Say goodbye to the Clarion seniors

May 22, 2014

As part of Clarion’s annual tradition, our Clarion seniors have been given the time and space to say goodbye to the newspaper, to RB, to their friends and teachers, to high school.  Some of them have worked on our paper for four years, some for a semester, but every one of them left their mark.  Thank you, Clarion seniors!

Senior Goodbye: Rebecca Rusiecki

Senior Goodbye:  Rebecca Rusiecki

For me, writing a final farewell is not an easy thing to do. Spending the past four years at RB has been so eventful, and I’ll always remember my time here. But now that graduation is just around the corner, I’m ready to move on to bigger and better things.

One of the aspects of high school I’ll remember most fondly is my time on Clarion. I joined the paper as a sophomore, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made during my time at RB. Going into it, I didn’t realize how much actually goes on in the school. Being able to cover school events and seeing my stories published has been so rewarding. I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to work with our sponsor Mr. Mancoff and everyone on staff.

I like to stay busy, so I’ve been relatively involved in the school during my time at RB. I’ve had the opportunity to be involved not only with the Clarion, but also RB’s tennis, badminton and track teams. I’ve also been a part of Student Association, Speech Team and Model UN. Each of these activities has had a great impact on me.

I’d like to use my Senior Goodbye to thank a few of the teachers I’ve had the privilege to meet over the past four years. First of all, I’d like to thank Mr. Fuller and Ms. Bradt for being great Speech Team coaches. I’d also like to thank Mr. Fields for making AP US so interesting. And thank you to Mr. Beasley for being a fantastic teacher- having AP Gov with you this semester has been great.

I may have been counting down the hours until graduation since the beginning of the school year, but now that it’s so close, it seems surreal. Freshman year seems like so long ago, and I know that spending the last four years at RB has made me into a very different person. I remember that when I started my freshman year, I was obsessed with getting good grades. Now I realize that there are things that are more important than getting an A, like actually learning something. There are many things that I’ve enjoyed about my time at RB, but I’m not necessarily sad to be leaving. In the fall, I’ll be studying Political Science at American University in Washington DC. Now that I’m ready to go to college, I realize that RB has really prepared me for life beyond high school and I will always be grateful for that.

Senior Goodbye: Lauren Grimaldi

Senior Goodbye:  Lauren Grimaldi

I’m not a sentimental person. And sitting here writing out my feelings about my four years of high school is a difficult and weird task for me. I mean, how can you summarize four years of your life into a couple paragraphs? I don’t want to make this farewell sappy because that just wouldn’t be true to who I am.

Well, it’s easier for me to look ahead to the future. I couldn’t be more excited for college. I’m going to be studying journalism and political science. I feel like my time on The Clarion has given me some good experience to what will hopefully later become my career.

I would, however, like to take this opportunity to thank all of my teachers. Thank you for what you do and thank you for helping me get a great education. I’d especially like to thank Mr. Yurek and Ms. Harsy.

Mr. Yurek helped me become a better math student and really worked hard to help me out with whatever I needed. I’m so grateful to have had him as a teacher for three years.

Ms. Harsy was my teacher for English my sophomore and senior year. Both of those years she helped me become a better writer, reader, and thinker. I’m so happy to have been taught by her for two years.

Alright, well maybe that part was a bit sappy. But overall, I’m really excited to be leaving high school behind. I’ll always remember my time here. While I’m almost a hundred percent sure I can say I won’t miss it, going to RB has afforded me many oppurtunities that I may not have had elsewhere.

When I walk across the stage on May 23, it’ll feel so surreal. This part of my life will be over and that’ll be a huge change. I’ve thought about that feeling for four years and it always made me so excited. And now that it’s here I’m still happy, but it’s a very weird feeling to know that this is all over.

Senior Goodbye: Hannah Pecis

Hannah Pecis Senior Goodbye

Senior Goodbye: Isabel Pena

Senior Goodbye:  Isabel Pena

Well, where to begin? It has been a fast and furious four years here at RB and I can’t imagine having to sum it all up in a mere 300 words, so I’ll apologize ahead of time if this is a little long. I’m not really all that sure where to begin, so I’ll just go back to the beginning.

Freshman year was a blast, and that’s all thanks to SEE Team. Shout out to Mr. Holt, Mr. Mancoff, and all of my classmates that year, you know who you are. So many memories were made that year while we were on the farm, cleaning Baseball Woods, and down by “the crick”. SEE Team made for an easy transition into high school. I made some new friends and became closer to others, and I will never forget it.

I can look back and clearly remember saying at the end of first quarter my freshman year, “Hey guys, only 15 more quarters to go and we’re out of here!” Back then, it seemed like we were never going to graduate at that rate. Little did I know that these past 15 quarters really weren’t a giving me a lot of time. It didn’t actually hit me until my junior year, though. That’s when I finally got involved.

I was already a part of the softball team and on the Clarion, but it really wasn’t all that much. I knew there was something missing; that I was missing something. So thanks to my sister-Shout out to Mimi- I decided it was time to bump up the extracurricular activities. I joined FCCLA, OLAS, NHS, and continued to do Softball and Clarion. I was so invested in each of these that I went on to be a captain on the softball team, and editor for the Clarion, President of OLAS, and President of FCCLA. Boy, have I been busy; stressed, even. But it has all been worth it.

Deciding to become so involved my junior year really helped to shape the person that I am today. I became more confident in myself as well as my ideas and opinions. I wanted to be heard. I became more vocal and made sure my ideas were heard and put into action.

Now that I’m in my senior year, it’s time to reflect. Think about the choices I’ve made, the people I’ve met. I’m happy to say that I have no regrets. So many friends have come and gone and-not going to lie-there have been times where I miss each and every one of them. But there is my one core group of friends that has stuck by my side through all of this. Shout out to Emily, Hannah, and Kelly. Those three have been my best friends since the beginning, and I don’t know what I would have done without them. I am genuinely sad that in about a month’s time, I will no longer see them every day. I know we’ll visit each other when we’re in college and beyond, but a part of me will be sad when there’s no one to gossip with about what just happened last hour.

Well, I think I’ve ranted on about my high school experiences long enough now, and I suppose many of you have stopped reading this and are already on to the next senior goodbye. For those of you who are still reading this, though: Goodbye.

Senior Goodbye: Kate Alaks

Senior Goodbye:  Kate Alaks

Writing a Senior Goodbye, I have discovered, is a great deal harder than I expected it to be. The finality of it, a Senior Goodbye, makes me repeatedly second-guess myself and pull at my hair in frustration. What do I even say? How does one encapsulate four years of life in five hundred words or so? How do I not make it a cliched, threadbare pool of insincere sentiment?

I’m going to Knox College next year. This sounds like a good plan, right? Starting at the end?

Yes, yes it does.

I’m going to Knox College armed with a brilliant best friend and a plan for my majors: Creative Writing and Environmental Economics. I’m going to college with four years of high school under my belt, with experience on an award winning school paper that has dealt with school board controversy and touchy opinions and really long dry spells where maybe two events occur. I’m going to college thrilled to start a new story of my life,

It feels completely different from my entrance to RB. I had a lifetime of homeschooling, one year of volunteer work, and a handful of acquaintances when I walked in the doors. I’m not condemning my childhood, since by and large it was awesome. But I am such a different person now, and I’ve done so many things, that it’s hard to compare the two.

What was Freshman Kadet like, you ask? I would describe her as a naive, quiet, technology-deficient perfectionist.

Oh, wait. That’s actually more or less what I’m coming out as, although to a slightly lesser degree, and with a whole lot of fandoms added in. Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey, eh?

I feel like I should be thanking people now. That’s what people do.

So thanks to all my SEE team teachers for making Freshman Year awesome: Mr. Holt, Ms. Waldock, and especially Mr. Mancoff who, by now, has had me for five year-long classes in four years. Thanks for putting up with me for so long!

Thanks to Ms. Bontrager, my AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics teacher, for getting me into the subject, and Mr. Gibbons for teaching the most difficult and yet ultimately rewarding AP US history class.

Thanks to my family for putting up with my angst and stress for four whole years. Galen, you must fulfil my legacy! Or play Mario Kart, that’s good too.

And thanks to my awesome friends, especially Nichole who’s the most phenomenal, practically fictional best friend ever, Asha for not eating me, and Carey who’s been my insane Clarion rant buddy for quite a while.

Finally, thanks to everyone else I’ve encountered these four years, for impacting me in some way.

So I guess that’s it, isn’t it? I’m going to skip the anecdotes, because I can rarely ever remember them when I’m thinking of them, and I’ll skip the advice since the fact that I’m a senior doesn’t necessarily mean that I understand everything.

Although, as the Beatles have said: All you need is love.


Kadet Marshmallow

Senior Goodbye: William Voorhees

Senior Goodbye:  William Voorhees

Time flies when you’re having fun, right folks?  For me, almost nothing has flown by as fast as my time on the Clarion Staff.  It’s pretty surreal that this is not just my last year on the Clarion, but also my last year at Riverside Brookfield High School.  I feel like it was only yesterday when I joined RB’s newspaper as an inexperienced staff reporter.  Three years have passed since then, bringing with them a healthy dose of experience, a solidified focus, and the role of Arts & Entertainment Editor.

Over the years, I’ve performed a variety of different tasks for this very newspaper.  Though writing A&E centric stories is my forte, I have also contributed a plethora of media to the Clarion.  While not all of my content has been (or could have been) used on our website, I’ve recorded a few hours of video and captured thousands of photos with each one being its own learning experience.  Taking that into consideration, I have spent countless hours editing hundreds of the photos on the Clarion.

I don’t want to ramble on about myself, but I guess this is my personal goodbye.  Up until now, I haven’t really absorbed the fact that this is my last year in high school.  People who know me can affirm that I’m a rather quiet person, unless a conversation regarding one of my passions arises.  Though I am passionate about my work on the Clarion, I can’t quite find the words that I want to express myself with.  Is this a heartfelt speech about how the Clarion has impacted me over the years?  Is it a bittersweet goodbye, moving on to greener pastures while looking back over my shoulder?  Can it be both?

I’ve had a lot of fun over the years, but I couldn’t have had it without the people who have supported me the past four years.  With that in mind, I would just like to say a few thank yous.

Thank you to my family, the reason I am here today.  You gave me assisstance when I needed it most.

Thank you to my friends, a diverse group of lovable goofballs who are each special to me in their own unique ways.  I wish all of you well in your future endeavors.

Thank you to my teachers, the mentors who helped to shape me as a student.  Your lessons not only ushered me into academia, but also gave me different perspectives on life.

Thank you to everyone who has worked beside me on the Clarion.  You have given me the honor of working with some of the most outstanding student journalists in the world.

Last, but not least, thank you (yes, you).  I thank you, humble readers of the Clarion, because without you, we wouldn’t be at this stage in the game.

With that, I would like to bid you all adieu.

Senior Goodbye: Carey Torres

Senior Goodbye:  Carey Torres

Wow, high school’s over already. It’s hard to believe how quickly it went by. I still remember my freshman year like it was yesterday. Let’s be real here, it wasn’t that great, but it wasn’t bad either, it was just okay. Basically, it was my training year at RB. I used that year as a guide to the dos and dont’s of high school. Like where all of the shortcuts were in the hallways, don’t stand in the middle of the hallway (or else you will get pushed out of the way), and to get to the cafeteria ASAP if you don’t want to deal with the long lines. Obviously that’s not all that I’ve learned through the last four years, but I don’t feel like listing everything, because that would take forever.

So I guess I will take this time to reminisce and laugh at some of the experiences that I have endured during my time at RB. Where do I even begin with this one? Let me take a minute to think about what I really, really, want to say. (Insert time it takes here).

Ok, I think I finally know what I should say and how I feel like saying it. Well, here goes nothing, you ready? Alright enough stalling, it’s time for me to spill my guts to you all. I think I will start with my freshman year.

I was a pretty shy kid back in the day, and because of this I wasn’t too good at making friends. So as you can expect I was not the most enthusiastic person when it came to high school. Many of my fears were things I’d seen in TV/movies as a tween; which in retrospect were not the main ones I should’ve been worried about. Let the list of TV shows and movies that “taught” me about high school begin: Mean Girls, Lizzie McGuire, Stuck in the Suburbs, High school Musical (without all the singing of course), A Cinderella Story, and Life with Derek, etc.

However, everything I thought I knew about high school, all of my fears and worries just disappeared after the first day. It didn’t take too long for me to warm up to the idea of being here for four years. Which I suppose was a good thing in the long run.

I suppose now’s the part where I brag to you about how many friends/ acquaintances I’ve made and about my successes; blah, blah, blah. Well that’s exactly not what I’m going to do.

I just want to say that even though I’ve complained about coming here every day (my friends will vouch for me on this one), and though sometimes it has been a struggle, Thanks RB. I truly believe that you have helped shape me into who I am today. Also, to all of the wonderful people I have met these last four years, I want to thank you too. Whether you know it or not, you made a difference in my life, big or small, it still means a lot.

Well goodbye RB, it’s been real.

Senior Goodbye: Jeremy Baartman

Senior Goodbye: Jeremy Baartman

Over my four years at Riverside-Brookfield High School, I have experienced so many different things. Stuff I had never dreamed I would do as I walked into R.B. my first day at school. I will surely miss R.B. and everything it offered me. From 6th man, to palying with Jazz Ensemble at Fitzgeralds., to winning a sectional champinship on swimming, to writing about my Bulls for this newspaper.

It was a great run; I will never forget the memories I created here. Thank you! I wish you all a heartfelt goodnight!

Senior Goodbye: Sean Pruett-Jones

Senior Goodbye:  Sean Pruett-Jones

Wait, I blinked. No, seriously. That was a lot faster than it felt like.

Feels like just yesterday that Mr. Holt was covering up his nose to give me a hug in Yellowstone National Park on a SEE Team trip. Ah… good times, huh?

I like to think you’re reading this on the hard copy in the lunchroom, quaffing down some very very messy food and all sorts of splotches of hot sauce or something else is dripping onto this page. That’d be sweet.

These four years have really changed me. If you knew me back in middle school, you’d know I was a goth kid. Yup. Purty great, huh? Look at me now. Hawaiian shirts, floofy hair, obscure metal bands, atrocious facial hair, and a lot of other ingredients, mainly oregano. So now, at the end of my senior year, here I stand (more like sit, I am in front of a computer after all), a fully grown cornucopia of metal bands, shirts, strange and unsociable noises, and strange mustaches, ready to go out into the world, with fond memories of Riverside Brookfield High School.

Very fond memories, indeed. After all, I’ve made friends with the silliest and most brilliant people this planet could ever hope for. God, how many times have William Voorhees and I killed each other with laughter at his house? How many times have Nick Schliep and I made new inside jokes from the stupidest things? I still remember my heart-to-hearts with Bozeday, my attempts at introducting Monti to my musical world, my videogames talks with Melquist, and so on. If I could tell you all about the antics my great friends and I have gone through, this would probably go on longer than a boring documentary about sand. Yeah, sand.

And oh my god, have they been patient with me. Have you ALL been patient with me. In one lifetime, I cannot show how grateful I am that people have put up with me for these four years. I mean, I’ve done some horrible things these four years, and I am more sorry than I could ever hope to express to everyone I’ve hurt.

I only hope you could all remember me as a majestic squid instead of a dirty little earwig.

…God it would be awesome to be a squid, wouldn’t it?

Squid or not, I am who I am today and I’m proud of it, (that sounded clichéd) and I hope to continue growing. If not up, then sideways. To put it plain and simply – I won’t forget my time here, with all of you.

Who could? Silly people, that’s who. Very, very silly people. With plates of mashed haggis for faces. That’s who. They would forget. But I wouldn’t. I never could.

So, all of you guys keep it real. You’re a great bunch and I hope to see you become all that you deserve to be.

Also, to clarify once and for all – screamo and death metal are NOT the same thing.







Senior Goodbye: Catherine Jasionowski

Senior Goodbye: Catherine Jasionowski

As my time at Riverside Brookfield comes to an end, I take this time to sit back and reflect on the time I’ve spent here, and the events that have lead me to where I am today. From being on the RB Twirl Team all four years, and two of those years in a Captain position. Having the ability to be a part of National Honors Society, and Erika’s Light House. There are many things that I have had the opportunity to do, because my parents and school has given those opportunities to me. I may not have done as much as some other students while I was here, but I did enough to make me happy and that’s all that matters. And with one door closing, there is always another door opening.

I have decided to attend Lewis University, Romeoville in the fall. I plan on majoring in secondary education, and a minor in mathematics. I have always enjoyed math, and I also enjoy helping kids. So I believe that becoming a math teacher is the right place to start. I also enjoy dancing, reading, and listening to music. So I intend to continue those things when I go off to school. Yet I didn’t want to stay close for school at first, I realized that this school is the one that is right for me. I will be able to stay on campus and have family close it I need them.

Throughout my life I have been many different things. I started off as a Husky, then to a Dolphin. Went back to being a Husky, to become a Cougar. From Cougar, I became a Worrier. To finally end up to where I am now, which is the Bulldog, but I won’t be a bulldog for much longer, because soon I will be a Flyer!

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