It Takes A Town

Story originally published in 2017 edition of Quiver yearbook.

There are a myriad of ways to get involved and keep in touch with the community by participating and volunteering through school clubs and school mandated events.

“I joined N-teens in eighth grade because I had been volunteering for a while, and I joined the club. I do a lot of my volunteering through N-teens and I do some outside of N-teens. This year I am introducing new volunteer opportunities in hospitals and Alsip Nursery. I volunteer at fun fairs at elementary schools, craft fairs, walks, non-profit organizations, the hospital and the library. I get to meet a lot of people and hear about their experiences,” Anna Hallowell (12) said.

Events including Angel Tree and the food drive, are annual events held through the school that provide possibilities to give back.

“For the Angel Tree, I made the list of everyone to break off into groups for each category for what child they had, how much money they had and made sure everything ran smoothly. It was nice to come back and know that you are helping somebody that does not have as much around Christmas and in general. It just makes you feel good,” Morgan Calligan (12) said.

For those who want to devote their time and energy outside of school, there are a plethora of chances to give back to the community around the Reigion.

“I volunteer at Faith Church in Dyer and Faith Students, [a program dealing] with the middle schoolers, on Wednesday nights. On Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, I volunteer at Faith Kids, which is with second graders. Some of the middle schoolers do not have a safe place to go, so some of them come in on Wednesday nights and have a safe place to be for about three hours. I have gone to the church for my entire life and I grew up with people volunteering for me, and I decided to give back and volunteer for them,” Elizabeth Slager (11) said.

Students can visit areas that are less fortunate to help build things, such as houses or playgrounds, that can better the lives of those who live there.

“My favorite volunteer work was going to Gary to help restore a children’s playground. The city didn’t have enough money to repair it, so my youth group joined with many other youth groups and we worked together to clean up a basketball court and playground,” Grace Richardson (10) said.

Advertisements

Bagpipe it up

Story originally published in 2017 edition of Quiver yearbook.

Trent Schneider has an uncommon hobby for a high school student; he plays the bagpipes.

“I have been playing since I was in fifth grade. We went down to Disney World once, and I saw a bagpiper there. I said that was really cool and that would be cool to play,” Schneider said.

Although his hobby started as a joke, it evolved into an interest.

“For Christmas, I jokingly put down bagpipes on my Christmas list. I did not wake up in the morning with bagpipes, I got practice chanters that you use to learn how to play them,” Schneider said.

No one in Schneider’s family played the bagpipes before him, but his playing has now become normal for them.

“I am the first one in my family to even be interested in playing the bagpipes,” Schneider said.

Schneider practices often, especially when he is performing at large-scale events. Even though this can be nerve-wracking, he always finds time to get practice in before the day of the performance.

“I have played in front of my church before. Kahler, 8th grade year, I played for Veteran’s day. My dad ran the Chicago Marathon and I played for him once he was coming back. I get a little bit of anxiety beforehand, but once I am doing it, it is fun. I can relax and really get into the music. [Practicing takes] a lot of repetition and memorizing. I have to find time out of the day to get the work done and do what I want after,” Schneider said.

Because of his unique musical instrument ability, opportunities open up for him to play at sports games, assemblies and many other events.

“It is really just connections and talking to people about how I do it. My mom works here as a Spanish teacher, so she was talking to the coach about how I play the bagpipes. He remembered it and would remind me to play. I’ve always wanted to play in front of my school,” Schneider said.

No Pain No Gain

Story originally published in 2017 edition of Quiver yearbook.

After a win at sectionals, the varsity boys soccer team was very confident that they were going to win again at regionals and move on to State.

“We were pretty confident going into Regionals that we were going to win. Losing was possibly the worst feeling ever. It was heartbreaking, but we try to look on the brighter side of things and not look at what we could have done,” Enrique Dominguez (12) said.

The Sectional game was their final chance to prepare for Regionals against Munster, but they treated it just like any other game. After they won, the pressure was on to win their next game and beat the Mustangs.

“The Sectional game was just like any other game, but this time if we lost, our season was over. It prepared us for Regionals because we needed to work on a few more tactics in game-like situations, and that was the last time we had the chance to,” Nikko Kolintzas (12) said.

The team knew going into the game that they had to treat it as if it was their last, and they attempted to play their hardest in order to advance. Because of the turnout of the game, they boys now know what needs to be worked on for future seasons.

“For the game, we should give one hundred percent when the game starts and not just in the second half,” Cole Rainwater (10) said.

Despite their struggle during the game, the boys held together and tried their hardest to push forward to attempt to take the title of Regional champions. Despite their hard efforts, they lost the game with a final score of 1-0.

“I think Munster came out with more intensity and more heart, while we just came out thinking we were a better team. Overall, we just needed to play together. [After], I felt like the world was ending. It was my last high school soccer game ever. It really hit me right when the last whistle blew. It hurt because our team has grown up playing together. We were more of a family,” Kolintzas said.

The boys knew going into the game that they had to work hard, and they did just that. However, they could not bring up their score and beat the Munster Mustangs.

“Going into the post season, we all knew that we were only promised one game at a time. I knew that I had to play every game like it was going to be my last, and that is exactly what I did at Regionals. I left everything on that field, and I am happy with my performance during the final game. It did not end up in our favor, but that is life,” Joshua Dulski (12) said.

Schools Just Want to Have Funds

Story originally published in (February, 2017) issue 4 of Scout.

$57,880,770 is a lot of money. On top of paying for maintenance, teachers and materials for students, the school may have a difficult time keeping up with expenses because of the recent talk of House Bill 1001, a funding bill issued by the governor every two years that affects school budgets.

“They are basing how much their budget is going to be on what they think revenues are going to be over two years,” Rob James, Director of Business, said. “No one actually knows for sure how much sales tax money the state is going to generate. We are often driven by the economy, and when things are not going well nation-wide, people are holding back money and not spending money. That means the state is not generating as much money, and that means they have less money to give out. I always tell kids to just to think of their own personal wallet: you have less money coming in than you thought you would, so you have less money to spend. It’s the same thing, just on a grander scale.”

If the budget were to grow due to the HB1001, it could range from a 0.5 to two percent increase. The final number will not be revealed to the school until later this spring. If the budget was to decrease, the drop in elementary students could be a more prominent factor.

“Sometimes buildings are growing more than others. Kolling and Protsman are largely populated, where schools like Watson and Peifer are smaller. We see [that] our population of kids as a whole has been steadily going down. Even though we are only getting a few extra dollars per kid, if [we are] going to have less kids, then we will see how that multiplies out,” James said.

A student is worth $5,379.61, and due to a decreasing amount of elementary students attending schools in the district, the corporation will be losing that much money per student, which could lead to detrimental financial setbacks.

“If we get no new money, our expenditures increase, [and if] our revenues stay the same, we probably would have to cut some things. No one likes to go down that path,” James said. “If we don’t have the resources coming in on the revenue, then we have to look at staffing because our salaries and benefits are the biggest expenditures. Instead of having 15 teachers in the Math department, maybe we would only operate with 14 teachers. If that is the case, then class sizes would increase. That is where students would be most likely see the direct impact. The school board [could] choose to eliminate some programs, athletics or clubs, because those things [have large funds, and that would leave less opportunities for kids.’”

If the budget bill comes through, however, then the corporation will not have to be concerned with losing funds.

“On the flip side, [if there is] more funding for us, then the reverse can and would happen. If the influx of dollars would give us the opportunity to add another teacher to a particular school, then maybe those elementary class sizes would decrease a little bit, and the kids will see the impact of that,” James said. “It could also bring new support staff for the teachers. We like to give pay raises to our staff. They work really hard [and] it keeps morale up. No one wants to be in an environment where it is not exciting to come to work, so we try to give pay raises every year if we can, and additional funding through the funding bill could help that.”

Vivianne Tartareanu

Story originally published in (October, 2016) Issue One of Scout magazine.

Every haunted house season, Vivianne Tartareanu (11) gets her makeup ready and prepares to create horrifying makeup effects for the scare-actors at the Lake Hills Haunted House. For Tartareanu, the effects are not just something she does when the haunted house starts, but they are a year-round hobby. Whether it is a bruise or a full face of clown makeup, Tartareanu does it all.
“I started [doing makeup] three years ago because, on the first two nights [at the Lake Hills Haunted House], I got my makeup done by one of the makeup artists there, and she was not going to be there one night. I went to the Halloween store and bought some basic, cheap [makeup]. I [thought] I could do it pretty well myself, so that year I kept getting the makeup from the Halloween store. I kept practicing and getting better and better. I would not look at videos on how to do it, I would just look at a picture [to] see how it works,” Tartareanu said.
While scrolling through accounts on Instagram, Tartareanu came across an account, @ellyjs, that inspired her to start sharing her talent with her peers. Because the artist who ran the Instagram account used higher quality makeup, Tartareanu ditched the cheap Halloween store makeup for more expensive makeup.
“There was a girl on Instagram who would do awesome gore makeup. She would do it so perfectly it would look like it was real. She inspired me to go out and buy better makeup. I usually buy from Krylon or Ben-Nye. Krylon and Ben-Nye are my favorite. The makeup I have [costs] $700 all together,” Tartareanu said.
After two years of working at the Lake Hills Haunted House, Tartareanu decided to pick up a part-time job as an actress at the Massacre Haunted House in Montgomery, Ill. Despite the struggle of being an actress for more holidays than just Halloween, she continues to work there as often as she can.
“[I do effects makeup] every haunt season, but on my own time every week. I work at Massacre Haunted House part-time, only when I have a ride to get there. It is Illinois’ number one haunted house and they run all year round. They do zombie outbreaks once a month and other holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas. It [inspires] me to make more costumes and bring out my characters more. It was very strange [doing other holidays]. I thought to myself ‘How am I supposed to be a scary elf?’, but once I got into my room and set up, it was easier than I thought it would be. It was easy, except having to incorporate Christmas into it,” Tartareanu said.
Although it may seem that Tartareanu is confident while doing effects makeup, she still feels the pressure when she knows that her bosses are relying on her to create effects that are up to par with other haunted houses. She works through the pressure to make sure her makeup is up to her bosses’ standards.
“I [get nervous doing makeup], especially when people show me pictures and are very picky about it. [For Massacre], my makeup has to be number one and perfect. I’ve done a few people’s [makeup] there, but it is very nerve-wracking. I started off with gore, so going to more artistic things makes me nervous. It is water-based paint and I do not want to mess it up,” Tartareanu said.
Tartareanu is currently enrolled at a Don Roberts Beauty School in Schererville, and hopes to have a career as a special effect makeup artist in the future. She eventually wants to expand her image to get professionals from the industry to see what she does. Tartareanu has already made connections with other actors and actresses from the haunted houses that she works at.
“I would like to have my own makeup brand and line of beauty and special effects makeup. I can also see myself doing effects for movies or something in Hollywood. I am self-taught. I would not want to go to school for it because they teach you a different way. I like doing it my way. I was going to go back to school for [effects makeup] at Kosart in Chicago, but I found out that with the schooling, I will also have my makeup artist license. So, if I did go out and do movies, I would not have to go to school for it. I would want to do makeup for horror movies, but any type of movie would be good with me because I will be licensed to do beauty makeup, hair and special effects. One of the makeup artists [at Massacre], Barbie, is a highly-trained makeup artist and has done short movies and has shown me how to do effects with an airbrush,” Tartareanu said.
Tartareanu often gets requests from friends to do their hair and makeup for events such as dances or Halloween. She gets a lot of requests, which can be overwhelming at times, but that does not stop her from helping them out.
“I have gotten a lot of messages from people who ask me to do makeup for Halloween and prom. It can be annoying sometimes, but I still do it for my friends,” Tartareanu said.
Although it can take up time and energy, Tartareanu does not plan to stop doing special effects makeup, and she will continue to create new characters. She continues to develop new skills that will, in turn, improve her talent and become a Hollywood makeup artist.
“[To improve my effects I am going to] take classes, buy more makeup to do the effects and keep practicing,” Tartareanu said.
You can see Tartareanu’s work on her Instagram pages,
@vivtartareanu, or @beautybyviv.