Lane English Dept extracurricular activities honored

The Lane Warrior, a monthly newspaper for the students and community at Lane Tech High School, and broadcasting students at Lane were recognized this year with 18 awards by the Robert R McCormick Foundation of Chicago. Both activities are English Department extracurricular activities.

The awards and the student recipients:

  • The Warrior- Superior Overall Newspaper (Full-sized)
  • Lane Tech- Superior Overall Web Site
  • Ben Palmer- Superior News Story
  • Katarzyna Barnak – Superior General Feature Story
  • Deema Karamen, Ofelia Pineda, Sandra Ramirez, Martha Plaza- Superior Broadcast Feature Story
  • Sofi Kerpan- Superior Personality Profile
  • Ben Palmer- Superior Editorial Column or Opinion
  • Troy Daquioag, Jessica Ziolkowski- Superior Broadcast Sports Story
  • Aleks Pauloure- Superior Sports News Story
  • Johnny Stacewicz- Superior Sports Feature Story
  • Bill Fenton- Superior Non-Sports Photo
  • Charlie Kim- Excellent Original Editorial Cartoon
  • Edwin Cho- Excellent Original Drawing or Comic
  • Katarzyna Barnak – Excellent Computer Graphics
  • Ben Palmer- Superior Humorous Article
  • Airis Cervantes- Excellent Community Story
  • Allison Pinscak- Superior Broadcast PSAs
  • Ben Palmer- Editorial Write-off

Year in and year out Lane sets a standard of journalistic excellence in Chicago,” Clark Bell, the Journalism Program Director of the McCormick Foundation said. “They have a gung-ho attitude and terrific teachers. They create a first-class newspaper.”

The foundation offered more than 24 awards to high schools for media efforts. Other area recipients include Taft High School, North Side College Prep, Steinmetz High School and St. Scholastica High School.

Palmer told The Bulldog he won the award for Superior News Story for his coverage of protests held by members of Westboro Church on campus in November 2010.

The story begins “3:30pm and the silence is deafening at the corner of Western and Addison. Among dozens of signs reading, “God hates Fags” and “God hates America,” the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, Shirley Phelps, clings to a young member of the flock.”

I came up with the idea because the day of the Westboro Baptist Church’s protest outside my school, I received a text from a friend about them being there. That night I saw a Facebook “movement” for counter-protest, and I immediately knew there was a story to all of this. I researched the church and attended the counter protest the following afternoon. I found a very diverse group, in terms of grade-level, religion, ethnicity, and sexual preference. I wrote and rewrote the story multiple times to make sure that my opinion remained out of it, considering how easy it is to have an opinion on this radical church. The story gives basic background on the church, gives information about their protest (and their reasoning behind it), but primarily focuses on the students’ response, and the general feeling of love among the counter-protesters of Lane.”

Sofi Kerpan received the award for Personality Story, an obituary writen about Abraham Mendoza, a Lane Alum. “He graduated in 2009 and studied at Bard after high school. While on a retreat with his RA group last summer in upstate New York, he fell off a cliff and died.”

Kerpan says she was saddened by the story.

Mendoza harbored a love of expression. He found outlets for his voice and his sentiments in theater, photography, and writing. Those who knew him well can hardly speak of him without mentioning this talent.

He loved art. Art finds beauty in everything, which is what he always did,” said Eric Campos, a close friend, Class of ’09. “His writing and acting, and his photography… that is where the beauty of everything really manifested itself.”

He was such an exceptional student that embodied the ideal of the Lane Tech student,” Kerpan said about the obituary.

The Lane kids are so tightly bound,” Bell said. “They have camaraderie and spirit.” Bell praised Lane for creating an organization that supports and encourages the students working for The Warrior.

Kerpan, a 2011 graduate, was listed by The Warrior as headed to Boston College. She told The Bulldog she would probably be concentrating on Communications with a focus on film.

“We’ve had several great stories published this year,” faculty adviser Seth Johnson said. “I don’t know that I could point to just one as being a highlight of the year.” Johnson said the school has won the top category in each of the last four years.

Johnson notes the paper is among the oldest high school papers in the country. In the typical year 20 students take part in the newspaper. Another 20-25 contribute stories. At one point, when the vocational classes were more important, the school printed the paper on its own presses, Johnson said.

The Warrior and the Morning Broadcast are part of extracurricular activities offered by Lane’s English Department. Other activities include the Tech Prep, an annual student literature and art magazine, the debate team and the Arrowhead, the yearbook.

Bell said concerns that traditional journalism jobs are decreasing in number are true, but thinks journalism provides a broader understanding of the world than many other disciplines. “The field of journalism helps students become better readers, writers and critical thinkers. They are better prepared in a global economy,” Bell told The Bulldog. “It is a degree that equips you to be versatile,” he said.

There are opportunities in communications,” Bell said. He said in the near future the graduates from Lane would be using their journalism skills to communicate in ways we can not yet imagine.


Lane academic center a GO!

Lane Tech will open an academic center for middle schoolers starting in fall, 2011. Credit: Patrick Boylan

Lane Tech’s “new” academic center rode a long bumpy road, in stop and go traffic, lights changing from red to green to yellow, then pulling up just short of the stop sign.

If CPS needed a clear signal of community support, last week’s open house sparked a passionate outburst.

Principal Antoinette LoBosco felt the good vibes hours before the vote. “I am VERY optimistic we will move forward.  Our community meeting  was described as a ‘Lane lovefest’ by the Decatur LSC chair,” she said. “As you know, many parents and members of the Lane community spoke in favor of a LTAC and of offering the test to those that missed it.”

LoBosco said. “It was especially gratifying to hear our students speak about what the school has meant to them.”

Indeed, a steady stream of current and former students, educators , teachers, and even school leaders from other neighborhoods marched to the open microphone.

One parent spoke for many, apologizing for being emotional, “all my children worked so hard to do so well… now how do they get a chance?”

Until now, Taft was the only option on the North Side. Located on the far Northwest Side, 41 middle school students from Taft transferred to Lane in 2010. Lobosco observed, “many of the 8th graders from the Taft Center end up attending Lane or other selective enrollment high schools.”

Thousands of academically excellent North Side middle-schoolers now have a homier option for a one-stop learning and earning shop for high school credits which lets them continue their education at  the respected selective enrollment high school.

The academic center, planned to open at Lane next fall, also helps Chicago Public Schools consolidate school building space and bridge the budget chasm.

Applications are being filled out to meet the April 1st deadline, and a community open house is slated for March 27.

Stop sign on road to Lane Academic Center

Lane Limbo

Imagine you are in the driver’s seat waiting for a red light to change so you can bring home the groceries. Imagine you’re still sitting there more than a year when the light starts to change to green. But wait, now it’s flashing a yellow caution. Then the cops say that’s not a green light anymore.

It’s a bit of a stretch, but welcome to The Twilight Zone of Lane Tech Principal Antoinette LoBosco.

For two years she has been driving her case for a fast lane to and through Lane Tech for quick learning 7th and 8th graders. The on-again off-again Academic Center would make Lane a onestop learning shop for high school credits.  Plus a one-way ticket to the prestigious selective enrollment high school.

There’s room on the fourth floor of the rambling weathered building on 2501 West Addison. Rows of dim classrooms await bright students. Last December says LoBosco   “I was told the plan to open a Lane Tech Academic Center was no longer green-lighted.  The explanation was the uncertain state of the CPS budget.  Given that there would not have been any additional building, textbook, supplies or staffing costs, I was unclear on why approval had been withdrawn.”

What has come into clearer focus are a few schools opposed to it.  Taft and two other North Side schools reportedly worry about a brain drain.

LoBosco points to a CPS survey concluding there is a need for a sixyear college prep school at Lane. Now, CPS Administration is apparently backing off which puzzles LoBosco; “Lane was told the Alderman would have to approve our proposal in order for CPS to move forward.  We had three meetings.  At the last meeting, Alderman Schulter invited three elementary school principals who had contacted him with their concerns.  Each indicated an Academic Center might adversely affect their enrollments.  The results of the CPS study did not show any one elementary school would be significantly impacted but they remained unconvinced.”

Right now the only selective enrollment high schools with academic centers are Lindblom and Whitney Young. Slim pickings for North Side students.  Taft Principal Maria Asvos knows all too well of Lane’s proposal, but takes a diplomatic route, e-mailing The Bulldog;

I am aware of Lane’s interest in starting an academic center. This is a board issue and a decision they have to make, as they analyze the demographics.  The best interests for the students in our communities is an important issue and challenge that the board needs to address over time.  Our program serves 245 students. We hope that we continue to serve them in the future.  We are starting our 12th year this fall and it has been an honor to have so many wonderful students at Taft, and to have been a part of two important years in their lives.

Though the proposal may be in political limbo it hits home for school families. A local school board chair echoes their sentiments. Jill Martensen at Decatur Elementary told the Chicago Tribune her two daughters in the classical school finish at sixth grade. She’s also shopping for a middle school for her fifth grader. Whitney Young is about the only game in town. Martensen tells the Tribune if she does not get accepted the only option is to stand in line for “fill-in spots” at a gifted middle-school program or an International Baccalaureate program. Barring that or a thumbs-up for Lane Tech, her daughter will get a crash course in the arduous application process amid an often tense transition to a new high school, the Tribune article said.

LoBosco’s opposing educators and alderman may well have good reason for their positions. But it’s tough to fault LoBosco for not doing her homework. Take a look at her arguments to CPS:


  • Of the six existing CPS Academic Centers, only one is on the north side of the city (Taft) and is located far northwest. Many of the 8th graders from the Taft Center end up attending Lane or other selective enrollment high schools (41 freshmen in 2010).
  • A Lane Tech Academic Center would eliminate the necessity of two high school transitions for students that leave Taft.
  • Approximately 90-120 qualified students in 2009-10 were turned away from the Whtiney Young Academic Center and/or were not able to get into any other area gifted program.
  • Lane typically enrolls 175 – 200 private school students into the freshman class each year.  It is anticipated that many of the applicants to the Lane Academic Center would be drawn from the Catholic and private schools in the area, which would further lessen the impact on local public elementary schools.
  • Unlike other parts of the city, the North Side is growing and there is room for an academic center without decimating the populations of area elementary schools or the Taft Academic Center.
  • For the last few years, million dollar dwellings have been constructed directly across from Lane and within a two-mile radius of the school, presumably with the hopes of attracting young professionals to the city.  Having a nearby Academic Center for their children can only help attract and keep residents in the city.
  • Lane already has an extensive AP program which would continue the gifted education of 7th and 8th graders.
  • Lane has the space in which to locate a center, as well as other needed resources (books, furniture, etc.)
  • Lane’s LSC and PTSO, as well as Alumni groups and “friends” are in favor of opening an Academic Center
  • The CPS Office of Academic Enhancement was in support of this program for 2009-10 until they encountered a freeze in opening new programs.  Their own research showed an Academic Center would be well supported.
  • Parents of K-6 elementary schools are in support of another option besides Taft, Lindblom or Whitney Young.
  • Lane has a 102 year history of academic excellence, athletic and extracurricular tradition and numerous other opportunities that offers students an unparalleled high school experience.
  • Despite the case for Lane and some 1,300 signatures of support within a week, it’s hard to imagine any action before or soon after last week’s election. This leaves families like Martensen, Lane educators, and neighborhood school kids all stalled back in the same driver’s seats waiting for Superman to change a traffic light.


Gordon wins tourney consolation title; season turning around

Gordon (5-6) won the Consolation title at Luther North, defeating Guerin (3-10) 54-32 in what may have been the team’s best performance of the season.

The Rams win came after losing the first tournament match to Taft 62-46.

Gordon jumped out to a 30-16 lead at halftime and never looked back while making 20-of-41 shots.

“I’m real proud of the guys,” said Gordon head coach Shay Boyle. “We gave them that goal after losing the first game. We have to find a silver lining. I thought we could comeback. I thought (they) did a great job. They were focused.”

“We started off 1-5 and had a tough week of practice,” said Gordon point guard Brandon Johnson. “We wanted to come out and win these (last) three games. It takes a lot of courage to comeback and win these games.”

“We need to get wins right now,” admitted Gordon’s Dave Andrews. “It’s not going to be easy coming out of Christmas break. In the past, we have done well at the Luther North tournament. Getting these three wins is great.”

Catholic League play hasn’t been kind to the Rams who are 0-3. Things won’t get easier as Gordon has upcoming matchups against traditional powers Hales, De La Salle, St. Joseph, and a rematch at Loyola.

Andrews led Gordon with 21 points on seven three-pointers while Johnson ran the offense and scored 11 points.

Guerin struggled against Gordon’s defense making only 13-of-35 shots.

The Rams have now rebounded from a 1-5 start.

“We are playing as a team,” added Johnson. “We weren’t playing as a team. We have a lot of chemistry now. It’s going good right now.”

“This is a huge momentum builder for us,” admitted Andrews who is starting to draw attention from opposing defenses. “Now, we can see that we can beat teams.”

Boyle has inserted sophomore Sam Rarick into the starting lineup. Rarick has responded and had eight points and seven rebounds in the win over Guerin.

Mather(10-2) won the Luther North tournament with a 60-59 win over King(9-4) while Taft(7-6) took third place in this event by topping Jones 56-43.

The Rams will host Hales this Friday night at 7:30 pm.

Mather wins Luther holiday tourney, defeats King

The Luther North Wildcat mural brings a special sprit to the games at the Holiday Tournament.

Mather (10-2) won the Luther North tournament despite squandering a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter with a 60-59 win over King (9-4) Thursday.

The Jaguars rallied to take a 59-58 lead on two free throws by Justin Reynolds to give King a lead heading into the final moments of the game. Reynolds goals capped an incredible comeback as King outscored Mather 26-14 to take its only lead in the championship game on the school’s first visit ever to Luther North.

With 12 seconds remaining Ken Murphy drove to the basket on the next offensive possession and scored on a layup for a 60-59 win.

“I was just focused,” admitted Murphy on his game winning shot. “I knew I could have made (the shot). I just threw (the ball) up at the basket.”

King committed a turnover to end one of the most thrilling championship games ever at Luther North.

“Our guys kept their composure and kept attacking the basket,” said Mather head coach Glen Heffernan. Heffernan will try to guide to school to its first Red North title.

Murphy led Mather and all players on the court with 22 points while Reynolds came off the bench to lead King with 21 points.

The Rangers have now won back-to-back titles at Luther North.

“King is a good team,” Heffernan said. “I know they are probably going to win 20 games. My hat goes off to them it’s unfortunate somebody had to lose tonight.”

King advanced to the finals by winning two straight contests by one point over Lane and Taft. The Jaguars are now a college prep school under new coach Culumber Ball. Ball played his prep basketball in the Public League at Hirsch.

Taft (7-6) took third place at Luther North with a 56-43 win over Jones as guard Jon Doss scored 17 points.

Gordon (5-6) recovered from an opening round loss to Taft by capturing the consolation championship with a 54-32 win over Guerin (3-10).

Dave Andrews led the Rams with 21 points while Brandon Johnson added 11 points.

One question from basketball fans in this area of the city. No North side squad has won the Public League championship since Roosevelt in 1952. No team from this area has advanced to the title game since Lake View in 1954. When will the championship drought be broken?

Gordon loses opening game at Luther North

One of Gordon’s goals was to win the Luther North tournament this season. The Rams (2-6) must now focus on trying to win the Consolation championship after losing 62-46 to Taft in the opening round on Monday.

“I challenged the kids after the game to get three (more) wins,” Gordon head coach Shay Boyle said. “I want three wins the rest of the tournament. A win is a win. I told them today was our championship game. I thought if we could get today’s win, we would have a chance to make some noise in the tournament. I liked the bracket. I liked the matchups.”

While Boyle was disappointed, Taft head coach and former player Brett Nishibayashi was overjoyed with the results on opening day. “It was a goal we set (to win Luther North),” admitted Nishibayashi who played football, basketball, and baseball for the Eagles.

“We want to win this tournament. Not only do we have the talent to win it, we have the desire to win it. They showed that effort and desire,” Nishibayashi said.

One reason why Taft may win the Luther North tournament for the first time since 1992 is senior Jon Doss. Gordon couldn’t overcome a 26-point performance by senior Jon Doss. Doss was the difference as he scored 10 points in the opening quarter as Taft (5-5) built a 17-12 lead.

Doss took his game to another level in the third quarter by adding 14 points including four three-point baskets as Taft outscored Gordon 26-10 to build a a commanding 25-point lead.

“Doss was unbelieveable,” said Boyle who played his prep basketball in the Catholic League at Weber. “I scouted him. I knew he had a good game in him. He has that old man’s playground game. When he gets going, he’s as good as any guard I’ve seen all year. He’s going to be a huge factor for them.”

“He’s a real good offensive player with a great shot,” added Nishibayashi. “He’s lacking on the defensive end. If he can be more of a complete player the sky is the limit for that kid.”

An area of concern for Boyle has been rebounding. The Rams were beaten on the glass at Luther North 50-22. Gordon had only seven rebounds in the first half as point guard Brandon Johnson picked up three fouls. Gordon made 14-of-39 shots while Taft took advantage of their height and made 23-of-47 attempts.

“Rebounding has been plaguing us all year that’s the number one issue in our program,” said Boyle. One player who has shown an ability to rebound the basketball is Tramel Westbrook. Westbrook came off the bench and grabbed two rebounds in the second quarter.

Boyle admitted after the loss that Westbrook might receive more playing time. Another factor in the contest was Taft center Kevin Siudut. Siudut added 13 points and 17 rebounds. Dave Andrews led Gordon with 18 points. The Rams rallied in the final quarter and closed the margin to 58-41, but couldn’t get any closer than the final score.

To say Boyle was disappointed would be an understatement. “The third quarter was where it all fell apart,” said Boyle. “It was an awful way to come out of the locker room. We just came off a win (against I-C). We had a good practice, I felt we were going to bring great energy. Taft brought a lot more energy than we did. They did a great job.”

Lane Tech (5-5) won in the opening round at Luther North topping Holy Trinity High School 50-42.

Lake View ends season with 21-0 loss; Sophomore class promises better 2011

Next year starts now for Lake View High School (1-8, 0-7). The Lake View Wildcats ended their season by losing 21-0 to Foreman High School (6-3, 5-2) in the Big Shoulders section finale at Hanson Stadium Thursday.

Lake View is hoping for better things in 2011 with 20 players returning. The Wildcats were derailed this year when eight players didn’t play forcing head coach Mike Menczynski to use four different quarterbacks.

Foreman has to be excited about next season after watching the performance of junior Sergio Serrano. Serrano completed 18-of-26 for 266 yards and two touchdowns.

“We played a lot better” in the second half, said Menczynski. “But for every good play, two or three bad plays. It’s not just a yard loss, it’s a fumble, it’s an interception, it’s an injury. It’s not small mistakes. It’s big mistakes.”

“We wish we were going to the (city) playoffs,” admitted Foreman head coach Earnest Wilson. “We made too many mistakes. I’m proud of them, but I thought we could beat Lake View. I don’t want to sound arrogant.”

Foreman and Lake View play in the Big Shoulders section of the Chicago conference, which has its own playoff. Wilson will find out this week if his team makes the Chicago playoffs since generally only the top two teams from each section advances. Senn High School (9-0, 7-0) and Taft High School (7-2, 5-2) made the state playoffs that start this weekend. Taft beat Foreman 28-20.

The Wildcats were able to move the football against Foreman generating 212 yards of total offense. Lake View couldn’t finish drives while they were unable to contain Serrano.

“We were in cover three,” said Menczynski after the loss. “I don’t know how you get beat deep? They were wide open. It was a passing drill for them.”

“He played pretty good,” said Wilson on his quarterback’s performance. “He still made some mistakes. We are looking for big things from him next year. He had some good moments.”

Serrano was outstanding in the first half completing 11-of-15 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns as Foreman took a 14-0 lead.

Lake View was fortunate to be in the contest since Dawaun Stevenson missed two field goals for Foreman.

The Wildcats did play better in the second half on offense and defense. Lake View generated 135 yards in the last two quarters and failed to find the end zone.

“I think they realized it was the last two quarters of the season,” said Menczynski.

One player to watch out for next season is sophomore linebacker Ashley Diaz. Diaz started for a 3-2 sophomore team, and Menczynski admitted he will give Diaz a chance to be a starter or part-time player in 2011.

Lake View’s season was a mixed bag. The Wildcats only win was against Kennedy High School. In section play, Lake View went 0-7 and lost close encounters to Schurz High School, Clemente High School, and Prosser High School.

Senn (9-0) was the class of the Big Shoulders section going unbeaten while scoring 412 points in nine contests. Senn will face Grayslake Central High School (5-4) in the state playoffs this weekend.

One has to wonder, would Lake View be preparing for the playoffs if Menczynski hadn’t lost eight players?

Taft trims Lake View claws 34-6

LakeView High School linemen. File photo

The Taft High School Eagles (4-1, 6-1) trimmed the Lake View High School Wildcats (0-5, 1-6) claws in a 34-6 win Saturday at Lane Stadium.

With a boisterous 12th man urging them on, the Eagles defense frustrated the Lake View drive after 30 yards, and in two plays scored a 50 yard drive behind an Omar Ramirez 48 yard run down the left side.

Lake View’s second possession was pushed back by the Eagle defense, forcing Lake View to kick punt the ball from the 15. The Eagles fumbled the return, allowing the Wildcats to make a net 35 yard gain on the punt.

Lake View threatened, pushing the ball to the Taft 37 before turning over possession on downs.

Once again Taft’s offense showed why the team is 6-1 this season. After two frustrating possessions Kurt Klumac broke three tackles to make a 59 yard scoring run.

Taft ended the quarter with only two possessions and five downs but a 14-0 lead, rushing 107 yards on just two plays. Lake View had even recovered a Taft fumble, allowing it the only real threatening drive of the quarter. But it wasn’t enough.

After driving to the Taft 44, the Wildcats turned over the ball on downs and fought a long campaign against the Eagles, stopping one play on the five and the subsequent play on the one. But it was an Eagles night as the Taft team was able to run the ball in to drive the score to 21-0 in the eight play, 58 yard drive.

The half ended there. Lake View Head Coach Mike Menczynski said, “our biggest problem is we’ve got to keep things close. The kids can get down real quick.”

The biggest factor in the game was the size of the Taft team, two good quarterbacks, two or three kickers and a bench of talent.

The second half started better for Lake View as Taft ground to a halt in the mid-field, turning over the ball on downs.

Lake View scored the Wildcats’ only touchdown with a one play, 72 yard drive, making the score 21-6.

An onside kick didn’t phase the Eagles. But perhaps it was overconfidence that led to a mid-field interception on the Lake View 40. Lake View ground to a frustrating halt there. Punting, the receiver made an error and Lake View recovered the ball on the Taft 22.

Taft defense kicked in again, pushing the Wildcats back before the Wildcats turned over on downs.

The two teams traded possession and position through the end of the third quarter. As the quarter ended Ramirez broke four tackles to move the ball ten yards. It was the start of another scoring drive for the Eagles, this time for 55 yards in about 1:07, each play marking another first down.

With the score 28-6 at the end of the third quarter, there was no real doubt about the outcome of the game. Much of the energy for the final score of the game should be attributed to Douglas Marvis and his 27 yards of rushing.

“Anthony Perez made some great plays,” Taft Head Coach Matthew Walsh said after the game. “These guys know what they have to do. We’re done with Rah-Rah speeches.”

Menczynski said “We’ve gotta get scores on the board. We had some good draw passes, but we’ve been struggling with injuries all season.”

The Wildcats play conference rival Prosser (2-3, 2-5) Clemente (3-2, 4-3) next week in an away game.

Football score updates

Gordon (1-5, 1-6) fell to De LaSalle (3-3, 3-4) 21-6. We’ll should a report and pictures on the game shortly.

Lake View (0-5, 1-6) was crushed by Taft (4-1, 6-1) 34-6. We’ll have a report and pictures on the game shortly.

Chicago Vocational (2-2, 4-3) took down Amundsen (1-3, 1-6) 20-14.

Dunbar(2-2, 3-4) defeated Lane (1-3, 3-4) 38-22.