What’s recently happened?
Bishop Noll Institute has had the Speech and Debate Team for eight years, and it hasn’t stopped growing in members and trophies.
Kevin Burgun has been the sponsor since 2015 when the old principal decided to add new academic competition teams. He had never considered doing it before, but he liked a challenge and took it on.
Burgun likes that students are able to grow their confidence while doing speech.
The Speech and Debate Team has been in multiple competitions and tournaments this year, and along with those wins, the team has acquired many trophies to bring back to the school.
There are about 10 or more possible events in each commotion. A few examples are radio broadcasting and discussion. Each event is different and has its own unique requirements.
For example one event may require planning ahead and preparing while in another you only go in with your brain.
There have been 36 students that participated in at least one competition while 40 kids have been going to the meetings and practices.
Even if the season may be almost over, the goal is always the same: each student is better in March than they were in October.
What’s coming up?
Bishop Noll Institute believes that giving and helping others is important in life. This is one of the many reasons why the National Honor Society holds blood drives.
There are four blood drives that happen throughout each school year. They happen in the beginning of the school year, fall, late winter and in the spring. The third one is going to happen on February 7, 2023.
Students and teachers are able to sign up during student resource time or during lunch time.
The process is very specific and has to meet certain criteria such as being 16 years or older. Kids are able to sign up, and they are told how to prepare for the special day.
The goal of the blood drive is for the donation slots to be fully booked and to have extra people just in case. By meeting the goals, the donations will help save peoples lives. For example, one donation can save up to three people. There is a blood storage so there is a need for blood especially for type O which is the universal blood type.
The National Honor Society Blood Drive chairman is Senior Gino Delli Colli and co-chairman is Junior Guadalupe Aguado.
Delli Colli is involved by going around the school promoting the upcoming blood drives and also coordinating the event. He gives the rules for the fellow National Honor Society members to do at the blood drives to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
Aguado also has a role as Colli’s right hand. Her main responsibility is to get as many people as she possibly can to sign up.
Delli Colli's main goal for the blood drive is to have it fully booked, and he also wants new people to donate blood if they can. He believes that when they get new people to donate blood then they have successfully promoted the blood drive and reached new people.
“Doing the blood drive has impacted Bishop Noll Institute in many ways," Delli Colli said. "Having these blood drives helps us see the importance of donating blood. When you donate, you get a sense of joy, but you are also doing our call to help others as Catholics. It is our duty to help others in the name of Christ”.
Mariann Laird is a teacher who has been at Bishop Noll Institute since 2014 and is someone who has helped others while also learning new things.
Laird grew up in a small town in Illinois and attended Mendota Township High School. She went to Lewis University for her undergraduate degree and later went to Northern Illinois University for her teaching certificate.
She started teaching at Bishop Noll Institute nine years ago, and she has been teaching freshman English ever since. She teaches honors and college preparatory courses. Laird enjoys working with freshmen because they are a fun group.
Laird is currently planning to finish the writing unit and to move into another one which is play and novel. In the play and novel unit, the students will read “Romeo and Juliet” while also acting out parts of the play. In the end, they will watch the movie as a class.
English isn’t the only thing that Laird is part of. She has sponsored things like the KPop Dance Club, the Writing Club, and also helped organize the Writing Center at the school. At this moment, she is sponsoring the National Honor Society.
Laird believes that students are not just students but good teachers as well. She has grown and learned with her students. Her students have taught her patience, kindness, and understanding. They have also taught her how to look at different problems and issues from all perspectives, to consider all viewpoints. Overall, she feels that they have made her a better teacher.
Larid's goal even since she was a teacher has been that the students learn that their voices are important.
“I hope that my students learn how to write essays and analyze stories,” said Laird. “Moreover, I hope that they learn the importance of their own voices, that they are valuable in this world, and that there are always solutions to the problems that they face."
Soledad Castellanos is one of the many students at Bishop Noll Institute who is ready to help other people while also challenging themselves to grow.
Castellanos is in school activities like Biology Club, Women Empowerment, National Honor Society, soccer, and volleyball. She has also been a counselor at the STEM Camp that Bishop Noll Institute holds every year.
In the 2022-2023 school year she made the decision to join the Speech and Debate Team. At first, she was scared since she thought that it was just talking in front of people. But after a couple friends joined and realized that it wasn’t just talking in front of people, things got less scary.
Being in Speech and Debate has helped Castellanos in many ways.
“I have learned to be more professional and confident in myself and character,” she said. “In the speech and debate world, you have to dress business-like, and in my opinion, dressing the part makes you feel the part. Think of it like dressing as a politician or lawyer; it makes me feel like president Barbie. Discussion has especially helped me with putting my thoughts into organized points, widening my vocabulary, and identifying and connecting and building upon other parts of the discussion.”
For her senior year, Castellanos plans to accomplish many things. She wants to continue to play soccer while also being more active in the clubs she is in. She wants to play a bigger role within Women's Empowerment and possibly have a role of being a National Honor Society officer.
She believes that, in order to accomplish her goals, she has to be more outspoken while also working hard in the classes, sports, and clubs that she is involved in. She plans to be responsible in all of her academics and extracurricular activities which ties into stopping procrastination.
Castellanos plans to attend college for Speech and Language Pathology and possibly minor in American Sign Language. She is considering the possibility of humanitarian work with UNICEF and teaching sign language.