West High students and staff reveal the different aspects of West that make it a welcoming place.
West High students and staff reveal the different aspects of West that make it a welcoming place.
Anna Song

What’s West grateful for?

From close friends to school spirit, students and staff share what they are most grateful for about West.

When students and staff were asked what they were grateful for about West High, their responses ranged from friends to intellectual debates. Here are some of West Side Story’s top answers.


“I am grateful for the amount of opportunities and resources provided for the students at West High and how it sets you up for success as a student,” – Karen Liu ’24




“I’m grateful for the diversity of thoughts. It leads to great conversations and debates because you have such a range of opinions on subjects, and it can be anything from politics to sports. You’ll always find someone to debate with if you try hard enough,” – Elijah Hime ’25




“I’m grateful that our students are intelligent and have a sense of humor so that some of my jokes actually land,” – Nate Frese, Teacher




“I’m very grateful for the secretary ladies, the paraeducations, and the diversity within the school,” – Kristiana Washington ’23





“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have my first library job over here at the high school. It’s been a really amazing experience so far,” – Sara Seipker, Media Secretary




“I’m grateful for the support from the teachers and the dedication they put into bettering students’ school lives and helping them with their grades. I had a really big turnaround from last year to this year, thanks to my teachers,” – Lilly Vick ’25



“I’m grateful for the diversity [at West]. I’m working with all kinds of people, not just people that look like me,” – Ben Nasoni, Paraeducator




“I’m grateful for my friends. This year has taught me who my real friends are, so I appreciate them that much more,” – Phoebe Ephraim Gill




“I’m so grateful for the journalism department at West. I never thought I would find such a welcoming and spirited community. I’m proud to be a part of it and am so thankful for all the new skills and insights I’ve learned,” – Akshethaa Naveen-Kumar ’24



“[I’m grateful for] having so many classes and clubs available for me to try and enjoy,” – Jane Lierly ’27




“The wacky cake slaps,” – Aspen Hermann ’27




“The sports at West are phenomenal, and the coaches are great,” – DiMarco Harris ’26




“The staff and janitors,” – Ester Nyasamaza ’27





“I’m grateful for Mr. Cooper. He’s helped me grow so much as an individual, and he welcomed me into my freshman year at West High,” – Heba Elsayd ’27




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About the Contributors
Reem Kirja, Print Profiles Editor
(She/her) Reem Kirja is the West Side Story print Profiles Editor and this is her second year on staff. She enjoys exploring different world issues and having intellectual discussions to learn about other perspectives. She also loves spending time with her family, embarking on different arts and crafts projects, reading and experiencing life as a whole.
Anna Song, Print Assistant Design Editor
(she/her) Anna Song is a junior at West High School and is excited for her second year on the West Side Story staff. This year she will be the assistant design editor on print staff. Outside the newsroom, she can be found either playing the violin, listening to music, browsing Pinterest, napping or eating.
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