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Marengo Community High School District 154

110 Franks Road Marengo, IL 60152

Phone 815-568-6511   Fax 815-568-6510


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January 2009

A Letter From The Principal

The second semester is off to a fast start and we have begun the scheduling process for next year. We want you to be informed of the process, updated on changes, and aware of opportunities for the next school year. »

Other FFA Events

FFA events included the Public Speaking Contest at Sycamore on December 10th and the Section 6 Holiday Party at Sycamore on December 11th. On Monday, December 15th, the FFA showed Home Alone in the auditorium. Donations were accepted with all proceeds going to "Toys For Tots." The annual Toy Show took place on January 18th.

Visit the Marengo FFA Website at www.ffachapter.net/IL/Marengo »

English Department News

The English department has two new faces this semester. Mrs. Jackie Moehling is filling in for Mrs. Anderson who had a baby boy in December. Mrs. Moehling brings 30+ years of experience to the classroom and MCHS is fortunate to have her. We also welcome Ms. Shaina Greenman, a student teacher from Illinois State University. Ms. Greenman will be teaching with Mrs. Zarnikow and Mr. Holton, as well as assisting Mrs. Steffan with the musical.

It appears our freshmen survived their first set of final exams and their first semester of high school. More confident and involved, they are beginning to lose that "What am I doing here?!"Ě look in their eyes and feel like a part of all things MCHS. It is good to see this, but the second semester presents its own challenges, the first of which is WINTER. Continue to monitor their study habits, especially if your son or daughter is involved in a sport. The seasons are longer and it can be difficult to juggle practices, games, and homework.

Trebuchet: a medieval catapult for throwing heavy stones. And if you saw one while driving by MCHS last week, you were not imagining it. Sergio Aguilar, Chris Hansen,Tyler VanVoorhees, Tyler Oranger, Ryan Ehredt, and Frank Cusimano built a working trebuchet as a project for Humanities. To demonstrate it for the rest of the class, the boys moved it outside to one of the fields and hurled a couple of sand filled bags, not rocks. It was a remarkable piece of equipment and an equally impressive project. Drawing on history, physics, and math, the trebuchet was an example of interdisciplinary learning at its best, but what the boys probably liked the most was being able to throw rocks! »

Auto Class News

The small gas engine students were successful in completing their first semester projects. They now are deliberately sabotaging their engines in order to see where they fail internally. Students will either drain the oil completely or run the engine without an air filter while adding dirt or sand until the engine stops running. They then take the engine apart and analyze the breakdown. Some students are able to find enough spare parts in the shop to replace the broken ones and do it again using a different method. It has been a great class and a joy to see the groups work together and operate independently from the instructor.

¬†Auto students just completed another major project and this one actually benefited one of our teachers. Mr. Holton's wife's car unexpectedly stop running one day so they had it towed to a dealer. Upon inspection, the dealer told him that the car was only worth 100 dollars due to extensive engine damage. Mr. Holton then had it towed to the high school to have the auto students take a look. It was determined that the timing belt had failed. We provided Mr. Holton with an estimate and he decided to go forward with the repair. Numerous steps had to be taken to complete this very difficult job. First, we had to verify that the engine was a non-interference motor and do a cylinder leak-down test. Next, we had to have Mr. Taylor's Independent Study students fabricate two special tools that are required for the job. These tools are available for purchase, but why buy them when you can make them! Finally, we had to follow the specific steps of aligning the belt to the cam and crank gears. After all this was completed,¬†we finished the reassembly and fired up the car. The car runs great and the total cost for the project was less than $300.00! His car is now worth approx. $1,500.00! The project that we are currently working on is replacing a transmission in a Pontiac Sunfire. »

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT NEWS

The English department has two new faces this semester. Mrs. Jackie Moehling is filling in for Mrs. Anderson who had a baby boy in December. Mrs. Moehling brings 30+ years of experience to the classroom and MCHS is fortunate to have her. We also welcome Ms. Shaina Greenman, a student teacher from Illinois State University. Ms. Greenman will be teaching with Mrs. Zarnikow and Mr. Holton, as well as assisting Mrs. Steffan with the musical.

It appears our freshmen survived their first set of final exams and their first semester of high school. More confident and involved, they are beginning to lose that "What am I doing here?!"Ě look in their eyes and feel like a part of all things MCHS. It is good to see this, but the second semester presents its own challenges, the first of which is WINTER. Continue to monitor their study habits, especially if your son or daughter is involved in a sport. The seasons are longer and it can be difficult to juggle practices, games, and homework.

Trebuchet: a medieval catapult for throwing heavy stones. And if you saw one while driving by MCHS last week, you were not imagining it. Sergio Aquilar, Chris Hansen,

Tyler Van Vorhees, Tyler Oranger, Ryan Ehrendt, and Frank Cusimano built a working trebuchet as a project for Humanities. To demonstrate it for the rest of the class, the boys moved it outside to one of the fields and hurled a couple of sand filled bags, not rocks. It was a remarkable piece of equipment and an equally impressive project. Drawing on history, physics, and math, the trebuchet was an example of interdisciplinary learning at its best, but what the boys probably liked the most was being able to throw rocks! »

YOUTH OUTREACH PROGRAM

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Marengo Community High School received a $35,000 grant from the McHenry County CARE to start a Youth Outreach Program. One of the components of the grant was the hiring of a coordinator as well as providing the necessary programming and counseling to meet the needs of students who are at-risk academically due to social emotional and substance abuse issues. MCHS is pleased to introduce Jack Lilley, Ph.D. as the Youth Outreach Coordinator. »

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