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


At the Ladue Invitational, debaters compete in a variety of events. Students that qualified for the tournament had the chance to receive awards for their events through teamwork. “There was always someone willing to help you grow as a debater, and getting into the community was always such a welcoming place. It solidified being a family when we started to spend so much time together on tournament weekends,” junior Serpil Kuccukaya said.
The Rookies vs. Veterans
Samari Sanders , Staff Writer • 1 day ago

The National Speech and Debate Association is an American student debating organization where students can compete in competitions covering various...

Librarian Lauren Reusch holds her Edible Arrangements flower bouquet and poses with principal John McCabe after announcing her winning Teacher of the Year.
Believe in your shelf: librarian Lauren Reusch wins Teacher of the Year award
Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief • 6 days ago

Dec. 9, school librarian Lauren Reusch was sitting at her desk when principal John McCabe and student photographer junior Abbi Vanvalkenburgh...

After his early graduation, senior Aaron Sims poses with his friends on his last day in St. Louis before moving to Atlanta. Seniors Tommy Wehrmeister, Jacob Jehling, Emily Kerber, Aaron Sims and Cameron Jehling spent a lot of winter break together celebrating Kerber’s birthday and Sims’ soon departure. “I was worried about making new friends [in Atlanta] because I had such a great group of friends in Missouri. I was worried about learning how to interact with other people, but it turned out to be pretty easy. I miss all of my friends back in Missouri. I was happy to be able to make new friends here,” Sims said.
Moving onto new adventures
Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief • January 31, 2023

With a house that sold fast and a plan to graduate early, senior Aaron Sims and his family decided to move to Atlanta at the end of Sims’ first...

Eyes to the sky, junior Romy Taylor stands center stage in the evening gown section of the 2023 Miss Missouri Teen Volunteer Pageant. Taylor received compliments from judges and the audience for her walk, a skill she believes this section allows contestants to flaunt. “[Walking on stage in a gown] shows how much grace someone can carry. I absolutely love it when I get to show it off on stage,” Taylor said.
The beauty behind the madness
Makinsey Drake, Staff Writer • January 30, 2023

Under the spotlight, junior Romy Taylor highlights her character, dancing, fitness and fashion in the 2023 Miss Missouri Teen Volunteer (MMTV)...

Junior Sawyer Ladd lifts weights, stretches and eats to gain weight. Ladd has spent over a year practicing a routine involving eating more and going to the gym frequently to work towards his goal. “It has taken me way longer than I thought it would to gain even a little bit of weight. I don’t know if I need to change my methods, but I know I will stick with it until I reach my goals,” Ladd said.
Bulking up, not slimming down
Achyuta Ambal, Staff Writer • January 24, 2023

A large culture has been growing on social media and other platforms based on helping as many individuals as they can lose weight. However, people...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Alumnus Abdullah Kuzeiz poses at the courtyard of the Danforth University Center of Washington University, St. Louis. The Marshall Scholarship enabled Kuzeiz to pursue cancer research at Oxford. “I stumbled onto cancer research while I was in high school, and I realized theres just so many people in this, and theyre attacking it from every conceivable angle,” Kuzeiz said. “It feels good to work on finding new and better treatments for cancer that can potentially save lives.”
Journey to Oxford: Alumnus Abdullah Kuziez receives the Marshall Scholarship
Raj Jaladi, Multimedia Editor • April 21, 2022

Alumnus Abdullah Kuziez, class of 2018, was one of the 41 students to be named a 2022 Marshall Scholar. Awarded by the British Government, the...

Roaming the halls, Alumni Mackenzie and Brandt Capps walk around the school to where they fell in love. “Just coming back here just brings up all the amazing memories
me and Brandt made,” Mackenzie Capps said.
Ballwin Days leads to alumni marriage
Zoey Ware, Staff Writer • February 14, 2022

Flashback to the summer of 2011, two groups of friends met up at Ballwin Days to enjoy the last moments of summer together. That night, 15-year-old...

Alumni Grant Aden and Emily Dickson take a photo with their former Latin teacher Tom Herpel to commemorate their engagement. The two have dated for six years and will be living together in Omaha, Neb. as of summer 2022. “What Im most excited about getting married is coming back to St. Louis at some point. I think as much as I [pretend] I dont like St. Louis, we definitely want to come back to raise our family,” Dickson said. “Im looking forward to that, and Grant wants to be a pediatrician. Hes just so good with kids. Im excited about that chapter of our lives.”
A pop quiz proposal
Madi Michajliczenko, Staff Writer • February 14, 2022

For many students, the mention of the words “pop quiz” creates a feeling of panic. However, alumnus Grant Aden, class of 2017, and alumna...

Wearing a red and black outfit to compliment her newly dyed hair, alumna Charlize Chiu poses along the streets of New York. Chiu later posted the photo to her Instagram account where she posts other photoshoots and styling videos. “Theres a lot of trial and error, like putting random pieces in my closet together and if it doesnt work out then Ill swap it out for something. There’s a lot of trying on clothes and then putting it back and seeing what works,” Chiu said. “I like to look up a lot of different inspirations on social media and Pinterest. When Im walking around the city I get inspiration from what Im seeing other people wear.”
Fashion Forward: Alumna Charlize Chiu grows a social media following as a fashion student in New York
Addie Gleason, Opinions/A&E Editor • January 24, 2022

Packing up to move to New York during the summer after senior year, alumna Charlize Chiu, class of 2020, prepared for the different lifestyle...

Celebrating his one year sobriety mark, Trevor Shukers and his fiancée Courtney Jaboor smile with their two children: Hailee [6 years] and Sutton [20 months]. Hailee was diagnosed with autism in the middle of last year. “My three girls have all helped me find a purpose for life,” Shukers said. “I believe Hailee is part of Gods reason for helping me and giving me another chance, she needs me. Little does she know I need her more than she needs me. The girls have given me a life better than I could have ever imagined.”
Alumni Trevor Shukers' journey from addiction to inspiration
Makinsey Drake, Staff Writer • September 29, 2021

Today marks day 575 of 2012 West graduate Trevor Shukers' sobriety. After six years of drug abuse and struggling with mental illness, Shukers...

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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High