PIVOT: Arts education in action

Senior section leader Abbey Thompson directs the low brass at practice. She remains socially distant and masked. “I always struggled to find motivation to get into a practice routine but with all the extra time with quarantine I was able to dedicate real time to practice. I saw a pretty big improvement not only in my sound but also my confidence as a musician,” Thompson said.
October 27, 2020

I had my first dance recital when I was five years old. My mother likes to remind me that she thought I had the best costume: a black and white tulle dress, pink bows on my tap shoes and a feather in my...

Two truths and a lie: Teacher edition

See how well you know West staff by guessing their two truths and a lie.
March 27, 2020

Think you know the teachers of West High? While some of us may be shocked to learn teachers have lives outside of school, our teachers are filled with fun stories and incredible adventures. Take this quiz...

The road not taken: Aaron Bashirian, rock star gone teacher

History teacher Aaron Bashirian plays a gig at a local fair in his hometown of Elroy, Wis. July 1998. “I would say [my music] is pop-y,” Bashirian said. “It’s a happy-go-lucky sort of pop. There are some rock elements to it but it really is just feel good, fun music.”
May 13, 2019

When West’s newest social studies teacher, Aaron Bashirian, graduated from college and got his degree in history, it would be almost two decades before he got to use it. Instead, Bashirian pursued his...

Growing through Greek: seniors Nell Jaskowiak and Deirdre Jost gain valuable life skills through independent study

Writing Greek prose on the whiteboard, seniors Nell Jaskowiak and Deirdre Jost practice their letters and accents during their independent study. Taking Greek enables Jost to better prepare for a variety of possible futures, both through the content itself and the skills she retains. “Greek actually has a whole bunch of different accent marks which is not something you have in English,” Jost said. “I feel like I'd like to take [another] language, maybe Spanish or French,  in the future and having learned the Greek language with different alphabets and different accent marks might make it easier to learn that language, whatever it may be.”
April 2, 2019

The hallway is silent and still except for the occasional wanderer in search of the water fountain. A second glance finds seniors Nell Jaskowiak and Deirdre Jost settled on the floor by the Latin room. Jaskowiak...

Hóla oportunidades: Lauren Bernstein pursues her new passion for sales

Spanish teacher Lauren Bernstein promotes SeneGence tinted lotion to potential customers. After this year, Bernstein will be leaving the education field to pursue sales for these cosmetics. “This really provided an opportunity for me,” Bernstein said. “I do [feel empowered], both on the business sense of things and [the personal].”
February 22, 2019

After 14 years of educating, Spanish teacher Lauren Bernstein is leaving the field to pursue her new-found passion in SeneGence makeup and skincare sales. She started selling products for the company in...

Can you guess the teacher from their starter pack?

Can you guess the teacher from their starter pack?
March 8, 2018

We love our teachers, and to show them how much we admire them we commemorated them in starter pack-form. We gathered images that represent each person, as well as quotes, and put them in a quiz for all...

Getting to know American Sign Language teacher Tiffani Symons

ASL teacher Tiffani Symons signs to one of her students in her American Sign Language II class. Symons has been teaching for 17 years.
February 23, 2018

Pathfinder: What got you interested in teaching? Symons: “I wanted to be a teacher since I was in high school. I realized I wanted to teach deaf and hard of hearing students, so I became a teacher...

Getting to know math and Personal Finance teacher Andrea Horn

Horn poses with her husband, her son Braydon and her daughter Mylah at Quail Ridge Park in Wentzville, MO. “I am married [to] a teacher and coach, and [we] have two kids,
January 9, 2018

What got you interested in teaching? “I can’t say there was anything in particular. I played teacher/school as a kid. I think it was just always a passion and dream of mine.” What class(es)...

Getting to know French teacher Blair Hopkins

Hopkins poses by the Christmas market in Strasbourg, France.
January 8, 2018

Pathfinder: What is your job? Hopkins: “I am a part-time French teacher. I do French I and French II, so I am here in the morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.” What got you interested in teaching French? “I...

Getting to know Technology and Engineering teacher Chris Donaldson

Technology and Engineering teacher Chris Donaldson helps senior Jack Fox during the Day of Code on December 6. Donaldson teaches three courses, all involving technology and engineering. “I am most excited to see students try new things, build skills and develop strengths they may not have previously realized they had,
December 20, 2017

Pathfinder: What got you interested in teaching? Donaldson: "I had a few stand-out teachers in high school and college. What struck me is how they were able to take complex concepts, break them down...

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