GCHS Clubs: There’s One For Everyone

Alexandra de la Mora, Opinion Editor

Central has impacted many students’ lives throughout their high school careers. The impact many students feel comes directly from Central’s wide variety of athletics, which have an impressive and victorious history. However, there is much more available to students than sports that can help them connect with the Ramily.

Grayslake Central has between 40 to 50 clubs that all meet up before or after school throughout the school week. There are seven different categories that each club is organized into. There are pilot, leadership, social, honor societies, multicultural, art, and competitive clubs that students can take part in to expand their knowledge, creativity, and independence before leaving Central.

To get a club up and running there must be a student or a staff member interested in an idea for a club. Once they get enough students or a staff member who is willing to be a part of the club they are then marked as a pilot club. Although pilot clubs do run
like normal clubs, it is more of a test run to get a feel if the pilot will have the opportunity to become an official club in the following school year.

“There’s the business component of clubs that students don’t think about, like, how much is it going to cost to run the club? Can we pay an adult to run the club? Then there’s also that financial piece of making an account so they can fundraise,” Dianna Repp Central’s Activity Director said. Once the pilot club gets enough popularity and the school can financially run the club, the following school year the club will be identified as a real club and put into one of the other six categories.

The financial literacy club is a new pilot
club that have come to Central in 2023. (Photo provided by Teach Hub)

Repp shared what each category brings to the students who participate within them. “Leadership clubs are where students are learning to become leaders and how to use their leadership skills within the building and in the community,” such as student council who plan and run school-wide events like school dances. “We have social clubs where it’s purely just within the school with people that have a shared interest,” like Best Buddies who are dedicated to providing opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities by creating one-on-one friendships by participating in fun activities.

Best Buddies colorful logo represents
the close bond members share. (Photo provided by GCHS Best Buddies)

There are also honor societies where students have opportunities to complete service hours for high school and college that help many build their communication skills. Multicultural clubs help students not only to get closer to their own cultural backgrounds but for others to learn about the world around them and the people within the Grayslake community. Clubs for the arts dedicate their time and energy, such as Central’s literary and art magazine Inkblots, to bring out the creative side of Central.

“They’re amazing when it comes to their own expression. They’re able to do things that you would not expect them to be able to do in the classroom. A lot of students who submit writing works don’t really like to write for their English classes, but they really have something to say in other ways like poetry” Rush said. “Art is important. It’s something that brings beauty into our lives.
We shouldn’t always be thinking about things that are for something in particular,” Rush said. She hopes after her retirement as an English teacher here at Central, the next Inkblots sponsor will have just as much fun and connections with the students as she has.

Inkblots members gather weekly dedicate their time to publish the
student body’s art and literary accomplishments. (Photo by Alexandra de la Mora)

Lastly, Grayslake Central has 11 competitive clubs which have a season competing against other
schools and just like the sports team here at Central, these competitive clubs can go to regionals, sectionals, state, and even nationals. One of these clubs is Central’s Academic team, also known as
Quiz Bowl, meeting every Tuesday for their practices that consist of questions from a variety of different subject matters including, mathematics, history, English literature, foreign languages, the
Bible, sports, and popular trends. Then almost every Wednesday they have their competitions at various locations within Central’s conference schools that are essentially formatted like the game Jeopardy, testing each team’s knowledge on the given subject with buzzers to chime in with their answers.

Freshman from left to right Will Sylces, Oliver Blenniss, and Brenna Heydysch wait patiently for their practice question. (Photo by Alexandra de la Mora)

Sponsor Robert Engebretson, Grayslake Central’s German teacher, said “it’s important to show off the talent that we have. Not just physical talent, but the intellectual talent that we have at school here. If you’re the kind of person who likes to play Trivial Pursuit or showing off your knowledge, then you would really enjoy this club. You’ll start to see the same people all the time and you’ll start to build a rapport with them that expands your friend network.”

Left to right Freshman Julia Arroid, and Seniors Keegan Brown, Robot Postal getting ready to answer their questions by using buzzers to chime in. (Photo by Alexandra de la Mora)

These clubs and events within them will have students here at Central to find their connection
to the building through other students and even staff members to get to know them outside the curriculum. Dianna really enjoys seeing the different passions from the student body and even staff members that form strong relationships which helps everyone to be able to grow and learn together. “I want students to take out life skills and passions that they’ll continue to have after high school,” Dianna finishes.