Argo Theater’s “Shrek” Hits It Out of the Swamp

By Rachel Burke and Madison Krzos, Photo by Madison Krzos

Argo Theater performed Shrek the Musical on May 4th, 5th and 6th to close out their performing season in the Bulow Auditorium. Under the direction of Ms. Prochaska the main cast David Hernandez (Shrek), Katie Block (Fiona), Larry Henderson (Donkey) and the rest of the fairy-tale gang gave an overall amazing performance.

There was a lot of musical talent showcased in this production with familiar faces and new faces as well. Larry Henderson was the fan favorite every night and really shined as Donkey. He displayed a strong voice and good comedic timing, proving no one could pull the role off like him. Rose Mozier was a show stopper with her solo “Forever” near the end of the first act, and Natalie Cross established herself and her beautiful voice as a younger Fiona during Fiona’s opening song “I Know It’s Today”.

Backstage, Thespian President Klaudia Gorgon oversaw the sound, which was utilized a lot in this production especially with the clean sounding effects throughout the show that kept the crowd laughing. Stage Director Mackenzie Brodzinski revealed that the hardest part of being behind the scenes is dealing with costume changes, especially with this production because so many people had more than one costume.

Mozier played the Dragon along with other ensemble characters and partook in several costume changes. She admitted that it was so hard to deal with that she ended up layering the costumes. Sure, it was hot on stage but she said, “It’s all a part of putting on a show for you guys.” Jennifer Gutierrez also had many costume changes between being Pied Piper and a happy person but she said despite the changes she had a great time performing in her last theater production ever at Argo.

Of course, with any high school production there were some flaws. The set consisted of crafty swamp signs and outhouses but there was also a castle that was on stage the whole time, yet not utilized in many of the scenes. It was hard to distinguish when the castle was supposed to be there or when we were just supposed to ignore it. With the castle being the only big flaw there were certainly more good than bad elements in the production.

With Shrek the Musical all wrapped up and the Dick and Sharon Portillo Performing Arts Center on schedule for use in the 2017-18 school year, it looks like Shrek marked the end of an era. Luckily, Ms. Prochaska and co put on a stellar performance and definitely were ogre-achievers.

Senior Banquet – The Beginning of the End

By Rachel Burke

The annual senior banquet was held on Sunday February 19 at the Crystal Sky Banquets in McCook. There were many well-dressed ladies and dapper gentlemen, dancing, eating, and celebrating their youth. The Senior Class Board facilitated the event, organized by Mr. Hassan. Cheyenne Brucato, Class President, led the pledge of allegiance and Senators Marilyn Arredondo and Daniel McGee read off the awards.

The food was decent, and the decor was lovely but what really stood out was the DJ. The songs he picked were not bad, but there was no transition between styles of music. He went from country to rap to pop to R&B, it was hard not to get whiplash listening to him bounce back and forth. He also played interesting sound bites while Marilyn and Danny read off the awards. For example, when announcing best laugh, the DJ played a clip of a very strange laugh and it was hard not to laugh along. It is hard to complain because he was very amusing, whether it was intentional or not is another story.

The awards were quite the show. Farouk Tabbara won best male dancer and gave a solid attempt at twerking on the dance floor for his fellow classmates. Triplets Danny, Eddie, and Katie McGee won the Three Musketeers award, and each triplet won their own awards after that. The announcing of the awards turned a little meta when Marilyn and Danny both won awards themselves. As expected, State-Qualifying Wrestler Audel Ochoa won class muscles. Class couple went to Raizal Lacaya and Marcin Marciniak. Another couple that won an award was Rose Mozier and David Hernandez who collectively won the class spirit award.

There was mainly positive feedback from the attendees. Jessica Szewczyk said, “It was a great way to spend time with my friends,” with only three months left until graduation. Although Senior Banquet is not the last goodbye, it was a great transition into our final chapter as Argonauts. Jennifer Gutierrez said it best when she told me, “Senior Banquet was a great night to be with friends but also a great time to look back on all the work we’ve put in the past three years to get this close to the finish line.”

Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” Delivers Love and Heartbreak

By Madison Krzos

After going on a hiatus from social media to work on his third album Ed Sheeran has returned with his best work yet.  After teasing fans with three singles during January and February the album was finally released on March 3rd.

The album titled “Divide” features 12 songs that talk about love and heartbreak. Songs like “Eraser” and “New Man” are able to convey a very clear story, which is one of the qualities that sets Sheeran apart from other musicians. “Eraser” goes very deep as Sheeran’s fame is explored and the revelations that come with it, “I chased the picture perfect life, I think they painted it wrong.” The song “New Man” is more of a light hearted look at his ex’s new boyfriend, but even when throwing insults at her boyfriend he is still able to wish her well. Sheeran doesn’t just know how to write a breakup song though; he also writes flawless love songs.

One of the catchier songs on the album “Galway Girl” chronicles a fiddler player and their night in a bar, he is enticed with the girl singing “Oh I could have that voice playing on repeat for a week.” Sheeran is able to write songs in such a poetic way, the song “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here” is filled with metaphors that could make anyone fall in love with his girl. The song is littered with endearing lines like “She is the lighthouse in the night that will safely guide me home.” The ballad “Perfect” talks about childhood lovers fighting against all odds, Sheeran declares “I will not give you up this time”

Sheeran is able to take a break from love with the song “Supermarket Flowers” which may be the most emotional song on the album. Singing about his grandmother who passed away during the creation of the album the song starts with him throwing away flowers and get well soon cards and continues on with a beautiful faith filled chorus with the line, “When God takes you back, He’ll say Hallelujah, you’re home” My favorite song on the album for its relatability and emotion. No doubt it was a great choice to finish the album with.

Though, it is still early in the year I believe Ed Sheeran’s Divide may be one of the best albums of 2017. Already at number one on the ITunes charts and gaining a lot of buzz online it seems like Ed may have a very successful year ahead of him.

The Other F-Word: An Author Tackles the Myths and Realities of Feminism

By Estrella Salgado

Feminism is a word that inspires strong imagery—suffragettes in the 1910s, bright posters of Rosie the Riveter in the 1940s, supposed bra-burning in the 1960s, Ms. magazine in the 1970s. Yet despite the popularity of the word, there are many misconceptions about the open-minded philosophy. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short nonfiction book, We Should All Be Feminists, elegantly tackles the haze that surrounds gender’s f-word.

We Should All Be Feminists is a brilliant read. Adichie guides the reader towards a simple yet comprehensive definition of feminism. She has a talent for using anecdotes, mainly those set in her home country of Nigeria, that makes the necessity and relevance of feminism easily understandable. Her critical analysis of those events, from the brush-off of a waiter to the overt sexism in her elementary school, leaves the reader pensive. Those intelligent arguments are tasteful way to shut down the “mansplainers” that she frequently encounters in her daily life.

Adichie favors accessible diction over fancy phrases. And if you’re short on time, it’s an excellent selection — it clocks in at just 48 pages, since it was based on a TEDx talk of the same name (https://youtu.be/hg3umXU_qWc). Even if you’ve seen the talk already, it’s still interesting to read and reflect on the profound lessons.

By the end of We Should All Be Feminists, you’ll have gained a new understanding of what the fight for gender equality means, and best of all, you’ll be comfortable using the f-word. Find it in the LRC in the nonfiction section, Dewey Decimal Number 305.42.

Argo Higher Education Foundation Takes a Gamble with New Fundraiser

By Ralph Fudala and Madison Krzos

The Argo Higher Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides 4-year renewable scholarships to college bound Argo Community High School graduates.

Students who attended Argo for at least one year prior to their senior year and are ranked in the top third of their class can apply. When all applications have been received, the committee awards as many scholarships as possible to students based on their moral character, extracurricular activity, community involvement and financial need.

According to Argo Counselor Evelyn Sanchez there are 50 students enrolled in the scholarship. Argo alumni that are currently benefitting from this scholarship include Alan Zientarski, Abigail Pinon, and Claudia Dudnik. In order for alumni to renew the scholarship they must maintain full-time student status with a minimum 2.5 grade point average.

Of the 50 scholarships currently being given out, only eight were given out to students who graduated in 2016. At this time the foundation doesn’t know how many scholarships will be available for 2017 graduates. The number of scholarships given out isn’t the only thing declining, the value of the scholarship has also dropped from $1,500 to $1,000 per year.

Foundation President Stacey Ziccardi notes the recent decline in scholarship funding and is actively trying to change it. To encourage both funding and the community, the foundation is hosting a Casino Night on March 3rd at Toyota Park. Ziccardi feels this new fundraiser will help bring awareness to the foundation and give the community a fun event to show their support.

Girls Basketball Honors Seniors While Finishing an Undefeated Season

By Madison Krzos

The Argo girls’ varsity basketball team are conference champs, again. After a victory against Richards the team also went undefeated in conference. The team celebrated their seniors at the game as it was their last home game of their careers as Argonauts.

Three seniors were honored: Sam Perez, Carolina Tovar and Alexis Loza. The three were on the starting lineup along with Chatori Tyler and Tadrianna Heard. Argo was able to pull off a 52-45 win with Tyler putting up 24 points and Heard with seven assists. As the final buzzer went off you could hear the team chanting “undefeated, undefeated, undefeated!” Loza says this undefeated season has been her favorite memory of being on the basketball team.

The gym was decorated for the three girls by teammates with posters and balloons. Tovar had a message for her teammates, “I want them to know that I love them very much and I will miss playing with them.” Tovar mentions a game winning three pointer she made, along with the assist from Loza, as being the most memorable thing during her basketball career.

Two-year varsity player Sam Perez says she will mostly miss “The girls, the coaches and just being with them on weekends and after school.” Tovar and Loza both mentioned they will also miss their teammates and just the game itself.

With another undefeated conference season the team seems to be leaving quite the legacy. As for Alexis Loza’s legacy, she just wants her teammates to remember her beautiful singing voice in the locker room.

The team will move on to regionals later this month.

Argo Opens Up about Open Campus

By Julio Nieto

Imagine being able to eat your favorite lunch in the Del Essig Garden or catch a quick nap before going to Algebra 2. This could be a reality if Argo had open campus. Open campus is when students can leave during open periods, including lunch and study hall. 28 percent of high schools nationwide offer this to their students. There are many points of view to consider, and here are what some of your peers and your Principal, Dr. Chris Covino, have to say.

Dr. Covino admits that open campus “might be a good idea,” however, he is cautious. This wariness comes from experience. While working at a school with open campus, a student was struck by a train during school hours. Dr. Covino also mentioned the varying levels of maturity between freshmen and seniors as being a concern. He feels it is the school’s responsibility to keep all students safe, even after the last bell rings.

Rockwell Reynga, an Argo senior, says, “I feel that it should only be open to seniors”. He continues to say seniors are more mature than the underclassmen and are less likely to make poor decisions. “Just as long as you have a way back, a fast way back, and make it in time for school, then there should be no problem.” He thinks that there could be a sign in sheet, and that a dean or student supervisor could stand outside to make sure no one other than students enter the building.

Xena Romo is a junior at Argo High School.  When asked whether she believed that all students should be offered the opportunity to go off campus, she said, “open campus should be for everybody and not only for privileged students.” Senior Julian Meza disagrees and thinks “Students with good grades, attendance, and behavior are the only ones that would be allowed [this privilege].”

Xena defends her stance, stating it would show the teachers how responsible the students could be. She considers this the freedom students want and thinks open campus should be something taken into consideration by either the deans or administration.

Argo did have an open campus in the past; there was a morning class and an afternoon class that would switch off so that more students could learn within the hours of 8 and 3. The school was filled with more than it could handle; making this type of schedule necessary.

The current policy at Argo Community High School is that students are not allowed to leave the building from 8:00 a.m. until 2:55 p.m. without a call from their parents. It does not allow the more than 1,900 students who attend Argo High School to leave if the need arises.

In order for the policy to change, the school board would have to get the opinion of the community to find out if the Village of Summit is ok with letting a number of students roam the streets of Summit.

Argo Ambassadors Heat it up For a Good Cause

By Madison Krzos

There was no clowning around for Argo Ambassadors that volunteered at the Ronald McDonald house by Loyola University Medical Center. They prepped, cooked and served a home cooked meal to families with children being treated for cancer.

It all started the night before, the club went to the grocery store and picked up all the items needed. Any Ambassador will tell you there was some difficulty converting the measurements. They didn’t let that get them down though, Ambassador Jasmine Gallegos-Montes thought the whole experience was great, she says “It felt really good to know that we were helping out kids and their families”.

The club made a “comfort meal”, chicken pot pie, potato wedges, a side salad and for dessert, apple crisps with ice cream. Assembled into small teams the Ambassadors took on cooking the meal mostly from scratch.  Ambassador Miranda Serna tells me cooking wasn’t as hard as she thought it would be and the food tasted good too. The attendees even went up for seconds!

Club sponsor Mr. Jankowicz enjoyed the whole experience. His favorite part was sitting down to eat and listening to the group laugh to the point of tears. Mr. Jankowicz told me “My hope for this Ronald McDonald House trip and the Ambassador club in general is to show the value of helping others out.” Miranda and Jasmine both agree that helping others is such a rewarding experience and the trip was truly a memorable one.

Mr. Jankowicz says the Ambassadors are always planning events. They plan to raise money during autism awareness month by selling blow pops and are planning a field day for the FALP class. Miranda says “It truly is a great club to be involved in and makes you feel great while doing it” and she encourages her classmates to get involved.