The Express - December Issue

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TRANSPARENCY

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PAGE 14 THE EXPRESS

VOLUME 29 • ISSUE 4 • BLUE VALLEY NORTHWEST


12.16.21

02 | CONTENTS

CONTENTS: THE EXPRESS STAFF Editor In Chief………..........................Megan Yates Print Editor……………............................Tessa Regan

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DO NOT DISTURB

HUSKY HIGHLIGHTS

Junior Easton Wasinger and other members of the Northwest community debate the impact phone usage has on students’ sleeping habits and performance in the classroom.

A collection of photos of student activities, learning and events from November. To see more pictures of student life, go to www.bvnwnews.com

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Online Editor…………..........................Liz LaHood Managing Editor………..................Julia Moser Sports Editor……………......................Jack Nitz Photography Editor……..............Lindsey Farthing Design Editor…………….....................Sabrina San Agustin Business Manager…………….....Abbie Kratofil Online Chief Writer……….........….Rachel Hostetler Print Chief Writer…………..........….Elizabeth Caine Chief Photographer....................Bailey Thompson

Writers Quinn Brown • Jessica Toomay • Hannah Rakolta Anna Bailey • Alyssa Gagnon • Lizzie Lively Reagan Kauth • Lucy Halverson • Thomas Rose Reagan King • Lindsay Maresh • Libby Addison Payton Porter • Alex Cowdrey • Ashley Adams Photographers

PICTURE PERFECT

UNDERDAWGS

Students who model, such as senior Kyra Bugg, refute stereotypes that people often associate with their job.

The Northwest football program underwent a rebuild which was completed with the team's first-ever 6A state championship.

Laura Benteman • Anna Shaughnessy Norah Alasmar • Lila Vancrum • Maci Miller Remi Nuss Designers Sophie Dellett • Regan Simeon • Avery Sigg Adviser Jim McCrossen

Assistant Adviser Amanda Ford


12.16.21

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CONTENTS | 03

EDITORIAL Don't Ban Books

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GUEST LETTER Letter from One Northwest

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR There's Room for Everyone on the Road

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COVER:

TRANSPARENCY Incidents at school prompt a teacher, students and the administration to share their views on the importance of transparency and communication. Students account their personal experiences with racial discrimination and assault on campus and the administration explains how they have previously handled these situations.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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TWO HOMES, ONE HOLIDAY

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A parent and students who follow different lifestyle eating habits share the reasons why they do so.

Divorced families share the struggles of managing the holiday season split between separate homes.

Students and teachers consider the benefits of investing and how it can prepare students for a financially better future.

Photos from sporting events including girls basketball tryouts, dance, cheer, football and boys soccer.

INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE

GAMEDAY GALLERY


04 | EDITORIAL

12.16.21

DON’T BAN

BOOKS

A parent of a Northwest student recently asked for the removal of “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson from the school’s library. The novel is a memoir of a Black queer man, as Johnson refers to themself, in which the author encourages Black and/or queer boys to not conform to their masculinity and racialized existence. One parent, or a thousand parents, blocking all students’ access to this book, or any book, is wrong. This novel is being challenged in schools across the country, the most common reason is its inclusion of several depictions of homosexual relationships. High school libraries provide books with much more graphic scenes, but because those sexualized moments are between a man and woman, those books are seemingly questioned far less. In the author’s note of “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” Johnson notes the universal teachings of the memoir and the necessity of each scene, saying, “discussions at times may be a bit graphic, but nonetheless they are experiences that many reading this book will encounter or have already encountered.” Every sort of literature is meant to highlight different aspects of human culture. The exclusion of certain material because it does not align with someone’s personal beliefs does not show equal acceptance of a diverse student body. The school’s statements of diversity released last year was the community’s attempt to give voice to minority groups that

have expressed their disappointment with the social climate at Northwest. Removing books from students’ access not only contradicts this promise to represent diversity among students, but sends a message that some perspectives are inferior. When books are banned, knowledge is suppressed to shelter others from what someone deems as “offensive.” The decisions as to what should be included in our library should not be determined based on the opinion of a single person, but rather what will benefit the entire community. No one is forcing students to read this book; it is not part of any English class curriculum and is included in the library to be checked out by any student, only if that individual chooses to read it. What a person reads should not be of any concern to others. To put it simply, censorship has no place in a library. High schoolers are more than capable of understanding literature and deciding what they should or should not read. Personal concerns about library content should be addressed individually between parents and their child, not forced upon an entire school community. The censoring of literature takes away students’ right to learn about issues that affect them. Banning this book or similar content is not the solution, but rather a cowardly avoidance of “uncomfortable” topics. The presence of unknown experiences should not be a cause for concern, but rather a bridge toward growth. Banning a book, for whatever reason, is wrong.


12.16.21

GUEST LETTER | 05

An Open Letter to the BVNW Community

Written by One Northwest, Design by Sabrina San Agustin

​​BVNW Community, What does it mean to be a Husky? Being a Husky means standing up for what’s right, and holding yourself and others accountable for what is said and done. At our school, systemic injustices and specific acts of hate have gone on for too long. Our school should not be a place where hate and violence are spread. We need to acknowledge the differences among us at NW and embrace them. Students don’t feel safe, included or loved at BVNW anymore and that needs to change. There need to be many ways to not only report these situations but also secure and establish a norm of listening to people when they report these situations. More action needs to be taken when these things are reported to admin or teachers. There also needs to be more information that can get out to teachers, admin and students about what to do to prevent and be more public about discrimination in any way. As a community, we need to widen our focus and have better priorities when it comes to dealing with discrimination at BVNW. We need actionable ways to create change. Repeatedly reading the diversity statement at sporting events will not solve this problem. Although the statement has a good message, more needs to happen for change to occur. We would like to continue the conversation about these issues in our community. We, being student leaders, hope to make an impact on our community through assemblies, collaboration

with BVNWnews, announcements, advisory lessons and social media. As a school, we urge you to call each other into this conversation and stand up for what is right. Report things when you see them and do not be afraid to have tough conversations. The diversity groups at Northwest have been meeting during the past few weeks and have formed a coalition named “One Northwest.” We hope that “One Northwest” will create opportunities for discussion, action, communication and change. Changes need to be made in the way teachers, students and administrators handle situations involving hate. There needs to be more information available to the student body on what can be done to make others feel safe and included everywhere at BVNW. Informing students of what they can do to help make BVNW a more inclusive and safe environment for their friends and peers is important. However, it is also on the individual to make those changes. As our diversity statement goes, “Blue Valley Northwest values every individual and the diversity they bring to the community. Everyone shall be treated fairly in language and in action without regard to race, religion, national origin, financial status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. We students, parents, and staff, will hold each other accountable to this mission.”

Signed in solidarity, The Students of One Northwest (BSU, MSA, GSA and Diversity Club)


OPINION

06 | OPINION

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12.16.21

THE POWER OF

SLEEP

Written by Lucy Halverson, Design by Julia Moser

ecently, sleep has become more of a luxury than a necessity for me. There are so many other obligations preventing teens from getting a good night’s sleep, from homework to extracurricular activities. It is hard to juggle all those responsibilities and still maintain a quality sleep schedule. But, this needs to change. I, like many students my age, struggle with getting more than six hours of sleep per night. This is much less than the necessary amount of sleep for a teenager, which is eight to ten hours per night, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Sleep Foundation says our sleep cycle consists of two types of sleep - Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. According to psychology teacher Heidi Gipple, NREM sleep’s main function is to re-energize and restore our bodies for the next day. In turn, REM sleep is the dreaming portion of the night and helps more with brain repair, enabling us to learn and memorize. This is why getting enough sleep on school nights is so important. After a long day of learning, our brains need time to move all that information into long-term memory storage. Not only do we need around eight hours of sleep, but it also matters when that eight hours is. The majority of our REM sleep happens toward the end of our sleep cycle, so for most teenagers that would be the early morning hours. And a majority of NREM sleep occurs during the late night (early sleep cycle). Considering this information, I feel that a later school start time would be more helpful. This way, students would not miss out on those crucial morning

hours of REM sleep. I understand there are a lot of factors surrounding start times, but the benefit of students being able to come to school fully awake and able to concentrate seems to outweigh the negatives. A lot of physical and psychological problems can be linked to a lack of sleep, according to Gipple. Many symptoms of depression and anxiety come out more frequently and at a much higher intensity when we are not sleeping enough. In addition to mental health, sleep impacts our physical health. Less sleep for an athlete increases their risk of getting injured. According to a research study done by Matthew Milewski, of competitive young athletes in 2014, getting six hours of sleep creates around a 75 percent risk of injury, while eight hours drastically decreases this risk to just 35 percent. Getting enough sleep can also help people make more conscious food choices and potentially lose weight. While we sleep, our bodies secrete a hormone called leptin, which helps regulate our hunger. Too little sleep decreases concentrations of leptin in our bodies, causing us to have more cravings, generally for less healthy foods, and can lead to overeating. The bottom line is, sleep is not optional. There are severe repercussions when we do not get enough sleep. Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours per night is detrimental to our immune system. Gipple shared that poor sleep, even for just one week, can disrupt blood sugar levels so dramatically that you could be classified as pre-diabetic. I get it, sleep is hard to prioritize when you have four assignments due at 11:59 p.m., after spending three hours at basketball practice or dance rehearsal. Nonetheless, sleep is essential to not only our well-being but our survival.


12.16.21

MORE THAN A

OPINION

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OPINION | 07

SCORE

Written by Remi Nuss, Design by Julia Moser

hough I am only a sophomore, I have already started the exhausting process of taking standardized tests for college. I am frustrated with the American College Test (ACT) and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). These tests determine if a student is accepted into a university and how much academic scholarship money students will receive for a given school based on their scores. Standardized testing must go. The concepts of the ACT and SAT are ridiculous. One test score should not determine whether or not I get into the school of my dreams. I currently have a 4.0 unweighted GPA. I work hard to maintain these grades, just like many other students. Despite my strong GPA, I have always struggled with being a bad test taker. A study conducted in 2010 by author Angus S. McDonald concluded that test anxiety affects 10 to 40 percent of all students. There is nothing more frustrating than studying your tail off for a test only to receive a belowaverage score due to test anxiety or simply from having poor test-taking skills. Blue Valley Northwest SAT and ACT Test Preparation Class instructor Jazmin Walker said at the beginning of the semester, about 10 to 20 percent of her students expressed some form of testing anxiety. “I would say that with a standardized test like the ACT or SAT, you’re going to see an increase in testing anxiety because the stakes are so high. The more money that’s involved, it tends to make people anxious,” Walker said. This pressure is only made worse with the burden of paying for the test. While some might struggle more than others to find the funding, it is a significant amount for any student. To take the ACT, students are required to pay $60 with an additional $25 fee if they take the writing section. While the College Board does offer SAT fee waivers, it only offers two free tests. The Princeton Review recommends that students plan on taking the SAT as many as three times until they receive their desired score. The SAT is in a similar price range as the ACT, costing $55. Meaning those that take it three times without waivers will pay $165. You should not have to pay to prove yourself. These expenses keep piling up with the addition of a tutor. Students who cannot afford a tutor are immediately at a

disadvantage compared to those who have one. According to data published in 2017 by Sexton Test Prep & Tutoring, students improve three to five points on a standardized test if they work with a tutor for 12 to 16 hours. It is absurd that your financial status plays such a large part in determining your score. I firmly believe these tests are rigged to favor those with higher incomes, which makes the universal requirement of these tests even more ridiculous. While I strongly believe these tests should be done away with completely, I understand that my single opinion cannot change an internationally-used college application requirement. Yet, several schools have taken a step in the right direction by temporarily pausing their standardized testing requirements. Furthermore, a handful of schools have taken note of this unnecessary prerequisite completely and made these tests optional. For instance, the University of California at Berkeley has stopped requiring ACT and SAT scores through spring of 2025. Berkeley does not even consider test scores when awarding scholarship money, according to the University of California at Berkeley Admissions. Every college should take a page out of Berkeley’s handbook and make standardized testing optional or eliminate it. This will bring us one step closer to giving hard-working kids like me a fair chance at attending the school of their dreams. One test should not define my future.


08 | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

12.16.21

THERE IS ROOM FOR

EVERYONE ON THE ROAD Written by Anna Punswick, Design by Julia Moser

A BVW student responds to “Stay in Your Lane” published in November’s The Express.

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irst and foremost, this letter is not an attack on the author as a person, nor a petition to persuade them to change their beliefs. This response is solely to provide a different perspective on claims made in the “Stay in Your Lane” opinion piece. The author begins their piece by criticizing the amount of religion-centered billboards that lined I-70 as they drove to Saint Louis, remarking that the messaging pushed religion when the author believes that should be a private matter. The author supports their belief by citing the freedoms protected by the First Amendment, noting that the amendment “calls for a separation of church and state.” The author’s interpretation, however, and use of the First Amendment to criticize religion in politics is incorrect. The First Amendment gives Americans the freedom to practice, or not to practice, any religion they may choose. This means that the nation doesn’t have a state-mandated religion or a theocratic government. Thus, the advertisements in question don’t violate this amendment because they are neither paid for nor endorsed by the government. The First Amendment does not condone the erasure of religious beliefs from American society. The First Amendment is about freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Texas’s SB8 bill is adduced as proof of the violation of religious freedom by the author. The author references Mathew 22:37-39 to argue against Christian and conservative opposition to abortion. The large majority of United States senators and representatives are Christian, and religion certainly shapes individuals’ views on political, economic and social issues; however, there will be no citation of scripture in this letter, as it contributes to the incorrect idea that abortion is merely a religious issue, which has furthered partisan divide and legislative battles on something that is truly a humanitarian problem. There is no need for a reference to a Bible verse in order to understand that killing people, whether unborn, living on Death Row, and everyone in between, is wrong. The abuse within the Catholic Church that the author references is a sickening malversation. The author correctly categorizes these atrocities as “heinous acts.” No one should ever have to experience sexual, physical or emotional abuse, and the abusers should be subject to harsh repercussions. The author’s insinuation, however, that every Catholic is indirectly complicit and in support of these horrific crimes is not only completely false, it is slanderous. Every diocese-a collection

of churches within a designated geographical region-in the United States has a division that provides assistance to victims of abuse. This division aids them with finding a mental health professional, filing criminal and diocesan charges against their abuser, and more. The leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has demanded justice for the victims, and to “acknowledge and condemn” the actions of the abusers, noting “if one member suffers, all suffer together with it.” To generalize the conduct of a large group based on the terrible actions of a minority is what leads to so many of the problems in this world. This way of thinking has led to an increase of hate crimes against Muslims in America after 9/11, and the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans in internment camps after the attack of Pearl Harbor during WWII, among others. Blaming large swaths of society for the wrongdoings of others only further alienates people from one another, and highlights what separates us, rather than illuminating the humanity that connects us. Free speech means the author can say what they believe without government-related consequences; free speech also means that one can provide a counter to another’s viewpoint. Requesting that Christians abstain from discussion of their beliefs violates Blue Valley Northwest’s Equity and Inclusion Statement, which states that everyone should be treated “fairly in language and in action.” “Blue Valley Northwest values every individual and the diversity they bring to our community. Everyone shall be treated fairly in language and in action without regard to race, religion, national origin, financial status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. We students, parents and staff, will hold each other accountable to this mission.” The statement also dictates that persons should “hold each other accountable to this mission.” This is the purpose of this letter. It is not acceptable to specifically target a group of people and bash them for their religion. This does not mean that anyone should have to agree with the religious beliefs of others, but it does mean that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their place of worship. There is room for people of all faiths and no faith to contribute to the school community. Rather than telling Catholics to stay silent about their faith, let’s develop a school community where all students, staff and families can share their religious views. After all, there is room for everyone on the road.

Signed by,


12.16.21

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10 | FEATURE

12.16.21

DO THEY DISTURB? The Northwest community argues the impact of phone usage in everyday life

Written by Quinn Brown and Reagan Kauth, Photos by Regan Simeon, Design by Libby Addison Editors’ note: The Express used Raven Lopez’s preferred pronouns (they/them) in this story.

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survey sent out to the student body revealed that 44.2 percent of Northwest students admit to being addicted to their phones. For Spanish teacher Marlee Coyne, phone usage is a major issue in her classroom. “People seem like they have to be on them all the time, and I wouldn’t mind, except then they don’t pay any attention. You’re going to survive if you don’t send a text right this second. It has become overwhelming, with the time [spent] on them,” Coyne said. Junior Easton Wasinger said he does not consider his phone to be a problem for him, but he sees his classmates struggle with phone usage daily. “I don’t use [my phone] as much as I see a lot of others doing,” Wasinger said. “I try to get my work done before I get on my phone. [However] sometimes I just need a little break during assignments.” Contrasting Wasinger’s claims, junior Raven Lopez said they find their phone is a direct device that aids in procrastination in the classroom. “It is just another thing that ends up distracting me. I guess this is more in-school phone usage than out of school. I would say in school, in class, it directly affects my ability to pay attention [and] class participation,” Lopez said. Associate Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Andrew Addington said while he believes phones are a major tool for students, they can also pose a distraction. “I see the way students use phones to distract from other work as a problem,” Addington said. “There is a time and place to use devices. We all have 1,000 apps that we use on a given day, but when you use your device to escape the work that has to be done, that’s when

it’s a detriment to you and what we are trying to do here.” In agreement with bvnwnews Addington, psychology teacher Heidi Gipple said while having phones in the classroom can be beneficial, they have to be used the right way. “We’re here to learn. The phone really can be a great learning tool, but we have to make sure that we are centered on [learning],” Gipple said. “I think at the same time it is about keeping it centered on the learning and obviously the phone is able to provide a very easy distraction from doing that.” Due to the distractions phones may cause, Coyne has Junior Easton Wasinger uses his cell phone in enforced a phone policy and his seventh hour anatomy class, Nov. 29. “I’m debates whether usually good at staying off my phone until my or not to introduce work is done,” Wasinger said. phone caddies back into (Photo by Regan Simeon) her classroom. “My phone policy is [that] they are to be put away unless it is after a quiz or test, if they are done with their work, or actively using them [for Similar to Coyne, Gipple’s phone class],” Coyne said. “I used to have a policy also has to do with only using phone caddy, but then when I was gone for a year I got rid of it, so I’m like, ‘Do I phones when necessary for her class. “Students are allowed to have their have to [use it again]?’” phones out on desks, so long as it’s not Coyne said some of her students do a distraction,’’ Gipple said. “Often, I let not always adhere to her expectations, students use their phones as a research despite having a defined phone policy. tool, sometimes that’s just easier on a “Some students are very good about phone than a computer.” it, others need a lot of reminding,” Gipple said phones do not only Coyne said. “There are two groups of impact school work, but also other people, one group will [use their phone areas of performance. for help], the other group will say “You have those one or two students they’re looking [information] up, and who are pretty consistently distracted, they’re not.”


12.16.21 and you obviously see that start to affect their grades, therefore their mental health, maybe their academic performance or anything just kind of getting in the way,” Gipple said. According to Addington, phone use is appropriate at certain times, and regardless of age, people use phones in similar ways. “The way a 16 year old uses their phone is pretty similar to the way a 36 year old uses their phone. During a time that is set aside for students to have down time and eat lunch, I think it’s reasonable for students to use their phones,” Addington said. Wasinger said he values schoolwork more than his phone, and the distraction of a mobile device does not get in the way of his education. “I prioritize [my school work]. Once I get all that stuff done, I have free time to do whatever I want,” Wasinger said. Contrary to this, Lopez said they have gotten in trouble in class due to

FEATURE | 11 their phone habits. him to get enough sleep at night and “It definitely does affect my in-class get school work finished. performance. I will end up tuning “[It’s] not as bad as it used to [be]. stuff out with music In middle school, which is not a great I used to be on it a thing to do. I have [It’s] not as bad as it lot more but now, gotten in trouble for it used to [be]. In middle in high school, I just [and] gotten my phone put it on Do Not school, I used to be Disturb,” Wasinger taken,” Lopez said. According to Lopez, said. on it a lot more but this issue expands According to now, in high school, I beyond school, Addington, phone just put it on do not affecting their sleep usage will impact schedule as well. students’ abilities disturb. “I will end up talking to perform later to someone until in life if they do -EASTON WASINGER midnight, [which] is not change their a majority of the reason I stay up. I current habits. don’t do much of anything else other “My biggest concern is that young than talking to people past that time people will grow up and develop skills so it does definitely take a good few that they will utilize for the remainder hours off of my sleep every night,” of their working life,” Addington said. Lopez said. “I don’t want them to get accustomed Unlike Lopez, Wasinger said he to escaping and avoiding the challenges utilizes a setting on his phone to allow they face through their devices.”

Junior Raven Lopez looks information up during class, Dec. 2. “I enjoy being able to use my phone during class, but that definitely doesn’t mean it isn’t a distraction at times,” Lopez said. (Photo by Laura Benteman)


12 | HUSKY HIGHLIGHTS

12.16.21

HUSKY HIGHLIGHTS During her third hour Culinary Essentials class, sophomore Harper Latta stirs her soup, Nov. 5. “I’ve been obsessed with baking and cooking since I was, like, six. I’ve watched all the shows, and I just really like that sort of environment,” Latta said. (Photo by Laura Benteman)

Freshmen Eva Minor and Sophia Hurley construct their wrapping paper dress during their Fashion and Apparel class, Nov. 11. “This project was fun because we got together as a group to create something,” Minor said. (Photo by Lila Vancrum)

Sophomore Carter Beach adds a sticky note to the Pass the Positivity wall, Nov. 15. The wall was created by BSU sponsor Matthew Shulman and is located outside of room 307. “[The wall] makes people feel good about themselves,” Beach said. (Photo by Lila Vancrum)


12.16.21

HUSKY HIGHLIGHTS | 13

At the front of the student section, seniors Brody Hansen, Kaden Sorenson and Joey Robinson lead a chant at the state championship football game, Nov. 27. “Being a spirit leader is fun because you get to lead the student section,” Sorenson said. “You also need to know what chants to do and when.” (Photo by Lindsey Farthing)

In her AP Environmental Science class, senior Natalie Policky measures the different layers of her soil for her lab, Nov. 17. “We added dish soap. Then we could see what percentage of the jar was sand, clay and silt,” Policky said. (Photo by Lindsey Farthing) During her Honors English Language Arts class, freshman Addie Aadland works on her Lord of the Flies project, Nov. 17. “The class is creating campaign posters to decide which of three characters would be the best leader,” Aadland said. (Photo by Lindsey Farthing)


14 | COVER


12.16.21

TRAR NSP ENCY

COVER | 15

A recent racial slur etched in a school bathroom prompts a discussion of past treatments of alledged discrimination and how BVNW can move forward in a positive direction

Written by Lizzie Lively and Elizabeth Caine, Photos by Lila Vancrum, Design by Sabrina San Agustin

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unior Grant Stubblefield said he was scrolling Snapchat stories when he came across a post of a racially charged slur etched on a stall in the 200 hallway boys bathroom. He reported the post to Academic Interventionist Matthew Shulman on Oct. 25. “It made me feel hurt that somebody at our school would do something like that because I feel really welcomed and loved in this school, so it was just really alarming and shocking,” Stubblefield said. Shulman said he was disappointed when he was made aware of the incident. “I think that any slurs—racial, homophobic or anything like that— there’s no place for that in this world. There’s no place for that, especially in this school,” Shulman said. “[It is] so disappointing that a student would take their time to carve that out [and] say that.” Principal Amy Pressly said she does not know how long the etching was in the bathroom before Stubblefield reported what he saw. If social media had not been involved in the discovery of the etching, Shulman said he believes fewer people would have known. “It’s crazy to see that something can spread so quickly, and a lot of times on social media, we don’t always take a second to digest anything,” Shulman said. Before social media, Shulman said people were not as aware of issues like this. “If you look [back] 15 to 20 years, maybe those things were still said and maybe those things were still done, A student poses to represent the recent etching of a racial slur that was found in the boys bathroom on Oct. 25. (Photo illustration by Lila Vancrum)

but they weren’t broadcast the same Northwest values, was not sufficient way; people were unaware,” Shulman enough and the administration has said. not fixed the problem. This change has forced the “I know we can be [better], but administration to look at things Huskies are not [currently] better than differently, Shulman said. that,” Hardin said. “I love this school “And so you were able to kind of in the little time that I have been here, handle those things behind the scenes but I know this school needs some more than you are now,” Shulman work, and she’s not willing to address said. “Now, you have to be out there a that.” little bit more than you were.” In response to Hardin’s concern, Pressly agreed with Shulman, Pressly said her door is always open adding that inaccurate information to students with complaints and ideas makes handling controversies like for improvement. this much more difficult. “I want kids to understand that you “Social media can be a benefit to can come [to me] for other reasons; us sometimes in an investigation, you don’t just come up because you’re [but] sometimes it can be a detriment in trouble,” Pressly said. “You can to us, especially when inaccurate always just make an appointment to information is getting out there,” see me, however you want to do it. Just Pressly said. “I think that you’re more come, just please come tell us.” in the know, faster than you were According to Shulman, there are a before [social media].” lot of moving parts when it comes to The handling raciallyadministration’s charged incidents, public response as there are many [We should] continue to circumstances that to the incident was to read work against things like teachers, students the inclusion and other staff this and make people statement over members do not aware so people feel the intercom always know, which Oct. 29 at the can affect people’s safe, feel comfortable beginning reactions. and feel like they are a of first hour. “When any part of this community situation like that Senior Xander Saltzman said the occurs, a lot of -MATTHEW SHULMAN administration emotions come out. handled the There can be an incident well according to standard initial reaction [of, ‘this] needs to be protocol, but not in terms of bigger.’ And I think some students communicating with the student body. [and] staff probably had that same “They responded how they usually feeling of something big needed to respond to any situation like that, happen,” Shulman said. “So, I can which is enough to get the heat off of understand students feeling very them, but not enough to actually do upset that nothing was said for a few something about that,” Saltzman said. days.” Junior Cyniya Hardin agreed Moving forward, Saltzman said he with Saltzman, adding that Pressly’s wants the administration to address announcement, voicing her belief incidents of hate every time they take that students were not upholding place.


12.16.21

16 | COVER “I know multiple students who go up to them complaining about this, and nothing happens. They don’t make another speech,” Saltzman said. “There’s no reassurance that this will be dealt with. They just move on.” Saltzman also added that the school administration does not treat every incident fairly. “Anything else that gets somewhat controversial they don’t really care [about] unless it becomes a big enough problem where they have to address it,” Saltzman said. In response, Pressly said although she cannot speak for the other administrators, and she cannot share specifics, everything that has been reported to her has been dealt with.

“I haven’t always told the person who reported it what the consequence was for the student or the individual that was involved, but [I told them] it has been dealt with and I’ve gotten back to the student or the teacher who reported it,” Pressly said. Saltzman cited another time he was displeased with how the administration handled issues of racial attacks. When he was a sophomore, he said he and his friend were walking down the hallway when another student used a racial slur toward them, prompting them to report the incident to an adult working in the building. Saltzman said he was

not informed of any resolution to the situation. Before coming to Northwest, Saltzman attended another school, spending the first half of his freshman year at Simonsen Ninth Grade in Jefferson City, Mo. Saltzman said his previous school would have handled the situation in the hallway immediately. “They didn’t accept anything, no matter what the topic was. [The punishment] was suspension or expulsion for hate crimes or hate speech,” Saltzman said. According to Hardin, she experienced a similar case of racial discrimination involving another peer during lunch. “[The student] said something very rude and racially motivated, and I told him to leave, and he made fun of me with his friend,” Hardin said. “He called me, ‘ghetto, ratchet, loud and the typical black female.’” Hardin said she addressed this incident with the administration but nothing was done. “I haven’t had any type of feedback from [the administration] about it…I haven’t had an apology. I haven’t even noticed that anything was done. They kind of just swept it under the rug,” Hardin said. Her previous school, Blue Valley North, was more responsive to and transparent with students regarding their claims of discrimination, she said. “We took initiative to say something…and the [administration] was understanding about it…but it’s like no one here likes to listen. [Students] just don’t feel like they have to listen to anyone, especially another peer,” Hardin said. According to Pressly, the administration is trying to be more transparent when it comes to student complaints. After transfering to Northwest this year, junior Cyniya Hardin said BVNW is not as transparent as her former school. Junior Grant Stubblefield reads the BVNW inclusion statement prior to the first playoff football game. Senior Xander Saltzman has been active in bringing racial issues to light. (Photo of Stubblefield by Lindsey Farthing)


12.16.21 “We’re trying to get better at closing that loop. We’re not always going to be able to tell you what happened, but what we can do is go back to the victim and make sure that the victim knows that it’s been addressed,” Pressly said. Pressly also added that she agrees transparency between the administration and students is extremely important. “I think sometimes people feel like if we’re not telling them what’s happening, then we’re not being transparent. So we’re going to tell you what we can tell you without violating rules and laws. I’m going to be as honest and truthful with you as I can,” Pressly said. If the administration is not meeting students’ needs, Pressly said they need to communicate that to them. Racial incidents are not the only situations with which students are experiencing frustration. Freshman Ava Guzzo said she was also upset with the administration’s response to her request for help. This year, Guzzo said she was threatened, beaten and sexually assaulted by a former friend multiple times; some of these incidents allegedly happened on campus. “I went to the SRO and I told them about [the abuse] that happened in the parking lot after school…They pulled up the surveillance and they were like, ‘Oh, all we can really do is just talk to him’ and I felt like that would just make things worse…so I just said not to do anything,” Guzzo said. In response, School Resource Officer Anthony Garcia said although he cannot comment on this specific report, anything that is reported to the SROs is investigated thoroughly. “We would never tell a student that there’s nothing we can do about that. It just all depends on what evidence came up in the investigation,” Garcia said. A week after Guzzo reported the incidents which allegedly took place on campus, her alleged abuser, according to Guzzo, threatened to shoot her. Guzzo said her friend called the police and her alleged abuser was arrested. After this happened, the administration put a safety plan in place for her, she said. She also explained that the school

COVER | 17

BVNW Principal Amy Pressly said she wants students to directly communicate any concerns with the administration. “We’re kind of trying to run a small city,” Pressly said. “So we have to work together to make it the best city.” (Photo by Lila Vancrum) structured E-Hallpass, the online pass system used by Northwest, in such a way so Guzzo and her alleged abuser could not be in the hallways at the same time. Despite this precautionary measure, Guzzo said she still comes into contact with her alleged abuser at school. She said she believes the administration did not do anything about it because she still sees him in the hallways. “I feel like they could have taken more action to keep people safer,” Guzzo said. In response to Guzzo’s claims, Pressly said the administration regularly checks in with students on safety plans. “We check in routinely with those individuals on those safety plans. So if those safety plans aren’t meeting their needs, they need to tell us,” Pressly said. Stubblefield said that although there is always room for improvement, he feels Northwest is making strides in a positive direction.

“Right now, we are in the right steps, and everybody is starting to get included, and I think we are actually doing a pretty good job about it,” Stubblefield said. Shulman said he would like to see a continued call to action to combat racial discrimination and encourages everyone to continue to talk about issues such as the incident that occurred in the boys restroom. “[We should] continue to work against things like this and make people aware so people feel safe, feel comfortable and feel like they are a part of this community,” Shulman said. “I think not letting it fall by the wayside, not forgetting about it and not brushing it under the rug [is important]...As long as we continue to make this known and make people aware, I think that’s going to be our biggest way to combat it.”


18 | FEATURE

T PIC URE PERFECT

12.16.21

Students who semi-professionally model combat stereotypes placed on their industry By Alyssa Gagnon and Payton Porter, Photos by Lindsey Farthing, Design by Sophie Dellett

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t age 3, sophomore Arya Koseoglu had soft tissue cancer, which caused her face to become slightly asymmetrical. Despite this, Koseoglu started modeling for Modern Muse, a modeling agency based in Orlando, Fla. at age 11. Koseoglu said she believes anyone can model, regardless of their physical appearance. “I don’t think you have to be pretty or perfect to model. Speaking [as] someone who doesn’t have a symmetrical face, I’m still doing it because it’s not really about your body shape or how you look, it’s just how you show it and your confidence in it,” Koseoglu said. Modeling, Koseoglu said, has given her more confidence. “Before modeling, I was very shy, but learning more about it has made me much more confident,” Koseoglu said. Senior Drew Ranallo is another BVNW student who models. Ranallo was introduced to modeling during his sophomore year of high school by his older brother, Evan Ranallo, who also models. However, it was not until the summer before his senior year when Ranallo started modeling for Voices and Models, a talent and modeling company based in

Kansas City, Mo. Ranallo said he was unsure about telling his peers he had started modeling because he did not want to be

judged by them. “When my brother first started [modeling], a lot of people started making fun of him, so when I first decided that I was going to [start modeling], I was kind of skeptical [about] telling a bunch of my friends,” Ranallo said. As time went on, he said he became more comfortable with telling others that he models. “As I did more and more shoots, I stopped caring what people thought,” Ranallo said. When Ranallo began modeling, another worry of his was the idea that modeling was a feminine thing to do. “I kind of made fun of my brother when [he] first started because I thought [modeling] was just for females, but once I got into it, [I realized] it is still a place where guys can excel,” Ranallo said. Another stereotype Ranallo said he used to believe was the idea that models needed to look picture perfect in person. “I thought that Senior Kyra Bugg works with designers from Kansas City Fashion Week. “I have a designer that I work with. Then I get into other things through that,” Bugg said. (Photo courtesy of Kyra Bugg)


12.16.21

Senior Drew Ranallo has modeled for brands like Champion and Charlie Hustle. “They are not exactly professional jobs,” Ranallo said. “[These brands are] kind of just picking local people to go for it.” (Photo by Lindsey Farthing) every model had to be the besthyping me up, so it makes me feel looking person out there, but once I really good about myself,” Bugg said. got into it, I quickly realized that a lot Bugg was 14 years old when she of companies are looking for a lot of and her sister, Kiki Bugg, modeled for different types of people,” he said. Kansas City Fashion Week for the first Just like Koseoglu, Ranallo said time. people do not have to be the most “[My sister and I] both got selected perfectthe first time looking we ever tried person to out, so after I don’t think you have to be model. He that it just pretty or perfect to model. mentioned became a his height as thing I liked Speaking as someone who an example. to do,” Bugg doesn’t have a symmetrical “Going said. face... it’s just how you show into it, I According thought I was to Bugg, the it and your confidence in it. going to be stereotype too short,” of female -ARYA KOSEOGLU Ranallo, who models being is 5 ‘11”, said. skinny, tall “I thought I wasn’t going to get any jobs and pretty is not necessarily true. because everybody wanted that perfect “I am not tall, I’m 5’5’’ and I weigh height, but it hasn’t affected me in a big more than 130 pounds. There are many way.” models with certain skin conditions, Although she is not part of a disabilities or plus-size models. People modeling agency like Ranallo and are always looking for that,” Bugg said. Koseoglu, senior Kyra Bugg was Despite their passion for modeling selected to model for Kansas City in high school, Koseoglu, Bugg and Fashion Week. Ranallo do not plan on making Along with Koseoglu, Bugg said modeling their career due to the modeling has played a role in boosting inconsistent nature of the industry. her confidence in herself. “I don’t ever see it being a career, “When I model or get pictures taken, just because modeling is a really hard there is always a whole bunch of people career because it’s not constant work

FEATURE | 19 all the time,” Ranallo said. Regardless, Ranallo said he still enjoys modeling as a hobby, and by doing so, has been exposed to a work environment. “I think just meeting new people and getting to be around people in an actual work environment instead of a school environment [is] super cool,’’ Ranallo said. Like Ranallo, Bugg said she also enjoys meeting new people through modeling. “The people I work with are all amazing; they tell me their life stories and it helps me relate to [what I’m going through],” Bugg said. For those interested in modeling, Ranallo said the best thing anyone can do is go out with a friend who likes to take pictures and get used to the camera. Whether you are starting to pursue a career in the modeling field or just posing with friends, Ranallo said he believes anyone can try modeling, no matter what you look like. “A lot of people think, ‘I’m not pretty enough, I’m not handsome enough, I’m not fit enough or anything like that. I think you don’t know until you try,” Ranallo said.

Sophomore Arya Koseoglu has been modeling since she was 11. “[Since starting] I’ve definitely learned to be more confident while modeling,” Koseoglu said. (Photo courtesy of Arya Koseoglu)


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20 | FEATURE

UNDERDAWGS The football team capped off a 12-1 season with a win in the 6A state championship

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Written by Jack Nitz, Design by Julia Moser

ull the Sled. This phrase has been a guiding force for the varsity football team the past two years as they completed a rebuild of the program by winning the first-ever state championship in school history. Head coach Clint Rider said he and defensive coordinator Kollin Ahern implemented the phrase before the 2020 season to push the team and keep them on track. “I think Pull the Sled gave everybody something that we could point to and

use to talk about different situations. It has been a rallying cry to get everybody pulling in the same direction and it has kept everybody focused on the same goals,” Rider said. “We wanted to have an identifying point of our program and Pull the Sled stood out to us.” Senior quarterback Mikey Pauley said this saying became a way for the team to hold each other accountable and motivate each other. “Pull the Sled means that every guy has a role in pulling the program in

the right direction. I think it helped us later in the year and especially during the playoffs to remember that each guy, no matter if you’re starting or on scout team, is important to the success of the team,” Pauley said. Rider assumed the position of head coach before the 2017 season. He said the football program was not in a great spot, so his first steps as head coach were to increase the number of players and establish a winning culture. “Our first goal was to get our


12.16.21 program to 100 players and it took season with a 5-2 record, the Huskies about three or four years to get to that came into this season looking to build point. It was really just about stabilizing on their success. Northwest began the the program. The program had been season with a six-game winning streak losing a bunch of numbers and we with wins against Blue Valley, Bishop were just trying to get people excited Miege, St. Joseph Central (Mo.), St. about playing James Academy, Blue again,” Rider Valley Southwest and said. “Secondly, Blue Valley North. To think about where we wanted to Northwest’s lone we came from and establish a culture loss of the season in the weight came in week seven that it’s never been room. I think at the hands of Saint done before at that was the Thomas Aquinas. Northwest, this feeling Peterson said the most important thing that we did 35-16 defeat provided is unmatched. because it showed the Huskies with a that without the much-needed wake-GABE PETERSON process being up call. right, there was “The game against no chance for us, no matter the talent, St. Thomas Aquinas had a huge impact to reach the ultimate goal.” on our season. It definitely gave us In Rider’s first three seasons as a reality check. We overlooked them head coach, the Huskies finished with a little and we were really confident records of 2-7, 0-9 and 2-7. going into that game. It brought us back “Personally, it was hard, but knowing down to Earth and showed us that we that the current seniors were coming were beatable and if we didn’t prepare through, we could see the turning point well and play our best football, we coming. It was just a matter of keeping could be beaten,” Peterson said. everybody together until that point The Huskies finished the regular came,” Rider said. “Going through that season with a win over Blue Valley moment with our staff and working to West, which clinched the one seed in keep everybody together was pretty the playoffs and made Northwest EKL special.” champions for the first time since 2005. The seniors on the team had In the playoffs, the Huskies defeated JC excellent chemistry, senior lineman Harmon, Olathe South, Olathe North Gabe Peterson said, which resulted and Blue Valley West to secure their from a majority of them having played spot in the 6A state title game for the together since elementary school. first time in school history. “The team chemistry was a huge part In the state championship, of our success this season. We all know Northwest faced off against Derby, a each other’s strengths and weaknesses, perennial football powerhouse playing and we’re able to pick each other up in its seventh straight state title game. when we’re down since we’ve been Despite a strong showing throughout playing together for so long,” Peterson the season, the Huskies were still said. labeled as the underdog by many media Rider said this group of seniors’ outlets. work ethic and mindset differentiated “Being the underdog in our final them from seniors in the past and game kind of tied it all back to three allowed them to have the success they or four years ago when we were did. struggling and always considered to “They always expected to win and be the underdog,” Pauley said. “We they prepared to win,” Rider said. had been considered the chosen team “These guys elevated the culture on pretty much every game this season. To the field through film study, asking go up against Derby as the underdog unbelievably insightful questions and definitely made us hungrier and we their ability to be a great practice team. were able to show Derby something All of this was a major part of what that hadn’t been done to them in a set this group of seniors apart from while.” others.” The Huskies jumped out to a 28-0 After finishing a shortened 2020 lead over Derby at halftime and went on

FEATURE | 21 to win the championship, 41-21. “It’s the best feeling in the world. To think about where we came from and that it’s never been done before at Northwest, this feeling is unmatched,” Peterson said. After the season, Rider, Pauley and Peterson were recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in metroarea high school football. Pauley won the Thomas A. Simone award, which is given to the most outstanding high school football player in the Kansas City metro area, Peterson was named the 6A Co-Defensive Player of the Year and Rider was awarded the Chiefs Eric Driskell Kansas High School Coach of the Year Award. Rider said he appreciated the recognition, but he knew it would not have been possible without great players and coaches. “To me, it’s a team award and a recognition of all the work our staff has put in as a collective. I’m not the only coach on staff, and our coaches have been grinding for four and a half years to get to this moment. I’m grateful for our coaches and players. I know for a fact that no coach has ever won awards like these without a great group around them,” Rider said.

The Huskies defeated the Derby Panthers 41-21, to win the state championship for the first time in school history. Nov. 27. “[Winning a state championship] means everything,” Pauley said. “Putting a banner up in the gym is really special and we’ve been waiting for this for our whole time at Northwest.” (Photo by Remi Nuss)


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22 | FEATURE

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

A parent and students at BVNW eliminate food groups due to moral beliefs

Written by Hannah Rakolta and Lindsay Maresh, Photos by Norah Alasmar, Design by Avery Sigg

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unior Alaina Garms has been a vegetarian since she was 5 years old due to her disliking for meat as well as her belief that eating animals is wrong. “I didn’t really want to eat animals because I have a lot of pets, and I really love [them], and it’s [also] kind of a texture thing for me, so it didn’t really bother me not to eat [meat] because I didn’t really like it,” Garms said.

Junior Rishab Jain is also a vegetarian. He said he follows this diet because of his religion, Jainism. Jain said he does not necessarily follow every rule of his religion, but he does believe in the idea that all life is equally important. “The entire religion is about nonviolence, and it’s the concept that all life is the same no matter what, so even if it’s a bug, or plant, or a human, it’s all

Sophomore Lillian Flood prepares vegan chocolate chip cookies in her kitchen. “While it sometimes can be difficult to find foods to eat, it’s worth it for all the lessons it has taught me,” Flood said. (Photo by Norah Alasmar)

the same,” Jain said. According to Jain, this belief is the basis for why he chooses to eliminate meat from his diet. He said being vegetarian is also morally important to him, even though it began with religion. “For me, it’s the knowledge that I am not actively condoning or consuming the flesh of another living thing. I know that sounds a bit intense, but I guess that’s the way I look at it,” Jain said. Although Jain believes being vegetarian has moral benefits, he said he does face some challenges related to his diet, one of them being negative commentary from peers. “My only issue is when people make fun of you for your eating choices,” Jain said. “I’ve been made fun of a lot for not eating meat because people don’t like that idea for some reason, or they just don’t understand it.” Garms added to this, saying a challenge she faces is the inability to eat at certain restaurants. However, she believes this problem is improving. “[Restaurants] always have [food] that caters to people that eat meat,” Garms said. “But I think now, restaurants are starting to get more vegetarian options.” Garms said she wants anyone considering cutting meat out of their lives to reflect on the impact eliminating meat can have on suppliers who are cruel to their animals. “I just think that you don’t necessarily even have to go vegetarian or vegan or anything [specific], but


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FEATURE | 23

Junior Alaina Garms shops for vegetarian food options at her local Hy-Vee. “Even though it can be harder to plan healthy meals, it helps me feel energized,” Garms said. (Photo by Norah Alasmar) cutting out at least the suppliers who are really awful to their animals and [businesses] who just really don’t support good and moral things, I think that’s important,” Garms said. Along with vegetarian students some vegans are vegan including sophomore Lillian Flood. Flood said she went vegan around age 6 when her mom became vegan. However, she said she would probably still be vegan, even if her mom was not. “I have such a love for animals and such a passion for helping them and advocating for them, and I think at the core of it all, that would never change with me,” Flood said. Flood said she wants others to understand being vegan is just another way of eating. “People just need to keep to themselves and their own business and stop judging other people for their own choices,” Flood said. Flood’s mom, Nancy Flood, said she went vegan because they had a dog at

the time, and she could not imagine of supports the movement of trying eating any animal after she grew to love to make a change, since if [customers] her dog. cut [meat] out of their life, [meat “I just looked into producers] will [my dog’s] eyes and more likely be there’s no difference forced to make between the eyes of my a change to the I think people just daughter, the eyes of way they treat need to keep to my dog, or the eyes of their animals.” themselves and to this cow or pig,” Nancy Nancy said said. the reasons their own business Another big reason discussed by and stop judging why Garms said she Garms are also other people for believes more people a main factor should try to eliminate as to why she is their own choices. meat from their diet vegan. -LILLIAN FLOOD is to help stop animal “The whole abuse in the food reason we went industry. vegan was for the animals. We are “I would recommend [going not contributing to the torture and vegetarian] just because I think it slaughter of billions of animals every supports anti-abuse [movements] year,” Nancy said. with animals, and the food industry Adding to this, Nancy said she wants surrounding animals has become a other people to know all animals should horrible environment,” Garms said. “I be treated the same. think that cutting out that stuff kind “The animals you eat are no different


24 | FEATURE than your dog or cat. They feel pain, sadness, joy, have families and love their babies. They are someone, not something,” Nancy said. Senior Mady Barnes is a pescatarian for some of the same reasons Nancy went vegan and said she has been eating this way for about five years. She said she went pescatarian because she and her mom decided it would be beneficial. “It was kind of an agreement with both my mom and [me], we both decided [to do this for] our health and the environment. We very much care for animals such as cows and chickens, and we stand against the animal cruelty that they face,” Barnes said. Being a pescatarian consists of eliminating all meat from your meals, aside from fish and seafood. Barnes

12.16.21 said a challenge with eating this way you can’t go off for a day and have a is getting the necessary amount of burger or a slice of pepperoni pizza. protein. So of course, it’s their choice,” Barnes “Making sure you get your protein said. is huge,” Barnes said. “[It’s] something Jain said he agrees that your diet that I didn’t pay attention to in the is your choice. He said he would like very beginning and [that] had negative other students to know that being effects on me in my activities of daily vegetarian is not something you need living.” to agree with to be Although her okay with. dietary choices “You don’t need to You don’t need can be challenging, understand it, you to understand it, Barnes said she just need to accept can eat the foods it,” Jain said. “Having you just need to she loves, such other people accept accept it. as sushi. She said your choice is, I if anyone else is guess, the second -RISHAB JAIN thinking about hardest part. I feel going pescatarian, like if more people she would recommend not being too accepted it, then it would be far easier strict on yourself. for people to be vegetarian.” “There’s nothing behind it that says

Junior Alaina Garms has been vegetarian for 12 years due to her moral beliefs and disliking of meat. “Being vegetarian motivates me to eat healthy,” Garms said. (Photo by Norah Alasmar)


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FEATURE | 25

TWO HOMES, ONE

HOLIDAY The complexity of sharing a holiday with divorced parents is one that some students deal with every season

Written by Jessica Toomay and Alex Cowdrey, Photos by Laura Benteman, Design by Regan Simeon

Sophomore Grace Schlueter is greeted by her dad, Doug Schlueter, after coming from her mom’s house, Nov. 21. “Now that I’m 16 and have a car I can drive myself in between houses,” Schlueter said. (Photo by Laura Benteman)


26 | FEATURE

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plitting the holidays in separate houses due to divorce is a challenge that sophomore Tyler Wells has experienced since he was

young. Wells, whose parents have been divorced for 10 years, said his holidays usually consist of him seeing both parents on Christmas. “[My sister and I] stay at one of their houses [that night] then we wake up and we’ll celebrate with [that parent] and do [a bunch of different] stuff with their family and then we’ll go over to our other parent’s house and celebrate with that side of the family,” Wells said. Senior Kayla Milius, whose parents have been divorced for 17 years, said she has a similar arrangement to Wells’ in which she gets to see both of her parents on the same day. “I spend the morning with the parent that I’m supposed to be with on Christmas. Let’s say I’m with my dad on Christmas. I’ll spend the morning with my dad and then we’ll have lunch and then I’ll go to my mom’s for a few hours in the afternoon and then I’ll go back to my dad’s,” Milius said. Unlike Wells and Milius, sophomore Grace Schlueter, whose parents have been divorced for nine years, said she usually switches between each of her parents’ houses every year. “Every Christmas it switches off for who I am with for actual

12.16.21 Christmas [Day]. I am with [one parent] Schlueter’s mother, Susan Paris, on Christmas Day and the night before agreed with Doug saying the hardest I’m with the other parent,” Schlueter part for her and Schlueter is not being said. with the entire family every year. Schlueter’s dad, Doug Schlueter, “The hardest part [for] me is not said when she is at his house for having her with me for the entire the holidays, he tries to uphold the holiday and knowing that she is traditions from her childhood. going to be leaving at some point [is] “[I try to keep old] traditions. I’ll difficult,” Susan said. “I think the same read ‘The Night Before Christmas’ to has to be difficult for her. She wants them in preparation for Santa Claus to spend the holidays with both of her coming and we’ve parents and see both done that every year sides of the family, but since they’ve been it just can’t happen.” Just be grateful around,” Doug said. Schlueter said she for the time that Wells’ mother, misses being able to you have with Debye Wells, said spend Christmas with she also tries to her family as a whole. each parent continue traditions “I miss out on not because some from when he was seeing both of [my years it’s really younger. parents] at the same “We do hot time, which is sad,” hard when you’re chocolate every Schlueter said. not with one of Christmas morning Along with your parents on a Schlueter, Tyler’s [with] pumpkin bread,” Debye said. father, Tim Wells, said holiday and you “Those were all little it was hard not being miss them. traditions that they able to spend as much would wake up to quality time with his -GRACE SCHLUETER [and] we would do kids. that before they “You miss that time [were able] to open gifts.” with them, like the special time in the Although they try to keep traditions holidays, the mornings with Santa and alive, Schlueter said it was difficult for [the] Easter Bunny, and it’s always kind her after the divorce initially happened of sad,” Tim said. because she had only ever had holidays Adding to this point, Milius said with her family all together. being able to experience a traditional “At first it was really hard not seeing Christmas with her family is one thing them both on the holidays because for she feels she lacks during the holidays. the first six years of my life I was used “I feel like I miss out [on] that family to seeing both of them, but then all of experience when you’re all together,” a sudden I would just see one, and Milius said. “I’m running back-andthey would switch the next holiday,” forth between my parents’ houses so I Schlueter said. feel like I miss out on family bonding.” According to Doug, the most Due to the switching between difficult part for Schlueter and houses, Milius said she experiences a himself is that they cannot be with lot of stress around the holiday time. their entire family. “It can get stressful, [but] that is “I think the hardest part always how I grew up so it’s just always for my child was that she was been normal for me. It wasn’t anything away from her father on out of the ordinary, but it can definitely some of those very early get stressful just trying to manage the Christmases, and there time,” Milius said. is nothing I can do about Despite the struggles of switching it,” Doug said. “Likewise, houses during the holidays, Milius said that was the hardest she has gotten used to the system she part for me, especially and her parents have developed. when they’re younger. “I just have a different holiday than I try to make up for [the some other people,” Milius said. “I earlier] years and make them know people have the holidays just like extra special.” I do but I have become accustomed to it


12.16.21 because I’ve had it for so long.” Schlueter said that even though there are difficulties, she has also gotten used to the arrangement she has. “Now I am used to [switching houses]. At the beginning it was weird [because] both parents weren’t there[anymore]. I am pretty much used to going to different houses [but] it can still be difficult,” Schlueter said. Wells said he has also become used to the different times he spends with his parents because he has been doing it for a long time. “I’m pretty accustomed to it just because I’ve been doing it for almost 10 years now,” Wells said. Debye added to her son’s point, saying she does not find the holidays challenging because she focuses on spending the time she is given with her children. “I don’t feel like there is a hardest part [because] I enjoy all of the holidays, and I am lucky enough to get to spend them with my kids,” Debye said.

FEATURE | 27 Tim agreed with Debye, saying that although divorce is not the first thing that any family wants, it all comes down to what is going to be in the best interest of their child. Though there are struggles with having divorced parents during the holidays, Schlueter said one thing she has learned is to be thankful for the time she has with family. “Just be grateful for the time that you have with each parent because some years it’s really hard when you’re not with one of your parents on a holiday and you miss them,” Schlueter said. Milius agreed with Schlueter, saying that even though it can be a hard situation to be in, she would not change the way she spends her holidays. “I don’t think I would change the way my holidays work just because I’m used to it by now,” Milius said. “It’s a chaotic dynamic but it’s nice because I get to see both my parents and spend time with both of them.”

Waving goodbye to his mom and stepdad, sophomore Tyler Wells walks to his car with his sister, Kennedy, Nov. 21. “[I stay with them] every other week,” Wells said. (Photo by Laura Benteman)


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28 | FEATURE

Invest In Your Future Teachers and students share the importance of investing starting at a young age

Written by Libby Addison and Thomas Rose, Photos by Remi Nuss, Design by Rachel Hostetler

I

t used to be pretty difficult for your average student to invest in the stock market, according to history teacher and Investing Club sponsor Corby Lange. “[In the past] I bought books on [investing] and had to learn about it on my own, and I was fortunate to have family members who knew more about it than I did… but it was mostly selftaught,” Lange said. In the modern age, however, the internet has given Northwest

students a chance to participate in the international marketplace. When inspiration for the club came from a lesson, Lange sought interest to create a place for students to learn about and discuss investing. “I do a lesson on the [1929] economic collapse of the stock market. And so I had a few kids, about four years ago, that were like ‘hey, we want to learn more about this,’ and we made a club,” Lange said. Senior Nick Wood, President of the

Investing Club, said starting to invest in stocks at a young age is important for students’ future understanding of money. “It’s a great way to make passive income, and starting early can definitely maximize the amount of money you have at an earlier age,” Wood said. With the advent of modern technology, there has been an increase in the number of younger investors, including Northwest students. One

Senior Nick Wood analyzes the stock market during an Investing Club meeting. “Being a part of the club has grown my knowledge in the stock market significantly,” Wood said. “I have also become much better at communicating.” (Photo by Remi Nuss)


12.16.21 such student is junior David Wen, who owns multiple stocks and said he has been investing for years. “I got my first book on investing and the importance of investing around age 7,” Wen said. “Money and the management of money is something that I’ve always been into.” Based on his experience, Wen said the most important part of getting into the stock market is investing in industries that you know well. “I’m into energy; I want to own my own energy company someday, so I invest in energy stocks,” Wen said. “You absolutely have to know your stock. That’s the most important thing. If you invest in something that you know absolutely nothing about, you’re guaranteed to lose money.” However, investing is not just a short term activity, according to Wood. When investing in stocks, he said the goal is to look years in advance. “It’s a long-term thing and it takes patience. Stock prices will go up and down, so there can be a lot of waiting, and when the stock goes down, that’s normal, so just be patient,” Wood said. Aside from the Investing Club, personal finance class is another way to learn about the stock market, personal finance teacher Patrick Swanson said. “I think [personal finance] is a wonderful course for people to have exposure in investing,” Swanson said. Swanson added that investing can be risky if you are not well educated on the matter. If you understand investing, or you understand “the game,” then it is probably an OK situation to invest in,” Swanson said.

FEATURE | 29

During Patrick Swanson’s fourth hour personal finance class, students work on their dollar cost averaging assignment. (Photo by Remi Nuss) According to Wen, people interested in investing should pay attention to current events. “If you start paying attention to the news, it helps a lot, because you always want to know why a stock is doing something. Different pieces of news can cause stocks to go up, or go down,” Wen said. It is important to get more students involved with investing because of the lessons it can teach students about

real-world money, Wood said. “It’s a great way to just learn about finance, business, and things like that on the market, and kind of just how the economy and the world works,” Wood said. “It can teach a lot of lessons, and [if you] start at this age, before you’re even in college, if you go into [a career in] that area it can really give you an advantage and a jump on top of other people.”

I N V E S T I N G T E R M I N O LO GY S t o c k s - A share which represents

Investment-

Passive income-

S t o c k m a r k e t - Where economic

ownership over a fraction of a corporation. Earnings made through properties, limited partnerships or other enterprises where a person is not actively involved. Stock dividends and payments on rental property are examples of passive income.

Buying an asset for a profit or material result in the future. activity surrounding stocks takes place. More of a concept than a real place, although a stock exchange, or a physical location, exists on Wall Street in New York City.


30 | GAMEDAY GALLERY

12.16.21

GAMEDAY GALLERY At the state football pep assembly, junior Lindsay Harris performs as part of The Pack Dance Team, Nov. 23. “Performing in front of classmates is a bit nervewracking,” Harris said. “This is my third year on the team, though, I’ve gotten used to it, and now performances are more fun.” (Photo by Lindsey Farthing) Sophomore Ella Burvee goes in for a layup against head coach Matthew Shulman during girls basketball tryouts, Nov. 18. “We have very athletic and physical teams, and that will be a big advantage for us this year,” Burvee said. (Photo by Lila Vancrum)

During the 6A KSHSAA football state championship game at Emporia State University, senior Drew Ranallo tackles the Derby High School quarterback on a run, Nov. 27. “Less than one percent of high school athletes get to end their careers as winners, and I am so glad that this team is part of that one percent,” Ranallo said. The Huskies defeated the Panthers, 4121, to win the state championship. (Photo by Lindsey Farthing)


12.16.21

GAMEDAY GALLERY | 31 Seniors J Hadleigh Fallon, Lindsey Noon and freshman Haley Shannon compete at the 6A state cheer competition, Nov. 20. “My favorite part about this routine was the energy and how much we enjoy doing it,” Noon said. The cheer team took first place at state in the 6A division. (Photo by Maci Miller)

Junior Grant Stubblefield scores a touchdown in the 6A state championship game, Nov. 27. “I was relieved that everything we were working for finally came true,” Stubblefield said. (Photo by Remi Nuss)

Junior Gustavo Silva crosses the ball to a forward, Nov. 6. The Huskies defeated Wichita North, 3-1, to finish in third place in the state tournament. “Finishing third felt good,” Silva said. “I am glad we finished the season off on a win.” (Photo by Ellison Gracik)


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