Page 1

A Publication of West High School

Vol. 1 Issue 1

Misunderstood Teens No Time to Rush Page 29

Rush to learn the Rushing ways of Faternities Page 26

We are West 21, 27, 37, 43,49

17 37 18 0911 05 11 09 15 19 32 35 01

What’s Happening @ West By The Compass Staff

Bleacher Crreatures By Keri Beaudrie

Dancing Kings By The Compass Staff




A Publication of West High School Traverse City West High 5376 North Long Lake Road Traverse City, MI 49685-8217 (231) 933-7500

07 14 23

26 29 34 39 41 45 48 51 53

Raging at the Rallies By Abbey Fashbaugh

Making the Change By Ashley Zeits

One Less Present By Paige Austin

No Time to Rush By Sam Yancho

Misunderstood Teens By Sabrina Brooks

Made with Whole Grain By Jessy Darrow

Life Battles

By Abby Fashbaugh

Titan Football By Matt Kirky

Foriegn Language By Ashley Zeits

Raising a Child By Trisha Bawal

Cheerleading By Megan Bezemek

Model United Nations By Sam Yancho

We are West


By Trisha Bawal

Dancing with the Stars By Paide Austin

Just Desserts By Liam Curtis

Bucket Brigade By The Compass Staff

Staff Bios


21, 27, 37, 43, 49

On the Cover: The Bleacher Creatures cheer on the Titans as a football game against Canada at Thirlby Field Photo: Laura Muzzarelli

Me et t he St a f f Ariana Burk

Taeler Aspenleiter


Writer/Photographer/ Layout Editor

I am so excited to have the privilege of being the editor for The Compass. When I graduate I hope to pursue a career in medicine along with journalism. Telling stories is a way to open so many doors and opportunities. Once someone hears the triumphs and trials others face, they will realize they can connect with the world.

I am a Senior at TC West Senior High. I absolutely love journalism and design because I am able to tell stories others might not be able to tell by themselves. This is my this is my third year in yearbook and I hope to get a degree in English and Graphic Design. I plan on attending Central Michigan University in the fall.

Steven Starlin

Paige Austin

Writer/Photographer/ Graphic Designer


I love talking to people so interviewing is one of my strengths. I’m super nice, and am willing to get to know anyone. I love taking pictures, photography is a passion of mine. I am wanting to go deeper into photojournalism. I do best with visual learning, and I’m just learning journalism. I’m excited to share my stories with my readers and West’s community.

I’m a professional graphics designer and I even started my own business. Because of my experience in graphic design, I began to print T-shirts with my templates on them. I plan on going into college for a Master’s Degree in Business. If you would like to order, please visit my blog at

Trisha Bawal


I am a very outgoing and athletic person. I love running and playing hockey. I’m not a very shy person, I like talking to people. Photography is a great strength of mine, photos are fun to take no matter what kind they are. Writing is one of the things I like to do. Writing kid stories are very especially interesting.

Megan Bezemek Writer /Photographer

I am a Junior at West I also am a cheerleader here. I’m not a shy person at all. I’ve made some wrong choices in like but that’s what makes me, me. I enjoy my life and where I am. My favorite color is blue and I love the taste of red. My life is mainly about cheerleading, family, and friends.

Keri Beaudrie


I am currently in West Senior Highs’ school newspaper and journalism class. I have taken photography for 3 years and photo journalism. I am also involved in web publishing. When I graduate I hope to become a photographer, it would be a good thing to take on in my life.

Allyson Bonnell


I am a Freshman at TC West Senior high. I play the flute for Concert and Marching band. I love animals, road trips and taking pictures. I am a Michigan fan, GO BLUE! When I graduate I wanna be in the Navy, a veterinarian, a model or a photographer. My favorite hobbies are listening to music and hanging out with my friends.

Staff Bios


Liam Curtis

Sabrina Brooks Writer/Photographer

My hobby is writing, it’s what I love to do in my free time. My favorite thing about journalism is writing. I like to write poems because they’re a good way of letting go of things. I believe paper is more patient then people.

I like to stay active and creative. In the summer I like to spend most of my time at the beach, and in the winter I drink hot coco. I have an amazing family that I wouldn’t trade for the world, which comes as a surprise to most considering my age but thats alright. I like telling stories but I want to learn how to do it better, and thats where this class comes in.


I am Sophomore at West Senior High. I love to play sports. My parents mean the world to me and i don’t know what I would do without them. I love going to new and exciting places. My favorite place to go is Alaska, you can do so much there. It is also one of the prettiest places i have been. I love hanging out with my friends and having tons of fun!

Kelsey McMinn

Matthew Kirkey Writer/Photographer

I am a sophmore at West Senior High School. I play football and baseballl. I enjoy playing sports, and hanging out with friends. I love the outdoors, if i could go hunting and fishing all day I probably would. I spend most of my summers at the beach with friends and hanging with my family.


I love to write stories about my life. I like to hang out with friends and chat on facebook. I am interested in journalism because I like to imagine ideas for what I would want to share with the world. Writing is my passion. When I have that passion, I know the world is limitless. I am a friendly person and love meeting new

Brandi Priante

Kaila Payne


I love sharks so much. I want to be a marine biologist when I get older. Weekends I spend laying on the couch watching football games. Animals are apart of me; Dogs and cats are my favorite onland animals. When I graduate I want to move to California and go to college. I also hate spiders and snakes. I just love being me.


Staff Bios

My interests are arts, singing, and sports. I am currently enrolled in a journalism class under the Tutelage of Mrs. Catherine Hansen. I enjoy taking photos and interviewing people of all different walks of life. I have a real passion for playing music and singing. I play guitar and my main influences are Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz.

Abbey Fashbaugh

Jessica Darrow Writer/Photographer



I am a sophomore at TC West High school. I love hanging out and having fun with my friends. They mean the world to me. I enjoy writing, music, and photography. I write about pretty much anything, it helps get my feelings out. Music is my way to escape the worry’s and stress of life. I’m really outgoing. I like to talk and laugh.

Tyler Russel


Sam Yancho

I am a freshman at west senior high school I have played acoustic guitar for 10 years I’m just now trying to start electric and in my spare time I practice basketball. I have played t-ball and pee wee baseball for 7 years. My dad coached all my teams. In the future I would like to pursue tattooing like my dad.

I have played Rugby for Alliance Rugby club as a Lock for five years. I spend my spare time at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,. A member of Traverse City West Senior High’s Model United Nations team, I am interested in international relations and plan to possibly pursue a career in that field sometime in the future.

Mrs. Hansen

Ashley Zeits


I am a freshman at Traverse City West. I love to do stuff with my friends and family. They are the most amazing people I know. They are definitely the most important thing in my life. I took yearbook this year because I thought it wold be a good experience, but I’ve realized it’s going to make me such a better writer, as a student, and a journalist.



I have been advising publications for nearly 10 years. I started as a yearbook advisor for the Maple Leaf yearbook in Adrian, Michigan. I have been the advisor for the West Odyssey yearbook since 2003 and The Compass online magazine since 2010. I have been taking master’s classes at MSU in journalism and also write for Families First magazine.

A let t e r f rom t he e d i t or. . . New beginnings can be scary, intimidating but most of all exciting. Here at The Compass, we are just starting our new beginning. This is our first on-line magazine for our school. We are so excited to have the opportunity to share the high school events that occur every day that may otherwise get ignored. For four years, students academically and mentally grow in one building. There are so many obstacles that students have to overcome and conquer, so many journeys to lead them toward their futures. Our goal is not only to capture life changing moments, but to inspire the community. Inspiration can come from an infinite number of places, and we hope to be one of those places. Our stories, told through photos and writing can be remembered for eternity. Students can relate to our stories and know that they are not alone. Don’t forget to check out our video stories and student blogs at our Compass blog site at Thank you for exploring our site and we hope you enjoy what we have created. Please let us know what you think of our new publication so we can grow and change with our student body. Enjoy the reading. By Ariana Burk

Staff Bios





Happening Where knowing and being known matter academics athletics clubs arts


Happening at West

Robotics Class

A new Robotics class will be offered in the second trimester. Students will build a robot about the size of a dishwasher to compete against other robots around the state. There are no prerequisites for the class, and students thinking about engineering who like to problem solve and work with their hands in a competitive environment will enjoy this class. Our robot will compete in two competitions. One will be in town and the other down state. Students will also make college visits to learn more about robotics at the college level. Students with a strong background in physics, computer programming, CAD, and problem solving would make great assets to our team. Please contact Mike Wilson to learn more about this class.

Phantom Comes to West

West will be the first school in Michigan to perform Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award winning musical, Phantom of the Opera. The musical is the longest standing Broadway show in history, and the West performance is scheduled to take place in late February. Music students have already started preparing for the musical and met with Franco D’Ambrosio, who played the Phantom in more than 2,600 Broadway performances around the world, to get advice for putting on the performance.

Step & Close opened at the state theatre

The marching band had their day

in spotlight at the opening of the movie Step and Close, a story of the West Marching band. The movie opened on Saturday, Dec. 4th to a packed State Theatre. The movie tells the story of the hard work that goes in to playing in marching band, and the trials of keeping students in the band. The movie also touches on the camaraderie between band members. The band marched through town and marched into the theater on opening day. Step & Close, produced by One Up Web, is scheduled to premiere around the country later in the month.

Madrigal Feasts

The Madrigal Feasts are a tradition at West every holiday season. Guests are entertained with music, acting, comedy, and music by choir and music students dressed in medieval attire while being served a seven course feast. The costumes, singing, music, scenery and acting are not to be missed. The Madrigal dinners will take place in the commons on Dec. 10, 11, and 12 at 6 p.m.

Jake Fischer gets selected allstate Football player Jake Fischer was selected First Team All State by the 2010 Associated Press writers and broadcasters. Jake was a lineman for the 2011 season and will be attending the University of Michigan on a football scholarship next fall.

December is the month of Compassion

December is the month of compassion, a time of caring, giving, and helping those who are less fortunate. We have asked students to show compassion by helping out around the school, the community, and at home. Help can come in the form of volunteering in the community, donating food and toys for Christmas, or even just opening the door for someone when they need help. If you have stories about people showing compassion, please share them with us so we can write about them in The Compass.

Lane Wagner goes to California with rugby team

Lane traveled to Mission Viejo, California (in Orange County) to compete with the USA-17 Women’s National Rugby Team. She was one of 22 rugby players chosen from across the country to play for the team. The team is a developmental team that could possibly lead to a spot on the USA Women’s Eagle Team one day. Lane was the only girl from Michigan. The team played for MARFU (the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union), which encompasses five states and the District of Columbia. Lane started and played the entire game.

Opposite Page:

A football player reaches for the ball at a home game. Photo: Alan Newton. Nicholas Murphy heads to his Geomotry class early in the year. Photo: C. Hansen Abby Caccaglia plays her alto sax on the front lawn of the school. Photo: C. Hansen Happening at West



Walking into the gym, all that ccould be heard were the chants from competing grade levels as they shouted “SENIORS, SENIORS” “JUNIORS, JUNIORS” “SOPHOMORES, SOPHOMORES” “FRESHMEN, FRESHMEN” at each other from opposite bleachers. The first activity for the Central vs. West pep rally was a scooter race between the boys soccer team and the football team. It was a close finish, but the football team finished by a hair. Soon, Student Senate members began calling students down to the floor to take part in a new pep assembly tradition. The students soon knew that two lucky students would be competing in the jousing arena. “I was so incredibly mad, but nervous at the same time,” Shelby Dudley said about hearing her name being called to participate in the fight. “I didn’t want to be called down to compete. When I was standing on the platform I was completely embarrassed and I hated every second of it.” Shelby went up against Allison Richards and won by a push with the jousting stick. “My favorite part of the jousting activity was when Mr. Baumann and Mrs. Stuedeman had to go up against each other,” Shelby said. “I thought it was the most entertaining part of the pep rally. But people said I was funny when I had to go up there.” The Student Senate always put a lot of effort into creating pep-assemblies that the students will enjoy. The new jousting arena was a huge hit with both the staff and student body and most hoped it would come back for another run at a rally. By Abbey Fashbaugh During the West vs. Central pepassembly Shelby D. and Allison R., were chosen to partake in the jousting competition in front of the entire school. Photo: A. Woodccox


Ragging at Rallies


Raging at the Ralliesst


DANCING KINGS When you discover that your school will be the first to run the Tony Award-winning stage production of Phantom of the Opera, you have a choice to make. Taking on the world’s longest running Broadway is no easy task, after all. Tackling a musical this size can cause anxiety even for the most seasoned

Broadway veterans. While West is known for taking on major productions, Phantom may take the cake. Previous shows like Aida, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Les Mis definitely gave our students a musical workout, but Phantom seems to be of a whole new caliber. “Each show has its challenges,” music teacher, Russ Larimer said. “Instrumentally and musically this produc-

tion scares people away.” Why do schools shy away from this show? Mr. Larimer says that it requires a wide range of operatic voices and diverse musical talents to bring it all together. A school also needs a top notch theater to support the technical aspects of the production. Our students didn’t shy away from taking on this immense project. Rather, they jumped right in and started preparing. Patrick and Joseph Kiessling, sophomore twins, got right down to business and took a musical dance class to help prepare.

Music and t heater students t ake a few extra steps to prepare for Phantom. 09

Dancing Kings

“The class made us a lot more confident,” Joseph said. He added that the class helped him prepare for auditions and both he and his brother were rewarded for their hard work and dedication by taking shared lead roles as Monsieur Richard Firmin. “Taking the class was also something really cool to do with your friends,” Joseph added. Dan Grix, also signed on for the dance class to help prepare for the musical. He too found his dance training extremely helpful in preparing for the Phantom auditions. “Everything that they asked us to do at the audition was made easier because of what I learned in the class,” he said. Dan was grateful for what he learned about counting out movement beats in the class, which was taught by Christy Epping at the Dance Arts Academy. The dance class also helped him find a lead role as Joseph Buquet in the musical. And the preparation didn’t stop there. Choir students took a workshop with Franco D’Ambrosio, the Broadway phantom who sang in over 2,600 shows around the world, more than any other performer. He offered our students tips on making their production of Phantom the best it could be. He was in town to perform at the Traverse City Opera House on November 11, and his timing couldn’t have been more perfect for our music department. “He gave me the best musical advice I had ever heard,” Dan Grix said about meeting the awardwinning actor. “He asked us how many of us wanted to do music as a career. Everyone in the room raised their hands. Then he asked us how many need to do it.” Dan was grateful for the insight and realized that his love of performing was not based on a desire to perform, but on a essential need to entertain. This is precisely why Phantom will be a huge success when it hits our stage in the spring. Story and photos by Compass Staff.

Intrumentally and musically this show scares people away.

Dancing Kings




By Keri Beaudrie

Taylor O. and Kathrine W. get all cheerful durning the homecoming pep rally.

Margoux L. get loud at the West vs. Canada football games.


Bleacher Creatures

The Bleacher Creatures are at every football game. In fact, they are at every game for every sport. They are there to fire up the players and get the fans in the school spirit. They assure our teams that there are people there to support them as the play against their rivals. “I love getting the school football team all fired up and ready to play a wonderful game to bring our team to victory.” Carson Omilisk ’11 said. With the Creatures there to help flourish his enthusiasm, Carson has looked forward to football season every year. Other fans have new reasons for going to the games now that the Creatures have become so popular. The Bleacher Creatures are making school spirit something cool. The fan support has been helping our teams to victory. “Now that I have been going to the games to cheer on the football players I feel like our school team has been working hard to win the games.” Elizabethe Hallan’ 11 said. You never know how well your team is going to do unless you are there helping cheer them on and fight ‘til the end. The Creatures dressed in themed costumes to help the other cheering groups support the team. “Between the cheerleaders and the Bleacher Creatures and the Bucket Brigade I think they really get everyone in the stands going to cheer the team on.” Katie Powers’12 Said. Several years ago, student presence at sporting events was low. There were no vuvuzelas (the infamous horns that were almost banned at the World Cup for making too much of a noise distraction) to make loud noises and no painted bodies to distract the other teams. Now, two years later, the student section is as wild as ever. Bleacher Creature inventor, Chase O’Black ‘09, can be thanked for making sporting events more fun and popular. “I started going to the football games this year and was amazed to see how many people who actually get all dressed up for the different themes.” Kayla Kammer ‘ 11 said. The Creatures set up different themes to keep the bleachers more interesting. There have been white outs, Hawaiian Luau, Wild West, Red, White and Blue Day, and many others. The students really get into the themes and the majority dress to match it, going all out with paint and costumes. The players take note of their support. “They motivate me a lot. It’s sweet to have a crowd like that cheering for you at every home game.” Football player, Brett Kenny ‘11 said. As much as the cheering and enthusiasm is appreciated from most players, it can be a little much and at times is more of a distraction than anything. This might be the purpose; to scare off our opponents. “When I’m on the side of the field that the Bleacher Creatures and Bucket Brigade are on, it’s kind of hard to concentrate,” Marshall Cartwright’ 12 said. The Bleacher Creatures and Bucket Brigade do what they can to motivate the players. From chants proclaiming that ‘West is the Best,’ to the loud and home-made noise makers, they are a force to reckon with. Their presence has helped lead us to many great wins.

Carson O. showes his school spirit and gets loud with his blow horn.

Allision R. paints her face to show her ture school spirit.

Brayden S. screams for the football team to win the big homecoming game.

“Between the cheerleaders and the Bleacher Creatures and the Bucket Brigade I think they really get everyone in the stands going to cheer the team on.� 17

Bleacher Creatures


Advertise with us... Contact Mrs. Hansen if you would like to advertise in The Compass Magazine at 13


Making the Change One woman sets a personal goal to transform herself through physical fitness and hard work.

The higher the number, the greater the success for Lisa Zeits. From five, to seven, to twenty-one, the numbers told her story. “It feels really good to do something good for yourself,” Lisa said. In the fall months, just as the holidays were approaching, she participated in a weight loss challenge at Fit For You Gym. The program challenged people in the community to join the gym in a local “Biggest Loser” type challenge. Members who joined fought the pounds through healthy eating and vigorous exercise. Participants worked out three times a week with a personal trainer who pushed them to do their best, and helped teach them better eating habits. “At first I was physically exhausted, falling asleep at my desk at work,” she said. “It was hard, but at some point it became fun. I was doing things I’d never been able to do.” The first few weeks of the challenge were the most difficult for Lisa. She went to the gym every day. If she couldn’t go before work, she went after. And some days she went both morning and evening. For Lisa it was the challenge that helped her get over the “hump” of sticking to the program and kept her from quitting. The gym set up weekly challenges to track the progress of the participants. One challenge included using a sledge hammer to hit a huge tractor tire 500 times in teams of three. Then, they flipped the same tractor tire up and down the sidewalk just for fun. Later Lisa found out that the tire they had been flipping weighed about 250 pounds. These difficult challenges were what kept her going.

By Ashley Zeits

Whether it is fear, a busy work load, and laziness, many find reasons to not get involved in physical activity. Lisa, however, had a good motivator. For her, it was her family. She wanted to provide a good example for her two daughters. She wanted to be remembered as someone her daughters could be proud of. Lisa lost a total of forty-one pounds over the twelve weeks of the program. For her it was a life change and she dropped another twenty after completing the chal-

“It was hard, but at some point it became fun. I was doing things I had never been able to do.” lenge. She is stronger now than she has ever been. She also understands the nutrition that is needed for healthy living. She continues to go to the gym several times a week. Lisa’s fitness journey continued as she ran the Cherry Festival 5K race this year. She didn’t place first, but she wasn’t last, either. She finished right in the middle, which was all that mattered. There are weight loss challenges like this popping up all over town. These programs are changing the lives of the participants, and their supportive families. Lisa is a reminder that it is never too late to get started and even thought it may hurt, it pays off to stick with it.

Lisa Zeits, after

she finished one of the weekly challenges. She completed 200 more reps than her compatition. The challenge was to do

Jerry Klinetop and Lisa Ziets compete in a tuga-war challenge at the Fit for You gym. Making the Change



“It’s good to feel like you’re finally leading something,” Carson said, “You build up nerves.”

Jeremy Rintala, the hockey coach knows how passion can never have a limit. He has been coaching for 4 years and has 7 years experience assisting the team. The players become family during the season and he knows how to connect to them. For any coach, seeing players work to accomplish their goals through teamwork and commitment is inspiring. Coach Rintala pushes his team, but in the end, they come to know that hard work pays off. “Even though it is very hard at times I don’t think the players realize how much they will miss it when it is over,” Coach Rintala said. Joining any team takes commitment and passion. When the players start practices they are already committed to playing hockey and understand it’s going to take a lot of work to be at the top. “I have never had a player quit after finding out how difficult practices and games can be.” Rintala said. Plays aren’t the only thing going through a teammate’s mind during a game. The players each have their own responsibilities and they have to adjust to the actions of their opponent. Therefore, hockey players have to be confident in the decisions they make. “There are not many breaks in play where they can think about and execute set plays, they have to think on the fly,” Rintala said. It takes experience and commitment to become a successful player. Frank Gilbert, number 14, is a captain on the team. He has been playing on the hockey team since 10th grade. “I started playing hockey when I was very young,” Frank Gilbert said. “High school hockey was the next step.” To prepare for games, players try to maintain focus. The locker room is often quiet, while the players mentally prepare, but there are times when they team needs to get rowdy. “Depending on the team we can get pretty



Players wait to jump on the ice while getting criticism from the coach. Photo: Trisha Bawal

fired up,” Gilbert said. “Responsibilities to keep the team going is a good feeling.” Carson Omilusik, number 6, is another captain on the team. Like Gilbert, he has been playing hockey for most of his life. His experiences have helped the team stay bonded. “You make great friends with the team,” Omilusik said. “Most of us stay friends.” Being a captain is a role that not everyone can fulfill; they have to earn respect from the team and the coaches. “It’s good to feel like you’re finally leading something,” Carson said. “You build up nerves.” A role the captain takes on is preparing the team for games. Practice is the time when the team prepare. The practice is what builds up adrenaline and gets them ready to go. Practice starts at the beginning of November. They practice 5 times a week from 4 to 5:20 at the Howe Arena, which is located at the civic center in Traverse City. By Trisha Bawal

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WE are west


We are West

Payden Meyers packs the football gear for an away game. The football team storms the field preparing for a game against Essex, Canada. Photo: Take Action Photos. Bethany H. practices her marching band formations during band camp in August. Emily D. tee’s off at the Traverse City Central Invite at the Grand Traverse Country Club. Photo: T. Aspenleiter. Mrs. Shoobridge helps get name cards for picture day during registration. Photo:A. Schrieber. Taylor P. leads in a cheer routine for the childrens cheer clinic. T. Featherstone. Kyle S. and Adam D. help sell raffle tickets at a home football game. Photo: R. Gauthier. Bleacher Creatures show their American pride during a football game during the game against Canada. Photo:R. Gauthier. Bridget B. and Jane H. discuss a plan of action for the Kick off Mentor Day at registration in August. Athena C. and Morgan L. prepare to be dunked in the dunk tank during Homecoming week. Photo:M. Blackburn. Liz P., Logan N. and Karen S. stand on the sidelines ready to dominate the Juniors in the annual Powderpuff game during homecoming week. Photo: C. Kostrzewa. Amanda S. sells yearbooks during registration. Photo: A. Basel. Paul S. swings at the “junk” car during the Homecoming BBQ. Photo: M. Blackburn. Darby W. plays around in the pool during swim practice at the Civic Center. Photo: K. Hansen. Nicole H. and Brett K. participate in the homecoming parade as contestants for Homecoming King and Queen. A. Basel.

We are West


Dance it UP! by Paige Austin

Most know how fun dancing can be, but few know how much time and effort it takes to take part of the dance team. It requires a lot of energy, breaks are rare, practices are frequent, and the rewards are priceless. The dance team had plenty of fans because their extensive abilities. With a mix of ages on the team, and most with previous dance experience, the team was great entertainment at assemblies and sport events. The strength of the team even carried the team all the way to the Orange Bowl in Florida, where our girls took the field over for the half-time show. However, not everyone came with a dance background. Jessica Golata learned to dance only a couple months before she decided to audition for a spot on the team. “I wanted to join the dance team because it seemed like a lot of fun, and a lot of my friends were into it,“ Jessica said. “So I thought it would be a lot of fun, and I made the team.” The dance team pumped up crowds at basketball games, assemblies, and at the Homecoming parade. They also competed around the state. “I would say the most fun thing about dance would have to be the pep assemblies,” Jessica said. She liked the assemblies the best because the adrenaline rush that came with performing in front of the entire student body of more than 1,800 students. Although some dancers began the team without experience, Khia Fay joined with many years of experience. Many took classes at the Dance Arts Acadamy and The Dance Center. “I took Hip-Hop classes at Soul Step,“ Khia said. “I started as a beginner and worked my way up to advanced Hip-Hop. But I stopped taking

those classes because the Dance Team took up a lot of time and money.” Even with her dance experience, Khia did not come to dance easily. It took a lot of work on her part to make the team. “Every single girl in middle school either wanted to be a cheerleader or on the dance team,” Khia said. “I was completely amazed how good they were, so I decided to try out. It took me three tryouts until I made it.” Khia earned a lot of respect on the team because of her experience with dancing. Still, her experience didn’t make it any easier to stand up in front of her peers to perform for cheering fans in the stands. “The hardest part is criticism,” Khia said. “It’s really helpful though.” She used the criticism from her fans to grow as a performer. The captain of the Dance Team, Lauren Sullivan designed most of the dances with help from the team. Her teammates were grateful for her help, and also appreciated that she used their suggestions in creating their moves. “On some days she makes up all the dances and on some days we help her with some of the dances. So, we do have some say in the dances,” Jessica Said. Dancers appreciated the leadership to help keep the dances fresh and clean. “I guess I like a lot of the dance routines,” Khia said. “Sometimes they are similar, but most of the time, either the captain or another dance member finds something creative to put in a routine. With a new instructor and a fresh team of new faces, the dance team earned a new level of respect from the student body.

Dominate Photo: Bailey M., Annika W., Ashley U. and Jessica E., dance at the Homecoming pep assembly. Bottom Left: Khia F., Bailey M., and more dancers practice a routine. Left Center: Abby C., Khia F., Taylor K. and Lauren S. jump along to the music at the pep assembly. Right Center: The Dance Team performed facing the junior and senior sections in the gym. Bottom right: The girls get ready to take their positions on the dance floor. Photos: Odyssey Staff and Paige Austin


Dance it Up

Dance it Up


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During the weekly half time performance by the marching band Hannah S., bangs on the drum to the tunes of journey. Photo: Odyssey Staff. Practicing their signing skills the ASL class signs a song for onlookers in the commons. Photo: Odyssey Staff. Senate members Jon B. and Dustin T., pose for a pre game picture complete with war paint. Photo: Matt Kirky. While running in a cross country meet Savannah F. takes the lead in front of teammates. Photo: H. Tomack

During a tennis match at home Matt W., gives his best shot. Photo: Stephanie S. Nathan C., uses his skills in the net to help warm up the other players during pre game practice. Photo: Brittany P.

Varsity football player Zeke F. , lines up for a block against the opposing team. Photo: Odyssey Staff. During Art class Brandon D.,, and Shelby R., work on a project. Photo: Odyssey Staff. The Titan Mascot Austin C., dances around during a pep ralley in anticipation of the cross town Central vs. West game. Photo: Odyssey Staff. Titan quaterback Brett K., gets hold of the ball in the homecoming game against the Gaylord Blue Devils. Photo: A. Newton. We are West


“I had constant fears because I lost my brother, so with that I just assumed it was going to happen to my children.” Few know the lasting effects on loosing their younger brother. Jane Bezotte, lost her youngest brother when she was only one and a half. “I don’t remember much,” Jane said. “But I know I suffered my whole life because my family did.” SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is a very unforunate thing. All though she was young, Jane was greatly effected by loosing Danny, her youngest brother. Who died at six months old. “I was too young to know what happened, until I got older,” Jane said. “But my whole life was around sadness. Questions of why, and who he would be today; and the relationship we’d have.” Jane suffered her whole life while dealing with the loss, especially because she watched her parents suffer from losing their son. “They lost their child,” Jane said. “They had to live their life with the loss of a child, and then raise two more. And having to bury your own child, and knowing the fact he is never going to come home.” Losing a child may be the toughest thing any parent


One Less Present

One Less Present

Jennifer, Jane’s friend and Jane show off their painted red faces when they were 7 years old.

could go through. Everyone in Jane’s family was greatly effected by it. “I am still affected by my brothers death,” Jane said. Although he died thirty one years ago, it was the unknown that haunted Jane the most. “It’s more of the what kind of uncle or brother would he have been. Would he have been a good kid, or a rebel? Would I have gotten nieces and nephews from him and my kids get cousins? Where would I be today if that wouldn’t of happened to him?” Having children after loosing a sibling to SIDS, would be a mothers worst nightmare. Jane always worried about her own children when she put them to bed. “I had constant fears because I lost my brother, so with that I just assumed it

By Paige Austin

was going to happen to my children,” Jane said. “I constantly worried. I got many sleepless nights staring at your chests making sure they were moving, and making sure you were still breathing. Other than being a new mom with a new baby, because they don’t get sleep as it is.” Knowing that her children could die of the same thing her little brother died of was scary for Jane. It was a constant reminder of losing her brother. SIDS is the unknown, there are no symptoms to this disease. Children under the age of one die with no reason, or any type of struggle. Many more children die of SIDS a year then people with cancer, AIDS, child abuse, phenomena, etc. Over 7,000 babies a year die of SIDS, that is one baby every hour of every day. The way to prevent SIDS, is putting your baby on their back when you lay them down. You can never lay the babies in the same bed with parents, or any adult; but you can lay them in the same room, in their own crib.



is going online!

Visit us at

We’re going green!



No Time To By Sam Yancho



idiculously attractive girls at the door, a crazy huge awesome old house, matching t- shirts, free food, and old rituals. Max Yancho is a three year member of a fraternity at Michigan State University, and he knows how rush week really goes. “Its actually a very structured night,” he said. “Nobody is allowed to have any alcohol, and you’re limited to three hours per night. You have to sign in and give them your email and stuff, you’re not allowed to give any of the potential rushies anything except food, like Jimmy Johns. I believe we had sushi on one of my rush nights.” Rush, a week where the Greek communities gain new members, is not a time of partying. In fact, it is almost anything but a party. Even the fraternities that resemble those from the hit movie Animal House, have to follow rules like all the others on campus. This process of rush and pledging is very long and complicated. In some cases it can take up to an entire semester of ones college life. In the end rush week is highly structured and very similar process from house to house. “They’re [the different fraternities] are all pretty much structured the same,” Yancho said. “The rules are school wide.” But fraternities do get to have fun later on in the year when they don’t have to go through the rules and processes of gaining new members. Rush is a time for fraternities and sororities, to get new members. It is hard work for those new pledges to become brothers or sisters in a house. They need


actually a very

structured night, nobody is Max Y., spray paints a rock at MSU with the rest of his pledge class in his freshman year.

to show their brothers or sisters that they are right for the rest of the house. Once one becomes a member of a house, they can fully participate and take advantage of all the opportunities being a member of the Greek community offers. Being a member does have its privileges. “You are now able to everything that you wanted to do while being a pledge.” Yancho said. “[Like] being a member of this group of people that do awesome things that most college students don’t usually do.” Although becoming a member of the Greek community is a long process it is definitely worth it in the end. Being a part of a group of people offers its members a chance to partake in something larger than themselves. While houses participate in fundraisers for different causes, their members have opportunities to give back to the local community, and donate to different causes.

allowed to have any alcohol, and you’re limited to three hours per night”

No Time to Rush


Nocole M. sings at the Holidy Choir Concert at the First Congregatinal Church.


T S by


n eve



The Varsity football team ‘11-’12 huddles up to begin their offensive drive. Kenzie F. and Matthew P. are the king and queen in Wooing Wed Riding Hood.


We Are West

Hogan C. and David S. set up stage equipment in the rafters for the Dracula Production.

Alyssa B. cheers from the sidelines at a home football game at Thirlby Field.

Mrs. Wosek works on the Occidentalist Newspaper. Left: The drumline leads the marching band into the State Theatre to watch the opening of “Step & Close,� the movie about the West marching band. Produced locally by One Up Web, the movie would preview nationally later in December. Photo: Mr. Kasseyrian Below: The cheer squad pumps up the crowd at the homecoming game. Photo: Kia Fay

Bleacher Creatures get dressed as Cowboys for the Western them at the homecoming game. Photo: Betsy Stepka

We are West


Misunderstood Teens

By Sarbina Brooks

Kelly S. and son Zack B. in their living room discussing the importance of music.

Generation after generation, teens still don’t want to listen to their parents. When a parent starts to give advice, teens shut down. Maybe it is because their language is different, or maybe it is because they want control. At any rate, the battle between parent and teen continues to rage on. “When your parents are offering up advice, and trying to share their stories, its because we’ve been your age, and some of our deepest scars have developed from those experiences and have never left us,” Kelly Stiglich said. “But, we’re not always eager to share our stories, so we try to warn you and caution you, but if you open your heart and mind and really look at your parents and asked them why they feel that way, they might share with you something that’s happened to them.” Kelly is an expert, being a mother of five kids, four of them teens. It isn’t that easy for teens to share


Misunderstood Teens

with parents. Emotions are changing daily during the teen years. In fact, they’re changing minute by minute. After parents try to control what teens wear, what they eat, and who they hangout with, teens are not so willing to accept their parents’ advice. Kelly is sympathetic and understands the obsticals that today’s teens face. “It is a different day and age, but the emotions haven’t changed at all,” she said. “Kids fall in love young. Well they fell in love young when I was your age, too. There’s also safety and self-esteem issues, and I would just really caution teenage girls to be more respectful of themselves.” With trends in mass media, there are images of young girls with unrealistic expectations that cause teens to try and change themselves to fit the mold. Movies portray sex appeal and false pretences of adult love. “What scares me the most is that girls seems to fall in passionate

love and daydream about this couple hood that they really want to have,” Kelly said. She believes that the media constantly uses sex appeal to sell products, which alter the self-esteem of many of today’s youth. It is very difficult for a teen to recognize they might be having self-esteem issues, which can possibly pose as a problem to the parent. Sometimes parents are too busy criticizing clothing choices or friendships to recognize their children may be giving a call for help. A cry for help may show up in what teens wear, who they hangout with, and their dialogue. Kelly had solid advice for teens who are struggling for their independence, “Listen to your inner voice,” she said. “It is always talking to you, and you know what that voice is, when you start to get a tummy tickle, and I don’t mean the kind where you’re really excited for something, but when you’re about to make a decision, and something is holding you back from making that decision, you should wait, and think a little longer,” Whether it is a generational gap, or a problem with communication, Kelly’s experience in raising five kids has made her the expert. Her own adolescent experiences has helped her to raise confident young children of her own.

2011 Class of


Stay Tuned.....

We’re updating The Compass Magazine every trimester. Our first edition contains our family stories from our first writing and interviewing assignment. Stay tuned for more stories on West life and our students. In the mean time, check out our West video stories and blogs at

And if you like the pictures... Many of our pictures were taken by the Odyssey staff and appear in our yearbook. Remember to order your book today. Orders cannot be guaranteed after December 1st. Bring a check for $60 to Mrs. Hansen or order with a credit card online from our school website.

The Bucket Brigade members make some noise at a home football game at Thirlby Field



Flour flying, dough rising, pasta boiling, seasoning sauces; each help to create a world that is so delicious yet so hectic and inspiring. Elise Curtis, age 24, is the Pastry Chef and makes all of the fresh pasta at Trattoria Stella. She started her culinary career working as a food runner at the famous, local restaurant Trattoria Stella. “I have been wanting to pursue the culinary career,” she said. “I mean I enjoy food and it’s been a positive influence in all points of my life.” Her inspiration to become a chef started when she would see the delcious results at restaurants. “Seeing all of the awesome food that goes out and the fresh product,” Elise said. Being the only woman chef in the kitchen at Stella, she had to overcome many challenges. She had to be dedicated to work hard and

Just Desserts with a Master Pastry Chef pursue her dream. “Your working with multiple other chefs that have more experience than you and you need to prove your worth,” she said. Elise was influenced by Chef Myles Anton, a chef at Trattoria Stella. “He had inspired me to actually go to culinary school,” Elise revealed. “I had been thinking about it for a long time and expo-ing and watching him create the magnificent dishes that he makes. It inspired me to go to school and learn the trade.” While Elise recognizes that her biggest challenge is staying organized, on her first day as Pastry Chef she made a

dessert that almost outsold the best selling dessert on a busy Saturday night. The dessert she had created was a mouth watering peach cobbler topped with salted caramel gelato. Elise knows how great it feels to follow dreams. Some teens do not want to follow their dreams, because they are afraid of what people may say. “Don’t worry so much about what others think about you and do what you think is right,” she said. Elise is confident and knows she is good at what she does. Once someone finds their muse, they can not get away from it. By Liam Curtis.

Stellas is located in the basement of The Grand Traverse Commons at the Old State Hospital. The Old State Hospital was once an assylum for the mentally challenged and is well on its way to becoming the largest historic reclamation project in the nation. Elise makes pastry magic happen at her shift at Stellas.

Just Desserts Master PastrytoChef No Time Rush

32 28


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Made With Whole By Jessy Darrow

Bill sands a piece of wood while preparing for a project.


Gently gliding with the grain, rough becomes smooth in a matter of minutes. Bill loves wood working. He has been building ever since he can remember. “I guess it’s what I feel I do best,” Bill said. “It’s how I can just get away from everything and anything.” Bill usually has a project going on in the garage when he is not working. When guests enter his home, they are instantly intrigued with his beautiful works of art, whether it be a wooden box, a table or a gun cabinet. “The expression on peoples faces when I show them the finished product is worth all the time and effort I put into it.” Bill said. Bills kids mean the world to him, and to have a special bonding “activity” where they can interact and teach each other holds a very special place in his heart. “I like it when my kids walk through when they get home from school and I get to teach them a thing or two about how the whole process happens,” Bill said. “I don’t want them to feel like they have to help me, but I like it when they do.” We often struggle finding our muse in life, but for

Bill it was not an issue. Ever since he was a child he knew that he liked to build things out of wood. “When I was really young I would build ramps for my skateboard, and as I got older and into the middle school I took wood shop and that was a lot fun,” he said. A very time consuming hobby, there aren’t a lot of people that appreciate fine wood working anymore. Wood working may be coming a thing of the past in today’s technologically advanced world. “I regret not ever learning to use other products, but at the same time I know what I’m doing and I can do it well,” Bill said. “Why change now if I don’t have to. It’s not like I actually sell my work, I like to enjoy it for myself.” Bill has never let his passion go. It’s what he does for a living, and for entertainment. Everyone says your supposed to love your job, and that is a quote come true for Bill.

Made with Whole Grain


Bangin’ The Buckets The Bucket Brigade was loud, proud, and they ruled the crowed This story appears in the 2011 Odyssey Yearbook. Be sure to order your book by Dec. 15th.


Bangin the Bucket

There was a loud and obnoxious group running around the school this year. Clad in painted suits and armed with pails and utensils, crazed students with school spirit became the Bucket Brigade, a rowdy bunch who pepped up the student body at assemblies and sport events. Joey Vanderbosch ‘12, was one of the members of this paint-suit wearing, bucketbanging group. Students watched him in awe as he ran up and down stairs from the senate room to every activity being held around campus. “I see him everywhere,” Myranda Adamick ‘12, said. “He’s very involved and everyone loves him.” The Bucket Brigade was created a couple of years earlier, but seemed to have a

major come back this year. “The other members and I decided to bring the brigade back and attend more sports events other than just football,” Joey said. Eight members strong, they were kicked out from a game or two. Their rowdy presence guaranteed that they were noticed by fans, but also by security. “We were kicked out for spraying water on the Bleacher Creature crowd,” Joey said. “Sometimes we get a little wild.” The Bleacher Creatures was a group made up of any student who wanted to dress up in themed costumes to cheer from the stands at games. At times there were

Opposite: The Bucket Brigade heads to the soccer field to cheer on the boys soccer team at a game agaisnt Central. Photo: A. Burk. A Brigade member bands the gold bucket at a home football game at Thirlby Field. That same event the Bleacher Creatures dressed for a Hawaiian Luau. Both the Creatures and Birgade members helped bring school spriti back to the bleachers.

hundreds in the Bleacher Creature section. While it was O.K. to get a little crazy from up in the bleachers, Joey was quite tamed during the day in school. He was Student Senate Treasurer and Junior Class Council President. “I love being involved with my school,” Joey said. “I like providing the school with energy and enthusiasm through my work that I do.” Joey planned to continue with being involved with student senate and class council. He believed that both developed his leadership skills for the future. “I’m hoping that being involved with senate and council will help me get into a good college,” Joey said. “I’m sure whatever I go into for a career, being in senate and other organizations will help greatly.” By Rachel Gauthier and the Odyssey Yearbook Staff

The Brigade gets decked out in green and gold paint suits to cheer on the Titans at a home game. The theme for the game was “Green and Gold.” We played against Central, our greatest rival.

Bangin’ the Buckets



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We are West


LIFE BATTLES By Abby Fashbaugh

A Mom and Daughter struggle through loss and find hope A best friend can be a sibling, a friend, or even a mom. Friends support you, even in your most difficult times. Sometime you need your best friend there to help you, but when it’s your best friend causing the pain, it can be even more difficult. Patty Fashbaugh has gone through it all. She lost her Mom to breast cancer at the age of twenty nine. She hated the thought that she didn’t have her mother, her best friend, by her side. “She was my greatest influence,” Patty said. “She took good care of her family and friends. I am glad she is my guardian angel and watching over me every second of the day.” It is part of life to be attached to something you’ve lost. Once you’ve lost something, it is important to hold on in order to remember it. “I was devastated once I lost her,” Patty said. “After a while I told myself that I need to stay strong and go on with my life.” Patty still suffers from the loss of her mother daily. She carries with her the memories of her last days. “I didn’t even know what to think,” she said. “Every time I went to see her in the hospital, I was happy she was still with us. But now she is in a better place, although I miss her very much.” Patty wonders how she has made it this far without her mother. Still, she


Life Battles

takes comfort in her accomplished family is and great they have turned out. “I am thankful for everyone who is in my life,” she said. “Once my Mom died it taught me that life is not always perfect. It has its ups and downs but all you really need are friends and family for support. It would be very hard to go through something so tragic in your life happen and be alone.” National Breast Cancer Awareness month is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research in to its cause, prevention and care. The campaign also offers information and support t those affected by breast cancer.

Bang the Bucket... Watch out for these guys! They’re loud... They’re proud.... And they RULE the croud.




Meet the Players By: Matt Kirkey


cody sheuerman Cody Sheuerman has been on the Traverse City West Varsity football team since he was a sophomore. Cody started as the Varsity fullback. He has played and dedicated his life to football ever since he played popwarner.

“My favorite part about my senior

year for varsity football was coming out onto the field every game and just looking

Zac Shaffer

into the crowd and getting pumped up,�

Zac Shaffer was the Starting Left-halfback

Cody said.

for Traverse City West. He lead the league

in yards rushed, and touchdowns scored

a second family to him.

this season. Zac finished up his junior


season on top of the football team. Zac will be coming back for his Senior season next year, still starting as halfback. During the playoffs for this season, he ran a total of 165 rushing yards. The playoff game, against Rockford, made history for West. This was the first time they played Rockford for the playoffs. Even though we lost the game, the players were still spirited.



Being apart of a team was just like

Alan Newton Photography


Jesse schwartz Jesse Schwartz played a spit-end for Traverse City West. Jesse went through the season with terrible shoulder problems which had his standing on the sidelines for most of his senior season. Although Jesse had his shoulder problems he was a great attribute to the TC West offence.

“My favorite part about my senior

season playing football would have to be

brett kenny

the pre-game,” Jesse said. “Just hanging

Brett Kenny has been on Varsity for West

out with our family and friends was the

since he was a sophomore. Brett Kenny


was the starting Quarterback, and greatly

He knows that the advice given to

contributed to other offensive positions

him last year, helped him become the

as well as Starting as a Defensive-back on

player he is. The most important advice

Defence. He was one of the leading run-

he would like to share with new players is,

ning backs for TC West, and had a highlight

“Listen to the coaches, work hard, and just

season. Brett had a 44.4% completed pass-

have fun,” Jesse said. “Because the time

ing average to end his amazing season.

you have goes by really fast.”

1. Running towards the goal, Zac S. while the referee calls a flag. Photo: Take Action Photography 2. In the locker room, Cody S. leads the traditional prayer before a game. Photo: Alan Newton 3. Passing for a touchdown, Brett K. avoids contact from the opposing team. Photo: Take Action Photography 4. After recieving the ball, Jesse S. runs the ball ino the end zone. Photo: Take Action Photography




T...WE are





1. The girls dance team marches past Horizon Books in the Homecoming parade. We played against Gaylord for the win. 2. Madi P. takes notes in her fifth hour Spanish class. 3. Brett K. announces the events of activity night at Thirlby Field. 4. Hannah S. performs with the drumline during a half time show. Photos: Odyssey Staff


WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are

WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are

WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WES

5 7

6 5. Zack S. runs the ball at the Homecoming game against Gaylord. Photo: A. Newton 6. Members of the choir perform in the auditorium. 7. The Freshmen compete against the sophomores at a tug-of-war game at Thirbly. 8. Chad P. takes a mallet to trash a car at the Homecoming BBQ. Photos: Odyssey Staff


ST...WE are WE ST...WE are

Alan Newton Photography

WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WE

WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...

WEST...WE are WEST...WE are WEST...WE

foreign By: Ashley Zeits

Hola, Hallo, and Bonjour. Learning foreign lan-

from the capital city of any European country,” Señora

guages at school used to be just for fun. Recently,

Batcha said. “If you can read it and understand it you

however, Michigan changed its high school graduation

get a different perspective. You feel how they might feel

requirements to help guarantee our participation in a

about the United States, our actions, and our policies

global society. The Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC)

politically. It gives you a different picture of things. I

made the new requirement for students of the 2016

think that’s incredibly important.”

class to have at least two credits of a language other

than English to graduate.

to stay at the top in global affairs. Learning languages

could be our ticket back to the top.

“Students need a broad range of communica-

tion skills to compete in this global world,” Charles

Kolbusz, principal of the Sparta wing said about the

fects on the students.

The new requirements will have individual ef-

new requiremnts.

took a language because they wanted

The MMC’s

“Previously they [the students]

foreign language

to, and they were motivated,” said

requirements might not

Señora Batcha. “Now they’re being told

yet apply to every stu-

it’s a requirement. You have to be en-

dent, but most already

thusiastic about learning a language in

know that speaking a

order to actually absorb the language.”

language other than

English is an important


skill to have in the

world today. Addition-

already take two years because they

ally, many colleges look specifically for two or

Madame Kelly has a different “For the most part a lot of kids

want to get into certain colleges,” Kelly Taylor R., makes a crépe at a French Club fund-raiser.

said. “So I don’t think it will have a

more years of a lan-

huge impact. But it’ll be interesting to

guage for admittance.


Señora Batcha, a Spanish teacher, understands

the reasons why knowing a foreign language is important.


While the United States may be losing its ability

Foreign Languages

“[Now] you can go online and read the paper

“It gives students a chance to learn about other cultures and it’s fun,” Brynne Ewing

“If students want to be competitive globally they will have to be bilingual, at least,” Frau Labonte.

What inspired you to teach a Foreign language? “I grew up on a cherry farm in northern Michigan. I was the only girl with seven brothers. So, if I wanted to play with any girls, I played with the Hispanic girls on my grandfather’s farm. We used to sit on the swings and gibber at each other. That’s what initially began my interest in the language. [Also] I have a passion for the culture, and I absolutely love to travel, and it’s just amazing to be somewhere and be able to communicate with new people. I try to bring that to the kids.” Matthew P., dresses up for a Spanish fashion show, a fun way to learn vocabulary.

Learning foreign languages will

definitely raise the bar for some students,

Señora Batcha

it might change the attitudes of others or it might not really affect many students at all.

Even though the MMC doesn’t

effect the students currently enrolled at West Senior High, colleges favor students who have at least two credits of a foreign

Fra u L ab o n t e

language. Michigan’s two top choices for students are the University of Michigan, and Michigan State. These colleges are very competitive and usually seek applicants with three years of a foreign language for admittance. U of M gets an average of 27,000 applicants every year but they only accept about 6,000 freshmen. Therefore, it’s important to apply

Madame Placek

“When I was in fifth grade the students from the high school came to my class and taught us some German. I went on to take German all through high school. I continued to take German, taking advantage of participating in two international internships. I spent two summers living with a host family and working in Germany. Also, I love working with teenagers.” “I just loved my french classes growing up. It was one of those classes that just clicked. I think everyone has that area, and for me it was foreign languages. I loved the class, it was easy for me, and I had a lot of fun. So when I went to college I was like: I think that’d be really cool. I coach, so I’m already in the high school and middle school age group. I just thought it’d be kinda fun to become a teacher. They just went hand in hand, teaching and coaching. And my first thought was I love french the most, so why not go into that.”

with a competitive application, and having those extra credits, makes an application

languages that much more appealing.

Raising A Child

Top Photo: Ann and Stephen read Dora the Explorer in his room together before bed time. Middle Photo: Stephen drinks his juice and relaxes while watching the t.v. Bottom Photo: Ann and Stephen play around while jamming to music.

A single mom struggles in a difficult economy to raise a child. Anyone with children can share a story or two about the complexities of raising them. Even with both mom and dad helping each other, parenting can be overwhelming at times. But when there is only one parent, it becomes twice the work to raise a child on their own. Ann Schwartz is a single parent who has been raising her son, Stephen, for three years on her own. She is most proud of her five-year-old son, who just started kindergarten this year. Stephen has taught her many things, especially how life can change minute by minute. “You can wake up one morning and plan your day and the next thing you know everything can change,” Ann said. “So don’t sweat the small stuff.” While Ann doesn’t sweat the small stuff, she does sweat the hard stuff. Raising a child alone has it’s challenges. There are bills to pay to make ends meet in a struggling economy. She understands that it would have been easier to finish school and go to college to get a degree. Today it’s hard to find a job without an education. These make the every day challenges of

raising a child that much more difficult. “It’s very hard to find a job with the way the economy is,” Ann said. Ann knows from experience the importance of an education and thinks teenagers should finish school and go on to college. She has been on her own since she was fifteen, and had her son when she twenty-two. She wishes she could have waited to have children until she had a stable job so she could stay on top of things. “Don’t jump into something you’re not ready for,” Ann said. It is hard enough to raise a child on your own, but when life throws a curve ball (which is bound to happen,) it can make things even harder. Ann’s mother also has cancer. While Ann juggles everything that flies at her, she doesn’t sweat the small stuff. She has become a master at balancing the daily routines that face so many women today. By Trisha Bawal

“Don’t jump into something you’re not ready for,” Rasing a Child


Working the tech booth during Dracula rehersal Mallory K., looks over her cues to assure a good show. Photo: Odyssey Staff

Discussing activities for the day Trevor P., patiently awaits the incoming freshmen. Photo: Odyssey Staff

Expanding their Spanish vocabulary Mack T., and Hannah O., dress up for a fashion show during class. Photo: Odyssey Staff

WE are WEst

Practicing the “rollar coaster� the entire senior section gears into the action. M. Blackburn

Creating a work of art on the pottery wheel Alexa M., concentrates in ceramics class. Photo: Odyssey Staff

Putting on a show in the commons Margaux L. and Aleya B., do their best signing. Photo: Odyssey Staff

Editor Roslyn L. talks over issues to make the perfect Occidentalist Newspaper. Photo: Odyssey Staff

During the homecoming pep-assembly the dance team performed their new moves in fron of students for the first time. Photo:B. Stepka

Checking his blood pressure, John M., prepares to donate blood. Photo: Odyssey Staff

Choir Director Mr. Lerimer prepares for an upcoming performance.

Members of the choirs, perform at the Holiday Concert. Photo: Odyssey Staff We are West No Time to Rush


Taylor Peek Her Last Year

by Megan Bezemek Taylot P. ‘10 dances and cheers at halftime with the young girls they taught to be cheerleaders at a cheer clinic they held.

Goal Setting

A s her last year in cheerlead-

ing for West is approaching Taylor Peek is ready to win big and she is shooting for the stars. She has set some hefty goals for her senior year. “Being my last year on the comp team, I want to win some of our competitions.” shesaid. “I want to blow people’s minds. When they see West cheer, I want them to say ‘Wow! They have gotten really good.’”


Taylor Peek

But for her last season that’s not all she wants to accomplish. “I also want to get my backhand spring and my back tuck,” she said. A backhand spring is not only scary, it’s hard and sometimes painful. Taylor said it was her favorite skill. “When a cheerleader masters this skill, it looks really pretty,” Taylor said about her goal to tackle the stunt.

Taylor is a back spot on the cheerleading squad, which is an important role for supporting the team. The spotter is responsible for watching the flyer and must always be prepared to catch her if she falls. “I like having a sense of control whenever my group is stunting,” she said. “My favorite stunt is a lib because as a backspot, I get to have a huge part in the control of the stunt.”

Going Back

Taylor has had plenty of experience to prepare her for her senir year. “I was on J.V. my first season, as a Sophomore on the competitive team and I have been cheering ever since,” Taylor said. All together she has participated in five seasons out of eight. “If I could go back and change something, it would have to be having the guts to try out sooner than my Sophomore year,” she said. “I was so scared of being cut that I just never tried out.” She is glad she overcame her fears, though. “I have made some of my bestfriends through cheerlead-

The Future

While cheering ruled her high school years, her senior year would probably be her last for at least a while. She has decided to not cheer in college. “I love cheering, but there are so many girls out there that devote their lives to cheerleading, and I’m just not one of them.” Other than cheerleading Taylor played softball as a freshman and sophomore, and also was involved in NHS and Class Council. Taylor dreamed of becoming a Pediatrician after finishing school, but still had plans to keep up with cheering by possibly coaching a team of young girls one day.

Footballvs. Comp season? Hope W.

“Well I like football season more than comp season, because I really like cheering the football players on, and getting the whole stands cheering with us. I think its a very fun season.”

Jordan R. “Definitely Comp because it is considered more of a sport for cheerleaders.”

Ashley G. “My favorite season would probably be football, because we get to cheer for the team and its not so serious like comp is.”

(From left to right) Taylor P., Amber J., Stephanie U. and Megan P. pose together at a game.

Taylor Peek


Diplomatic Sol By Sam Yancho

When students role play as international embassadors international relations suddenly become interesting When most high school students think of fun, they certainly don’t think about standing in front of sixty peers debating on international relations and coming up with resolutions to current issues. But, for Model UN students, this is precisely what get the adrenaline pumping. It is scary, but it is exciting. Our Model United Nations Team has been a force to be reckoned with. Having been champions at the Mid-American Model United Nations Conference, or MAMUN, for the past five years, Traverse City West has had a reputation of being a heavy competitor. Levi Gourdie is a three year member of the Model United Nations team, and has won various awards throughout his Model UN experience. He attended numerous conferences and knows what it’s like to represent a delegation. “Model UN seemed like a way to take my interests in politics and debate and be able


Model United Nations

to apply them in a real way,” Gourdie said. He was also an award winning debater and he attended debate camps at MSU to help prepare for his Model UN conferences. Model United Nations, or Model UN, is a mock simulation of the United Nations. All students attending get assigned a country, or delegation, and research a series of topics from their assigned country’s viewpoint leading up to the conference. Once the date of the conference arrives, the delegates get together in various committees. They debate, and write resolutions on the topics assigned. The goal for this is for all the delegates to agree on the resolutions that were put together by the end of the conference. Model UN isn’t all work and no play, though. After committee every night, there is usually an activity that most of the delegates attend. Most students might expect a scholastic event to hold strictly scholastic activities,

like trivia, which is always an option, but the most popular activity is almost always the dance. “The dance is fun,” Levi said. “It’s the best activity during the social time. Hanging out with my friends makes it even better.” Over the years, Model United Nations has seen many trends. Mr. Rennie, the UN adviser, referred to them as “legacies.” One of these were the many siblings that competed on the team. Some of the more recent “legacies” include the Wagner, Yancho, and Nadji families. Each Model UN is a family ordeal, mostly because when one member of the family joins the team, they convince their relatives to join the team by sharing stories about how rewarding the conferences are, and how much they learn at each event. Model UN teaches its students many things, like public speaking, writing skills, and getting over awkward situations. It even helps people learn to respond to various questions no

lutions matter the difficulty. It gives students the courage to stand up and ask questions and become engaged. Model United nations also presents numerous opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. “We get to meet a ton of different people,” Levi said. “We have made a ton of life long friends.” While fun, Model United Nations is also a class, and there is no room for slacking off. It takes a lot to prepare for competitions. To prepare, students spend hours of time researching both international and domestic relations of their countries. Students write at least 8 papers to prepare and of course, their is travel time to consider. Basically, only the dedicated need apply to the OM team. Once you are on the team, though, the skill acquired are invaluable and having the class on your transcript is notable when applying to colleges. The team will compete again in February in Kalamazoo at the MAMUN Conferences. Members of the Model United Nation team hold up their awards and trophies after competing in the CASC Conference in Lansing. Each member received either highest or second highest placement in the competition. The team was there for three days to debate the policies of each country they represented. Photo: Mrs. Yancho

What is Model United Nations?

Model United Nations, or Mod-

el UN, is an honors class that is composed of a team spread throughout various grades. Each student on the team is assigned a delegation, and a committee. Depending on which committee the student is in, they will get assigned on average two to four topics that they should research and learn their delegation’s policy on.





down to a conference where Model UN teams throughout the region debate and collaborate on the assigned topics. The goal is for the committee to write a resolution for each topic that appeals to the majority of the nations. Those resolutions are then voted on and often passed.

Students who start Model UN

as a Freshman often continue to take the class and attend confernces all the way through their senior year. Rasing a Child


Photo: Take Action Photos For ordering info and senior portraits call (231)352.4503

The West Compass  

An online the magazine developed by the Into. to Journalism class at West Senior High.