Page 1

Volume 18 Issue 3

Blue Valley West


MIDTERMS................PG. 5 FALL SPORTS......PG. 9 YEARBOOK...............PG. 16 COLOR GUARD....PG. 18 SOCIAL MEDIA.......PG. 20



lot happens in a couple months, A making it impossible to cover everything great about BV West. Since our last edition, competitive marching band successfully defended their state championship, Julia Misemer was crowned an individual state champion in golf and fall sports have wrapped up. In this edition, we focused on many school organizations and activities: color guard, yearbook, checkers club and more. We have acknowledged these activities’ success in the past, but have never

covered their thorough, constant efforts to achieve success until now. Additionally, we take a closer look into hot topics around the accessibility of cellphones. As students living in the 21st century, technology is constantly at the tips of our fingers. Debate occurs, however, in what setting and quantity using cellphones is appropriate.

Your E.I.C’s,

Chelsea Park Jonah Park Lauren Prehn

Spotlight is printed at least six times per school year for BV West students and the community. Its goals are to inform, entertain and interpret through bylined articles, opinions and editorials, while providing an open forum of communication for the diverse student population. Spotlight aims to be fair, accurate and impartial. The content of the print publication, online news site and social media accounts is determined by its student editors as determined by the Kansas Scholastic Press Act and may contain controversial subject matter as the staff exercises their First Amendment rights. Spotlight does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the faculty adviser, the administration of BV West or USD 229.



ocial media is ever-present in the lives of high school students. Almost all students have a mobile phone, allowing them to access social media throughout the school day. To some, it is a necessity to their day whether they realize it or not. Reporter Kiley Peterson decided to go a week without Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, deleting the apps completely from her phone. Read about her experience and what she learned on page 20.

lue Valley West High School B 16200 Antioch Road Overland Park, Kan. 66085 913-239-3700 email: Web: Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram: @bvwspotlight

18-19 STAFF EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Chelsea Park Jonah Park Lauren Prehn MANAGING EDITOR Hannah Cole PHOTO EDITOR Rae Zimmerli ILLUSTRATOR Jaden Dudrey REPORTERS Nick Bartley Kolbie Christensen Darrelyn Dollar Natalie Fiorella Kevin Glenn Kennedy Kramer Natalie Lindmark Ally Madden Brenna Morrison Kyler Murphy Kiley Peterson Jaden Webster


IN THIS ISSUE NEWS 4...................AP Environmental 5...................Midterm Elections 7...................Counselor Trips SPORTS 9...................Fall Sports Recap 11..................Julia Misemer 12.................Caden Bolz FEATURES 14...................Clubs 16...................Yearbook 18...................Color Guard OPINION 20..................Social Media Cleanse 22..................Phones in the Classroom



A&E 24..................Fall Recipes 26..................Cheez-It Review PHOTO ESSAY 28...................Cider Mill




AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE New AP class popular with students RACHEL ZIMMERLI photo editor


n tandem with the push for more difficult classes in the Blue Valley District, Advanced Placement Environmental Science was added to the curriculum. This new class is drawing students from all different interests together to take a deeper look at Earth. Taught by James Quillin, the class includes content about pressing environmental issues younger generations will face. “I think we’re at a point where there’s a lot of environmental problems and the solution to the problems starts with education,” Quillin said. “Especially when it comes to climate change and pollution.” This course is not only about the future of Earth, but also the future of the students taking AP Environmental. One student, junior Brian Balquist, is taking the class as preparation to major in environmental engineering in college. “I like to work outside,” Balquist said. “The ability to positively impact the world is a plus.” Meaningful trips outdoors and into the community are an important part of AP Environmental. The curriculum includes trips to a water waste and drinking water treatment facility as well as to Johnson County Community College (JCCC). “We’ll do at least eight, maybe as many as 12 different field trips,” Quillin said. “Johnson

County Community College has a department of sustainability. It’s an amazing green space, there’s a lot of things on campus that we go and tour.”

Trying to sustain life in a bottle, AP Environmental Science students made miniature ecosystems in plastic bottles. Photo by Rachel Zimmerli

One of the most prominent sustainability installations at JCCC is their aquaponics garden, a type of garden that raises fish and vegetables together. By using the same water, the garden significantly reduces waste, rather than doubling the waste by growing the two individually.

The number and variety of field trips makes AP Environmental Science different than other AP classes, but the atmosphere of the class is one not found in many other AP classes. “The content is similar to other AP science courses,” Balquist said. “The class atmosphere is more relaxed and welcoming than other subjects.” AP Environmental Science is not just a class for those who are only serious about environmental science, but for a variety of people with a wide range of interests. “I think any field of interest should have some background in environmental science even if you’re going into business,” Quillin said. “A lot of business decisions in the future are going to be somewhat molded by their environmental impact.” The idea behind the study of environmental science is to look at the world. According to Quillin, because Earth is not just biology or chemistry, AP Environmental must reflect the broad spectrum as well. “It ties in the concepts students learned in previous science classes and then applies those concepts to the environment,” Quillin said. AP Environmental Science is a unique addition to student curricular opportunities. As society becomes more environmentally conscious, students will be equipped to excel.











VOICE YOUR VOTE 18-year-olds prepare for their first election



















HANNAH COLE managing editor

o V


focal points of each election season. Senate elections occur every six years with roughly a third of Senate seats decided this voting season. In addition, several consequential state and local elections occur during the midterms. While students may only be aware of the importance of presidential elections, the results of the midterm elections ripple throughout the country. “Midterms affect the country in a variety of ways, but one of the biggest is that they act as a mandate or rebuke on presidential leadership,” teacher Nicholas Macdonnell said. “Typically, the president’s party will lose seats during a midterm election. This could slow the president’s agenda as the president must work with Congress to pass laws and budget. In addition to this, new governor’s laws and state level officials can drastically change the dynamics of state politics.” Macdonnell believes these effects contribute to the significance of midterms and as an American citizen, all elections are critical to him. “Midterms are very important, but since there is no presidential election, it could be argued they are less important, although only slightly,” Macdonnell said. “The sad thing is many voters treat them as unimportant and don’t go out and vote,” Senior Annie Gordan will cast her first ballot on Nov. 6 and under-


stand the significance of this election cycle. Gordon ‘s incentives to vote stem from the current political climate, her sense of moral duty and a simple longing for an increased knowledge of political issues.



y young heart beats quickly as I approach the polling center. My hands reach up, grasping for my parents’ assurance. A sense of maturity yet youthful exuberance occupies my mind. I take a step forward into the voting booth and into the future of my country. My dad lifts me up and I carefully select the potential leaders of my nation. I’m convinced that each of my movements contributes to a greater purpose. I close my eyes and cast “my vote.” With a new meaning and a sense of pride, I exit the booth. No longer clinging to my parents, I move onward to a brighter day. The words “I Voted” sit proudly upon my chest and I re-enter the realities of childhood. United States citizens often accompany their parents to the voting booths during childhood. While restrictions keep minors from voting, parents are allowed to bring their children along for the experience. These young voters eventually grow into knowledgeable adults, prepared to take action and exercise their own right to vote. For some 18-year-old students, their voting careers will begin with the upcoming midterm elections on November 6. Elections are deemed “midterms” when they occur between presidential elections which occur every four years. House of Representative seats, in particular, are voted on every two years, meaning the House

I am voting. We are given the privilege to vote so we need to exercise it. SENIOR ANNIE GORDON

“Congressmen are the ones who make the main legislative decisions, so their decisions directly impact me,” Gordon said. “We are [also] given a great opportunity that other countries do not get. I feel like it is my civic duty to vote. People literally lost their lives for this freedom so the least I could do is register to vote, inform myself, and vote.” Like Macdonnell, Gordon regards the midterms to be as vital as the presidential elections. Unlike a nation-wide congressional elections taking place, the outcome of the governor’s race and other local races may affect the State of Kansas significantly. The midterms will have a greater impact on her life and therefore must be considered important.











about her decision to vote. Nov. 6 will also be Price’s first time voting. The value of voting has [already] been instilled in her by her older siblings. In addition, Price also believes that living in a country that allows voting is a privilege. This privilege along with set precedents set by her family, influence her firm decision to vote. Moreover, the current political situation in America further encourages her to exercise her right.

If we are granted the opportunity to vote in what we believe in, I see no reason why anyone should not. SENIOR CLARE PRICE

“This specific midterm is especially important to me because of the political direction that the United States is in,” Price said. “Without making it too political, I am really uncomfortable with certain policy changes and makers, and [I] am so excited to join the wave of young, passionate voters in making a difference.”

t e



“Midterms are just as important as the presidential elections because the people I elect affect me directly. Governors make statewide decisions about education budgets, infrastructure, etc. Congressmen vote on vital issues in Washington,” Gordon said. “The president does not hold all the power, so all elections are equally as important. Congress creates budgets for the government and allocates money and since we are in major debt, this is very important right now.” Gun control stands out as a prominent issue among students during this election cycle. Gordon believes that the results of the election will produce a mandate on this highly debated subject. “I definitely feel the impacts of Congress’ decisions,” Gordon said. “One issue that continues to affect me is gun control because I am living in a country where we now have ‘active shooter’ drills at school or at my volunteer job at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. These are issues Congress has a say in.” Employing this privilege every American is gifted with, motivates Gordon. Voting provides a platform for the government to recognize her voice. Senior Clare Price shares Gordon’s faith that voting will make a difference and she is prepared to speak her mind in the upcoming elections. “Heck yes,” Price said. Price responded enthusiastically




Price recognizes the apathy surrounding midterms, just as Gordon and Macdonnell do, but is not influenced by it. “The composition of the Senate and House play a crucial role in what gets passed, so putting your preferred official in office during the Midterms can create a huge wave of change.” said Price. This wave of change, she senses, will even travel to Kansas and into Overland Park, producing profound effects on local issues. “As a young person living in an affluent area, I know I am spared from many of the harsh effects that occur as a result of some policy change,” Price said. “However, I am very aware of many marginalized communities that very much feel the effects, such as Flint, Michigan and indigenous communities in Alaska who first-hand see climate change destroying their way of life. Even more personally, as a female, I am intimately affected by changes in access to reproductive health.” No matter the location or geography, religion or race, social or political views, voting affects each American. The outcome of these midterm elections will impact the average person’s life. Macdonnell, Gordon, and Price are all actively fighting to create the changes they want to see in their country. “You have the privilege of being given a vote, so go use it.” said Price.




ith even a quick glance into the office of counselor Tara Lebar, a taupe colored cabinet cluttered with college magnets catches the eye. “I started this collection throughout the years [so] everytime I go on a campus visit, I try to buy a magnet,” Lebar said. “This way I can get those schools in front of my students’ eyes, but also, it’s a way to show where I’ve ended up visiting and encourage students to do the same.” As one-third of their job description, counselors spend a considerable amount of time setting up college readiness curriculum through advisory, writing counselor recommendations, meeting with students to talk about college and more. Among these many jobs, counselor Tara Lebar also finds time to visit a few college campuses each year. “I try to go and visit two to three colleges each school year,” Lebar said. “I think the best way to get the feel for a college and to learn about a college is by being on campus.” Lebar most recently visited the University of Utah and Westminster College prior to attending a national convention for counselors. The colleges Lebar visits often sponsor her campus tours as the counseling staff does not have a budget designated for campus visits. One aspect Lebar feels makes each school she visits special is their unique atmospheres. “When I get on campus, there’s always something so cool happening on every college campus,” Lebar said. “It may or may not fit you, but it fits somebody, and that’s what is so exciting about it.” Through these visits, Lebar hopes to become more knowledgeable on what different types of campuses have to offer. Lebar encourages students to visit college campuses early on in their high school careers.



LAUREN PREHN Counselors work hard to make editor-in-chief

applying for college easier

“The biggest tip I have for anybody is go visit campuses,” Lebar said. “It’s the best way to get your head in the game, it’s the best way for you to understand how the process works [and] it’s the best way for you to feel comfortable about the process.” Lebar has found that students who have done minimal college research or who have not visited any campuses before senior year tend to apply to more colleges. Narrowing college selections throughout the earlier years of high school ultimately leads to a shorter, more confident list and avoids excessive amounts of college applications and fees. Always striving to make the college application process easier and more comprehensible for students, the counselors work hard to create college and career planning curriculum for each grade level. In an effort to take advantage of weekly advisory lessons, counselors enlist the help of teachers to give a wide variety of college and career centered lessons. While talks of the

future often seem centered around a 4 year college path, the counselors are dedicated to informing student of other, less traditional options. “I’ve been working with Mrs. Garcia and Mrs. Dark on the advisory curriculum and a lot of the individual plan of study and career and college learning is happening through the advisory curriculum,” Lebar said. “Sometimes I think we think it’s four year school or it’s bad. We’re trying to take the judgement and labels off and just talking about different pathways.” Counselors also plan on utilizing the “BVW Counseling” page on Canvas this year. An array of college centered videos posted under “Modules” serve as a useful reminder for students with college questions. No matter a student’s final destination, the college assistance counselors provide them with leaves a lasting impact.



West Side Hype

Photo by Lydia Berutti

Setting the tone for the year, fall sports show pride, grit, family and excellence. Win or lose, fellow Jaguars supported athletes and teams.


fall sports recap BRENNA MORRISON reporter

Photo by Ali Oelschlager

The varsity team ended their season with a 20-24 playoff loss to the Olathe South Eagles. The team had three wins and 5 regular season losses under former Blue Valley Tiger Josh Koerkenmeier. Wins came against BV Southwest, BV Northwest and St. James Academy.

Varsity 3-5

Photo by Addison Moeller

Photo by Lydia Berutti

JV 2-5 Freshmen 7-1

Boys Soccer

Coming off of a State championship in 2017, the soccer boys had a big responsibility to Coach Aiman. Varsity’s record of 7-8-1, put them 3-4-1 in the East Kansas League. The leading scorer was senior Mason McGill with eight goals in the season, and Jo Koga offered the most assists with nine.

Photo by Hanna Strombom

Varsity 7-8-1

JV 11-0-2 C Team 7-2-5




Coach Horstick, now in her fourth year pushed the team through a losing regular season to a SubJV 35-2-1 State Championship and Sophomore 24-9-2 return to the State tournament. The team lost to Freshmen A 17-12 an improved team from Blue Valley High in the Freshmen B 22-9 quarter-finals.

Photo by Elle Kopischke

Varsity 10-21

Girls Golf

Girls Tennis

Photo by Katherine Lucus

Photo by Reese Wheeler

A golf star emerged in freshman Julia Misemer. The underclassman shot her way to championships at State, Regionals and the East Kansas League. The team placed fourth at State with the help of seniors Eunha Kim, Maddie Peterson, and Katharine Marcus, junior Molly Foster and sophomore Lauren Hartman.

With five seniors: Olivia Hendrickson Sydney Holsinger, Maria Masroura, Olivia Oddo and Andrea Wolff and all graduating, it helped that the younger players displayed talent and leadership. The left-handed doubles team of junior Olivia Kurzban and sophomore Gwyn Gifford were runners-up at Regionals and State. The 29-member team enjoyed a close atmosphere evident by team cheers and tail-gate parties.

Cross Country

Coach Mallory Huseman began teaching grit and building a cross country family with the team’s Colorado training trip. The perseverance paid with a Regional championship and State Runner-up finish for the girls team. Seniors Kalea Chu and Lauren Dewitt placed in the top 10 at State. Seven other girls and two boys qualified to the State meet.

Photo by Riley Sherron

Photo by Kaitlyn Krause




Freshman Julia Misemer out on the course. Photo by Berit Jones



efore tryouts for fall sports even began, girls golf coach Aaron Anderson had his goals for this season set. With the returning experienced team and an incoming top ranked freshman, Anderson aimed to place highly in tournaments. The team did just that. They finished second in the league, second at regionals and fourth at state. Anderson credits the team’s valiant effort for their success. “Each team member contributed to the team,” Anderson said. “The three seniors showed great teamwork by helping the new freshman girls and making them feel welcome. All of the girls have a great work ethic and the returning players show great leadership.” The team’s skills weren’t the only thing that changed this season. Anderson’s perspective on how to perform well changed as well. “This season taught me that it takes a team to reach the highest levels,” Anderson said. “You can have the best player in the state, but you need others to rise to the occasion, and I believe we did that.” Rising athlete freshman Julia Misemer contributed significantly

SUCCESS Rising freshman athlete impresses the golfing community with successful season to the golf team’s successful season. As only a freshman, Misemer placed first in every tournament she participated in. While this is her first year on the school team, Misemer has been competing in tournaments since she was young. “My dad played a lot, so he started taking me to the course when I was five,” Misemer said. “We practiced together, and when I turned six, I started competing in these little tournaments just for fun,” Misemer continued competing in tournaments throughout her childhood, even competing in global tournaments. This past summer, Misemer placed second in the Teen World Championship. Her victory qualified her for the US Teen Team where her and her teammates beat the International Team in a tournament. Now playing for the school team, Misemer enjoys competing with her teammates. “I love having friends on the team and being able to play with them,” Misemer said. “Practice is so fun and relaxing with them.” Misemer’s achievements this year impressed many, including

her coach. “What she accomplished this year was pretty remarkable,” Anderson said. “She won every tournament she played, which is an extremely difficult task.” Misemer and the rest of the girls golf team will continue to impress as they prepare for future seasons.

BV West Girls Golf

team awards


2nd 2nd

at state in the EKL at regionals

julia misemer

state champion EKL champion

regional champion






: How did you get better at your position this summer and gain exposure to college recruiters?

Q A with CADEN Q Senior provides leadership on the field and in the classroom KEVIN GLENN

: I attend Rubio Long Snapping Camp every summer and one every winter. Also when I am invited to college camps go to those.

: What colleges teams are you looking to join next year?


: Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Missouri State, Western Illinois



espite his busy schedule as a varsity football player and JAG mentor, senior Caden Bolz sat down to answer a few questions. He discussed how he became a sought after college recruit as his position, long snapper, and the influence of the football team on his life and character.


: Why do you love the sport of football so much?


: What is your favorite moment as a Jaguar?

: My favorite moment at West is a recent one. Getting redemption on Southwest this year was one of the best feelings I have ever had. Beating our “rival” by 47 is something I will never forget.

: The thing that I love about football is the camaraderie that I have with my teammates. I treat my teammates like members of my family, they are my brothers and I would do anything for them.


: How did you get into long snapping?

: I have always wanted to play college football ever since I was a little kid, but as I grew up I realized that I wasn’t big enough to play on the offensive or defensive line. I was going to do whatever it took to play college ball, and long snapping was my ticket. Photos by Macy Saulsbury and Emma Wallace


: How has the BV West team impacted you as a player?

: Being a Jaguar has impacted me personally because I have really learned how to improve from losses. I understand no matter how hard you get knocked down, that you have to fight to be back up.


: How does it affect you to know that many of the younger kids on the team look up to you?


: Personally I love it, I love being seen as a role model. When I was younger I would always look up to the seniors and other varsity players and think about how cool they are. I want to help the freshman feel the same way, I want them to know how important to this program they are, and just because they’re freshmen doesn’t mean no one likes them. Like I said before this team is like a family and that includes everyone who is involved.

Watch video of Bolz and check out his statistics:



Visit Zaxby’s at 9500 W. 135th Street. Ready to help any school groups. Every Wednesday is Teacher Appreciation Day teachers get 10% off entire order.




Welcome CLUB(S) to the




Organizations reflect varied interests




imilar to a book club, members of film club watch movies on their own time and meet to discuss and review the movie. Meeting time: Every other Wednesday, JAG A session Sponsor: Teacher Joe Geist

CHECKERS CLUB A s a newer group, checkers club has attracted a lot of attention, just as the chess club did last year.

“A group of people, get together, and play checkers. We listen to music,” senior Brendan Schwartz said. It’s a great time.” Meeting time: Every Monday and Wednesday, JAG A session Sponsor: Teacher Manny Patiño




tudents of all grades gather once a month to discuss their common interest of philosophy.

“We are all coming together and talking about the world as we understand it,” senior Diane Kershaw said. “It’s a great group of people.” Meeting time: Once a month on Monday Sponsor: Teacher Joe Geist


PING-PONG CLUB ll students are welcome to participate in a series of ping-pong games.

“It’s exciting to see some kids motivated to do something active and fun during their JAG time.” said teacher Mallory Huseman. Meeting time: Thursdays, JAG A session Sponsor: Huseman


YOGA CLUB oga club offers a break in the day from the stresses of school.

“It has helped me find stress relief,” senior Ishana Tata said. “Sometimes you just need to be quiet and look into yourself.” Meeting time: Every other Friday, JAG A session Sponsor: Teacher Lisa Bauman




Color guard dazzles with costumes and choreography

Waiting for a big spin move, sophomore Maria Kershaw performs at the District Marching Band Showcase on Sept. 22. Photo by Hanna Strombom




ne world, one team, one family, that is the theme of this year’s show for Competitive Marching Band. The team, consisting of the marching band and the color guard, performs at competitions across Kansas and the Midwest. Color guard is known for their bold costumes and fierce performances, but this season, they are taking their show to a new level. Iridescent flags and eye-catching choreography added new visual elements to the show. Directors Roman Garcia and Kate Anthony returned to instruct the group. Anthony, the team director, has been working with the group for six years. Her job includes writing practice drills and directing choreography. It also involves movement and equipment, scheduling and all of the behind the scenes set-up. “I’ve taught color guard [since] forever,” Anthony said. “It’s always been a creative outlet for me.” When Anthony was in high school, she was a part of the Husker Band and a member of the winter guard at Lafayette County C-1 High School in Missouri. She knew that she liked both winter and color guard and always had the thought of joining in the back of her mind. She joined the color guard team her sophomore year of college and never looked back. Now she is directing her own color guard team.

“For me, I think as an instructor [what] I like the most is how much confidence it gives these kids,” Anthony said. “We get kids that are introverts, kids that are extroverts naturally, and just watching the introverts come out of their shells a little bit [to] be involved with kids that they may not otherwise be with.” Most members of the color guard start on the team freshman year. As there was no minimum age at the time, sophomore Maria Kershaw started on the team when she was in sixth grade. “I joined because my sister was in eighth grade and [the guard was] accepting eighth graders, but she didn’t want to go by herself,” Kershaw said. “So she brought me along with her and I ended up being able to get on the team.” Because of the precision required, every member of the team is encouraged to form genuine bonds with each other and work hard to reach their collective goals. “I love being a part of something bigger than me,” junior Riley England said. “All 29 of us join together to compete, and there’s a certain standard and drive to meet the team’s goals.”



Displaying the bright colors of the galaxy on their flags, junior Maya Freeman and Kristin Mcbee rotate their flags in unison at the District Showcase on Sept. 22 at BV Northwest. Photo by Hanna Strombom

This year the team’s goal is to make it to the finals at Bands of America Super Regional in St. Louis, Mo. Last year, the team barely missed the cut-off for finals. “It’s been several years since the band has been able to do that and it’s a very, very large contest, they’ve added a bunch of really good bands this year,” Anthony said “It’s not going to be easy, but that is definitely our goal, and last year we only missed it by .15 of a point.”

Color guard begins the competitive marching band’s show with junior Jack Legate captivating the audience and the musicians. Having boys in the show provided unique opportunities for powerful choreography. Photo by Kaitlynn Krause

The color guard was instrumental in the competitive band’s win at the Kansas Bandmasters Association State Championships with their unique choreography and flag routines on Oct. 20 in Topeka, Kan. The last competition of the season was in St. Louis, Mo. on Oct. 27. Of the 74 bands, 14 performed in Finals. Although, they did not qualify, the band and color guard took another step toward competitive marching band excellence.




Social Media

One reporters experience giving up all social media apps for a week KILEY PETERSON reporter


napchat. Instagram. Twitter. YouTube. These well known platforms are among the many social media applications that teens use on a daily basis. The average high school student spends a large portion of their time sending Snapchats to their friends, posting, commenting, or liking pictures on Instagram and watching the latest Youtube videos of their favorite Youtubers. Teens use social media daily, to maintain communication with friends. Some are bored and have nothing to do, or simply because they want to see what others are doing. I went an entire week without using any social media to see what my life would be like without it. Studies by the Council of Pediatrics show that after giving up social media, people should be more happy, productive and innovative. I wanted to see if this was true. Before my week long break, I felt giving up social media would be easy. I figured it would be a nice break from my phone. My initial thought was that I would be able to do it “no problem” because I did it willingly. Being “app free” was my choice and I was excited to see what would happen.


Which social media platform do you use the most? Twitter



51% 27%

Instagram Youtube


Twitter poll conducted on Oct. 19 182 votes

my time-off from social Dopenuring media, many times I would go to Snapchat or Instagram only to realize they were not there. It was surprisingly hard not having that outlet to go to when I was bored or had nothing else to do. It was especially hard not having Snapchat on the weekend because

I went to a football game on Friday and then to a haunted house on Saturday. I lost tack of how many times I wanted to go onto Snapchat or Instagram and post about my night. The most difficult was when I wanted to Snapchat friends while in the car ride to the haunted house.




My conclusions:

How many hours a day do you use social media?

0-1 hour

15 %

2-3 hours 44 % 3+ hours

41 %

Twitter poll conducted on Oct. 23 181 votes

At one point during the break from social media, a friend had to take my phone from me because I came very close to re-downloading apps like Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat. If anyone ever wants to try to give up social media, I would recommend having a friend or sibling make sure that there is no

“caving in” and going back on those apps. If my friend had not taken my phone from me, I would have gone back on Snapchat. I felt like an addict. I learned to reorganize my free time, I focused more on my school work or my bullet journal which was something that I had lost

People don’t realize how much time they spend on social media platforms and how much they let it control their lives. By giving up social media, I learned that I was more productive with my time. Even though I felt like I was missing out, I realized Snapchat, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter are not the most important things in the world. My life does not revolve around them. I recommend that everyone give up social media for at least three days because it really helps you see how much time you spend on it and how much you rely on it. This experience has motivated me to give up social media for at least three days to a week every month so I can concentrate on what matters.

interest in until I had no social media. Now, I work on my bullet journal every day. I’m glad that I started it up again. I’m not going to lie, giving up social media was difficult but it was worth it. It gave me a chance to focus on school work and reconnect with old hobbies and find new ones.




SCHOOL Teachers should not decide location of student devices during school


e’ve all heard it. The buzz of the phone, the sheer panic to hit the silence button, and the intense stare of the teacher followed by the directive “put your phone up.” Phones in the classroom create mixed feelings for students, staff and administration. Phones are powerful objects in our everyday lives. When used correctly, they keep students safe in potentially dangerous situations as well as make for great learning tools. When used poorly, they result in bad decisions, distractions, cyberbullying and safety hazards. Phones in school environments have their pros and cons. The main issues are distractions that result from inappropriate phone use. Since phones have become an issue in some classrooms, several teachers have implemented “pockets” for student’s to put their phones in at the beginning of class. Other rooms allow phones out on the desk to be used at leisure. Which system is the best?

Math teacher Tiffany Warnes has her own reasoning for putting the “no phone rule” in place and implementing the phone pocket system. “I will never be as interesting as what’s on your phone,” Warnes said. “It is to help you not be distracted and focus [on] getting all the learning that you can.” The rule was put in place for students benefit. Warnes feels this system has helped her students and has shown positive results. “Allowing you to put that up adds 100 percent focus on what we are doing in class.” Warnes said. Warnes will obtain more data on the effect of phones on students’ grades by the end of quarter, but from what she sees so far, she thinks it is a beneficial decision. Any teachers main objective is to relay their material and make sure students are learning it. They believe phones get in the way of that so they work to eliminate their negative impact. Students want to learn but, frankly, have additional


objectives. Students sometimes feel like having their phone with them is not only a stress reliever, but necessary for safety reasons. Let’s face it, taking a brain break in an 87-minute lecture relieves stress. Writing notes, or checking the calender in their phones can be completely legitimate when a teacher gives a big homework assignment. Most importantly, if the school is preparing us for “active shooters,” my first line of defense is to have my phone. Having your phone during an emergency or knowing you can is a comfort. Shouldn’t high school students be wise enough to know when to put their phones down or be prepared to handle the consequences? Or do we still have to rely on others to tell us when and why it is time to prioritize learning. Students should know how to handle and use our technology and should be allowed the simple freedom to chose to use it for our own benefit. If we make a mistake we’ll learn from it and grow.



November 6 7 am - 2 pm Auxiliary Gym

Donor Tips:

Drink 8 glasses of water a day starting Nov. 5 Eat a good breakfast/lunch before donating Bring photo ID to blood drive

Make an or Clare Price 913-548-2860, appointment:

Contact Edward Liu 913-579-9559,

Visit Enter sponsor code: Jaguars

BV West family is more than a hashtag. If you’re worried about yourself or a friend, talk to a counselor, teacher, administrator or coach.




CHELSEA PARK editor-in-chief

A Taste of Fall

Fill your home with the aroma of pumkin spice and everything nice

Apple Cider Donuts Ingredients

12-14 Donuts

1 and 1/2 cups apple cider 2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)* 1 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon apple pie spice 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 1 large egg, at room temperature 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract *Apple Spice Topping 1 cup granulated sugar 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Instructions 1. Reduce the apple cider: Simmer the apple cider over low heat checking every 5 minutes until there is 1/2 cup. Should take around 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. 2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the donut pans 3. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. In a seperate bowl, whisk the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together, then pour into the dry ingredients. Add the reduced apple cider, and whisk everything together until smooth. Batter will be slightly thick. 4. Spoon the batter into the greased donut pans. 5. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. The donuts are done if they bounce back to touch. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. 6. Coat the donuts: Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together in a bowl. Once the donuts are cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then in the apple spice topping.


Snicker Doodle Cookies Ingredients



48 Cookies

1. Make the cookies: Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and both sugars for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. 2. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the baking trays with parchment paper 4. Make 1 tablespoon balls of cookie dough 5. Coat the cookies: Whisk together the 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoon cinnamon for the coating. Coat each ball of cookie dough in the coating mixture and place on the baking trays 6. Bake at 350°F for 7-10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are set. Allow cookies to cool on the baking tray for 5-10 minutes.

3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled 2 teaspoons cream of tartar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed 1 large egg room temperature 1 large egg yolk room temperature 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract *Cinnamon Sugar Coating 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Pumpkin Spice Latte Ingredients


1 Drink

1 cup milk 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice A sprinkle of pumpkin piespice for garnish 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 cup hot espresso or strong brewed coffee

1. Make the latte: Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a medium microwave safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole. Microwave until the milk is hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk vigorously until the milk mixture is foamy, about 30 seconds. Pour the espresso or coffee into a large mug 2. Garnish the latte: Add the foamed milk. Top with whipped

Peanut ButterApple Crisp Ingredients

2 Apple Crisps

2 apples (preferably ambrosia apples) 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter 1 tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 cup Old Fashioned Oats 1/8 cup gluten free Bisquick 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 tablespoons butter


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. Make the apple mixture: In a bowl combine the apple slices with the creamy peanut butter, honey (warm the peanut butter and honey in the microwave for the best results) and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. 3. Spay a small baking dish with cooking spray and place the apple mixture evenly in the dish. 4. Make the crisp: In a seperate bowl mix together the oats, flour, sugar, and the remaining cinnamon. Cut in the cold-room temperature butter so the mixture is course and the butter is evenly distributed. 5. Sprinkle the crisp toppings over the apples. 6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the apples are tender. 7. Serve with ice cream.



A guide to the various flavors Cheez-its has to offer KENNEDY KRAMER





Photos by Rachel Zimmerli

Face it, some people are snack purists. They believe that simplicity is often adjacent to least for munchies. 1921 was the year of the gods who created this irresistibly savory and salty snack. These are the plain ideal

of what a Cheez-it is, and can ever hope to be. It’s the gold standard of the entire brand. Praise be to the original.

6/10 White Cheddar These crackers can be generally considered as the part two to the original, orange Cheddar -- like the Cool Ranch equivalent in the Doritos world. The best part of these White Cheddar crackers might be the delightful trail of White Cheddar

residue that always lingers on your fingers after indulging in a handful of these wonderfully flavored delights.




Extra Toasty We’re guessing Cheez-it’s Twitter feed blew up with requests for this to the point where the mouth watering cracker became today’s burnt offerings. Either too many people wasted their time putting them in the oven for an

hour, or they simply found out that the aired out flavor quickly became the best part of the Cheez-it experience. Nonetheless, no mistake was made here in the great creation.

5.5/10 Hot n’ Spicy Cheez-its… you were close. These were almost spicy. It’s like they wanted to get closer but dared not try, so they fell short. Maybe they were scared of burning the eater’s tongue off. Admittedly, they’re pretty good, a nice tasty heat with

nothing short of almost perfection. If they’d just pump it up a little bit, there could be nothing better in the cracker universe.

6/10 Italian Four Cheese Serving directions: place fancily on a golden platter at any event, family dinner, cotillion or serve it on a menu at a classy restaurant, we really don’t care. Just eat it. The quartet of whatever types of cheese present creates the perfect


combo worthy of World Food Prize. Really though, what is it? The original? Parmesan? White Cheddar? It. Doesn’t. Matter. Just eat it on the couch while watching The Office and move on with life.




RACHEL ZIMMERLI photo editor

Kansas residents flock to the Louisburg Cider Mill to inaugurate fall on Oct. 2

Bouncing into fall, children bounce into the sky on an in-ground Jumbo Jumper.

Whatever floats your goat. Three excited visitors feed and get acquainted with a goat at the Cider Mill’s petting zoo.

Hitting the hay, groups of visitors take hayride tours of Louisburg Cider Mill’s 80-acre farm.



Great fall light shines on juniors, Anushka Ganesh and Lauren Kish greet fall and pose for a picture in front of the 10-acre corn maze.

In they go, a fork lifts dumps a box Cider Mill grown apples into a water wash so they can be sold as any number of the products in the shop at Louisburg Cider Mill.

The barn. The Cider Mill’s classic barn is a landmark in Louisburg, Kan. It is also where customers buy warm donuts and Lost Trail rootbeer.

Come “ear” often? Children and adults alike play in a crib of corn near the entrance to the Ciderfest.

Hold on, a group of teens cling to the chains of a tire swing as they dangerously catch air.





FAMOUS MOVIE QUOTES Come to Room 233 for a prize.



4 First rule of fight club: You Do NOT Fight Club

1 If you ain’t first,

5 What Johnny (Jack Nicholson) says when he’s breaking down a door anymore 6 We’re not in 7 Say hello to my little

2 Where nobody puts baby 3 Go ahead,

my day

(NOTE: Apostrophe Sensitive)



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You’re amazing, Jags! You keep making the year and we’ll keep taking pictures.

Photos by Gabi Alexander, Jolie Barnhart, Elle Kopischke and Ali Oelschlager

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Blue Valley West Spotlight Nov. 2018  

Spotlight is the student publication of the newspaper class. The news magazine contains feature writing in the areas of news, activities and...

Blue Valley West Spotlight Nov. 2018  

Spotlight is the student publication of the newspaper class. The news magazine contains feature writing in the areas of news, activities and...