The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Maria Thames

Ever since their first appearance in 2014, the Stand Together t-shirts have become popular in the LHS community. Worn by students and faculty alike, they symbolize that LHS stands together.

Libertyville Stands Together

As iconic as the wildcat itself, there is one thing that unites all LHS students and staff as not just a community, but a family.


In the fall of 2014, the football team was looking for a way to help a teammate who was struggling financially. The teammate remained anonymous for privacy reasons. With the help of some of the players’ moms, they came up with the idea of the Stand Together t-shirts.

Mr. Mike Jones, the head coach of the football team, explained the importance of not only raising the money for the player, but also showing support for him and his family.

“The football team and school community is a family, and we should be able to count on each other in times of need. It’s the idea of being able to be part of something that is bigger than yourself,” Mr. Jones said.

The team and WFPA, the Wildcat Football Parent Association, wanted the writing on the shirt to symbolize their support and unity. Therefore, they chose to put “Stand Together” on the front and “we are family” on the back.

“I think the appeal of stand together is that it can apply [to] a lot of different situations.” The “we are family” saying is meant to reflect that there is always a family who people can count on in difficult times in Libertyville, Mr. Jones added.

After coming up with the idea of the t-shirt, WFPA reached out to Student Council to help spread the word. Ms. Andrea Lara, one of the Student Council faculty advisors, met with WFPA and they started to come up with ideas on how to sell the shirts as well as how the profit would benefit students. According to Ms. Lara, Student Council would only get involved with the shirts if it benefited all students.

This led to a change in the fundraiser. A portion of the funds raised from the shirts went to the particular student on the football team, and another portion went to a newly created fund, called the Wildcat Fund, which gave Dr. Marina Scott, the LHS principal, the ability to anonymously support any students at LHS.  

With the help of the Spirit Store and Student Council, the shirts were in high demand at LHS. The white shirts became the theme of the 2014 Homecoming football game. Before the game, shirts were sold outside of the cafeteria by football parents and in the Spirit Store. At the game, the student section was “Standing Together” in support of all students in need of financial assistance.

The shirts’ success has continued at LHS since their creation. Today, the funds from the Stand Together shirts go to Parent Cats, an organization of LHS parents whose goal is to improve the school-home communication in order to support the students and staff at school. They use those funds to give physical donations to the school, such as a new piano, and to help student centered organizations at LHS, such as the “Brain Up” fundraiser, to continue to benefit students at LHS.



Since its incarnation three years ago, the “Stand Together” initiative has evolved and expanded at a mind-boggling rate. Today, if you walk through the doors of LHS, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll see a student or faculty member sporting their support.

In an interview with the LHS Student Executive Board this December, Emily Regan recalled,  “[When it first began], it was just a huge community-wide effort that we wore these white shirts to the football games, and I just remember everyone buying one, just lined up outside the cafeteria, people were grabbing them…but I think it’s expanded to a larger movement.”

And she’s right. “Stand Together” has since spread far beyond a line outside the LHS cafeteria. Besides the well-known white, there are now several variations of the classic shirt, including a pink version for Breast Cancer Awareness and green one for St. Patrick’s Day.

The mantra has even extended beyond just the high school. “…It’s not just the students,” shared Executive Board member Haley Holson. “Teachers wear it and families wear it, like I think my mom even got one. It’s the Libertyville community, not necessarily just LHS.”

It’s not just the shirts themselves that have changed, however, but the meaning behind them as well. This new meaning, just like the phrase itself, is two-fold.

  1. Stand. When something tragic happens in a community, it is often difficult to know what to say. In the midst of grieving and loss, the line between support and intrusion, a kind word and an unwelcomed interruption, can become blurred. How can you let your community know you care? Executive Board President Daniel Oh shared, “In the hard times like we’ve had for the past couple weeks, it’s very difficult to see what people are thinking or how they’re feeling because emotions are on the inside and you just can’t tell, but just something as easy as the white shirt that says ‘Stand Together,’ you can tell that everyone who is wearing it is in support of each other, and I think that visual representation is very comforting in a sense that, ‘Hey, everyone’s here for you and we’re all in this together.’”
  2. Together. Each member of the Libertyville community is unique, and yet the students find it hard to deny a sense of unity. “…All of us, no matter what grade we are, what race, age, gender, or anything like that, we can all stand together as a school and be united in that sense because we’re all students here, we’re all part of the Libertyville community,” Oh explained.  “Regardless of what happens in this community, [Stand Together] is showing that we as Libertyville High School students are always unified and that we’re always supportive of each other.”


Although “Stand Together” began with a specific meaning and purpose in mind, the movement has developed a life of its own. More than a shirt, more than a phrase, “Stand Together” is now a feeling.

As Executive Board member Bridget Horvath said, “‘Stand Together’ is not necessarily the shirt or the quote or the phrase, it’s the feeling that you get with the whole community of Libertyville coming together. That’s what ‘Stand Together’ is.”

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