The Prep The Student News Site of Loyola Academy Wed, 06 Nov 2019 21:27:49 -0600 en-US hourly 1 Chicago Teachers Union Strike Gets Resolved Wed, 06 Nov 2019 21:27:49 +0000 In the over two weeks that the Chicago Teachers Union strike lasted, the two sides were engaged in a bitter fight over pay, staffing, class size, and planning time, among other things. After 15 days of negotiations and 11 school days missed, the Mayor and the CTU finally came to an agreement, one that sent students back to school November 1.

This new deal will bring great improvement to Chicago Public Schools, as the deal includes new rules on class size caps and a social worker and nurse in every school. Even though the teachers did not get paid prep time they wanted, they did get a 16% raise that will be carried out over the course of their five year contract. The deal was agreed upon on Wednesday, the strike continued through Thursday with the 2 sides battling for a short period of time over make up days before deciding on 5. 

While the CTU and the CPS/city were locked in negotiations, the ramifications of the strike had an increasing negative impact on students, in particular affecting college related deadlines and opportunities for high school students. While the strike rolled on, ACTs, SATs, and PSATs got cancelled, and the closure of schools made it hard or near impossible for students to obtain necessary elements for their early action application documents that must be submitted by November 1. 

The strike also caused countless student athletes to forfeit their playoffs, with golf, tennis, soccer, cross country, and volleyball all having to forfeit their games. The only sport with hope left for their season continuing is football, who were able to participate in playoff games on Saturday after the strike ended Thursday night. 

While the second longest strike in CTU history had great ramifications, the problems facing teachers and students would have increased if the strike rolled on further. If the strike continued any longer, teacher’s health insurance would have also been affected, putting them even more in the hole than they already are after going almost 2 weeks without pay. 

Students would have also continued to miss days of school, creating a curriculum conundrum and  dwindling options for things to do. Even though there were options for camps and services run by some of the schools, these options were often not cheap and therefore not affordable for many people. This left both parents and kids in a pickle, with the parents having to figure out a way for their children to pass the time that works from them and the kids being faced with boredom after the new freedom of the first few days wore off.

The strike finally ended on Thursday, October 31, drawing these important and tense negotiations to a close and allowing students to return to school on Friday. These needed improvements will hopefully begin to make a big impact in the classroom, and show the teachers that their hard work has paid off.

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Ramblers Ramble One Step Closer Wed, 06 Nov 2019 21:17:52 +0000 The Loyola Ramblers varsity football team started the playoffs with a colossal win over rival Maine South last Saturday. The first round clash finished 14-6 in the Ramblers’ favor.

However, the score didn’t tell the full story. Despite the low score, the game was a back and forth affair, filled by several notable performances. The first, was junior Marty Auer’s 100 yards interception returned for a touchdown and blocked field goal. While the interception return was eventually called back, it seemed to set the tone for the rest of the contest.

The other key performance came from senior wide receiver, Matty Mangan. Mangan finished with 9 catches for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. The touchdown was all made possible by a beautiful throw from junior quarterback JT Thomas in the corner of the end zone. The touchdown came when the Ramblers were trailing 6-0 in the fourth quarter. After the play, it felt as if the Ramblers could not be stopped.

The Ramblers win moves them to the second round where they will host Glenbard West. The Hilltoppers will come into Hoerster field on Saturday, November 9 with a 10-0 record this season.

So far this season, it feels as if the Hilltoppers haven’t been tested. They have demolished opponents by scores of 55-0, 57-0, and 48-2, just to name a few.

Their biggest strengths come in their backfield, where they have a ton of running back depth. Last Saturday in their win over Downers Grove South, Nic Seifert rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns on just 8 carries. His partner in the backfield, Jalen Moore, also did his fair share of damage with 113 yards and two scores on just 13 attempts.

However, the main weakness of this team is their lack of size on the offensive line. If the Ramblers want to limit the Hilltoppers’ offensive production, they must control the trenches and force them to throw the ball.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Ramblers hope to get back running back Vaughn Pemberton.

Pemberton has been in the key to the Ramblers offense for much of the season, so getting him back could be the deciding factor on Saturday.

The game will begin at 1pm at Hoerster Field, and the winner will move on to the Quarter Finalsof the State tournament.

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A Rivalry for the Ages Fri, 01 Nov 2019 17:26:41 +0000 The football team will be giving it their all at their first playoff game against Maine South on Saturday, November 2 at 7pm at Maine South. 

As the Loyola football team gears up for their very first playoff game of the season, they will face off against a long standing rival. Maine South is the very first opponent for Loyola to beat on their path to State. On Saturday night, Loyola and Maine South will go head to head once again. 

The rivalry is fueled by insults thrown at one another over the Internet and in person. Also fueling the Loyola standing rivalry is how often the different teams challenge one another. Maine South vs Loyola games are often close and stressful for both sides involved. Maine South has bettered us in the State game a few times, making the drive to win this weekend all that much higher. 

The game will take place at Maine South, giving them the home field advantage, but Loyola won’t be alone. The Loyola Academy marching band will be there to proudly support the football team. With all the cheering fans and the Loyola Academy band rooting for the football team, there is no way they could lose. 

The game will begin a 7:00 o’clock, so be sure to be there and dress warm. The forecast for Saturday night gives a low of 31 degrees, not adding wind chill and other such factors that can change at a moment’s notice. The theme for this week’s game is white out which fits perfectly with the weather this week.

So everyone show up and show your Rambler pride.



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Ramblers, Meet Your Director of Culture Fri, 01 Nov 2019 17:22:47 +0000 Our school is full of remarkable faculty members who impact our everyday lives as Ramblers, even those beyond our teachers, deans, and counselors.

One such staff member is Mr. Chris Penna, Loyola Academy’s Director of Culture. Though you may see him moderating the caf during lunch or waving goodbye to students at the end of the school day, his impact on the student body is far more influential than just that.

Mr. Penna describes his job as Director of Culture as “[a navigation of] our efforts of diversity, equity, and inclusion.” He says one of his main goals right now is “to build relationships with students” and aid them in recognizing his position as a resource for them. 

Before becoming Loyola’s first Director of Culture last year, Mr. Penna worked in the Academic Resource Center with students who were struggling academically. “Hearing their horror stories about things that happened to them in the classroom or their struggles with learning is the same as this role,” he says. “Students come in and tell me about moments of different micro-aggressions that they encounter in the hallways.

“It breaks my heart.” 

On Loyola’s decision to establish the position of Director of Culture, Mr. Penna comments on our school’s increase of want and need for intentional movement to create an inclusive community.  “We say it’s something that’s a part of our mission and our vision, and it just makes sense that there’s some intentionality behind the programming.” 

Mr. Penna acknowledges that many faculty and staff members were working hard on creating a more inclusive and equitable atmosphere before the position of Director of Culture was established, such as Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. McGuire, Dr. Martin, Mr. Hooker, and Mr. Clark. “There’s a lot of really good people who have been doing equity and inclusion stuff long before I ever started [this position].”

When describing his favorite part of working as Director of Culture, Mr. Penna does not hesitate to say “working with students, to help them come to better know themselves, to find a voice, to fulfill that potential that each one of y’all have.

“That, to me, is the coolest thing.”

Mr. Penna would like students to know that he is a resource for them when they need one. He can be found in the Admissions hallway right next door to the Principal’s Office.

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Halloween Without the Costumes Thu, 31 Oct 2019 18:38:43 +0000 Halloween is just around the corner, and people are preparing for a night of trick or treating, movie watching, or even partying. A common tradition is that kids, teens, and adults wear costumes, some even to school that day. While most schools allow for kids to wear costumes to school, Loyola, as of October 17, doesn’t. Loyola does wear uniforms, but other catholic schools in Illinois such as Regina Dominican High School, Resurrection College Prep, and St. Ignatius College Prep do as well. 

Recently, a junior, Ben Evans made a petition in order to change this rule to celebrate Halloween at Loyola. His goal was to get 500 signatures, which, compared to how many people are at Loyola is quite a lot, being that is the amount of students in one single grade. By the end of the first day, there were more than 100 signatures that included students of different grades, as well as some faculty and staff signatures.

The petition was quickly gaining popularity, Ben said, “The pace at which the petition was progressing with faculty, teachers, and students of all classes showed that it would’ve reached at least 500 signatures by the end of the first week.” Unfortunately the petition was taken away.

Sophia Dempsey offered to help, and by doing so, made a google form that was popular, but “currently progressing at an alarmingly slow pace.”

In response, faculty member Ms. Krein clarified that the junior student council, a while back, tried to get a dress down day. However, when she asked Principal Heintz, he said no to the idea. She said that Loyola students have more behavioral issues during dress down days. More JUGS are issued and if costumes were allowed deans would be too busy chasing down students who didn’t follow the dress code.

She also pointed out that she reached out to other Catholic schools in the area about dress down days and found that there are some much stricter than Loyola. One school has to only wear khakis and a spirit week shirt that the students must buy during spirit week.

Others have to pay $3 and $5 for certain dress downs. She explains she enjoys Halloween and tries to make fun activities for students to do in order to celebrate, such as the trick or treating around the school.

Returning back to the explanation she also mentioned that Loyola has a certain amount of dress down days, there being 16 this year, some also undetermined yet. Loyola is extremely lucky since some schools with uniforms have 2 at max.

When explaining about the petition, she said no to Evans’ first attempt during the email. She was hoping for a follow up. She said, “Students should have a conversation, that’s the best way to communicate. That should be the first step.” Her response happened Friday night after a long stressful week at school, so she mentioned she was tired. With the lack of follow up, she had no way to explain the details that she didn’t put in the email. 

On another note, around the country there are indeed schools who ban halloween costumes. In an article by Education World, they explain that some kids don’t celebrate Halloween or can not afford to buy extravagant costumes.

In another article by Mental Floss, they make a list of costumes that are even banned from schools. Some of the costumes or costume pieces listed were cowboys, sombreros, and even superheroes. The following are fairly innocent costumes, however could be seen as not culturally relative by certain people.

On the other side, parents of kids in a school in Michigan, pushed back against the schools ban on Halloween costumes and parties. In response to the angry parents, the principal revoked the ban. 

In order to make schools more inclusive, more and more schools are banning Halloween parties, costumes and more. In the eyes of some staff and cultures, it could be a good thing, but to students and kids, it suppresses a person’s creativity and ability to express himself or herself. Whichever side a person chooses, there are countless arguments for both sides. 

Despite not being able to have a Halloween dress down, students should look forward to all the other upcoming dress downs and activities later to come.

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The Vaping Epidemic Wed, 30 Oct 2019 20:42:48 +0000 Throughout the United States of America, many health problems are arising due to the electronic version of smoking also known as vaping.  Even though it is scientifically proven that vaping is better for your lungs than traditional smoking, that doesn’t mean it’s helping more than it’s hurting. 

People often make the point that vape pens help those who are addicted to nicotine or other chemicals within cigarettes choose a better habit, however the majority of people who use the vape pens have never smoked before. 

The sad truth of vaping is that it is just as addicting as smoking a regular cigarette.  The companies of the vapes know it too. They choose to target where the money is: teens.  As Mr. Philip Sheridan pointed out in the mandatory meeting on October 30th, there have been over thirty vape related deaths nationwide, most of which were teens.  

From 2017-2019, vaping in 12th grade has gone up from 11% to 25%.  Slowly but surely, vaping has begun to spiral out of control and it is our job to make sure this awful epidemic stops now before more people are hurt or, even worse, killed.

On top of it all, vaping not only lures teens with the aspect of either looking cool or fitting in but it also has many different flavors that may make vaping sound appealing.  The brutal truth is that companies who sell vape products are preying on the vulnerable and it is up to us as a nation and as the Loyola Community to stop them.  

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Playoff Bound Ramblers Face Familiar Foe Wed, 30 Oct 2019 20:31:54 +0000 The Ramblers varsity football team will be heading to the 8A Playoffs for the 17 consecutive season this Saturday. However, the road to the playoffs for the Ramblers was not easy. 

The Ramblers faced several tough opponents including Mount Carmel, St. Ignatius Cleveland, and Marist. Despite the competition, the Ramblers still managed to finish with a 6-3 record. 

Last Saturday, October 26, the Ramblers were assigned the 18th seed for the State Playoffs. They were matched up against a familiar foe in 15th seed Maine South. 

The RedHawks finished the season with a 7-2 record with weeks one and two losses to Glenbard West and Mount Carmel. However, the RedHawks have gotten red hot with seven straight wins to finish the season. 

A key player for Maine South is Peter Skoronski. A very versatile player, Skoronski  is making his presence felt on both the offensive and defensive lines. Skoronski is also a five star recruit committed to Northwestern, so the Loyola offensive and defensive lines will have their hands full. 

The other main strength of the RedHawks has been their offense. Since the 4 first down showing last season against the Ramblers in the playoffs, the offense has been explosive. The RedHawks have put up 28+ points in all but one game this season. 

To limit their production this week, the Ramblers must establish a consistent pass rush that has been the team’s strength all season. Junior linebacker, Liam Conaghan, looks to return from injury and continue his impressive campaign. 

The game, at Maine’s Souths home field, will begin at 7pm.

The Ramblers will once again look to begin another run to the State Championship. 

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Happy Halloween, Ramblers! Thu, 24 Oct 2019 18:48:25 +0000

Matthew Jachtorowycz

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Girls Golf Swings in to Third Place Wed, 23 Oct 2019 20:29:06 +0000 Loyola Girls Golf finished in third place at the IHSA 2A state championship the weekend of October 12. Matches were held at Hickory Point Golf Club in Decatur. 

Outstanding performances by senior Grace Kryscio and freshman Bailey Bitabo helped lead the Ramblers to victory, shooting a 154 and 157 respectively. Additionally, the scores of seniors Cate O’Brien and Mary Boeson helped guide the team to third place. 

Carli McKenney, head coach, said that the girls “took every day and every shot one step at a time.” Additionally, the ladies used every match and practice as an opportunity to prepare for what’s coming next. The coaches worked with the golfers to create game plans for each course. 

Boeson is thrilled with the season’s outcome, describing it as the best season and a great way to end her high school career. She explained that the success came from focusing on achieving their goals, while having fun doing it. “Our coaches believed in us and, in the end, we had the best finish and achieved everything we had hoped for.” 

This was the first year since 2017 that the lady Ramblers have finished in the state competition. 

It was the lady’s strongest year, going undefeated in all their matches, explained O’Brien. She believes the perfect record truly set the tone for regionals, sectionals, and state. Staying positive in challenging times helped feed their success, explained McKenney. 

Although the team will be losing three key players next year, they have a lot to look forward to. Caroline Magner ‘21, Kendall Beil ‘22, and Bailey Bitabo ‘23 have all played essential roles throughout the season, and will continue to lead the Ramblers next year. O’Brien says the team will do great next year, as the girls are “very strong players, who have great mental and physical game.” She added that the captains are confident in passing the team leadership on to Caroline Magner. 

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Convincing Ramblers Clinch Playoff Spot Wed, 23 Oct 2019 20:23:42 +0000 The Ramblers Football team was once again victorious last week in their win over Marian Central. The final score of 52-0 tied the Ramblers’ largest margin of victory this season.

The win also marked the first shutout of the year for the Ramblers. It was one of 38 total shutouts that Coach Holecek has been a part of since he arrived at Loyola.

Another notable achievement was the fact that a win meant the Ramblers are now eligible for the playoffs for the 17th consecutive season.

The win can be attributed to a stellar performance by the offense, defense, and special teams. Junior wide receiver, Aidan Brownlee, had a breakout effort with four catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns.

The offensive display also saw rushing touchdowns from Junior Jalen Williams and Senior Darrell Poku. The touchdowns both players part of the six different running backs to find the end zone this season.

This upcoming week, the Ramblers will play host to the Marist RedHawks. Marist currently sits at a 4-4 record following their 31-6 win last week.

The RedHawks offense is led by senior running back Amari Watkins. Watkins, has accounted for 693 rushing yards this season, to go along with nine touchdowns.

As for the defense, they have been tough to score on for several opponents. They are headlined by outside linebacker Colin Bohanek who has 91 total tackles this season.

The teams should provide an exciting contest on Saturday, October 26. I have the Ramblers coming out on top 28-14.

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