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


Dana Zafarani

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor

Pronouns: she/her

Grade: 12

Years on staff: 3

What is your favorite piece of literature? My favorite piece of literature is poetry. I love how poetry opens the door for me to be as creative as I want with words.

Who is your hero? My family and the group of supporters that surround me.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? It would most likely be a traditional persian food. I just can't get enough of it!

All content by Dana Zafarani
Running towards the goal on her 8-meter shot, senior Amy Rein focuses on getting around her defenders. The varsity girls lacrosse team played against Westminster Christian Academy on April 4 and lost 4-9. “The most challenging part of the game for me was getting the ball back when we were playing defense. I am a midfielder so I play both attack and defense. When we were playing defense, we had some trouble getting the ball down the field without turning it over,” Rein said. “We overcame this by being persistent and trusting in each other. Even though we still made a lot of mistakes and it was kind of a frustrating game to lose, it gave us a lot of lessons to learn from. Now, for the rest of the season, we know what it takes and we are hungry to win our next games.”

Photo of the Week – April 5

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
April 5, 2024
Center stage, junior Nidhi Pejathaya participates in the Winter Guard performance in the Mar. 8 Pep Assembly. Winter Guard held the student body’s attention with flags, dancing and a story throughout the performance. “This is my first year in guard. At tryouts, I preferred dance because I personally didn’t think I could do a flag, but Nicole, the [Parkway] South guard coach, noticed my work at practices and told our coach that I should be in the front. That was the biggest part for me in the show,” Pejathaya said. “I absolutely adore the team. I’ve played multiple sports and I don’t think a single one has compared to the guard team. Traditionally, we do compliment circles, you cross your right hand over your left, and say a compliment. I’ve only known these girls for three months [and] these girls are the most genuine and kind people I have ever met. You don’t need to act differently, you don’t even have to like what they like, you just have to be you.”

Photo of the Week – March 8

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
March 8, 2024
Plucking the cello, freshman Myra Peters performs at the orchestra concert on Feb. 27. The concert consisted of a variety of performances, from group ensembles to one united group. “This performance was different because I was first chair in concert orchestra for the first time,” Peters said. “I practiced in the orchestra room for a bit and made sure that I had my music down. I also helped a friend with his music to help him get prepared.”

Photo of the Week – March 1

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
March 1, 2024
Clapping to the beat, junior Maddy Tarter smiles while volunteering with Special Olympics in the gymnasium on Feb. 21. Special Olympics is an annual event in which high schoolers spend a day with athletes as they participate in activities such as basketball, face painting and hockey. “While we were walking around Victory Village, we went towards the DJ and made a dance circle. Eventually, all the students wanted to dance with each other,” Tarter said. “I definitely liked having the freedom to walk around and see everyone having fun, and also being able to interact with the athletes and buddies.”

Photo of the Week – February 23

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
February 23, 2024
Under the hoop, senior Chloe Kallaos and the cheer team line up before they begin their cheer routine on Feb. 10. The seniors celebrated by wearing t-shirts that each underclassmen made for them. “My shirt was made by one of my teammates, [sophomore] Elizabeth Knott. It’s a tradition for the underclassmen to make t-shirts for the seniors to wear on their senior night. In my sophomore year, I made one for Madi Nuernberger and Sami Milholland,” Kallaos said. “My favorite part was seeing my fellow seniors fly when some of them dont normally get the chance to fly. It was fun to see my friends try new skills,” Kallaos said.

Photo of the Week – February 16

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
February 16, 2024
Driving with basketball in hand, freshman Ella McNeal dodges her defender. The girls basketball team defeated Visitation Academy 51-36 on Jan. 25. “We did good at the beginning of the game, but then we got better as we understood their plays,” McNeal said. “I was definitely ready for the game. I just knew I had to come to play,” McNeal said.

Photo of the Week – January 26

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
January 26, 2024
Powering through a tunnel of kickboards, senior Abbi VanValkenburgh celebrates the girls swim and dive team senior night. The tradition highlights each senior’s journey through their high school career. “The sophomores and freshmen line up and they smack us in the back. After we run through the tunnel, we wait for our coach to announce our advice to the team along with our thank yous,” VanValkenburgh said. “My advice for the team was not to take the team for granted. We need to make sure we appreciate every moment because our team is so unique and special.”

Photo of the Week – January 19

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
January 19, 2024
Dedicating his full attention, senior Brandon Paul competes his way to become the first place winner of the Ceramics Olympics using mini hands. Every year, the advanced ceramics class holds this competition in place of the final as a fun activity. “This year, [ceramics teacher Ashley] Drissel got two of these mini potters wheels and decided to make this years events challenging. We used a mini hand on the mini wheel, which meant you didn’t actually have much of any control over what youre doing,” Paul said. “The best technique would have to be trying to pull back some of the individual rubber fingers to have more control over the clay as you form it into something that it doesn’t want to be. It was a very strange experience, but I won, so I think I pulled through in the end.”

Photo of the Week – January 12

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
January 12, 2024
2024 Senior send-off map

[Video] 2024 Senior send-off map

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
January 8, 2024
During the Sip and Study event after school on Jan. 4, senior Lizzie Duenez enjoys a cup of hot chocolate while on a break. The Sip and Study event provided an opportunity for freshman students to get help from Link Crew leaders, like Duenez, while preparing for their finals. “My role was to help out with Spanish and other classes if the students needed it,” Duenez said. “I connected with the freshmen because I knew their struggles. I was once a freshman myself and I didn’t know anything. It was a chill and relaxing time, especially with hot chocolate.

Photo of the Week – January 5

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
January 5, 2024
Shock sweeping across her face, sophomore Layla Stranquist faces her fear alongside her cheerleading teammates. The team participated in a reptile show as a way to deepen connections. “I was so scared at first, but then I actually wanted to hold the snake. It was a very weird experience,” Stranquist said. “Our coaches wanted us to do something different for team bonding and this activity helped get us out of our comfort zone.”

Photo of the Week – December 15

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
December 15, 2023
Tearing through teams of junior Longhorn basketball players, senior Chase Haun takes the court on December 1. Elementary and middle school players joined the high school team on the floor before the game. “We were playing our rivals, Parkway South, and all the youngins were there supporting us.” Haun said. “A lot of the community was there rooting for us. This might have been the most packed crowd I have ever seen in my basketball career.”

Photo of the Week – December 8

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
December 8, 2023
Laughing as he assembles the foundation, junior Jack Brau works to build the Latin Colosseum. The team stepped into roles that varied from an architect to an unskilled worker to complete the task. “The skilled craftsmen would go to the architect and ask what are the next steps to the construction,” Brau said. “The most difficult part was going back and forth between the architects in order to get a better understanding of how the next piece is built, but we were having a great time.”

Photo of the Week – December 1

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
December 1, 2023
Firing up the final touches, junior Jacob Burch finishes his triple decker s’more. Mr. Anderson’s chemistry class focused on chemical equations in lab experiments. “My favorite part was when we were able to experiment and have fun with the activity and do what we wanted with the ingredients that we were given,” Burch said. “I really enjoyed this experience because it was a fun way to learn a usually boring topic. Thats what Mr. Anderson is good at. He uses labs in chemistry to reinforce the things we are learning, which is way better than sitting and listening to a lecture.”

Photo of the Week – November 10

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
November 10, 2023
Senior Dana Zafarani poses in paint reading “Women, Life, Freedom” and “#BarayeAzadi” as a protest against the Iranian government. The experiences of Iranian women inspired Zafarani to assist in any effort to protect women’s rights. “The world should live in peace. Every woman deserves to be equal. Every woman deserves love [and] kindness,” Zafarani said.

[Photo] Woman, Life, Freedom

Will Gonsior, Staff Writer
November 14, 2023
Captivated by the flashing lasers, junior Sally Peters experiences science teacher Mr. Anderson’s 25th annual Halloween Show extravaganza on October 31. Mr. Anderson performed science experiments to entertain his students. “My favorite part was the lasers because I have never seen lasers like that before,” Peters said. “In the beginning, everybody was nervous because he told us how scary it would be, but we were impressed.”

Photo of the Week – November 3

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
November 3, 2023
Casting a spell, junior Gianna Lionelli freezes into position during the rehearsal of the school play, “Puffs” on October 25. Students ran through scenes of the show to polish their movements. “All of the people I work with are incredibly talented, who are great at thinking on their feet, so everyone is always ready to improv on stage when needed,” Lionelli said. “I love my character’s development. She’s in school trying to figure out who she is, which I think is very relatable for a lot of students. My favorite moment is when I realize I’m a Puff and come to terms with my true self.”

Photo of the Week – Oct. 27

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
October 27, 2023
Enjoying the evening sky, band teacher Brad Wallace glances at his music binder as the sun sets. The marching band practiced and prepared for performance for over three hours as dusk slowly emerged. “I love looking at the night sky when the sun starts to set,” Wallace said. “Since I was very little, all kinds of music paints a picture in my head.hen we create music, it makes the picture in my head more special,” Wallace said.

Photo of the Week – Oct. 20

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
October 20, 2023
Freshmen Cole Barton and Preston Priest make origami flowers during free time in their Drawing 1 class. Both gained an affinity for origami through the internet and further practiced this art under the guidance of West High Drawing 1 teacher Kat Briggs. “Their origami pieces are especially intricate. Both use multiple small pieces of paper that fold and interlock, enabling their sculptures to move and also simulate textures. They also use very precise folds, and I appreciate the careful craftsmanship that [goes] into their art,” Briggs said.

[Photo] Origami artisans

Audrey Ghosh, Opinions Editor
October 18, 2023
The sun beams and the sweat beads as freshman Erastus Adewusi walks onto the field at the freshmen boys soccer game on Oct.10. The team wore pink jerseys in honor of Cancer Awareness Day. “We wore pink to honor those who had survived breast cancer or not,” Adewusi said. “We played hard and passionately for those who had breast cancer, but most importantly, we played to honor them,” Adewusi said.

Photo of the Week

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
October 13, 2023
Striking a move, senior Trenton Livingston energizes the crowd at the Homecoming Pep Assembly as he sings along to the Barbie and Ken song. He followed the dance routine taught by the Varsity Girl Cheerleading Team. “The process of the dance was a little stressful. The girls were very patient with us even though we struggled a bit, but we learned pretty fast. I am happy that I got to be a part of the routine,” Livingston said. “I liked the pep assembly this year because we are the seniors and we get the spotlight,” Livingston said.

Photo of the Week – Oct. 6

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
October 6, 2023
Photo of the Week - Sept. 22

Photo of the Week – Sept. 22

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor
September 22, 2023
Gearing up to take a shot on the goal, Zoran Todorovic prepares to score a goal for the Parkway West Varsity Soccer team against Marquette. “The most challenging part of the game was that it was the first game of the season. We are still getting used to each other’s style of play and building on the chemistry,” Todorovic said. “I had friends on the opposing team that I play club soccer with, so playing against them was my favorite part.”

Photo of the Week — Sept. 8

Dana Zafarani, Photographer
September 8, 2023
Celebrating in Victory Village during Special Olympics, junior Caitlin Brandmill and her buddy Franchesca Chevalie decorate a paper bag to hold her crafts, like necklaces and slime. Brandmill wanted to participate in the Special Olympics because she thought it was an excellent opportunity to make an impact in the Parkway community. “I loved all of it. I had so much fun getting to know Franchesca and all  the  kids in our group,” Brandmill said. “My favorite part was making slime, but also basketball was fun because a lot of the athletes were getting into [the activity].”

[Photo] Photo of the Week – March 10

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
March 10, 2023
Seniors Cooper Walkoff and Tyler Lang scream at a Hawaiian-themed football game versus Hazelwood Central on Sept. 2. As an associate of the @PWestSuperfan Instagram, Walkoff believes the front of the bleachers is reserved for seniors. “Seniority is always in place, it’s student section etiquette, and we want the best student section possible. It’s important for seniors to be in the front row because they have been at West the longest and have more passion for West athletics than the rest of the students,” Walkoff said.

[Photo] Halfway There!

Makinsey Drake, Multimedia Editor
January 19, 2023
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.

[Photo] From Struggle to Success

Esta Kamau, Staff Writer
October 24, 2022
Standing on the sidelines with head coach Jeff Duncan, junior Joseph Federer holds his new Longhorn football helmet. Duncan met Federer over the summer through football camp. “You have to be a good decision-maker. [Federer has] proven to do that. [Federer] stays calm whether things are going well or bad and has a good demeanor about himself. Hes able to fit into our offense, be an accurate passer, be a good runner and just a good teammate for us,” Duncan said.

[Photo] Drive to play

Lia Emry, Staff Writer
September 27, 2022
“What makes me the happiest in my day is getting to do what I like, like drawing and doing all my hobbies. I like to draw because it’s fun and I’m good at it. Drawing has helped me with stress in school because I really get to relax when Im doing it and I dont really have to think about everything hard going on. And my favorite thing to draw would probably be people. I feel like I would mainly just draw at home because I feel most comfortable at home and I guess all my materials are there. Drawing isnt really like what I feel its more of like creativity that I feel like doing on paper. Like I usually talk about my feelings so drawing is just like an alternative way. To relax. So if someones really good with a pencil and paper then they should try drawing as a hobby.’’ – Naira Ali, 10

Naira Ali

Dana Zafarani, CJ1 Writer
April 22, 2022
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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High
Dana Zafarani