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


“I’m a captain [of the Varsity Cheerleading team]. I think its fun and I like leading. In practice, we stretch [with] everyone and then we make up quarter and timeout [routines] for the games. Its kind of sad [that it is my last year here], but at the same time Im excited for [what comes after high school]. I like the pep rallies. [One piece of advice is that] you should always be kind because you never know what someones going through. You dont want to look back at your high school years and be like, ‘Why did I do that?’ So make sure you think everything through. I want to go to college. Im looking [forward to either going to] Arizona [for college], but also Mizzou. I want to do something [in the] medical [field], but I want to do something with kids as well. I’m kind of scared, [but I would] probably do pre-med, [and become] a [pediatrician]. Ive always liked helping [others] and being around little kids. I feel like it would be really rewarding to help little kids, especially if theyre hurt and to make them feel better.” - Marissa Thomasson, 12

Marissa Thomasson

Andrea Restrepo, CJ1 Writer February 5, 2024

 “Id say my biggest accomplishment was founding the Indian Club with my best friend. I [most proud of it], because it is the only thing that Ive done here at West that has proved that I care about my identity, culture, that I care about other people who might struggle with the same [struggles as me], and who may want a place to come and build a community. So that was the first time that I actually created something [that] I deeply wanted to create. I wanted to [make] an Indian Club because I wanted to consolidate a safe space for people who struggled with their identity in school [and] may have formerly faced some sort of bias because of their identity. [My purpose behind making the club rooted from] wanting to learn more about the history of India and being super interested in learning about a lot of the forgotten history.” - Riya Ashok, 12

Riya Ashok

Mahiya Pallipat, CJ1 Writer February 1, 2024

2024 Senior send-off map

2024 Senior send-off map

Dana Zafarani, Photo of the Week Editor January 8, 2024
In kindergarten, 2024 felt so far away, but as the year turned, many students in the Class of 2024 found it hard to believe how quickly their last year of high school came. Stepping into the spotlight, seniors are committing to their post-high school plans. Their journey will be recognized in the Senior Send-Off Map.
“My freshman year [was my hardest] because that was the first year of high school and it was when COVID-19 hit.  It definitely [shook] things up, and its also the year that my dads illness basically took over my life and changed it beyond belief. My dad was immunocompromised, so I had to constantly focus on [questioning whether I was sick and if it were contagious]. It was a lot for anybody to handle, let alone a teenager. During that time, I didnt have my drivers license, [so] I couldnt escape it. I [was really] spending a lot of time outside playing golf and focusing on college even though I was that young. My main motivation is showing that I can be good at something but still do better.  Leave it better than you found it. Thats sort of been [my motto ever since] my dad passed away because it changed my perspective. Death doesnt seem so far; It seems so close. You want to make the most [out] of what you want to do in your life.” - Kylie Secrest, 12

Kylie Secrest

Laney Thomas, CJ1 Writer December 15, 2023

“I’m proud of being a captain of the varsity football team. Ive always wanted to be a really good football player, especially after we win a football game. I dont know what makes football so special to me, but I’ve played it my whole life. Theres just something [special] about being on a football team. Its just not like any other sport. Everyone has to do their part [in being a part of the team]. Theres no one that can be a standout player and just carry a team to victory. Everybody has to be one team. My dad is really important. He knows a lot about football and helps me. He also just keeps me in-check and so I work hard for him. There is a golf tournament fundraiser coming up for him to raise more money.  He has ALS so he is in a wheelchair and its basically just trying to make up money to help [him with his condition]. My friends are also a big part of my life. Theyre just always there for me when I need them. I feel like it [applies] for me too. Whenever I tore my ACL they were so kind to me. It helped me feel better. Last years second game of football season was when I tore my ACL, and now Im totally good. I mean, it definitely had setbacks, but I feel like I came back strong.” - Carson Rakers, 12

Carson Rakers

Juliet Fotheringham, CJ1 Writer December 8, 2023

“Try your hardest and don’t give up. My parents and friends inspire me the most. My friends keep me happy when I’m at school, and outside of school. My parents give me courage to work through problems and they teach me passion [along] with confidence in my life. Theres definitely times when I need them, [but] there are also times when I need one more than the other. A time where I needed them [the] most was when my grandpa died. I needed my friends and family for different moments during that point in my life. I’d say it helped a lot [because] they showed me that they loved and cared for me. I’d like to think [that] I show my friends and family that I [also] care about them. I’m always there if they need to talk to me, and I try to never leave their side [because] you never know what someone is going through. You just have to be patient and [be] positive with people.” - Dylan Davies, 12

Dylan Davies

Alyssa Gessner, CJ1 Writer November 29, 2023

“I started playing basketball in first grade. I kind of played every sport when I was younger, but basketball has always been the one that stuck with me [for] the longest. Basketball is important to me because pretty much everyone in my family plays basketball, and overall, a very enjoyable sport. I’m definitely excited for basketball season. I’m hoping that we can have a pretty good team this year, win a lot of games, and have a lot of fun. My goal is to get into basketball coaching. A lot of my family is involved in that, and I think that it would be a great career for me. I really like to be a leader, and inspire people. I am really passionate about the game of basketball. Being a senior is so special because [I] get to be [a] leader [in] the school. [I] also get to help out the underclassmen, and it’s [my] last year here so I want to make the most of it, and really enjoy it. It feels great; I’m really happy that I made it through the first three years of high school and get to continue [to] further my education.” - Jamie Franciscus, 12

Jamie Franciscus

Taylor Faintich, CJ1 Writer November 28, 2023

Triumphantly celebrating, senior Cameron Hickert is hefted into the air by fellow Mr. Longhorn contestants. Out of 15 contestants, Hickert took the first-place prize. “At the end of the day, I’m just glad I’m having fun with my friends,” Hickert said.

The finale: senior Cameron Hickert wins Mr. Longhorn 2023

Serena Liu and Elizabeth Franklin November 24, 2023

On Friday, Nov. 17, Mr. Longhorn tested 15 senior contestants across the categories of occupation, talent and formal wear, and senior Cameron Hickert came out on top.  In an effort to curry favor with...

Senioritis: Masks, memories, milestones

Sakenah Lajkem and Serena Liu November 20, 2023

Senior Sakenah Lajkem: Hi West. Senior Serena Liu: Welcome to “Senioritis,” where we do a lot of complaining.  Lajkem: When we’re not complaining, we dive into the ups and downs of our senior...

“Im more than an athlete. My whole life, Ive been known as a serious athlete. I want to do sports management and coaching [in the future] because of how I was influenced by others in the sports that I love. [Although], my life has been all about sports, I want to be known for more of my personality as I get older. My favorite experience is the team atmosphere and all the different experiences and knowledge I’ve gained. Ive learned more general life lessons from sports than sitting in a classroom. I’ve learned how to step up and be a leader in the right way. I will forever be grateful for everything sports has taught me.” - Rachel Livak, 12

Rachel Livak

Noor Hacking, CJ1 Writer November 9, 2023

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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High