The Crown The student news site of Marian Central Catholic High School Mon, 20 May 2019 18:21:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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 Don’t You (Forget about the Editors) Mon, 20 May 2019 17:52:10 +0000 I remember our first day of Publications like it was yesterday. I was a scared little sophomore in a sea of only juniors and seniors. I am not going to lie, I was intimidated to work alongside the upperclassmen, but Ellen Sharp, Emma Baader, and Amy Herff always made an effort to include me and to help me. These wonderful seniors have gone from people I had only known of at Marian to friends who I could not picture Pubs without.

Ellen Sharp: “The Fearless Leader.” If there was ever a huge task that needed to be done, Ellen was always the first to take charge. I realized quickly that she is a  perfectionist, a person who sets and achieves goals, and one who is extremely passionate about all of her work. Anytime deadlines or due dates needed to be posted on the board, Ellen was the go-to girl. Her attention to detail made the yearbook look even more crisp and pristine. Her attention to details allows for the other editors to be able to collaborate together in more creative ways.  

Emma Baader: “The Busy Bee.” Every day, Emma comes to class and is determined to get her work done. She may seem quiet at first, but do not let that fool you; she has a goofy side. Emma will randomly start singing, dancing, or writing a book at any time during class. If a creative title or headline is needed, ask Emma. She always finds ways to incorporate creativity into an article or yearbook spread. Her creativity helps the staff come up with new ideas quickly which creates high standards for the staffers’ work.

Amy Herff: “The Boss.”  When Amy wants something done a certain way, she will make sure that, in the end, it is perfect. If any staffer needed any information on sports or needed to tag a picture, Amy was the one to ask. She has countless connections with not only Marian students but also many other students at different schools. Amy works extremely hard to make sure that the staff hits their deadlines and she holds a high standard for all of us. Her high standards pushes the students to work diligently and she encourages them to do their best.

And then there is me…”The Mom.” I am the one who reminds the staffers of upcoming deadlines and who checks in on editors, advisors, and staffers during “crunch time” or when we have a very large due date. If anyone needed something in Gallagher’s room, I was the one to run up and down the stairs to get the tape, scissors, or freshly-printed rubrics. Overall, the four of us used each other’s best qualities to create one united force.

These student journalists have worked extremely hard to make sure that the yearbook and newspaper are perfect. Mrs. Lynn Widhalm, former Co-Adviser for Pubs and Marian English teacher, explains her experience working with Ellen, Emma, and Amy during the 2017-2018 school year, “Although I worked with Emma, Ellen, and Amy before they took on the editorial leadership roles, it was easy to see how much they each enjoyed and thrived as a part of the Publications team.  From writing creative headlines to celebrating achievements together, I enjoyed getting to know these girls, seeing their potential development, and watching them become the leaders they are today.” Each and every one of them has put their heart and soul into everything that they have worked on.

Amy, Ellen, and Emma all put their own spin on the yearbook, newspaper, and Publications in general. Looking back at all of the memories that were made, Amy shared her most favorite one, “My favorite memory was designing the yearbook. I enjoyed being able to capture Marian’s most memorable moments.” I asked Ellen what her favorite aspect of Publications was and she shared, “My favorite memory in Publications if after our big deadlines, Christmas and the end of the school year, we have a party filled with food, games, and presents (at Christmas). Completing a yearbook page is an amazing feeling, knowing that the creative idea you had in your brain a month ago is now a reality on paper that your classmates will look back on.” At the end of the year, there is a feeling of accomplishment and relief that the yearbook is officially done. Emma was asked about her favorite part of Publications and she said, “ I enjoy the ability to express my creativity while being challenged through countless deadlines and staff difficulties, however, I especially enjoy the family like bond form with the staff members.” The staff as a whole works so hard together every day for an entire school year which allows us to become one big family.  

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to work alongside these amazing girls.  I know I could not do it without them! I will miss you all very much. I am so grateful for all that they have done for Publications. But what we found out is each one of us is “The Fearless Leader,” “The Busy Bee,” “The Boss,” and “The Mom” and together we created something that will stand the rest of time for Marian.

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To Beard or not to Beard Mon, 20 May 2019 17:43:20 +0000 Chin up, folks, it’s about to get hairy. The beards of Dr. Pinnau and Mr. Widzisz seem to be an intense topic of gossip around the school. They’ve become a quintessential part of Marian. We’ve seen them short, long, lumberjack-like, and everything in between. So what’s the deal with the beards?

Dr. Pinnau has been sporting his beard for nearly an entire year. And when the school year started, there’s no question that the sight of the teacher came as shock to almost everyone. The beard became a legend. In response to why it has become such an icon at the school, Pinnau says, “It exudes wisdom.” Well, any student who has Pinnau as a teacher will know that he is extremely wise, but now there are answers as to where this wisdom comes from…the beard. Pinnau also expresses his intense interest in beard clips… an odd interest, some might say. “It’s super awesome when it’s clipped,” he states. “I was wearing a dragonfly the other day. It was green.”

Pinnau isn’t alone in his beard endeavors. Mr. Widzisz also became synonymous with the word “lumberjack.” Students in past years were used to seeing Widzisz with a scraggly half-beard, but this year, he took it to new lengths – literally. The decision to grow out the beard was a logical one. “I don’t like shaving,” Widzisz says simply. Unlike Pinnau, Widzisz has absolutely no idea why his beard became such a point of interest, but he says he wasn’t unhappy with the attention.

Unfortunately, Beard Master #2 was not to remain forever.

On March 18, 2019, students watched in shock as Jamie from Mythbusters made his way through the halls of Marian. Who was this look-a-like?

It was Mr. Widzisz – sans beard. Confusion spread like wildfire. What had caused this drastic change? A mid-life crisis? Perhaps a rowdy game of truth or dare? The real answer was much tamer. To Widzisz, this seemed like an easy way out of a tough situation. “I started having to take care of it,” Widzisz says. “What was once easy all of a sudden started requiring work. It became counter-productive.” Pinnau seems to hold some very strong opinions about Mr. Widzisz’s big chop. “Weak,” he states simply when asked about Widzisz’s decision. Unlike Widzisz, he has no plans to cut his beard in the foreseeable future. “I’m hoping by the fall I’ll be able to braid it.” And what does Widzisz have to say about Pinnau’s criticism? Well, it seems there are no hard feelings: “I concede. The good doctor wins.”

Students have some pretty strong opinions about the beards as well. On the subject of Pinnau’s beard, A.J. Leidig (12) states, “I love it. He should have kept it full though.” Perhaps even more intriguing, however, are the numerous comparisons students make between Mr. Widzisz and various celebrities. “I think with his big beard he looks like ZZ Top and with the little beard, he looks like Walter White. I support it,” Amanda Hoople (12) says through laughter. Another common comparison is Jamie Hyneman.

There’s no doubt that the beards will remain a staple of the Marian community. It seems both Pinnau and Widzisz (and the students) have grown to love the friendly rivalry. Let’s hope the beards continue to grow as well. Long live the Beard Masters!

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From Awkward to Awesome Mon, 20 May 2019 17:40:32 +0000 Starting at a new school can be awkward, from not knowing where to go, or who everyone is, awkward things are bound to happen. Stepping into school on the first day can be overwhelming as returning students catch up with friends, freshmen are bumping into classmates, walking up the stairs, or piling books into their already overstuffed backpacks. This uncomfortableness will soon fade as the freshman learn the ins and outs of high school. “Their mentors are their first contact. They are the ones that provide a friendly face to freshman for the next weeks, months, even years. The mentors serve as an aid to freshman whenever they need them,” says Mentor Adviser, Mrs. Laura Littner. As seniors reflect on the past four years and think to themselves how they were as freshmen, they soon realize how they have gone from awkward to awesome.

Going back four years can be a trip down memory lane. The memories from each year serve as reminders to make bad days better. These awkward memories and more are ones that are now laughed upon. Some of the awkward experiences include, “tripping up the stairs and Mrs. Poci saw me. She chuckled and I felt so embarrassed,” BriAna Muldrew (12). “Once I walked into the wrong class. I waved awkwardly and tried to walk out, but ended up walking into the door frame,” Gaby Sarto (12). Learning from these experiences students really have become the better version of themselves. These awkward moments and more have brought together amazing friendships and built up their confidence.

Reminiscing on the embarrassing moments of freshman year now become funny to the seniors as they have matured throughout their four years. Now the time has come for them to be awesome and move on to college. Remembering the mistakes they have made will not only make them laugh, but also serve as an aid for them to prepare for college. Saying goodbye to four incredibly fast years will be challenging, but eventually, it will become easier for students. They will always remember the memories they made here at Marian.

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Stroking Into Success Mon, 20 May 2019 17:36:57 +0000 When people hear the words student-athlete, most that sports that come to mind are basketball, football, track, etc. The one that is quite overlooked, but shouldn’t be disregarded, is swimming. Swimming involves complete concentration and demands strength in every muscle of one’s body. Lauren Payton (12) has all the insight of what goes into being a competitive swimmer. From the sore muscles to the late night practices, to the anxiety-filled competitions; this sport takes precise skill, determination, and passion.

Payton began swimming at the ripe age of eight years old. She competes with a team called Academy Bullets. Her team consists of hundreds of other young swimmers. Yet, there are lots of things that set Payton apart from her peers. She practices seven days a week. A common misconception is that swimmers only practice in the water. Certain days of the week for swimmers are dedicated to weightlifting, strength training, and other forms of agility.

Sports commonly become more competitive as athletes transition from middle school to high school. In Payton’s case, it was a little different. Since she has been with the same club from elementary school to high school, she became more independent in building up her stamina to continue to be competitive. This didn’t stop her from striving to become better, stronger, and even more driven. Although Marian does not have a swimming pool, it is still considered a school sport. When Payton goes to competitions outside of her club, they are to represent Marian, with the opportunity to compete in sectionals her sophomore year. Through Academy Bullets, she took part in junior nationals. At thirteen and fourteen years old she placed first at state for the 200 Fly in her age group.

Payton plans to continue her love for swimming at St. Louis, Missouri. She believes it is the perfect fit because of their highly reputable team and their elite physical therapy graduate program which is her desired career. Being a full-time student-athlete is very time-consuming. Over the years, Payton has learned to manage her time in a very commendable way. She takes three AP classes as a senior and still manages to practice every night. “If this sport has taught me one thing, it is definitely how to manage my time,” says Payton. Payton has an immense passion for the sport and is looking forward to the competitive years to come.

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All Around the World Mon, 20 May 2019 17:34:38 +0000 Most people can only dream of going off to exotic places and exciting countries, but for Delaney Doherty (12) this dream is a reality. Doherty has traveled to most places imaginable and continues to travel across the globe. These visits outside the country impact who she is as a person and have opened her eyes to a variety of different regions and cultures.

Doherty has ventured to a multitude of foreign territories, from Europe to Asia, and is almost continually traveling to different places. “I’ve been to every continent, except Australia and Antarctica; I went to Bora Bora; this upcoming summer, I am going to Paris; I just went to Thailand for a couple of weeks, and that was really cool. We rode the elephants and the food was really good,” expressed Doherty. Her numerous adventures around the world provide her with an expanded view of culture in regions which are distant or overseas.

These experiences in exotic countries have influenced her interests and her as a person. “I love European culture. [Europe] is my favorite place. When I go to college, I am probably going to study abroad in Austria,” she explains. The love of European culture that Doherty possesses is partially impacted by the fact that her mother is Italian and she has family that lives in Italy. This is a large reason why Doherty travels to Europe so often. “We went to [Italy] to track down my mom’s great-grandma’s family when we were in Sicily,” says Doherty. The frequent trips Doherty takes to other places is noted by her friends as well as teachers. “The travel has affected her experience and her talent,” says art teacher, Mrs. Erin Widmayer. “When she travels and goes to art and makeup classes, she’s getting more hands-on experience outside of the classroom,” she continues. The astounding travel which Doherty takes part in affects not only her knowledge of other cultures but also aids her artistic and learning skills. She uses this newfound experience to teach others about different lifestyles and regions. “Most people think that she would be entitled or act kind of rude but she doesn’t. She uses her traveling experience to educate others and shares it with everyone. She’s very humble about [her traveling] and genuinely a good person,” says Carolee Musielak (12), a close friend of Doherty. In traveling across the world Doherty discovers new societies and cultures which she is able to teach and share with others.

Doherty’s various ventures to exotic regions all over the globe are part of who she is. Traveling to daring and exciting places has provided her with a love of different cultures and traditions as well as an interest in learning about new things. As witnessed by those who know her, these experiences have shaped Doherty as a person and continue to impact her.

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A Note-able Impact Mon, 20 May 2019 17:32:25 +0000 The smooth sounds of the clarinet echo in the halls of Marian Central as a senior, Gabe McKenna, recalls her most precious memories in the band program. Most people have a passion for life. Whether it’s a sport, creative arts, or playing an instrument. In Gabe McKenna’s (12) case, her love of playing the clarinet has been a crucial part to the person she is today. Her love for the art of instruments began as a juvenile 5th grader. Mckenna’s passion and devotion this instrument outweigh the many other extracurricular activities she has participated in throughout middle school and high school. Mckenna’s love for music will continue far behind Marian.

Mckenna plans to join the Fighting Irish marching band among four hundred other bands enthused students. She has been accepted into Notre Dame College. As she dives into this new chapter of life, Mckenna is nervous yet mostly excited for the changes and experiences to come. She believes that though it might be a challenging transition going from such a small scale band to a large one, she is ready for the challenge. Her drive and ambition have led to a thirst for challenges and new experiences to conquer. One of the most compelling aspects of joining the Notre Dame marching band for McKenna is that she will be surrounded by such a broad amount of people that can teach her and help her grow into a better musician and performer.

The difference between a good musician and a great musician can be determined off of influencers around them. For McKenna, it was a solid mix between friends and role models whom she looked up throughout her band career. She mentioned that having a best friend to bounce ideas off of and learn from is the best way to learn. McKenna states “It’s comforting to struggle with someone as opposed to doing it alone. It makes the whole process feel less lonely.” She also mentioned a time where a girl in the grade above her had such a large influence on her and her musical journey. “ It always helps to have someone more skilled than you that drives you to better yourself. It’s such a huge motivation” It is a fact that those around you influence you the most which are especially true in McKenna’s situation.

Her passion has lead to many inadvertent effects in her life. The band has been such a prominent part in McKenna’s life ever since she was in middle school. “This is the place where I have formed so many bonds and amazing friendships and that has lasted to this day,” says McKenna. She mentions that the band helped tremendously in making friends considering the fact she only knew a couple of people going into high school. “Band kids were the first people I befriended”. Not only the friends but the events relating to the band have been such a big part of her life. Such as the school band events and band camp. She looked forward to events such as band camp and school band events months in advance.

Throughout the years, McKenna has acquired a number of awards and recognitions relating to the band. Her accomplishments are a reflection of the hard work she has put in. Three out of her four years in the band, McKenna has been first chair clarinet. Meaning she has led the group of musicians who play the clarinet. In middle school, Johnsburg band won a state recognition award. One of her most honorable achievements was being invited to participate in the Mchenry County Honors Band. This prestigious award is allowed only to those who earn the position through proven consistent hard work. McKenna has dedicated a large portion of her life to the art that she loves the most. The influence this passion has had in her life has to lead the opening of multiple doors and opportunities.

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A Hurricane Takes Over the Course Thu, 16 May 2019 21:53:53 +0000

It is the first tee, the golf course is quiet and motionless. All eyes are focused on the tee box. With one swift motion, the club sends the ball whirling through the air in the aimed direction. With just a bit of luck, the ball rolls onto the green and hole in one! The past four years, Danielle Lattanzio has learned and grown through golf.

Danielle Lattanzio has been part of the Hurricane’s golf team her whole high school career. Her golf career has helped form her into the person she is today. She explains, “My desire to play golf started freshman year when my cousins worked for the Master’s tournament in Augusta, Georgia. They inspired me to try something new.”  Danielle’s courageous attitude shows that she is not afraid to step out of her comfort zone. “Playing golf was a struggle freshman year, but my goal was to be captain of the varsity team my senior year,” she says. Marking her words, Danielle made her way to the top. It assured that her dedication reflected her outstanding performance.

Though Danielle was self-motivated and had a lot of courage, she was also surrounded by optimism and positivity. Marian’s golf team not only became an inspiration for Danielle but also a family.  “My teammates have been the most influential people in regards to golf. I just saw how good the seniors on varsity were last year and they ended up encouraging and helping me” she explains. Having that support, especially from teammates, is a blessing. Former Coach Ginny Larson shared her favorite thing about working with Danielle, “Danielle always had a smile on her face. She was a team player in what is typically an individual sport. Danielle kept pushing through tough holes and reminded herself that there was always another hole where she could right the ship. I truly enjoyed my time with her!”  Danielle became a role model to underclassmen who were wanting to achieve the same goal that she accomplished. She is a perfect example of a person who came from not being very good at something to going over and beyond. Although golf has made up a minor portion of her life, Danielle has bigger goals she wishes to accomplish. “I am not going to play golf in college but I will keep playing it on my own,” she says. Even though she has other ambitions, Danielle insists on keeping golf as her hobby.

Before departing from the Marian golf team, Danielle gives a piece of advice for future golf players. Over the years she has learned many ways to keep her stride and longs to share her experiences with others. She notes, “Never give up. Everyone has their ups and downs, but if you really work hard then you do improve. Make good friendships with your teammates because building that bond makes the experience fun.” Danielle’s actions show that the only way one will achieve something is if they start with themselves. Even if it is just baby steps, grasping a positive mentality will increase progress. Overall, Danielle has been a great role model for the team and her recognition will be kept in the heart of the golf course.

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