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Framework for the Future

fitness forward

an odyssey adventure

a Passion for people


InsideWEST FEATURES

7

Fitness Forward

A Student Athlete’s Lifelong Commitment

8

Passion for People Academic Achievement

11

Experience

12

Stepping Up

15

The Road to Odyssey of the Mind

16

Spotlights

18

Posts of Editions Past

Pride of the Mountain Pro-Views SADD Students Share Support Blending Creativity with the Sciences Applauding West Students

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scenes behind the

Kim Mancini

Paul Steinruck

Writers and Photographers

Kristi Jones

Caroline Weirich

Joe Romano

Jamie Conlin

Julia Julia Rogers Rogers

r ou f o t ar p Be

team

Contact Kim Mancini KMancini@PMSD.org 4

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fitness

FORWARD

Focus on West Football’s Lawson Bray By Caroline Weirich Photo by Joe Romano

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take [and] practice makes perfect,” are words Pocono Mountain West Varsity Football Quarterback, Lawson Bray, has lived by his entire life. Lawson has been exposed to sports, fitness, and competition ever since he was young. At the age of four, the West Junior began playing football with the area’s local organization, YAPM (Youth Association of Pocono Mountain). He continued with this program until reaching the 8th grade when he joined Pocono Mountain West Junior High School’s football team. Throughout Lawson’s years of YAPM, he won two Super Bowls and three conference championships; but his involvement with the organization did not end here. He is now a coach and an inspiration for his little brother Ryder’s team where he was able to apply years of experience to guide the team to a conference championship.

Pounce 5K at Tobyhanna Elementary Center for eight years, winning in his age group every year. The past two years, he actually won the whole race! All these factors have contributed to Lawson’s success as the Varsity Quarterback. He was able to reach the achievement of throwing 1,000 passing yards in a single season and was unfortunately just short of bringing the team to district playoffs. “This was just a minor setback that is going to lead to a major comeback for us next year,” he said.

ness t i f h t u Yo p h y s ic a l

offers n o t o n ly b e n e f it s l a n io t o tal & em f but men pattern o g n lo e f li it s s e t t in g a a lt h y h a b e h & g w e ll - b e in ro

Parent t s e W from ay A P o in t Tara Br tor

“Playing football since I was little has allowed me to get better and find a spot on the varsity team,” he said. Not only did Lawson play the sport when he was younger; he was also an active participant in his mother’s fitness class commenting on the experience he explained, “With my mom being a fitness instructor, I learned to be active and enjoy working out.” Adding, “When you’re a little kid, you have so much energy and have fun with stuff like that.” His mom also frequently runs 5Ks within the community and gets the rest of the family to participate too. Lawson has been running the Panther

& P

struc n e s s In it F p u Gro in e r nal Tra & Perso

Vowing, “We’re determined to put in lots of work in the off season to be successful next year.”

As Lawson approaches his senior year, he hopes to continue to get better and improve his skills in order to again attain the accomplishment of 1,000 passing yards focused on leading his team to the district playoffs. Goals that are obtainable for Lawson and Pocono Mountain West High School’s Panther football team because after all, “Practice makes perfect.” Winter 2019

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n o i s Pas

for

Pocono Mountain West has such a diverse high school. Quite a few of our students stand out with special talents, achieve academic excellence, or excel as naturally talented athletes. One of our academically excellent and well-rounded students is Stephanie Pavlasky. Stephanie is President of Student Council at Pocono Mountain West High School and is driven academically. Asking the West senior... “What are your long range and short range goals and objectives?” She answers... “Short-term-- graduating… making it through senior year, the Long-term- becoming a research pharmacist that will save lives and give back to people.” “What motivates you to put your great effort forward?” “The energy from friends and family. They give great energy by pushing me to be my best and

8

COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION

POCONO MOUNTAIN WEST HIGH SCHOOL

e l p o e P s By Kristi Jone Romano e Jo by to Pho

are excited by seeing me achieve great things.” “How would you describe yourself?” “Busy but constantly motivated. I like to say I’m pretty self-determined so taking on a lot of responsibility has become a part of my personality.” “As the President of the Student Council what roles do you take on?” “I take on a lot of behind the scenes jobs. My main role is overseeing our many different committees (Reps, Prom, School Events, and Community Service) and helping out wherever I’m needed,” adding, “My job is to know everything that the Student Council is working on and provide support to every member.” It’s astonishing that a student can maintain good grades, work diligently as Student Council President, and never lose focus on the future. This is why Stephanie is a Polestar Panther. Her character and motivation excels Stephanie in everything she does.

Winter 2019


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S

tepping Up

Stepping up to make a difference across the district, Pocono Mountain West High School SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) has positioned themselves as mentors encouraging elementary and upper classmen to take a stand against drinking, drug abuse and bullying. Evolved from Students Against Drinking and Driving, nowadays the nationwide program expands dedication to explaining how to avoid hazardous situations. “I’m just the advisor,” smiles West coordinator and educator for nearly 20 years Paul Steinruck, explaining the student driven program enables partici-

pants to expand their own ideas to better reach their age level. Encouraging students to “Make a difference one kid at a time,” the group works closely with area agencies including emergency responders, like Pocono Mountain Regional Police, who see first-hand the tragic results destructive decisions like texting or drinking and driving can make. “You don’t have to make destructive decisions to be cool or because other kids are doing it,” stresses Pocono Mountain Regional Police and West High School Resource Officer Jason Wile.

Experience How Now with a View into

2017 Mock Crash Footage 12

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Winter 2019

Applauding the effort, he adds, “Being able to work directly with the students in SADD, I have seen first-hand how it has brought kids from all different backgrounds together this is truly a great group for PMSD to have.” Coordinating events, like Safety Bug set for April 29 and Mock Crash May 17, closely with responders and agencies this Spring; the service organization continues successfully sharing experiences. Dedicated to gravitating students toward making the right choices, each learns their voice is what can make a difference.

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The

Road

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dyssey

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By Jamie Conlin Contributor Dr. Catherine Sweeney Photo by Joe Romano

At Pocono Mountain West High School, Odyssey of the Mind has been a staple among the numerous clubs offered since its start. In this activity, students are challenged with finding innovative ways to solve a variety of complex problems. They then take on teams from schools at three different competition levels: Regional, State, and World. Born out of the innovative teachings of its founder, Dr. C. Samuel Micklus in the 1970’s; the Rowan University educator challenged Industrial Design students to use creativity to solve unique problems. Today, despite the competitive nature of this international contest, it continues to promote the value of teamwork. Seven members all contribute their efforts to one goal–coming to the most creative conclusion. Advanced planning skills, performance, design, and problem solving are only some of the many elements involved to make this happen. Involved more than 10 years as coordinator, Pocono Mountain School District Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Catherine Sweeney reminds, “In Odyssey of the Mind students learn at a young age skills that will last a lifetime.” Adding experience achieved she lists the important skills gained as follows: participants work in teams learning cooperation and respect for the ideas of others; idea evaluation and independent decision making; greater self-confidence and increased self-esteem along the way. Working within a budget, teaches money management. With more than one way to solve a problem, proves the process is sometimes more important than the end result. “Rewarding teams for how they apply knowledge, skills and talents rather than coming up with the right answer,” she explains, “In Odyssey of the Mind problems there isn’t one right answer.” Hosting the Regional Competition 11 years and States’ 4 years, Pocono Mountain School District welcomes participants and guests back March 9, where thousands of students and their families will visit West High School to compete in the Northeast Pennsylvania regional level competition. April 6, Pocono Mountain School Disrict will host the Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind Tournament on its Swiftwater campus then successful participants head off to the 2019 World Competition at Michigan State University. Encouraging our community to come support all PMSD teams comes with the reason to will enjoy a variety of vibrant performances where students push the boundaries of the imagination. Winter 2019 POCONO MOUNTAIN WEST HIGH SCHOOL

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Ishyne Pilgrim

Hunter Porcano

In many Pocono Mountain West student’s eyes, they see Ishyne Pilgrim as our star basketball player. Practice makes perfect and Ishyne has put in the practice hours necessary to get where he is today.

Hunter Porcano isn’t your average student. Hunter is involved in so many things everywhere she goes. Here at the Pocono Mountain West High School, she is the Student Council Vice President. This role is very important, and also very time consuming.

By Julia Rogers Photo by Joe Romano

Ishyne started playing basketball in fourth grade and when he came to high school he admits Coach Richard Williams pushed him to help him be what he is today. Coach Williams really helped Ishyne by being tough and constantly pushing him. Ishyne has faith in his team. Some say basketball this year won't even compare to last, with them making it to the second round of districts and the second round of states, he wants to prove them wrong, predicting boys basketball won't only win districts; but, they will also come through and win states. With how highly Ishyne talks about his team, and the expectations we all have for West sports, we know that boys basketball will pull through this year.

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COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION

By Caroline Weirich Photo by Joe Romano

Hunter states, “I love representing my school and improving the climate.” Adding, “It also gives me great leadership experience.” Hunter also has a small lead in the school musical, Grease. She mentions,“The musical is always such a great and fun experience.” Along with these very big responsibilities, she participates in Science Olympiad, other engineering competitions, and Odyssey of the Mind. Hunter placed third at a computer programming competition called CodeJam earlier this year. She has also advanced to the Odyssey of the Mind state finals in 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.

POCONO MOUNTAIN WEST HIGH SCHOOL

Winter 2019


“Science Olympiad and Odyssey of the Mind allow me to progress my math and technology skills,” she says. Adding, “I love technology and engineering so this is always fun to learn.” Besides activities in school, Hunter participates and volunteers in many organizations in the community. She also takes classes at the Reach For The Stars dance studio four times a week. Classes she participates in at the studio include ballet, tap, modern, jazz, musical theater, and acro. Not only does Hunter dance at the studio, she also volunteers there as an assistant teaching young girls ballet and tap. Every week she helps in their class and gets them ready for their show. Plus, Hunter is a part of the Monroe Ballet Theater and puts on a performance of The Nutcracker every Christmas. Hunter’s volunteering does not end at the studio; she volunteers at Tobyhanna Elementary Center with their PTO events whenever she can. She helps run Tricky Trays, Fall Festivals, and meetings. Hunter said she also loves running 5Ks to support the community such as the Scarecrow Run and Girls on the Run. A very interesting addition to Hunter’s life is that she is an ambassador for Discount Dance Warehouse. This consists of her promoting the store and wearing their dance clothes. If you thought that was a lot, here’s a little more! Together with all of these wonderful things, Hunter has a part time job as a lifeguard at Lake Naomi Pools. In the future, Hunter plans to go to college and study computer engineering. She aspires to attend Drexel, Georgia Tech, or Virginia Tech. She hopes to one day run a software company of her own. Hunter said, “I love engineering but also talking with people and leading [so]. I hope to combine the two skills in my future.” Pocono Mountain West High School is very lucky to have a student like Hunter Porcano! She is so involved and dedicated to making West the greatest it can be. When asked, Hunter says her favorite thing about West was, “West is such a lively school. There are so many different types of people and cultures.” Concluding, “People are so involved in all different areas and I find it so cool. I’ve walked into many different high schools but ours [West] is by far the most energized. I love West for that.”

Winter 2019 POCONO MOUNTAIN WEST HIGH SCHOOL

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ON THE RIGHT TRACk Extracurricu

Spri ng 2017

lars offer opportunity

of

EDITIONSPAST Students participating in HYPED™ take part in one of the many opportunities for hands-on experiences in television commercial production, live radio broadcasts, and Spring and Fall school magazine publication. Explore past editions of West HYPED™ magazines. See inviting views program details, clubs, plus, standout students and faculty. Join in school spirit initiatives inviting the community to be a part of Pocono Mountain School District Pride athletic competitions, theater productions and events featuring experienced talented students.

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Sharing

POCONO MOUNTAIN WEST HIGH SCHOOL

MUSIC TO MY PEERS

A look at the Arts

Mak ing a musi cal Mak ing friends

2017-18

SPIRIT

BAND ToGEThER March to a Creative Beat

checkout participant’s views of the COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION

FALL/WIN TER

School

Show ThE wRITE STuf f

Students start a Creative Writ ing Cont

est

Take Your Pick & Click the cover of Each West Past Edition

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IMAGINATION STARTS

Club skills to fill any Career Criteria

Winter 2019

TAKE PRIDE

Sharing a Triumph Distr ictwide

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ing 20 18 Spr Ed itio n

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Pocono Mountain School District West High School HYPED Winter Edition 2019  

Experience another phenomenal edition of HYPED magazine created by and about Pocono Mountain West High School! This hands-on opportunity cel...

Pocono Mountain School District West High School HYPED Winter Edition 2019  

Experience another phenomenal edition of HYPED magazine created by and about Pocono Mountain West High School! This hands-on opportunity cel...