The student news site of West High School

West Side Story

2017-2018 Staff

Sean Brown

Photographer

Sean Brown is a photographer on staff and a junior at West High. When school isn't taking over all of his free time, he enjoys playing his electric guitar, listening to rock on his record player, and spontaneous adventures with...

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Nick Pryor

Anchor, Feature and News Producer

Nick is a senior at West and it will be his second year on staff. He is an Anchor, Feature and News Producer.

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Frances Dai

Designer

Frances Dai is a junior at West High. She is a Designer on staff due to an addiction for aesthetically pleasing things. While she's not designing things that make her eyes happy, she instead brightens her soul with bubble tea.

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Thomas Duong

Designer

Thomas Duong is a junior at West High. It is his first year on staff and he works for the print publication as a designer. When he isn't preoccupied with school or extracurricular activities, he enjoys playing percussion, sports,...

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Selina Hua

Designer

Selina Hua is a sophomore and this is her first year as a designer on the West Side Story staff. She enjoys the rain, music, grapes, sightseeing, and lots of art supplies. When not spending time on the internet, she can be found...

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Lydia Guo

Designer

Lydia Guo is currently a junior at West High and a designer on staff. When she isn't struggling with inDesign, Lydia loves oil painting, listening to top hits, and spending weekends chilling with her friends.

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Hae-joo Yoon

Videographer

Hae-joo Yoon is a senior at West High. This is her first year on staff, and she is a videographer. When she finds spare time, she likes to draw, hang out with friends, and in the summer, travel.

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Natalie Katz

Reporter

Natalie Katz is a sophomore at West High. It is her first year on staff as a reporter. She loves to read in her free time, as well as water her grape vine, which has many large leaves and no grapes.

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Jenna Wang

Reporter

Jenna Wang is a sophomore at West High. It is her first year on staff and she is a reporter for the print publication. When she isn't busy with articles and homework, Jenna enjoys writing stories, singing on her YouTube channel,...

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Fatima Kammona

Reporter

Fatima Kammona is a junior at West High. This is her first year on staff and works for the online publication as a reporter. When she isn't at school or extracurricular activities, she enjoys eating and sleeping.

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Natalie Dunlap

Reporter

Natalie Dunlap is a sophomore at West High. She is a reporter and this is her first year on staff. In her free time she enjoys reading, listening to music and walking around downtown Iowa City.

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Ken Wilbur

Reporter

Ken Wilbur is a sophomore at West and a first-year staffer on West Side Story. While not interviewing sources or writing articles, Ken can be found running along trails and through parks or spending time with his family and two...

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Teya Kerns

Photographer

Teya Kerns is a sophomore at West High. It is her first year on the staff of the West Side Story newspaper as a photographer. In her free time Teya enjoys volunteering at the food pantry and doing show choir.

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Ivan Badovinac

Photographer, Videographer

Ivan Badovinac is a junior at West High and it is his first year on staff as a Photographer and Videographer. When he isn't drowning in homework and tests, Ivan enjoys playing soccer and running, sleeping, and blasting music in...

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Carmela Cohen Suarez

Reporter

Carmela Cohen Suarez is a sophomore at West High and this is her first year on staff. She is on the online publication as a reporter. She enjoys reading and writing, swimming, spending time with friends and family, and listening...

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Eman Elsheikh

Videographer

Eman Elsheikh is a senior at West High. It is her first year on staff and she is a Broadcast videographer. When she's not working on videos, Eman watches K-Dramas and cries about college applications.

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Ting Gao

Reporter

Ting Gao is a junior at West High and first-year staffer. She works for the online publication as a reporter. When not occupied with school or extracurricular activities, she enjoys photographing nature, reading, wasting time...

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Sophie Stephens

Online Feature Editor

Sophie Stephens is a junior at West High. This is her first year on staff, and she is the Feature Editor for the website. When she isn't working on the publication, Sophie enjoys reading and writing, volunteering, and spending...

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Anna Brown

Reporter

Anna Brown is a junior at West High. This is her first year on staff and she is a reporter for print, as well as a drum major for the West High School marching band. When she isn't working on WSS or occupied with school, Anna...

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Lucy Polyak

Reporter

Lucy Polyak is a junior at West High. This is her first year on staff and she is a reporter for the print publication. Lucy spends most of her time onstage in choir, show choir, and theatre but also loves to sit in her room watching...

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Jessica Moonjely

Reporter

Jessica Moonjely is a sophomore at West High. It is her first year on staff, and she is a reporter for WSS. Jessica is also a member of the tennis team, show choir, and student government. She loves eating chocolate, cheese, and...

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Abbie Callahan

Reporter

Abbie Callahan is a sophomore at West High and a first-year staffer. She works for the print publication as a reporter. In her free time, she loves to sing and play guitar.

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Luke Reynolds

Copy Editor, Anchor, Reporter

This is Luke's first and only year as a member of West Side Story. He'll be kept busy with anchoring, editing and reporting, but he's gonna have fun while doing it. Luke can be found reading, writing, taking part in Anime Club,...

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Maddi Shinall

Photographer

Maddi is a junior at West and this is her first year on staff as a photographer. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with friends. She can often be found making bad puns and sarcastic comments.

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Caecilia Shoppa

Reporter

Caecilia Shoppa is a senior at West High. This is her first year on staff and she is a reporter for print this year. Outside of newspaper, Caecilia enjoys participating in show choir, baking and binge watching Americas Next Top...

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Kara Wagenknecht

Photographer

This is Kara's second year on staff and is super pumped for this year. She is a photographer and loves taking sports photos. When she is not taking photos, she can be found with her dogs or watching Netflix.

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Allie Schmitt-Morris

Social Media Editor, Photographer

This is Allie's second year on staff and first year being social media editor. When she has free time she enjoys hanging out with her cats, dog and tortoise.   ...

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Megan Boland

Designer

Megan Boland is a senior at West High. This is her second year on staff as a designer. Outside of newspaper she enjoys participating in show choir and theater. She is excited for you to see all the work West Side Story does this year.  ...

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Sadie Rhomberg

Reporter

Sadie is a senior at West High. This is her second year as a reporter on staff. She enjoys participating in show choir, theater and tennis at school. Outside of school, Sadie likes to spend time with her dog or watch shows on Netflix. ...

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Kristina Rosebrook

Online Entertainment Editor, Videographer

Kristina Rosebrook is a junior at West High, and this is her second year on staff. She is the Online Entertainment Editor and a Videographer. Kristina enjoys riding horses and playing tennis when she isn't working on videos; and when she's feeling a bit lazier...

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Crystal Kim

Designer & Ad Representative

Crystal Kim is a junior at West High. It is her second year on staff as a designer, and is excited to start exploring videography and broadcast this year. Crystal enjoys reading Harry Potter, eating pizza at the Bread Garden Market, and working with kids. ...

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Alyson Kuennen

News Editor, Photographer

This is Alyson's second year on staff where she is a news editor and photographer. As a senior she spends her time working, working and working. "College is expensive folks," she said. "I mean no regrets, but maybe I should've had one less trip to Pancheros." ...

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Samalya Thenuwara

Broadcast Editor-in-Chief

Samalya Thenuwara is a senior at West High. This is her second year on staff and she is the Broadcast Editor-in-Chief as well as the Broadcast Managing Editor. In addition to running about Iowa City with a tripod and camera, she is happily buried in an AP text...

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Mary Vander Weg

Reporter

Mary is a junior at West High, and she is excited for her second year as a reporter for the West Side Story! In her free time, she can almost always be found writing - whether it be for the website or just for fun - or sleeping for disconcerting amounts of tim...

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Deniz Ince

Assistant Sports Editor

Deniz Ince is a junior in her second year on the West Side Story staff as Assistant Sports Editor. In her free time, Deniz likes spending time with her dog and rewatching Friends on Netflix.  ...

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Lauren Katz

Copy Editor, Editorials Editor

Lauren Katz is a senior at West High, this being her second year on staff, and is a Copy Editor and Editorials Editor for print. When she isn't writing articles, swimming, or playing piano, Lauren loves reading mystery novels--especially Louise Penny's latest ...

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Angie Zirbes

Arts Editor

This is Angie's second year on staff as an artist and arts editor. In her free time she enjoys making art and other artsy art kiddo things.  ...

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Grace Christopher

Videographer

Grace Christopher is a junior at West High. This is her second year on staff and she is a videographer. When she isn't editing video's she enjoys hanging out with friends, helping with costumes for theatre and baking.  ...

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Anjali Huynh

Reporter

Anjali Huynh is a junior in her second year as a reporter on West Side Story. When she's not writing, you can find her in the band, taking photos, or finding ways to steal food from friends.  ...

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Ian Prescott

Reporter, Anchor

Ian Prescott is a junior at West High. This will be his second year on staff. He will be broadcasting basketball games during the fall and winter season, and encourages everyone to watch when they can. Outside of the West Side Story Ian still reads and writes,...

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Jessica Doyle

Reporter

Jessica Doyle is a junior at West High. This is her second year on staff as a reporter. Aside from newspaper, she enjoys naps, Netflix, Nabisco cookies and other things that begin with the letter "n." ...

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Olivia Dachtler

Photographer

Olivia Dachtler is a junior at West High, this will be her second year on staff as a photographer. If she is not out shooting, she can likely be found downtown or down at her farm in Kalona. ...

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Harry Westergaard

Reporter, Film Critic

Harry Westergaard is a junior at West High. This is his second year on staff, where he works as a reporter and film critic. When not pouring his heart out for the paper, he enjoys reading books, listening to music and watching films.  ...

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Reagan Hart

Reporter, Distribution Manager

Reagan Hart is a senior at West. It is her second year on staff and she is a reporter and distribution manager. Besides newspaper, Reagan is also part of the Trojan Marching band as a saxophone player. In her free time she researches history facts and practice...

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George Liu

Reporter

George Liu is a West High junior who is on his second year on staff. As a reporter, he specializes in converting print stories to the web, and also writing articles for both mediums. When he's not doing school work, he enjoys playing video games, reading and p...

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Jenna Zeng

Designer

Jenna Zeng is a junior at West High. It's her second year on staff and she is a designer. In her free time, Jenna likes to swim, play piano, go on walks outside, or watch Netflix.  ...

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Will Conrad

Reporter

Will Conrad is a junior. This is his second year on staff and he is a reporter this year. In his free time he enjoys running and showchoir.  ...

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Pareen Mhatre

Photo Editor, Online Managing Editor

Pareen Mhatre is a senior and she is the Photo Editor and Online Managing Editor. This is her second year on staff. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and taking #artsy photos.  ...

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Ethan Goers

Broadcast Anchor, Sports Producer

Ethan Goers will enter into his second year on staff as a senior. Ethan will be a broadcast anchor and sports producer this year. Ethan is a guy who appreciates the art of napping, biking with friends, and running... for fun. Hit Ethan up at etgoe18@icstudents...

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Tyler Thomasson

Designer

Tyler Thomasson is a senior at West High. It is his second year on staff as a designer for the print publication. When he isn't designing, Tyler enjoys singing in West Singers and doing backstage work for Theatre West.  ...

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Emma Brustkern

Print Entertainment Editor

Emma is a senior at West High and this is her second year as the Print Entertainment Editor. When she isn't writing, Emma is busy helping Theatre West as the Head of Props, assisting the show choir as a crew member, or spending...

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Ellie Gretter

Sports Editor

Ellie Gretter is a senior at West High. It is her third year on staff and she is Online and Print Sports Editor. When Ellie isn't covering a sporting event, she enjoys online shopping, going on runs, and spending time with her...

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Fenna Semken

Online Editor-in-Chief

Fenna Semken is a senior at West High. It is her third year on staff and she is Online Editor-In-Chief this year. When she isn't working on the website, Fenna enjoys taking long hikes at Macbride, listening to live music on Friday nights, and going on road tri...

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Catherine Ju

Design Editor

Catherine (pronounced Katherine or Kathryn) is a senior here at West High School. This is her second year as design editor, and third year on staff.  ...

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Nina Elkadi

Print Editor-in-Chief

Nina Elkadi is a senior at West and a third-year staffer. She is the Print Editor-in-Chief this year and would like to thank Kanye West for helping her get there. She enjoys being outside and on the water, but can also enjoy a...

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Wingel Xue

Columns Editor, Designer

Wingel Xue is a senior at West High. She is the columns editor and a designer for the West Side Story.  ...

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Junhee Lee

Business Manager, Print Copy Editor, Designer & Reporter

This is Junhee's third year on the West Side Story staff. He would greatly appreciate it if you go to the homepage (wsspaper.com) and read some actual stories instead of this bio.  ...

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Prateek Raikwar

Print Profiles Editor

Prateek Raikwar is a senior at West High. It's his third year on staff and second year as the print profiles editor. Beyond the walls of the newsroom and West High, he enjoys watching and playing soccer, exploring nature, and running.  ...

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Shawn Thacker

Print Managing Editor, Feature Editor

Shawn Thacker is a senior and the Print Managing Editor and Feature Editor. This is his third year on staff. When he isn't busy with the West Side Story, Shawn enjoys drinking coffee and judging people who use Oxford commas.

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Mason Wang

Broadcast Copy Editor

Mason Wang is a Broadcast Copy Editor. This is his third year on staff. If you’re reading through staff bios right now, you must be really bored. Since nobody will read this, I like attaching a toilet paper roll and pretending...

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