian provide a lot of help and without them freshman year would be much harder. They truly are superheros.

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Bears and Packers go head to head on Thursday, September 5th Mon, 07 Oct 2019 19:23:20 +0000 There has always been a rivalry between the Bears and Packers and many of the students and faculty have taken sides of who the best team is. As conversations about the predicted win floated through the hallways and classrooms, many students and teachers engaged in the animated conversations. Thursday night, the anticipation among each fan was so strong that when the game ended all of the comments of the game found their way to be carried into Friday’s conversation. Ending with a score of 10 to 3, the Packers scored ten points along with the Bears scoring three points.

The game was at Soldier Field, Chicago at 7:20 pm on Thursday night. By the end of the first quarter of the game, the score was three to zero, the bears leading with three. Eddy Pineiro put the first point on the board with a 38-yard field goal. However, after the first half, the Packers got back in the game and were leading seven to three. The only touchdown of the game was scored by Jimmy Graham, on the Packers team, with an eight-yard pass made by Aaron Rodgers. In the fourth quarter, another field goal was scored by the Packers, offensive player Mason Crosby with a 39-yard field goal. Marian student, Anthony Hess (10), was one of many who watched and enjoyed the game. When speaking about Thursday’s game, he commented that “During the Bears versus Packers game, I was rooting for the Bears.. but their offense choked. Luckily, the defense didn’t do too bad…” Hess added that “[He] felt they could’ve performed much better, especially offense. They could’ve won if it was later into the season.” Hess’s passion for the Bears is present in many others and represents how intently a large number of fans paid attention to the game.

From Thursday to Friday, and even though the following week, the conversation about the football game made its way into the mouths of both students and teachers. The close ties between the rival teams created an intense feeling with fans of the opposing teams. The close score this year leads to a more intensified opposition for the game next year. Whether it is engaging in gossip or even just a student or faculty member who is listening, hearing the different opinions of various people can give anyone an insight into their opinions and thoughts. 

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Letters From the Editors Mon, 20 May 2019 18:21:50 +0000 Dear Readers,

I would like to first thank you all for reading The Crown and for supporting the yearbook. I know that every article that is written is drafted with a lot of thought and care. My favorite part of my role as an editor is that I get to help create a story that will be told for generations. Publications as a whole have the opportunity to create memories and save them for everyone to see. I have been able to work on the Publication staff for the past two years. My first year was as a staffer and this past year has been as an editor. I am so excited to step into the role of Editor-in-Chief for this coming school year. My goals for next year is to hit all of the deadlines and to make Publications a fun place to be creative for the new staffers, and create memories for you, our readers!  I hope to be able to capture all of the exciting memories that will occur next year and to help create long-lasting memories. I have loved being able to work with this year’s staff and editors. Although I am sad to see my fellow editors, Ellen Sharp, Amy Herff, and Emma Baader leave, I am excited to work alongside with the new staff next year!


Olivia Arza (11)

Dear Readers,

When I choose to take Publications my Junior Year, I only thought it would be a fun stress-free class where I could express my creative writing. As we walked into summer camp before the 2017/2018 school year began, I was nervous yet excited to see what we would do, and never expected to be on such an awesome journey working beside other amazing students. I had known previously that students got to get out of class and get to see behind the scenes for theatre productions and other events throughout the school, but I never knew the freedom we were able to have. I was most nervous about diving into writing newspaper articles. It may seem like a daunting task on writing drafts upon drafts every week for countless topics, however, I found that writing helped focus my mind during stressful times and allowed me to express my creative thoughts. The newspaper also helped my confidence grow with numerous interviews.

My favorite part of the class, however, was yearbook. From creating the first template to taking the perfect action shot of the winning basket, I enjoyed working countless hours to create the perfect spread.  Being able to learn photography and capture lasting memories really helped to create a yearbook that meant more than photos on the pages, we were telling Marian’s story. Being able to have experience with both yearbook and newspaper helped me get to know the students in the building better, and become more involved and connected with Marian.

Another amazing quality of this class is the staff themselves. We bonded almost immediately while encouraging and supporting one another through difficult deadlines and the stress of getting coverage. Being able to actually hold my first completed yearbook really emphasized how important it is to the history of Marian, but how it cannot be completed without undeniable support. This year, my senior year, I was chosen to become an editor with my close friends, Olivia, Amy, and Ellen. Olivia is one of the hardest workers I have ever meant and she is incredibly selfless. Even if she has a million tasks to accomplish and she is overly stressed she will help and encourage the staff in any way possible. She always has a smile on her face and her presence radiates kindness which is much needed during stressful deadlines. Amy is opinionated but in the best way possible. She believes in the staffers and sees how great their potential and abilities are. She supports the editing team by pushing us to think of better and more creative ideas for the yearbook. She is always filled with new ideas and always says what’s on her mind. Ellen is the most organized person I know and always equips the editors with colorful supplies for grading. She is precise in her writing and helps the staffers express their ideas in a way that the readers can understand. The four of us have grown a strong bond and I’m going to miss always being with them. They have helped me through stressful situations and pushed me to work harder. Our advisers showed us how to become better leaders and have been helpful mentors. This class has helped me decide what I want to do when I’m older. I enjoy being in a professional environment while also being able to express my creativity. I’ll miss our Christmas Parties, field trips, and most importantly Olivia’s cake pops. I’m looking forward to seeing the fireworks go off after we have finished this year’s yearbook.


Emma Baader (12)

Dear Readers,

Throughout my underclassmen years, I knew there was a school newspaper, but I never read it. Choosing my classes going into my junior year, I signed up for Publications knowing my friends Emma and Amy were signed up too. The yearbook always interested me, and photography was one of my favorite things to do. Beginning the class, I was initially overwhelmed with what had to go into the class. The games to attend and people to interview for articles made me very anxious. But, as the year went on I was able to break out of my shell and talk to people that were not my close friends. The staff last year worked well together, we met all of our deadlines and hit 100% coverage of the students before the school year was over. Being asked to be an editor made me thrilled, as I was already planning on taking the class again. Not only would I be with Emma and Amy again, but I would be able to help with the style and the big things that go into what made the yearbook great. Over these past two years of Publications has been nothing but a rollercoaster. However, I have had Emma, Amy, and Olivia by my side. The three of them have made this experience one I will never forget. Olivia always pushes me to make my page the best it can be, Emma’s creativity inspires me to bring out my creativity and Amy never fails to make the class period stressful or boring. I am forever thankful that I was able to be a part of this class and I will miss logging onto Jostens to put my creative ideas a reality.


Ellen Sharp (12)

Dear Readers,

Publications was a class I choose to take my junior year so I could participate in creating the yearbook. I wanted to design pages that students would look back on and remember the good memories of high school.  As a junior, we had a smaller staff so we all became very close friends. We hit every deadline and also had some awesome food parties. I developed several yearbook pages that year, of one which was the wrestling page.  This page was definitely my favorite which is why I choose to design it again this year. I loved this page so much because of my involvement in the wrestling program. They had a very successful season both my junior and senior year which is why designing this page was so much exciting.  Along with developing pages came writing articles, which wasn’t my biggest strength. Mrs. Widhalm really supported me and encouraged me my junior year when it came to writing and I am super grateful to her for that otherwise, I would have probably given up. Towards the end of the year is when articles and yearbook spreads became easier as I became used to them.  This is also when I was asked to be an editor. I was super excited for the opportunity and even more excited that it was going to be an editor with two of my closest friends in my grade, Emma and Ellen. A junior, Olivia was also asked to become an editor with us. I’m so appreciative that the four of us have had such a successful year being editors. This year was a lot more work than I expected, but in the end, it has all come together to create a beautiful yearbook and newspaper that the class of 2019 will forever cherish.  The four of us have created amazing memories in the past two years together. From Friday dance parties to a weekend away at yearbook camp, publications is a class I will never forget.


Amy Herff (12)

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Class of 2019 Best… Mon, 20 May 2019 18:13:52 +0000 0 Class of 2019 Most Likely To… Mon, 20 May 2019 18:03:08 +0000 0