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Pathfinder

The word “people” comes first in the term “people of color”

This photo illustration represents tokenism, when Black and Indigeninous People of Color (BIPOC) and other minorities are used as a token of diversity because of their race or ethnicity.
December 16, 2020

As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to have a profound effect on the way we think about representation, we have taken it upon ourselves to “increase diversity.”  We read the word “diversity”...

WPO fundraiser sparks questions about inclusivity

The WPO fundraiser Google Form included descriptions such as “celebrate Christmas in an elegant way” and “expressing your spirit of Christmas.”
November 17, 2020

The West Parent Organization (WPO) sent an email Nov. 2 to students and parents announcing their new holiday wreath fundraiser running through Nov. 15. This email included a digital order form of products...

Parkway offers faculty the opportunity for global competency

April 9, 2019

To combat ignorance and cultural indifference in our district walls, Parkway Career & Technical Education, Choice Programs and Global Studies & World Languages Coordinator Amy Belding and Talent...

“I have to sacrifice”: junior Meela Abby’s daily struggle for education

An assortment of books cradled in her arms, junior Meela Abby arranges belongings in her locker. Abby was enrolled in Parkway from kindergarten, hoping to study psychology upon graduating high school. “My sister went to school here and she told me that as soon as I come here, I need to start working. With my schedule you can’t procrastinate or things go bad,” Abby said. “If you want your education, you have to work hard. It doesn’t come easy.”
December 17, 2018

“Would you say you face discrimination at this school?” Junior Meela Abby wastes no time to answer, punctuating her response before I can even finish asking the question. “Yes, for sure.” The...

Behind the glitz and glamor: junior Aaliyah Weston’s fight against black stereotypes

Standing alone, junior Aaliyah Weston completes a dance routine while her poms teammates drop to the floor. The team performed with the entire school watching at the Homecoming pep assembly Sept. 28. “Once I got all that applause it was like, ‘Oh, I do matter and I’m a black girl making a change at Parkway West,’” Weston said.
December 7, 2018

“Being a token black kid, not being allowed to be angry ever because people just know me as–” Junior Aaliyah Weston pauses, searching for the right words before redirecting her line of thought. “You...

Zip code and skin color: the power in the stories that nobody tells

A Parkway school bus waits outside the building's front entrance.
December 7, 2018

Sixty years ago, 10 before Parkway West opened its doors, Arkansas governor Orval Faubus infamously shut down the entirety of Little Rock’s public high school system following pressure from the federal...

Former Principal Bill Byrd reflects on West’s 50th anniversary

Bill Byrd (center left) stands with current principal Jeremy Mitchell, and former principals Dave McMillan and Beth Plunkett at West’s 50th anniversary football game and celebration. Byrd had continued to stay connected to the West community even after leaving his post as principal in 1987 through his three children’s enrollment and attendance to football and basketball games. “We currently have a granddaughter [sophomore Susie Seidel] at West and enjoy attending her activities and listening to her West stories.  I feel very honored and fortunate to have been a part of West High for the past 50 years,” Byrd said.
March 15, 2018

Pathfinder: How did you become a principal at Parkway West? Byrd: I was teaching social studies at Hickman High School, Columbia, Mo. In 1969, when I interviewed for an assistant principal's position...

Whitewashed or not: students discuss the lack of teacher diversity

Flipping through the staff pages of the 2017 yearbook, only eight percent of faculty members are people of color.
September 11, 2017

As the community discusses differences, bullying and tolerance, the issue of diversity of teachers compared to students has come to light. “I think it’s not really about representation, I think...

I wore the hijab for a day

Junior Katie Spillman wears the hijab, a religious symbol of modesty for Islam, on World Hijab Day.
February 6, 2017

Men and women of the Muslim faith invited people of all religions to try wearing the hijab on World Hijab Day, Feb. 1. When two teachers came into my third hour class wearing the hijab, I was empowered...

Students push to raise awareness for lack of teacher diversity

Out of 166 certified teachers at West, only six are of color, making student diversity greater than teacher diversity.
May 12, 2016
The school has been making an effort to promote religion, gender and racial inclusiveness in Common Ground, but many students feel this is rendered ineffective with an undiversified teaching staff.
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