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The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

Staff Profile
Lilly Graham 24
Lilly Graham
Print Managing Editor

(she/her) Lilly Graham is a senior at West, and this is her third year on staff. Lilly is the Managing Editor for the print edition. Outside of school, Lilly enjoys playing tennis and spending time with...

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Christian’s corner

Art teacher Christian Aanestad is a Swiss Army knife of West High. Doing everything from teaching art classes, building sets for theater and being a constant and warm presence in the halls that he once occupied as a student.

The art hallway is nestled at the end of the school. The walls are lined with portraits and still lifes from this year’s students. One of these portraits is of art teacher Christian Aanestad. Not only has he taught at West but he has also been a cornerstone of the West community. Leading and teaching art classes throughout the day, venturing out into the commons between painting and jewelry making to make sure kids get into their classes. But who is the tall guy holding a coffee cup wandering around? Many students may know if they have ever taken a class at the other end of the school, but even though his classroom is far from the core of West High, that doesn’t stop Aanestad from being an integral part of the West High community. 

Whether it is set building after school, taking a painting or drawing class or being told in the nicest way possible to “get to class,” Aanestad leaves his mark on every student at this school. 

You can usually find Aanestad, or as his students call him, “Christian,” in the art room teaching classes. But he takes a hands-off approach to his classes. At the beginning of class, he shows them an example or a new technique, then proceeds to let the students take the reigns. He has complete creative control and only allows himself to make minor suggestions to better the art of West High artists. 

Not only does Aanestad lead his students in the art room, but he also serves as the district’s co-art coordinator, making plans and projects to enrich students’ lives through art. 

The Iowa City Community School District’s website reads, “This is a community in which art plays an important role in daily experience.” 

Aanestad is very familiar with that community, as he grew up in the very halls that he now gets to teach in every single day. 

Learn more about Aanestad in the video above.

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About the Contributors
Zoe Smith
Zoe Smith, Editor-in-Chief
(she/her) Zoe Smith is a senior and entering her third and final year on staff. She is so excited to be this year's Web Editor-in-Chief. Although you can usually find her in the newsroom; you may also find her on the soccer field either playing or coaching, working at Maggie's Farm Pizza, hanging out with friends and much more. If you can't find her she is probably petting a dog somewhere.
Abby Guo
Abby Guo, Video Editor
(she/her) Abby is a junior at West and this is her second year on staff. She is the Video Editor for the WSS. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her friends and listen to music on full volume.
Vera Tanas
Vera Tanas, Copy Editor
(she/her) Vera Tanas is a junior, and this is her second year on staff. She is the copy editor and art editor for the West Side Story website. Outside of journalism, Vera enjoys playing soccer, listening to music, working on art projects and spending time outdoors.
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