The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

Delivering an alto saxophone solo, junior Dominic Perez performs at the Jazz Concert on Dec. 4, 2023. Perez is surrounded by his peers in West’s Jazz Band. “I try to make it a priority to not let other people change who I am,” Perez said. “I try to just be myself and not worry about what other people think of me, Perez said.

A lifelong journey

Sage Kelly, Staff Writer 4 days ago

Eyes closed, a musician woos the crowd with his polished alto saxophone. Each note flows to the next smoother than a serene brook, guiding in the direction of improvement. The crowd can feel the notes,...

Spanish teacher Jessica Verweyest stands in front of her Hispanic-themed classroom, decorated to show her love for the culture. Verweyest fell in love with the Spanish language through her  travels to various Hispanic countries after high school. “I lived in Colombia over one summer, and then I received a scholarship through the Youth Rotary Club to live in Ecuador as a gap year. Those immersive experiences encouraged me to continue to speak Spanish. In Ecuador, I had the opportunity to do some volunteer work. I worked with an underprivileged group of children between the ages of five and 15 to teach them English. That opened my eyes to the difficulties of communication and turned me to wanting to teach Spanish,” Verweyst said.

Flashback Friday: Spanish teacher Jessica Verweyst

Sakenah Lajkem, Staff writer February 23, 2024

What school did you go to? I went to Edgar Road Elementary School in the Webster Groves School District. Then, I went to Steger Sixth Grade Center, Hixson Middle School and Webster Groves High School.  How...

Junior Jack Mullen (back row, seventh from the left) smiles with American rapper Lil Durk and the Center of Creative Arts children’s choir. Prior to the choir’s performance, Durk introduced himself to the students and thanked them for assisting him. “[He] walked down and shook each of our hands. We got pictures and talked with him. It didnt feel real. Hes just a guy, but at the same time, his music is so special to a lot of people. The fact that we got to interact with the body, mind and spirit of the person whos making this art, thats cool. We felt welcomed,” Mullen said.

It’s all a blur

Samir Shaik, Multimedia Editor February 15, 2024

On Monday and Tuesday, surrounded by 22,000 screaming fans packing every available seat at the Enterprise Center, Canadian rapper Drake and American rapper J. Cole took the stage to perform two sold-out...

Business and personal finance teacher Evan Stern stands in front of  his classroom. After facing hardships growing up, Stern learned how to deal with them with the help of role models like  his dad. “We dealt with some trauma when I was in middle school, and my dad had to be responsible for all three of us while he was working full-time. I know he had to sacrifice a lot. Im sure it was really hard for him, but looking back on it, he did a really good job . I didnt appreciate everything that he did at the time because I was so young. Now, Im engaged and probably going to have kids of my own in the next couple of years so I [am starting] to look at things differently,” Stern said.

Flashback Friday: Business and personal finance teacher Evan Stern

Sakenah Lajkem, Staff Writer February 9, 2024

What school did you go to? I grew up in Parkway school district. I went to Green Trails [Elementary for] elementary school, [and] then I went to Parkway Central Middle School and Parkway Central High...

Holding his two smiling daughters in his arms, Principal John McCabe celebrates earning his doctorate degree. He attended Maryville University for two years and reached his goal of achieving a Doctor of Education: Educational Leadership degree after months upon months of hard work and long nights. “Im not going to lie, Im glad I have another night of my life back when Im not at school till very late,” McCabe said. “I can spend more time with my family and with my friends [who] are here at [West]. Im really happy about that.”

Principal prodigy: Now Dr. John McCabe

Keira Lang and Zoya Hasan January 30, 2024

Cutting through the loud and excited chatter of the bustling cafeteria, Principal John McCabe’s newly-awarded doctorate certification was announced to students during lunch on Dec. 8. While his degree...

Art teacher Katy Mangrich sits in her classroom, smiling for a picture. During her time in high school, Mangrich learned several lessons that she now passes on to her son. “The biggest life lesson that I learned is honesty. I wouldnt say I was the best teenager, but I learned very quickly in high school to always be forthcoming and honest with my parents because it always ended up serving me better in the long run. [My parents] might have been upset with me [and the mistake I made], but I wasnt going down the rabbit hole of a lie because that was just going to get me into more trouble,” Mangrich said. “I passed [that lesson] along to my nephew. Honesty is always your best approach; just don’t lie. I say that to my son all the time. Theres no advantage to lying, [and] thats a huge takeaway [from] how my parents raised me.”

Flashback Friday: Art teacher Katy Mangrich

Sakenah Lajkem, Staff writer January 26, 2024

Art teacher Katy Mangrich sits in her classroom, smiling for a picture. During her time in high school, Mangrich learned several lessons that she now passes on to her son. “The biggest life lesson that...

Two phones stacked on top of each other. The top phone has the Instagram app loading page opened.

The versatile world of Instagram

Sophie McCarthy, Staff Writer January 18, 2024

Social studies teacher Aaron Bashirian smiles in front of his classroom. Bashirian didn’t know he wanted to be a teacher from early on, but he found the choice to be a good one. “I started [teaching] because there was an opportunity for me to experiment with it. Fortunately, [teaching]  was a good choice. In 2012, I became a teacher at Parkway at the Alternative Discipline Center, which is where they send suspended kids to keep being educated if they choose. I spent six years there and then I got drafted to West, [where] Ive been for about six years,” Bashirian said.

Flashback Friday: Social studies teacher Aaron Bashirian

Sakenah Lajkem, Staff Writer January 12, 2024

What school did you go to? I went to Royall Middle and High [School]. It combined [students from] Elroy, Mo. and Kendall, Mo., so that’s [the name] they came up with for the school. How was...

Cabin leaders smile on their last day at Camp Lakewood, wearing tie-dye shirts, bandannas and name tags to identify their cabin. After participating in the camp herself during her sixth-grade year, senior Eileen Meara applied for the position of camp counselor to continue spreading the joy of nature. “I didn’t have the opportunity to go to sixth grade camp when I was in sixth grade because I went to a private school. I wanted to have the opportunity to experience it,” Meara said.

West in the wilderness

Lia Emry, Staff Writer January 10, 2024

Boarding a series of buses, over 32 upperclassmen embarked on their volunteering journey to Camp Lakewood, where they served as counselors for Parkway West Middle’s Outdoor School Program near Potosi,...

Business teacher Paul Schwent sits at his desk and smiles for a photo. Both Schwent and principal John McCabe came to Parkway West as new staff last year. “I was a teacher at Fern Ridge High School for 22 years,” Schwent said. “I really liked working for McCabe, and when he told me he was coming over, I thought about applying for a position that opened up here. I taught business education at Fern Ridge, but all my students liked the tech courses more than the non-tech courses; it was much easier to keep them engaged.”

Flashback Friday: Business teacher Paul Schwent

Sakenah Lajkem, Staff writer December 22, 2023

What school did you go to? [I went to elementary school at] St. Joseph's Catholic School in Colorado, Mo. For middle school, I went to the Francis Howell School District. Back then, they [were]...

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