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Students discuss the aspects of having a parent in the military






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





Online Editor…………..........................Liz LaHood

Photography Editor……..............Lindsey Farthing



Sports Editor……………......................Jack Nitz


Managing Editor………..................Julia Moser

Design Editor…………….....................Sabrina San Agustin Business Editor……………...............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 • Jack Nitz • Lizzie Lively • Reagan Kauth • Lucy Halverson • Thomas Rose • Reagan King • Elizabeth Caine • Lindsey Maresh • Elizabeth Addison • Payton Porter • Avery

With Covid cases on the rise once again, The Express is urging our community to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

Senior and Student Body President Nick Wood urges students to get involved with events, athletics and activities.


Medjugorje Miracle

Sigg • Alexandria Cowdrey • Ashely Adams Photographers Laura Benteman • Anna Shaughnessey • Norah Alasmar • Lila Vancrum • Maci Miller • Remi Nuss • Regan Simeon Designers Sophie Dellett Adviser Jim McCrossen

Assistant Adviser Amanda Ford

Sophomores Kurtis Rephlo and Ava Masterson participated in a pilgrimage to Medjugorje during the summer break. Masterson said one of the main goals for the trip was to grow closer with God. (Photo courtesy of Masterson)



8 COVER: SILENT SACRIFICE Having a parent serve in the U.S. military can be a challenge for students such as junior Mia Bernabe. She and other military kids describe all that comes with being the child to someone who serves.(Photo by Lindsey Farthing)



Helping lead the girls captain-led summer tennis camp, senior Sophia Fisher returns the ball to her teammate, July 26. “Tennis camp is a good way to get to know other girls on the team, and to show my leadership,” Fisher said. (Photo by Lindsey Farthing)

Golden Crunch is one of nine flavors offered at The Golden Scoop, an ice cream shop that employs disabled people. (Photo by Remi Nuss)





Get Vaccinated Northwest I

it is time to be more serious Y COV than ever before. It is time ID TM O for you to get on board G and get the Covid-19 vaccine. Johnson County is currently regarded as a high transmission community. As of Aug. 1, only 45.3 percent of eligible Kansans are vaccinated. Johnson County is barely above the state average, with 50.1 of eligible residents being fully vaccinated. These stats are fitting, given the fact that Kansas is in the top 12 states with most Covid cases, according to the White House. We understand your worries about this vaccine, so allow us to put some of them to ease. The CDC said there is currently no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine, or any vaccine for that matter. Likewise, the CDC also debunked the myths of the vaccine altering your DNA and causing you to become magnetic. On Aug. 9 our various social media accounts reported on the Blue Valley Board of Education’s decision to require high school students and staff to wear masks. Based on the amount of negative comments we received from this announcement, we can safely assume that people do not want to wear masks. Getting vaccinated solves this problem. We know you all want to go to football games, dance the night away at prom and graduate sansmasks. We want that too. We are also sure you would also rather not quarantine from school for two weeks, which is what would have to happen if you are unvaccinated and exposed to Covid. To make all that and more happen, there is only one solution. Do the right thing, the unselfish thing, the smart thing, the safe thing, the thing experts are begging for young people to do and get the Covid-19 vaccine. Once young people like you take this crucial step, we are confident that we will be able to finally return to a safe and normal life. 19


Think back to March, 2020. The world seemed to come to a devastating halt in the blink of an eye. School was canceled, sports were postponed indefinitely and finding toilet paper was the same as striking gold. People were succumbing to a global pandemic -- something we had only heard of in horror films and medieval history books. The images of body bags being placed inside makeshift tents in Central Park and the breaking news segment of Gov. Laura Kelly announcing the closure of schools, making Kansas the first out of all 50 states to do so, are things we will not soon forget. During the height of the pandemic, people all over the world prayed and hoped for a solution. A solution that would save lives. A solution that would resume the economy. A solution that would return us to “normal.” So, now that we have the solution, the Covid-19 vaccine, we can’t help but wonder why people are electing not to get it. To put it into school terms for our peers, it is as if a teacher has given you the chance to retake a test for full credit, yet you chose not to, accepting the less than stellar grade you were awarded in the first place. This pompous mentality of “I am young; I am healthy; I will be fine,” is not going to cut it anymore. We know this is a common phrase used to scold people our age, but seriously, grow up. Young people need to step up and get the vaccine. People under the age of 30 accounted for more than 20 percent of Covid cases and were seen as more likely to transmit the virus than others during this past summer, according to a report by John Hopkins Medicine. The way in which people approach the vaccination of a community is constantly changing. Kansas City is starting to require proof of vaccination in order to eat in certain restaurants, and private and state schools such as Harvard University and University of Indiana are requiring students to be fully vaccinated in order to attend classes. The coronavirus is not (and has never been) something to take lightly. More than 35.6 million people have died due to Covid-19 as of Aug. 6. The U.S. accounts for 616,829 of those deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. And now, with new variants arising,

Find a COVID-19 Vaccine: Search, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.



Written by Student Body President Nick Wood

It has been 532 days since we have had an assembly, meaning it has been over a year since we have seen true school spirit. As this year’s Student Body President, I feel inclined to bring that spirit back. It all starts with next week’s pep rally and husky night. The freshmen will learn the NW chants and the seniors will take the coveted spirit stick into their hands after much anticipation. The spirit can not just come into play in these first few moments though. We need to make sure it continues into the multiple spirit weeks we will have this year including those centered around the homecoming and sweetheart dances. These weeks are meant to be full of husky pride. During the spirit weeks of my freshman year, everyone walked through the decorated halls dressed in the theme of the day. People performed skits in the mornings, all of which were met with lots of cheers and laughter. Finally, spirit week culminated in a Pep Assembly that included performances by the cheerleaders, dance team and drumline, all accompanied by school chants and games led by the seniors. It was awesome. This incredible sight of school spirit was no easy feat. It was a group effort in which all students had to partake in order to succeed.

So, as we get back into the swing of things, with nothing but hope for a normal school year, I have two requests. First, do not be the kid who thinks they are too cool to dress up and perform in the skits. Instead, I encourage you to be the person who organizes the skits, texts your friends to plan your dress-up day outfits and partakes in competitions to earn your grade points. Spirit week is truly what you choose to make out of it, I can only hype it up so much. My freshman year it was amazing, but I will admit over the past two years the participation has faded out and the drive to beat the other grades has decreased. Join your classmates in decorating the halls to create an amazing spectacle, join in the assembly games, join in the yelling of our spirit chants and most of all join in being a true husky. Second, I challenge everyone this year to come and attend the homecoming dance. Let’s make it the biggest one ever. I will do my part and get the best DJ, theme and setup possible, but we need as many people as we can to create an exciting atmosphere. As this school year kicks off, I can not help but feel hopeful. Hopeful for a normal year. Hopeful for a fun year. And, hopeful for a year full of that Northwest spirit that we have been missing for far too long. Together, we can make sure to restore school spirit. But again, it all starts with you. Your President,




MIRACLE Two sophomores share their experience of viewing the miracles from the “Queen of Peace” on a trip to Medjugorje over the summer. Written by Lucy Halverson and Jessica Toomay, Photos by Maci Miller, Design by Sophie Dellett


uring June, sophomores Ava Masterson and Kurtis Rephlo traveled to Medjugorje to strengthen their relationship with each other and God. The city of Medjugorje sits in the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina which is located in the Southeastern part of Europe in the Balkans. The country is also known as B&H, BiH or Bosnia-Herzegovina. Medjugorje is a historical site that many Catholics believe the Virgin Mary, also known as the Queen of Peace, was physically seen for the first time by six children in June of 1981. According to Masterson, it is called the Medjugorje Miracle because there have been several accounts of what people believe to be miracles at this spot. Masterson said people believe Mary

appears to a specific group of people and gives them messages to share with the people who come to the church and the pilgrimage in Medjugorje. Many visitors come to the unofficial pilgrimage to attend mass and listen to the six individuals talk about Mary’s newest message, Masterson said. “Probably 20 or 30 years ago, Mary, who we believe is the mother of Jesus Christ, first appeared to six children on this one mountain, and every month since then she appears to them and gives them a message to send out into the world,” Masterson said. Medjugorje, Masterson said, is a miraculous place, where many people have had similar spiritual and emotional experiences. Xenia Masterson, Masterson’s mother, has traveled to Medjugorje in the past and spoke of its quaint appeal. “I think it’s amazing there, I really

want to go back. It’s just so serene. There’s a calmness about the people and the atmosphere,” Xenia said. Following this, Xenia explained the spiritual pull people experience while partaking in the pilgrimage. “It’s one of those things, like the death of a parent, you can’t really describe the intensity of what you feel, but you can try and let people understand it. But until they go there and experience it for themselves, they don’t really know the extent of it.” Mrs. Masterson said. Masterson’s aunt, Grace Legaspi, runs one of the pilgrimages to Medjugorje and has a strong knowledge of the city’s history. Legaspi stated she has strong emotional ties to the site of Medjugorje. “I get to watch God and the Virgin Mary working in the lives of those around me and in my own life as well,”



Legaspi said. Rephlo and Masterson’s trip began on June 22 and lasted until July 1. They traveled with their families through a Catholic organization called Fiat Voluntas Tua. When asked about how the opportunity for her and Rephlo to take this trip came up, Masterson explained that Legaspi invited them and served as the organizer of the trip. Before the trip, Masterson described the daily agenda she planned on following. “Twice a day we are going to go to church and then we are going to visit the site where [Mary] first appeared and then we are gonna watch her visionary,” Masterson said. Both Masterson and Rephlo mentioned how the main goal of the trip was to be brought closer to God. “The whole trip is about deepening our faith,” Masterson said. Rephlo also talked about how he thought the trip would affect him from not only an emotional standpoint but also a spiritual standpoint. “I’m excited to be able to witness all of the miracles that are talked about at this place and realize they are real,” Rephlo said. During their trip, Rephlo and Masterson said they wanted to strengthen their relationship with God and with each other. The two have been dating for eight months, according to Masterson. Sophomores Kurtis Rephlo and Ava Masterson stand in front of the sunset on their In fact, Masterson said religion was trip to Medjugorge, June 28. (Photo courtesy of Masterson) one of the major commonalities that had brought them together. said. mentioned a new rosary he learned that “It was kind of a driving factor that After their trip, Masterson and would encourage him to pray more. made me like him more,” Masterson Rephlo spoke “There’s this new rosary that we said. “Faith just about their learned, it’s shorter and we can pray it means a lot to experiences pretty easily,” Rephlo said. “So I think me.” Until they go there from the trip and that will help us pray more.” Masterson how they were Masterson and Rephlo confirmed and experience it said faith has impacted. their previous hopes as they said played a major for themselves, they “I definitely got the trip did in fact strengthen their role in their don’t really know the closer to God,” relationship with each other. relationship. She Masterson said. “When you’re spending eight days extent of it. said she believes “The whole town together constantly, you learn a lot faith and religion is centered around about each other,” Masterson said. are ways they -XENIA MASTERSON our religion, so Their trip to Medjugorje was can connect with being present described as a new and enlightening each other. there makes you feel wholesome.” experience by both Masterson and “I’ll go to church with him or his Masteron said the experience helped Rephlo. They accomplished their goals family, and because we went on this her realize that there are many people of strengthening their relationship with trip together, we have had more who share her same religion, believing each other and forming a deeper bond conversations about faith,” Masterson in God the same way she does. Rephlo with God.


08 | AD






Students discuss the challenges and sacrifices they have to make with a parent in the military. Written by Rachel Hostetler and Payton Porter, Design by Sabrina San Agustin, Photos by Lindsey Farthing


10 | COVER


atching your dad fly an Army helicopter may not be a commonality for most students, but for Junior Krystina Edwards, it is. Edwards’ dad, Joey Edwards, serves in the Army. Joey is a pilot and flies a Boeing Ah-64 Apache helicopter. He has been active in the military for 22 years, since he was 17 years old. Joey is active duty now, meaning that he is not home. When he is deployed, Edwards said her dad is usually away from home for three to nine months at a time. “I have never gotten to visit him when he’s deployed, but I visit him quite often at his home near his military base [Fort Riley] and I have always been able to go into his work with him,” Edwards said. Edwards said she is proud of her dad’s accomplishments and likes to visit his work. Unlike Edwards, Junior Walter Waxman had the opportunity to visit

his dad, Steve Waxman, when Steve was stationed in Germany a couple of summers ago. Steve served in the Army for 15 years as a colonel. A common misconception with most military parents, Waxman and Edwards said, is that they are strict with their kids. Yet, even though her dad is overprotective, he does not show it through discipline, Krystina said. Junior Mia Bernabe said her dad is the opposite. “I think my dad is definitely more strict because of the way he has been taught how to do things in the military,” Bernabe said. “At home, he likes things to be done a certain way and expects a lot out of me and my brother because [my dad] is expected to do a lot at work.” Bernabe said her dad, Lucio Bernabe, has been in the Marine Corps for the past 18 years, and is a Master Sergeant currently stationed in Quantico, Va. “My dad is gone most of the year, he only comes home about once or twice a

month for a few days. Occasionally he is able to come home for about a week or so, but that’s about it,” Bernabe said. Due to Bernabe’s busy schedule, she said she has never visited her dad in Virginia. Bernabe said she worries about her dad being lonely without his family and dogs to come home to every night. Another aspect to having parents in the military is moving. Edwards’ parents are divorced, which has prevented her from moving around the country like military families such as Bernabe’s. “I moved from California to Connecticut when I was six years old, then I moved to Kansas from Connecticut when I was about 12 and I have been here since,” Bernabe said. “I have been to six different schools, lived in six different homes and lived in three states.” Senior Bri Curry has also moved around due to her dad’s role in the Air Force. Her dad, Mark Curry, is an active

Junior Krystina Edwards said that seeing sentimental pieces like her dad’s military hat are often another reminder of him being gone. Her dad Joey Edwards serves in the army. (Photo by Lindsey Farthing)


COVER | 11

Junior Mia Barnabe talks about how life is different without her dad around. “It was all more difficult at first because it was a drastic change to my family,” Barnabe said.(Photo by Lindsey Farthing)

duty Master Sergeant, and is in his 19th year of service. Between the ages of six and 10, Curry lived in California with her dad. In California, her dad investigated crimes that took place on the Edwards Air Force base. Now, in Kansas, he recruits health and medical care for the Air Force. All three students recognize the positives of having a parent in the military. Curry cited the cheaper healthcare and military discounts some places give such as Chick-Fil-A. Another benefit, Waxman said, is that he gets to see what it is like to serve in the military. Waxman also said having a parent who serves makes him extra appreciative of the time he gets with his dad when he is home. Despite benefits like the ones Curry mentioned, Edwards said having a parent in the military can be more challenging and stressful than people might think. Edwards said serving in the military is not a normal job, so her dad can not just take off work to come to certain

events. Edwards said this puts a lot of stress and responsibility on means her dad misses out me and my brother because we have to on many common dad help my mom out a lot,” Bernabe said. roles. Bernabe said that having a parent Edwards said not having in the military forces you to grow up her dad there for fast. She said she moments such as had to learn how to graduation and be responsible and sporting events help more around the I want everyone has been hard house, because her dad to know that on her. Growing wasn’t home. up without him Despite these you should around all the unique hardships, always respect time, Edwards these students feel the men and said, was especially like their parents are challenging. making an honorable women fighting Similarly, sacrifice. for our country Bernabe said that “I want and realize the having her dad in everyone to know that the military can be you should always sacrifice they taxing at times. respect the men and are willing to give “My dad being women fighting for our to our nation, away has affected country and realize my family a lot. It the sacrifice they are -MIA BERNARBE is hard not having willing to give to our the fourth member nation,” Bernabe said. of our family home, and it



Husky Highlights Senior Karlee Barlows about to recieve and hit back a tennis ball during Tennis Camp, July 26. “Tennis camp is a way for the players to get to know each other before the season starts, especially for the incoming freshman.” (Photo by Lindsey Farthing)

Sitting for her senior yearbook photo, senior Lily Mailliard poses for one of the five photos taken at Hilltop, June 15. “I liked how it was set up because you could choose what day and time you wanted to take the photo,” Mailliard said. (Photo by Laura Benteman)

New teacher and head basketball coach Aaron Ihm tours the school along with his fellow teachers at BVNW, Aug 5. “I’m most looking forward to joining the BVNW family. Getting back to school, supporting all of the students and activities and, of course, basketball season,”Ihm said. (Photo by Bailey Thompson)


HUSKIE HIGHLIGHTS | 13 Senior Dylan Barthol jumps in the air to catch a football during the football summer camp, July 6. “What I get out of camp is a chance to get closer with my teammates, and the opportunity to get prepared for the upcoming season on a weekly basis,” Barthol said. (Photo by Bailey Thompson)

Washing the tire of a car, senior Ella Schaal smiles with her sister during a fundraiser for cheer in the Hy-Vee parking lot, June 12. (Photo by Laura Benteman)

Howlin’ Husky marching band stands during band camp at the DAC, Aug. 3. “I felt welcomed right from the start. The band directors and other students are so much fun to be around,” freshman Kate Ringgenberg said. (Photo by Laura Benteman)

Wearing USA colored clothes during one of the girls soccer camp theme days, senior Alex Buehler jogs around during a drill, June 3. “I think the summer camp is really beneficial,” Buehler said. “It gives everyone a chance to meet new players, and it gives everyone an idea of what to expect during the actual season.” (Photo by Lindsey Farthing)




As the school year begins, members of the newspaper staff rank ice creams at three local shops to help you decide on one final sweet treat of the summer. Written by Alyssa Gagnon and Megan Yates, Photos by Remi Nuss, Design by Sabrina San Agustin

Sweet Caroline’s 7723 W 151st St, Overland Park, 66223 Located within a shopping complex whose storefronts resemble an old western town out of a John Wayne movie, Sweet Caroline’s is a hidden gem in Overland Park. Although it has been around longer than The Golden Scoop, people often overlook it when deciding on a quick treat. Such individuals who overlook it are missing out big time. As soon as one enters through the pink door, they are greeted by a friendly worker and the lovely amora of sweet treats. That’s right, Sweet Caroline’s doesn’t just dabble in the ice cream world. Sweet Caroline’s wins for the best dessert shop. At Sweet Caroline’s, there is something sweet for even the pickiest of eaters.

1. Da Bomb

2. Cookie Monster

Da Bomb (vanilla ice cream with cookie dough, chocolate flakes and Oreos) small scoop $3.16 With a name like this, one might expect the ice cream to explode with a flavorful sensation after taking a bite. Sadly, this is not the case. But, not all hope is lost! This ice cream has a creamy texture, with enough fresh cookie dough to make anyone smile. So, although it is not an explosion in your mouth, the smooth, satisfying taste one experiences after indulging is definitely “Da Bomb.”

Cookie Monster (vanilla ice cream dyed blue with mint cookies and Oreos) small scoop $3.16 Cookie Monster is a flavor available at other ice cream places, meaning the one at Sweet Caroline’s needed to truly bring the wow factor to stand out. Although it is tasty and the chunks of actual chocolate chip cookies are refreshing, it did fall short in the end. There is a strange “minty” flavor to it. This addition was unnecessary and leaves a bad aftertaste. Without the minty aspect Perhaps Sweet Caroline’s should do a redo of this flavor, getting rid of the minty aspect. After that, this flavor would be a sure-fire winner in all the Cookie Monster ice cream contests.



The Golden Scoop 9540 Nall Ave, Overland Park, 66207

A new ice cream shop was introduced to Overland Park in April 2021. The Golden Scoop is a nonprofit organization that sells ice cream, coffee, baked goods and even dog treats. What makes this place special, besides the delicious ice cream, is the people working there. The Golden Scoop gives young people with special needs an opportunity to have a job that they are passionate about. The whole environment of The Golden Scoop is very friendly and inviting. The service is great. Upon entry, customers are greeted by the friendly employees and helpful cashiers. The ice cream is homemade and is stored and sold in cups for $3.95 each. The shop offers nine flavors of ice cream. Although that is not as many flavors compared to other stores, the few flavors present were just as tasty.

1. Cookie Dough

2. Cookies and Cream

The cookie dough flavor is perfect for all ice cream lovers. The ice cream is a vanilla base mixed with chocolate chip cookie dough bites. It is creamy and has the perfect amount of sweetness. The cookie dough ice cream scores first place because it is a universal flavor that everyone loves. The flavor and texture are perfect.

Cookies and cream is an enjoyable treat for a hot summer day. It is soft, creamy and filled with crushed up cookie pieces. Although it was delicious, the cookies in it were a little too crushed up. With so many cookies and cream ice creams out there, this one needed to stand out for it to get first, but sadly it tasted just like any other cookies and cream ice cream. Overall, the flavor was there and it was a really nice and cold treat on a hot day.

Blue Chip Cookies & Ice Cream 5045 W 117th St, Leawood, 66211 Blue Chip Cookies and Ice Cream is a family-owned ice cream and cookie shop located in Leawood. They also specialize in extreme milkshakes and cookie sandwiches with ice cream on the inside. Blue Chip has a large variety of ice cream flavors, which allows everyone to find a type they enjoy! From fruity to chocolatey, there is something for everyone. They even offer sorbet for those who are dairy-free. The service is very good; the workers are friendly and give lots of samples. Even when ordering a kids cup or cone, two ginormous scoops of ice cream are given. The kid’s cup/cone costs $2.99 which is relatively cheap compared to other ice cream shops and, considering they give customers so much ice cream, it is a pretty good deal.

1. Oreo-o-o Nobody can truly go wrong with cookies and cream, after all, it’s a well-loved classic for a reason! Blue Chip’s Oreoo-o is absolutely delicious. The vanilla ice cream is mixed with both larger and smaller pieces of oreo cookies for the perfect balance. It is a little on the sweeter side but still tastes incredible. The texture is very velvety and smooth, the kind that melts in your mouth. Overall this flavor was a really great tasting treat!

2. Amaretto Cherry

This ice cream flavor is great for cherry lovers. This ice cream was cherry flavored and mixed with pieces of chocolate. This flavor tastes very similar to the cherry dipped ice cream at Dairy Queen. The difference is that the one at Blue Chip has chocolate pieces in it. The chocolate pieces elevated the flavor and texture. One thing that caused this flavor to get second instead of first is how the cherry flavor tasted slightly artificial. Overall this flavor is very unique and tasty, everyone that stears more toward fruity flavors should try it out.

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ABOUT US The Express is the official high school news publication of Blue Valley Northwest High School, an open forum distributed to all students seven times a year. This is the April Issue of Volume 27. Subscription rates are $10. The Express is printed by The Sedalia Democrat, 700 South Massachusetts, Sedalia Mo. 65301.

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