West Side Story

Friend crush: Katy Nahra, Ann Rocarek and Christian Aanestad

Katy Nahra, Ann Rocarek and Christian Aanestad pose in front of a sheet stained with fake blood after the 2019 spring musical,

Misha Canin and Natalie Dunlap

February 23, 2020

In the morning, the three meet for coffee ahead of their busy days. At lunch, they are gathered around the dining table in room 102, definitely not gossiping about their students. In the evenings, they can be found in the auditorium blocking scenes, building set pieces and planning for the upcoming pro...


WSS examines the underlying racial disparities at West and within the ICCSD.

Alice Meng and Jenna Wang

February 21, 2020

Introduction It’s a new day at school and you walk in the building with a pair of new shoes and a fresh haircut, a bounce of confidence with every step you take.  Suddenly, someone makes fun of you, and you feel hurt—maybe for a few minutes, or even a whole day. The next school day, y...

The international student experience

West High is home to a wide range of students varying in places of birth. For international students, being at West High entails getting accustomed to a new language and school system.

Carmela Cohen Suarez, Copy Editor and Entertainment Editor

February 15, 2020

Imagine walking into a crowded hallway full of strangers laughing and talking among themselves. You do not know where your first period class is or how to ask for directions to get there. The strangers around you are speaking a completely different language that you are still in the process of learnin...

From students to colleagues

English teacher Kerri Barnhouse has had multiple students from previous years end up teaching with her at West.

Bess Frerichs, Feature Editor

February 14, 2020

Having taught at West High for 34 years, social studies teacher Gary Neuzil has had thousands of students. Some of which have gone on to be teachers themselves. An even smaller number, just four, have gone on to teach at West. Neuzil remembers them all clearly: art teacher Christian Aanestad, sci...

Behind the burrito buddies

Julian Wemmie '20 and Riley Bridges '20 pose with a burrito in Pancheros.

Marta Leira, News Editor

February 13, 2020

As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, two students reflect on the creation of their burrito-themed matchmaking program.

For the kids: why they dance

The final reveal for the amount of money raised for the kids is celebrated.

Bess Frerichs, Feature Editor

February 11, 2020

Lucy Roth was diagnosed with cancer, a softball-sized tumor in her brain, when she was only two. She was admitted to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital immediately and went through multiple surgeries to reduce the tumor. Nine years later, Lucy is the kid captain of West High School Dance Maratho...

Looking back: Addicted to chocolate

Camille Gretter '23 brings back an article on chocolate consumption so you can enjoy a sweet treat guilt-free.

Camille Gretter, WSS Intern

February 6, 2020

"Addicted to chocolate" by Pamella Bhalla February 13, 1987 Are you a chocoholic? Do you experience cravings for chocolate on a regular basis? If so, take this opportunity to add yourself to the ever increasing list of Americans who are chocolate lovers. Americans love chocolate so much that t...

The man behind the merch

Chris Kim '20 created merchandise for his family's grocery story, Chong's Market.

Natalie Dunlap, Online Editor-in-Chief

February 2, 2020

All it takes is an Instagram story from Chris Kim ’20 directing his followers to wear their Chong’s shirts and the next day more than a dozen students, and on occasion, a teacher, can be spotted in long sleeve black tee-shirt with a tiger on the back. Their peers might be sitting in class wo...

Looking back: Let students smoke

Photo for 1988 issue of the West Side Story depicts a young woman smoking. In this issue the editorial board called out hypocrisy in the rules on students smoking.

Caroline Mascardo, WSS Intern

January 30, 2020

  Let students smoke Originally published in the April 22, 1988 edition of West Side Story by Michelle Piccininni   As the trend in America has shifted putting health and fitness as a priority, so has West High.  One of the major issues of controversy today is a practice that was once acceptable...

Two sides of wrestling

Mayowa Dokun '22 is exhausted, but holds her hand up in victory after her first win of her wrestling career.

Carmela Cohen Suarez, Copy Editor and Entertainment Editor

January 25, 2020

Wrestling has recently become a sport that anyone can participate in at West High. However, the programs have lots of differences, with girls wrestling building the foundation of their program, and boys wrestling standing on decades of tradition. Since wrestling for girls is brand new, most female athl...

Looking back: Changes in the Selective Service System

This edition of Looking back analyzes student perspectives on women participating in the draft.

Amelia Stevens, WSS Intern

January 23, 2020

Coming Soon Published in the February 1, 1980 edition of West Side Story (Editorial)   Registration for the draft may soon be a reality if President Carter’s Proposal for registration is put into effect. In his Jan. 23 “State of the Union” address, Carter urged that registration for Se...

Looking back: The officials

Referees chat before yet another exciting game in the West  High Gym.

Camille Gretter, WSS Intern

January 16, 2020

"The officials" by Alex Logan January 30, 1987 Wanted: man who can handle pressure and make the correct call at an important part of a game. Must be able to put all crowd noise behind him and concentrate on what is going on in front of him. Important that he sticks to the call made and if the call i...

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