Mark Landuyt

Dominic DeMaur, Author



     In light of the recent decision to cancel journalism class at Shepard, the current staff has decided to pay tribute to some of the former Shepard students who enjoyed success during their time with Freedom7 and that are continuing to do positive things.

     Mark Landuyt is a former Freedom7 Editor-in-Chief who currently teaches. His experience with Journalism at Shepard is something he is grateful for. Landuyt was a part of the Freedom7 newspaper while he attended Alan. B Shepard. From 2004-2006 Landuyt was a staff writer and 2006-2007 he was an Editor-in-Chief. While he attended Shepard he was also a part of: Group Interpretation, Speech team, Peer Advisory, Broadcast news, and Steve Harvey’s Improv All-Stars (an inside joke for Landuyt and other speech students when they came out in an assembly introduced as Steve Harvey).

     Landuyt recalled that it was rewarding to be able to take ownership of his education. He was able to figure out what he liked and didn’t like and turn it into a career which couldn’t make him any happier.

     Landuyt is currently an English teacher and Freedom7 reading specialist at Mundelein High School. He also directs the Group Interpretation for the school’s theater program.

     Landuyt recalls some stories he also had, “During my time there, the other writers also did some really ridiculous, but they were really funny (to us).  We brought back a regular comic strip to each paper. Created an irreverent “Hot or Not” feature that often had very silly things. (I think we wrote a literal edition with like fire (Hot) and iced tea (Not).)  There are more, but I leave it with a “You had to be there.”

     Landuyt said Shepard helped him prepare for life after ABS, Landuyt reflected, “Early on, I recognized that taking journalism at ABS felt like the closest thing to a professional environment than anything else I have experienced in high school.  What I mean is that you had stories to write, interviews to conduct, research to do, etc… No one was really hounding you daily (or really knew) on what you should be doing. There was a symbiotic trust between the staff, editors, and Mr. Smith that we knew our roles and would get that work done well.  If not, we wouldn’t have a paper. Most classes, if you don’t do your work, it impacts you. For the newspaper, not doing your work impacts the whole class.”

     Landuyt states the best advice he can give to any current student is to look for value in everything you do. The best and worst experiences in your life can also have very good value but you have to find it in them. Lastly, other advice he gave is for students to make sure they read.

     When Landuyt attended St. Xavier University he worked in the student run  newspaper and radio station. The radio station was WXAV 88.3. Landuyt was the Asst. Sports Editor along with Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper.

     Landuyt recalls one memory in particular during his days on the Freedom7. “I remember that one of our reporters (kind of) breaking the story that there was a Gay-Straight Alliance club forming and was having some hurdles to jump through.  It garnered more support after students read the story and it helped the group’s formation. Not to go full “newspaper geek” on you, but was also the first time we had ever used a “pull-out quote” in the paper. That quote we selected (a student saying, “First, everyone should know that the club is for everyone.”) made the article stick with our readers. It seems so simple, but that was a cool experience.”