Marengo Community High School District 154

110 Franks Road Marengo, IL 60152

Phone 815-568-6511   Fax 815-568-6510

All News

December 2008

Artist-in-Residence Award

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Katie Sprague, sophomore, received the Artist-in-Residence Award for the month of November. Katie has done an outstanding job in her digital design class. She designed the winning chess team logo and created this year's yearbook cover. »

FFA Career Development Events

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Dairy Products team members Jon Holmes and Rebecca Riley

The Marengo FFA competed in several career development events in November. On November 13th, five Marengo FFA members attended the Dairy Products CDE at Rochelle High School. Students participated in six rings including cheese ID, real vs. artificial, off flavors in milk, dairy equipment ID, California mastitis test, and a written exam. Jon Holmes placed 1st, »

Toyota Community Scholars Award Nominee

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Congratulations to Jake Darlington who has been selected as the MCHS nominee for the Toyota Community Scholars award. He will now be entered in national competition. Good luck, Jake! »

Sarah Sprague Receives Awards

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Congratulations to Sarah Sprague who has been selected by Principal Scott Shepard to be our school nominee for the Principal's Leadership Award.

Sarah was also presented an award at the Board of Education's regular meeting on December 15, 2008, in recognition of her 23rd place finish out of 167 runners at the 2008 IHSA Class AA State Cross Country meet in Peoria. Pictured are School Board President Elizabeth Henning and Sarah Sprague. »

Auto Class News

The small gas engine students are almost finished for the semester. All groups were successful in completing their projects. The students now are deliberately sabotaging their engines in order to see where they fail internally. »

Illinois State Scholars

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Congratulations to these 23 seniors who have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars based upon their rank and ACT scores. Certificates will be presented during May's Honors Night. Mary Bohlander, Jarrett Boomershine, Benjamin Bussert, Jacob Darlington, Scott Donley, Spenser Filler, Nicholas Glowaty, Joshua Greatsinger, Adam Hart, Marissa Haskins, Ashleigh Herrera, Elizabeth Holesha, Jake Lesiak, Jessica Mangum, Scott Meyers, Harlan Moore, Emma Mortensen, Scott Smith, Sarah Sprague, Jackson Stark, Darcy Steffen, Melinda Wallner, and Gavin Warmbold. »


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Jacob Darlington, Marissa Haskins, Sarah Sprague, and Gavin Warmbold were the top four seniors who were nominated by the faculty for the »

A Letter from Tara Nieves, Assistant Principal

Why Wouldn't I?

"So what do you do for a living?"

"I'm the assistant principal at a high school."

"What? Why would you want to do that? Aren't teenagers horrible nowadays? You work in a high school? Aren't they all just smart alecks?"

I have been working with teenagers for a long time, and these types of questions always surprise me. I get these questions even more often now that I am an assistant principal, and often, another question is added: "Do you like dealing with the bad kids all the time?"

Here is the scoop: No kid is bad. Teenagers are not horrible. They are all not smart alecks. And why wouldn't I want to work in a high school?

On a daily basis, I am laughing. How many people are blessed with a job where they can laugh? Kids are funny; many of them have a quick wit. They like to joke around and be themselves. One day, a kid may come up and tell me a quick story about an incident in class. Or I will be walking through the lunch room and hear a giggle, almost a squeal of laughter emit from a table. Teenagers are not all full of angst.

On a daily basis, I am smiling. I see students joking around with one another. I see students being nice to each other. I see students holding doors for one another. I see students trying to comfort one another. I see students who are passionate about learning. These times all make me smile, and they do not happen just every once in a while.

On a daily basis, I am talking. I have the opportunity to talk to students, and unfortunately, some people don't. Some parents don't even have the time to talk to their own kids because of conflicting schedules and busy families. Some people think that teenagers are incapable of holding mature conversations. I have had discussions with students about family life, about politics, about the environment, about what is fair, about drama, about music, about good books, about fears about the future, about technology, about food, about many different topics. The point is, kids are interesting, and they have a lot to say, and some knowledge to impart. They do not know everything, but they certainly do have a voice that deserves to be heard.

On a daily basis, I am amazed. I have students who come in to my office, and they tell me the truth. Teenagers are full of surprises, and one of them is that, when students realize they are going to be treated fairly and respectfully, they are willing to take the consequences for their actions and choices. Does every student tell me the truth? No. I am not naΓ―ve. However, the majority of students do what is morally and ethically right.

On a daily basis, I am thankful. I work with professionals who also like kids, or else they wouldn't be in education in the first place. I interact with students on committees, students who are my office runners, students who just know me from being in the lunch room or from being in the halls, and I am thankful for being around a group of people who still have their whole lives ahead of them.

Is every day perfect? No. I have days where students argue, or when they make poor choices. I have days where I want to go home and not return the next day. I have days that make me sad or times that I am disappointed. But, guess what? Those days are far fewer than the days that I walk out thinking, "This is a good gig." When people ask me what I do and respond in a disdainful voice, "Why would you want to work at a high school?" I respond with, "Why wouldn't I?" Look for the good in the kids around you because it is there. I see it every day. »


Marengo Community High School District #154 has received a $35,000 grant from McHenry County CARE for a Youth OutReach Program. »


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Let it snow, let it snow. The MCHS art department is sending out a team to snow sculpt on January 22nd through the 24th 2009 at Sinnissippi Park in Rockford. Visit the website for more details: The MCHS team members are Captain Ryan Ehredt, Amy Sticha, Sergio Aguilar, and Chris Hansen. The title of sculpture is Transformation.

The students will be sculpting blocks of compressed snow that are 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The artists may not use any armatures, power tools, or dyes. The competition is judged by the adult sculptors. This will the schools tenth year MCHS has participated in this event. See the MCHS website at the end of January for photos of the sculpture. So, let it snow, let it snow. »


Marengo Community High School was pleased to have 30 juniors and seniors approved and trained to be student election judges for the Nov. 4th election. The requirements were to be a junior or senior with a cumulative B average. These students were at their polling sites by 5 a.m. until closing at 7 p.m. What dedication! A big thank you to »


The auto students have just finished replacing a clutch in a 1998 Mitsubishi eclipse. This car is student owned. The students spent about a week and a half in the shop while all four auto classes participated on various stages of the job. »

Artist In Residence - October

Jenna Kunz was chosen as the Artist-in Residence for the month of October. Jenna consistently produced high quality artwork throughout October, including in her sketchbook!!! »

English Department News - October

After several training sessions with Reading Specialist Cecilia Franks, English teachers have been introducing effective reading strategies to their classes. »


By Kailey Draves and Jessica Williams

Everyone has heard of Student Council, but are you aware of what the Marengo High School Student Council does? So far this year, the Marengo Student Council has coordinated all homecoming events including spirit games, powder puff, the "Road Trip" dance, the parade, crowning of royalty, and two pep assemblies. Each was a resounding success.

We had an excellent turn out at the spirit games that took place during homecoming week. Everyone was there supporting their class and competing for the Spirit Stick. The seniors defeated the juniors in the intense Powder Puff game, which was unfortunately delayed due to rain. We had an incredible number of kids dress up and take a "Road Trip" at the dance. It was great fun for all! This year the spirit throughout the school was phenomenal; the most enthusiastic in a long time. The freshmen earned an honorable mention because of their spirited willingness to participate in all of the activities. This made the race for the spirit stick a close one. In the end the seniors were the winners. Not only was class spirit strong, but school spirit was even stronger. At the pep assembly the bleachers were filled with maroon and white and that night at the game it was no different.

It is no small feat to organize all of this. We got everything done because of the great help from all the students. We organized many different committees and each person played a vital role. Everyone is important and without their help we would not be able to accomplish much.

This year for the first time we are making DVDs of our homecoming. They will include pictures from all the festivities of the week. They will be available to order the week of Thanksgiving and available for pickup the following week.

Student Council is not only an activities club, however; we also provide service to the community. Our first service project this year was to donate $500.00 to M.O.R.E. to help provide Thanksgiving dinners to needy families. The proceeds from the DVD sales will also be donated to M.O.R.E. to help raise money for a walk-in freezer. »


The MCHS Special Education Department greatly appreciates the donation of $713.00 from the Marengo Knights of Columbus. Every September they conduct a Tootsie Roll Drive for the purpose of raising money for organizations that assist people who have mental disabilities. This money will be used to provide instructional materials and incentives to improve the education and work related skills of our students enrolled in the functional life skills program. »

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