The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High


The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High


The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High


Standing in front of the American Sign Language program’s mural, junior Brooke Hoenecke signs with freshman Darren Young. Hoenecke began cadet teaching for ASL this year alongside working towards earning her seal of biliteracy. “I was in ASL class when I received the email [that I qualified for the seal]. I was jumping up and down with my teacher and the rest of the class. One of the reasons why I took cadet teaching this year was so that I could prepare for the Seal of Biliteracy and be immersed in ASL,” Hoenecke said.

Fluent in silence

Samir Shaik, Editor-in-Chief May 29, 2024

On May 15 at the 56th annual Honors Ceremony, junior Brooke Hoenecke walked across the stage after marking a landmark achievement for the school: becoming West’s first student to earn the Seal of Biliteracy...

With a keen eye for detail, senior Natalie Lashly writes her signature onto the senior hand wall. After some encouragement from her friends, Lashly applied to make the hand wall with her Lorax-inspired design. I thought the [bright] colors would be fun. Our quote on the wall is Let us grow,’ based on the Let it grow song [from the movie]. [I was hoping that the design would] make the cafeteria feel more exciting, Lashly said.

Let us grow

Esta Kamau, Features/HOW Editor May 18, 2024

Taking a step into the seniors’ next chapter in life, the class of 2024 winds down after four long and eventful years of high school, reminiscing their memories at graduation. One long-standing, memorable...

Walking onto the field, freshman Erastus Adewusi wears a pink jersey in remembrance of cancer awareness month. With the number seven on his jersey, Adewusi reflects on his life in Nigeria before moving to America. “I [used to wake up] at 5:30 a.m. and school would end at 5 p.m. [versus] now,” Adewusi said.

Kickin’ it

Lia Emry, Staff Writer May 14, 2024

In seventh grade, freshman Erastus Adewusi and his family stepped off a plane into America after living in Nigeria for 11 years. His mother landed a job in St. Louis as a contract nurse.  After picking...

As seniors complete their final assignments, tests and work of the school year, they reflect on their time in Convergence Journalism.

Seniors signing off

Emily Early I began Convergence Journalism 1 as a freshman on a Zoom call. It feels like a lifetime ago. Sitting next to my mom in my dining room, I remember feeling so scared and so small in such a...

Envisioning a cathedral in his mind, senior Soren Frederick puts pencil to paper and practices a rough sketch in the drawing room. Frederick grew up surrounded by a family of artists who helped him realize his passion for drawing and painting as he matured. “My family [is] very much [an inspiration] for drawing and painting. [Art] didn’t start [in the family] with me; it started with my mom and my older sister, and my older brother is very good at drawing [too],” Frederick said.

“Reflections” of talent

Emily Early and Samir Shaik May 2, 2024

This spring, senior Soren Frederick was one of 34 artists whose work was selected to be featured at the Missouri Capitol for the Missouri Senate Student Arts Exhibit. Founded in 2014 by the Missouri Alliance...

Junior Amelia Geistler poses with her aunt, uncle and cousin. Moving through childhood, Geistler learned that having parents with a different appearance from her meant facing awkward, upsetting situations. “Something I faced [after] being adopted was that I was [treated] better when people discovered I had white parents. A childhood memory [is] when I went over to a friends house for the first time and her parents seemed to be very passive-aggressive, but when they learned I was adopted by white parents, they gave me equal treatment and ‘love’ as their white daughter,” Geistler said.

A home across the Pacific

Audrey Ghosh, Opinion's Editor May 1, 2024

When she was nine months old, junior Amelia Geistler flew across the Pacific Ocean to her new home in St. Louis. Originally born in China, Geistler was abandoned close to a fire station in the rural Chinese...

With the click of a button, senior Abbi VanValkenburgh snaps a shot of her twin sister, senior Alli VanValkenburgh. Abbi found her passion for photography during her freshman year, allowing her to expand her class knowledge into her current photography business. “Photography has taught me how to be patient with myself. I learned that sometimes Ill fail, and thats okay. I know that not every image will be perfect, but the ones that [are] keep me going,” Abbi said.

Capturing moments

Lia Emry, Staff Writer April 26, 2024

The world of photography first caught senior Abbi VanValkenburgh’s eye when she had a camera placed in her hand in fifth grade. Now, she is captaining her self-run photography business at just 18 years...

English teacher Leslie Lindsey smiles for a photo behind her desk. Growing up, Lindsey participated in many things outdoors, learning life skills that she still uses today. “I loved fishing and was never grossed out by it. I could get my hands dirty and spend time outside; even when it was cold, I didnt care. Fishing takes a lot of patience, and that is [now] a virtue of mine because I have great patience that translates into my classroom,” Lindsey said.

Flashback Friday: English teacher Leslie Lindsey

Sakenah Lajkem, Staff Writer April 12, 2024

  What school did you go to? [Parkway] Central for middle and high school. For elementary school, [I went to] Highcroft. How was your childhood home life? It was great. I have an older...

Each year, as temperatures start to rise, students await the coveted spring break, a week-long vacation taking place from March 16-24. Students and staff appreciated the respite from school and the sunny weather that came along with it. “I enjoyed traveling as a way to spend spring break [and] have a last trip with my family before college. I wish spring break was a little longer so I could have spent more time and not have a quick turnaround coming back to school,” senior Norah Rutkowski said.

Spring Break shenanigans, senior style

Audrey Ghosh, Opinions Editor April 4, 2024

Amidst the hectic whirlwind of school life, as students prepare for upcoming AP tests, finals and college, a week-long spring break offers a long-awaited and cherished hiatus for students to wind down...

Seniors Andrew Son (left), Tommy Eschbach (center) and Kaiden Kelley (right) laugh together while waiting for their robot, OverDriv6, to compete at the 2024 Missouri VEX State Championship. Although the competition was stiff, the trio managed to have a good time, content with their performance and teamwork. “We’re very good at recognizing small victories while in the face of adversity. If one of our subsystems failed or one of the parts of our robot broke, wed spend half an hour or so fixing that. The next match, even if we lost, wed still celebrate the fact that that adjustment we made ended up working and succeeding. Being able to celebrate minor victories was very good for our team chemistry and strength,” said Eschbach. (Photo by Mikalah Owens)

Graduating gears

Mikalah Owens, Staff Writer March 28, 2024

All four robotics teams competed at the 2024 Missouri VEX State Championship in Park Hills, Mo. While each individual team did well in competition — robotics team Blue Brains even earned a spot at the...

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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High