The student news site of West High School

West Side Story

  • The book drive will continue this week, through Friday

  • The band department leaves for Florida on Monday and will return Sunday

  • Midterm grades are due on Tuesday at 8:00 a.m.

  • The Functional Programs talent show will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday

  • There is no school on Friday, April 21

In black and white: the 70 percent

In black and white: the 70 percent

Cameron Cook
June 22, 2016
Filed under Feature, Showcase, Uncategorized

While microaggressive behaviors against students of color may be common, especially those that lead to underestimation of their academic ability, another predicament rises to focus: discipline. At West, 70 percent of suspended students are African-American, compared to 28 percent Caucasian and two pe...

Marked absent

Marked absent

Fenna Semken
May 22, 2016
Filed under Feature, Showcase

Having a baby is described as one of the most joyful experiences in life, yet the Iowa City Community School District maternity leave policy may be exactly the opposite of wonderful. While the district has made it possible for teachers to take maternity leave, some members of the West community believe t...

In black and white: white privilege

In black and white: white privilege

Cameron Cook
May 19, 2016
Filed under Feature, Video, Video

At West, a belief in white privilege and its detriments are common among students of color. “White privilege is like having a torch over every other race,” said Suha Suleman ’16. “[White people] always have a head start. It’s easier for [them] to get to the finish line than it is for othe...

She was strong and her braveness was no mystery

She was strong and her braveness was no mystery

Nina Elkadi
May 18, 2016
Filed under Profiles, Showcase

Music is said to connect people in an unspoken way, and heal the soul through its expression of emotion and reality. Lexi Williams '18 knows this healing process all too well. Her story is one of pain and hardship, but most of all it is one of triumph.  Williams’ story begins on the corner of 43rd and Cicero in...

Fighting in the ring and for his country

Fighting in the ring and for his country

Aaron Carter
May 8, 2016
Filed under Profiles, Showcase, Sports

Richard Zepeda ’16 is a future Marine, high school graduate and hopeful boxing extraordinaire. Zepeda has overcome many struggles in his life: grades, parental pressures, self-loathing and even lack of motivation. But now, Zepeda has now figured out what he loves in life: boxing and his country. Altho...

Darian’s story

Darian’s story

Isabelle Robles
April 15, 2016
Filed under Feature, Showcase

Dysthymia, or chronic depression is a relatively common diagnosis with approximately four million cases documented annually in the U.S. according to the National Institute of Mental Health. For some, dealing with their depression is just a matter of not being able to regulate emotions, turning things worse ...

Substitutes of West High

Substitutes of West High

Nina Elkadi
April 15, 2016
Filed under Profiles, Showcase

Joe Desy: When former science teacher Joe Desy isn’t searching for fossils, listening to music, aspiring to be a vegan or observing birds at the raptor center, he’s taking care of his Quaker parrot: Shamrock. Tweets by @Shambo // “Since he was just over a year old he has learned to say over a hundred words a...

Creating culture

Creating culture

Shawn Thacker, Kelsey Keranen, and Michael Moonjely
April 14, 2016
Filed under Feature, Showcase, Uncategorized

The high school experience is a nuanced thing; depending on the subject matter you’re consuming, it can be anything from a constant party to literally the worst four years of your life.  But the movies we watch and the books we read have generated a culture that may not be altogether accurate; the...

Li named Coca-Cola Scholar

Li named Coca-Cola Scholar

Michael Moonjely
April 13, 2016
Filed under Profiles, Showcase, Uncategorized

Millions of people around the world enjoy bottles of Coca-Cola every day. However, senior Mary Li’s Coke tastes just a little bit sweeter. This past March, Li was named a Coca-Cola Scholar, a prestigious distinction awarded to only 150 high school seniors each year. Along with a $20,000 scholarship,...

Students answer questions about Spain

Students answer questions about Spain

Layla Hannaford
April 7, 2016
Filed under Feature, Showcase, Video

The Spanish students returned home after two weeks overseas in Spain. Juniors Marissa Mead, Orion Staskal and Dylan Gao arrived last Thursday night after an eleven and a half hour flight home. While there, they visited many cities including Madrid, Segovia, Seville, Granada, Toledo, Huelva, Cartaya,...

Ernst travels to further her knowledge of world issues

Ernst travels to further her knowledge of world issues

Lauren Katz, WSS Intern
March 28, 2016
Filed under Feature, Showcase

In the summer of 2015, Lauren Ernst ’18 went on a field study to Sicily, Malta and Cyprus to learn about the migrant issue. She was the only one out of the fourteen people selected who was not from California. She began her adventure by flying out to California to do a mock negotiation between...

Fashion and friendship Friday

Fashion and friendship Friday

Paige Brazina
March 11, 2016
Filed under Entertainment, Fashion, Profiles, Showcase

WSS: How did you meet? Angie Zirbes '18: We met last year and we just really clicked. We kind of lost contact until this year when we had classes and lunch together. Now we are really great friends. I mean, we even have a secret language now. Bailey Raso '18: We met last year but we have gotte...

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