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Whatever you are interested in, we've got it covered.

Inkspot

Whatever you are interested in, we've got it covered.

Inkspot

Abby Ruebush

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief

Abby Ruebush is a senior at Normal Community High School and serves as president of Student Council and the Community Best Buddies chapter. This is her third year working with the Inkspot, where she is Editor-in-Chief. 

I like dance, ice cream and thoughtful conversation.

A slogan to live by is that every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.

All content by Abby Ruebush
Top 5 UDA College Nationals Performances

Top 5 UDA College Nationals Performances

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Jan 30, 2024

Cue the merch sales. The TikToks. The predictions. For weeks every January, thousands of dancers are buzzing about the pinnacle of the collegiate dance season: the Universal Dance Association’s national competition in Orlando, Florida.   Like any other high-profile sporting event, big names...

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In an effort to end the stigma around mental health, Community alum Mackenzie Nelson launched the brand Stay Another Day, a clothing brand that donates a portion of its proceeds to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
Photo Courtesy of: Stay Another Day, LLC

From personal struggle to mental health awareness brand

Community alum Mackenzie Nelson's 'Stay Another Day' journey
Abby Ruebush and Ruth Oliveros-Gallardo Jan 26, 2024

“Another day,” she told herself, pulling into the Community parking lot every morning.  “Another day,” she thought, sitting alone at the back of the classroom.  “Another day,” she said, crying in her bedroom after softball practice.  Stay another day, just one more day. The phrase...

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Community last qualified for State in 2021, when the contest was held virtually. The teams last in-person trip to State came in 2019 when the team finished 24th. 
Photo Courtesy of: HR Imaging

Competitive cheer works overtime pursuing postseason success

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Jan 23, 2024

The competitive cheer team took second in the Big 12 Conference competition Wednesday, Jan. 17, finishing behind Normal West.  The finish marked an improvement over 2023's conference results, an indication that the team's dedication and determination is paying off.   Last season, the team took...

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Iron Dances first performance this season under their new head coach was Dec. 15 at the Ironmen boys basketball game versus Bloomington. 
Mrs. Regina Davis was hired this summer to replace Ms. Eva Newland as Iron Dance head coach. 
Newland resigned after graduating from Illinois State University last spring. 

Inkspot File Photo

New coach, new season offers fresh start for Iron Dance

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Dec 21, 2023

Iron Dance’s nine-member group looks poised to return to form this season after failing to place in all of the team’s competitions under head coach Miss Eva Newland last season.  Mrs. Regina Davis helms the program this year, the team’s third head coach in three seasons, looking to add innovation...

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All-District and All-State designation, choir teacher Mr. Ben Luginbuhl said, are significant honors that require students to be “highly motivated” and balance “technical skill” with “fluency and musicianship. 
Twenty Community music students demonstrated those skills this year in the eyes of the ILMEA. 
Photo Courtesy of: Mr. Jeff Christopherson

Music students shine in All-State honors from ILMEA

Twenty Community music students receive All-State honors from the Illinois Music Education Association
Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Dec 15, 2023

Twenty Community music students received All-State honors from the Illinois Music Education Association after the building qualified 75 musicians for the All-District festival Nov. 4.  Students practiced this year’s audition material, released to teachers in the spring, over the summer before getting...

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Stock Image // Envato

Teachers express reservations over Automatic Acceleration process

Department heads share perspective on Accelerated Placement Act, test-driven course placement
Kirsten Santana and Abby Ruebush Dec 10, 2023

For some students, the course registration process will look a little different this year.  Students who met or exceeded state benchmarks on Illinois-mandated tests (IAR, PSAT and SAT) last school year will be enrolled automatically in advanced courses. The change came as a result of the Illinois...

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Senior Charlie Faulkner (left) and Mr. Stephen Robinson (right) perform an improvised concert at Bobzbay Books.

‘Quiet concert’ books Bobzbay, explores musical intentionality

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Nov 18, 2023

Speakers booming. Fans screaming. Music so loud you can feel it in your bones.  From Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour to Nov. 12’s Driver Era concert at ISU, we live in an era where concertgoing often means braving ear-splitting volumes. But for Community teacher Mr. Stefen Robinson, a concert doesn’t...

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Digital Illustration // Brad Bovenkerk
Acorn Image // College Board

Florida’s threats to AP Psychology should scare you—but don’t let them psych you out

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Nov 14, 2023

Ever wonder what high school courses Wednesday Addams or Miles Morales would take?  That’s the premise behind College Board’s new social media campaign. Amidst posts on financial aid and SAT practice problems, fictional characters are now the subject of an inquiry: What Advanced Placement...

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Chase Dwinal has been instrumental in Communitys 19-6-1 record as the teams second-leading scorer this season.

Boys soccer pounces on Panthers, look to maroon Moline in Sectional Semi-Finals

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Oct 24, 2023

The boys soccer team claimed its first Regional title since 2018 in East Moline on Friday with a 2-0 victory over the United Township Panthers, the team’s 13th shutout of the season. The 2-seed Panthers had only been kept scoreless in two of their 17 season match-ups before Friday’s championship—stiff...

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Senior Ian Henrichsmeyer splits time in net for the Ironmen with Parker Michels. Between the two, Community has shut out opponents 12 times this season.

Ironmen, United Township Panthers battle for Regional soccer championship

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Oct 20, 2023

The 3-seed boys soccer team head back to East Moline tonight, taking on the 2-seed United Township on the Panthers’ home pitch with the Regional championship on the line. An Iron win would mean Community’s first Regional title since 2018.  That title, head coach Mr. Matt Chapman said earlier...

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Jaspers Java opens Oct. 14 at the corner of General Electric Rd. and Keaton Plaza in Bloomington.

Jasper’s Java serves coffee grounded in family

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Oct 13, 2023

Jasper’s Java isn’t the only coffee shop to call Bloomington-Normal home. It is, however, the only one committed to helping people and pets find homes of their own.  The business, which opens Oct. 14 following its one-week soft opening period, supports animal adoption through sales and human...

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Abby Ruebush takes a look at why Barbie will have a legacy that lasts beyond the films record breaking box office performance.
Photo Illustration: Brad Bovenkerk
Promotional Images // Warner Bros. Pictures

Why ‘Barbie’ was more than ‘Kenough’ [review]

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Sep 26, 2023

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Tell me how to get to Sesame Street

Tell me how to get to Sesame Street

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Sep 18, 2023

There’s an alternate universe where Community alum Paul Rudolph still spends his days surrounded by high school music students.  A universe where Rudolph (’84) conducts a classroom in Central Illinois, teaching teenagers to sight read, to play scales and chords, to march in formation.  That...

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New Faces of Normal

New Faces of Normal

A Q & A with 2023's new instructional, administrative and support staff members

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While Raksha Bandhan traditionally honors literal sisters and brothers, event participators tied rakhi around each others wrists as a more symbolic gesture of brotherhood and unity.

Raksha Bandhan celebration ties community together

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Sep 4, 2023

Ekal Helping Hands, the youth service branch of Bloomington’s Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation chapter, is focused on making a difference in the community. It brought that mission to Community in observation of Raksha Bandhan–a Hindu festival of brotherhood–on Aug. 30. Organized by Helping Hands’...

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At the 2023 Speech banquet, Ms. Jackie Zeman sat surrounded by the teams graduating seniors and the incoming head coach.
Photo Courtesy of:

Mic Drop!

Speech coach Ms. Jackie Zeman steps down
Abby Ruebush and Anna Dunne Aug 17, 2023

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Inkspill – ‘Community at Normal Community’ – Mr. Brad Bovenkerk [Ep. 8]

Inkspill – ‘Community at Normal Community’ – Mr. Brad Bovenkerk [Ep. 8]

Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai May 22, 2023

Welcome to “Inkspill,” a podcast where hosts Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai take turns inviting Community’s staff to “spill” on all things NCHS. In less time than it takes to finish a cup of tea, listen to our guests dish on piping hot topics. For our eighth and final “Inkspill” episode...

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Three children stand amid garbage at the Kutupaong refugee camp in Bangladesh.

A State of Crisis

Across two continents, students work to educate Rohingya children, refugees forced to flee their homes in Myanmar
Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief May 18, 2023

Three. Three children pictured amid a garbage-strewn field, wading in mud past their knees. Their hair, their skin, their clothes are covered in it. The picture, taken at a Bangladesh refugee camp on Sept. 29, 2022, provides only a snapshot of the issue. 773,000. The number of Rohingya—members...

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A reproduction of “Water Lilies” by French Impressionist Claude Monet, one of Gollapudi’s inspirations

A Portrait of Isha Gollapudi: Artist

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief May 18, 2023

The passage of time marked with penciled lines on the wall. Lines, drawn above children’s heads, climbing higher and higher with each passing year, with each growth spurt. Lines traced with a parent’s careful hand as a toddler, an elementary schooler, a teen waits. Lines etched with pencils, with...

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After piloting select exams digitally, the College Board is moving to all-digital testing by 2024. The digital exams, students said are easier to take, educators believe are Easier to administer.

Digital exams bring student-friendly changes to test experience

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief May 15, 2023

Community students from three Advanced Placement courses—English Literature, English Language and Computer Science Principles—took their AP exams digitally for the first time this May. The College Board offered digital exams for seven of its 38 AP subjects this year ahead of offering shorter,...

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Why Bruha doesn’t break

Why Bruha doesn’t break

Calling a spade a spade in the game of kings
Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief May 10, 2023

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Inkspill – ‘A Unicorn in the Classroom’: Navigating ‘double minority’ status – Mr. Chris Belt [Ep. 7]

Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai May 3, 2023

Welcome to the seventh episode of “Inkspill,” a podcast where hosts Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai take turns inviting Community’s staff to “spill” on all things NCHS. In less time than it takes to finish a cup of tea, listen to our guests dish on piping hot topics. This episode, Mr. Chris Belt,...

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Ali Ince lead the field during the first lap of the 800 meter race at the Arcadia Invite with a split of 1:00.396. 
MacKenzie Browne ultimately would edge Ince out for first-place at the elite high school meet.

Ali Ince reaches half-mile milestone in Arcadia

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Apr 20, 2023

Ali Ince bested her personal record in the 800 meter at the Arcadia Invite on Apr. 8, shaving .81 seconds off of her previous PR.  The meet is one of the nation’s most competitive high school track and field competitions, hosting elite athletes from across the country.  Over the last 56 years,...

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Inkspill – ‘A Special Recipe: Cultivating Growth’ – Ms. Erin Sanders [Ep. 6]

Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai Mar 21, 2023

Welcome to the sixth episode of “Inkspill,” a podcast where hosts Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai take turns inviting Community’s staff to “spill” on all things NCHS. In less time than it takes to finish a cup of tea, listen to our guests dish on piping hot topics. This episode, 18-year special...

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Inkspill – ‘Uno Reverse Card: No Singular Story’ – Mr. Ricky King [Ep.5]

Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai Feb 23, 2023

Mr. Ricky King, 2023 Bilingual Teacher of the Year recipient, spills on the ESL Department at Community.

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At the Hindu Temple of Bloomington-Normal, more than sixty people participated in the final day of this years Yogathon.

Yoga rekindles heart-healthy practices, spreads cultural awareness

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Feb 14, 2023

In 2020, 697,000 Americans died — not of COVID-19, but of heart disease. The leading cause of death in the U.S. every year for the last 70 years, heart disease remains an epidemic in itself. An epidemic that only worsened when heart disease fatalities increased by four percent in 2020 —  reversing...

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Sweet Spot: Volume Four

Sweet Spot: Volume Four

Crumbl Cookies’ Peppermint Cupcake cookie review
Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai Jan 5, 2023

The Sweet Spot puts desserts from eateries around town to the test, deciding whether they hit the spot or miss the mark. Two Inkspot staffers review each product based on taste, presentation and value - separating the savory sweets from the crummy confections. This week, Abby Ruebush and Avani...

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Inkspill Episode 4 – ‘A Sense of Empowerment’: Mr. Patrick Lawler[podcast]

Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai Jan 4, 2023
Welcome to the fourth episode of “Inkspill,” a podcast where hosts Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai take turns inviting Community’s staff to “spill” on all things NCHS. In less time than it takes to finish a cup of tea, listen to our guests dish on piping hot topics. This episode, Mr. Patrick Lawler, 17-year Community social studies teacher and 2021 Bloomington City Council candidate, spills on the importance of political involvement among high schoolers.
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Senior Spotlight 1/2: Mason Burns

Senior Spotlight 1/2: Mason Burns

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Jan 2, 2023

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Beyond State

Beyond State

Marching band's 'Beyond the Sea' goes beyond trophies in historic season
Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Dec 18, 2022

The Normal Marching Band (NMB) saw its most successful season since Community’s and West’s programs combined five years ago. The competitive co-op band earned first in Class 6A and second overall at the Illinois State Marching Band Championships on Oct. 22. At last season’s Championships, the...

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Senior Spotlight 12/12: Makenzie Albert

Senior Spotlight 12/12: Makenzie Albert

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Dec 12, 2022

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Senior Spotlight 12/5: Hannah Pendleton

[Video] Senior Spotlight 12/5: Hannah Pendleton

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Dec 8, 2022

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Inkspill Episode 3 – ‘Not Much Financial Cents’: Ms. Tara Pendleton [podcast]

Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai Nov 29, 2022
Welcome to the third episode of “Inkspill,” a podcast where hosts Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai take turns inviting Community’s staff to “spill” on all things NCHS. In less time than it takes to finish a cup of tea, listen to our guests dish on piping hot topics. This episode, Ms. Tara Pendleton spills on the enrichment activities she sponsors, Community's Future Business Leaders of America chapter and the Freshman Mentoring Program, and their impacts on students.
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Senior Spotlight 11/28: Ellen Wang

Senior Spotlight 11/28: Ellen Wang

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Nov 28, 2022

 

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Senior Spotlight 11/14: Megan Baker

Senior Spotlight 11/14: Megan Baker

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Nov 14, 2022

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Senior Spotlight 11/7: Ruth Oliveros-Gallardo

Senior Spotlight 11/7: Ruth Oliveros-Gallardo

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Nov 14, 2022

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Senior Spotlight 10/31: Hailey Hasty

Senior Spotlight 10/31: Hailey Hasty

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Nov 4, 2022

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Senior Spotlight 10/24: Kaylee Rinkenberger

Senior Spotlight 10/24: Kaylee Rinkenberger

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Nov 1, 2022

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Sweet Spot: Volume Three

Sweet Spot: Volume Three

Insomnia Cookies’ Glampire Loaded Brownie review
Abby Ruebush and Dylan Wehmeyer Oct 26, 2022

Each week, the Sweet Spot puts desserts from eateries around town to the test, deciding whether they hit the spot or miss the mark. Two Inkspot staffers review each product based on taste, presentation and value - separating the savory sweets from the crummy confections. This week, Abby Ruebush...

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Abby: Hit the spot

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Oct 26, 2022

The scariest thing to happen to me so far this spooky season?  Opening an unassuming Insomnia Cookies box to find a dessert alarmingly shrouded with shiny sprinkles and bloodlike red velvet frosting: the Glampire Loaded Brownie. The promotional images on Insomnia’s website, while relatively...

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Inkspill Episode 2 – ‘Pearls of Wisdom’: Mr. Mike Roller [podcast]

Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai Oct 24, 2022
Welcome to the second episode of “Inkspill,” a podcast where hosts Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai take turns inviting Community’s staff to “spill” on all things NCHS. In less time than it takes to finish a cup of tea, listen to our guests dish on piping hot topics. This episode Mr. Mike Roller spills on standardized testing.
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Senior Spotlight 10/17: Roselyn Hernandez

Senior Spotlight 10/17: Roselyn Hernandez

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Oct 24, 2022

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Senior Spotlight 10/10: Mary Degenhart

Senior Spotlight 10/10: Mary Degenhart

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Oct 17, 2022

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Inkspill Episode 1 – ‘LSD Every day’: Señora Mary Esther Baldwin [podcast]

Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai Oct 17, 2022
Welcome to “Inkspill,” a podcast where hosts Abby Ruebush and Avani Rai take turns inviting Community’s staff to “spill the tea” on all things NCHS. In less time than it takes to finish a cup of tea, listen to our guests dish on piping hot topics. This episode Señora Mary Esther Baldwin spills on how Community has changed over the years.
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Senior Spotlight 10/3: Maximo Lopez

Senior Spotlight 10/3: Maximo Lopez

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Oct 11, 2022

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Sweet Spot: Volume Two

Sweet Spot: Volume Two

Nothing Bundt Cakes' Pumpkin Spice Bundtlet review
Abby Ruebush and Mallory Thomison Oct 5, 2022

Each week, the Sweet Spot puts desserts from eateries around town to the test, deciding whether they hit the spot or miss the mark. Two Inkspot staffers review each product based on taste, presentation and value - separating the savory sweets from the crummy confections. This week, Abby Ruebush...

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Abby: Hit the spot

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Oct 5, 2022

From donuts to pie, cupcakes to ice cream, there’s no better way to get in the fall spirit than with a pumpkin-flavored dessert.  My expectations entering Nothing Bundt Cakes to sample their seasonal Pumpkin Spice Bundtlet for the first time?  High. I’ve enjoyed many of the bakery’s “bundtlets”...

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Abby Ruebush recaps the highlights of Homecoming week 2022 in this special edition of Spot Shorts.

Homecoming News Briefs

Homecoming week recap
Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Oct 4, 2022

Friday’s Homecoming football game and Saturday’s dance wrapped up a week of festivities. Read how Community celebrated Homecoming 2022 below.   Virtual assembly kicks off Homecoming week  The Homecoming assembly was held virtually after Sep. 23’s inclement weather forced the annual...

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Senior Spotlight 9/19: Emma Conover

Senior Spotlight 9/19: Emma Conover

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Sep 22, 2022

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News Briefs for Sep. 11 – Sep. 16

News Briefs for Sep. 11 – Sep. 16

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Sep 17, 2022

Seniors enjoy sunrise on half-day Members of the Class of 2023 gathered outside before dawn at the Senior Class Board-sponsored “Senior Sunrise” on Tuesday, eating donuts and watching the sunrise. The event, held in the staff parking lot, was a beginning-of-the-year twist on the annual...

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Senior Spotlight 9/12: Addy Weyrauch

Senior Spotlight 9/12: Addy Weyrauch

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Sep 15, 2022

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New Faces of Normal 2022-23

New Faces of Normal 2022-23

A Q & A with Community's nine new instructional staff members

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Senior Spotlight 9/5: Lauren Esposito

Senior Spotlight 9/5: Lauren Esposito

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Sep 7, 2022

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Senior Spotlight: a Q&A with Community’s Senior of the Week

Senior Spotlight: a Q&A with Community’s Senior of the Week

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Sep 6, 2022

Each week, Senior Class Board sponsors Mrs. Jennifer Kelly and Mrs. Megan Freymann randomly select one of Community's twelfth-graders to honor as "Senior of the Week" -- sharing out a few select facts about the upperclassmen on Monday's announcements. The Inkspot sat down with the selected seniors...

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Normal retirees teach global Community [video]

Retirees Mr. Kelly Keogh and Madame Laurel Litwiller have expanded their students' views of the world during their combined sixty plus years in social studies and foreign language education. Colleagues and students alike thank these inspiring teachers for their commitment to their school and global...

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10 years later, Hunger Games franchise still survives among die-hard fans

Changing the game

10 years later, Hunger Games franchise still survives among die-hard fans
Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Apr 11, 2022

Chaotic.  Dystopian.  Entertaining.  Every time Mr. Ricky King revisits the iconic Hunger Games franchise, these words fly into his head like one of Katniss Everdeen’s razor-sharp arrows. The Community ESL teacher first watched “The Hunger Games” as a high schooler in 2012, and the...

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Work hard, sleep harder

Work hard, sleep harder

March 14’s National Napping Day highlights the importance of consistent rest; Students prioritize earning As over catching Zs

Heavy eyelids. Throbbing headaches. Early mornings spent in a groggy haze. Sound familiar?  You may be among the seventy percent of American high schoolers who aren’t getting the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep on school nights.  Students at Community and across the country battle...

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By the numbers: Girls basketball v. Bloomington Raiders [video]

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Nov 23, 2021

With a win tonight, the 3-0 girls basketball team can claim the Intercity title outright. See how the team stacks up against the Bloomington Raiders.

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By the numbers: Boys basketball v. Central Catholic Saints [video]

Abby Ruebush and Kelsey Knight Nov 19, 2021
The boys basketball team opens their season against Central Catholic in the Intercity tournament. Take a look at how the two teams ended their seasons last year.
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Governor Pritzker’s high school mental health legislation goes into effect in January - Community students and staff share their thoughts and reactions.

Students, staff react to new mental health law

Abby Ruebush, Editor-in-Chief Nov 16, 2021

Illinois students may take five excused “mental health days” under a law effective in January, prompting conflicting reactions at Community. In August, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1577, allowing students ages seven to 17 to “make up any school work missed” during their five mental-...

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