MAY 28, 2020
2019-2020 EICS MYRA BAJWA AND BRITTANY EVANS . MYRA WILL BE ATTENDING THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO.
For the last ten years, the Stampede has been writing the first draft of Metea Valley High School’s history. We are grateful for the opportunity to tell your story and the past three years on staff have been the core part of our high school experience. From the first-year sports reporter grudgingly taking notes at a rainy soccer game to the senior editor-in-chief passing on three years’ worth of knowledge to the staff, everything we have done for the Stampede is for the Metea community. It has been an honor to watch the publication transform over the years. We posted a record number of stories on our redesigned website, experimented with longform stories, published our podcasts on Spotify, and are one of 47 School Newspaper Online Distinguished Sites after completing six badges that pushed our staff to new heights. We also got new tables and string lights.
Student journalism seems to be in the constant precarious position of relying on administration financial and educational support while shedding light on issues within the school. Many publications across the country and even in our own area have been facing declining participation, shriveled funding, and clashes between the publication and the school district.
Student journalists play an important role in the larger community. Students bring a multitude of different perspectives to the same story being covered by major news outlets. We ask the questions that adults do not and bring the story back to our peers. Our rights as scholastic journalists are constitutionally protected. In every advisor’s favorite Supreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines, the Court declared that students “do not shed their constitutional right to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has shed a light on just how important scholastic journalism is. The Stampede staff has been working around the clock, scattered in homes across the district, to provide students with timely information on a rapidly-changing situation. From the initial school closure planned for only a few weeks to the final announcement that school would not resume in-person instruction for the year, the Stampede has been covering every impact the coronavirus outbreak has on students. The website has links to resources for students and has become a one-stop shop for students to access.
The end of in-person instruction has also highlighted how important our bustling eighth-hour newsroom is. 30 students across three grade levels who may have not crossed paths in the larger Metea environment, come together as one. Gone are the Thursdays where we pitch on the color-coded whiteboard, the late-night final deadlines where we complain about how late it is while we secretly enjoy each other’s company, and the hallway editors meeting that we extend longer than needed just to escape the noise and endless stream of questions. We will forever miss the crazy, wonderful, energetic environment that is known as the Stampede newsroom.
However, we take faith in the fact that our staff has all of the tools necessary to continue being great journalists outside of H208’s four walls. They are expert interviewers, armed with Otter and follow-up questions.
They are ethical and mindful of how their words will impact others. They are well-versed in AP Style, remembering how to write dates and checking the style guide if they forget. Our news and sports writers have the inverted pyramid drilled into their heads and the spotlight writers know how to get to the bottom of a story. The perspectives team has touched the lives of people as far away as London. Our editors are fantastic leaders and are getting ready to pass the torch to the talent they have cultivated.
As for us, we are grateful for everything the Stampede has given us over the years. The tears, frustration, and long nights pale in comparison to the friends we have made and overwhelming love we have felt on staff. It is bittersweet to finally let go of the Stampede after so long. It is a sad day because we have given our all to the Stampede and received more back. But there is also room for optimism. The Stampede will continue to grow in ways that seem unimaginable today.
Seniors, our time at Metea may have been cut short unfairly. We are missing traditional rites of passage that we have waited so patiently for. The prom and graduation that our parents, older siblings, and friends got to enjoy freely are now on hold. The future looks scary. No one knows what the next few months will hold for the class of 2020. But we know that we are ready for whatever comes next. The past few weeks have taught us that we are resilient, strong, and united. We will face the next steps together (metaphorically of course). Thank you Metea and the Stampede for giving us four great years, and with that, Go Go Mustangs!
Marco Rivero Luna is the spotlight editor and is attending Purdue.
Noelle Pryor is the photography editor and is attending College of DuPage.
Madi Lumsden is a graphic designer, and is attending NIU.
Isabella Villalobos is a headlines reporter and is attending DePaul.
Jordan Dullnigg is a graphic designer, and is attending Weber State.
Brandt Ward is the perspectives editor and is attending College of DuPage.
Madison McCalley is a photographer, and is attending Aurora University.
LETTER FROM THE EDITORS EDITORS
Alex Bedore is a sports reporter and is attending Bradley.
Claire Baffes is a spotlight reporter and is attending UIUC
Sharika Majeti is a perspectives reporter and is attending UIUC.
Ayden Reed is a headlines reporter and is attending the University of Minnesota.
Elena Buscher is a Sports reporter and is attending North Central College.
Noelle Smagala is the website manager and is attending UIUC.
Harrison Linden is a graphics designer and is attending NIU.
Jose Collado is a sports reporter and is attending DePaul.
The trendy Netflix documentary, Tiger King has been very controversial, and not for good reasons. From murders to scandals to racism, this has been the talk of the town as people spend more time inside viewing Netflix.
Tik-Tok has been growing and growing amongst our age group. With quarantine, it's only been growing more. You can honestly spend a good chunk of the day on Tik-Tok without realizing it.
Whatever am I supposed to do with all of my scrunchies? How about I wear them while I break quarantine to get a new hydroflask? "VSCO" girls are know for their specific aesthetic and popular culture references.
GUESS THE SENIOR
Left to Right: Sophia Cuculich, Ryan Sheridan, Penelope Gregory, Shirley Castillo, Emilee Butler, Paulina Bogdan, Kellie Willhite, Maulika Vasishtha, Emiliano Perez
TOP THREE TRENDS OF 2020
Aditya and Advin Palle are both attending Michigan State University for finance. “I guess I’m looking forward to going to school with Aditya, it’s going to be fun,” said Advin. “We both liked the school from the start, and our parents wanted us to go together."
Thera and Thalia Bowen are both attending Illinois State University for general biology. “I am excited to go to school with Thalia because I’ll always have someone at the school that is there for me or a friend,” said Thera. “We both applied to different schools, and for me, this was the best one because it had the best feel and was the best money wise."
THERA AND THALIA BOWEN
Photo Courtesy of the Bowen family
Photo Courtesy of the Luporini family
Top 3 in state schools
1) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2) Illinois State University
3) University of Illinois at Chicago
OLIVIA AND GRACE LUPORINI
TOP 3 MAJORS
Top 3 out of state schools
1) University of Iowa
2) University of Wisconsin Madison
3) Indiana University
Photo Courtesy of the Palle family
ADITYA AND ADVIN PALLE
Olivia and Grace Luporini are attending Illinois State University next year. Olivia is majoring in general education and Grace is majoring in special ed. “It’s just a good school for our majors, so we just chose it,” said Olivia.
Brian Griffin will be joining the Illinois Army National Guard after graduation.
Luke Petersen will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. He plans on studying economics.
Sophia Sandy will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. She plans to study environmental or life sciences, and will be running track and cross country.
Geanteary Luster will be joining the Marine Corps after graduation.
SERVICE ABOVE SELF
Tyrese Williams plans on joining the Marine Corps after graduation.
STUDENTS ENTERING THE ARMED FORCES
Photo Courtesy of Aimee Patterson
Western Michigan University
University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign
University of Wisconsin- Whitewater
Missouri Valley College
Cross-country, Track and Field
US Military Academy at West Point
Long Island University
Olivet Nazarene University
Illinois Wesleyan University
Illinois Wesleyan University
Photo Courtesy of Brandon Long
The Next Bill Gates
PE Try Hards
Most School Spirit
Most Likely to Trip @ Zoom Graduation
Best Best Friends
JON REYES & AMANDA BATISTE
DHRUV RANJAN & ARYANSH PATHAK
Most Likely To Be President
Cutest Couple That Never Was
Life of the Party
DMAREON RULE & JACOB SMILAK
Most Likely To Be On a Reality Show
MEGAN FICHTE & BRIAN GRIFFIN
Mr. O'Niell, he by far helped me learn the most and was always the nicest guy in the room. Mr. Dombro, freshman year. He helped me feel more comfortable and stuck with me all four years.
Mr. O'Niell for being super positive and expressing how much he enjoyed seeing us every day
I would like to shout-out Mrs. Thomas. Despite going through so much these past few years, she still puts her students' needs before her own and makes sure every single one of her students feels important and feels cared about.
My favorite memory at Metea is meeting all these new "school friends" and being able to to talk to people outside my friend group.
Being with my friends because they are my family
5th period APUSH with Marshall, that's all that needs to be said.
My favorite memory would probably just be all the great experiences that I got out of being on Orchesis for all four years and being able to bond with the team and the coaches and make really great memories.
All of them are amazing, whether they realize it or not! Metea isn't possible without everyone doing their part.
Americorps NCCC southwest region
I'd like to shout-out Mr. Lorenz for shaping me into the leader and person I am today and for being someone that I can always go to for help. Also Mrs. Torza because ever since middle school, she has been a trusted adult in my life that I can always voice my problems to.
Illinois State University
Mr. O'Niell because he was the best teacher I had all four years and he really made an impact on me.
Mrs. Ravendeen and Mrs. Sosa because I pass run and they are the sweetest women you will meet in a class house.
Shout-out to Profe Bane, she is a homie
Shout-out to Mr. Lorenz! He made my PE leader years so fun with his sarcastic comments, inside jokes, and constant positivity!
When my teammates and I went on a 9-0 run in the second half against St. Charles North for water polo.
Winning conference with my sister, joining the diving team with no prior experience, and all the football games.
University of West Florida
University of Wisconsin- Madison
Key: Favorite Memories Staff Shout-out Future Plans
Mr.s O'Rurke because she's super sweet and always looking out for all her students! Also Mr. Solgos for being such a supportive teacher
Mini Mustangs field trip. We take the preschoolers to a pumpkin patch and it's just a super fun time!
I want to shout out Ms. Pehlke because she helps me a lot at Special Olympics and I appreciate her. I'm going to miss her a lot.
University of Iowa
Mrs. Thomas! She is the most positive and uplifting person I have ever met. I hope to be half the person she is when I grow up! Also, Mrs. Neukirch!
Baldwin Wallace University
I think it was just the good days when I wasn't too busy and could see and mess around with my friends. Sad to think it won't be like that anymore
Western Michigan University
Penn State University
Ms. Corlew because she was obviously passionate about what she teaches and really helped develop my own passion for biology.
Running cross country with some good friends.
Winning regionals for soccer
My favorite memories are from when I was on the state swim team and we finished 7th in 2018 and 5th in 2019. The team and I worked really hard throughout each season and were really happy to see our hard work pay off. I am going to miss the team and coaches a lot!
Dr. Echols Dressing up like a hot dog
All of the swim and polo practices I got to spend with my team. Even though it changed every year with new people coming in, the atmosphere at Metea aquatics was unmatched anywhere else and i'll always hold onto the memories I made there.
Class of 2020
I would like to shout-out Dr. Johnson because she really cares about her students and goes above and beyond for them. She is always excited to teach her class and motivates her students to do their best.
Joining the varsity dance team because I got to meet so many wonderful people and develop personal skills.
The smoke bomb incident.
University of Illinois at Chicago
Playing in front of so many people at the United Center.
The Ohio State University
All of the pep assemblies. It was great to win homecoming king. Also, seeing Dr. Echols turn into a celebrity and put on his tinted shades.
I have so many staff members at Metea that I really appreciate so it would be unfair to mention just a couple.
Mrs. Dee, Mrs. Patrick, Mr. Tesmond, Coach Parpet, Mrs. Neukirch, and Mrs. Cherne. All of these teachers have impacted my way of thinking and helped me mature in a way that made me view things differently whether it was cooking, government, or English. Very lucky to have had all these teachers in my four years at Metea.
North Central College
Mrs. Honeysett, my favorite teacher ever. She is always so energetic and made class fun. She loves what she does and it shows in her teaching.
I love when we get told to keep it down in the senior locker banks. It makes my day to know they care about the health of our vocal cords.
My senior night for football or the homecoming games.
Mr. Klatka relates to his students very well. He is a very nice man.
Singing on the bus rides to volleyball tournaments sophomore year.
Brian Griffin Jr.
No single staff member made my high school experience what it was but rather every staff member has had a positive impact of my high school experience at Metea in some shape or form.
My favorite memory has to be Winter Scenes, directing my own show. It was a fantastic learning experience, and my cast did an amazing job at bringing the show to life!
Football season was always a good time.
Mr. Gordon. He made me miss most of lunch if I stopped and started talking to him but he was always smiling and it was always great to see him
College of DuPage
Mr. Dombro. State champions forever!
University in Scotland
I'd love to shout out Mrs. Walker! She's helped me become who I am now because of Improv and Theater! I couldn't thank her enough.
The Collage finale when Mr. B flips Mustang power or Mrs. Body waves the giant Metea flag.
When the bathrooms weren't locked.
Watching our hockey team win all state
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
Going to my first ever American football game.
Mr. Schmela for putting a smile on my face without fail every day during eighth period AP Environmental science
Illinois State University
Mrs. Molla. She knows why!
Mrs. Neukirch. She is always enthusiastic not only about the presidential race ad Putin, but also for letting us goof around all the time.
Arizona State University
Mrs. Boddy is an awesome music teacher and a great person to be around
My favorite memory was my freshman year when the seniors were leaving they threw all their papers from the balcony and I just remember it being so funny and crazy. Made me look forward to when I was a senior, unfortunately we never really got to have that kind of moment.
Mr Headly was probably the best teacher I've had. He knows how to teach Physics but he also gets to know his students which means a lot.
One of my favorite memories would be during the Mini Mustangs field trip my junior year. We take all the preschoolers to a pumpkin patch in the fall and it’s just a super fun time!
All of the swim and polo practices I got to spend with my team. even though it changed every year with new people coming in, the atmosphere at Metea aquatics was unmatched anywhere else and I’ll always hold onto the memories I made there
When my teammates and I went on a 9-0 run in the second half against St. Charles North for boys water polo to win the Sectionals Quarter Final.
My favorite memories are from when I was on the state swim team and we finished 7th place in 2018 and 5th place in 2019. The team and I worked really hard throughout each season and we were really happy to see our hard work pay off at state. I am going to miss the team and coaches a lot!
The people and the diverse culture of so many people who've helped shape me into who I am today.
American Society, the class was so fun. Never a dull moment.
When Marty bought me food at a football game for no reason
My favorite memory has to be Winter Scenes, directing my own show. It was a fantastic learning experience, and my cast did an amazing job at bringing the show to life!
In my AP3 Class we were doing our "Convince your Teacher" presentations and a group of students shared a proposal to sleep during three out of five English periods throughout the week to increase productivity... the whole class and my English teacher laughed so hard they cried.
The Marching Mustangs went to Tampa, FL over winter break to perform at the Outback Bowl. We won 1st place for the Crowd Pleaser Award, and it was highly unexpected since we were up against schools that have marching bands that compete! It was hilarious seeing the directors so shocked when we won and hearing them cheer so loud.
"Mr. Robinson always had faith in my work and future. He gave me the courage to be a better student."
"Mrs. Cluxton provided me with someone I could trust and talk to whenever I needed. She advocated for me when times were tough and she always wanted the best for me. She made high school a place where I could survive and thrive."
MOST INFLUENTIAL TEACHERS
"Mr. Credille, I had him first semester for English and he is one of my most impactful teachers. Not only did he make it fun to do work and to learn, but he also provided emotional support to anyone if needed. He was very understanding and open."
"Mr. O'Neill is always super positive and expresses how much he enjoys seeing us every day."
For all of us, there is life before March 13, and life after. Every generation has at least one moment like that in their lives. For my generation, the first was 9/11. A specific date on a calendar that we can point to and say, “The world changed that day.”
The world changes every day, of course, even if not quite so globally and suddenly. But on any given day, those days like March 12 that are easy to skip over on the calendar, changes in the lives of billions of people add up to the sun rising every new day on a different world.
Our world is ever-changing in the form of quiet moments that easily go unseen. A personal best at a cross country meet. Finally mastering those really hard few measures in a new piece of music. Choosing to say something kind to a person who’s used to being the butt of the joke. Finding the courage to ask somebody on a date. Reading a book and closing the back cover feeling changed and inspired.
It’s easy for the few big, momentous events in our lives to overshadow the quiet dignity of the everyday, but I believe these small moments aren’t really small at all.
It’s tempting to allow the one historic event to overshadow all that came before it, but I refuse to let that happen to the Class of 2020. My hope for all of you is that you remember the first 1,301 days of high school with a greater weight, and with more joy, than the last 67.
I’ve been honored to work with this team of 17 graduating journalists as they made it their mission to seek out and highlight the stories, especially the seemingly-small ones, that have affected the Metea Valley community. Through hundreds of articles, photos, videos, and graphics in The Stampede and Metea Media, they spent their time and energy dedicated to telling your stories: to making sure your achievements were seen and your voices were heard.
And when the unimaginable happened, they didn’t quit. They knew that the Metea Valley community would turn to them for accurate, reliable information during very confusing times. They were there for you then, just as they were there for you all year long.
In a world where we are immersed in media, it’s easy to take news for granted. At the same time, in a world where we are immersed in entertainment masquerading as news while spreading rumors and lies, reliable journalism is more important than ever.
These 17 seniors have made Metea Valley a better and more informed place for all of us, and they have enriched my life.
Alex: Your knowledge of all-things-sports blows my mind, and I always enjoyed reading your perspective, so that I had sports talking points for around the lunch table! You’ve got an awesome life and career ahead of you, and I can’t wait to hear all about it.
Ayden: Your positive energy always brightened the newsroom! I also always appreciated your willingness to step up and volunteer to cover stories, especially to celebrate our music and art programs. Oh… And when we had breaking news. Remember the fire?
Claire: I hope you saw how much you grew as a person this year. You are leaving this year a confident, strong young adult who knows how to take the bumps in life in stride. I always appreciated your caring thoughtfulness in our class.
Elena: Your natural empathy and curiosity are what make you such a great journalist. You are genuinely interested in other people’s stories, and you do a remarkable job sharing those stories with others. You make it look so easy in the process.
Harrison: You brought a bold new voice to our publications this year, and I was always excited to see the result of whatever project you were working on -- or whatever you were tinkering around with in Photoshop.
Isabella: You accomplished something truly special this year with Metea Media en Español. You spoke directly to an important segment of our school community that we have never spoken to before. That is what real journalism looks like, and I admire your commitment to the mission.
Jordan: Your huge heart is your superpower, and when combined with your courage and persistence, there is no stopping you. You always are looking out for the people who need your voice to amplify their own, and I am in awe of your empathy, drive, and tenacity.
Jose: Whether you were covering a sports story or packing 15 pounds of potatoes (sorry again), you did everything with a smile and contagious joy. Thank you for all the times you made me pause and laugh.
Madi: My favorite thing about you is that I never know what you are about to say. You have the self-confidence to be true to yourself, and you have the type of inquisitive mind who finds just about everything interesting. Thanks for teaching me more this year than I taught you.
Sharika: I love surrounding myself with deep thinkers, and you are definitely one such person. You have such an open and inquisitive mind who enjoys spending time with new ideas and new ways of viewing the world. That open mind will continue to serve you well in your life.
Brandt: I always enjoyed eavesdropping on your perspectives department conversations. The types of random and outrageous things that you guys said always made me laugh. But more than that, it was a sign at just how naturally you are able to turn a group into a family.
Brittany: From the moment you joined my English 2 class, I knew you were a person who had something to say, and I’m so thankful you joined newspaper to say it! You bring laughter and joy to everybody around you -- including me. You are always positive and you take setbacks in stride, and I deeply appreciate your leadership this year.
Madison: From American Society to newspaper, it has been so rewarding to watch you grow as a student, journalist, photographer, and leader. I admire your drive, your confidence, and the comfort you have being true to who you are.
Marco: I saw you take the next step in your life’s journey this year. It wasn’t any big moment, but rather a new seriousness, drive, and sense of commitment to the people around you. I saw it all the more these last few weeks: when it would have been easy to fade away, you rose to the challenge. I am a better person for having known you.
Noelle P: Your creative eye and your high expectations were a major reason why our magazine and website looked so good this year. I always knew that if you were covering an event, we would have awesome pictures to publish the next day. You are a strong, capable, caring, and creative person -- remember that.
Noelle S: Thank you for your constant enthusiasm and your willingness to go out on a branch and try new things! And … thanks for all the random things you would say that would make me chuckle! Remember: You are stronger than you think.
Myra: You took our website to new levels this year, and most importantly, you led by example every step of the way, never asking the staff to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself. You tackled our toughest and most complex stories, and you did it with dignity and professionalism. This wasn’t just a class for you: It was a cause. You took it seriously, and you were never satisfied with “good enough.” I can’t wait to see where your road takes you.
I took the picture above back in September, back when nobody could have possibly expected that, in a few months, we'd become slowly accustomed to seeing ourselves separated in our own little boxes on a screen.
But our lives also changed so much between September and March, in thousands of little ways. And our lives will continue to change in thousands of little ways in the months and years ahead.
What these journalists figured out is that change is a given. What matters is how they react to it, and how they don't have to sit back and let the world happen to them.
They can raise their voice, speak out, and change the world.
LETTER FROM THE ADVISER
THE CLASS OF 2020:
A CLASS LIKE NO OTHER
Freshman year I got locked in the pool balcony and had to set off an alarm in the aux gym so we could get out.
The boys and I got chased by the police after dressing like clowns and scaring kids going home from school.
I never read one book.
I always ate in the locker banks.
I had a key for the school and nobody knew.
I've used the men's and staff bathroom before when I really needed to go.
Dr. Echols is not actually bald. He wears a bald cap.
Someone stole one of the stuffed mustangs and took it home.
I overflowed the toilet in one of the bathrooms.
I sat in the senior locker bank for an entire year as a sophomore.
I once stole a photo off the wall from the school.
I went a whole day carrying my pet snails in a jar.
Many of my art ideas came from Pinterest.
I got stuck in the triathlon track last year and claimed that I was dizzy every time we swam so that I didn't have to complete the full 16 laps. Also, I always ate in the practice rooms.
Most of the times that I went to the nurse was to skip a test or just not go to class.
I pretended to go to the counselor at the start of eighth period but ended up ditching to go home early.
THE CLASS OF 2020 SHARES THEIR SECRETS