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


Serena Liu

Serena Liu, Editor-in-Chief

Pronouns: she/her

Grade: 12

Years on staff: 3

What is your favorite piece of literature? Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Who is your hero? My mom! She’s the most incredible person I know and also she reads my stories so she might see this.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Mac & cheese all the way.

All content by Serena Liu
Laughing, boys wrestling head coach Zeke Allison and assistant coach Jeff Scholte celebrate their athletes on senior night. The two have coached together since the 2015-16 season. “I couldn’t get to those 100 wins if it wasn’t for the people that I coached with. My dad coached with me for a while. Right now, I got [assistant coaches] Murry Reich and Jeff Scholte, who’ve been with me most of the way. I definitely couldn’t have done it without those guys being in my corner,” Allison said.

Milestones on the mat

Serena Liu, Editor-in-chief
February 5, 2024
Smiling widely, senior Dana Zafarani embraces English teacher and contest organizer Andria Benmuvhar after being announced as West’s 2024 Poetry Out Loud champion. Zafarani will represent West at the regional competition in February. “I’ve done Poetry Out Loud for the last two years. I’m a senior now, so I want to make it count,” Zafarani said.

Lines and rhymes

Serena Liu, Editor-in-Chief
January 17, 2024
On Dec. 21, the day before students went on winter break, the Parkway School District put in place new signs displaying classroom room numbers. The signs were installed as a safety measure for first responders to locate emergencies around the school. “It makes it a lot easier and universal for people to understand the location of students and staff,” Sophomore Principal Jamaal Heavens said.

[Photo] A path to safety

Samari Sanders, Staff Writer
January 5, 2024
Senior Emily McCarthy sits next to junior Zoe Gleason. She looks down at a paper with a list of names on it.

To the cinéma!

Serena Liu, Editor-in-Chief
November 17, 2023
a person holding skittles

[Photo] Colorful chaos

Ruthvi Tadakamalla, Social Media Manager
November 13, 2023
Cultural and socioeconomic barriers prevent many Asian Americans from seeking help for mental health issues. Alumna and emeritus Mental Health Awareness Club President Rachel Bhagat, who has worked with many Asian immigrants and refugees, notices clear benefits of mental health care in daily life. “Seeking out mental health care is extremely important for everyone. Regularly seeing someone to talk to about your mental health helps prevent or makes it easier to navigate mentally stressful [or] harmful situations,” Bhagat said.

Silent pandemic

Serena Liu, Editor-in-Chief
November 10, 2023
Junior Neil Dhiman strikes a pose by shifting his weight to his right leg and looking down at his left heel. The words Longhorn Lookbook are displayed against a blue background.

Longhorn Lookbook: Neil Dhiman

Serena Liu, Editor-in-Chief
May 29, 2023
Crouching back and preparing to lunge, freshman Matt Lancia points his faux sword toward his opponent. Lancia, as part of his English 1 class, reenacted a scene from “Romeo and Juliet” to better understand the story. “It showed me how people fought very long ago,” Lancia said. “[My favorite part of the unit] is probably all the activities we do. I’m a very energetic person and I don’t sit still.”

Photo of the Week — May 19

Serena Liu, Editor-in-Chief
May 19, 2023
A woman points a camera at the viewer

Photography through a racial lens

Serena Liu, News Editor
February 23, 2023
In the event of cancellations, there are rules set in place, varying between each airline, to reimburse customers. Airlines are required to provide refunds or rebook canceled flights at no additional cost.

[Photo] Taking on the Storm

Esta Kamau, Staff Writer
January 27, 2023
Former junior Cory Driver decided to drop out this summer, feeling disheartened with the school system. He now has more time to pursue other interests, such as going to trade school, building his “yaasified crust punk” band and working more hours at Qdoba. “Id been talking to my principal and my counselor since the middle of summer. Id keep trying to have conversations saying, ‘Hey, I want to drop out and get my GED.’ Every single time Id try to have [that] conversation, they did whatever they could to make sure that I didnt drop out [because] if I drop out, it makes the school look bad,” Driver said.

Dropping out

Serena Liu, News editor
December 6, 2022
Junior Suraiya Saroar enjoys both American and Bangladeshi traditions on Thanksgiving. For dessert, she has pumpkin pie and mishti, a broad category of sweets from south Asia.

You ain’t seen stuffing yet

Serena Liu, News Editor
November 28, 2022
Junior Kaleb Tham and his family rotate who hosts Thanksgiving each year. When his family hosts, they prepare hot pot alongside American foods.

[Photo] Junior Kaleb Tham

November 28, 2022
Climate activists Phoebe Plummer and Anna Holland were arrested Oct. 14 after tossing a can of tomato soup at Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers.” Plummer, at just 21 years old, attempted to glue her hand to the wall before telling onlookers that with the rising cost of oil, many families do not have enough money to heat soup.

Is art worth more than life?

Serena Liu, News Editor
November 2, 2022
Knees bent, freshman James Callahan lifts the ball for a fast pass during the 2021 Young Men’s National Championship in Virginia Beach. Despite his high skill level, it is difficult for Callahan to find opportunities to play with other boys. “I can’t play in any tournaments in St. Louis. To get practice with other boys, I’d have to fly out to California or Pennsylvania. You have to spend $400 to pay for the practice, and you pay for a plane ticket. We don’t even know if they’re giving us rooms, [or if] we also have to get the hotel and transportation,” Callahan said.

Sticking with it

Serena Liu, News Editor
September 26, 2022
Beyond Principal John McCabe’s professional history, there are many fun facts about him that readers may not know.

Building the Future of West

Serena Liu, News Editor
September 14, 2022
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


Serena Liu, Staff Writer
April 29, 2022


Serena Liu, Staff Writer
April 29, 2022
“My happiest memory of this job is being accepted. I was badly burnt out from the other job, [beacause] I had the whole midnight shift. I didnt see much of my wife and family throughout that time. It felt good to have a new prospect. Being on this job for 15 years, day in and day out, [you] appreciate [your] co-workers as well as the staff of the building. Its a humble career. It teaches you how to be patient, how to hold back anger and fear, it teaches you to be human. My biggest struggle is some students not caring for each other. Throw away your own trash. Report your spill. Recognize that if something is not right, lets make it right. If you see something thats wrong, see if we can fix it. I believe this is still one big happy family—if we make it that way.” – Sean Smith, Faculty

Sean Smith

Serena Liu, CJ1 Writer
April 22, 2022

“SUN GOES DOWN” by Lil Nas X

Serena Liu, Staff Writer
January 5, 2022
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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High
Serena Liu