• September 26Choir Concert Oct. 11 from 7-9 p.m.

  • September 26DGS Football VS Leyden Oct. 5 from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

  • September 26Underclassmen Photos Oct. 5

Issue 1

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Barbara Collins

More stories from Barbara Collins

Issue 5
May 18, 2018
Sydney Hall

More stories from Sydney Hall

Issue 5
May 18, 2018
Elizabeth Rose Szpytek

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Katie Anthony

More stories from Katie Anthony

Issue 5
May 18, 2018
Jayna Bardahl

More stories from Jayna Bardahl

Natalie Casas

More stories from Natalie Casas

Calvin Herion

More stories from Calvin Herion

Vince Vena,

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Emmanuelle Copeland

More stories from Emmanuelle Copeland

Andrea Davenport

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Rhaya Truman

More stories from Rhaya Truman

Sarah Major

More stories from Sarah Major

Jonah Ocuto

More stories from Jonah Ocuto

May 18, 2018
May 18, 2018
Kendall Brost

More stories from Kendall Brost

Issue 5
May 18, 2018
Lindsay Valero

More stories from Lindsay Valero

May 18, 2018
May 18, 2018
Vince Vena,

More stories from Vince Vena

Srushti Desai

More stories from Srushti Desai

Donte Reed

More stories from Donte Reed

Issue 5
May 18, 2018
Jhenevie Oca

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About the Writers
Barbara Collins, Online Co-Editor-in-Chief

Barbara Collins is a senior at DGS. This year she is one of the online co-editor-in-chief of the Blueprint.

Collins enjoys being a captain of the DGS girls varsity tennis team, and has played on the team for four years. She is involved in Earth Action Club, P.E Leading and National Honors Society.

Collins keeps herself busy with schoolwork; this year she is enrolled in AP Statistics, Calculus BC and AP Environmental Science. When she isn’t at school or playing tennis, you can find Collins studying, watching trashy reality TV shows or hanging out with her friends.

Collins is considering pursuing a major in business and communications. Currently, she hopes to attend University of Michigan or University of Washington.

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Sydney Hall, Online News Editor

Sydney Hall is a senior at DGS. She is an Online News Editor for the 2017-2018 Blueprint newspaper. Hall is involved in various clubs at DGS such as Superfans and ACE and hopes to join more throughout her senior year at DGS. After high school, she plans to continue her education at college by majoring in journalism/communications.

Hall has been playing softball for about 11 years now and has been involved in the DGS softball program since her freshmen year. In the fall and summer, she enjoys playing travel softball for the Wheatland Spikes. She hopes to one day continue her softball career at the collegiate level.

Outside of school, Hall likes to spend time with friends and family. Her favorite artists are Chance the Rapper and Logic because of their unique sound, positive messages, and their ability to use music as a platform to talk about important topics in today’s society.

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Elizabeth Rose Szpytek, Online Opinions Editor

Elizabeth Rose Szpytek (they/them/theirs or she/her/hers) is a senior at Downers Grove South, and—for reasons still unknown—oversees the online opinions section for the Blueprint. Szpytek, a self-described “genderqueer woman,” is passionate about fighting the cissexism, transmisogyny and sexism that is ingrained into our society. She is a youth leader at Transcend, a trans youth group in Naperville. They also participate in their high school’s peer-tutoring program.

Their free time is mostly spent annoying old geezers at stoplights by blasting bad pop punk out her car’s speakers and writing (as well as perpetually editing) short stories. Szpytek tries to alleviate the infinite monotony of suburbia by escaping into film, video games and podcasts. 

They aspire to have a stable career in something although exactly what is unclear. Just not math.

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Katie Anthony, Print News Editor

Katie Anthony is a senior at DGS and the Print News Editor for the Blueprint during the 2017-2018 school year. Within DGS Anthony has been a part of the JV girls golf team, Mustangs Aware and Athletes Committed to Excellence.

 Anthony is also a part of the National Honor Society and enjoys volunteering at Feed My Starving Children and participating in mission trips every summer through Group Mission Trips.

 Outside of DGS, Anthony is a member of the Hinsdale Hospital Junior Board, in which she volunteers in and around Hinsdale Hospital. Anthony works as a secretary for a realty office on weekends and a nanny during the week. Currently, Anthony is planning to study Journalism and Public Relations at Loyola University Chicago following high school.

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Jayna Bardahl, Print Co-Editor-in-Chief

Jayna Bardahl is a senior at DGS and one of the Print Editors-In-Chief for the Blueprint. During the 2016-2017 year Bardahl worked as the Print News Editor on the Blueprint staff. She is also involved in the varsity cheerleading team, ACE club, English peer tutors, and P.E. leaders.

In 2017 Bardahl was awarded first place for front page layout by IJEA and also placed fourth in yearbook double page layout at the IHSA Sectional Journalism Tournament.

Bardahl plans on attending a Big 10 University for college and hopes to pursue a major in journalism or something with communications.

Her favorite place to be is in the city of Chicago. Her favorite season is fall because of her love for Friday night football games. In her free time she enjoys Netflix, listening to her favorite music and spending time with her friends and family.

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Natalie Casas, Online Entertainment Editor

Natalie Casas is a senior at DGS and is the Online Entertainment Editor for the Blueprint. She has been a member for the past two years and hopes to end with a bang!

In past years, she had been on the Speech Team, Masque & Gavel, Swim Team and Radio Club. With the experiences with public speaking, several english classes along the way, she hopes to have a career utilizing the tools she has gained.

Through it all, she continues to fill her pleasure of music in her everyday life. She was in band for five years and choir for three years. She also writes poetry, reads articles, exercises, works at her job, watches youtube and keeps herself up to date with what is going on in the world.

Casas plans to attend College of DuPage for two years. Then attend Columbia in Chicago for Multi-media Journalism and Broadcasting. While in school, she aims to do as many internships as possible. She is willing to go the extra mile to gain knowledge and lead herself toward her dream career, as a Reporter/TV talk show host.

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Calvin Herion, Online Sports Editor

Calvin Herion is a senior and a member of Peer Leaders,  Law Club and National Honor Society.  Herion is the online sports editor and this is his first year on the Blueprint staff. He enjoys writing and reading, so he is hoping to study journalism in college or write novels for a living. Although his future remains uncertain, Herion plans on at least attending the College of DuPage.

When not focused on school, Herion is hanging out with brothers. Beau is a sophomore at DGS, and Brock is at college. Herion enjoys playing video games, watching hockey and eating Taco Bell.  Herion prefers older video games like “Mario Kart: Double Dash!!” and “Super Smash Bros. Melee.” However,  playing “Fortnite” is enjoyable too.  He is also a avid Disney, “Star Wars,”  “Harry Potter,” “Pokémon,”  “The Office” and “Friends” fan. 

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Vince Vena, Copy Editor

Vince Vena is a senior at DGS and a Copy Editor for the Blueprint. He has been a member of the Marching Mustangs for four years. Vince has played Trombone for the past three seasons but for his last season,  he became a member of the DGS Drumline and currently plays Bass Drum.  

Vince avidly follows politics and has been the Vice President of Politics Club for two years. He has been an Election Judge in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election at his precinct’s polling place. He has also been representative for his class’s candidate in the 2016 DGS Mock Election. He plans to study Political Science in the future will be attending the University of Mississippi

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Emmanuelle Copeland, Print Features Editor

Emmanuelle Copeland is a senior at DGS. Over the past four years, she has been committed to both the arts and sciences.

Copeland is the vice-president of her school’s masque and gavel. Copeland is also the head of the hair/makeup/costume crew for productions done at DGS.

Although she is dedicated to the performing arts, she is also a competitive artist in the visual arts. Copeland has been accredited to various competitions. In the last year, Copeland has won best-in-show at the General Exhibition of the Illinois High School Art Exhibition. Most notably Copeland is a national gold medalist with an American Vision Award.

Copeland is also the secretary of her school’s research club, currently working on a research project with Louis University to develop a photocatalytic nanocomposite water filter. She is also on the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and remains a politically active community member.

She was also a member of the 2018 State Champion journalism team.

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Andrea Davenport, Print Co-Editor-in-Chief

Andrea Davenport is a senior at DGS and is the Print Co-Editor-in-Chief. This is her second year as a member of the DGS Blueprint staff; however, she was a freelance writer for the paper her sophomore year and the Print Opinions Editor her junior year. As the Print Opinions Editor her first year on the Blueprint staff, Davenport won multiple awards at three different journalism competitions.

Looking to be an English teacher in the future, Davenport’s top choice of college is Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

In the summer of 2017, Davenport was selected, one of only 16, to attend the IPF Journalism workshop hosted at Eastern Illinois University. The following summer, she was selected and named the Distinguished Young Woman of Downers Grove, representing her town in a scholarship program– one of only 11 participants out of 110 applicants.

Davenport enjoys blogging, writing short fiction and participating in both club and DGS varsity gymnastics. In February of 2017, Davenport advanced to the IHSA State competition in Palatine, placing number nine on the balance beam and number 18 on the floor exercise.

In her free time, when she is not at gymnastics or doing homework, Davenport enjoys baking, eating, blogging about the food she baked and watching her favorite television shows and movies: “Downton Abbey,” “Reign,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Grease” and “Spotlight.”

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Rhaya Truman, Managing Editor

Rhaya Truman is a senior at DGS and is the Managing Editor for the Blueprint. She has participated in basketball and dance in her DGS years and is currently a member of the Speech team. She is involved in many organizations, for example, Kpop club,  Peer Tutors, Speech, Mustang Way Leaders and the Communications Officer for the Student Council Executive Board.

Her favorite things to do are go to concerts, shopping and traveling. She has not narrowed down her main college but is greatly interested in San Diego State University, University of Arizona and Arizona State Univesity. She wants to major in Media, Journalism or Communications related concepts.

Truman received an honorable mention for her first print in depth piece at NISPA and multiple awards for her reviews. She was also a state qualifier in review writing and placed 3rd at her sectional. She was a member of the 2018 Blueprint state winning team.

Truman has an obsession with 90’s culture and lives “the retro way” in order to fill her void of not being born in the best era of all time. Some of her favorite recent artists are Tyler, The Creator, Logic and J. Cole, which all contain the vintage vibes her old soul craves. 

She wants to be fluent in at least three languages in her life and travel to multiple countries. She lives her life in aesthetics and has a secret love for interior design. She believes if she does not win the senior elective for best dressed, her high school career was not worth it. Her favorite show is the Get Down, she has a pretty cool record collection, loves meeting new people and treats life like a never ending good book.


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Sarah Major, Print Co-Editor-in-Chief

Sarah Major is a senior and works as a Print Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Blueprint. During the 2016-17 school year, she was the Print Features Editor for the Blueprint. Major won first place at the IJEA awards and an honorable mention award at NISPA for her spread on the DGS athletic code.

She has played on the DGS softball team since her freshman year and plays travel softball for Bombers Fastpitch Illinois. Major also manages the DGS football team in the summer and fall. Throughout high school, she has been involved in ACE, Mad Dash and National Honors Society.

In her tiny amount of free time, she enjoys blogging, re-watching Grey’s Anatomy, bullet journaling, scrolling through her feed on Pinterest and adventuring with her boyfriend. When she graduates, Major plans to play college softball and major in psychology. 

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Jonah Ocuto, Video News Director

Jonah Ocuto is a senior at DGS and the Video News Director for the Blueprint. He has been a member of the Drama Club for four years and is going into his third year with the Speech team. Ocuto loves movies and theater, and he wants to go to college to study acting and journalism.

Ocuto placed 2nd in Dramatic Duet Acting at the IHSA State Speech Tournament and has also placed top 15 and top 30 respectively at the national level for Prose Reading and Expository Speaking. He has received multiple IJEA awards for his review writing, and placed 4th in Headline Writing at the IHSA State Journalism Tournament.

One of his life goals is to travel to New Zealand to visit the set of the Shire from Lord of the Rings. His favorite movie is “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and his favorite TV shows are “Game of Thrones” and “Twin Peaks.”

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Kendall Brost, Online Entertainment Editor

Kendall Brost is a senior at DGS and is the online entertainment editor. She was also selected to be in Mad Dash, Mustang Way, Blue Crew and P.E Leading. Additionally, Brost has her own radio show that she runs and the community tunes into every week.

Brost is involved in soccer both outside and inside of school and was captain freshman and sophomore year. Outside of school Brost really enjoys hanging out with her friends and listening to music. After high school she wants to major in Journalism and Media Studies to later become a Sports Broadcaster.

Her favorite movie is “Silver Linings Playbook” and she is a big fan of hockey and baseball. Brost’s favorite foods are boneless honey barbecue wings, brownies and peaches. One of her goals in the next year is to start her own blog and write about her life and give advice.

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Lindsay Valero, Photo Editor/Co-Video Editor

Lindsay Valero is a senior at DGS. She is a Photo Editor and Co-Video Editor for Blueprint.

Valero is involved in various clubs and activities at DGS: Superfans, ACE, softball, Blue Crew, Photo Club, Peer Tutors, Spanish Honors Society and National Honors Society. This year she plans on joining Steppers and becoming involved in a beginner’s play.

When she’s not busy with schoolwork, she enjoys taking photographs and videos, hiking, playing softball and spending time with friends and family.

Valero is currently in the process of applying to colleges, hoping to attend the University of Colorado Boulder. She does not have a set plan on what she wants to major in; however, she is leaning towards communications and business. She aspires to live a life full of travel, videography, volunteer work and fun.

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Srushti Desai, Print Co-Editor-in-Chief

Srushti Desai is a senior at DGS and one of the Co-Editor-in-Chiefs for Blueprint. She enjoys playing sports such as badminton and soccer. Desai has been on the DGS badminton team since her freshman year, and wants to play this year in hopes of having a full circle high-school experience.

Desai enjoys spending her freetime helping others by doing community service, and is currently a volunteer at the Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. She also helps people at school by being involved in many clubs and activities: Peer Leaders, Mad Dash, student council and math tutoring.

She plans on getting a biomedical or computer engineering degree as she moves on from high school. Desai hopes to achieve this goal keeping these colleges in mind: Bradley University, Marquette University and Purdue University.

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Donte Reed, Print Sports Editor

Donte Reed is a senior at DGS and is in his first year as a member of the Blueprint Staff. He is a member of the varsity co-ed cheerleading and boys varsity gymnastics teams.

Outside of school he is a member of the Delayed Entry Program for the United States Marine Corps, and he is planning on making a career out of being a Avionics Technician  Officer in the Marines.

Reed thrives in leadership positions as captain of the boys gymnastics team, and as a leader at his Marine recruiting station. As someone willing to enlist in the US Marines, he is not someone to shy away from a challenge and takes adversity head on.

Above all else Reed’s personality is what makes him unique. He is a fun loving individual whomst’d’ve loves meeting new people and interacting with persons from all walks of life and ideological beliefs.

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Jhenevie Oca, Photo Editor

Jhenevie Oca is a senior at DGS and works as a Photo Editor for this year’s Blueprint. She has a passion for art and has taken five courses of photography at DGS. In the future, she hopes to do photography on the side while pursuing a main career in nursing.

Her goal is to become an amazing ER nurse and then eventually a NICU nurse. She is also a part of Peer Tutors and National Technical Honor Society at DGS. In her free time, she enjoys spending a ridiculous amount of time watching TV–usually “The 100,” “Chuck,” “The Night Shift,” or “Masterchef Junior”–and also eating a ridiculous amount of food. Anything really, food is food. All with the company of family and friends.

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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School
Issue 1