2019 Club highlights

Madison Parola, Co-Editor-In-Chief


While MHS offers more than 40 clubs that host events, compete in competitions and get involved in community service, The Mustang staff looked back at five clubs that have had an impact on the school and/or earned recognition for their efforts.

  1. Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) had several student accomplishments this year. At the annual area competition, the following placed in their respective competitions:
  • Senior Jillian Hoffstadt and Junior MacKenzie Stewart placed first in the American Enterprise project
  • Senior Isabel Alviar and MacKenzie Stewart placed first in Global Business
  • Junior Sahil Patel placed fifth in Business Calculations
  • Junior Derek Lee placed sixth in Business Communication
  • Junior Christopher Hill placed third in Cyber Security
  • Sophomore Ilya Vynnyk placed fourth in Economics and Junior  Justin Park placed seventh
  • Sophomore Swetha Chandrasel placed fifth in HealthCare Administration
  • Freshman Isaac Fuksman placed third and Freshman Lauren Oliver placed fourth in Introduction to Business
  • Sophomore Xavier Green placed fifth and Sophomore Raina Kratz sixth in Introduction to FBLA
  • Sophomore Nathan Clapp placed second in Introduction to Financial Math
  • Freshman Ashley Cline placed first in Journalism
  • Seniors Jillian Hoffstadt and Mateusz Brak placed fourth in Management Decision Making
  • Junior Thomas Riggo and Senior Noah Sioson placed second in Networking Concepts
  • Junior Matthew Pawlowski placed eighth in Political Science
  • Juniors Parker Geary, Tyler Green and Zach Scott placed second in Sports & Entertainment Management

In addition to competing, FBLA members helped out their community by making blankets this winter for seriously ill children in hospitals, by adopting three kids from the Mundelein community to purchase Christmas presents for and by hosting a fundraiser for the March of Dimes, an organization that helps support premature babies and their mothers (FBLA has a national partnership with this organization).

“FBLA is a great opportunity to develop a wide variety of skills, including leadership, public speaking and networking,” Junior Mackenzie Stewart said.  “It’s really a club that will fit anyone’s interests, which includes any grade.”


 2) The Robotics team won the first VEX Robotics Tournament in Illinois back in November. The team also took second place in two other Illinois tournaments. Then the team competed in a national level invite-only tournament in California hosted by Google.

“I think those are monumental accomplishments coming from a team of underclassmen,” Robotics coach Emmanuel Aldana said of a team primarily made up of freshmen.


   3) The yearbook staff, which works all year to create a picture book with articles about the highlights of the year, earned six awards in state competition in its division of the Illinois Journalism Education Association (IJEA) contest. The 2018 yearbook, themed “Stay Connected,” earned second place in the copywriting category.

Yearbook also took third place in both the Graphics Category and in Sports Coverage. They were given honorable mention in the Theme Development Category, Photography Category and the Coverage of the Year category.

“The staff spends about ten months each year working on the yearbook,” said Adviser Michelle Didzbalis in a school press release. “They have to wait for a final printed product before they see the fruits of their labor, so it’s nice all their hard work can be rewarded with awards from a well-known journalism contest.”


4) The Art Department had several students rewarded for their pieces this year. Every year, students put up their work at the Illinois High School Art Exhibition. This year, at the exhibition, many students were awarded for their pieces of artwork. Fifteen seniors were awarded scholarships for their work, which totaled up to more than $1.5 million.

The seniors included the following: Tiffany Fuller, Arthur Thompson, Abigail Ambrose, Sarah Urban, Katherine Velez, Angela David, Megan Griparis, Natalie Williams, Karina Lopez, Sydney Winslow, Lacey Luther, Matthew Mangoni, Morgan Shurtz, Vae Faulkner and Brian Hernandez.

A few underclassmen were also congratulated on their pieces at the exhibition: Junior Max Castillion, Sophomore Vikram Chandramouli, Freshman Jay Jamison and Junior Becca Panos. One student who was highlighted for her work was Panos. Panos was awarded an early college scholarship and won a Visionary Award.

“There are only three Visionary Awards given and is equivalent to a BEST IN SHOW AWARD! Becca is now the second MHS student to win this award in the show’s six-year history,” stated a school press release.

The MHS student body was able to see some of the pieces in the C-Wing hallway during the last week of February in a Pop-Up art show.


5) Black Student Union had important conversations throughout the year after guest speaker Calvin Terrell came to the school on Sept. 6 for a school-wide assembly about equity and diversity. Terrell also spoke to BSU, which wanted to continue to promote his messages in their meetings throughout the year. At the club’s Friday meetings, members invited administrators, teachers and school board members to share their personal stories related to equity and to talk to the students about issues occurring in the community. These topics included race, discrimination and systemic oppression.

“With having these conversations, we are able to create a safe environment for the kids to speak their truth,” Khari Thompkins, senior, said.

While BSU hosted Terrell for a club meeting in the fall, club members said they hope to have him back before the end of the year.

Additionally, BSU created t-shirts to highlight Terrell’s message about being warriors, which means having the courage to speak one’s truth, in order to share his message with others.