Lee jumps into new adventure

Ms. Lori Lee, one of the most dedicated physical education teachers, will be leaving Heritage High School. Lee has worked here for over 18 years, and both of her children have attended and graduated from Heritage as well.

Lee teaches rock climbing, swimming, health and cardio. She has coached basketball, volleyball, golf, tennis and cross country as well as organizing the Liberty Bell cross country meet for 13 years.

Although she taught elementary school and joined the military, Lee is adamant that teaching at Heritage has been the highlight of her career, especially being in charge of the Liberty Bell and making sure everything runs smoothly.

“I find her always striving to do the right thing. She doesn’t slack and there’s always something to do in her classes. I will miss her when she leaves and it will be a big loss to Heritage,” states Isaac Reaves ’19, a student in Lee’s advisory.

Lee loves her job because it allows her to develop new relationships with hundreds of students. It also keeps her young and allows her to share her passion: physical fitness.

“I love sharing a message of physical fitness and its importance to lifelong physical and mental health. I hope to convey just how impactful it is on daily life as well as its prevention of illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes,” says Lee.

Lee tries to be approachable to both students and staff and helps students succeed in her class. She strives to be involved in her students’ lives and assist them in achieving their goals.

One of her favorite memories is when she almost fell into the pool but was able to catch herself, her gradebook falling in instead. Her classroom is always focused, but it’s also important to Lee to include fun and silliness into her curriculum.

Her plans after retirement include working out, traveling and volunteering with her church. Her husband is retiring at the same time, allowing them to spend much more time together.

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Zolle looks forward to adventures in retirement

After many years of teaching at Heritage, Lisa Zolle will be one of the teachers who will retire at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. Her legacy has reached far across many faculty, students, and alumni who have been a part of Heritage.

Taylor Nossaman ‘18, reflects on how Zolle impacted her high school career.

“Having Ms. Zolle for AP Seminar allowed me to develop as a writer. She always made sure we understood the task before us, even if it meant going word for word through the rubric. Ms. Zolle has impacted Heritage by setting a precedent as the first AP Capstone teacher.”

Before teaching AP Seminar, Zolle was the AP Biology teacher at Heritage. In both classes she strived to helped her students achieve success not solely on the exam, but on the lessons and purpose of the courses themselves. Hannah McDaniel ‘15 comments on how Zolle impacted her when she was in her AP Biology class.

“I felt like Mrs. Zolle prepared us really well for AP Biology and for the test, and she made each unit interesting. She also acted as a mentor for me throughout the college application process, and helped encourage me to stay on the pre-med track.” McDaniel says.

As for her future plans, Zolle discusses how she plans to spend her retirement by being involved in her passion.

“I want to do some travelling, but I am also looking forward to teaching part time at the zoo. They have education programs for preschool up to college age. I want to do the travelling through National Geographic, and they are going to get the best stories and the best pictures so I think that would make for the best adventures.”

Zolle’s involvement in Heritage has not just been in the science classes that she has taught, but in many other fields at the school. She is a part of the Leadership Alliance Committee and Community Relations, to name a few.

Zolle has truly spread her influence and talent into all aspects of the Heritage community, and her presence in the school as a colleague, teacher and mentor will be missed.

Zolle helps a student prepare for the AP Seminar exam. Zolle has taught AP Capstone courses as well as AP Biology while at Heritage.

Zolle helps a student prepare for the AP Seminar exam. Zolle has taught AP Capstone courses as well as AP Biology while at Heritage.

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Lawson leaves with a full heart

After spending 14 years at Heritage, Mrs. Laronda Lawson is deciding what comes next, as well as reflecting on the close relationships she got to build with students.

Lawson formerly taught at Euclid Middle School, where students would always ask her if she was going to come to high school with them. When the position at Heritage opened up, she took the opportunity, since she’d never worked at a high school before. It gave her the chance to get even closer with students.

“It’s the students. It’s the relationships that I build and watching them grow from the moment they walk in the door as freshmen to the moment they graduate,” says Lawson.

As for after-retirement plans, Lawson is leaving her options pretty open as for future employment, but she looks forward to plenty of traveling.

“My sister lives in Honolulu and I haven’t been there in 11 years, so I think it’s time. I think I’m going to try to take a trip this fall somewhere. I’d like to do Europe but I haven’t figured it out yet. But I am planning on working again,” adds Lawson.

Molly Callison ’18 is thankful for Lawson’s positive presence at Heritage. Callison believes that Lawson makes Heritage a safe and loving place, plus she has great insight on the college search process.

“She’s been helpful to me on both the social front and the academic front. She helped me map out my high school career so I’d be the most successful and has dealt with the life problems I’ve brought to her in a caring yet professional manner. I think that Mrs. Lawson has made an impact on Heritage in the genuine kindness she shows in the hallways. She always says hello and calls people by name and it makes me, for one, feel seen
and cared for,” says Callison.

Lawson poses in her office with hearts from students.

Lawson poses in her office with hearts from students.

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Frau Mitchell retires after 30 years of teaching

 Mrs. Robin Mitchell, more known as Frau by her students, has been teaching for 30 years. She started out at Euclid Middle School as a French teacher, then she taught a night class at Arapahoe Community College when her children were little. She then arrived at Heritage and has been the loved German teacher for 24 years.

  When reminiscing on her years at Heritage, she remembers one day in particular.

  “With a fourth year class a couple of years ago, we did this book activity… Kids in class wrote pairs of reproaches and excuses and then we took them apart and we grabbed one of the ‘why were you not there’ questions and paired it with an excuse, and they were hilarious. I almost fell on the floor laughing. We were laughing so hard that teachers asked me later, ‘What were you laughing about during class?’ It was sweet,” she tells.

  Like many students, Abigail Armstrong ’19 who has been in German for three years, is downcast about Frau leaving.

  “I’ll miss all of Frau’s stories and the way she made time every day to talk with us,” says Armstrong.

  Students are so grateful for all she has done teaching us German and about life.

  Frau has mixed feelings about leaving.

  “I am looking forward to having time to do things that I can’t do now but also, I am really going to miss people here,” she says.

  The bittersweet time of Frau leaving is impactful for her and all of her students. Her plan is to see her grandchildren in California more and take care of her parents.

  One thing Frau always tell her students is how excited she is for us to meet our new teacher.

  “I can’t say enough good things about her… I have no regret about what’s going to happen to the German students here at Heritage. I will miss them but the program is going to be strong and healthy,” Frau says.

  She is very excited and faithful about the future.

  “I am conflicted, I mean I know intellectually I’m walking out and not coming back, but I know I’m also walking into something new,” she says.


Robin Mitchell, known as Frau, is retiring after 30 years of teaching, 24 being at Heritage. She will miss all of her students and peers, but is excited for what is to come.

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Ms. Baca Retires

Baca helps her students during one of her math classes.

Baca helps her students during one of her math classes.

Among Heritage’s large and talented teaching staff is Ms. Baca, a math teacher and former coach. After 23 years at Heritage, and 33 years teaching, she is retiring.

“I want to retire while I still like teaching. I want to see what else is out there. I’ve essentially been in school since I was 5,” jokes Baca.

Her many years of teaching have certainly paid off, giving her lots of experience.
“I liked having her as a teacher. I feel like I learned a lot in her class,” comments Benny Spiegel-Chen ’18.

While she does still enjoy teaching, she does not want to teach long enough to potentially wear down that enjoyment. Baca also has plans for after retirement.

“I’m going to spend time with family. I want to do lots of travelling and play lots of golf,” says Baca.

That being said, Baca still thinks she’ll miss Heritage.

“I’ll miss the people, students and staff. I want to keep in touch with people here. Working with students is my favorite part.    You get so many personalities, and it’s fun to interact with them. It keeps me young,” says Baca.

She won’t miss everything about teaching at Heritage, however.

“I certainly won’t miss getting up early,” she jokes.

Ms. Baca had a significant impact while at Heritage, and now it’s time to wave her goodbye, and wish her good luck in her future endeavors.

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Real world teachings- Personal Finance

Personal financing. It is a crucial role of “adulting” and here at Heritage High, we offer a personal financing class.
“This class was super helpful to be able to fully understand budgeting, so in the long term I can be able to set real and attainable goals for budgeting,” says Calista Bannik ’18.

This class is structured to be hands on and all about learning experiences.

“The units that we cover include: goal writing, career development, paychecks, banking, credit and identity theft, insurance needs and housing and renting costs.  Students also track their spending for three weeks, plan a vacation for a week with all costs involved, compare housing costs of various living situations and look at costs of renting an apartment and furnishing that apartment,” says Barbara Bolen, Practical Arts teacher.

“I remember when we did this project on planning a trip. We received a certain amount of money as a budget, and it was actually really hard to find an airline, rental car, and hotel under the budget,” says Bannik ’18.

Students need to know how to set real obtainable budgets before they get out of high school. This class is aimed to open the eyes of high schoolers and help to prepare for life’s journey.
“I want students to become better consumers in their financial life. This is truly a life skill class,” says Bolen, Practical Arts teacher.

“Start saving at a young age and try to have as little debt as possible. Financial planning is not hard. People make it hard,” says Bolen on a few tips for students to keep in mind as they become more financially responsible. 

Personal Finance

Mrs. Bolen teaches her class life lessons that they all will need. The students who take this class feel like they grow more knowledgeable of the real world.

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Students prepare for the holiday season

Heritage students have many unique ways to celebrate the holidays. As winter break nears, students eagerly await their holiday traditions, from latkes to egg wreaths.

Ellie Fajer ’19 bakes latkes with her family every year. Latkes are fried potato pancakes and also a traditional Jewish food for Hanukkah.

“Normally my mom makes the majority of them and the rest of us help, but it can be awful when you just continuously get burnt by splattering oil. We all eat them a lot though,” says Fajer.

Another student who happens to be a big fan of winter holidays is Owen Haley ’18. He celebrates Christmas Eve with Thai food, and Christmas Day with several varieties of lasagna, including meat, vegetarian and alfredo. The Haley family also participates in a less well-known holiday: The Burns Supper.

“The holiday takes place on January 25 and celebrates the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns. The evening consists of poetry reading, kilt wearing, and eating traditional Scottish foods and whiskey―but not for the kids,” says Haley.

Caitlin Hearty ’18 joins in on quite a few Christmas traditions, with both sides of her family. She spends Christmas Eve at her grandparents and extended family, doing a Secret Santa gift exchange that they call “Kris Kringle.”

“After that, we get our stockings that my grandma knits for everyone. Then, we go home and read an Irish “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.’ On Christmas Day, my other side of the family plays a big football game,” says Hearty.

Bryce Bonner ’19 has a family tradition that originated in the 1930’s, starting with the cookie cutters that his grandmother used ever since she was a little girl.

“When my mother had my brother and me, my grandmother gave these cookie cutters to her. We use them every year to make my wonderful grandmother’s gingerbread cookie recipe,” says Bonner.

Kristen Sholes ’17 and her family celebrate the holiday season with a white elephant gift exchange that has a few added quirks.

“Basically you find the weirdest thing you can for under $5. Some of the weird things have been in the family forever. We always have a wreath made out of eggs that gets passed around,” says Sholes.

Although there are many different traditions and practices, each is unique and meaningful in its own way.


From latkes and lasagna to cookies and kooky gifts, holiday traditions bring families together in unique ways.


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AP Computer Science Beckons the Future

Computer Science is one of the fastest growing fields as well as one of the highest paying jobs you can get with a college degree. A class that supplements an interest in this field is AP Computer Science, taught by Mr. Rudolph, Science teacher and Department Co- Chair.

“The goal is to teach the fundamentals of programming of Computer Science. The language we teach is Java, so students by the end of this class should have a basic understanding of Java,” Rudolph states.

Java is an extremely useful programming tool. It can be used for websites such as Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Ebay. Java is also run on the majority of the Fortune 250’s websites due to its security, proven infrastructure and its flexibility. This means it can run on any machine regardless of its architecture.

Rudolph states that Computer Science also helps facilitate a methodical approach to the solving of problems, not only in just programming but in life as well. When something happens it is best to evaluate the situation and act accordingly.

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, from 2014 to 2024 there is to be an expected 14% growth in the number of jobs in the field. This would be an increase of around 488,500 new jobs. In total the overall sector would go from around 3.9 million to 4.4 million within that time frame. Although it may seem small, that growth is pretty big in terms of a growing jobs sector. According to Pay Scale, Computer Science is the fourth highest master’s degree major by salary potential, the average early career pay is around 89,000 dollars, and mid-career pays an average of 127,000 dollars.

“I would pursue a career in Computer Science…I really enjoy coding.” says Kate Harrison ’18, who is currently in the class.

Jobs available in the Computer Science field would include software applications developers, computer systems analysts or even web page designers.

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Hofschire runs marathon

Mr. Hofschire used to live in Chicago and had a friend named Jack Penny who ran in the Chicago Marathon.  Hofschire went to go watch his friend, and he saw over a million people watching the runners. It was so inspiring for Hofschire just to watch his friend run in the Chicago Marathon that he decided to run marathons. Hofschire’s first marathon was in 2000 and now runs several marathons each year.

Hofschire trains over the summer.

“It’s fun to train in the fall because the weather is nice but around the school time I don’t get that much time to train due to work,” Mr. Hofschire says.

He especially likes to run in marathons that raise money for charity events. He ran a race to raise money for kids who have diabetes.  Most important thing to him is finishing a race because then he feels so accomplished and proud that he did a good thing.

Although Hofschire knows other teachers at Heritage who run marathons like Ms.Bolen, he only talks with them about the marathons but  has not ever ran a race with them.

Ms.Bolen says, “I don’t know Mr. Hofschire that well but I definitely would like to  race with him even though I might lose.”

Mrs. Richards works with Mr.Hofschire during fourth hour.

“Mr.Hofschire likes to run a lot, I know that and sometimes he likes to run up in the mountains and I would definitely run with him as long as he would go easy on me,” says Mrs. Richards. “He’s a very kind man and a wonderful teacher to work with,” Mrs. Richards says proudly.

His record was just under three and half hours and he has ran 13 marathons and plans to run more over the years. Mr. Hofschire ran in the Marine Corps Marathon and finished with a time of 3:33:46. He has also ran in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with a time of 4:33:48.

Running is a big part of Mr. Hofschire life and it keeps him in shape and healthy.

“I kinda need something to look forward to and to train for, ” Mr. Hofschire says. “It really is a big part of something that I do each year and I really enjoy it.”

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Sports medicine students gaining hands-on experience

Returning this year, the Sports Medicine class at Heritage focuses on prevention and care of athletic injuries. Each student completes 15 hours in the training room and three athletic events to have a hands on experience with athletic training.

“The purpose of the class is for students to see what a medical profession does with prevention and care for athletic injuries,” says Mr. Chad Hanson, Physical education teacher and sports medicine teacher.

Rhiannon Oberto, Heritage athletic trainer demonstrates the ultra sound machine for the athletic training class.

Rhiannon Oberto, Heritage Athletic Trainer demonstrates the ultra sound machine for the athletic training class.

The class is divided into six different units that focus on the main parts of athletic training. Starting off the year, the first unit, Terms, Assessments and Legal Prudence, covers different jobs in the medical field and how to stay out of court. The second unit the class studies is head, neck and spine injuries. The next unit is ankle functionality. Currently, the class is focusing on the knee and mechanisms of the knee.

“My favorite part of the class so far is the knee injury project where students present their findings in the prevention and care of different knee injuries,” says Hanson.

Along with the class time, students complete 15 hours in the athletic training room observing and assisting with athlete care. 

“My favorite part is being able to learn sports medicine in the class and in the training room and at a game,”says Ellen Best ’16.
The class will be offered to students who have completed Health, have an acceptable GPA and have proven to be responsible students. See Mr. Hanson for more information.

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