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

“[With teaching,] Its very hard to know what you need until you start teaching. But I would say [that] just knowing students are typically doing their best [is the most important factor]. Many of the behaviors you might [recognize] are indications of not understanding [the lesson], or feeling that theyre not confident in the class. Knowing that, I think [this mindset] would’ve helped me  from the beginning instead of this adversarial type of situation that a lot of teachers might feel going [into teaching]. [Its important to know] that things get easier as you teach because you add more tools to your toolbox as you go. And the more tools you have, the more engaging your classes [will be] and the better feedback you can give [to your] students.” - Sonya McGowin, Spanish

Sonya McGowin, Spanish

Srisha Gujjula, CJ1 Writer February 23, 2024

“I was the girl that always played teacher when I [was] growing up. I [would set]  my dolls up and stuffed animals up and they’d be my students [that I] would play school with. When I graduated high school, I went to Mizzou to become a broadcast journalist. I talked to a couple of people in the field and they all said to go wherever the jobs are.  I knew I wasnt the type of person [whose] career was going to drive them around the world, and I knew I was in the wrong place, so I talked to my parents, and they [said] that I’ve always loved teaching. I went to Missouri State University, [then got a job] in a small town called Buffalo just north of Springfield and I worked there for two years. After that, I decided to get my graduate degree in math, and I had an opportunity to get a grad assistantship where I could go to school and teach. We ended up moving here to St. Louis and I taught for 10 years in the Fort Zumwalt district, and then seven years here at Parkway West. The one piece of advice I always give students is that they will spend more waking hours of their adult life in their job than anything else they do; so find something that youre passionate about and something that you love. Oftentimes as an adult, I feel like Im saying one thing and doing another thing, but that [advice] I feel like Im truly living.” – Andrea Horn, Math

Andrea Horn, Math

Isaiah Meese, CJ1 Writer February 21, 2024

“Me and a fellow freshman, Jaswitha Tummala, have both been really interested in [starting] Science Olympiad [this year]. [I] did science bowl for all three years in middle school, and last year I led my team to Nationals [as] the captain. I know that all the other schools have enough interest in this subject to host full Science Olympiad teams [with around] 15 people. I didnt think [students at] West had [a lot of] interest, [but] we have almost 30 people ready to form two teams. We’re going to dip our toes in this year and see how things [will] run, and how many people are committed. Next year, after we [have] figured out those logistics, I was thinking about [hosting] a science bowl [which is when] a team with four people plus one alternate person, gets seven seconds to answer a toss-up question related to either Physics, Biology, Math, Chemistry or Energy. If [they] get it right, [the] whole team answers a bonus question. The team with the most points at the end wins the round. Its head-to-head, and there are a lot of heated rounds where two teams have to fight out their buzzes within milliseconds. Im super excited to start [a club] that can make a lasting impact on student lives, especially those who have a passion for [science], like I do.” - Alisha Yin, 9

Alisha Yin

Sravya Reddy Guda, Staff Writer February 12, 2024

“I started boxing two years ago [and it] positively impacted my life by getting me in better shape and getting me healthier. [It] changed my lifestyle because back then, I didnt have much to do, [but] now my life is more busy and whenever Im bored I can just go to boxing. [My favorite part of being at the gym] is sparring, because I like to [fight] people. [While training for a match] we do a bunch of sparring, cardio work, running and sprinting. [Becoming a professional boxer] is an option but I dont think its my major goal. But If I ever decide I want to, then I guess Ill work way harder and make sure that when the time comes, Ill have enough skill to become a professional boxer. Before I step into the ring for a fight, I get nervous and think about what everyone who’s watching is going to think and if the outcome isn’t what I want it to be. During [my first fight] I won the Golden Gloves Championship of St. Louis, and it was the best moment of my life. If you lose, move on and work harder, it’s nothing to be ashamed of [because] everyone will sometimes lose.” - Musab Safi, 10

Musab Safi

Esta Kamau, Humans of West Editor February 9, 2024

“I like that Im able to socialize with all my friends at sports practices. I would say one of my biggest setbacks has been the summer between seventh and eighth grade when I injured my foot and I was unable to play with my soccer team [during] state cup for two games. My soccer team. That [experience] was definitely [a bad time for me] and it really did not make me feel good. [During this period of my life], A piece of advice [was given to me by] one of my soccer coaches who told me to ‘have the memory of a goldfish’. So the idea of this is that its good to learn from your mistakes, but you can learn from them too much [and not value the life lessons in the midst]. Thats really changed how I go about school sports, friendships, all that sort of stuff because you cant live in the past [and will have to move on to the future]. I think that getting past mistakes and moving on from them can really benefit you in the long run.” -Cal Kampelman, 9

Cal Kampelman

Dono Qualls, CJ1 Writer February 7, 2024

“I’m a captain [of the Varsity Cheerleading team]. I think its fun and I like leading. In practice, we stretch [with] everyone and then we make up quarter and timeout [routines] for the games. Its kind of sad [that it is my last year here], but at the same time Im excited for [what comes after high school]. I like the pep rallies. [One piece of advice is that] you should always be kind because you never know what someones going through. You dont want to look back at your high school years and be like, ‘Why did I do that?’ So make sure you think everything through. I want to go to college. Im looking [forward to either going to] Arizona [for college], but also Mizzou. I want to do something [in the] medical [field], but I want to do something with kids as well. I’m kind of scared, [but I would] probably do pre-med, [and become] a [pediatrician]. Ive always liked helping [others] and being around little kids. I feel like it would be really rewarding to help little kids, especially if theyre hurt and to make them feel better.” - Marissa Thomasson, 12

Marissa Thomasson

Andrea Restrepo, CJ1 Writer February 5, 2024

“[I want to do something in life] that interests me. [I’m] going to keep that [same mindset throughout my] life for a long time and [am] probably going to have a job related to [my interests]. You have to do things that you enjoy, and that makes you happy because that is what you’ll be putting your life and all your blood, sweat and tears into. If you don’t you could end up in a bad situation. You need to [prepare yourself], learn about the subject [that intertwines with your interests] and prepare yourself for what could be coming [in the future].” - Puneeth Thotapalli, 9

Puneeth Thotapalli

Hrushi Eluru, CJ1 Writer February 2, 2024

 “Id say my biggest accomplishment was founding the Indian Club with my best friend. I [most proud of it], because it is the only thing that Ive done here at West that has proved that I care about my identity, culture, that I care about other people who might struggle with the same [struggles as me], and who may want a place to come and build a community. So that was the first time that I actually created something [that] I deeply wanted to create. I wanted to [make] an Indian Club because I wanted to consolidate a safe space for people who struggled with their identity in school [and] may have formerly faced some sort of bias because of their identity. [My purpose behind making the club rooted from] wanting to learn more about the history of India and being super interested in learning about a lot of the forgotten history.” - Riya Ashok, 12

Riya Ashok

Mahiya Pallipat, CJ1 Writer February 1, 2024

“My proudest moment was probably getting the lead role [as the narrator] in our school play, ‘Puffs’. I thought I wasn’t going to get a role and I was kind of nervous. I was doubting myself. But then when I got it, I was excited and proud of myself. The play was a ‘Harry Potter’ parody. It’s all about the Hufflepuffs and the crazy seven years of magic school. My favorite part about being the narrator [was] probably the rehearsals and all my long lines that [were tongue twisters and] [used to] mess up. It was really funny and it helped me know what I need to work on [in aspects of my acting]. I was excited to see how far I got [during the show dates] and I’m excited to see [how far I go] in the future.” - Kanya Livingston, 10

Kanya Livingston

Ade Fasano, CJ1 Writer December 20, 2023

“My freshman year [was my hardest] because that was the first year of high school and it was when COVID-19 hit.  It definitely [shook] things up, and its also the year that my dads illness basically took over my life and changed it beyond belief. My dad was immunocompromised, so I had to constantly focus on [questioning whether I was sick and if it were contagious]. It was a lot for anybody to handle, let alone a teenager. During that time, I didnt have my drivers license, [so] I couldnt escape it. I [was really] spending a lot of time outside playing golf and focusing on college even though I was that young. My main motivation is showing that I can be good at something but still do better.  Leave it better than you found it. Thats sort of been [my motto ever since] my dad passed away because it changed my perspective. Death doesnt seem so far; It seems so close. You want to make the most [out] of what you want to do in your life.” - Kylie Secrest, 12

Kylie Secrest

Laney Thomas, CJ1 Writer December 15, 2023

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