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

Elle Rotter

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief

Pronouns: she/her

Grade: 12

Years on staff: 4

What was your favorite childhood TV show? My favorite childhood TV show was Liv and Maddie!

What is your favorite book? Currently... my favorite book is 'A Good Girls Guide to Murder,' however, my all time favorite book is probably 'Tell Me Three Things'

What motivates you? I am motivated by a lot of things: my family and friends, music, and literature.

All content by Elle Rotter
At the Teacher Appreciation game, junior Maddie Jennings cradles the lacrosse ball and runs up the court against the O’Fallon Panthers. The team won 8 to 5. “[As the season closes] things got real. It was not about your record anymore. It was about staying in [the game] and surviving as long as possible,” Jennings said. “It was fun because things were starting to come together and we worked well together as a team.”

Photo of the Week – May 5

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
May 5, 2023
Standing in front of a crowd, senior Molly Glisson performs one of her five solos in the Jazz Choir concert April 25. Glisson performed in the Jazz Choir all four years and enjoyed hanging out with her team members outside of school. “Jazz is such a special genre to sing, and I enjoy[ed] doing it a lot. Being able to sing such a fun style with such fun people [was] my favorite part of being in this group,” Glisson said. “[Being a senior brought] a sentimental feeling [to the show] just because I have been singing so long, and it’s coming to an end so fast. I’m sad but also thankful for the opportunities I have gained from being in this group and the people I have met.”

Photo of the Week – April 28

Elle Rotter, Staff Writer
April 28, 2023
Freshman Evelyn Fitzpatrick and sophomores Risa Cidoni and Hanna Wentzel work together in Honors Biology 2 to dissect owl pellets. Due to the nature of this hands-on experiment, Cidoni found herself weary at first but was still interested in learning how to dissect the pellets. “You had to literally touch the pellet and do stuff with it, and it was not as bad as you would think it would be. I think the lab was supposed to teach that you don’t have to be scared of dissecting something,” Cidoni said. “This lab was fun. It seemed scary, but it wasn’t as bad [as I imagined]. It was more hands-on than other labs, and that made it more enjoyable.”

Photo of the Week – April 21

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
April 21, 2023
In Fashion Merchandising on Tuesday, students worked on designing unique dresses for Barbie. After taking the Fashion and Apparel class, junior Alia Hammad found herself deeply interested in learning more about fashion and wanted to continue expanding her knowledge and practice. “It is a huge hobby for me,” Hammad said. “I designed this dress in pink because it was for a Barbie, and Barbie’s are always pink for me. [I wanted to make] a fancy design, so I added a bit of sparkle and made it off the shoulder.”

Photo of the Week – April 14

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
April 14, 2023
Wednesday and Thursday seniors gathered in the cafeteria to create the hand wall for 2023. Senior Joseph Britt removes his hand from the wall, leaving his mark amongst the other handprints of peers. “There’s that knowledge that we are passing down with our legacy. The hand wall is a visual representation of [our legacy] to show that we were here,” Britt said. “I remember voting [for the design] a while back and I liked the Monopoly board a lot. Seeing some of the other hand walls that are up there I like ours [the most].”

Photo of the Week – April 6

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
April 6, 2023
After three months of preparation for the first annual blood drive, National Honor Society (NHS) President and senior Nikita Bhaskar lays in one of the stretchers holding senior Jame Wild’s hand as she donates blood. The blood drive gathered 61 bags of blood to donate to ImpactLife. “I loved seeing the NHS volunteers shine. Katie Jauss, Jame Wild and [senior] Adam Lancia choreographed dances to perform in front of the donors to distract them, and it genuinely brightened the event. They let their personalities shine to help others, and I felt thats what NHS is all about. It was inspiring to see,” Bhaskar said. “Knowing that I could save three lives by donating a pint of my blood made it a no-brainer; donating was an easy choice.

Photo of the Week – March 31

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
March 31, 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 of the Week – March 10

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
March 10, 2023
Learning the chemistry behind how popcorn pops, juniors Talie Seers and Nykira Johnson use a beaker clamp to shake a beaker full of popcorn kernels and cover the beaker with a sheet of mesh. The lab helped Seers better understand the kinetic molecular theory concept. “My favorite part [of the class] is how Mrs. Robert leads the class. We get to do labs pretty often which helps me understand the material more and it all ties into what we were learning,” Seers said. “The hardest part was being impatient and waiting for the popcorn to pop and see if we actually did [the lab] right.”

Photo of the Week – March 3

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
March 3, 2023
Read Across America Day aims to inspire and encourage kids to read more and help develop their reading habits at a young age. However, it is not only meant for kids; the holiday encourages reading at all ages. To promote reading at the high school level, the library has started a new tradition that challenges students to read books from each of the fifty states. “Hopefully [this] gets more people involved in reading — maybe finding a new author or a new book that they enjoy or reading something that they wouldnt have originally picked but takes them somewhere new to explore,” school librarian Lauren Reusch said.

Oh, the places you’ll read!

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
March 1, 2023
During the song “Morning Glow” in the spring musical “Pippin,” senior Andrew Gwin acts as the main character that just killed his father in hopes of finding the meaning of his life. With just 24 hours until the first show, Gwin and other cast members ran through choreography and lighting to ensure everything was set for the opening performance at 7 p.m. “My character was someone who longed to find meaning and wanted a purpose for his life. So he went throughout the musical searching for things to try,” Gwin said. “[To relate to my character] I thought of how my lines went together because I knew how the character was supposed to develop throughout the show, so I tried to match how someone would go through that.”

Photo of the Week – Feb. 24

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
February 24, 2023
Using chalk to draw the atmospheric processes and effects of air pollution, senior Kaitlyn Barnes reflects on the lesson in AP Environmental Science on acid deposition cycles. The purpose of the activity was to help students visualize and better understand the cycle. “I like the environment, and I like learning about the environment. I want to minor in Environmental Science. It is just fun to learn. [The class] was not like Chemistry where I’ll probably never use [the content of the class] again, but this is useful to know,” Barnes said.

Photo of the Week – Feb. 16

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-In-Chief
February 16, 2023
Adding a base to their acidic liquid to complete a titration, juniors Mazz Siddiqui and Sofia Wu  successfully neutralized the liquid. They did the math to find the molarity of the mixture. “The labs were the most interesting [part of chemistry] because I stood up and did something innovative,” Wu said. “The math [was sometimes challenging because it] needed to be correct in a chain reaction; you needed the first question to be right to do the next one right.”

Photo of the Week – Feb. 10

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
February 10, 2023
Peeling off her gloves after examining a healthy lung compared to the lung of a smoker, junior Ione Cornelius explores  High School Heroes training. High School Heroes is an organization that teaches middle school students about drug prevention that focuses on the dangers of e-cigarettes, marijuana and CBD. “When I was in sixth grade I thought [High School Heroes] was really fun and interesting. I learned a lot from it and looked up to the high schoolers who taught me. [I knew] I wanted to do that one day,” Cornelius said.

Photo of the Week – Feb 3

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
February 3, 2023
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
Freshman Clara DAquino Lazarini cuts out pieces of a magazine to make a vision board in her Fashion Apparel and Housing Design class. Following a recommendation from her sister, senior Luisa DAquino Lazarini, Clara was thrilled to start the class at the beginning of the semester, looking forward to having an elective class where she can learn, grow and be creative with her friends. “I am a more creative person, but sometimes it is hard to be creative. I like getting to sit around and explore. Fashion is one of those things I like to explore and get to know more [about]. I think [the class] is very fun because we get to create [our] own things,” Clara said.

Photo of the Week – Jan 27

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
January 27, 2023
Popping balloons as fast as she can, junior Sakenah Lajkem participates in a group bonding activity in her Convergence Journalism 1 class. Students were divided into groups where one student wore a onesie, and the balance of the group had five minutes to fill the suits with balloons. “Mrs. Klevens said there are a lot of different ways to do things,” Lajkem said. “I realized different groups have different strategies, which was surprising. [Freshman] Kennedy [Hodge] suggested that one person blow up the balloons and the other ties and the other stuffed the suit. [This activity taught me how to] problem solve and that there are many different ways to do things,” Lajkem said.

Photo of the Week – Jan 20

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
January 20, 2023
Practicing paddling backward, senior Trenton Caton talks with his friends, Jackson Larson, Tristan Wistuba and Braxton Eddy, about their favorite memories in the class. Caton favored the Scuba unit and spending time underwater, but he also liked kayaking because he got to play water polo after they were done with the lessons. “For vacation, we would go down to Michigan, and we would do a lot of kayaking there,” Caton said. “I started kayaking in fourth grade, so I have a lot of personal experience with it.”

Photo of the Week – Jan 13

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
January 13, 2023
Senior and homecoming queen Hope Green celebrates the Powder Puff win with her younger brother and her friend’s siblings. Green assisted in coordinating and running practices for game preparation. “The Powder Puff tradition is one of my favorites, especially with our grade. Since we have so many amazing athletes, we can unite and dominate,” Green said.

[Photo] Halfway There!

January 19, 2023
Fine-tuning his masterpiece, junior Jeff Bakers uses mineral spirits to help develop more detail in painting. Bakers favorite work from this semester was painting still-life objects including a chair, skates and fruit. “My teacher inspired me to do better because at first I wasn’t going to try in this class, but she influenced me to try harder [in my artwork],” Baker said. “This class was a lot harder, a lot more [work] than I expected.”

Photo of the Week – Dec. 9

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
December 9, 2022
Editors for the Parkway West Pathfinder help organize the Pathfinder product drive. The team collected and sorted donations from each English teacher’s room after school from Nov. 14 - Nov. 21. “Our goal was originally to give each family seven additional items for the month of December, and we have far surpassed our goal now,” Pathfinder editor and senior Elle Rotter said. “We passed that goal by the third day of the drive, and it was amazing how many people donated.”

Food feuds: you made an impact

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-In-Chief
November 30, 2022
English teacher Shannon Cremeens is still in the lead with 321 items, but English teachers Cara Borgsmiller and Michelle Kerpash are not far behind.

Who is in the lead?

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
November 17, 2022
After two days of collecting donations, the Pathfinder has 751 items to donate to the Parkway Food Pantry. English teacher Shannon Cremeens took the lead in the competition donating 280 items; however, English teachers Cara Borgsmiller and Michelle Kerpash have 121 and 126 donations. “It’s important for the community to be involved. Even the smallest donation can help,” senior and Parkway Food Pantry volunteer Kailey Hartle said.

English teacher Shannon Cremeens leads the Pathfinder food drive

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
November 15, 2022
During a Crime and Law mock trial, senior Nadir Gheith acts as the defendant, Jack Percy who is on trial for the first-degree murder of Butch Burly. Officer Matthew Paubel removed Gheiths handcuffs at the start of the trial after escorting him to the pretend courtroom. “[The most challenging part of the mock trial] was seeing me lose because I hardly lose, and I needed to bounce back from that. [I lost] because the jury hates me. I don’t know what I did wrong, but they just didn’t like me,” Gheith said.

Photo of the Week – Nov. 11

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-In-Chief
November 14, 2022
Packaging four containers of curry per bag, senior and Parkway Food Pantry volunteer Kailey Hartle helps with the food pantry’s distribution every month. Hartle was grateful for the leadership skills she learned through working with the food pantry for a year. “It feels like I have the most direct impact. I am helping families that have enough food to make it through the month,” Hartle said.

Breakfast bars and baby wipes: The Pathfinder’s food drive begins

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
November 11, 2022
At the end of the first act of the fall play ‘Silent Sky,’ Henrietta Leavitt played by senior Nicole [Blue] Schade, receives an important message from Williamina Fleming, played by junior Dana Zafarani. Schade described the script as beautiful and heartfelt and said that they have a lot to learn from their character. “I loved getting to help the audience see how beautiful this world is because that’s what Henrietta’s core belief was; she had so much wonder for the world. I related to that, and it was an honor to be the one to tell that story, and make the audience feel that same sense of wonder.”

Photo of the Week – Nov. 4

Elle Rotter, Conceptual Editor-In-Chief
November 4, 2022
Sophomore Keyshon Brown and senior Sapir Zachary measure ingredients to make a sauce for their days dish: fettuccine alfredo. In the Culinary Mentor class, neurotypical students work with kids with various disabilities to learn cooking skills. “I thought [this class] would be enjoyable and a great opportunity to help kids develop skills they can carry on later in life. It hurts my heart to see how those kids can be treated. I always wanted to be their friend and make them laugh. More people need to be considerate and nice and be someone’s friend,” Zachary said.

Artist, entrepreneur and agriculturalist

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-In-Chief
October 28, 2022
Senior Esha Franics

Esha Francis

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Sophomore Sienna Lorenz

Sienna Lorenz

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Celebrating the 2021 Fall Pep Assembly, seniors Esha Franics and Maya Malhorta dress in spirit colors red, white and blue. The duo worked on planning the Homecoming assembly, parade and Powder Puff game. “Im more in charge of the parade and the floats. Esha is more in charge of the pep assembly and Powder Puff,” senior Maya Malhorta said. “There’s a lot of things to do behind the scenes, especially picking [main] theme and planning all of the spirit day themes, but it is a lot of fun. I picked disco [for the class theme] because I think it would be the most fun. I am disappointed the teachers didn’t get rock; I was hoping they would.”

Longhorn Council shares their pride, passion and plans

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Sophomore Triya Gudipati

Triya Gudipati

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Senior Maya Malhotra

Maya Malhorta

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Freshman Camden Wilford

Camden Wilford

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Freshman Kanya Livingston

Kanya Livingston

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Junior Jojo Shank

Jojo Shank

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Senior Hope Green

Hope Green

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Sophomore McKinlay Loveless

McKinlay Loveless

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Sophomore Sadie Burgess

Sadie Burgess

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Junior Achyuta Ambal

Achyuta Ambal

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Junior Andrew Son

Andrew Son

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Sophomore Maddy Tarter

Maddy Tarter

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Freshman Kamori Berry

Kamori Berry

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
Junior Sarah Reifschneider

Sarah Reifschneider

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 23, 2022
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.

[Video] ‘Longhorn Country, Let’s Ride!’

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor-in-Chief
September 20, 2022
Students say farewell to Dr. Mitchell

[Video] Students say farewell to Dr. Mitchell

Elle Rotter, Deputy Conceptual Editor in Chief
May 27, 2022
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Elle Rotter