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


Science teacher Amy Van Matre-Woodward stands in her classroom and smiles at the camera.

From molecules to maritozzi

Allison Rueschhoff, CJ1 Writer 3 days ago

With the fresh aroma of sesame seed bagels wafting through the kitchen air, science teacher Amy Van Matre-Woodward wakes up early Saturday morning to bake for her family. Outside of her teaching career,...

With the sun setting in the background, English ASC Kristen Witt and her husband, Aaron Witt, wear matching team shirts for the Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival. In 2021, they ran out of time for matching team shirts and instead wore ‘West is Best’ shirts, while in 2022, they made custom couple shirts. “This year, [Aaron] decided to have them made. On the front, it said ‘Team Witt,’ and on the back, it had ‘24,’ for how many years we have been married, and it [reads], ‘24 years of playing in the sand together,’” Kristen said.

Sand-sational castles

Cindy Phung, Staff Writer March 2, 2023

Strolling along the beautiful, white sand shores of the top beach in America, Siesta Key, Fla., revisiting their honeymoon destination from 24 years ago, an elaborate sandcastle caught English ASC Kristen...

Math and computer science teacher Jason Townsend explains how to graph algebraic equations in front of the class. Townsend teaches algebra, calculus, and computer science. I love teaching calculus [because] calculus [is] more challenging [and] more interesting to me. Granted, if youre a good teacher, you find ways to make [all math] interesting for your students and you challenge yourself to do it differently all the time,” Townsend said.

Traveling, teaching, theater — oh, my!

Grace Loethen, Staff Writer March 1, 2023

  Hidden in a nook on the first floor, math and computer science teacher Jason Townsend enthusiastically teaches his last year of classes before retirement. His booming voice resounds off the blue...

Eyes and ruler fixed towards the screen, social studies teacher Aaron Bashirian points to his Smartboard and explains the history behind his barn. Having learned the ropes of carpentry, Bashirian made structural changes to the barn by himself over the past three years. “It’s not your normal barn, but it’s cool, though. It’s got quite a bit of history to it,” Bashirian said. “It used to be a carriage house; you can see where they used to keep the horse. There’s still a grain [and] hay shoot [too]. They parked Model T-style cars [that created] all these oil slicks on the floor where they leaked. You can see that there’s a lot of history in there. I love it, [it’s a] perfect building for a history guy. ”

From shack to studio

Kristen Skordos, Staff Writer January 17, 2023

Too much time spent without music often kills the desire to play, but social studies teacher Aaron Bashirian did not lose interest. Instead, the rockstar-gone-teacher stayed in touch with his desire to...

Athletic and Activities Secretary Gina Groceman stands in front of her magnet-covered fridge. Groceman has collected magnets from Canada, Mexico, Luxemburg, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, England and Japan. “I bet I have at least 100,” Groceman said.

Magnet Memories

Claire Creely, Staff Writer November 14, 2022

Living anywhere from Japan to Germany, new Athletic and Activities Secretary Gina Groceman is well-traveled. Throughout Groceman and her husband’s many adventures, they not only developed a passion for...

At Redwood National Park in Northern California, along the trails of Trillium Falls, Design Arts teacher Kristi Ponder hikes through the giant trees exploring all the scenery along the trail. Ponder dreamed of traveling as a little girl. “These trees don’t grow anywhere else. I felt so amazed but also in awe,” Ponder said.

Design arts teacher Kristi Ponder expands her art appreciation through outdoor adventures

Samari Sanders , Staff Writer November 4, 2022

Design Arts and Digital Design teacher Kristi Ponder discovered her love for art by thinking outside her box. While in high school, Ponder found she struggled with abstract art assignments.  “I didn’t...

Senior Nick Menendez chose to honor Business Teacher Bill Mitchell during Teacher Appreciation night for varsity boys soccer. Players wrote letters to their teachers and gave them to them before the game. “I chose Mr. Mitchell because I enjoy his class. I believe what hes teaching will actually be useful to me later on in life. [I like] solving problems, working out how to best present an idea or a concept and then working through that and delivering on it,” Menendez said.

From Struggle to Success

Esta Kamau, Staff Writer October 24, 2022

Business teacher Bill Mitchell and his identical twin brother became homeless at 17 years old after a turbulent home situation arose. Throughout high school, Mitchell and his brother found comfort in wrestling...

Former Principal Beth Plunkett poses with her memoir “Lessons That Endure: Reflections of a High School Principal.”

“Lessons That Endure”

Ashlyn Gillespie, Deputy Managing Editor in Chief October 14, 2022

One day at West, former Principal Beth Plunkett was in an English classroom when she saw a fire start from a telephone line. It shimmied towards a nearby generator, which exploded into flames, sending...

Checking in with the Parkway West Superfan, Activities Director Jeff Taggart talks with kids during lunch. Taggart looked forward to building connections with students and becoming a part of the school community. [I just want] to be involved, in the cafeteria, at lunchtime, at different sporting events or activities.

‘Longhorn Country, Let’s Ride!’

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief September 20, 2022

Activities Director Jeff Taggart started the school year with an unorganized office and a smile. Taggart has had many job titles, including assistant principal, basketball coach, activities director and...

Principal John McCabe works at his desk after the Aug. 24 pep rally during Ac Lab. McCabe did his first substituting job as a sophomore in high school and has been an educator ever since. “I strongly believe in public education because its a calling to serve others. That quality of serving and supporting other people is one of the things that I love the most about working in schools,” McCabe said.

Who is Principal John McCabe?

Serena Liu, News Editor September 13, 2022

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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High