Marengo Community High School District 154

110 Franks Road Marengo, IL 60152

Phone 815-568-6511   Fax 815-568-6510

All News

April 2011


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Mr. Olson’s Accounting I students took fourth place at the MCC Accounting Bowl. Crystal Alt, David Giera, Stephanie Rhine (not pictured), Caleb Pasalic, and Isaac Lopez competed against area McHenry County schools in the annual event. Isaac Lopez individually finished sixth in the competition. Bobby Brown, Chris Felde, Sarah Beltz (not pictured), Accounting II students also represented MCHS in the competition. »


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By Luke Garfield, MCHS News Bureau

John Baylor came to the school on April 25 and 26 to teach Juniors all about the secrets of the ACT. He agreed to be interviewed--as long as it was after the ACT test!

Question: What got you interested in ACT training?

Answer: I want to have fun and make a difference. Teaching let's me crack a lot of jokes, meet many great young scholars, and help propel them to better colleges at lower costs. Assisting hard working full-time teachers appeals to me as well. Teachers, especially high school teachers, belong to the most important profession the culture has.

Question: Where and how did you learn all of the information you teach?

Answer: I began John Baylor Test Prep (JBTP) in Los Angeles about 20 years ago during my brief, sadly unsuccessful attempt to become an actor. A family asked me to prepare their high school children for the SAT, and I agreed. The counter-intuitive test-taking concepts I invented back then are largely at the core of JBTP today. They've been refined and improved over the two decades, but to me successful test taking remains simple: confidence-building strategies, motivated learning, and Quick-Checks.

Question: What is the ONE most important ACT rule and why?

Answer: Less is More: always go with the shortest answer in English, unless the shortest answer is horrible. Brevity is the essence of persuasive, compelling communication. »

The Greeks Have Arrived!

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The Greeks Have Arrived!

This year the Humanities class explored the ancient world through the art and literature of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Inspired and challenged by their study, several senior and junior students have taken these ideas to a massive scale by constructing a Trojan horse. Laboring day and night Humanities’ students Tyler van Voorhees, Sergio Aguilar, Chris Hansen, Ryan Ehredt, Melissa Looby, Tyler Oranger and Frank Kaul created an original version of the famous horse. The work of art is over 18 feet tall, and estimated to weigh over 1500 pounds. The Humanities students were helped by parents, community members Jim Carmichael, Dean Worrell, and fellow MCHS students Dan Werner, Ian Smith and Zack Temple, who contributed their expertise in carpentry to the project. »

April FFA Report

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Giant Pumpkin Lecture

April FFA Report


That is all I have to say!! Greg Sliwka came and spoke with the Marengo High School students this past month about pumpkin growing. Not your ordinary pumpkin, but giant pumpkins, ones that weight 800+ lbs. Mr. Sliwka shared with the students some tips of the trade, and things that he learned the hard way. The Marengo FFA was recently approached by the Settler’s Day committee and asked to host a giant pumpkin weight off during Settler’s Days. Why, you might ask, well why not! I would respond. Who does not think an 800 lb pumpkin is cool, and besides the person with the largest pumpkin gets a monetary prize. What better reward is there than money? The idea is for Marengo High School students, not just FFA members to compete in the weigh off. The student producing the largest pumpkin would win a cash prize. The amount of the prize would depend on the amount of sponsorship the FFA members were able to find. What does it take to get a weigh off going? Well the most important part of the weigh off would be the people competing. Once we get the people to compete we would need a giant scale and forklift to weight the pumpkins. We would of course need FFA members to help coordinate the whole event. Last but not least would be community support. Why have a large pumpkin to show off, if no one is coming to Settler’s Days to see it.

In other FFA news the Agricultural Mechanics Career Development Event (CDE) was held at Marengo High School last month. The Marengo FFA students competing were: Randy Rote (Ag Mechanics), Phil Geisler (Electricity), Callie Ebel (Survey), Mike Stempfle (Carpentry), and Carl Hyngstrom (Welding). All of the students competing placed 1st in their respective sections and are moving on to the state competition held in Champaign in May. The next CDE the students are competing in is the District Livestock Judging contest held at Joliet Junior College on April 15th. If the students place well at this contest they have the opportunity to move on to the state competition in May. At the beginning of this month Callie Ebel and Brittany Bookwalter attended the Farm Bureau/FFA Youth Leadership Conference held in Springfield, IL. This conference is only open to juniors and helps develop leadership skills through a series of seminars and training sessions. The conference also develops team communication skills with fun activities that push the students slightly outside of their comfort zone.

The annual plant sale is scheduled for Mother’s Day weekend again this year. The sale will start Friday after school (3:15 – 5 pm), and run through Saturday (8 – 5). The plant science class has been working hard at preparing the plants for this year’s sale. Some of the plants on the inventory include but are not limited to: coleus, hostas, ivy geranium baskets, wandering jew baskets, purple heart baskets, 4” seed geraniums, mix of hot peppers, mild peppers, and sweet peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Please come out and support the agriculture student’s hard work. If you have questions about the plant sale please contact Mrs. Schlesser either by phone or email (815-568-6511 ext. 1210,

In other FFA news, the section banquet will be held at the high school on May 22nd in the commons. Immediately following the banquet the FFA Alumni are having a road rally to help raise money and awareness of their cause. Parents of FFA students are encouraged to attend the banquet and participate in the road rally. »

FFA Annual Plant Sale

FFA Annual Plant Sale Mother's Day Weekend.

Sale Hours:

May 6th 3:30 pm- 6 pm

May 7th 9 am - 5 pm »

Officer Elections

Officer Elections will be held May 4th at 7 pm

Officer applications need to be turned in by 3 pm on April 27th to Mrs. Schlesser »

Alumni Road Rally

Come out and support the FFA Alumni by taking part in the 2nd Annual Road Rally Fundraiser.

The Road Rally will follow the Annual FFA Banquet.

Cost: Adults $10; Students $5

Prizes given to First place Winners and Door Prizes

If you would like more information please contact:

Valarie Ebel @

Heather Schlesser @ »


On March 5 MCHS held it’s first-ever, school-wide dance featuring Latino dances. Sponsored by the Latino Advisory Group, the event included Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, and other Latino dances. »


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Written by Luke Garfield, MCHS News Bureau

During fifth, sixth and seventh hours at Marengo Community High School, students all over the school removed their shoes to draw awareness to children who live in poverty and cannot afford them. Over 200 students and staff members participated. After school, many students met to take a walk through town to spread awareness to the townspeople of Marengo. Many students described their experience as "painful." Kayla Doane complained about getting a stick stuck in her foot. Despite this, she agreed that the experience was fun. The bruises received by the walk downtown only proved the desperate need for shoes. Without them, walking great distances safely is nearly impossible. Thank you participating students and staff of MCHS! »


In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. Mycoskie returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers.

Why shoes? Many children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or going to school, these children are at risk:

• Soil-transmitted diseases are leading causes of disease in developing countries, which can penetrate the skin through bare feet. Wearing shoes can help prevent these diseases and the long-term physical and cognitive harm they cause.

•Wearing shoes also prevents feet from getting cuts and sores. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected.

•Many times children can't attend school because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don't have shoes, they don't go to school. If they don't receive an education, they don't have the opportunity to realize their potential.

T-shirts to commemorate the day are being sold for $10, with $5 from every shirt going to TOMS. These shirts are sold on a first come, first served basis with limited quantities remaining. »


Congratulations to the SkillsUSA Automotive Refinishing who are advancing to the state level competitions in April. To make it to the state competition, they had to take a difficult written test on their subject matter. Their written test results are as follows: Nick Lange finished first place. John Halwix and Kevin Sonntay tied for second place. Pat Kueking placed third, and Tyler Mazzeffi placed sixth. Those placing first through fifth advance to state, where they will show off their hands-on skills in refinishing automotive doors and fenders. Good Luck in April! Front row left to right: John Halwix, Pat Kueking. Back row, left to right: Tyler Mazzeffi, Nick Lange, Kevin Sonntag. »


The varsity Scholastic Bowl Team has recently concluded one of its best seasons ever! This cerebral and highly competitive group won the Big Northern conference tournament while finishing second overall. Other highlights include a third place finish in the Rockford Masonic Tournament and placing second at the Belvidere Regional. Their quick thinking (and buzzing) and cooperative problem solving produced a 19-9 overall record. Congratulations! Pictured left to right are Allyson Munneke, Sergio Aguilar, Melissa Looby, Frank Kaul, Amy Sticha, Frank Cusimano, Tyler VanVorhees, and Heather Gustat. »


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The PRIDE committee of Marengo Community High School recognized eleven students selected by the faculty as “February Students of the Month.” These students are: (top step, left to right) Mike Strasburg (senior), Eric Sebert (senior), and Ian Smith (senior); (next step down, left to right) Danielle Rupe (junior), Erika Smith (senior), Dion Barnes (sophomore); second step from bottom: Alexandria Trevino (junior), Dona Lorenz (junior), Zach Nazimek (freshman); Bottom Step: Lilyanna Anbar (freshman), Cynthia Silva (freshman), & Cory Tesch (sophomore). These students were treated to a pizza lunch provided by Joe’s Place restaurant. »

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