Upcoming events
  • BSU meeting during AFT Tuesday
  • Grapevine now taking submissions
  • Choir concert on Tuesday with Northwest- Arganbright Auditorium
  • French exchange students visiting West
  • Girls and boys track starts this week
  • Swing into spring- Sunday @2 and 5
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

2023-2024 Staff

Zoe Smith 24
Editor-in-Chief

Zoe Smith

(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,...

Zaira Ahmed
Print Editor-in-Chief

Zaira Ahmad

(she/her) Zaira Ahmad is a Senior at West High. This is her third year on staff, and she is the Print Editor-In-Chief. Outside of the newsroom, you can probably find Zaira at show choir rehearsal or volunteering with Rotary. She also loves spending time...

Eleanor Weitz 24
Managing Editor

Eleanor Weitz

(she/her) Eleanor is a senior and this is her third year on staff. This year, she's the managing editor for the online newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and going thrift shopping. ...

Lilly Graham 24
Print Managing Editor

Lilly Graham

(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 her friends and pets.

Vera Tanas 25
Copy Editor

Vera Tanas

(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...

Jessie Li
Print Assistant Copy Editor

Jessie Li

(she/her) Jessie Li is a junior at West High. This is her second year on staff, and she is the Assistant Copy Editor of the West Side Story news magazine. Outside of the newsroom, you can probably find her working at Hy-Vee, playing violin, chilling with...

Print Assistant Copy Editor

Jane Lam

(she/her) Jane Lam is a senior at West High. This is her third year on staff reporting for the print publication. As an assistant copy editor, she loves the little details. Outside of the newsroom, you can find her on the Speech and Debate team, on the...

Abby Guo
Video Editor

Abby Guo

(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.

Nicole Lee 24
Opinion Editor

Nicole Lee

(she/her) Nicole is a senior and in her third year on staff and second year as opinion editor. You can usually spot her walking down the hall wearing her yellow Doc Martens, listening to Belle and Sebastian. Her interests includes watching niche movies...

Tessa Gibson 24
Profiles Editor

Tessa Gibson

(she/her) Tessa is a senior this year and this is her 3rd year on staff. She is the profiles editor and one of the social media editors. She loves reality tv shows and ice cream. ...

Yaya Orszula 24
Sports Editor

Yaya Orszula

(she/her) Yaya is a senior and this is her second year on staff. She is the sports editor and enjoys running cross country and track, making bracelets and rock climbing. ...

Anna Song 25
Print Assistant Design Editor

Anna Song

(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...

Mrudani Ramkumar
Print News Editor

Mrudani Ramkumar

(she/her) Mrudani Ramkumar is a junior at West High and this is her second year on staff. Mrudani's the News Editor for the print edition. Outside the newsroom, she's part of the tennis team and plays the violin. In her free time, she likes to read and...

McKenna Stephens
Designer, Photographer

McKenna Stephens

(she/her) McKenna is a senior and this will be her second year on staff. She is a designer and photographer for WSS. McKenna is also involved in show choir, dance and theater.

Helen Orszula
Artist, Designer

Helen Orszula

(she/they) Helen is a senior at West and this is her second year on staff. She is a designer and artist for WSS print. In her free time, she likes to read, mess around on Illustrator, and do crosswords.

Ginger Mccartney 24
Artist, Designer

Ginger McCartney

(she/her) Ginger McCartney is currently a senior at West,  this is her third year on staff. She is the art editor for the West Side Story paper. Outside of school, she spends her time graphic designing (for fun this time) and baking.

Reem Kirja 25
Print Profiles Editor

Reem Kirja

(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...

Defne Bayman 24
Communications Coordinator, Artist, Reporter and Photographer

Defne Bayman

(they/she) Defne Bayman is a senior this year, and has been on Print for two years and joined Web this year. They are the communications manager for all of WSS, along with an artist, designer, photographer, and reporter. When they're not in school, they're...

Ashlyn Brady 25
Features Editor

Ashlyn Brady

(she/her) Ashlyn is a junior and this is her second year on staff. She is the Feature Editor for the website this year. When she's not in the newsroom, you can find her curled up with a good book, hanging out with her friends and family, or listening...

Gianna Liu 25
Print Sports and Photo Editor

Gianna Liu

(she/her) Gianna is a Junior and is starting her second year on staff! She is the Photo and Sports Editor this year for print, which is exactly what she loves to do: photography and volleyball! When she isn't doing those or writing, you will catch her...

Athena Wu
Print Entertainment Editor

Athena Wu

(she/her) This is Athena's third year on the WSS print staff, and as a senior, their last year. She is entertainment editor, and enjoys all things satire, flair and unnecessary knick-knacks. This includes Radish's, horses, seraphs, inverted colors and...

Marie Stier
Print Features Editor

Marie Stier

(she/her) Marie Stier is a Junior at West High and she is excited for her second year on staff. She is the Feature Editor for WSS. In her free time, you can find her hammocking, doing puzzles on her porch and drinking kombucha (a recent discovery!) ...

Sam Rosenthal 24
Podcaster and Reporter

Samuel Rosenthal

(he/him) Sam Rosenthal is a Senior at West High and this is his second year on staff. This is his first year as a reporter. Samuel loves bowling, playing games with friends and writing far too many movie reviews in his spare time.

Rylee
Yearbook Assistant Sports Editor

Rylee DeSaulniers

(she/her) Rylee is a junior and this is her first year on the yearbook staff. She is the Assistant Sports Editor.

Taelim
Yearbook People Co-Editor

Taelim Yoon

(she/her) Taelim is a sophomore at West High, and this is her first year on staff. Specializing in sports coverage, she is a reporter and designer for Trojan Epic. Outside of school, she's usually listening to music (waiting for drake to drop), on the...

Emily
Yearbook Co Student Life Editor

Emily Rabe

(she/her) Emily Rabe is a sophomore and this is her first year on staff. She is the Co-Student Life Editor on Trojan Epic. In her free time you can find her taking dance classes at Nolte Academy and spending time with her family and cats.

Hannah
FOJ Intern

Hannah Longmire

(she/her) Hannah is a sophomore, and this is her first year of being on staff. Hannah is a FOJ Intern on staff this year and she likes competing in triathlons.

Annie
Yearbook Staff

Annie Dickens

(she/her) Annie is a junior at West High and this is her first year on yearbook staff. In her free time she enjoys running cross country and hanging out with friends.

Lauryn
FOJ Intern

Lauryn Hynek

(she/her) I am in 10th grade and this is my first year on staff. I am a FOJ intern. I play soccer and basketball and love being outdoors.

Chloe
FOJ Intern

Chloe Rogers

(she/her) Chloe is in 10th grade and this is her first year on staff. She is a FOJ intern. Chloe likes to play softball, sleep and take pictures for the Trojan Epic yearbook.

Hoazin
FOJ Intern

Hoazin Bukhary

(she/her) Hoazin is a sophomore West High. This is her first year on staff and is an intern. She likes to draw.

Mayar
FOJ Intern

Mayar Aliwaisi

(she/her) Mayar is a sophomore, this is the first year she's been on staff. She's an intern. She likes spending her time doing outdoor activities.

Maryssa
FOJ Intern

Maryssa Barnes

(she/her) Maryssa Barnes is a sophomore at West and is a FOJ intern for the Trojan Epic.

Sidney
Yearbook Staff

Sidney Tranel

(she/her) Sidney Tranel is a junior at West and this is her second year on staff. Outside of school she works at Monica's, loves spending time with her friends and playing the violin.

Azaam
FOJ Intern

Azaam Guama

(he/him) Azaam is a junior this is his first year on staff. He will be an intern this year. Azaam enjoys listening to music and playing soccer.

Davis
FOJ Intern

Davis Nepple

(he/him) Davis is a Junior and this is his first year on staff. He is working as an FOJ intern where he is learning about yearbook. In his free time he likes to relax and hangout with friends.

Charlotte
Yearbook Co Student Life Editor

Charlotte Stephens

(she/her) Charlotte is a sophomore at West High and this is her first year on staff. She is Co-Student-Life-Editor of the Yearbook. In her free time you can find her hanging out with friends or family, cooking and traveling.

Kiera
FOJ Intern

Kiera Crowe

(she/her) Kiera is a sophomore and this is her first year being a part of the yearbook. She likes to bake, travel and spend time with loved ones.

Callie
Yearbook Designer, Photographer

Callie Gao

(she/her) Callie Gao is a sophomore at West and this is her first year on the yearbook staff as a designer and photographer. She enjoys reading memoirs, taking photos of her cat and eating poutine. Her current dream is to one day successfully take her...

Leah
Yearbook Staff

Leah Butcher

(she/her) Leah Butcher is a sophomore at West High School. This is her first year on yearbook as a staff member. In her free time she likes to read, listen to Taylor Swift and take photos.

Keith
Yearbook Co-Assistant Sports Editor

Keith Moody

(he/him) Keith Moody is a junior at West this year and this is his first year on the Trojan Epic staff. He is the Co-Assistant Sports Editor this year. In his free time you can find him spending time with his friends. ...

Ava
Yearbook Sports Editor

Ava Bruxvoort

(she/her) Ava Bruxvoort is a junior at West High and this is her second year on staff. She is the Sports Editor for the Trojan Epic. She loves to spend time with her friends, playing volleyball and being outside. ...

Gretchen
Yearbook Staff

Gretchen Van Iddekinge

(she/her) Gretchen is a junior at West and this is her first year on the Trojan Epic staff. She is staff on the Trojan Epic and helps with design. She is on the golf team and enjoys hanging out with friends and family. ...

Maryn
Yearbook Social Media Editor

Maryn Reimers

(she/her) Maryn is the social media editor and this is her third year on the Trojan Epic staff. She enjoys being on the dance team, swimming and reading.

Sigrid
Yearbook Clubs & Academics Editor, Yearbook Design Editor

Sigrid Rossi

(she/her) Sigrid Rossi is a senior that has been on the Trojan Epic staff for two years. She is the Clubs and Academics Editor as well as the Design Editor. Sigrid enjoys hiking, listening to music, and binging true crime documentaries. ...

Ivy
Yearbook Copy Editor

Ivy Hendrickson

(she/her) Ivy is a junior and this is her second year on staff. This is her first year as the Copy Editor. In her free time she enjoys reading, hiking and running cross country.

Tyler Shane 26
FOJ Intern

Tyler Shane

Tyler is a sophomore at West. He is an intern and this is his first year on staff. If not at practice, he's probably at home sleeping.

Celia Sadewasser 26
FOJ Intern

Celia Sadewasser

Celia is a sophomore at West. She is so excited to be a FOJ Intern this year.

Henry Timmer-Hackert
Print Assistant Opinion Editor

Henry Timmer-Hackert

(He/him) Henry is a sophomore at West High and ready for his first year on staff. He's the assistant opinion editor for the paper. Outside of West Side Story Henry runs with the cross country and track teams all year round.

Shanza Sami
Reporter

Shanza Sami

(She/her) Shanza Sami is a sophomore at West High. This is currently her first year on staff as a reporter. Outside of the journalism room, you can find Shanza biking, perusing through a new book or adding songs to her Spotify playlist.

Neema Ash 25
FOJ Intern

Neema Ash

Neema is super excited to be an intern this year on staff. She is a junior this year.

Airi Thompson 24
Assistant News Editor

Airi Thompson

This is Airi's first year on staff, they are a senior. They are super excited to be this year's Assistant News Editor.

Carter Birch Houchins-Witt
Reporter

Carter Birch Houchins-Witt

(He/him) Carter is a sophomore at West High and this is his first year on staff. He is a reporter. In his free time, he likes to get into arguments about extremely unimportant things such as whether the plural of octopus is octopi or octopuses.

Maddy Cook 26
Reporter

Maddy Cook

(She/her) Maddy is a sophomore and this is her first year on staff as a reporter. She dances at the National Dance Academy and is on the West High Dance Team. In her free time, she likes to read, listen to music and hang out with friends and family.

Grace Bartlett 25
Reporter

Grace Bartlett

(She/her) Grace Bartlett is a Junior at West High. This is her first year on staff, and she is a reporter. Outside of the newsroom, she enjoys cheerleading, reading, and hanging out with friends!

Ethan Tisdale 26
FOJ Intern

Ethan Tisdale

(He/him) Ethan is a sophomore and it's his first year on staff. He is an intern. Ethan was born on Leap Day.

Maya Mueller 26
FOJ Intern

Maya Mueller

(She/her) Maya Mueller is a sophomore at West High. This is her first year doing journalism and she is an intern. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, going on walks, napping and spending time with family and friends.

Anna Gibson 26
FOJ Intern

Anna Gibson

(She/her) Anna Gibson is currently a sophomore and this is her first year as a FOJ intern. Anna loves to play volleyball and hang out with her friends

Josie Schwartz 25
Photo Editor

Josephine Schwartz

(She/they) Josie Schwartz is a junior, and this is her second year on staff, but her first year in Broadcast. She’s a photographer and a reporter. In her free time, she grapples with the extreme pressure of being right all the time. She also likes to...

Evelyn Kraber 26
Assistant Copy Editor

Evelyn Kraber

(She/they) Evelyn is a sophomore, and this is her first year on staff. She is the assistant copy editor for the website. In her free time, you could find her reading, baking, playing cello, painting or spending time with her family.

Anna Greenlee 23
Graphics Editor

Anna Greenlee

Anna is a sophomore in her first year on staff. She's the graphics editor for the WSS website, as well as part of the school's band, theatre and sophomore volleyball team. But on her off time, she likes to watch movies (which make her cry really easily),...

Haneen Eltyeb
Videographer

Haneen Eltyeb

(She/her) Haneen is a junior and this is her first year on WSS staff, working as a videographer. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies (then overanalyzing them), learning about the latest cyber attacks, fixing jewelry and spending time with friends...

Yeju Seol 26
Artist and Reporter

Yeju Seol

She is a sophomore and this is her first year on staff. She likes penguins.

Muhammed Cikmaz 24
Tech Editor

Muhammed Cikmaz

Muhammed is so excited to be this year's Tech Editor. This is his second year on staff and he is a senior at West. In his free time, he enjoys making documentaries and coding.

Minna Abdulla 26
Assistant Sports Editor

Minna Abdalla

(she/her) Minna is a sophomore at West High and this is her first year on staff. Her job title on staff is assistant sports editor. In her free time she likes to go bike rides, play soccer and hang out with her friends.

Erinn Varga 24
Print Design and Opinion Editor

Erinn Varga

(she/her) Erinn is a senior at West and this is her second year on staff. She is the design editor and opinion editor for the print publication. If she's not currently running, you can find her drawing, listening to music or consuming media.

Jules Keranen
Entertainment Editor

Jules Keranen

(they/them) Jules is a senior and this is their second year on the West Side Story. They are the entertainment editor for the online publication. After school they spend most of the time with their cat, Baby, watching movies.

Elena Garcia 25
News Editor, Social Media Co-editor

Elena Garcia Van Auken

(she/her) This is Elena's second year on staff. This year she is news editor and social media co-editor. When she's not at school she is either working, reading or listening to music.

Joe Corlette
Podcast Editor

Joe Corlette

(He/They) Joe is a Senior and has been on West Side Story Online for two years now. He is the Podcast Editor this year. For fun, they enjoy studying mythology, learning about history and delving into philosophical and ethical issues.

Wesal Haroun
Yearbook Co-Editor-in-Chief

Wesal Haroun

(she/her) Wesal Haroun is a senior at West High and this is her third year on staff. She is the Trojan Epic Yearbook Co-Editor-in-Chief. In addition to photography and design, she likes to hang out with friends and binge-watch TV shows. ...

Akshethaa
Yearbook Co-Editor-in-Chief

Akshethaa Naveen-Kumar

(she/her) Akshethaa Naveen-Kumar is a senior and has been on the Trojan Epic staff for 3 years. She is currently Co-Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook, and her hobbies include reading thriller books, dancing Bharatanatyam and watching horror movies. ...

Ceci De Young
Yearbook Photo & Video Editor

Ceci De Young

(she/her) Ceci De Young is a senior at West and this is her third year on the Trojan Epic staff. She is the photo and video editor this year and loves everything sports.

Kamakshee Kuchhal 24
Lead Print Copy Editor

Kamakshee Kuchhal

(she/her) Kamakshee Kuchhal is a senior at West High School and is super excited for her third (and last) year on West Side Story Print Staff. Besides being a writing and grammar nerd (lead copy editor), she is also a debater, volunteer, robotics-member...

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