Activities and Clubs

Below is a list of John Hersey High School clubs and activities. Click the links to go directly to a particular section

Academic - Noncompetitive
Fine Arts
Student Support 


Academic - Noncompetitive

American Sign Language Club
Sponsor: Jessica Brtva
American Sign Language Club gives students the opportunity to learn the basics of signing and get more information about deaf culture. Sign Language can be taken as a foreign language at John Hersey High School as well as at many colleges and universities. All are welcome to join the club. 

Environmental Club
Sponsor: Nancy Anderson

French Club
Sponsors: Laura Monahan, Betsy Noble

National Honor Society
Sponsors: Chris Kiepura, Joanell Hoijer
The JHHS National Honor Society, Rene Cassin Chapter, encourages its membership to enthusiastically model and render assistance to others through character, leadership, scholarship & service.

Philosophy Club
Sponsors: Betsy Noble, Sean Gudaitis

World Language Honor Society
Sponsors: Laura Monahan, Betsy Noble, Julie Waple
The World Language Honor Society is composed of the Chinese Honor Society, the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, and the Société Honoraire de Français. Membership eligibility is based on service, academic scholarship, and participation in relevant cultural events.

WLHS Membership Requirements
Culture Points
Service Points 



Athletic Trainers
Sponsor: Hal Hilmer
Athletic Training is the prevention, first aid, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. Student Athletic Trainers assist the Certified Athletic Trainers in the these duties. They tape, assist with exercise, and provide first aid for all types of injuries. Become an athletic trainer to be involved in an activity that will carry over into the future, earn awards, just like all of the other sports participants, and assist athletes in their process of recovering from an injury. 

Sponsor: Emalie Barber
Hersey cheerleaders work hard to promote school spirit and crowd involvement at various athletic events and other school functions. They also compete at local, IHSA Sectional and State competitions.

Drill Team
Sponsor: Sara Reich

Fishing Club
Sponsors: Dan Caporusso, Dave Papez
In 2009 bass fishing became an IHSA sanctioned activity. The JHHS Fishing Club teaches fishing techniques to prepare students to compete in local bass fishing tournaments, as well as the IHSA tournament in the spring. The club is open to all students interested in fishing.

Ping Pong Club
Sponsor: Dan Caporusso

Pom Pons
Sponsors: Tracy Dudzik, Heather Gillman, Jennifer Korakakis
The goal of the Poms is to promote school spirit and pride, provide an opportunity for individual growth and enjoyment, and entertain at school and community functions. They perform during halftime events for JHHS sports teams and compete at the local, state and national levels. Tryouts are held in the spring for the following year’s squads, which practice after school.

Ski and Snowboard Club
Sponsors: Mike Pierce and Nick Aponte

Special Olympics
Sponsor: John Dyer
Special Olympics aims to be the leading voice in raising awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. Through sports, the organization showcases the skills and dignity of all participating student athletes. Events also bring together communities to see and take part in the transformative power of sports in these athletes' lives. 



Sponsors: Emalie Barber, Amanda Joseph
Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America is a national career and technical student organization that develops leadership, life, and career skills through events and other activities.

See also: DECA in Academic - Competitive.



Sponsor: Don Barrett
This group helps students who are interested in chess to learn the game and develop skills that will improve their level of play. In team competition, eight players form a Varsity team and play individual matches against players from opposing teams. JHHS participates in the Mid-Suburban League division of the North Shore Chess League, providing competitive play across the North Chicago suburbs. The season culminates at the IHSA State Tournament, usually held in Peoria in February of each year. Click here for more.

Deaf Academic Bowl
Sponsor: Rachael Griffin
The Academic Bowl for Deaf and Hard of Hearing High School students was established by Gallaudet University with the goal of fostering the pursuit of academic excellence, promoting a spirit of academic competition and sportsmanship, and providing social opportunities for the development of collegiality and lifelong friendships.

DECA Business Club*
Sponsors: Dan Vesper, George Bedingfield, Chris Kiepura, Greg Stenzel, Lara Becker
DECA is an international organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management for college and career. DECA combines classroom preparation with competitive events. Click here for more.

Sponsor: Jack Stanislaw
The Hersey debate team competes in a number of invitationals throughout the school year, traveling to other schools to test their preparation against other competitors. Participants have the opportunity to win individual trophies or team awards. 

Math Team
Sponsor: Jackie Ballarini
"Mathletes" compete in five regular season meets and are given a 30-minute period to take a five-question test. These contests typically contain advanced problems beyond what is given in the traditional math curriculum. Students are able to compete in both individual and team contests. Practices are held weekly after school. Find math league information here.

Scholastic Bowl
Sponsor: Kent Borghoff
Scholastic Bowl is an interscholastic activity sanctioned by the IHSA. A team of five players compete using a signal lockout system to answer questions on a variety of academic topics. This is a fun, fast-paced game that requires quick thinking and reflexes. Competition is against other schools in the Mid Suburban League. They also compete in various tournaments in the Chicago area.

Science Olympiad
Sponsor: Andy Finlayson
Science Olympiad describes competitions as being like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events. Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology. By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation. 

Speech Team
Sponsor: Amanda Ams
Speech team is NOT about speeches you make in class. We compete based on acting or public speaking skills on topics YOU choose. Join the ranks of former Speech Team members like Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Oprah, Supreme Court Justice Scalia, and many more. Future actors, actresses, lawyers, politicians, teachers, rappers/singers wanted!



Anime Club
Sponsor: John Kenworthy

Asian Pop Culture Club
Sponsors: John Kenworthy, Dan Caporusso

Chinese Language/Asian Culture Club
Sponsor: Melissa Moy

LASO (Latin American Student Organization)
Sponsors: Mike Ayala, Celia DeLeon
The LASO club has an open door policy and welcomes all interested students, regardless of cultural heritage. Meetings are held after school and the group organizes activities throughout the school year with the goal of becoming an active part of Hersey and the larger community with positive and progressive involvement.

Spanish Club
Sponsor: Laura Monahan

See also: World Languages Honor Society and American Sign Language Club in Academic - Noncompetitive


Fine Arts

Sponsor: Scott Casagrande
At the beginning of each school year, the band performs as a whole (the Marching Huskies) during the marching season (August to October). After marching season concludes, band members audition for positions in either the Concert or Symphonic band. Visit the band website to learn more.

Children's Theater
Sponsor: Sarah Wade
Hersey's Children's Theater Program is made up of freshmen and sophomore students interested in acting and performing. Participating students chose and produce shows designed for younger audiences, including The Wizard of Oz, Chasing Charming, and Snow White. 

Choral Music
Sponsor: Sara Michael
Hersey has 11 choruses, some of which are open to any students who are interested and others that require students to audition. Some of the choruses are for women-only or men-only and others are for mixed voices. Additionally, some of the choruses perform with instrumental accompaniment while others are a cappella.  Click here for more. 

Dance Fusion
Sponsor: Susan Casper

Drama/Tech Crew
Sponsor: Kyle Marquette, Matt Michelin
The theater program brings together hundreds of student actors and crew members for productions throughout the course of the year. Students must audition for their preferred roles and commit to attending after-school rehearsal leading up to the performances. The tech crew helps put on seven shows and recruits for a variety of roles. Learn more about those here.

Improv Club
Sponsor: Lara Becker

Sponsor: Christine Widell
John Hersey High School Orchesis is an extension of the Dance program. The group meets both as a class and co-curricular activity with an emphasis on exploring, creating, encouraging, and producing dance as an art form. Orchesis performs numerous times throughout the school year with the highlight being its annual concert in February.

Sponsor: Josh Stewart
Hersey students have access to the chamber orchestra, symphony orchestra, and concert orchestra. The symphony and concert orchestras meet daily as a class for anyone interested and the chamber orchestra is made up of a select group of talented students. Click here for more.

Technical Theater
Sponsor: Matt Michelin
The Technical Theater program supports all of the performances at John Hersey High School each year, including the fall production, children's theatre, the variety show, student-directed plays, the winter production, the Orchesis dance concert, and the spring musical. Tech crew tasks include building and designing sets, running lights and sound, and providing backstage support during performances.

See also: Media/Writing



Hearing Impaired (Jr. N.A.D.)
Sponsor: Rachael Griffin
Junior N.A.D. is a program of the National Association of the Deaf. It offers deaf and hard of hearing students in middle and high school opportunities to develop leadership skills, learn and demonstrate citizenship, and meet and interact with students from other schools and states.

Sponsors: Jeff Morse (at WHS)
NJROTC is a course in leadership, teamwork and citizenship, using studies about the Navy as a common core. Students take the course as an elective and receive a grade that counts towards graduation and their GPA. Only the academic class and a few unit activities are mandatory, but cadets are highly encouraged to participate in the unit's 'extra-curricular' field trips, teams, and events. Click here for more.

Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.)
Sponsor: Pete Hamrick
SADD fosters a sense of belonging and promotes resiliency, leadership, and advocacy skills so that young people make positive life decisions that will carry them throughout life.

Service Over Self (S.O.S.)*
Sponsor: Mark Gunther 

Student Council
Sponsor: George Bedingfield
Student Council is the student governing body of John Hersey High School. It allows students to voice their opinions and influence the overall atmosphere of the school. Any student can be a member of student council by simply filling out an enrollment form and completing a minimum amount of work per quarter. To be an officer, students must be active members of student council. 

Senior Class '16
Sponsor: Laura Monahan

Junior Class '17
Sponsor: Kent Borghoff

Sophomore Class '18
Sponsor: Margaret Tobias



Sponsor: Janet Levin
The Correspondent is the JHHS student newspaper, published online as Correspondent Live. All interested students should sign up for Journalism I to join the staff.

Creative Writers Group
Sponsor: Jim Schiferl

Poetry Slam
Sponsor: Janet Levin

The Writing Well
Sponsor: Laura Reilly
The Writing Well provides peer and staff tutoring across the curriculum for all students who are interested. Tutoring is available from 6:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 3 p.m. on Fridays. Tutors also offer assistance with study skills, test and quiz preparation, and research. 

Sponsor: Patty Merris
The yearbook staff applies principles of publishing and photojournalism to produce the yearbook. Students become familiar with the process of planning, layout, copywriting, editing, photography, and production. They improve their communication skills by conducting interviews, writing, and practicing constructive critique strategies with fellow staffers. They also learn the basics of photography and photojournalism and work cooperatively with others, learning the financial aspects of publication and the problem-solving skills needed to overcome obstacles along the way.


Student Support

Erika's Lighthouse
Sponsors: Celia DeLeon, Mary Ann Jahrling
The goal of an Erika’s Lighthouse is to educate students about depression, help break the stigma associated with depression and develop a culture of good mental health in schools so that teens who suffer from depression can get the help they need.

Gay Straight Alliance
Sponsor: Tricia Moore
The GSA is a student run organization created to unite people with a common goal of forming a safe, open-minded, and educated environment. The GSA promotes equality and acceptance regardless of personality and sexual orientation. Participation is open to all John Hersey High School students. Meetings are held Wednesdays, after school in room 191 (Mrs. Moore's Room).

Partners Club
Sponsor: John Dyer

See also: Hearing Impaired in Leadership/Volunteerism