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SEP TEMBE R 20, 2012

Dreams Come True M

any students at BV West have left the halls and New ACT regulations affect

2010 graduate Shannon Vreeland and 2012 graduate Collin Wiles chased their dreams and rose home of an Olympic gold medalist


BV West Students:

BV School district blocks Twitter:

regulations are strict, and will affect anyone who plans on taking the standardized test three to keep yourself informed of the new rules that you must follow



Check out the staff editorial to see why this is a harmful decision for


Senior Countdown


Days Until Graduation


Letter from the editors...

Sept., 20, 2012 is a date both of us have been looking forward to since the beginning of the summer-our first edition of Spotlight as Editors in Chief. EiC is a dream come true for us; a dream that started in a journalism class, got cultivated on work nights and with “back room” discussions. We hope this edition that is so special for both of us will be special for each of you as well. BV West is a place for sparking dreams and putting students on a path where dreams come true. Our cover and center spreads spotlight two extraordinary examples in 2009 alumna Shannon Vreeland and alumnus Collin Wiles from the Class of 2011. These two shining examples are living their dreams in a very public manner while many other alumni are doing the same just with a little less TV time or smaller signing bonuses. Alumnus Charles Rodgers has written songs that are being used in upcoming motion pictures. Jaspreet Singh has his own company. Avery Haskell is attending Stanford. Andrew Gatchkar plays for the San Diego Chargers, Matt Besler plays for Sporting KC, and Brittany Hile played professional softball. Countless numbers of men and women are serving our country and are heroes to us all. When we walk into BV West as freshman most of us have the enthusiasm and hope that someday one of us will be that person whose name is on a banner in front of the school; yet as we grow older, get our first “B” and experience hardships and roadblocks, a lot of us give up on our dreams. BV West can give you everything you need to realize your dreams; a quality education, a supportive community, decorated sports teams, safety, and information to stay healthy. Don’t let a bad grade on a test, a tough break-up, parental issues, procrastination or laziness define who you are. Pick yourself up and do your best. The first step to realizing your dream is to have one. Dream big, Jags! We believe in you.

Dreams by the #’s


2{spotlight $480,000 27

Beginning salary of a MLB player Hours per week that Shannon Vreeland practiced during high school


Average ACT score of BVW Class of 2012


Number of YouTube views for Zach Hadel’s “Snowball” video


Pages in Andrew Wojtanik’s book about how to study geography


Round of NFL Daft when Andrew Gachkar was selected


Year Troy Armstrong composed music for Jayhawk Basketball TV

Visit our new website:

Editors in Chief

Meghan Ketcham and Maddy Wilson

Look for these features... *New polls *Video of Sam Smith’s winning performance *Info about clubs and sports *Staff opinions on lunch room changes

Standardized... Photographs?



spotlight news

New regulations force students to present a photo ID before taking the SAT or ACT



ny student taking the ACT or SAT after Oct. 27 will be required to undergo a new process to avoid any potential impersonations. Students will have to provide a photo of themselves when they register for the test, in addition to presenting a matching photo ID on the day they are taking it. This new policy is being put into place because of a series of cheating scandals by a group of students from Long Island High School in New York. Instead of studying and preparing for the test like everyone else, they thought it would be a good idea to hire test-taking whizzes to do it for them. The students got caught, and the scandal resulted in about 20 arrests. College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, was publicly embarrassed after the story became viral. This cheating scandal resulted in a series of rule changes. In addition to a photo, students must also provide their gender and birthdate. This is to avoid any impersonations from people that have unisex names. In 2010, a student that attended Great Neck North High School attempted to impersonate his girlfriend to take the test for her. He was later arrested. To ensure cheating cases like these would never happen again, new rules were put into place. When students provide pictures of themselves for their test registration, there are strict regulations about how the picture is taken. The picture must be a

Photo illustration by Elise St. Louis

mug shot; it can’t include the student’s body. It must only be the student in the picture with no one else in it, and it must have a plain background. In addition, the student must be facing the camera and sunglasses cannot be worn. These new policies could lead to a series of problems, however. If for whatever reason a student forgets their photo ID or doesn’t bring it with them to their ACT or SAT, they will be unable to take the test and will have to wait until the next test date to take it. There is also speculation about whether providing a photo ID would completely fix the problem. “I don’t think it’ll be fail-proof, I think it’ll be very hard to beat it,” said ACT and SAT proctor Mr. Andra. “If people want to cheat, there’s a way they could probably do it in just about any way. But I think it’s going to make it very, very difficult.” This is not the only new policy that will have an effect on the ACT and SAT. Students will now be required to identify the high school they currently attend. Before, students had the option to provide their high school information, but that made it very complicated for high schools to keep an eye on any unusual scores. And to add even more new security to the process, colleges will now receive a picture of the student alongside their test score. These changes will affect everyone taking the tests one way or another. Without a doubt, they will make it difficult for any further cheating incidents to occur.


news 4{spotlight

Energy About Synergy

Students and staff have varying opinions about new grading and attendance system JACK ROGOZ Reporter Most students have come to know eSIS, the grading system that has helped students and their parents view and check their progress at home for years. But this past July, a new system called Synergy has taken over. This recent change has created a lot of confusion for parents, students, and staff. Two years ago, the company SAS, which owned eSIS, alerted the district that it had been bought out by Pearson, and at a certain date Pearson would stop supporting the eSIS software. In response, the district switched to Synergy. There is a plethora of new features on Synergy that were not on the eSIS software. One of which is that students and their teachers can view the student’s grades from the past four to five years. The most useful features for students and parents would be the app in the App Store, and the ability for students to see both of their first and second semester classes no matter what semester is in progress. Students can also look at what class credits

they need, don’t need, and are taking. There are plenty of useful gadgets and gizmos that benefit the staff as well. “A couple features that I really like are when I’m in Synergy I can click on a parent’s name or a student’s name and send them an email, and vice versa,” guidance counselor Tara Lebar said. “When you’re on the student’s side you can click on the teacher’s name, and it automatically sends an e-mail.” Synergy can run on anything, even an iPad, unlike eSIS, which had an installation process. With the new “student view” feature, the teachers and guidance counselors can see what their students see on their screens. Guidance counselors can document appointments with students and look back to see when those appointments were. Synergy works with the Windows platform, like other software programs do, while eSIS still used function keys. Synergy also makes printing schedules a lot easier. The only hard part is getting to know the Synergy system. “It has just been so crazy trying to get everyone trained,” technology integration specialist and

programming teacher Stacey Rodina said. “But it is definitely better than eSIS. I think in the long run we are all going to like it better, much better than eSIS.” Right now, it may be hard to tell if Synergy is truly more useful than eSIS. The only thing making Synergy so difficult for the students and staff is simply the fact that it is different from the eSIS program that had been used for years here at BV West. There are many glitches currently in the system that District Office is trying their best to fix, but the unfamiliar program makes it difficult for them. One glitch in the system that is currently being worked on is taking students out of classes or transferring them to another class without taking them off the attendance roll or erasing all of their grades. Another glitch that was fixed before school started, meant that students that were in CAPS or any online classes couldn’t get their schedules changed. It is difficult to determine if the change to Synergy was a good one. Though it may seem difficult to use now, in time it will become more customary for students and staff and may prove itself to be the more useful program.

Denim for the Disadvantaged JAG mentors hold second annual Jean Drive for Johnson County’s homeless



very year, the JAG mentors and their mentees organize a community service project in order to involve the freshmen in extracurricular activities, educate them on the importance of community service, and fully integrate them into the BV West student body. In previous years, the community service project was left up to each individual JAG and the management of the projects was left up to the mentors of each JAG. Although the mentors had their mentees’ best interests at heart, the mountains of homework, tiring sports practices, and countless other extracurricular activities pushed the community service project off their top priority list. However, this year all the mentors and the freshmen are collaborating on the community service project to create one that is more coordinated and more successful than the projects of previous years. “Last year, or even when I was a freshman,

they were just really hard to organize,” senior Sonia Kumar declared. “Some people wouldn’t even do community service and those who did, usually just brought money or items.” For the community service project last year, Sonia Kumar organized a jean drive for her JAG class. During a jean drive, the mentors ask for donations of jeans that are then given to the homeless. “We just wanted to do something interactive and have everyone to get in their items and motivated for the project,” Kumar said. She had received the inspiration for the Jean Drive from an article of a magazine titled “Give Jeans a Chance Day.” The Mentor Jean Drive this year is run by executive JAG mentors by Sonia Kumar and Sierra Menzies. Kumar and Menzies have organized the entire drive. They have accepted the daunting task of organizing the school-wide service project in hopes of establishing cohesion between the numerous JAG classes. Although last year’s Jean Drive was solely for the freshmen, this year the drive extends participation

to all students of BV West. “It’s going to be a school-wide event run by the freshmen JAGs and the mentor program,” junior Sierra Menzies informed. “You will see us visiting your JAGs starting in the beginning of September.” Freshmen will be circulating around the JAGs collecting jeans that students have outgrown, deemed unfashionable, or just never wear. The mentors will also have a table in the cafeteria during lunch to take donations. “I looked in the closet at how many pairs of jeans I don’t wear and it’s so selfish of me,” Kumar lamented. This is why it is imperative for many BV West students who have so much to help out others who have nothing. “Last year we collected over one hundred pairs of jeans, but this year we are hoping to get two hundred pairs,” Menzies stated. It is this ambitious goal that the student body should strive to reach and subsequently gain the satisfaction knowing that a difference has been made in someone’s life.

Bridging the Gap



spotlight news

Digital Bridge classes bring together students from across the district



tudents who walk into the Fixed Forum for the first time this year may be surprised by the cameras in every corner or the microphones hanging from the ceiling. The Fixed Forum has undergone a technological transformation since last May, and it now includes upgrades such as a Smartboard, a projector, and various recording devices such as webcams and microphones. This upgraded technology was added to support the Digital Bridge program, which is a series of classes that can be taken online with other students from across the Blue Valley school district. In a Digital Bridge class, students can see their classmates and teacher on-screen and interact with them, even if the class is being taught twenty miles away. The cameras in the room pick up the students’ images, and the microphones allow them to speak to their classmates and teacher. The projector and Smartboard interface connects them to classrooms within the other schools that are participating in Digital Bridge. “In essence, Digital Bridge is video conferencing equipment where a teacher from Blue Valley Northwest is teaching, and kids from all over the Blue Valley high schools can see each other on the screen,” BV West principal Tony Lake said. The 2012-2013 school year marked the

first time that BV West has participated in Digital Bridge. The district began preparations for the project during the 2011-2012 school year, and implemented it in the fall of 2012. The equipment cost a total of $60,000 per classroom, a fee that included document cameras, audio systems, and Smartboards. This year, the Blue Valley district is offering three classes through the program. Students can choose between Latin, German, and Multi-Variable Calculus. About 80 students across three Blue Valley high schools have taken advantage of the Digital Bridge program during its inaugural year. The only class available at BV West this year is Multi-Variable Calculus, and sophomore Shyam Narayanan is the only student from BV West who has enrolled. Shyam has been a student at BV West since the seventh grade, and he has taken all of the upper-level math classes the school has to offer. “He’s either taken or tested out of all the math classes we offer here,” BV West Gifted Education teacher Pam Fellingham said. “This year, he’s taking an advanced class through a program called ‘Bridges’ taught by a teacher from Blue Valley Northwest.” During the 2012-2013 school year, Shyam is piloting the Digital Bridge program by taking Multi-Variable Calculus with several other students from across the Blue Valley school district. “We’ve always had four or five kids across

Sophomore Shyam Narayanan sits alone in the Fixed Forum during his 7th block Multivariable Calculus class. This class, which is composed of students from three different schools, is part of the new Digital Bridge program. Photo by Maddy Wilson

the district request a certain class,” Lake said. “But each school can’t give up one of their own teachers to teach it. Students have had to travel to other schools to take the class. Now, Digital Bridge will eliminate that problem.” During a typical day in class, Shyam listens to his teacher, CJ Armenta, explain the day’s lesson as his image is beamed onto the projector screen. If there is a test in class, the teacher may choose to administer a traditional test using paper and pen, or it can be given through “Blackboard,” which is an online learning management system. “So far, we’ve mostly been reviewing Calculus BC,” Narayanan said. “But we just started learning about the surface area and integration of parametrics. As of now, it’s not too challenging, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to get harder later on.” However, as with any new computer-based project, there are occasionally some rough spots and technological difficulties. “We’re still fidgeting with the technology and stuff,” Narayanan said. “We probably do that more often than we actually do math, because there are weird glitches. Like sometimes, the microphones just go dead.” But despite the occasional glitches, the new Digital Bridge classes will provide a new opportunity for students who want to take a class that isn’t normally offered at BV West.


ads 6{spotlight


REbeL: BeYOUtiful


spotlight features

The newly established REbeL club promotes acceptance throughout BV West

ABBY KRSTULIC Online Editor in Chief


n Aug. 17, students filled the halls at BV West for their first day of school. It seemed like a normal day, until they saw that there was a colorful Post-It note on each and every locker. You’re beautiful, one read. Smile, said another. All of the notes were the work of REbeL, one of the newest clubs at BV West. Originally coming from BV Northwest, the club works to promote a healthy body image and acceptance of oneself and others around them. “No one is perfect,” club sponsor LaWanna Whitcomb said. “But if you focus on the qualities that you have or the accomplishments or things that you’re good at, then all of this negativity goes away.” In May 2012, there was large push to get REbeL started in all of the other BV high schools. In Jan., an e-mail was sent out to the staff asking if any of them would like to sponsor the activity. Officer Suzie Tousey agreed to be a sponsor, and Whitcomb joined her, taking on her first sponsor position at BV West. “I’m learning a lot as a sponsor for the school,” Whitcomb said. “And it’s hard but it’s so rewarding.” After the sponsors were decided, REbeL worked on recruiting students. A video was shown during JAG promoting the new club in April, and prospective members were given applications. After receiving close to forty applications, Whitcomb, Tousey, BV West administrators and Laura Eickman, chairperson of REbeL, worked to narrow down the list to make the REbeL committee. After the decisions were made, students were informed that they made the committee through e-mail. “[When I saw that I was accepted], I was so excited,” senior Hayley Barkoviak said. “The first thing I thought of was to tell everybody about this

message.” Senior Victoria Onuzuruike was also pleased when she saw that her application was accepted. “There are many groups and programs at this school that are just fantastic,” Onuzuruike said. “But I really appreciate that there’s a club that’s just promoting self-awareness, self-pride, and happiness.” Since then, the group of 34 has been diligently working to make sure that everyone at BV West knows about REbeL and its core values. “I love their message that everyone is beautiful in their own way,” Barkoviak said. “If everyone believed that, our school and our community could be so much stronger because we’re not focusing on superficial things that can bring ourselves down.” “[Being with everyone] is like energy,” Whitcomb said. “Everybody’s got such great ideas and everybody’s ready to go.” For a group that is so motivated, it can be difficult to take a step back and focus on merely getting the name and the basics of the club to hit BV West. “At BV Northwest, their school is so involved and it’s very positive,” Onuzuruike said. “But they started off this way, too. We have to take baby steps, of course, and the first thing is to get the message and the name across.” BV West REbeL is also working to differentiate themselves from the BV Northwest chapter. “BV Northwest did it [Post-It notes],” Whitcomb said. “And our group wanted to do something that was quick and simple, so we did do that. But I tell them, we are going to be unique in our own way. I want us to come up with our own ideas, too.” As soon as the chapter gets up and running, members are hopeful that the BV West community will participate in REbeL’s activities and see the value in its message. “I would really like to get the student body to value the club and not expect that it’s [only for girls],” Onuzuruike said. “I just really want people to appreciate this club.”

From Top Left to Bottom Right: Sticky notes line the lockers -

Photos by Emily Moore, Abby Krstulic, and Elise St. Louis.


features 8{spotlight ! o a Ci

Across the Pond





BV West students travel to Europe to experience different cultures and improve language skills


EMILY MOORE Managing Editor

he Eiffel Tower stands tall and graceful in the clear blue sky. The Leaning Tower of Pisa tilts beautifully far above the ground. These magnificent sights that many only dream of seeing in their lifetimes, are part of the curriculum on student field trips across the BV District. This past summer art students and foreign language students had the opportunity to visit European countries such as Italy, France and Germany. The trips are with schools from the Blue Valley District. “To me, it is really the ultimate field trip,” art teacher Deborah Waldorf said. “Not only do you learn to become very independent, especially if you have never traveled very much, this teaches you how to become an independent traveler and not be worried or freaked out or frightened about it. Hopefully it teaches you to travel

more.” Each group has its own perks and cultural experiences. For example, all the French students stay with host families for nearly half of the time, and in hotels for the rest of the stay. Staying with a host family helped students experience the French culture and expand their language skills. “My host family was very polite,” senior William O’ffill said. “The mother, Amelia, was obsessed with me. Whenever she would take me out in the morning, we would visit different cities, and she would constantly take pictures of me.” Staying with the host family rather than a hotel challenged the students to become more fluent and carry constant conversation in their secondary language. It also gave the students a chance to openly explore different cities. In addition to witnessing different aspects of the country, many new opportunities also presented themselves. For fresh eyes, a new country is like stepping into a new world. Overland Park is a newer area than many cities in Europe, buildings and landmarks included. With all the diverse experiences and language enhancing opportunities, O’ffill recommends the trip for any other student interested in traveling. “It’s amazing,” O’ffill said. “You get to immerse yourself in the language, you get to experience a new culture, you get to get out of this Johnson County bubble and then you have memories forever.” As for the art students, their trip was no less exciting or educationally enriching. The art wing takes an annual trip to Europe, but despite the fact that it is a trip built around art and history, all students are invited to attend. Students do not even

Students from across the BV school district pose in front of the Notre Dame in Paris on June 21. BV students travelled with BV High teacher Carol Bar from June 17 to July 1. Photo by Meghan Ketcham.

need to be involved in an art class. This year, the art trip was to Italy for eight days. According to junior Emily Webb, the trip was enjoyable and educational. “I learned so much about all of the old art and architecture in Italy,” Webb said. “It really is amazing how much work would go into all of the smallest details of all the buildings and everything, really.” The students are led around Italy by a guide, but get free time to explore as well. They visit many significant historical landmarks to learn of their significance and get a sense of the culture surrounding them. “My favorite thing that I saw was probably this unbelieveable cathedral in Milan,” Webb said. “It’s called the Duomo de Milano and it was the most impressive building I have ever seen. It took over 600 years to build and the attention to the detail was just unreal.” Although the art trip varied from the foreign language trip, the two had similar experiences. Besides art and history, the art students got to enjoy a new culture as well. They had a lot of free time to wander outside of the guided tours. “My favorite part was getting lost in the alleys in Venice and getting to experience a different type of culture,” Webb said. These new experiences are not only for the students; the advisors on the trip get to enjoy it as well. After all, the teachers have been going on trips such as these for years. According to Waldorf, part of the fun is watching her students have the new experiences. “[My favorite thing is] to take you someplace you have never been before and watch you get excited about stuff and become interested, and all the time light bulbs are coming on and you’re making connections with history,” Waldorf said. Despite the fact that they have taken similar trips many times, Waldorf claims it never gets old. “Even though I have seen some of these places several times, I never tire of it, especially Italy,” Waldorf said. “I love it all.” The trip from this year is over, but there is another one in the coming summer. In fact, Waldorf is already looking forward to the 2013 trip while students are admiring their time spent, hoping others get the same opportunity. “I would definitely recommend this trip for anyone,” said Webb. “It was such an amazing opportunity to get to learn about another culture and see beautiful parts of the world that seemed almost unreal.”

Exchanging Stories



spotlight features

Five students from abroad join BV West this year TAYLOR LAKE Reporter

Léa Puech France


enior foreign exchange student Léa Puech wanted to immerse herself in American culture. “I would like to change my life, to discover new customs and new culture,” said Puech. She would like to try out for the soccer team this spring since girls are not very popular in France if they play sports. Also Puech wants to ride horses western since she only rides English in France. Puech notes that friend groups in the United States are different than in France. “There are a lot of groups and not a lot of people mix.” Puech said, “I find it so stupid.” Puech likes the United States but wouldn’t

Seniors Brad Wainman, Julie Bywater and Rachel Venneker enjoy the football game against Washburn Rural. Bywater is Venneker’s host sister for the year. Photo by Maddy Wilson.

Brad Wainman Australia


rad Wainman, a foreign exchange student from Australia, is only at BV West for a semester, but wants to experience as many things as he can while he is here. Wainman has always wanted to experience the culture and schools in another country. Until he leaves, Wainman wants to attend as many sporting events as possible and wants to try and see a college-sporting event. He admitted to getting a little nervous while

want to live here for more than a few years.

riding in a car because the United States drives on the opposite side of the road. “It freaks me out when we make a left turn. I feel like we’re going to get t-boned,” Wainman said. Wainman is enjoying all his classes but misses having an hour for lunch and then another hour of recess during the school day. Other than the school days having fewer breaks Wainman really enjoys the United States.

Hayuru Kan Japan


ayuru Kan is in the United States from Japan to experience American culture. Kan has been playing basketball for three years and wants to play for a team at BV West this winter. Besides basketball, Kan. also enjoys tennis and hopes to play on a team outside of school. The schoolwork at BV West is much easier compared to the work Kan did in Japan. Kan is taking on two math classes this year, including Algebra 2 and Geometry. “Math is very interesting,” said Kan, “It’s my favorite.”

Seniors Alberto Sanchez and Rylee Nordstrom pose for a photo in the DAC parking lot before the Sept. 14 football game against BV North. Photo by Maddy Wilson.

Alberto Sanchez Spain


lberto Sanchez is a foreign exchange student from Spain. Sanchez plays on the BV West soccer team and wants to play baseball this spring. Sanchez became a part of the foreign exchange program because he is interested in learning about the United States culture and wants to improve his English. “I want to work in

Rachel Venneker Netherlands


achel Venneker, from the Netherlands, loves the school spirit at BV West. “I really like the games and the assembly.” Venneker said. Although Venneker gets lost sometimes because BV West is much bigger than her school in the Netherlands, she enjoys all the school activities. Venneker spent her first three days in the United States in New York City.

another country, like England or the United States and I need to learn English first,” senior Alberto Sanchez said. Sanchez is also enjoying taking different kinds of classes at BV West than he takes in Spain, but he does not like how much longer class periods are in the United States. Sanchez really enjoyed his first pep assembly since schools do not have them in Spain. “It’s like a party, with the band and the cheerleaders.”

“The buildings were so big, everything was awesome.” Venneker said. If she has the chance she would also like to see Hollywood before she leaves. Venneker wanted to join the tennis team at BV West but was too late for tryouts. This winter and spring she would like to play basketball and soccer. Outside of school, Venneker likes to ride horses. Venneker can be shy but wants to experience another culture. She hopes being a foreign exchange student will help. “I need to come out of my shell.” Venneker said.


features 10{spotlight

Sibling Lifelines

Students share their connections with siblings huge new place, unfamiliar faces, and a daunting list of classes to be found are just a few of the defining traits of being a freshman. High school can be rough sometimes for freshmen. However, for a lucky few, they have a lifeline: an older sibling. Something as little as seeing a familiar, smiling face can mean the difference between a smooth first day, or rocky beginning. Upperclassmen are known for giving advice. Senior Vanessa Rugova shares her knowledge with her freshman sister, Riona Rugova. “ I told her just to do her thing and be who she is because that is the best way to make it through high school,” senior Vanessa Rugova said [about Riona]. For many, the hardest thing to do is to become their own person in an environment that is so concentrated homework, sports, and being the best. Many underclassmen struggle to define themselves among the hundreds of students that mill through the halls of BV West. Lauren Garcia is another freshman that goes into high school armed with information from older siblings. “I like it because I know what to expect,” freshman Lauren Garcia said. For sisters Riona and Vanessa, sharing a school is a blessing. Lauren Garcia, another freshman at West, also shares the happy fortune of having an older sibling, Grant Garcia, to help her out with anything from hard schoolwork to meeting new people- Grant Garcia. From navigating the lunchroom to the sticky situations of being a teenager, an older sibling who has already been there can be a huge help to someone who is just experiencing it all for the first time. “I think it is better because I am not nervous around teachers,” freshman Riona Rugova said. Sometimes, even the same last name can relax the nerves for the jittery freshman. To teachers, the link of a last name can help spark a connection between younger sibling and older siblings. The familiarity can help students find common ground with their unfamiliar teachers. Even better than being able to connect with

teachers easier, a perk of being an underclassman with an upperclassman sibling is knowing upperclassmen. “I get called ‘Grant’s little sister’, and ‘Little Garcia’ all the time!” Garcia said. “But it is cool to know upperclassmen.” For every perk of having older siblings around, there can be a downside. It can sometimes be hard for other students to look past the label of “‘so-and-so’s little sister or brother”. While they may be alike, siblings or not, they have different strengths and weaknesses apart from an older brother or sister. “Sometimes the teachers automatically assume I am exactly like my sister-because we look and act a lot alike.” Riona said. “However, things like our learning styles are different- I learn differently than her and sometimes teachers do not realize that.” No matter the age gap between siblings, there will always be the age-old tradition of lending a helping hand to the younger ones. When there is no one that understands, siblings can be counted on to help and have best interests in mind. “ I think I have helped her by letting her know I will always have her back no matter what,” Vanessa said. Little siblings have mutual feelings for their older siblings. The chance to open up to someone who has already been through the harrowing experiences that freshman are going through for the first time can be a liberating experience. “I’ll be sad when he goes to college, because I will be an only child,” Garcia said. “It is pretty fun having an older bro around.” Riona had similar feelings about sister Vanessa heading off to college next year. Having a sibling move can be a huge change- one that takes time to get used to. “It’ll be nice to be the oldest next yearbut of course I will miss her,” Riona said. Siblings are special; they are there for life, through thick and thin. Many take them for granted, however, they will eventually go off to school or obtain jobs far from home. The bonds that are made between siblings are often are the strongest.

Senior Vanessa and freshman Riona Rugova pose for a sibling photo.Vanessa often gives advice to her younger sister. “I think I have helped her by letting her know I will always have her back no matter what,” Vanessa said. Photo by Maddy Wilson.

FAMOUS SIBLINGS How well do you know famous brothers and sisters? Take this quiz to test your knowledge on sibling rivalry in popular culture. 1. Which two sisters starred as one character on ‘Full House’? (A) Hilary & Haylie Duff (B) Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen (C) Dakota & Elle Fanning 2. Which set of siblings does NOT have their own reality show? (A) The Duggars (B) The Kardashians (C) Britney & Jaimie-Lynn Spears 3. Which pair of brothers plays professional tennis? (A) The Bryan Brothers (B) Serena and Venus Williams (C) Eli & Payton Manning

4. Which set of siblings have both run for president? (A) Jessica & Ashlee Simpson (B) The Jonas Brothers (C) John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy 5. Which pair starred together in ‘Donnie Darko’? (A) Jason & Justine Bateman (B) Maggie & Jake Gyllenhaal (C) Luke & Owen Wilson 6. Which siblings are heirs(or heiresses) to a major hotel line? (A) Ben & Casey Affleck (B) Donnie & Mark Wahlberg (C) Paris & Nicky Hilton

Answers: (1) B, (2) C, (3) A, (4) C, (5) B, (6) C.




Playing Up Acceptance

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spotlight arts



Section Editor

olerance, compassion, acceptance and understanding,” director of theater Laurie Vanderpol said about the upcoming rep show. “Boys Next Door,” is a story about the struggles of multiple cognitively challenged individuals. As opposed to the typical comedic rep show, this show deals with more serious issues, opening new doors for all BV West students. Eight years ago, BV West performed this show for the first time. The play had a huge positive effect on the community and eventually made it to the state competition as one of the best shows. Knowing this makes Vanderpol believe that this play will receive just as much attention as it did in the past. “This show was great and accessible for all,” Vanderpol said. “It was a very good show on every level, especially because it quietly embraces tolerance.” Tolerance is one of the most important themes of this production. The first act of the show addresses this theme through comedy, while the second act through drama. “I really like my character because he has this one monologue that is very moving,” junior Cooper Scott said. “It is so powerful, and he shows the world that even though he is handicapped, he still feels the same emotions like everyone else.” Although this play is filled with multiple inspiring moments, such as this, it also contains a lot of comedy, keeping the audience engaged in the characters and the production. “My character spends nearly half the show hiding rugs and threatening to move to Russia,” junior Evan Lite said. While Lite’s character appears to be humorous for others, his actions are genuine and his feelings are true. Being sure that the show is not mocking the special education department is one of the biggest challenges Lite and Scott face. As actors, Lite and Scott are prone to be nervous about offending someone in the audience. In order to prevent this from occurring, the two students work on improving their acting abilities by practicing both inside and outside of school. “I have done multiple plays downtown at venues,” Scott said. “[Preparing for these shows] is challenging because everyone has a different character with different feelings.” In “Boys Next Door,” Scott admits that his character is sometimes hard to portray correctly. Because all of the students involved in the production play different characters, it is impossible to ask one another for advice on their own characters. “Cooper has the toughest character,” Lite said. “His character has the mind of a five-year-old inside the body of a 50-year-old, and it is difficult to not make his character look like a joke.” Although the acting in this show is difficult, Vanderpol believes that her students are gaining a lot of insight and skill by perfecting their difficult characters. “Like every show, challenges make us so much better as actors because it pushes us toward excellence and acceptance,” Vanderpol said. “It helps us to

Junior Karl Reikman and senior Shelley Bushman rehearse their roles for “The Boys Next Door.” During rehearsal student actors rehearse blocking so they have a physical preview of what to expect from the show. grow as a performer and to find new things in our acting careers.” While Lite hopes that this production will help him grow as a performer, he also hopes it will help his audience and his community grow to become more accepting of all people in society. “By the second act, things are going right for some characters and wrong for others,” Lite said. “The audience will see that challenging things happen to everyone, and hopefully the audience will like it and learn many valuable lessons.” This show provides countless lessons for the audience. Scott believes that while some morals of the show are easy to pick out, not all can be immediately inferred. “I think one of the main ideas of this show is that cognitively challenged persons really do give twice as much as other individuals,” Scott said. “They face so many more challenges and have so many obstacles to overcome.” Overall, this production is filled with comical moments and dramatic scenarios. This show taught the actors how important tolerance and understanding is in the world, while simultaneously showing them the humor that can be found in everyone’s lives. “People who watch the play will definitely get a good laugh, and I hope they get an understanding that people are so much alike,” Lite said. “Just because people think or act differently does not mean anyone is less important or special.”

2012-2013 Rep Shows: * “The Boys Next Door”- Oct. 5-6 * “Caught in the Net”- Nov. 30 & Dec. 1 * “Searching for David’s Heart”- March 29-30 * Theatre Olympics- May 3-4

Additional Events: *Homcoming Carnival- Sept. 19 *Trick or Treat so Kids Can EatOct. 25 *State Conference- Jan. 3-5 *Thespian Banquet- May 15

in-depth 12{spotlight

Photos courtesy of Connie Vreeland

BV West graduate Shannon Vreeland’s road to the 2012 Olympics

made the team, she got 7th. So I looked up and was thrilled with my time but at the same time I was really disappointed for her. Once I got to talk to my parents and I got home from the meet and everything started to sink in though I was excited, but more, I was really ready to start the next leg of the journey and start training again because my main goal once I got to the meet was to make that finals relay and I knew I had to get some good training in to find a way to be even faster at the Olympics than I was at Trials. Just knowing that you made an Olympic team though is the most incredible feeling in the world. I’ve always loved swimming and I’ve loved everything about the sport and all the people in it and knowing that I was going to be on a team with some of the people I’ve looked up to since I was 8 or 9 years old was probably one of the coolest feelings. Also knowing that I would have the chance to inspire kids like previous Olympians have inspired me was and is also a great feeling.” When Vreeland dove off the block the announcers said they thought she might have left early, but Shannon knew exactly what was happening, it didn’t even faze her she knew that she needed to keep the relay close or even get the lead, that’s exactly what she did. “The first thought was definitely I can’t mess this up,” Vreeland said. “I knew the start was close but I was 99% sure I didn’t disqualify so I told myself to not freak out, but I just wanted to catch the girl next to me so I still over swam the first 100 a little. Knowing that I had Allison behind me was great though. We couldn’t ask for a better anchor and I’ve been on so many relays with her before that I know that the more high pressure the situation the better she performs, I knew that if I did my job and swam with (and maybe out split a little the girl next to me) we would be in a great position to win the relay, I did that and Allison dove in and just took over like we all knew she could.” After years of hard work and sacrifice to try and improve in her sport, all the work finally paid off for Vreeland at the London Olympics. Winning an Olympic gold medal is the highest achievement in the swimming world and Vreeland is now a local and national hero because of her immense efforts to help out the country’s Olympic team, eventually ending in her getting a gold medal for the United States.

Going for Gold HARRISON WHITNEY Reporter n 8th grade Shannon Vreeland thought she might have something special with swimming, and six years later she made her mark at the London 2012 games. “In 8th grade I moved up to the high school level of the Blazers,” said Vreeland. “Which is, I guess, when I made the decision to really focus on swimming and take it seriously. That’s when I quit every other sport I did and solely focused on swimming.” Vreeland’s coaches saw some potential in her work ethic, and in 2008 she and Coach Peter Malone actually had a talk about trying to make it to the Olympics. “We especially talked about the opportunity for the 2012 games and the 800 free relay possibility in the year 2008,” Malone said. Vreeland knew the road to the Olympics would be extremely difficult and the chances of actually making it to the Olympics would be slim, but she didn’t give up. She kept training and waited for her turn. “I didn’t know I had a chance at the Olympics until prelims at Trials,” said Vreeland. “Actually, it was probably the 400 free at Trials that made me think I maybe had the potential for a great 200 free. I dropped a ton of time at Trials and I went into the meet with the goal of making a final or semifinal, and almost finaling in the 400 free, which wasn’t one of my better races, made me think that if I could get 9th in that race, top eight in the 200 was definitely a possibility. Then coming back fourth after prelims and second after semis just made the chance that much greater. Before Trials, my coach sat me down and had a talk with me about not counting myself out. He told me some stories about kids on the team that had made the team that weren’t expected to and he said that since I didn’t have as much pressure it might be easier on me at the meet. And he was 100% right.” She didn’t know how to react when she finished 5th at the prelims, and knew she was going to London. “Qualifying for the meet was kind of bittersweet,” said Vreeland. “One of my best friends on the team was in the lane next to me so while I got 5th and definitely




JACOB PASCHAL Section Editor

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spotlight in-depth

ost young athletes all over the world have one mutual goal: becoming a professional athlete. They salivate at the thought of waking up every morning and playing the sport the love, and having to only focus on getting better. But for most young athletes, this goal is not achieved. The massive amount of hours and hard work that was put in to get better, all go to waste. Fortunately for Collin Wiles, that was not the case. On draft night, Wiles heard ‘With the 53rd pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, the Texas Rangers select, Collin Wiles, a right-handed pitcher out of Blue Valley West High School.’ “Hearing my name called was one of the coolest things to ever happen to me,” Wiles said. “I was just sitting there hoping and wishing that it would be me and when I actually heard my name, my heart dropped and I couldn’t believe it.” To most scouts, this was a very surprising pick made by the Texas Rangers. Some believe that he was not the right pick, and others say that he went too high in the draft. In fact, Baseball America had him ranked #268 overall. Keith Law, a senior baseball writer for ESPN, did not even include Wiles in his rankings. To other scouts, Wiles was a good pick for the Rangers. They believe that Wiles, like a lot of other pitchers that were targeted in the draft, is very solid, athletic, and has a high ceiling. “Collin is a guy that will be throwing around 92-93 mph with great command of his pitches,” BV West head baseball coach Bill McDonald said. “He is a guy that can make it to the big leagues and he loves baseball, and he understands baseball which is a very important thing.” Most pitchers that enter the draft straight out of high school have college offers to go along with the professional offers. The decision to attend college and play baseball or skip college and head straight to the big leagues could arguably be one of the toughest and most stressful decisions a high schooler has to make. Wiles had the opportunity to play baseball at the University of Vanderbilt and committed there before the draft. After Wiles was drafted by the Texas Rangers, he uncommitted to Vanderbilt and signed with the Rangers for $975k. “I just wasn’t expecting to go there [in the first round], and then I hear my name called and the next thing I know, I’m under a dogpile with all of my friends,” Wiles told Foul Territory, an online baseball blog. “It was insane, to be honest with you.” As you take a glance at Wiles’ high school stats, it seems unreal and it is mind blowing. He has built quite the resume that could make a scout go crazy for him. Wiles threw around 85-86 mph his junior year,

then jumped up to around 90-91 mph his senior year. He boasted an 8-0 record with an incredible 0.10 ERA, which translates to only one run given up all year. Wiles went 43 straight innings without giving up a single run. He threw 49 1/3 innings and recorded 76 strikeouts. To go along with those numbers, he was also named the Gatorade State Player of the Year for Kansas. “My job was to make him the best person he could be, then make him the best baseball player he could be,” McDonald said. “It just so happens that professional ball was available to him, which was great.” The transition from high school or college baseball to professional baseball is what could potentially ruin a pitchers chance of moving up. “The competition has definitely been a big change for me,” Wiles said. “Coming from high school where I gave up one run all year, to pro ball where a lot of these guys were the best in their high school and or college. There was an adjustment period for me for sure. Early on, I got hit around pretty good, but as the season went on and I got more comfortable things started to slow down and I felt like my normal self again.” Along with the experienced hitters from the United States, there are other threats that pitchers have to deal with. In the past, a lot of hitters from foreign countries have been some of the best hitters to ever play baseball. The Dominican Republic is notorious for producing some of the best hitters in the MLB, such as Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, and many others. “I don’t approach the Latin players any differently,” Wiles said. “My job is to get them out anyway that I possibly can.” All of us are optimistic in how Wiles does in the big leagues and we hope that he moves his way up. Hopefully the injury bug doesn’t bite anytime soon. “It’s hard to say how he will do because injury is always a factor,” Coach McDonald said. “He definitely has 3 great pitches and he definitely has better command of the strike zone than most kids that I have had. He also has the advantage of locating his pitches.” A lot of young athletes live for the day that they hear their name announced, and have the feeling that a professional organization wants them to join their team. They set their goals high and hope to reach them. Fortunately for Collin, he has achieved some of his goal. “This experience has been all around pretty cool but its kind of strange at the same time,” Wiles said. “I’m now getting paid to play the game that I love and the one that I’ve been playing since I was 4 years old. It makes it easier to get up everyday knowing that I don’t have to go to class or that I don’t have a big paper due. I can just focus on baseball. This experience has definitely been a dream come true and I’ve said all along that my dream is to play in the MLB. Getting drafted out of high school is a great first step to achieving that goal.”

Class of 2012 graduate Collin Wiles picked in the 1st round of the MLB Draft

“Collin” the shots



arts 14{spotlight

Driving Forward in Fashion

Spotlight reviews popular clothing stores in the area JOURDAN GISH Reporter

Charlotte Russe


harlotte Russe is a funky store in the Oak Park Mall that not many people know about. The store is pretty small, but it packs a lot of great items. They carry pretty much everything a teenage girl needs to build her closet. The clothes there are also reasonably priced and the store is often holding sales. The store has a dressy, urban style to it. The downsides to this store are that the items they carry are either very

revealing or too modest. They also have low stock for items and the shirts are very low quality. Every shirt I’ve bought there rips or shrinks after 2 washes. However some of the other clothing items are higher on the quality scale. A pair of heels I got there are still in good condition, and my favorite pair of shorts came from the store. Charlotte Russe is definitely worth checking out, but I would not recommend buying the shirts.

Love Culture


ocated in the One Nineteen shopping center by Town Center, Love Culture is a store that popped out of nowhere. The store itself is huge and is full of many different styles to please anyone who walks in. With styles ranging from classy to grunge to comfortable, the store has almost everything. The clothes there are cute, comfortable, reasonably priced, and fit well. For example, jeans that would normally cost forty dollars or more at Aeropostale (or other brand name stores) cost

about twenty seven dollars at Love Culture. They have selections of colored pants and knockoffs of the popular “Miss Me” Jeans that are extremely comfortable. There are also dresses and shirts that are stylish, unique and tough to find anywhere else. The accessories and shoes are also funky and fashionable. The only downside for me was that the shoes I found were too big and didn’t fit right. Otherwise, Love Culture is a must check out.



he last store worthy of checking out is H&M, which is located at the Plaza. It’s certainly more well known than the other two stores I’ve reviewed but not many people know exactly what it is or think that it is too expensive. The word most used to describe H&M has been affordable. H&M is basically Forever 21, if it grew up a little bit and its quality was much higher. The store itself is certainly much more organized and has more variety than Forever 21. It carries men’s and kid’s clothes in addition to the girl’s clothing. They also carry more types of styles than the “hipster” style that Forever 21 may be more known for. H&M also carries more sizes, which can be helpful for some Photos by Coleen Bost, Abby Krstulic and Léa Puech.

teenagers shopping there. The Kansas City Star recently did a style review and one teen boy said that H&M is the only store that fits him; one of my friends also has the same feeling about the store. The style is very clean cut and nice. They keep up with the trends, and I rarely see anything my mother wouldn’t approve of me wearing. The only downside for this store is the location. I don’t ever feel like driving to the Plaza to go shopping at just that particular store. Gas is expensive and I’m not a big fan of driving on the highway. It would be much more handy to have an H&M at Town Center, espsically since they need more “cool” stores down there. However, even though it’s kind of far away, it’s a lovely store and worth the time to go drive down if there is a need for a nice outfit.


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spotlight arts

Sam Smith: Superstar BV West senior places second in local singing competition

MEGHAN KETCHAM Editor in Chief


painter, a singer, and a songwriter, senior Sam Smith is one of the many talented BV West students to walk the performing arts hallway. Using her talents to their fullest, Smith put her own spin on Maroon 5’s song ‘Sunday Morning’ and walked away from the KC Superstar Competition on Aug. 26, winning second place. Smith worked for years to develop her talent and months to prepare for the competition. Smith initially heard about KC Superstar on the radio and auditioned for the competition on a whim. “I was actually driving home from school one day and heard about it on 93.3,” Smith said. “I thought ‘What the heck, I guess I’ll audition for it’. I didn’t even know my song going into it.” 25 semi-finalists were chosen out of about 500 auditions, and Smith took a spot. After semifinals, Smith was chosen, yet again, to move on in the competition, this time to the final round. Smith had rehearsals for four to five hours a day to prepare for the finals competition. “It was crazy,” Smith said. “We had rehearsals every single day during the summer and into the school year. We would rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse, and then we had the finals night.” Although Smith did not win, she is thankful for the experience in the competition. “Coming in second out of all of those auditions is very rewarding and very nice to know that I had

support and I had people backing me up,” Smith said. “I also worked really hard on my own. I was very pleased by it, but I was off by only two votes though. It was bittersweet.” Many BV West students and parents came out to Yardley Hall on finals night to support Sam and are pleased with the outcome. Smith’s mother is in accord and enjoyed the experience. “I’m so proud of her,” Smith’s mother, Sabrina Smith, said. “It was so much fun.” Smith’s parents helped her gain her passion in music from an early age. Smith’s father plays the guitar and planted the seed for her success at an early age. “My parents are very musically inclined and they really tried to start us off on instruments when we were really young,” Smith said. While she began music at a young age, Smith did not find her passion for music until recently. “My love for pop music came in my early teens,” Smith said. “The originality and the way that people can express themselves through music is beautiful, I think.” Smith joined the vocal music department her junior year after only a little bit of experience in church choir. Although nervous at first, Smith grew into the choir department and is now a member of the Chamber Choir. “I actually didn’t start choir until last year and I was really nervous,” Smith said. “I went literally from singing in the shower to a BV West choir. “ Vocal music teacher Kimberly Modelski plays a large role in Smith’s development of talent. “I was really nervous about it,” Smith said. “But Mrs. Modelski was really wonderful and really incorporated me into the group. I had a few friends that really knew what they were doing to help me out. I

worked really hard and love it.” Modelski claims that although Smith is talented, she is always looking for room to improve. “Sam is very creative and highly motivated,” Modelski said. “As talented as she is, she still stays humble and is always wanting to improve. As a musician, she wants to connect with others through her music and she taps into other peoples’ emotions.” In addition to auditioning for the upcoming musical, ‘Wizard of Oz’, Smith has a few long term goals and projects in her future. “I really want to get a demo CD professionally recorded,” Smith said. “I am also trying out for more gigs and auditions. What I want to do is to try out for ‘American Idol’.” Although she missed the recent American Idol Auditions in Dodge City, Kan. on Aug. 24, Smith still plans to audition for the 2014 season of ‘American Idol’. After college, Smith hopes to follow in the footsteps of many that taught her and helped her develop her talent. “I really want to get with a producer and hopefully teach music one day if I don’t make it by myself,” Smith said. After so much success, Smith owes her inspiration to a quote by C.S. Lewis. “I really like the quote that ‘You’re never to old to set a new goal or dream a new dream’,” Smith said. “I love that because when I auditioned for this, I didn’t think that I was going to make it. Winning second was a big deal for me.” Smith continues to set goals and dream new dreams as she continues her senior year at BV West, making the most of all opportunities that come her way.

From top to bottom: Senior Samatha Smith sings in the -

Go to to read an exclusive Q&A with one of the judges from the KC Superstar competition.

Photos by Jacob Smith and Meghan Ketcham.


arts 16{spotlight

Mural, Mural on the Wall

NAHS prepares the circus-themed mural for Homecoming CALVIN LEE Reporter

searching for ideas we found a lot of cool stuff. We looked on Google for images and the kids found a lot of cool stuff to use.” After combining some of the images, With homecoming right around the corner, NAHS had a solid idea of what they wanted to paint. many students are preparing by finding dates, suits, After making a sketch of the mural, the artists were dresses, and dinner reservations. Because there is ready to move on to the full-sized canvass. such a focus on what to wear, many people overlook While they were excited to begin, NAHS how the dance is designed and decorated. One of the has a few issues as they try to complete the mural. key “behind the scenes” components to designing One dilemma they face is dealing with the size of the dance is the homecoming mural. the paper. The artists have to tape together multiple “A lot of people spend a lot of time painting pieces of large paper, and the result is a canvas that the mural,” junior Mackenzie Lujin said. takes up most of the art hallway. Lujin has been in the National Art Honor “It has been hard at times because it is so Society for two big, but everyone years. Every year, who has come to NAHS is in charge help loves paintof making a large, ing,” Lujin said. decorative mural Another to hang over the obstacle for NAHS dance. is time. There are “We have only a few days left had a lot of people before homecomwant to help with ing and a lot still it and a lot of needs to be done. painters come to Because NAHS help the process relies on the artists go by quicker,” working during Lujin said. their free time in The Jag or after school, process of making the mural begins Seniors Angelic Liu and Lily Caudill paint the nearly completed mural in the it is often hard to meet up and work with choosing art hallway. together. a theme. Once Photo by Meghan Ketcham. “[The JPCo announces mural] will probably be finished right before the the theme of the dance, the artists get to work. event,” Myer said. “It is hard to get all the kids here “[This year’s theme] is ‘Under the Big at the same time. The time commitment becomes Top’. It’s a circus-type theme,” Communication who can do what after school. It is about kids being Arts teacher Brett Myer said. To the surprise of able to balance their commitments to get it done in some students, he is beginning his first year as faculty time.” sponsor of NAHS. Despite the difficulty of scheduling out the “I myself am an artist, “ Myer said. “Here work, NAHS is still very optimistic about the mural at West I teach CA, but personally I make art and enjoy doing it. I talked to Mrs. Waldorf about getting this year. “I am proud of it. A lot of people put a lot more involved in the art department last year. She of effort into it, so we are hoping everyone likes it.” shared a lot of her knowledge and resources, and the Lujin said. board members have helped me a lot. I really like it.” Although it takes a lot of time and effort, Although having a new faculty sponsor the members of NAHS still feel that making the could potentially be an obstacle, NAHS has already made a huge amount of progress on their first project mural is worth it. Even though they do not get a lot of recognition for their work, the artists still love of the year, the circus-themed mural. painting and working on their project. Make sure to “I thought the theme presented challenges support NAHS by checking out the mural at homeat first,” Myer said. “I thought we were just going to make a mural that is a big tent, but as we started

coming this Saturday.

Junior Emily Webb spreads the measuring tape across the mural to measure out lines for a grid. Photo by Calvin Lee.

HALL TALK What is your favorite part of Homecoming?

“I like girls.” -Jesse Forney Junior

“Getting dressed up and picking the dress out.” -Lily Caudill Senior “The Homecoming football game.” -Coach Wright Physical Education Teacher

Q&A by Tomos Ridenhour




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Coach Andrew Addington

Photo by Elise St. Louis

How long have you been coaching for? This is my 4th year coaching, but my 3rd year teaching. I coached tournament basketball while I was in college, but consider my first year of coaching when I coached at Mill Valley High School during my student teaching. Do you enjoy coaching or playing better? I loved playing and competing, and I still do. I’m always trying to find ways to compete and be active now and have done some pretty diverse things athletically since high school, but I love coaching. I’m not really gifted genetically to be an athlete, and I never really have been. I was always able to survive as an athlete by being a smart player. My knowledge and ability to apply what I knew helped make up for being undersized. As a coach I get to use what has always been my advantage in the most effective way. Teaching your players something or making a call and seeing it have a direct impact on the field or court is an incredible feeling. You feel so happy for the player and pumped that you helped make it happen. I love being able to help student-athletes grow and develop in their sport, earn honors, and give them the opportunity to play at the next level. As a positions coach I had 3 of 4 defensive backs earn all-league honors in the same season. (2 first teams and an honorable mention) Right now, I have student-athletes in football and basketball at Drake, NWMS, Coffeyville CC, Butler CC, Fort Scott CC, and Hutchinson CC. It’s exciting to see your players move on and do something they love while getting an education. How do you like West compared to Bonner? It’s a different environment. I loved my experience in Bonner, especially coaching. I built some really strong relationships with my players, both the ones now in college and the ones still there. I sent a few of the guys an email before their first game just to wish them luck and let them know I was thinking about them even though I had my own freshman game to take care of. Sidenote- the freshmen really did take care against Washburn Rural (27-0) I definitely had nerves making the switch, you never really know how a new school and it’s students are going to take to you. I feel like West is going to be a great place for me for a very long time. Obviously I’m a teacher first, but this school is giving me all the opportunities to be successful in the classroom and as a coach. Do you incorporate coaching methods when you teach? The opposite actually… I feel like I use teaching methods when I coach. Since I’ve always seen myself as a student of the games; practice is a classroom. What is it like being a first year coach? Being a first year coach is always an interesting position. You’re trying to find your role and get used to the system, your coworkers, and your players all at the same time. Being that my primary responsibility right now is with the freshman it’s a little difficult because the upperclassmen haven’t had the chance to work with me yet. They’re probably skeptical, not sure what I know or what my approach is, but with time comes comfort .


sports 18{spotlight

Boys Soccer

Sports briefs by Derek Bullis

The BV West Jaguars are notorious for their impressive soccer teams and records. With an outstanding record of 20-1, a state championship in 2010, and another solid record of 10-5-1 in 2011, this year’s team has a lot to live up to. The soccer team is unusual compared to most years, because they are a team with a lot of new players. This is a big change because they have graduated a lot of seniors in the past two years. This year the boys soccer team will need to step up and play as a team to be successful. “We definitely aren’t the biggest or strongest team but we do have a lot of good technical players and we have the ability to pass and keep possession,” senior Alex Brivik said. This year’s team motto is “Work Hard, Play Hard” and they have certainly showed it so far, there is no indication of them stopping. The work ethic of these boys is not one to be questioned when compared to other schools. “The Varsity team has done an excellent job showing the underclassmen how to work hard,” Head Coach Alex Aiman said. “We have all done well with the “all for one” team concept as well.” The “all for one” concept has been part of West soccer since the beginning. “We are either going to have to play well and win or don’t work together and lose.” Brivik said. Expectations are high as most years for BV West soccer team. “Our biggest expectation is to play attractive-good soccer and if we do, “winning” will take care of itself,” Coach Aiman said.


The BV West boy’s soccer team celebrates after scoring a goal. Photo by Coleen Bost.

Girls Golf

After a very successful season of golf last year, the girl’s golf team is ready to get back on the course. They finished 3rd in the EKL and Regionals, and also finished 7th in State. Seniors Alexa Henderson, Kelsey Kuehn, and Whitney Harmon want another shot at state this year. Nothing is easy though, as the Jaguars graduated a lot of seniors last year. “We are very young this year and need some youngsters to improve quickly to help this team,” Coach John Rost said. “This group has worked extremely hard at practice, they take care of each other and get along very well.” Practice makes perfect and this team has worked extremely hard to get better as players and as a team, practicing at Iron Horse and St. Andrews. This hard work won’t just be for them but it will be reflected in their tournaments. This year, the girls golf team has some big tournaments to look forward to, including The Lawrence Invitational and The Lawrence Free State Individual. Also at the end of the season, they have the EKL tournament, regionals, and State, which will the most important of them all. As much as golf is based on the individual, these girls play for each other and the team. The girl’s golf team has a lot to look forward to. They will be striving to be the best they can be and helping the team out.

“The hallmarks of the BV West volleyball program are tradition, teamwork, and integrity,” Varsity Head Coach Terry Flynn said. This quote is part of every BV West Jaguars volleyball team and is very much apart of this team. With seniors Natalie Bates, who committed to Washburn, and Maggie Highberger, who committed to Pitt State leading the way this year they should have a very successful season. They will also be receiving great help from returning starters Brooke Cousin, Meme Fletcher, and Taylor Lake. “This is the first time in school history that two freshmen have made varsity at the same time.” Junior Meme Fletcher said. The Varsity squad ended the season last year with a record of 25 wins and 15 losses and finished fifth in state. “Our goal is to get back to the State finals,” head coach Terry Flynn said. “The team is working very hard in practice and we have stepped up the pace, along with the expectations for each practice.” There seems are no signs of the team giving up. To show off all of their hard work and determination these girls have put in at practice, they will be playing at tournaments in areas such as Maize, Ottawa, and Manhattan. West needs to show their support and encouragement to all of our volleyballs girls by coming out and watching them play.

Senior Natalie Bates extends her arm to try and reach the ball. Photo by Coleen Bost.

Football The BV West football is starting off their season with a 2-0 record. They are already looking better than last year because they have a strong team. “We are taking this season week by week,” junior Cale McMakin said. “Our team is focusing on the next team and trying to get better everyday.” The team has been working hard all summer long, and went to various camps to improve. “This team is not like any other team,” senior Nadir Zayyad said. “We have an amazing camaraderie and will always have each others backs.” The BV West football team has not won a state title since 2008, but that could change. “Being a senior makes me want to leave the team with something to the program,” said senior Conley Wilkins. “At the least, I would like to get to the playoffs, and the only way we can do that is helping each other out during practice and games.” So far the team looks like they are doing pretty well. Bishop Miege and Blue Valley will be West football’s biggest competition, seeing as they have lost to them the past three years. “Miege and Blue Valley are good teams,” Wilkins said. “But just like our chant at school, I believe that we will win.” Looking like a strong, confident team, BV West football will be working harder and harder each day. Whether it’s grinding at the field or pumping iron in the gym, this year’s team will look better than any other year before. “My personal goal this year will be to not only improve myself,” McMakin said. “But to also improve my team with everything I got.” Although it is early in the season, West football looks like they will do better than ever.

Some senior boys pose for a picture at the BV West football game. Photo by Maddy Wilson.

Cross Country


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spotlight sports

Junior Ryan Ralston throws a pass. Photo by Elise St. Louis.

Girls Tennis The BV West girls’ tennis team has been great so far. At the beginning of the season, they had an upset against St. Thomas Aquinas. They won 8 matches and only lost one. “This was a great start to the year,” sophomore Katie Fries said. “We usually never beat them but this time we did.” Practicing since the week before school, the girls have been working on their technique and conditioning. The players have been taking lessons and doing tournaments in order to prepare for the up coming season. There are fun and important tournaments that the team looks forward to each year. One of those tournaments is the Plaza tournament, which takes place at the Plaza. The BV West girl’s tennis team will play many schools at these tournaments. Their biggest competition will be Shawnee Mission East and Blue Valley North. “They are always close matches whenever we play them,” Fries said. “It’s fun to go up against them because they are one of our rivals and it’s always an exciting game to be apart of.” This year, the girls’ tennis team is looking to try and win state in both doubles and singles. Coming close to that goal last year, singles came in 9th and doubles came in 4th. The girls’ tennis team will be practicing hard every day to reach that goal. Starting off the season strong, they are willing to conquer each team and become the best girls tennis team in the state.

The Blue Valley West Jaguar cross-country team has been running every day since this past summer to prepare for the season. All runners are training themselves every practice to develop their endurance and strength. “My goal is to better my time in every race this year,” senior Andrea Rock said. “I believe I will achieve this goal especially with all the support of my teammates.” The cross-country team is always running together, rain or shine. Encouraging each other to keep going if one person is falling behind, the Blue Valley West cross-country team always has each other backs. The team develops their relationship with team dinners before races and they also take a trip to Colorado during the summer where they do team building activities with each other. Looking forward to the season, all the runners are preparing themselves for big events like KU Rim Rock. Their main competition is against St. Thomas Aquinas and Blue Valley Northwest. “We are always head to head with them,” Rock said. “I am always excited to race against them because they are such a challenge.” With the boys winning in the Wichita State Gold Classic, and the girls receiving runner up in the same event, they are hoping to achieve a higher goal. All the runners would like for the team to place in EKL and hopefully win state. “State is the main thing I am really looking forward to,” sophomore Stuart McNutt said. “I am running harder each day so I can accomplish my goal.” A few members of the BV West cross country team run together. Photo by Coleen The Blue Valley West cross-country team is off to a good start. They took 3rd in Wichita and 7th in Warrensberg. Everyone on the team is hoping for a fantastic season and they Bost. are always trying to go for gold.

Sports briefs by Connor McGovern


opinion 20{spotlight

Battle of the

john wilson


Abbey fiser

Students at BV West debate which smartphone is smarter


n society today, there are iPhones everywhere. I look around and see fifth graders texting back and forth on the newest technology. Although it seems ridiculous and unnecessary, the iPhone has more practical uses than one would think and, in my opinion, is by far the best phone. Most parents like to keep tabs on their children. With the iPhone, you are able to track the device, which lets you know where your child is located at all times. I know as a parent I would be upset if I spent $300 plus on a phone and it turned up lost. Luckily, there is an app that can detect where you iPhone is and who has it. It’s so advanced that you could literally track someone to their exact location and take your phone from his or her hand. Not only can you seek revenge for a stolen phone, but you can keep yourself busy for days with entertaining apps. Apps are constantly being added and updated on the iTunes store, which is easily accessible on an iPhone. This enables you to download your favorite apps with just the touch of your fingers. Today, new and popular apps such as Instagram allow you to add photos of where you are and who you are with on the go. Also, the Twitter app is advanced and easy to use. If you

aren’t into social networking, there are also games like Angry Birds and Temple Run to fill time at the airport or during a lengthy car ride. Aside from games, it’s also very simple to download movies and TV shows to waste time. The iPhone dominates all other phones because it is great for all situations. It works well if you ever get caught in an awkward situation at one time or another. The games, music, and mobile downloads are always a wonderful distraction to keep yourself busy and undercover. On the contrary, though, it can also keep you very “uncovered.” Say you take a hiking trip up to the brisk mountains of Colorado and find yourself lost in the woods; you can always use the map on your phone to guide you back home. It’s always accurate and isn’t hard to use. Even though the iPhone is more expensive than other cellular devices on the market, it is worth the price in the long run. As a witness from both ends of the spectrum I used to jump from phone to phone trying to find one that would last me more than a year. Now with the bittersweet feeling of paying for an iPhone myself, I have kept it in tact for three years with my indestructible otterbox case. Basically, team iPhone is the way to go.

-John Wilson



he apparent verdict is that the iPhone is the king of cell phones. However, I personally think that BlackBerrys and Android phones are much better. They are cheaper and have much more durable styles. The iPhone has taken over BV West, but why? The iPhone came out in June 2007, and it has since boomed in popularity. The first BlackBerry smart phone was released in 1999. I think that experience pays off in the long run; BlackBerrys style is sleek and tough. This summer I left my BlackBerry in the rain for four hours. I let it dry off and sit for several days, and it turned on perfectly. Definitely not the case with the iPhone. My friends got splashed from a pool, and the speakers broke. Aside from being durable, the Android’s Google Play has almost 15,000 free apps while the iTunes store has just above 10,000. Why would you rather pay for an app? The cheapest, up-to-date iPhones (with a needed upgrade) are $200. You can find fully functioning Android phones for less than $50. BlackBerrys are also more cost efficient and in more than one way. BlackBerry has an app store with thousands of apps that are free. They are smaller than the iPhone, and I think that they are easier to handle. The keyboard is better than most phones, and it’s not a touchscreen so you don’t have to worry about constant smudges or the risk of

cracking. While the iPhone has many tips and tricks, the BlackBerry keeps it simple. There aren’t any special buttons. There also isn’t one button with confusing combinations; the BlackBerry has five buttons that do all the work. Now, I know that every phone company claims that they have their own technology that separates them from everyone else. In theory, the iPhone is maybe a “splitsecond” faster than a BlackBerry or one of the low-end Androids, but it doesn’t make a big difference. All smartphones do the same things, and that is why I would pick the less expensive, more durable phone. If I had a phone like the iPhone, I would have too much to worry about. With my BlackBerry, I can set it on my lap, and when I get out of the car, I could care less if it goes straight to the concrete. You can buy a phone case for iPhones that make them “indestructible,” but $50 isn’t worth it to me. My phone has been through a meat cutter (figuratively), and I feel like it still works perfectly. Personally the only problem with it I have ever had is finding a phone charger for it, considering every one of my friends have iPhones. I personally love my phone because I can be a little careless sometimes, and it has held up through some pretty tough falls and storms. I don’t think that I would trade it in to be a part of the bandwagon.

-Abbey Fiser

To Do Or Not To Do


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spotlight opinion Students question the worth of summer reading projects LAUREN PINO

Section Editor tudents in Honors or Advanced Placement Communications Arts (and a couple of other classes, like AP European History) know that summer reading is a given. Students are typically assigned two books to read over the summer for Honors Communication Arts I and II and AP English Language (AP CA III) and three books for AP English Literature (AP CA IV). They are also projects and assignments that go along with the reading. As such, students do not want to get weeks behind in the class by not reading the books. However, it is becoming increasingly normal for students to skip reading the books altogether. SparkNotes, Wikipedia, and various other websites make it easy for students to get by without reading. Yet, teachers cannot just blame underachieving students and these readily available online resources for the lack of “readership” for summer books. The teachers may be most at fault. Spending a part of their summers bookmarking novels like Ayn Rand’s Anthem, Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince, or Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, some students go into class the first day ready to take a test, write an essay, or participate in a discussion about what they had read. However, their efforts are turning out to be meaningless because many teachers either simply accept the summer assignments without much—if any—discussion or give an essay prompt that


does not require knowing the events of the novel, such as a “Rhetorical Analysis” essay in an AP CA III or AP CA IV class. Having their effort and time wasted effectively deters students from reading at all and pushes them to use their time for something more important to them instead, putting off summer reading is going to become a habit; the students will keep avoiding it again each summer because there basically is no point in spending time on something you would not get rewarded for doing. When they get to college, this habit is going to cause them a lot of trouble and could really put a dent in their grade. Depending on their career, if they cannot finish their assignments within a certain time limit or have never read an important manual they were given, they could even get fired. This is a very pessimistic way of looking at students not completing summer reading, but it is definitely not an impossible scenario. All the skills that we learn as students will follow us through college and through our careers, so if summer reading is supposed to be helping us practice skills that we will need, then there should be more motivation and purpose put into the summer reading assignment. The teachers need to be the ones to give summer reading more purpose or simplify the assignment. If teachers gave students worksheets that they needed to fill out while reading and that were due on the first day of class, students would definitely be more likely to ac-

tually read the book. Having a test or essay that requires in-depth knowledge of the plot, characters, and themes within the first few days could also motivate students to read. Maybe having a comprehensive project that students have to work on in the summer could be a good idea. At the very least, there should always be a group/ class discussion or a Socratic Seminar on the novel, in which each student must participate in some way. If none of these things can be accomplished in any way, shape, or form, maybe the summer reading concept should be changed to “this summer, read a book, any book, as long as you can write an essay that proves that you have read the book,” and if even that does not get students reading, then the students are fully at fault, and we should all be alarmed that BV West students cannot manage to read a single book in a course of about ten weeks. Disregarding the dismal, drastic, but hopefully unlikely, outcomes that I just explained, teachers need to get students reading the assigned books in the summer by rewarding their hard work instead of allowing and even motivating the habit of not doing the reading to continue. Sure, the solution might be giving students more homework over the summer, which teachers and students may not like, but the goal is to encourage students to read and enrich their education, so teachers need to do something, plan something, or create something that can become the much needed incentive to motivate students to read the appointed summer novels.

Assigned Books The Communication Arts Department requires students in honors classes to read at least two books over the summer. 9th Grade Of Mice and Men Anthem 10th Grade Things Fall Apart 1 selection from a list of non-fiction 11th Grade A Prayer for Owen Meany 1 selection from a list 12th Grade Life of Pi 2 selection from a list


opinion 22{spotlight

Mix d Signals

Mitchell birD

eMily Moore


Rebel’s message potentially being mistaken for another

You made someone’s day just by coming today” were the words on just one of the many sticky notes put on student lockers all around the school. According to the note’s signatures, they were the work of the new Rebel club. Rebel is a club designed to raise self-esteem, not only for the club members but also for all West students. So, as the club is meant to build self-esteem, it is completely normal for them to post motivational signs around the school. However, the strange thing is not the signs themselves, it is where they are being placed. The signs are being placed over other posters in the cafeteria. The newly changed lunch system is centered around health and developing good eating habits. So naturally, there are posters on healthy eating in the cafeteria. Those posters seem to have become the new locale for the motivating Rebel signs. The Rebel signs talk about how everyone should be comfortable with their size and shape, no one should feel uncomfortable with themselves. The idea of the signs is exactly what the club seems to be shooting for: motivational. However, putting the signs up over the healthy eating signs can easily send the wrong message. When the signs that tell students not to worry about their weight are covering the posters that encourage healthy eating, it makes it seem like

Danielle JacobSon

Assistant News Editor and Managing Editor

healthy eating is not important. Many of the Rebel signs have been taken down because of this. While it is important to emphasize that body image is not important, it is also important to be healthy. To be healthy does not always mean to be on a diet or to be trying to lose weight, the important thing about being healthy is that it keeps your body in good condition internally. The difference is key. So even though the school put up posters encouraging healthy eating, that doesn’t mean the school is trying to make people feel bad about themselves. Rebel calls a new light to the healthy eating posters, and not a flattering one either. It makes the healthy eating posters seem bad when, in reality, the message that they carry is just as vital as the one on the Rebel signs. Neither deserves the spotlight and both should be able to hang. All in all, the Rebel signs are encouraging and an inspiring idea to nudge students toward loving who they are. However, I do think their signs are in the wrong place. Students can love who they are and make healthy choices at the same time and it is a little extreme to say otherwise. No one should have to choose between confidence and health, as both are important.

Juggalos at West New group being stereotyped as harmful


hen you hear the word “Juggalo,” you might imagine a man with scary clown makeup listening to The Insane Clown Posse. Let me take a second to inform you of what a Juggalo really is; A Juggalo is someone who listens to horror-core rap music produced by Psychopathic Records. As of late, there has been a trend popping up around BV West of students considering themselves Juggalos. There’s no surprise surrounding that, high school is a time of exploration of new interests. Now, of course there are going to be stereotypes surrounding any specific group of people. Although Juggalos listen to what most people would consider violent music, by no means are the lyrics meant to be taken seriously. Just like all rap genres, it’s about how the lyrics flow with the beat,not about the meaning. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every rapper raps about meaningless things. Yet, I think we can all agree that there are some songs out there that were only written to match the beat. Recently, there has been controversy in the news because the FBI has said if you consider yourself a Juggalo, you’re in a gang. Just because you’re a Juggalo doesn’t mean you’re in a gang. Many harmless fans of this music are being thrown in the same category as real organized gangs. This basically means is that if you’re found committing a crime and you are considered a Juggalo, you can be slapped with a much harsher punishment. That doesn’t seem very fair, especially if the crime isn’t even gang related.


“We are hearing too many stories from our fans about the trouble [being on the FBI list is] causing them,” said Insane Clown Posse member, Shaggy 2 Dope in regards to the topic. “Just because you like a music group, doesn’t make you a criminal.” I couldn’t agree more. I wouldn’t want to be grouped in with the Westboro Baptist Church because I was a Baptist, just like I wouldn’t want to be grouped into a gang because I was a Juggalo. No matter the group, there will always be some crazies. That doesn’t mean that the entire group of people should be labeled. “When I think of a gang, it’s about criminal activity and things like that,” said BV West principal Dr. Lake. “I think that people can have a close group of friends and have the same interests and not being a gang.” There’s no denying it: artists want to feel closer to their fans. Yeah, sure, there are some musicians that only care about the money and fame, and not about their fans. But then again, do people like that even have fans? It’s just like how if you follow Waka Flocka Flame on twitter, whenever you open the page, you’ll see him tweeting or retweeting his fans. Some artists, such as Mod Sun do live Internet shows once a week or so. It’s all about getting close to the people that get close to you. And that would be the exact reason some artists take to calling their fans certain names. It’s almost like being in a clique at school, whether you’re a goth, jock, or nerd, you’re part of a certain group of people. When you turn on your music everyday, you’re a part of a certain artist’s fan base. Justin Bieber calls his fans Bieliebers, One Direction calls their fans Directioners. Late Nite Reading calls their fans Squidheads, and Insane Clown Posse calls their fans Juggalos. If you look at it that way, being a Juggalo doesn’t sound so harmful, does


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spotlight opinion

Bye Bye, Birdie I

n yet another controversial decision, the Blue Valley School district has blocked Twitter. We groaned when they blocked Youtube—cringed when they blocked Facebook, but it seems the blocking of twitter is the final straw. We as students have been pushed over the edge, and the district needs to understand why this decision is harmful to us and our education. Social media is important. Looking back on the past year, with important movements like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, Twitter has become one of the most significant outlets for expressing opinions. In school, you would think that an outlet with such a vast amount of information would be vital to our education. It is imperative that we as students, who are growing up in the 21st century, learn how to utilize all of the resources we have in order to learn and progress our knowledge. After all, no one recommends checking only one source. What’s important about using social media as a resource is that things are updated by the second; not to mention, many important figures such as Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and Bill Gates are active on Twitter. There isn’t a much better way to learn than directly from the source. Aside from the fact that the decision is most definitely a poor one, the timing is also something that has turned out to be catastrophic. If the district is going to block Twitter, regardless of out protests, then why would they choose to do it during an election year? Election years are among the most important times for not only the general population but for the students, especially since many of us seniors are able to vote this year. If the school district is concerned enough to have a class at BV West dedicated entirely to the election, it should make sense that Twitter would be able to be accessed during this time. Being informed is one of the most important characteristics that someone can have; in order to be educated, we must be informed, and in our opinion, to be informed we must be able to access all resources at all times—including Twitter. Many teachers and administrators will agree that social media is beneficial to our knowledge. Here at BV West, many teachers have even embraced the new way of sharing information and joined Twitter to help their students. We are sure that anyone in Mrs. Culp’s AP US History class last year would agree to the fact that

Spotlight is printed nine times a year for the students and the BV West community. Its goals are to inform, entertain, and interpret through editorials and bylined articles and to provide an open forum for communication for students and faculty members. Spotlight aims to be fair, accurate and impartial. The content of this publication is determined by its student editors and may contain controversial subject matter. Spotlight does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the faculty adviser, the administration of Blue Valley West, or USD 229. ONLINE at

Reporters: Derek Bullis, Abbey Fiser, Jourdan Gish, Cheyenne Jones, Taylor Lake, Calvin Lee, Connor McGovern, Kate Price, Jack Rogoz IV, Harrison Whitney, Ryan Williams, John Wilson

the Culp’s class Twitter account helped. It helped with studying, and, more importantly to some, it kept them up to date on when assignments were due and when tests and quizzes were. Even Mr. Stuewe has jumped on the Twitter wagon—he often posts educational articles used to further the knowledge of his students. Not everything can be covered in class, and a student is much more likely to read something educational off of Twitter than if it were emailed to them. Besides, I think we all know we check Twitter and Facebook much more often than our school emails. The real emotion many of us are feeling concerning this decision is confusion. There seems to be no valid reason why the Blue Valley School district would find it acceptable to block Twitter. In this day in age, it’s safe to say that the majority of students have smartphones; whether it’s an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry, almost all of us have the ability to surf the web whenever we please. It would seem that the decision the district has made to block twitter only forces us to be more sneaky—we’re only blocked when we are connected to the school Wifi network, and we can promise you that most of us simply utilize 3G or 4G. By blocking Twitter, all the district has done is pushed us into hiding our phones under our desks, or in our backpacks so that we can update ourselves with the information we so intently desire. It would make more sense for the district to encourage us using Twitter under their watchful eye—as opposed to using their iron grip to distance us from it. Fortunately for CAPS students, they are allowed to access Twitter and Facebook. But, CAPS isn’t any better or more educational than what we are doing here in the halls of BV West. It makes no sense for them to deserve some sort of special treatment; in reality, all of us can benefit from social networking. It is an important outlet that should be utilized by everyone in this day in age—not just those students who enroll in special programs. All in all, the decision to block Twitter is harmful. It harms our education—something that should be considered valuable to those who work with an affiliation to a school, or attend one. We need Twitter to stay informed and updated; blocking it is only going to hinder our learning and our sense of working and functioning in the real world.

-Staff Editorial

Photojournalists: Coleen Bost, Lea Puech


Photo Editor: Elise St. Louis Web Master: Danielle Jacobson

Assistant News Editor: Mitchell Bird Section Editors: Katherine Byrket, Emily Binshtok, Jacob Paschal, Lauren Pino

Business Managers: Emily Binshtok, Tomos Ridenhour Adviser: Debbie Glenn

Managing Editor: Emily Moore Online Editors in Chief: Abby Krstulic, Tucker Paine Editors in Chief: Meghan Ketcham, Maddy Wilson

Blue Valley West High School 16200 Antioch Road Overland Park, Kan. 66085 Advertising: (913) 239-3904 Fax: (913) 239-3880 Adviser: (913) 239-3730


Kansas Scholastic Press Association


National Scholastic Press Association


Columbia Scholastic Press Association

PACEMAKER WINNER National Scholastic Press Association


photo essay 24{spotlight

2 1 1 1

2 1

1:Sophomore Matt Ketcham asked Sophomore Kyley Photos by Meghan Ketcham

Photos by Elise St. Louis 3: -


Photos courtesy of Henry Martin and Morgan Mobley.



Design by: Elise St. Louis


Teenage Dreams Jaguars think of creative ways to ask dates to homecoming

Staff Picks What is the best way you could be asked to a dance?


“On the local news.” -Maddy W. “They should have me play the game Zap and write homecoming with (insert name) ? on my palm.”- Emily B. “Fireworks.”- Abby K. “Spell it out using chocolate bars.”-Katherine B. “FOOOOOOODDDDDD..... or maybe a magazine.” - Meghan K.


“Something in front of A LOT of people.”- Tucker P.

BVW Spotlight September Edition  

BVW Spotlight September