Marengo Community High School District 154

110 Franks Road Marengo, IL 60152

Phone 815-568-6511   Fax 815-568-6510

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November 2010


Please come to a meeting at MCHS on Tuesday, December 14th at 7:00 p.m. to find out how you can join the team of Safe Homes in Marengo! Alcohol usage by teenagers continues to be a problem. According to the Illinois Youth Survey about 55% of seniors have used alcohol in the last thirty days in McHenry County. Although I feel this is a high number, I also feel good about the fact that according to the survey 45% have not had a drink in the last thirty days. »


Welcome to our Chinese Mandarin program! My name is Melanie Stumpf and I am the Chinese teacher at Marengo High School. This is the second year of Chinese at MCHS and so far it has had great success. In fact, based on feedback from parents who attended recent Parent/Teacher Conferences, it seems that Chinese has become the favorite class of many students! A big factor in the future success of the Chinese program is continuing student enrollment, so we hope to see more students enroll in the program in the coming years. You might ask why students need to learn Chinese, so here are a few very good reasons:

1. China is becoming an important world market with the world’s second largest economy and a growing GDP. Learning to speak Chinese will improve students’ career prospects by helping them to stand out among the competition in the competitive business world.

2. The global economy requires fast, efficient communication when decisions need to be made. Speaking Chinese is an essential international business skill when doing business with China.

3. Mandarin Chinese is the fastest growing foreign language being taught in U.S. schools. Learning Mandarin Chinese today gives students a skill they need for success tomorrow.

4. Learning to speak Chinese will give your student a different world view and help them to understand Chinese culture, people, and China’s 5000 year history.

5. Speaking Chinese will open doors to many occupations such as business executive, government official, ambassador, reporter, teacher, interpreter, foreign news correspondent, historian, programmer, archaeologist, underwriter, linguist, translator – and the list is growing all the time.

6. China is becoming a huge export market for the United States, with over 16,000 U.S. companies selling products there. This is a strong indication that learning Chinese will become necessary for the next generation of business people.

I would be very happy to discuss with you any thoughts, ideas or concerns you might have regarding our Chinese program. Please email me at I try to keep the class fun as well as educational, and would appreciate any insights or feedback you may have to offer in order to improve the program. Pictured below are Chinese Level I & II students. Each class is a great group and I truly enjoy working with them. »


Small gas engine students are in the shop working on their projects. Students will completely disassemble then reassemble their engines and will have made any necessary repairs along the way. Some groups may even be able to purposely sabotage their projects when they are done and then run them until the engine fails. At this point the groups will then disassemble the blown engine to see where it has broken. This is only possible with the permission of the parents who own the engine!

Auto I students have been doing numerous repairs in the shop, ranging from alternator replacement to brake service. Each job is broken down and analyzed against a hypothetical overhead expense of $1.00 per minute. Students will add up the total time it takes for diagnosis and repair and compare that to the bottom line. Students are amazed at how expensive it is to be in business. »


By Luke Garfield

Teen Read Week, October 18-22, with the theme “Books That Make Your Heart Beat” offered MCHS students a new book-related activity each day with a chance to win prizes. Prizes ranged from a piece of candy to one-dollar gift certificates to the book fair. On Monday the students embraced their artistic side as they made bookmarks for themselves and their friends. On Tuesday, students came to the media center after school for “Poetry Out Loud” where they showed off their poems or read a favorite poem aloud. Afterwards, the reading club provided a pizza dinner. Wednesday continued the festivities with Karaoke night. Everyone who went said they enjoyed the fun. On Thursday, the theme was “Books that make your heart beat.” Two students baked red velvet love cupcakes and ‘mini manly’ action cupcakes. Students ate lunch and cupcakes in the media center while they viewed commercials for romance and action novels. “That went well,” said Mrs. Tippins. Teen Read Week was such a fun experience that students can not wait for the next event! »


November was a very busy month for HOSA. We began the month collecting food and hygiene items for our annual Food Drive in collaboration with MORE. On November 23rd Freshmen and Sophomore HOSA members sorted the food and prepared the boxes for delivery and the Junior and Senior HOSA members delivered the food and holiday wishes to 50 needy families in the Marengo/Union community. With this activity, the students gain the experience of charity and giving and are able to make real world connections with their actions now. Learning about the gift of giving to others is a lesson that will follow the students throughout their lives. In the middle of the month members joined Florence Nursing Home residents for "Pie Day", celebrating each other's company with several pies! Throughout the month members were also busy selling Gourmet's Delight cheesecakes for a fundraiser used to help us give back to our community. On December 10th, HOSA will be hosting our 2nd blood drive for the year. The drive will be held from 2 pm until 7 pm in the commons of MCHS. Community members and walk-ins are encouraged to attend! »


Come and watch a full day of Wrestling. Saturday December 11 starting at 9:00 AM is the Gary Swanson Dual Wrestling Tournament. Schools in the tournament include Belvidere, Bowen, Grayslake North, Hampshire and Marengo. Tickets are $5.00 for Adults and $3.00 for Students. »

Sophomore Career Research

MCHS Sophomores will be researching careers over the next two-three weeks. In this activity, they must choose a career (perhaps a career they are considering for their future), and they will research how to get a job in that career field, the tasks of the career, the promotion levels of the career, the earnings of the career, and various other bits of information. Their findings will be presented in a well-written research-supported essay which will then be presented to their classes. By the end of the unit, students will have been exposed to a wide variety of resources that they can use to decide on a career choice as well as a wide variety of careers, as presented by their peers. One goal is to help these students set their sights on their life after high school so that they can begin pursuing their life goals now. »

Independent Reading

Many English courses are now asking students to read independently. Independent free-choice reading is one of the best ways to increase a student's ability to read and comprehend any piece of writing. The more students willingly practice their reading skills, the better readers they will become. For many courses, the requirement is simply to read a book of the student's choice and do a very brief written assignment as accountability for their work.

Encourage your students, friends, parents, and neighbors to read today! »


Current Image

Any other day the sight of donkeys running around the gymnasium might have been a cause of concern, but on the night of January 13th, it was exactly what hundreds turned out for. At 7 pm on Thursday night, the MCHS and MCMS Boosters Clubs held a game of ‘Donkey Basketball as a fundraiser for the schools’ athletic programs. »

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