Q & A with the 2015 Homecoming Court

Back to Article
Back to Article

Q & A with the 2015 Homecoming Court

By Sarah Govis

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The NWN sat down with the 2015 homecoming court: Lucas Brace, Joey Guliana, Alan Kotlyar, Sterling Mendez, Ray Nguyen, John Tater, Mercedes Bajric, Sara Dym, Annie Hoban, Shannon McHugh, Negin Motlagh, and KylaRose Schulman. for a Q&A to get to know them a bit and find out why they’re running for homecoming king or queen!

NWN: Why did you decide to run for homecoming court? Why should people vote for you?

John Tater: I decided to run for homecoming king to get out of my comfort zone. People should vote for me because they should feel like they can make a connection. I am empathetic and consider myself an underdog with no real belonging to any place at all.

Negin MotlaghI decided to run for homecoming queen not only to represent the Niles West Theatre Department, but also because it looked fun and my friends encouraged me to do so.  I think that people should vote for me because I continuously strive for success in everything that I do. In addition,  I tend to speak up for those who are too afraid to stand up for their own needs. I also love to help others and encourage them to pursue their passion.

Sara Dym: I decided to run for Queen just for fun and to see where I’d end up with it. it’s my senior year so why not. I wouldn’t necessarily say people should vote for me in any particular reason besides the fact that I support school spirit and I love to see everyone enjoying their high school years.

Sterling Mendez: I ran for homecoming kings because I feel that it’s a good way to close out my senior year. I have always loved this school from the moment I walked in, and I think many people look up to me and I’m truly amazed by that. I’m a very humble person, I see everyone as a equal, a person’s character and loyalty are what I base my opinion on and even though this is my last year here at this amazing school I want to leave it the best way I can. Lastly, I want to be a inspiration to other people and show them that there are no limitations in life and you should strive to be the best you can be.

Alan Kotlyar: Why not?  I love trying new things.  People should vote for me because I think I am a sociable, nice, handsome young man that can look beyond high school cliques and popularity contests.  I participate in a sport, Cross Country, am active in the choir, have received awards at Model UN competitions, etc.  My friends range from the ultra-liberal to the ultra-conservative and hail from all over the world.  I judge people by the content of their character.

KylaRose Schulman: Well, at first I was actually scared about running for homecoming queen. I always thought that a regular, shy, geeky girl like myself would never make it as homecoming queen, let alone court. But I now appreciate my “ordinariness” because I think that it helps me better identify with the student body as a whole. I also believe that you should get the most out of your high school experience here at Niles West, and that it is better to try than to not try at all.  I am extremely grateful to the people who voted for me and got me into homecoming court. Please help this ordinary girl’s  dream come true.

Ray NguyenBecause it was something out of my comfort zone. I wanted to try something new. People should vote for me because #TeamRay.

Joey Guliana: My friends and I wanted to all be on court together and thought the experience would be fun and I think I am a good role model.

Lucas BraceI decided to run for homecoming king because I have a ton of school spirit and I love homecoming and all of its festivities. People should vote for me because I am relatable and I know how to have fun and stay positive.

Annie HobanI decided to run for homecoming queen for the fun of it to be honest. My boyfriend Lucas Brace had someone nominate him so I thought why not. I think people should vote for me because I would consider myself a very friendly and outgoing person. I’ve been very involved throughout my four years here and I think I could set a good example for the underclassmen as well.

Mercedes Bajric: I decided to run for homecoming queen because the whole experience looks like a ton of fun. I have pride in Niles West and have left my whole heart in every activity and sport I took part in.

Shannon McHughI thought it would be really fun for me to run because since it’s senior year, I wanted to do something that I wouldn’t normally do and just try and have fun with this. It would be pretty dope for people to vote for me because I like to think I’m a really kind down to earth person that gets along with everyone and can show a great representation of this school.

NWN: What is something that you are most proud of in your four years here at Niles West?

John Tater: I am most proud of being able to push myself past my limitations and going for something when I want it.

Negin MotlaghSomething that I am most proud of is being able to find my passion (theatre) and becoming an active member of Niles West Theatre. To me, Niles West Theatre is not just a club, we are more like a huge family all gathered to work together and create something that is not only entertaining, but inspiring. Theatre has taught me so much whether it is learning about the technical aspects of it or acting on stage. I am so grateful to have met all of the wonderful adults in that department as well as my friends. I can’t wait to take all of the skills and experiences that I have gained over the past four years of high school  as I move forward with my life.

Sara Dym: The thing I’m most proud of is the golfing experience I’ve had at west. after 2 years of playing on the boy’s golf team and creating a JV level girls team, we made a varsity level girl’s team. All of the original girls’ parents pushed for it and the school really helped us accomplish our goal. I’m really proud to say that we’ve all grown together and creating a varsity girls’ golf team is a huge mark in the school’s history.

Sterling Mendez: The thing that I’m most proud of in my four years here at Niles West is how I have touched different people throughout the whole school. The best feeling in the world to me is making a persons day when things aren’t going their way. I love talking to people and showing them that their problems aren’t forever, everything has to come to an end — even the most terrible.

Alan Kotlyar: I started a club!  It’s called Political Affairs and Current Events Cub.  It meets every Tuesday in Room 2015.  It is open to everyone.

KylaRose Schulman: First, I would like to thank Niles West for affording me many opportunities during my four years here by helping me develop as a well-rounded  individual that I can be proud of, not only in academics by maintaining a good GPA, but also through strong social relationships by becoming Asian Pop Culture’s president, and although I am not built to be in any  varsity teams  I tried to develop my physical abilities and promote school spirit by joining Powder Puff.

Ray NguyenMeeting new people and becoming friends with so many.

Joey Guliana: Joining Go Green club.

Lucas BraceI am very proud to be co-captain of the swimming and water polo teams because I have found a passion for both of those sports and I get to spend time with a lot of my best friends during the season.

Annie HobanI had a rough start to my freshman year so I’m most proud of bringing myself back up academically. If you told me four years ago I’d be involved in AP courses, I wouldn’t believe you. But here I am! I also participated in a multitude of athletics, so I am most proud of being on varsity cross country my first year on the team my junior year.

Mercedes Bajric: I’m proud of how many different activities I got involved in during my four years at West. I’ve tried out for theater roles, sports teams, and have joined many clubs.

Shannon McHughSomething I am most proud of out of my four years is staying grounded to where I come from. In the past, I lost track of the true and important things in my life for a while, but I have really gotten a hold of that back and have grown up.


NWN: How do you want to make your last year in high school memorable?

John Tater: I want to make my last year of high school memorable by connecting with friends and getting to know them better.

Negin MotlaghI want to make my last year of high school memorable by having fun with my friends and being stress free. I also want to be involved in all of theatre productions in one way or another as this is my last year to work besides wonderful and talented people who are just as passionate about theatre as I am.

Sara Dym: I would so love to be homecoming queen and make that a part of my accomplishments, as well as going to sectionals as a team and making state as an individual.

Sterling Mendez: This beginning my last year here I want to leave some sort of positive influence behind. This school will always be considered a home to me and I want to leave it the best way I can for not only me but for others as well.

Alan Kotlyar:  I think getting into a good college will make senior year memorable.  But in general, I don’t want to make senior year memorable by doing crazy things.  Instead, I will focus on doing what I always do — practicing kindness towards others, reaching out to others in need, focusing on academics, and striving to be a role model for the younger classes.

KylaRose Schulman:  I want to be able to give back to the school, for all the opportunities Niles West has given me.

Ray NguyenMaybe I’ll actually go to the school games.

Joey Guliana: By trying things that I never did before like clubs and activities.

Lucas BraceI just want to have fun my senior year. I want to have fun with my classes, my sports, and with all the school activities such as homecoming or prom.

Annie HobanI’m definitely going to make the best of this year by really enjoying my last year with all my friends and classmates. Spending time with my cross country team has been so bittersweet lately knowing it’ll be over soon, but we’re having so much fun together. I do want to get more involved in other activities like Relay for Life as well, which I think will be an event to remember after I graduate.

Mercedes Bajric: Since I tore my ACL and meniscus and won’t be able to play club and school soccer this year, I plan to use my time doing tons of rehab and also supporting any Niles West event I can with my friends. With more time on my hands I’m excited to see all the other talents West students have.

Shannon McHugh: To make this year memorable, I just want to be involved as much as I can with the school and have fun with everyone and everything. No drama and no unnecessary stress.

NWN: What are your future plans? What colleges, if any, are you thinking about?

John Tater: I am thinking about going to Loyola or UIC, and I want to become a physical therapist or an optometrist — something in the medical field.

Negin MotlaghI am thinking about Depaul University or Loyola University of Chicago as possible colleges to attend for next year. I hope to major in English and become a teacher while still pursuing my passion for theatre on the side by minoring in directing.

Sara Dym:  My future plans are to attend DePaul University next Fall, intern with my dad in his law firm, and get an apartment in the downtown area.

Sterling Mendez: I want to go to college to become a computer technician. I love working with computers and other aspects of technology. I find it amazing how with a computer you can do virtually anything.

Alan Kotlyar: I have a huge list of colleges that I’m applying to.  Some of my top choices are Georgetown, Yale, and Northwestern.  I want to study political science or public policy in college.

KylaRose Schulman: I plan on applying to UIC, and although I am currently undecided, I know I want to do something that will help contribute positively to the community and serve humanity.

Ray NguyenI’ll probably start with Oakton Community College then ride the crispy waves to see where else it takes me.

Joey Guliana: To go to U of I or UIC then eventually become a dentist.

Lucas Brace: My future plans include a four year university, possibly USC, University of Michigan, or Chapman University to name a few. Then I plan to get a DPT (Doctorate of Physical Therapy) and be a physical therapist. Honestly, who knows what will happen though?

Annie HobanAs of right now, my future plan is to become a lawyer with a major in political science. The search for the right college is the hard part. So far I’m thinking of Indiana University, University of Iowa, and Loyola University. It’s all still so up in the air, though.

Mercedes Bajric: I am almost done with sending all my apps out for college. I don’t know exactly where I’ll be going next year, but I know I will be living on campus, enjoying all the freedom and responsibility, playing soccer, and studying some sort of math or science!

Shannon McHugh: Over the summer, I made a verbal commitment to play softball at Dominican University; however, with a verbal commitment, nothing is set in stone. I’m still looking into going away to schools like Barry University which is in Florida and others of course around Illinois.


NWN: What is your favorite Disney movie and why?

John Tater: “The Lion King” is my favorite movie because it brings back childhood memories and makes me feel like a kid again.

Negin Motlagh:  My favorite Disney movie is “Mulan” because it was the first musical that I was involved in. It sparked my interest in theatre and because of that,  I have been involved in it ever since then.

Sara Dym:  My favorite Disney movie is “Snow White.” When I was younger I was really pale and had black hair so that’s what my family called me. The movie reminds me of the good old days. I would get so scared of the witch that gave her the apple.

Sterling Mendez: My favorite Disney movie is “Peter Pan,” I often compare myself to him because we both have that kid spirit, and I stand up for what I believe in just like Peter Pan. I love to stand up for other people, it makes me feel good we others feel good.

Alan Kotlyar: The movie “Cars.”  It teaches us that being a moral, ethical person is more important than winning a race.

KylaRose Schulman: My favorite Disney movie is “Mulan” because it shows that you can do anything, regardless of gender, as long as you put your mind to it.

Ray Nguyen: “Pinocchio” because I saw it when I was younger and I absolutely loved it. It was funny and cute.

Joey Guliana: I loved “Aladdin” because Aladdin reminds me of myself and I love the plot and the town.

Lucas Brace My favorite Disney movie is “Aladdin” because the songs in that movie are amazing and the Genie is hilarious.

Annie HobanMy favorite Disney movie is “Frozen.” I’m sorry to be basic but how can you not love Olaf?  I can watch that movie 100 times and never get sick of how cute it is.

Mercedes Bajric: I think Tinkerbell is the cutest and funniest Disney character … therefore “Peter Pan” is my favorite Disney movie.

Shannon McHugh: I love Disney movies, so I have so many! It’s hard to just pick one, but I would say the movie “UP” I fell in love with the whole story and characters. The movie is hilarious yet touching that makes me die of laughter and ball my eyes out.

NWN: What are you most excited for during Spirit Week?

John Tater: I am most excited for sports day because I get to wear a jersey I haven’t worn in four years.

Negin MotlaghI think that Spirit Week is exciting for many reason. First of all, it gives every students the opportunity to dress in a way that shows how proud they are to be a wolf and it brings students from every grade together. And that sense of unity is something that I like. However, I am also excited to join my fellow seniors as we celebrate our accomplishments at the end of the week by going to our last homecoming pep assembly.

Sara Dym: Sadly, I won’t be participating in spirit week on Wednesday. I will be attending the conference for golf, but it’s my favorite day of the week. both of my aunts have breast cancer and to have a day to honor the treatment against it is so special to me. Also, color wars! Who doesn’t love a little competition?

Sterling Mendez: Spirit Week is a great time for people to express themselves and it’s great to see the whole school come together. It’s a fun week because I get to show other people my spirit and how much I love this school, and want it to be great place for people to come and learn.

Alan Kotlyar: I’m looking forward to finding out what the spirit days are.

KylaRose Schulman: I am most excited for Disney day because it brings me back to my childhood memories, and the homecoming pep assembly because it will be my last one I will be able to attend this year.

Ray Nguyen: Seeing everyone come together to show love for the school.

Joey Guliana: To see how much school spirit we have this year and to show off my sick pajamas. And also the pep rally.

Lucas BraceI can’t wait for pajama day! I mean, who doesn’t love pajamas?

Annie HobanI’m so excited to dress up for all of the spirit weeks, especially Monday’s pajama day. Catch me with a pillow and onesie in the halls. This will be a fun way to really enjoy my senior year and have fun with my graduating class while I still can before we all go our separate ways.

Mercedes Bajric: I’m eager to go all out spirit week and at the homecoming assembly with all my friends! I’m also ready for the football teams to kick some butt and get us all pumped and ready for the dance on Saturday.

Shannon McHugh: What I am most excited for in spirit week is pajama day. I’m ready to go all out with that. I love being all cozy and make it goofy and fun.