Springfield High School

This I Believe: I Believe in Car Stereos

Feb 26, 2021
Madeline Sievers midshot
Beatrice Bonner / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

I believe in car stereos. The stereo may be seen as a flashy accessory for an otherwise necessary means of transportation. But I believe a car stereo is the most important feature of the car. It is the heart of all socialization. Whether a touch-screen or good old-fashioned buttons, this modern music box is something of a magic trick. 

This I Believe: I Believe the Cookie Monster Had it Right

Feb 25, 2021
Elizabeth Scherschel midshot
Beatrice Bonner / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

Chocolate chip. Pizzelle. Oatmeal raisin. Jan hagel. Shortbread. Camachile. Gingerbread. Stroopwafel. Coconut. Peanut butter. Nearly everyone likes a cookie, regardless of background, identity, or politics; thus, cookies can help bridge the gaps we’ve created in our communities. I believe cookies can bring us together.

This I Believe: I Believe in Thread

Feb 17, 2021
Frankie Kulavic midshot
Beatrice Bonner / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

A small, fragile piece of thread is what I believe. A piece of thread that is often overlooked. I believe in a piece of thread that has been intertwined in my life for a multitude of years. From using it in my kindergarten art class to using it to hang a German project my sophomore year of high school. From stitching on my very first merit badge on my sash to stitching my Eagle Scout badge on my scout uniform, I deeply understand the importance of a simple, thin piece of thread in my life. It was not until recently that I understood the importance of thread in my life. 

This I Believe: Handwriting

Feb 16, 2021
Leeza Zavelsky midshot
Beatrice Bonner / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

For over four years, I have walked away from Compass for Kids, where I volunteer weekly, with a warm-hearted feeling  truly inexplicable. Throughout this time, I have built unbreakable bonds with many of my students, and thus have gained access to the most intimate aspects of their personalities. Different from other elementary students, in the short amount of time the Compass Kids have been alive, food insecurity, physical/mental abuse, and many other situations that most adults will never face have monopolized their lives. 

This I Believe: Biriyani and Back-biting

Feb 15, 2021
Fatina Faizel midshot
Beatrice Bonner / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

If there’s anything I’ve learned in the 17 years I’ve been alive, it’s that the Brown community loves spice. I’m not just talking about the cardamom in your plate of biriyani or the cumin in your chicken tikka masala.  I’m talking about the kind of spice you can get by eavesdropping on the aunties after the Friday prayer, chatting about whose daughter was wearing what or that they spotted someone’s son alone with a girl at the movies. The kind of spice you could fill volumes of tabloid magazines with. 

This I Believe: Chalk

Feb 17, 2020
Jatin Dhamrait midshot
Beatrice Bonner / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

Chalk is what I believe in; I believe in the dusty, white, annoyingly porous material that nearly every teacher despises. Chalk has been intertwined in my life for a multitude of years, from laying on the ground near the street to understanding Java code in the classroom, I have grown to fully appreciate the importance of chalk as an analogy for life. 

Killjoy: Is Gameplay Okay In The Age Of Massacres?

Aug 1, 2018

At Springfield High School, Ethan Doyle is an honors student, a member of the baseball team, the investment club, and an elite student group known as Superintendent’s Roundtable. But perhaps his most notable accomplishment came during the spring of his sophomore year, when he assassinated more of his classmates than anybody else.

This I Believe: Superheroes Are Real

Feb 16, 2017
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

We all need a hero. A hero is someone that we hold in high esteem, whether it be because they have superhuman strength or make us feel like superhumans with their kind words. 

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This I Believe: The Art Of Tree Hugging

Feb 13, 2017
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Soil coats my hands and a sun beats down on me. I've spent hours now in the September sun. My pants are covered in mud and I can feel the sunburn start to develop on my shoulders, but as I look back it all seems worth it. Over a hundred piles of turned up earth resides on damp ground. It may not look like much now, but in a decade these trees will tower over our property in a massive forest of powerful oaks.


Jacksonville High School sports teams will likely continue seeing red.

An advisory committee found little interest in changing the teams' "Crimsons" nickname.

But the (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports  the group suggests developing a standardized "J'' on jerseys and clothing.

Committee chairman Craig Albers says no one suggested dropping "Crimsons" but modifying it with "Knights" or other mascot-suitable character.

Thanks to all who took the time to participate in the NPR Illinois Advisory Convening.  K-12 funding was the main topic the group discussed.  Listen to the unedited, raw audio to hear how it progressed.  It has been posted in two parts to make file size manageable.  View the slide show of the participants above.

Dusty Rhodes / WUIS

If you’ve got a kid in school, chances are you’ve got a handbook with a long list of rules and expectations. But data suggests that, in many schools, enforcement may be unequal, with black students getting more disciplinary actions than white students.

“If you’re an African American male, you’re going to get targeted at Springfield High, regardless. You can be a person who’s into school; they still gonna watch you.”

Courtesy of Gwen Harrison

Ted Harrison is proud that his son, Malik, plays football for Eastern Illinois University on a full scholarship. But ask Harrison about his son’s history of concussions, and he’s not sure he knows the exact number. He thinks the first one occurred during an afternoon practice early in Malik’s playing career at Springfield High School.

The Harrisons weren't notified by the coaching staff.

“We were alerted by Malik," Harrison says. 

Anti-Bullying Policy Becomes More Inclusive

Jul 21, 2015

A nationwide survey recently published found that Illinois school districts typically don’t mention gay, lesbian and transgender students in their anti-bullying policies.

Stella Cole



Tess Peterson Headshot
Rachel Lattimore / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

I love to travel.  At 17, I have visited more than 40 states. I have been to Canada and Mexico, and this past summer I visited China.  One of the most exciting days of my life was the day I received my passport.

This I Believe: In Deadlines

Feb 18, 2015
Jillian Cole headshot
Rachel Lattimore / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Imagine everyone could live forever - never aging, never worrying about having time to do the things we envision because we have limitless years. However, such a life is impossible. Humans are not made to last. 

This I Believe: The Power Of Trying

Feb 16, 2015
Aron Suszko headshot
Rachel Lattimore / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

I have always believed in something that few seem to grasp. Something that you wouldn’t expect. I believe in trying. Not success, not failure but simply trying. The power of trying does not make itself very apparent because there are too many people (myself included) that aren’t brave enough to step up to the challenge. When I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, I felt the world had dealt me a losing hand, and there was nothing that I could do. I slogged through life for the longest time, content that my fate of failure was sealed.

This I Believe: Great Sacrifices Give Great Rewards

Feb 24, 2014
Pauline with headphones
Dan LaGrasso / NPR Illinois

 It is July 31st. I am standing in an airport far away from here. I turn around for the last time and see my parents and three sisters waving goodbye with tears running down their faces. I have not cried a single tear today. I think the tears are all gone. I cried enough yesterday. I am way too excited to cry anyway. Today it is finally going to happen. I have been waiting for this moment for almost two years. I believe that this year is going to be worth it.

Sharing Meals

Feb 26, 2013
Elaina Conley-Keck - Springfield High School
Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues



Feb 22, 2013
Vlada Gudzenko
WUIS/Illinois Issues


Create Your Future

Feb 25, 2012
Mariah Pattie - Springfield High School
Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues


Always an American

Feb 24, 2012
Amena Tayyab - Springfield High School
Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues


I was born and raised in Springfield, IL and categorize myself as an American Muslim; always have, always will. Some, however, forget I have the same basic rights, memories and needs as every American. We have all experienced the aftermath of 9/11, but as an American Muslim living in a post 9/11 world, my experiences have differed greatly.

The Trouble with "Troubled"

Feb 21, 2012
Olivia Rosen - Springfield High School
Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues


"Wakaru" - To Understand

Feb 20, 2012
Maggie Cornelius - Springfield High School
Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues


“We’re going to drive to the football game at nine tonight,” I said to Ayumi, explaining our plans for the evening.

She cocked her head and gave me a quizzical look.

I tried again. “At nine o’clock, we will drive to the football game.”

She shook her head. Wakarimasen. I don’t understand.

I paused, rephrasing the sentence in my mind. “Tonight, at nine o’clock, we will go to the football game.”

Wakarimasu! She understood. “Oh! Okay,” Ayumi said. “I am happy!”

Anything Boys Can Do

Feb 19, 2012
Mackenzie McDermott headshot
Randy Eccles / WUIS - Illinois Issues

THIS I BELIEVE - I was only five when I came home from kindergarten with an American Youth Football League flyer, begging my parents to sign me up. They didn’t hesitate. There were never “boy” things or “girl” things in my house. There were just things. This was how it worked in my family where my father was in the kitchen cooking while my mother was in the living room screaming at the football game. Plopping down next to my mom on the couch with my over-sized Packer’s jersey seemed like the most natural thing in the world.

On the Death of My Father

Feb 17, 2012
Ally M Perko - Springfield High School
Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues


"Breaking Barriers"

Feb 25, 2011
Molly Ducker - Springfield High School
Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues

There are walls among us. Walls can protect us by surrounding or discourage us by dividing. There is a wall among us that not only discourages but also destroys human beings with the sole intention of division. This infamous wall runs through Texas, California, and Arizona along the Mexican border. I do not believe in this sort of division. I have been in the midst of discrimination at its worst and witnessed firsthand how beautiful it is when people come together. Therefore, I believe in walls to encompass people of every ethnicity, heritage, and culture; walls to bring outsiders in. 

More Moores

Feb 23, 2011
Virginia Moore - Springfield High School
WUIS/Illinois Issues

For the longest time we were known to everyone as the Brady Bunch. That all changed when John Paul came along. He threw the whole thing off! Ever since I can remember, my family has been growing, and yes, I’m talking about my immediate family: the Moore family. My earliest memories of a small, normal-sized family are when it was only me, Mom, Dad, Cordelia and Jimmy, moving to Springfield from Virginia and the five of us waiting on Joey to enter our lives. It has been fourteen years since then, with Joey being followed by Josh, Maria and, lastly John Paul.

Question Everything

Feb 21, 2011
Hannah Kolkmeier - Springfield High School
WUIS/Illinois Issues

 My 17 years of life have taught me that the world is a complicated place. The cultures that exist across the globe are vastly diverse and it seems people are quicker to disagree than agree with each other. In a world littered with conflict, I believe in the power of debate as a tool to bring about change. I believe that the world cannot advance without constant questioning of our actions.  And isn’t that what we all want? To leave the world in a better state than when we entered it? I know I do. I desire a better world, one without genocide and poverty, corruption and war.