Principal's Blog #6

September 22, 2023

Big picture

Message from Dr. Taylor

Dear Mustang Families,

A sweet surprise for our Jazz Orchestra and Honors Jazz Ensemble came this week thanks to Mr. Sturgeon and Mr. Shelato. They brought in Tito Carillo to teach our students this morning. It was a fantastic way to end the week! See pictures below. Also, take a moment to learn about our October upcoming events, including Parent Teacher Conferences.

Happy Friday! Go Mustangs~

Dr. Alexandria Rios Taylor

Principal, Mundelein High School

847-949-2200 x1257

Tito Carrillo Jazz Clinics!

We were honored to have both Jazz Ensembles receive clinics from Tito Carillo today! They were two of the most educationally relevant and thoughtful clinics I have witnessed in years. We look forward to inviting him back soon!

Tito Carillo Jazz Clinic at MHS


Sept 28 Fall Cookout

Sept 28 Universidad de Padres

Sept 28 Building Tour

Sept 29 Star Testing - Reading

Oct 6 Late Start

Oct 9 No School

Oct 10 Choices Fair

Oct 11 PSAT/NMSQT Testing

Oct 19/20 Parent/Teacher Conferences

Upcoming Events

Theme Thursday

No Theme Thursday this week. See you next week!

Universidad de Padres

La primera sesión de La Universidad de Padres se celebrará este próximo 28 de septiembre en la cafetería de la escuela, de 6pm a 8pm. Para más información, puede comunicarse con Hector Gonzalez al (847) 949-2200, ext. 1269 o vea este video.
Invitacion a La Universidad de Padres de Mundelein High School

Star Testing September 29th

All MHS students will take the reading and math STAR assessments this fall. The STAR assessments are designed to provide valuable insights into your students’ proficiency in these subjects, assisting us in determining the support and enrichment required for their academic success. We will administer the STAR reading assessment on Friday, September 28th. We will follow a special schedule on this Friday, which includes a 40-minute testing window between first and second periods.

There is no need for your student to prepare for the STAR assessment. These assessments are designed to measure their current skill levels, and there are no specific materials or study guides required. Students will take the STAR reading and math assessments in September and then again in April. This allows us to track their growth and progress in these subjects over the course of the school year.

Computer Adaptive Testing:

The STAR assessments are computer-adaptive, which means that the difficulty level of the questions adjusts based on your student’s responses. This individualized approach ensures a more accurate and personalized assessment experience and results.

STAR Reading

The STAR Reading assessment evaluates your student’s reading comprehension and skills across various domains, including word knowledge, comprehension strategies, analysis of literary text, analysis of argument, and evaluation of text.

Score Reporting

After the assessments are completed, scores will be emailed to both students and families. It is important to note that these scores are just one data point among many that we use to ensure students have the support and resources they need to succeed at MHS.

Your support in helping us gather valuable data to enhance your student's educational journey is greatly appreciated. Please emphasize the importance of your student's serious effort on these tests, as accurate scores are crucial for us to determine the necessary steps for achieving academic success.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the STAR assessments, please feel free to reach out to Dr. Taylor, Building Principal (, or Mr. Lerner, Math Department Chair (, at any time.

PSAT / NMSQT Testing - October 11

On Wednesday, October 11, 2023, MHS will be participating in PSAT/NMSQT testing or participating in an E-Learning Day.

  • Class of 2027 (Freshman) - participating in an e-learning day (remain at home and follow e-learning instructions)

  • Class of 2026 (Sophomores) -report to campus for practice SAT exam in the morning. Participate in e-learning in the afternoon.

  • Class of 2025 (Juniors) - report to campus for PSAT / NMSQT. Participate in e-learning in the afternoon.

  • Class of 2024 (Seniors) - participating in an e-learning day (remain at home and follow e-learning instructions)

The PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) will be administered free of charge. All Class of 2025 students, or the entire junior class, will automatically be registered for this exam. Students will not need to do anything special in order to take this exam. The PSAT/NMSQT will be approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes long.

In addition, ALL Class of 2026, or the entire sophomore class, will take a practice SAT exam on Khan Academy. This exam is to provide students with a practice exam to provide areas of focus for the school year. All students in the Class of 2025 and 2026 are required to attend these exams at MHS during the morning. See tentative schedule below. After the exam, students will be released to go home for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, October 11 Schedule

  • 8:30 am - Room Check in

  • 8:40 am - Exam begins

  • Approximately 11:00 am - Exam ends*

  • 11:15 am - Buses leave

  • Rest of the day - Asynchronous course work to be completed

*Students with testing accommodations will receive a separate letter with accommodations and schedule adjustments.

Lunch will be available for students before they leave after the exam or if the exam is scheduled into the afternoon.

The PSAT/NMSQT exam and Practice SAT exam will be delivered digitally - Class of 2025 & 2026 students MUST bring their fully charged chromebooks to school for this exam. This format will be used for all spring testing in April, so this is a good trail run for students and staff to participate in prior to April.

  • Students may bring a calculator for this exam, however, there is an online calculator for students to use.

  • Students are able to highlight text.

  • Students may eliminate responses when choosing their answer.

  • The digital exam is shorter with only 98 questions total.

Students and parents were sent testing information Thursday morning, August, 24, 2023.

The PSAT/NMSQT is a multiple-choice assessment of verbal, mathematics and writing skills. The digital version is an adaptive test which means the exam will begin to deliver questions based on the students’ responses. There are several benefits to taking this exam. First, this is a great exposure to the SAT exam structure which all 11th grade students will take in April this school year. This will allow MHS to decide what math and English topics should be reviewed prior to the April SAT. In addition, top-performing juniors nationally may be eligible for money through National Merit, National Achievement, or National Hispanic Scholarship funds. This is a great opportunity for students to possibly obtain National Merit recognition and scholarship money.

To learn more about the PSAT/NMSQT, visit For questions, please contact

Big picture

Interested in space travel or conducting science experiments in space? Here is an opportunity for you!

Higher Orbits is a non-profit with the mission of promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); along with leadership, teamwork, and communication through the use of spaceflight. Mankind’s journey into space serves as an ideal launchpad to excite students of all ages about STEM/STEAM and working to fulfill their dreams and ambitions while also building teamwork, leadership, and communication skills.

  • Date: October 7th & 8th

  • Time: 8am – 6pm

  • Where: TMA 1651 Wilkening Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173

  • Register/More information/Flyers: HERE

  • Go For Launch delivers a multi-day, in-person, truly out of this world experience to 8th - 12th grade students leveraging spaceflight and space exploration as the launchpad for students to develop and strengthen their skills in STEM, teamwork, communication, research design, and leadership.

  • Go For Launch! students work side-by-side with an astronaut for the entire event -learning, growing, and developing the life-long skills that create a successful, meaningful future.

  • The culminating exercise is an experiment design project. The teams will present their ideas to a panel of judges from the Space & STEM fields, who will then choose a winner from each Go For Launch! event. Depending on the Series, winning experiments will be launched to and conducted aboard the International Space Station or on a suborbital flight!

  • Visit to learn more about this program.

  • Videos to check out for more insights: HERE

Career Pathways

The College of Lake County is pleased to once again offer an opportunity for high school students (grades 9-12) to learn about a Career Pathway through Apprenticeships. Attached are the registration form and photo release form that students need to complete in order to register for one session of the Manufacturing Career Pathways program offered by CLC on October 17-18-19. Follow this LINK for registration and photo release forms.

There are 70 slots available. Students will receive a $50 stipend. Students will need transportation to and from the session site. MHS will assist with transportation if necessary - please contact Mr. Kapotas in the CCRC.

Deadline to register is Thursday, October 6th but space is reserved on a first come-first served basis.

Students can attend only one session, but they can select a second (2) or third (3) choice in case their first choice is filled. Most sessions will have 10-15 students max since they will be in labs.

Here are the programs and dates:

  • Automation, Robotics, Mechatronics (ARM) - Thursday, October 19th (Grayslake campus)
  • HVAC - Tuesday, October 17th (Grayslake campus)
  • Precision Machining Technology (PMT), formerly CNC - Thursday, Oct. 19th (Grayslake campus)
  • Industrial Technology (INT), Wednesday, Oct 18th (Advanced Technology Center - Gurnee)
  • Welding (WFT) - Thursday, Oct. 19th (Advanced Technology Center - Gurnee)

All sessions will be offered from 4:30 -5:30 PM.

Please follow the links below for more information about the 5 different areas:

Big picture
Big picture


Fall College Field Trips and College Applications are in full swing in AVID. This semester, they are headed to Northwestern, UIC, Marquette, UWM, Loyola University Chicago, and Northeastern. Mundelein High School's AVID program prepares students for success in high school, college, and careers. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination and focuses on developing skills in writing, inquiry, organization, reading, and collaboration. The program targets students in the academic middle who have the desire and determination to go to college and the willingness to work hard. AVID students take an AVID elective class that provides them with the support they need to succeed in rigorous high school coursework. They learn strategies for taking notes, managing time, critical thinking, and goal setting. AVID also provides tutoring, college visits, and other enrichment to ensure students are on track for college and career success. The AVID program gives students the tools, encouragement, and support system they need to accomplish their dreams. Stay tuned for updates about our AMAZING senior class and the goals that they accomplish this year!

Coaches Corner - Girls Golf

Submitted by Coach Kuhn

The Lady Mustang Golfers competed in the North Suburban Conference Invite Monday, 9/18. Senior Kate Niemann & Junior Audrey Smith were the leading scorers for the Varsity squad, while Senior Mia Field shot her personal best to earn a 10th place medal in the JV Invite. Mia was also honored by the North Suburban coaches with the Sportsmanship Award.

Coaches Corner - Cheerleading

Submitted by Coach Newsom

The MHS Cheerleading program hosted two clinics last week in support of Community Night! We had over 100 K-8th graders attend our clinic and perform our community night half time routine with us. It was so fun to bring together future Mustangs for a night of celebrating our community!

Big picture

Coaches Corner - Girls Volleyball

Submitted by Coach Willis

The win against Waukegan last week moved the Mustang Volleyball program to 1st in the North Suburban Conference rankings, and another win this past Monday against Wauconda brought Varsity’s winning streak to 9! What an exciting ride this has been!

Our JV team went undefeated at the Round Lake quad on Monday and our Sophomores went 5-3 in pool play at the Fremd tournament this past Saturday. Great play at all levels!

Next week we are at Wheeling on Monday, September 25, at Warren on Wednesday, the 27th, and at HOME against Vernon Hills on Thursday the 28th. Let’s go, Mustang

Big picture

Coaches Corner - Boys Soccer

Submitted by Coach Falinski

The Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team extends their conference win streak to 3 games after defeating a very difficult Warren team.

Big picture

Coaches Corner - Boys Cross Country

Submitted by Coach Rutz

Another Great Day To Be A Mustang Saturday at the Bill Dawson Warren Invite. Our F/S squad started the day off with a great performance, taking 2nd out of 21 teams. Elijah Mendoza, Izic Miller, and Nathan McCreight led the team taking 2nd, 4th, and 6th overall out of over 250 runners. Nathaniel Mendez and Andrew Weaver finished the scoring by taking 26th and 27th, but we had a lot of other PRs as well. At the bottom of this entry I will post everyone's times, and their improvement over their previous best. The varsity race went better than expected, as we took 9th out of 21 teams with several of our best runners down at the F/S level. Alberto Diaz led the way in 14th place, followed by Tom Russ in 26th (despite being under the weather), Logan Ramirez in 71st, Nick Schwenk in 79th, and Ethan Moy in 95th. Boys team swept the competition Tuesday at Lake Forest. This puts us at 5-0 for the season, and sets up a showdown with undefeated Stevenson October 3rd at Libertyville.

Big picture

Coaches Corner - Girls Cross Country

Submitted by Coach Rodriguez

After a team pasta party last Friday night, this group was fueled and ready to smash their previous times today at Warren! 16/17 had either a lifetime or season best! Overall there were 13 lifetime bests + 3 season & course bests! So proud of the continued growth!

Fun with Theme Thursday Adam Sandler Day and our annual Friday Funday Scavenger Hunt! Love seeing these runners bond through post-workout and post-run silliness!

This week’s Runner of the Week: SR Alicia Fontenla! Alicia joins us as an exchange student from Spain! In just a few weeks running XC, she has made such a positive impact! Great attitude, hard worker, & dropping time every meet, going sub 23 last Saturday! Felicitaciones, Alicia!

Big picture

Student Spotlight - We Are MHS!

Each week we will feature a student, staff member or department at our school (Or all three at once), to give Mustang Nation a closer look at these wonderful folks! “We are MHS”! To nominate yourself or others for this feature, please email Mr. Gonzalez –
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

The Mundelein Foundation is seeking new members! Do you have one night a month to make a difference? Contact Jennifer for more information on how you can have some fun helping the next generation: 847-987-7955 or

About Mundelein High School

The 2023-24 MHS School Profile is now available. This document is utilized by colleges as they review our students’ applications, so the information is specifically directed to that audience.

English | Spanish


Our MHS Portrait of a Learner tenets affirm student identity through schoolwide values, expectations and practices.

District Communications

We have created a new Facebook page for Mundelein High School District 120 - please visit us on our new page. Please be sure to follow us on our new page, share the page with friends and “like” our page as well. We’re so glad to have you as part of our Mustang community.

Student Supports

MHS has many supports to offer students. Students can access a quick-reference guide of all supports available on this page. Available is everything from social-emotional support, to financial support. Check it out!

Click here to see all the student support areas we have to offer.

Monthly Building Tours

We are proud to host visitors to learn more about our programming and facilities. In order to minimize the impact on the educational environment, we have chosen to host visitors on select days throughout the school year.

Therefore, to secure a visitation time, please select from the following options so we are able to provide the necessary information and personnel during your visit.

Click here to schedule your tour.



Regular school attendance is required and necessary to develop the academic and intrapersonal skills needed for success. Students are expected to attend each class and be on time. Students who attend school regularly have been shown to achieve at higher levels than students who do not have regular attendance.

If your student is going to be absent from school, please call the Attendance Line 847-949-2200 ext. 1998 (Spanish) ext. 1999 (English) by 10:00 am.

Bus Notifications

Would you like to know when your student’s bus is going to be late? For Mundelein bus routes, Lakeside Transportation is using the Bus Bulletin notification system to notify parents and students when there are bus delays and schedule changes. For more information, or to sign-up and start receiving notifications, please visit: (Find Mundelein Area Schools when prompted for a district) *Note - This is managed by Lakeside Bus Company and not MHS.

Dress Code

Although we take great pride in a dress code that encourages self-expression, we do want to remind students of our student dress code policy as found in our student handbook.

  • Clothing must cover all undergarments (waistbands and straps excluded).
  • Fabric covering all private parts must not be seen through.
  • Clothing that depicts, advertises or advocates the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other controlled substances is prohibited.
  • Clothing that depicts pornography, nudity or sexual acts is prohibited.


With the increased enrollment in recent years, we have been unable to provide a locker for every student at MHS. Since many students do not use a locker, we are assigning lockers to students upon request. Please click here to request a locker.

Technology Use

Students will utilize technology to support their learning in class. Students are reminded to use their Chromebooks and cell phones appropriately at all times. For further information about technology use, please refer to the student handbook located on the District web page.