LSC recognizes Hollywood actor Rodney To and announces updates to CIWP at September meeting


Megan Mesikapp

Members of Lane’s baseball program stand up to be honored with a resolution for recent success at the September LSC meeting.

By Megan Mesikapp, Editor-In-Chief

The weapon detection system that appeared at Door M Aug. 29 to Sept. 9 may be making a return and might eventually be found at all doors. 

In the first meeting since the start of the school year, the Local School Council (LSC) met on Sept. 15 to discuss all events that have taken place at Lane since the start of the school year, including everything from homecoming to the new piloting of the weapon detection system. 

There was a total of four resolutions given and an announcement from the Alumni Association sharing that $25,000 was raised for teacher grants, as well as the long-awaited Fritz Pollard Day in Chicago which will be Oct. 1.



After winning the City Championship in the Chicago Public League, members from Lane’s baseball team proceeded to become summer state champions. The team was led to victory under the guidance of Head Coach Sean Freeman.

“In his sixth season as head coach, Sean Freeman was named a Chicago Public League’s 2021-22 Coach of the year and leading his team to his first City Championship … played at Wrigley Field,” said Parent Representative and Vice Chairperson Benjamin Wong.

Freeman and two players received resolutions for their achievements. First was Josh Katz, a current senior who threw 114 pitches for a complete game at the baseball city championship. Katz is committed to the University of Pennsylvania where he will continue his athletic and academic career. 

“Josh was a winning pitcher [who] secured a 2-1 victory over Brooks College Prep. He finished the season with a 5-0 record, pitching 40.1 innings, and having this year’s ERA as 0.868,” Wong said. 

Joseph Perona, a catcher and outfielder who graduated last year, was recognized next, as one of the top base stealers and outfielders in the CPL last year.

“One of the best base stealers in the City of Chicago Public League 2022, Joseph led Lane Tech with 34 steals out of 35 attempts. His batting average was .320, and he was second on the team with 33 hits. He was a speedy starting center as a senior and starting captain as a junior. Joseph was a 4-year veteran with basketball and baseball. He is currently playing college baseball at North Park University,” Wong said.

Rodney To, a 1991 Lane alum, was also given a resolution. To is a Hollywood actor who has been in a variety of shows, such as “Parks and Recreation” and “Modern Family.” He has also worked with Hollywood stars like Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd. 

Virtually calling into the meeting, To reflected on his time at Lane.

“From start to finish I had an amazing time at Lane. Lane is a large school as you all know, but anyone who knows that I went there is like ‘oh my gosh, is it daunting?’ For those of you who went to Lane, by the time you finish at Lane it felt really intimate. My friends to this day are rooted at Lane. Lane employed and encouraged diversity,” To said. 

To also commended Lane’s theater program. The program puts on four main stage productions a year, there are four levels of drama, and they also have seasonal improv shows.
To gave a word of advice to Lane students in the program. 

“Number one, I would have to say work your tail off. The reality of this is this is a very daunting life and occupation. Quite frankly it requires a lot of work and maintenance. Also surround yourself with people who celebrate you regardless of where you are at in your career,” To said.


Principal Report

Principal Thompson announced updates to the Continuous Improvement Work Plan (CIWP). Lane’s new “Champions Hour” falls under the CIWP and is being piloted right now every other Wednesday at Lane. The period, held during every other advisory, aims for students to have the opportunity to work on homework, and starting soon students will also be able to meet virtually with their teachers as an opportunity to be retaught topics as needed.

Thompson also went over the new security measures within Lane. She explained the safety pilot for the new weapon detection system at Door M during the second and third weeks of school could potentially replace all of Lane’s old metal detectors. The new systems were sent back to the manufacturers to work out why they were detecting phone magnets, which lengthened the wait time to get in the building. 

Thompson also announced that if they are successful in fixing the problem, the district will be purchasing the new weapon detection system to be stationed at all of Lane’s entrances.

Thompson stated that the three additional security hires at Lane have officially been paid for by the district.

Additionally, the staff at Lane are working on differentiating instruction by giving teachers choices in the ways they would like to teach their curriculum. This is being done by teachers in their course teams picking their topic of choice to teach. 

To close out her report, Thompson thanked everyone involved in making Homecoming a success, and mentioned possible changes to it in the future, including the possibility of opening up another gym to host students and increase capacity. 


Professional Personnel Leadership Committee, PPLC Report

Rebecca Daly reported that she and Mario Nunez are still the teacher representatives and part of the PPLC. There are seven positions total for the PPLC and there are five teachers who are interested in rejoining, according to Daly. She expects an election next week. 

Daly also stated that there will be continuous work done to the “Champions Hour” to make sure it is well messaged, received and understood for staff and students, with its goal of limiting the need for teachers to stay in their classrooms before and after school. 


Friends of Lane Report

The FOL representative started by thanking all volunteers and staff who stayed from morning until night to put Homecoming together. 

She also mentioned that Lane keeping homecoming on site does have limitations for capacity, but it allows for the event to be student-driven. Homecoming being on campus means Lane students can completely come up with the theme and decoration ideas for Homecoming, and Friends of Lane assists them from there. 


Student Report

Student Representatives Sean Groh and Dalya Lessem Elnecave spoke for students. They brought up Homecoming and its success along with Spirit Week and the Pep Rally. 

They mentioned the Writing Center is now open for its sixth year and readily available for all students and that Lane’s first production of the year, “Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic,” will take place on Oct. 13. They closed by congratulating Lane’s fall sports teams on recent victories. 


Alumni Association

The president of the Alumni Association, Michelle Weiner, said that they hosted an 11-vehicle food caravan on Aug. 14 at 3525 W. Peterson Ave, with online food donations welcome as well to fill up Lane’s food pantry. Additionally, there was $25,000 raised from their golf outing that will go towards teacher grants. Teachers can apply now through Sept. 29, and grants will be awarded in October. 

The Alumni Association closed with a chain of announcements in relation to the new name of Lane’s stadium: Fritz Pollard Field at Lane Stadium. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has declared Oct. 1 Fritz Pollard Day in Chicago. There will be a proclamation read and all groups he represented at Lane will be represented at the ceremony including football, track and field, baseball, and Lane’s BIPOC committee.


New Business:

There were eight fundraisers approved: Boys Swim Team’s Booster Club, Cluster Program’s Around the Corner Cafe, Cross Country Booster Club, the Fall Play ticket sales, Winter Musical ticket sales, Spring Play ticker sales, Guitar Concert ticket sales and Playfest ticket sales. 


The next meeting is scheduled to take place on Oct. 13.