WEST SI DE STO RY IOWA CITY WEST HIGH SCHOOL
2901 MELROSE AVE.
IOWA CITY, IA 52246
VOLUME 51 ISSUE 1
OCTOBER 4, 2018
WOMEN , TOO?
Exami ni ng the gender divi de i n coaching.
P H OTO F E AT U R E ALLIE SCHMITTMORRIS I went on a trip to Europe this summer, and one of the places we went was Lucerne, Switzerland. There was a mountain there named Stanserhorn, and we rode a gondola up to the top of it. That was where I took the photo of the butterfly.
P HOTO S U B M I SS ION KATHERINE YACOPUCCI â€˜20 I actually took this picture probably three years ago after just getting my camera, and I was taking pictures of pretty much everything I saw. My parents knew about my excitement, so they called me out when these weird orange clouds started forming outside.
DESIGN BY THOMAS DUONG
CONTENTS F E AT U R E
C OV E R
E N T E R TA I N M E N T
S P O RT S
04 16 20 26 32 39
LETTER FROM THE
FOLLOW US @WSSPAPER
COVER ILLUSTRATION & DESIGN BY FRANCES DAI & LYDIA GUO
Welcome back, dear readers! Yet another summer has come and gone, and we are back to school in the same old West High. Well, that’s up for debate. New additions, most notably the new gym and cafeteria, have modernized otherwise outdated parts of the school. West High has said adieu to a few more teachers since our last issue came out — Mr. Gross is off to Northwest, Mrs. DeVries is now at Liberty and Mr. Martz is on the West Coast. However, we have a few new faces in the building, to whom our reporters have asked some fun questions to introduce you to! One of our two biggest stories highlights
04 WEST HIGH, BETTER HIGH 06 SEALING THE DEAL 0 8 M I DT E R M S M AT T E R 1 0 A TOX I C T R A D I T I O N
16 A NEW HOME 1 8 M E E T T H E N E W T E AC H E R S
2 0 W H Y N OT WO M E N , TO O ?
2 6 M I N O R I T I E S I N T H E S P OT L I G H T 2 8 F U N I N T H E FA L L 30 AUTUMNAL TUNES
3 2 T H E M E N TA L E D G E 3 4 S TA R S O F F R I DAY N I G H T L I G H T S 3 6 F LY I N G F O R WA R D
3 9 A H A R R Y S I T U AT I O N 40 SAFETY FIRST
EDITOR the stress that competitive students feel and the effects West’s atmosphere have on student mental health. Our cover story this issue focuses on the shortage of women in head coaching and administrative roles in sports, featuring a throwback to West High’s athletic department 30 years ago. Be sure to participate in our Back to School Bingo (on the back cover) for a chance to win a gift card to Sweets and Treats! I’ll see you all again at the end of the trimester! Much love,
Correction: An earlier version of the Dasia Taylor profile erroneously indicated that her childhood had been rough and difficult. It was later
reported that this was not true, and the story has been updated on wsspaper.com to show her life more accurately. We apologize for this mistake.
F E AT U R E OCT. 4, 2018
WEST HIGH, BETTER HIGH West’s new building additions
BY BERNARDO PEREZ
Phase I 1
If you went to the main cafeteria on the first day of school to get lunch, you were probably surprised by the cafeteria’s change in style. Or maybe you wanted to go play basketball in the old gym, only to find rows of weight racks and rubber-covered floors. These are just some of the Phase I improvements that have been made to West High, thanks to the $192 million G.O. bond package that passed in 2017. Now, we are going into the Phase II renovations, which will be bringing more renovations to West High. Here’s a breakdown of each of the new additions.
Renovated Cafeteria From bland walls and bench-like lunch tables to more open, varied furniture styles, West’s cafeteria underwent one of the most significant changes since its construction. “Our cafeteria was 50 years old, ” said Principal Gregg Shoultz. “The style of the seating was not something that kids were interested in. It was really sort of a prisonstyle cafeteria. That’s the way they built [tables] in the ’50s, not just for prisons but also for schools.” Instead, the cafeteria now features new seating accomodations. “You can see with the booths, the high tables, and the round tables, we’re just creating a better atmosphere,” Shoultz said. Not only is the dining space different, but the lunch line style is as well. The cafeteria is modeled after a college lunchroom setting, so each food choice has its separate section. These sections consist of cold lunch, hot lunch, chef ’s choice and pizza. The lunch staff is also pleased with the renovations, as they have received better kitchen equipment. In addition to this, the kitchen has subsumed the old athletic office in order to add more space for them to store their supplies, instead of having to cart food to different places. “All the carts are inside, so the cafeteria has more room for you kids to sit and eat,” said kitchen manager Julie Peters.
2 Altered Gym Arrangement The new gym is primarily a practice and low level-competition gymnasium. It seats less people than the main gym but can still run two games at once, while being able to seat viewers. Additionally, the new gym will be hosting homecoming this year instead of the Marriott doing so. Due to the addition of the new gym, the old gym is now West’s main weight room. The floor is made of rubber, and two rows of weights run through it: one in the middle and one on the side. Where the weight room used to be is now the new prop room for Theatre West. Furthermore, the new dance room allows the poms and cheerleaders to have practice space apart from the main cafeteria. The athletic office has also been relocated beside the new gym.
Student Opinion Prior to this school year, Emily Oldman ’20 lived in West Virginia. At her previous high school, they had their own security measures, albeit different from the one West will be implementing. The majority of the doors were locked during the school day. Visitors would have to enter through the main entrance, and they would have to speak to the main office via microphone and camera.
“If, say, I was there to pick up my little sister, I’d say that. . . . [T]he door would unlock for as long as it took for me to open it, then it’d lock again. ” Oldman believes that the coming security system West will be beneficial to West High. “Being proactive is the best thing anybody could do, especially if it’s [at] school. By the time an intruder is already in the school, it’s too late.”
From a new security plan to a geothermal cooling system, West High will undergo a series of changes that will affect the way students go about their day in the building.
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3 Floor to ceiling windows To make West look more up-to-date, classrooms will get windows that go from the floor to the ceiling, giving it a more spacious and modern look. “A lot of the brick from the front of the building will be taken off, all the windows will be taken off and we’ll put in a new window system which is all glass and steel,” Shoultz said. This renovation will coincide with the addition of air conditioning to the classrooms in the academic wing. Rooms one through 19, as well as the corresponding rooms on higher floors, will all receive new windows.
Early releases due to excessive heat will soon be a thing of the past. West High will be getting air conditioning added to the rest of the classrooms by the fall of 2020. However, this is not your run-of-the-mill air conditioning, but geothermal heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Geothermal HVAC will allow West to be more environmentally friendly. This is due to the fact that Geothermal HVAC, when compared to normal air conditioning, allows for more efficient energy usage, thereby lowering electricity costs. Although it is not very well known, West already has this feature to an extent. The freshman wing has Geothermal HVAC implemented into their classrooms. The rest of the classrooms in the academic section of the building will gradually get air conditioning added, with the construction being scheduled to start in January. Construction will occur at different parts of the academic wing at varying times, in order to minimize interruption from the noise.
PHOTOS BY MOHAMMEDHILAL AL-ANI DESIGN BY BRENDA GAO
Geothermal heating, ventilation and air conditioning
Security upgrades Nearly every school in the ICCSD has had additional security implemented into the building. Starting next spring, West will implement additional security, as well. Entrances into the building will be locked during the school day. Any visitor who wishes to enter the school will need to enter through the ninth grade center or the gym entrance, requiring them to buzz in to the main office before they are allowed to enter. This includes students who are going in and out of West throughout the day. However, students will be able to swipe in with their ID instead, as well as having access to the entrance for the art hallway. “West High is the only non-secure building in this district. We don’t have a keycard entry or a buzz-in entry system. If you went to City
High today, you’d have to push a button and get buzzed in, “ Shoultz stated. “We wanted to bring a way of making sure of we were aware who was walking in the building.” Shoultz believes that by the next school year, this door security will be in effect. Despite this stricter security policy, Shoultz seeks to avoid restricting movement in the courtyard, as it is useful for quickly moving from one side of the building to the other and it is a nice place for students to hang out. “We want to figure out a way to do it so that it’s only available to people who are already in the building,” Shoultz said. The administration is still working on designs for this, but for the most part, is not looking to change the current plan.
F E AT U R E OCT. 4, 2018
SEALING THE DEAL
PHOTOS BY ALLIE SCHMITT-MORRIS DESIGN BY THOMAS DUONG
Iowa goes bilingual by passing the Seal of Biliteracy legislation which will have a positive impact on our minority and immigrant community.
F E AT U R E
OCT. 4, 2018
BY MARTA LEIRA
nlike most tests that Lilian Montilla ’21 has taken, this exam is something she’s been preparing for her whole life. In two years, she will get the opportunity to earn the Seal of Biliteracy, which was approved in Iowa on April 17, 2018. This opportunity will be available to all bilingual students. The Seal is a distinction awarded by a school district or state to recognize students that are fluent in two or more languages before they graduate. Montilla’s mom is from Haiti and her father is from Venezuela, so she learned both English and Spanish at the same time. “In a world where communication is a great source of information, it’s nice to not have to translate things written in the most spoken and prevalent languages,” Montilla said. The Seal will be awarded based off of specific criteria. Similar to the Silver Cord, students must complete 200 service hours, the only difference being that to qualify for the Seal, ten of those hours must involve a non-English language. For example, Montilla is working towards her service hours by peer tutoring kids in all levels of Spanish. The hours of work that students complete can go towards both Silver Cord and the Seal. The goal of the Seal is to encourage students to build upon their foreign language skills outside the classroom. Another requirement of the Seal is being literate in English in order to take the test. This provides an incentive for the students in the English Language Learners (ELL) classroom, which is a
“ IT ’S ON LY APPROPRIATE AN D RI G HT THAT WE COM PE N SATE [STU DE NTS] FOR TH E WORK TH EY HAVE DON E .” - CARM E N GWE N IGALE, I CCSD WO RLD LANGUAGE COO RDI NATO R
program designed for students who are in the process of learning English as a second language. According to ELL teacher Cat Haxton, the pressure to fit in with the status quo can increase the difficulty of school for students who aren’t yet fluent in English. When they are speaking in non-ELL classes, they do not have the same correctional resources that they do in the ELL classroom, which can be nerve-racking. “I had a student who I can just never get to stop talking, and when I sat in on his business class, he was completely silent,” Haxton said. “When I asked him about it in class, he said that he didn’t want to say anything, because he was too nervous he would mess up and be judged.” Over the summer, the ICCSD put together a committee of people dedicated to creating a program to implement the Seal of Biliteracy at the high school level. One of those members, Pamela Wesely, is a foreign language professor at the University of Iowa. “Being bilingual is important for so many reasons. Obviously, it means that you can communicate with many more people in the world,” Wesely said. “It means that you can develop a better understanding of people who are different from you.” Another member of the committee is ICCSD World Language Coordinator Carmen Gwenigale. “We think it’s only appropriate and right that we compensate [students] for the work they have done,” Gwenigale said. “If there’s something they can show on their transcript to say, ‘I put all this work into a language, I studied it for four years, and I can be fluent in that language, … that can be beneficial in future jobs or even careers.’” The law aims to affirm the value of diversity by honoring the multiple languages and cultures present in the community. “There’s so much more to language than just the words. You can’t just translate a word and still have [it] hold the same value,” said Dean of Students Maria Martin. “It’s not just about the words, it’s about the meanings. You have to understand the cultural implications of the words.” Martin’s own story begins in her grandparents’ home, a Spanish speaking farm in central Mexico. Being the last of her family born there, her family made sure she kept in touch with her Mexican roots throughout her childhood. They would spend the school year in Chicago and the summer in San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico. Learning a new language requires a complicated amount of muscle memory, which is why some people can read and understand it years before they can actually speak proficiently. People often overlook or don’t acknowledge the ed-
“ [B E I NG B I LI NGUAL] M EAN S THAT YOU CAN DEVE LOP A B ETTE R U N DE RSTAN DI NG OF PEOPLE WHO ARE DI F F E RE NT F ROM YOU.” - PAMALA WESLEY, FO RE IGN LANGUAGE PRO FESSO R AT TH E U N IVE RSIT Y O F I OWA ucational progress that students make, because they are not yet fluent. “The brain goes through a period of enhanced plasticity during childhood, making it easier to acquire a first language as well as a second or third language,” said Dr. Steven Anderson, Director of the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Center at the University of Iowa. “The greatest benefit [of bilingualism] is enriched neural representations of knowledge.” Many students in the West High community speak more than one language. According to the ICCSD website, the ELL program serves approximately 1600 students in grades K-12 from over 70 language and cultural backgrounds. “It’s interesting because in a predominantly English-speaking community, we tend to underestimate the fact that many of our students and families are already bilingual and biliterate. They just aren’t bilingual with English yet,” Martin said. The Seal of Biliteracy adds an extra level of acknowledgement and motivation to students. Those who complete the exam will not only be rewarded with a seal, but also with the satisfaction of knowing they are fluent in a language they might not have known a few years ago.
F E AT U R E OCT. 4, 2018
MIDT E R M S
M AT T E R What they are and why students should care.
VOTING WHERE TO REQUIREMENTS REGISTER online at yearsVOTING old on vote.gov election day REQUIREMENTS
BY JESSICA MOONJELY ART & DESIGN BY JENNA ZENG
he 2016 presidential election shook political history with its seemingly shocking results, as someone with no political background was voted into the highest form of office. America was more divided than ever in an election that consisted of polarizing opinions and intense media coverage. Students especially became more active by staying informed, participating in marches and supporting campaigns. Everyone was invested in who would be next to call the White House their home. The results were met with extreme emotions. Whether individuals were pleased or disappointed by the outcome, many students believe that now is not the time to stop caring because something even more monumental is coming up on Nov. 6: the 2018 midterm elections. Midterm elections are the national and state elections that occur after the first two years of a presidential term. The positions up for reelection are from the federal, state and local government. Because the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate have twoyear and six-year terms respectively, not all of the members are up for reelection each time. Some believe that the presidential election is the only election of importance. But according to the Washington Post, 43 percent of eligible voters didn’t even fill out a ballot in the 2016 election. Instead of waiting for the 2020 presidential election, those voices can be heard more clearly this year. It is the midterm elections that have the ability to transform the plans of the government. These elections impact the balance of Republicans and Democrats which can, in turn, affect what debates arose and what policies are changed. Though the presidential election is often the most publicized election, students are still affected by the midterm elections. From gun control to immigration, a variety of issues are impacted by who is voted in or out of office during this crucial time period.
National Mail Voter Registration Form
*cannot be a convicted felon without voting rights restored, be judged mentally incompetent to vote by a judge, or claim the right to vote in another state
n December of 2017, West High alum Zach Wahls ’09 launched his campaign for the Iowa Senate, District 37 midterm election. Being only a graduate student at the time of its launch, he says his success in the primaries was due to tremendous support from both college and high school students alike. “I believe it’s critical to involve young people more generally in our politics, precisely because these decisions have such long-term impacts on us and our futures,” Wahls said. With the help of his volunteers, Wahls made over 10,000 voter contacts during the primary election. Many of these canvassers were high school students such as West High’s Nikul Patel ’20, who went door-to-door to promote Wahls. “I helped out because [Wahls] wants to stand up for people who can’t speak for themselves, such as different minority groups like LGBTQ and racial groups,” Patel said. Another student involved is recent grad-
uate Nick Pryor ’18. Since July, Pryor has worked as the organizing fellow for the Wahls campaign, organizing canvassing trips across the state. He believes that there is a way for all students to be involved in the election. “Campaigns are always in need of people to make calls or knock [on] doors,” Pryor said. “Although I strongly encourage everyone to at least give door knocking a chance — it really is the best way to connect with voters — if you go down to a local campaign office, they’ll always have something that needs doing.” Wahls decided to run for office because he felt many groups of Iowans were not being adequately advocated for by the current government. He realized to see change he would have to advocate for it himself. “Our state is currently facing an all-handson-deck moment that will define the future of Iowa for generations to come,” Wahls said.
F E AT U R E
THE CURRENT ISSUES
ecause what motivates one voter might not affect another, many voters prioritize the social, family and financial issues that are most important to them. Staying informed on different sides of an issue gives perspective and a better understanding of different groups of people. “Regardless of your personal reasons for being politically active, it is imperative that voters continue to educate themselves on the issues, and that they continue to dialogue thoughtfully with people who think differently than they do,” said government teacher Stacey Noble. One of the institutions greatly impacted by the elections are schools. Schools depend on money from the state and national governments to offer certain classes, special programs and services students depend on. According
OCT. 4, 2018
to Jillian Baker ’19, a former campaign fellow for the Hillary Clinton campaign, some of the most important issues in this year’s election directly impact all types of students. “I want to make sure that the new elects have the best interest of Iowa’s youth in mind,” Baker said. “This means better school funding and less discriminatory laws. For that reason, I want to advocate for the people who I think can best represent and stand up for not only populations like me, but for all populations.” Many underage students, however, are unaware of just how interconnected the government is in their life. For example, the government affects the minimum wage students can earn at their jobs. It can also affect their ability to qualify for grants and loans for college.
seats of the U.S. House of Representatives are up for elections
of the seats of the U.S. Senate are up for election *none from Iowa
Iowa Senate seats out of are up for election
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
“If you listed out your daily interactions and activities, there is likely an elected official that has made a decision impacting almost every one of those things directly or indirectly,” Noble said. Many decisions made today will have long-lasting impacts on these students and the rest of the world tomorrow and for years to come. “This is easily the most important midterm election of my lifetime and yours, too,” Wahls said. “If you care about climate change, gun safety reform, affordable higher education, investments in our K-12 system, access to abortion and contraception, being able to vote and protecting our immigrant communities, the stakes in this election couldn’t be higher.”
o matter what one’s agenda is, the midterm elections are significant for every individual. These elections determine who represents each unique voice. Legislators are the ones discussing and voting on the issues that affect everyone. “It starts with a person as small as an Iowa Senator,” Patel said. “It’s really hard for one person to really represent the whole body of people in the U.S. because there are so many different groups. However, a [local representative] is able to really talk with their people and see what they want. [They are] able to convey those ideas in both Iowa and Washington.” Midterm elections are also the way people can ensure that their respective party gets the most officials elected. Only with big numbers can a party carry out their goals. If people strongly disagree with a party, the same also applies. “The president is just one person in our system of government, and as citizens, our dai-
ly lives are greatly impacted by elected officials in our national legislature, as well as officials elected in our state,” Noble said. The 2018 midterm elections will also have a big impact on the 2020 election. Currently, it appears that President Trump will run for reelection. As he is the incumbent, there are not many Republicans challenging him. It would alter the whole election to have someone challenge him in the primaries. A possible candidate could use the 2018 midterm elections as a stepping stone to become a prominent Republican leader. “No matter where on the political spectrum you fall, it is important that you pay attention to the platforms of candidates, as well as what they plan to do in office,” Baker said. “To speak up for what you agree with or disagree [with] will always be a more valuable tool than sitting on the sidelines and complaining after someone you don’t care for gets elected.” Besides canvassing, students can also write
Iowa House of Representatives seats are up for election
an op-ed, contact legislatures and simply stay informed and aware. Logan Pfannebecker ’19, co-founder of the club Students for Open Discussion, has observed that students under 18 don’t always see the benefit in caring about elections but believes this needs to change. “Let your voice be heard this midterm, because it matters,” Pfannebecker said. “Don’t think your age is holding you back from participating in political discussion. We are the next voters, and we should be informed before a decision is made that could severely affect our lives.” Though many West students won’t be able to vote, several members of the class of 2019 will be able to. According to Noble, voting is the most powerful tool in democracy, and if one is eligible to vote, they should not hesitate to do so. “When you are eligible to vote, and you choose not to, you are choosing to let others make the decisions that impact your life, the lives of your family, and the future you intend to live in.”
A DV E R T I S E M E N T S OCT. 4, 2018
A TOX I C
TRADITION An examination of Westâ€™s competitive culture and its effects on student mental health.
F E AT U R E OCT. 4, 2018
BY ANNA BROWN & ANJALI HUYNH
here excellence is a tradition. These words stand tall and proud, resonating through the school in every way imaginable. From students practicing fervently in the music rooms to rows upon rows of gleaming trophies displayed in the hallways, excellence is undoubtedly a significant part of the culture at West High. But at what cost is this “excellence” obtained? Though West boasts high standardized test scores, numerous state athletic titles and a significant amount of All-State musicians annually, the journey to these accomplishments is not without its drawbacks. The expectation to continuously perform well under high standards creates a stressful environment, which can negatively impact mental health. “Stress places a really significant burden on the brain, just like if you were to overwork a muscle,” explained psychology teacher Travis Henderson. “Let’s say that you’re trying to get bigger biceps. If you overwork your biceps, your biceps would be at risk of being damaged; they need time to heal and repair before you work them again. The problem is that stress causes all kinds of things in our bodies.”
According to the American Psychological Association, stress alone can cause fatigue, inability to concentrate and irritability. Chronic stress has the potential to result in physical harm as well by causing diseases such as depression, diabetes or anxiety. All of these factors combined create many obstacles in a student’s ability to learn or find enjoyment in extracurricular activities. Despite movements attempting to destigmatize mental health concerns like Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, they continue to be infrequently discussed in an academic setting. According to a WSS survey of 28 West teachers, 53.6 percent of teachers discuss mental health “whenever it seems necessary,” 35.7 percent “rarely discuss mental health in the classroom setting” and a mere 10.7 percent of teachers discuss mental health “as often as possible.” Through stories told from various aspects of the school, one thing is certain: West High’s atmosphere is a culture rooted in pressure and competition.
ACADEMICS Her ridicule began with an onslaught of dreadful migraines. Since sophomore year, Elisa Nisly ’19 has endured severe migraines in high-stress academic situations, eventually developing anxiety. As a
“ TH E GOAL O F E DUCATION SHOU LD B E TO E NGAG E PEOPLE ’S CU RIOSITY, PU SH PEOPLE TO ALWAYS I M PROVE WITHOUT N ECESSARI LY RE F E RE N CI NG WH E RE EVE RYBODY E LSE I S.” - DO M I N I C IAN N O N E, H I STO RY TEACH E R
result, Nisly is sometimes unable to attend class or take exams. Despite being absent for medical reasons, she was often the subject of contempt by her peers. “People don’t really understand both mental health issues and anxiety in that specific instance,” Nisly said. “I think people just assume that everyone else is like them. If they don’t have a health problem, they assume that everyone else doesn’t … It stressed me out because I felt like I had to explain myself to everyone.” This unawareness often caused misunderstanding between Nisly and her peers, as many were not able to fully grasp the severity of her health condition. “A lot of the time it’s people who don’t actually mean to be rude about it,” Nisly said. “But [they say], ‘You missed class because you didn’t do the homework assignment,’ and actually it’s, ‘No, I missed class because I had a migraine.’” For years, West High has been regarded as a school of high-achieving students. Students took over 1050 AP tests in 2018, and the ACT average for West students is seven points higher than the state average. However, according to licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Nelson, these achievements come at a cost to students’ self-efficacy.
“West High students who enroll in honors and AP courses have previously done well academically,” Nelson said. “For most, receiving a grade lower than an ‘A’ is upsetting because it is new. Students often catastrophize that a ‘B’ or ‘C’ for a trimester will ruin their lives and chances to be admitted to selective colleges … Peers who are equally nervous about preserving their 4.0 status agree when a friend freaks out about a ‘B’ grade, which reinforces high distress. There’s clear [evidence] a relationship between perfectionism, distress and motivation [exists].” Nisly is not alone in facing mental health issues associated with high academic rigor. According to school counselor Kelly Bergmann, while the guidance department does not know exactly how many students are diagnosed with mental health disorders due to many going unreported, they work with an “increasing number of students who have mental health concerns or diagnoses” every year. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, while anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness in the United States, only 36.9 percent of those who suffer receive treatment in fear of receiving backlash. Nisly feels one reason students do not express
concerns over their mental health is because of their obsession surrounding appearances. “People constantly want to present their best selves in settings of high competition, so [mental health] isn’t something they want to talk about,” she said. “Or, they feel like they don’t have the resources to talk about it, especially if their family is also pressuring them to do well academically.” School counselor Kay DiLeo has also noticed the correlation between high expectations and increase in student stress levels. “Teenagers tend to compare themselves to their friends, and since we do have [academically] high-achieving students here, you’ll have some other students compare themselves,” DiLeo said. “I think [the counselors] would all agree that high expectations produce more stress and depression.” Social studies teacher Dominic Iannone has firsthand experience with these “high-achieving students” who are frequently severely emotionally affected due to educational stress. “It’s rare that I have a week where I don’t have somebody who’s in here upset or in tears about something,” Iannone said. “I understand why they feel all that pressure, but I wish they didn’t. The goal of education should be to engage people’s curiosity, push people to always improve without necessarily referencing where
everybody else is, … and the fact that people roll their eyes when you say that’s the way it should be shows how far away we are from what the vision of education could really be.” Henderson noted that another issue rooted in the academic setting is the elitist culture formed by students. “To students who are so focused on themselves that they can’t see the bigger picture: try to develop some empathy,” Henderson said. “I don’t want to discredit the fact that they’ve taken seven AP classes and they know how to note-take and they probably could go to college right now and be fine, … but they need to recognize that they benefited from a system that set them up to get to that place, and not everyone has.” Going forward, Henderson hopes that students will focus more on learning rather than competing with others. “We all leave with some common experiences and a broad enough worldview that we can be good citizens of our democracy,” Henderson said. “That’s what makes education valuable: … we are creating a generation of enough broad-minded citizens that we can hope that the next generation can improve our democracy … If we could better communicate that mission, maybe we wouldn’t have people who look down on other people.”
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“AN D TH E FACT THAT PEOPLE ROLL TH E I R EYES WH E N YOU SAY THAT ’S TH E WAY IT SHOU LD B E SHOWS HOW FAR AWAY WE ARE F ROM WHAT TH E VI SION OF E DUCATION COU LD REALLY B E .” - DO M I N I C IAN N O N E, H I STO RY TEACH E R
ART & DESIGN BY CRYSTAL KIM
Every year, students from all over the state compete to earn a spot in the All-State band, choir or orchestra. The opportunity to perform with this prestigious group is often the pinnacle of one’s musical career. However, the desire to perform well often takes a toll on student musicians as the pressure to succeed rises each day leading up to the auditions. Saxophone player and two-time All-State musician Yangtian Shangguan ’19 experienced this firsthand. “I feel good about those early stages because you’re like, ‘Oh, it’s three months [away], who cares?” Shangguan said. “But as you get closer and get frustrated, … that probably increases the stress where it hasn’t been there in the past.” West High produces some of the most high-achieving musicians in the state, with 51 students earning All-State recognition. According to band director Rob Medd, because West has such successful music programs, pressure is a common drawback to this success. “West High has sort of some added pressure with All-State, because we’re one of the very few schools in the state who actually have to have auditions to get to auditions for All-State,” Medd said. “We can only register 30 band students, 30 orchestra students and 28 choir students, but every year we have more than those
numbers who want to do auditions.” Shangguan believes that the success within the music programs at West only contributes more to the obsessive need to do as well as possible. “If you achieve at a high level … I think there is some expectation that you at least continue putting the work in that you put in before,” Shangguan said. “In the band here, everyone is so good, so there’s always an expectation, most likely from yourself. But other people around you — your friends, your parents — they have expectations too, whether they say it or not.” School counselor Kelly Bergmann echoed the effects that expectations have on stress. “I think with high expectations comes another set of challenges,” Bergmann said. “Kids are generally more stressed, and if they don’t meet those expectations it can be a problem if they don’t have a strong support system [or] coping methods.” Similar to Iannone, Medd experienced situations where students have come to him very distressed about the results of various events. “It’s pretty common for students to come in upset,” Medd said. “That’s when we have those conversations about what that one thing means compared to everything else and how it should
F E AT U R E OCT. 4, 2018
or shouldn’t have to do with your self esteem … It has to be kept in perspective, and that’s a learning process for everybody, not just for students.” Although the atmosphere surrounding the music program at West High is very competitive, Shangguan feels the community among him and his peers helps alleviate some of that stress. He sees the saxophone section as very “close-knit,” which helps him focus on the enjoyment of playing rather than competing. “We all support each other in a way [where] nobody feels any animosity towards each oth-
er,” he said. “If there’s someone who might be better in some aspect than you, you learn from them … It definitely makes it more enjoyable that some people are better at some things and other people are better at other things.” Medd also reiterated the idea that students should be performing for enjoyment, rather than being motivated solely by competition. “Music is an art,” Medd said. “Even in the professional world, there are competitive aspects to music, but it’s certainly not the most important thing, and not the kind of motivation that I want for students.”
“ M U SIC I S AN ART, TH E RE ARE COM PETITIVE ASPECTS TO M U SIC , BUT IT ’S CE RTAI N LY NOT TH E M OST I M PORTANT TH I NG, AN D NOT TH E KI N D OF M OTIVATION THAT I WANT FOR STU DE NTS.” - ROB M EDD, BAN D DI RECTO R ATHLETICS West’s successful athletic program is known statewide, making these students some of the most-watched athletes in the state. But living up to a legacy is something basketball player Patrick McCaffery ’19 faced years before putting on a Trojan jersey. Since freshman year of high school, McCaffery has been a vital player on the West boys basketball team — one of the most formidable teams in the state. “With the West High name … there’s an expectation,” McCaffery said. “Whenever we go to [another school’s] gym, it’s packed. Everyone wants to beat West … so there’s definitely a lot of pressure that goes into playing.” Because of this reputation, McCaffery believes that the entire atmosphere changes when West does not meet these high expectations. “The attitude in the locker room and on the bus ride home is way different [when we lose],” he said. “We don’t lose very often … so the whole attitude changes. We go to practice the next day, and it’s a whole different type of mindset, a whole different work ethic … We’ve always been really successful, and it’s just a culture in West High basketball. You come to work.” While West’s reputation contributes to the pressure, being a McCaffery only added to the need to excel. Because McCaffery’s father
is the University of Iowa basketball coach and his older brother Connor McCaffery ’17 experienced much success on the West High boys basketball team, he feels that others are constantly focusing on him to carry on his family’s legacy. “[My dad being a] public figure has definitely added some pressure onto me because of my last name,” McCaffery said. “Everybody wants to have an expectation of me, and they want to be able to say that they have watched me play and what they think [about my performance]. That definitely adds extra pressure because people want to get fixated on me and care about what I do.” McCaffery believes that this pressure was particularly difficult when he was younger and not as experienced at handling the pressure that came with playing for such a highly regarded team. “It was all really new to me,” McCaffery said. “When I first got here as a freshman, all the other guys played varsity the year before. I was the only guy that was new. … It was a pretty big learning curve, especially coming from junior high to one of the most successful programs in the state. That definitely was a lot of pressure.” The competitiveness that comes with playing at this high level is deeply rooted in the culture at West. West holds seven state basketball titles
and made runs at the state title every year that McCaffery has been on the lineup. However, Henderson believes that while West’s competitive culture contributes to the high-achieving rigor, there are outside factors feeding into this mindset as well. “I don’t think it’s just West that’s creating that culture,” Henderson said. “It’s part of it, but
“ TH E SAD REALITY I S THAT WITH ALL TH ESE FACTORS, IT COM ES TOG ETH E R I N A REALLY SE RIOU S WAY, ESPECIALLY H E RE AT WEST, AN D IT DE F I N ITE LY CREATES A VE RY TOXIC E NVI RON M E NT.” -TR AVI S H EN DE RSON , PSYCHOLOGY TEACH E R
West is also a microcosm of a much bigger trend that is country-wide … and we all have to take responsibility for it. The sad reality is that with all these factors, it comes together in a really serious way, especially here at West, and it definitely creates a very toxic environment.” According to Henderson, one component of this toxic environment is the tendency to compare one’s achievements against peers, and with the presence of social media, this is more prevalent than ever. Sports fans often take to social media to comment on games and McCaffery’s individual performance, regardless of whether West wins or loses. “Part of how we derive our sense of self is through comparisons with others,” Henderson said. “That’s sort of been an inevitability
in terms of being human and interacting with each other, and I think that with the prevalence with social media, it makes it even easier to communicate with one another in that way.” Although social media is used as a tool of competition, it has become a platform for negative or malicious comments as well. McCaffery believes that with higher expectations comes more judgment and criticism. “Sometimes it’s been overwhelming … and hard to manage,” McCaffery said. “I might be upset about it, but it just goes in one ear and out the other the next day. I don’t take it into account; I don’t pay any mind to it. I’ve just grown and matured through it all and realized I can’t control what they say.”
F E AT U R E
OCT. 4, 2018
MOVING FORWARD In response to the recent 2017-18 climate survey results, a schoolwide poll conducted to gauge student experiences in school, West administration primarily focused on race and gender issues, as opposed to mental health. According to the survey, there was an increase of around 20 percent of students who felt that their contributions in the classroom were not valued due to race. “[The administration] has a lot of discussions about diversity and gender issues and how we approach those in the classroom,” Shoultz said. “We were more focused on hurtful comments from teachers and from students. [Mental health] is something we have touched on, but it wasn’t as a result of this survey.” However, West High still has a variety of programs and systems of support for students who struggle with mental health issues. For example, West brings in counselors from Four Oaks, an organization committed to helping families succeed. “During our open hour, kids schedule time [to] meet [with Four Oaks’ counselors, and] they go on with their day,” said school counselor Greg Yoder. “That has been very helpful for a large percentage of our students who have things come up, so [they do not have] to deal with another appointment outside of the building.” Additionally, there are two Student and Family Advocates who work alongside the school counselors at West High. “John Roarick and Jamie Schneider really help us with connecting kids to outside resources,” Bergmann said. “They help us a lot with students that are facing any kind of barrier: home, financial, mental health, etc. They really help us a lot with anyone who is struggling with mental health concerns. We work alongside them to provide the best support we can inside the building.”
Moreover, a program called Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was implemented at West this year. Led by professionals from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, DBT focuses on helping students by “learning to cope with distress, communicating assertively and most of all, practicing living in the moment while decreasing self judgment,” according to Nelson. As mental health issues become more normalized, more opportunities for discussions regarding mental health have arisen. A WSS survey found that all 28 participating teachers answered “yes” to feeling comfortable discussing mental health concerns with their students. While teachers may not routinely discuss mental health in the classroom, they want to aid those that are struggling. “Our teachers do a great job. If [students] have a conversation or write something in the school newspaper, [teachers] let us know right away, so we can follow up with them,” said school counselor Paul Breitbach. “I think [students] need to talk with somebody if they can.” Medd also addressed this, citing instances when he reflected on his own personal experience to help students address their own issues. “I have personal experience with anxiety, so I usually feel pretty comfortable talking to stu-
dents about that,” he said. “Usually that tends to work out, and we have that conversation. I think it’s good for students to realize that lots of people in society deal with clinical anxiety or depression, and it helps knowing that you’re not the only one.” Nisly believes that students also have a role to play in creating a more accepting, positive atmosphere. “I think the school is starting to recognize [the negative culture],” Nisly said. “It’s a little bit better, but still not perfect. [Students] need to consider what other people are going through and [not] assume everyone is under the exact same circumstances as they are.” However, Henderson believes that the key to shifting this culture from one fixated on competitiveness, to one of acceptance is addressing the issue at a school-wide level and redefining what constitutes “excellence” at West High. “I really believe that the things that teachers and administrators focus on create the reality that we all live in,” Henderson said. “If you go into a classroom and a teacher everyday is like, ‘This is getting you ready for the AP test,’ then the reality of that class is that this is an AP test prep class … We could do some things to change what we focus on as a community and in so doing, lessen some of those anxieties and some of those pressures.”
PROFILES OCT. 4, 2018
BY NATALIE KATZ & SOPHIE STEPHENS
This year, the number of exchange students at West has increased from years past, with three foreign students currently enrolled. Coming from two different continents and three different countries, these students reflect on their experiences thus far in the United States.
oming from a concrete jungle 5,244 miles away, Iowa is just about as opposite as it gets for Abdul Turay ’20. Here for his junior year of high school, Turay has traveled from Freetown, Sierra Leone. “I’ve never heard of Iowa. It sounded strange,” Turay said. And as strange as it sounded to him, it looked just as strange when he finally arrived. The grassy yards here, so unlike the ones back home, still surprise him after being in Iowa for a couple of months. “[In Sierra Leone] we don’t usually leave our yards with grass; we cement them all over,” Turay said. “[If] you want to make your compound beautiful, you cement everything.” Turay was also shocked to find air conditioning everywhere, especially since the weather was cold to him compared to temperatures in Sierra Leone. When he took his first trip to the grocery store, Turay was in awe when he discovered the ‘frozen food’ section. “[It was] like a walk-in freezer,” he said. “We never had a walk in freezer. That’s one of the things that fascinated me.” After receiving the application for this program from a friend and much encouragement from his parents, Turay, along with 500 other students underwent the rigorous application process that included testing and interviews. Being one of only nine selected, it is a great honor for Turay to be in the United States this year. Despite being taught in a different language in Iowa, Turay still finds the school system more challenging in Sierra Leone.
“Our [classes] are really difficult. No computers, just books, huge textbooks. You have to find out [information] for yourself,” he said. Access to technology is one of the reasons Turay decided to spend his junior year in the United States. When he returns, he plans to join the alumni group International Education and Resource Network (IEARN), an organization that works to improve the education system in Sierra Leone. Whether building and encouraging students who have not had access to education in the past to attend school, or feeding the homeless, the main goal is to apply what he learned in the U.S. to help the program. “[My goal is] to share American culture and to learn about it and go back to my country and share how to develop things like use of network and internet,” he said. Leaving his parents and five siblings who love to play games with him behind and staying with host parents as an only child was a drastic change of atmosphere for Turay. His host parents, though, have been hosting students from Africa throughout the past decade. “We have enjoyed having Abdul in our home; he has a great sense of humor,” said Bonnie Anderson, Turay’s host mom. So far, Turay is already making the most of being here: camping, joining the tennis team and bowling with his host family. “I’m excited that I’m about to learn and experience new things,” Turay said. “And [I will have] the ability to use those things to benefit my community when I go back.”
PHOTOS BY MADDI SHINALL & ALYSSA SKALA ART & DESIGN BY JENNA ZENG
OCT. 4, 2018
or Emi Ariaux ’19, moving from La Garenne Colombes, France to Iowa City for her senior year was something she had dreamed of doing since her relatives told her stories of their senior year abroad. Ariaux has immersed herself in American culture by attending the Iowa State Fair, making s’mores for the first time and eating McDonald’s at 10 a.m. Additionally, Ariaux has been introduced to an ordinary part of life many students take for granted: having a sibling. Being an only child in France, Ariaux has had to adjust to having two siblings here in America. As an only child, the experience of living with a sibling was something Ariaux was looking forward to. “If I didn’t have this [host] family, I would not have the same experience, and I’m so happy to live this experience right now,” Ariaux said. “I know they’re here for me, and if I need help, they will always be here.” Despite being separated from her friends back home, Ariaux has developed new friendships with her host siblings that transcend language or cultural differences.
hatever vision Cristina Cinotto ’19 had when she submitted her application to spend her senior year in America, it sure did not involve Iowa. Following in her older brother’s footsteps, Cinotto applied purely based off of his study abroad experience. But unlike her brother who was assigned to go to Arizona, she was paired with a family in a place she had never even heard of. Back home, Cinotto spends most of her time with friends, like many teenagers in Turin, Italy. Because the school day is structured differently, Cinotto typically goes out for lunch with them, and often doesn’t get home until dinner. “[Italian teenagers] always go out; they don’t stay in with the family,” she said. “It’s different because we have more liberty.” In Italy, Cinotto lived alone with her parents. Her brother Ferdinando is in college, so she has gotten used to being the only child in the house. “We’re not really [close]. My parents are divorced and my brother is studying in other countries; we’re all divided,” Cinotto said. Coming to Iowa has given Cinotto a family very different from the one she left. Going from being the only child living at home to having two “crazy” younger host sisters has been a big adjustment. “They have some days where we have to do something … like washing the dishes. And I’m on the list. Like I’m really in the family,” she said. Along with many of the opportunities Cinotto
has already taken advantage of, such as joining cross country and going to Fired Up with her host family, she has also experienced one of the more unavoidable ones: eating American food. “The [noodles] don’t have to be so squishy, and then I try the pizza, and it’s sweet. It doesn’t have to be sweet,” Cinotto said with a laugh. “And then there’s garlic. A lot of garlic. I don’t understand those things.” These experiences have led to a cooking lesson with Cristina’s host family, the Goers. Unpacking the pasta maker that had sat unused in their pantry for the past 15 years, Cinotto and her host mom Kerri Goers discovered that it was the same machine Cinotto uses in Italy. “It was quite nice just to hang out together in the kitchen cooking,” Goers said. “I asked her if all Italians could make pasta and she said ‘Yes!’ So I guess it’s fitting that we should learn that from her.” So far, Cinotto has had fun teaching her host family how to make authentic Italian recipes such as lasagna with homemade noodles and tiramisu. “I’ve been here for three weeks, I just feel like it’s only a holiday now,” she said. Even though it still feels like a vacation for her, Cinotto is glad she made the decision to come, however much on a whim it might have been. “When an opportunity comes I just [take it].” she said. “I think I made a good choice. I want to change a little bit.”
“She just really is here to make friends and live how we live,” said Ariaux’s host brother, Ryan Gamble ‘19. “I feel like she is just wanting to build more connections with people.” Other differences, like sharing a bathroom with siblings, getting ready with her host sister, Emma Howes ’19, in the morning and the freedom she has at school to take elective courses like AP Psychology and introduction to theater, have been exactly what Ariaux has been looking for. “I think we have more liberty [in America] to do what we want to do,” Ariaux said. “We can choose the classes that you want. The teachers are more friendly [here]. In France it is like the [students are beneath] the teachers. We have to respect the teachers [in America as well], but there is not this [same] connection [in France].” Although Ariaux may occasionally surprise her host brother and sister by slipping into her native tongue, the social and cultural differences between Iowa City and La Garenne Colombes have only made her experiences more authentic and meaningful.
OCT. 4, 2018
ME ET T H E N EW T E AC H ERS BY LUCY POLYAK & ANNABEL HENDRICKSON
Susanna Ziemer Science: WSS: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? “I would really like to go to Vietnam, because I like watching a lot of food documentaries, and I love Anthony Bourdain. Anthony Bourdain said that Vietnam was one of his [favorite] places to go, so my husband and I have talked about going there for a couple years now and maybe we’ll get to go sometime soon.”
Marshal Moellers Physics: WSS: What’s a subject you wish you knew more about? “I wish I knew more about all things biology. I studied a whole bunch of physics and Earth science at the University of Iowa, but the only biology class I’ve taken was when I was a student here at West with Mrs. Harms. Not that I didn’t learn that much in her class, but there’s just so many cool things [about biology] to learn.”
Jessica St. John - ELL: WSS: If you could pick an age to be forever, what age would you pick? “I would be 35. I feel like you’re not too old to be physically incapable of doing things, yet you’re old enough to know better and you know enough about the world.”
Paul Rundquist PE/Student Success Coordinator: WSS: What was the best Halloween costume you ever had? “I was [E.T.] when I was a child. My mom would sew my costume every year when I was young, so I had some pretty fantastic costumes.”
OCT. 4, 2018
With a new school year starting, many new teachers have joined the West High community. To get to know these new faces better, here are the teachers’ answers to some fun icebreakers.
Jessica Mehegan APUSH and Government: WSS: If you could have dinner with any three people, who would you choose? “Ruth Bader Ginsburg — she’s a boss, George Bush, because I think he’d be a chill guy and Malala [Yousafzai] because I think she would have good stories to tell.”
Larissa Gasperetti Spanish 1: WSS: If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three things would you want with you? “My husband, because he is intelligent and fun, my son, because he is sweet and entertaining and enough Chipotle until help arrives.”
Keith Kraeplin Industrial Tech and PLTW: WSS: What’s a topic that you could give a presentation on with no preparation? “I do enjoy health and wellness, anything that’s exercise- or diet-related. That really interests me, like how to take care of your body … I wouldn’t consider myself so much sporty, [but] I do like to work out and exercise when I have the time. I just enjoy being active.”
Victor Service Dog: WSS: What’s your favorite toy to play with? “Woof [my tennis ball].”
PHOTOS BY GWEN WATSON ART & DESIGN BY SELINA HUA
WHY NOT WOMEN, TOO? While our society claims to be progressing in workplace equality, with women comprising nearly half the labor force by 2010, the profession of coaching has stayed overwhelmingly male-dominated. BY WILL CONRAD & DENIZ INCE
1 2 3 4 PHOTO EDITS BY KARA WAGENKNECHT ART BY FRANCES DAI DESIGN BY LYDIA GUO
ara Beckord Swails was no stranger to making history. After all, she had taken fifth in the Olympic Trials in the 800 meter run as only a senior in high school and was the first Iowan girl to participate in the legendary event. For such a successful high school athlete, Swails was upset she would not be able to run at the collegiate level. Title IX, which according to the NCAA “requires that women and men be provided equitable opportunities to participate in sports,” was signed in 1972, four years after Swails’s high school graduation. “When [I] graduated from high school, there wasn’t anything out there for [me],” Swails said. “It was such an injustice, and it made me mad and made me determine that I wanted to be a coach for women.” Swails had no female coaches growing up. In fact, she was one of the pioneers of the women’s sports movement. In the 1960’s, only three states — Iowa, Texas and Oklahoma — had girls sports. In Iowa, many of these programs were in small towns. Following the passage of Title IX, athletic opportunities for girls at both the high school and collegiate levels grew. During her coaching career at West High in the ’80s, Swails led a combined program of both girls and boys cross country. In 1988, she made coaching history: Swails became the first woman in Iowa to coach a boys team to a state title. The 1988 boys cross country team’s first-place trophy remains West High’s only boys cross country title. To the members of the ’88 team, it was business as usual. “She was just a coach,” said Todd Lane ’91, a member of the championship team and current
“ SH E WAS J UST A COACH . I DON ’T TH I N K WE EVE R WI SH E D WE HAD A MALE COACH . I DON ’T TH I N K TH E SI G N I F ICANCE REALLY EVE N H IT US.” -TODD LAN E ‘91, LOU ISIANA STATE U N IVERSITY TRACK AN D FI ELD COACH
Assistant Track and Field coach at Louisiana State University. “I don’t think we ever wished we had a male coach. I don’t think the significance really even hit us. I remember after it happened, people [were] talking about [how] this was the first female coach to coach a boys team to a state championship, maybe in any sport. For us, as 15-to-17-year-old boys, we really didn’t care, but as I look back on it now, it was a much bigger deal.” Even 30 years after Swails’s historic run at West, the field of coaching has fallen especially short in terms of the equality trajectory it seemed to have started years ago. According to the study “Women in Intercollegiate Sport” by R. Vivien Acosta and Linda Jean Carpenter, in 1972, 90 percent of women’s collegiate teams were coached by women; today that number is less than half. However, Lane believes this is not due to lack of ability; this past summer, he witnessed one of his fellow coaches at Louisiana State University, Coach Tamara Ards, help Damion Thomas to a 20 or under World Junior Championship in the 110 meter hurdles. “[Thomas] has a great respect for her,” Lane said. “There’s females that have great respect for her too … She’s just as good at chewing out the guys as the ladies, and the ladies are probably equally as offended as the guys are.” Similar to the past few decades, just two percent of men’s teams are coached by women. Even at West High, only five out of 23 sports — dance, cheerleading, girls tennis, girls golf and softball — have women as head coaches. Swails had a short reaction to this statistic: “That’s terrible, terrible.” To many female coaching hopefuls, part of the
women coached more than
of collegiate women’s teams.
women coach less than
of collegiate women’s teams.
Sources: National Collegiate Athletic Association
gap in gender equality in coaching comes from the fact society does not often market the option of coaching to women. Because many women have grown up without seeing their future selves in athletic careers, they may not see coaching as a potential profession. “I think it’s hard because most people in [coaching roles] are male coaches. It is very hard for [females] to think ‘I want to do this job,’ because they see only male coaches and think [athletes] will go more towards them than the female coaches,” said Bailey Libby ’22, a gymnast and aspiring coach. Girls tennis coach Amie Villarini concurred with this sentiment and the need for more female representation in coaching. “It’s nice to have the balance [of genders in coaching] so that other girls can look up to [their coaches] and say ‘I can do this too.’ It’s not just an all male position,” Villarini said. Lane agreed that the desire to coach among women may be waning. “Certainly at the promoting level, it could be a little better also. In the summer I’m involved with what’s called Coach’s Education,” Lane said. “People have the opportunity to come in, and it’s a track and field class at a really micro level. It’s interesting because probably about 75 percent of the people in there are male, and you’d like to have more females.” Many women who are old enough to coach are also just entering motherhood. Consequentially, these women are saddled with the additional responsibility of handling family arrangements that their male counterparts traditionally have not and still today do not face, which can dissuade aspiring females from getting involved. Swails pointed to the fact that it was difficult to balance her family life and raise children while juggling a coaching schedule, as practices take place when the kids get out of school. “It was really hard for me, because my children [were] young in elementary school. It’s just a juggling act, and it was difficult, and you know, that makes a difference,” Swails said. Today, Villarini has experienced the same troubles. “In a lot of professional jobs for women, another reason it’s hard for women to hold high ranking positions [is] because there is the family aspect: the desire and need to be there for your family,” Villarini said. “I used to look up to Vivian Stringer. She was the women’s basketball coach at Iowa and she’s still coaching at Rutgers [today]. She has a family, she has kids. I remember reading her biography about how difficult it was.”
“ B ECAUSE WE ’ RE E NTE RI NG TH I S MALE DOM I NATE D SPORT, A LOT OF TI M ES TH E PE RCE PTION THAT I S RE F LECTE D ON TH E M ... I S THAT TH EY ’ RE NOT GOOD E NOUGH , TH EY ’ RE NOT ADEQUATE E NOUGH .” -CALLI E BROWNSON , DARTMOUTH COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACH
Recently, Dartmouth College hired the first known full-time Division I female football coach: Callie Brownson. Brownson is a graduate of Mount Vernon High School. “When I found out I got the position, I had no idea that I was the first, because it was kind of absurd to me [that] there had never been another [full-time Division I] female [football] coach in the NCAA,” Brownson said. “I consider it a great opportunity to really set the tone so that all those great women … have the opportunity come next year and the year after, and so forth.” In the past few years, the NFL has placed three females in full-time coaching positions. In 2015 they hired their first female official. Now, the NCAA seems to be following suit. However, this integration has not come without pushback. “A lot of people’s arguments, and it’s crazy to me, [are] that women are incapable of understanding the game of football,” Brownson said. “What is it about the game of football that makes the female brain incapable of absorbing? … The boundaries are limitless for [women] if they have confidence in [their intelligence]. But because we’re entering this male-dominated sport, a lot of times the perception that is reflected on them … is that they’re not good enough, they’re not adequate enough. And then they start to doubt their knowledge.” Sometimes it was another coach criticizing Swails during her time at West. “There was a coach who coached a boys team, and he was a little messed up, and in 1988 a woman beat his team,” Swails said. “I had a friend who coached in the same school with me and we just kind of laugh about it. But he was old school and he didn’t like the fact that a woman coach of a boys team beat his team. It was ridiculous.” Because of motherhood responsibilities, lack of representation and pushback in the industry, interest has remained low among female candidates. West High Athletic Director Craig Huegel cited this lack of interest as a reason why gender equality is hard to achieve on a staff. “Sometimes it comes down to supply and demand,” Huegel said. “It depends on the position. If I’m hiring a football coach, I don’t get a lot of female applicants. In that world, there just aren’t a lot of female applicants.” Simply getting more female applicants will not completely solve the problem. Another barrier that prevents women from getting involved in coaching is ongoing systemic discrimination faced in hiring and carrying out the duties associated with a coaching position. To Dr. Jerry Arganbright, former principal at West High,
diversity was paramount in the hiring process. “Hiring a diverse staff was always a high priority at West,” Arganbright said in an email. “When given the opportunity, we tried to include candidates with diverse backgrounds in the interview process and also worked toward a staff that reflected the diversity of our student body.” However, part of the deficiency stems from the lack of females in athletic director roles who make new coaching hires. At the turn of the 21st century, 23 percent of women’s collegiate programs lacked any female representation in their administrative structure. “From a hiring standpoint, I think it’s getting better, but it needs to get a lot better,” Lane said. “I would even go a step further. I’m not familiar [with] the high school level, [but] if you look at athletic directors at the NCAA level, there’s not a lot of female athletic directors. I think that needs to get better, too.” Sue Chelf, head swimming coach at West and City High for 10 years, strove towards maintaining diversity on her coaching staff.
of NCAA women’s teams had a female head coach.
of the full-time head athletic trainers were females.
Sources: National Collegiate Athletic Association & “Women in Intercollegiate Sport” by R. Vivien Acosta & Linda Jean Carpenter
RD O CK
“I just think the best person for the job is the person that’s going to be committed and give it their all, regardless of their gender,” Chelf said. “With male athletic directors, a lot of people have said that, conscious or unconscious, gender bias can come into it, but I like to leave it out. For a while, I had an assistant that was female, and part of the time I had assistants that were male; it’s always nice to have the other gender.” Today, many hiring biases are subconscious but still very present. Because of this, Huegel makes a conscious effort to avoid slighting certain candidates. This means creating and receiving feedback from a committee when interviewing applicants for West’s coaching positions. “I think you have to be aware of what your own bias is,” Huegel said. “I try to really focus on who is going to be the best person for this position and who has the best experience. We do an interview process, and I usually include a committee of students or parents. I get other perspectives. I try to make reference calls to people who aren’t on their application. I try to find out as much about a person as possible before I make those decisions. I don’t care whether [a candidate] is African-American, white, male [or] female. If they’re the best candidate, I’m going to hire them.” Even after being placed in coaching positions, female coaches often have to struggle to gain the
same respect in their field as male coaches. “People try to get away with more stuff because you’re a woman, and [they think] you’ll be more forgiving and more nice,” Villarini said. “Suddenly when I get stern and lay the law down, I get viewed as … [a] ‘bitch.’ If I were a man, that wouldn’t be thought of. I do feel like there’s some discrimination there.” The key for Brownson has been to gain the respect of her football athletes. “If you respect the person who’s coaching, or the person who’s teaching or instructing you in anything, it’s never really a problem of authority,” Brownson said. “So for me, that was really kind of a foundation of my direction.” However, this has not come without doubt.
“The questions come up of, ‘What’s your experience? How much do you really know about football?’” Brownson said. “You just kind of have to have the confidence in the fact that you do know what you’re talking about. You have put in the work; you have built up yourself to be somebody who deserves to be in that position, and that shows through to the players.” Moving forward, many are looking for potential remedies to improve the female coaching experience. This past June, Erica Douglas, Waukee High School coach and founder and president of She Plays, a program designed to empower female athletes, held a coaching clinic for female coaches throughout the state. According to Douglas, simply being able to put together a
group of female coaches who can share their experiences is a tremendous help. “I had a coach come to me and they said, ‘I love what you do for She Plays. I love what you do for all the girl athletes. I wish I had something for me as a coach,’” Douglas said. “And I was kind of like, ‘Oh, you know, I kind of wish I had that too.’” Among the panelists was former professional athlete and current Des Moines Roosevelt High School track and field coach Kim Carson. “Someone asked a question like, ‘What professional athlete or professional coach should I follow?’” Douglas said. “[Carson’s] answer really stuck out to me, because she said those aren’t the people you should try to emulate. It’s the coach-
“ I J UST TH I N K G ETTI NG TH E B EST PE RSON FOR TH E JOB TH E PE RSON THAT ’S GOI NG TO B E COM M ITTE D AN D G IVE IT TH E I R ALL , REGARDLESS OF TH E I R G E N DE R .” -SU E CH ELF, FO RM ER WEST H IGH SWI M M I NG COACH
HIRING PROCESS Job listings are posted on West’s website for a week or longer.
A few of these viable candidates are invited to West for an interview.
The committee does a debrief and discusses positives and negatives about each candidate.
The coaching job is offered to the candidate chosen by the committee and Craig Huegel.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Resumes are gathered and reviewed to determine which candidates are viable.
Interviews are conducted with a committee of outside sources posing the same questions to all candidates.
Any candidates who the committee cannot see in a coaching role are eliminated entirely.
If Huegel’s first choice declines, the job is then offered to the next best choice. Source: Craig Huegel
es that have been around, you know, for 30 years that are always positive, that are always welcoming, that the kids just gravitate towards, because they know something that you don’t.” Villarini agreed that in such a male-dominated field, it is necessary for female coaches to support each other. “We mentor each other because we got through some of the same issues. How do I still be strong and not come off as a bitch? How do I maintain that respect? There is that part of me that doesn’t want to be mean,” Villarini said. “I’ve gone to Coach DiLeo and Coach Bres and Coach Mundt, other female coaches, and talked to them about how to handle things. I’ve been glad to be able to reach out to them for that.” Douglas is already planning for the second annual event to come in 2019. She has faced her fair share of criticism, but what has been important to her has been the growth that followed. “I’ve gotten accused of being too emotional or too sensitive, things like that,” Douglas said. “If I [were] not female, would [that] be a criticism? It’s just that confidence, that learning [through] self reflection. Am I doing what I know is best for me? Do I bring my best self? If the answer is yes, then you know that you just can’t worry about what other people say.” Whether the current shortage of females in coaching is due to motherhood duties, systematic barriers or hiring discrimination, the industry has failed to make much progress in the past few decades. As workplace equality continues to advance in most fields, normalizing women in coaching roles is more important than ever. In a school that has consistently redefined gender expectations in coaching, West High must continue to pave the path for change. “The history and the tradition of West High athletics is a rich and diverse history,” Huegel said. “We’ve had success in almost every one of our programs at the highest level. And we continue to have that success. So we want to continue to promote the valuable things that athletics does. Stories like ‘the first female coach to coach a boys team to a state title’ are more chapters in the book of successful West High athletics.” Brownson is optimistic for the future. “One of my favorite quotes is, ‘Slow progress is still progress,’” Brownson said. “With something like this, where we’re going against the grain and trying to basically restructure a culture that’s been a certain way for [a] very long time, it’s going to take some time.”
E N T E R TA I N M E N T OCT. 4, 2018
MINORITIES IN THE SPOTLIGHT WSS explores how representation has changed Hollywood and how students have reidentified themselves seeing diversity not just as a movie, but as a movement.
BY JENNA WANG
CRAZY RICH ASIANS
It has been more than 25 years since Hollywood featured an all-Asian cast, last seen in “The Joy Luck Club.” Since then, in 2017, only 4.8 percent of all characters in the year’s top-grossing 100 films were of Asian descent, according to USC Annenberg. However, the 2018 release of “Crazy Rich Asians” starring another historic all-Asian cast is changing that precedent. Becoming the most successful studio romcom in more than nine years according to CBS, it is not only changing the way Hollywood sees Asian-Americans, but also the way that the Asian-American community views themselves. “It was almost surreal to see a movie like ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ being made, because I had never really seen people that looked like me in mainstream media,” said Sophia Chen ’19. “Watching this movie just gave me thrills and was really profound. I was really proud.” That sense of pride stems from an all-toocommon situation where limited roles for Asians in past mainstream media have been stereotyped to represent Asians in a narrow perspective, affecting the general perception of the minority group. “I would say there’s two archetypes of the Asian character. One is the nerd or smart one, maybe a Harvard graduate. The second one is like the karate martial arts master,” Chen said. “Seeing any of us in any kind of role that’s different is, I think, very meaningful.” Among the Asian community, many of the stereotypes mainstream media portrays are prevalent, such as the idea that pursuing dreams, like acting, are not encouraged or supported. “Especially for children of first-generation immigrants from Asia, I would say that their
“ WATCH I NG TH I S MOVI E J UST GAVE M E TH RI LLS AN D WAS REALLY PROFOU N D. I WAS REALLY PROU D.” -SOPH IA CH EN ‘19
parents want their kids to be in more stable jobs, because acting or anything in the arts isn’t seen as a stable job,” Chen said. “Since they’re first generation, they know how much it means to be able to make a living — to build something from nothing.” However, for Asians who do pursue a profession in acting, lead roles are even more limited due to a past of Hollywood whitewashing Asian characters. One such controversy involved actress Scarlett Johansson, who portrayed a Japanese female antagonist in the film “Ghost in the Shell.” “[Johansson] honestly speaks to so many levels of entitlement and white privilege [by] the fact that she doesn’t see it as a problem that she’s taking away a platform,” said Emily Buck ’19. “That fact that she can feel entitled to tell that story just tells me how lacking Hollywood [is] in understanding what it means to be underrepresented.” However, that situation may be changing. “Crazy Rich Asians” has inspired many within the Asian community, creating a wave of discussion in Asian-American issues and media representation. Films such as “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and the upcoming live-action “Mulan” have many hopeful about the role Asians have in shaping Hollywood’s future. “I feel like [representation] has been a long time coming,” Buck said. “It honestly should have happened sooner, but I’m glad it played out, and an all-Asian cast is just so incredibly special. If anything, it proves that diversity sells.” Chen agrees, and encourages Asians to use the movement to break stereotypical boundaries and pursue their goals. “I think we sort of have to have a little bit of courage,” Chen said. “It can be an unconventional path, but you never know where it might take you.”
E N T E R TA I N M E N T
OCT. 4, 2018
In recent years, prominent movies like “Moonlight” have featured LGBTQ+ lead roles. “Moonlight,” in particular, was historic, as it was awarded an Oscar for “Best Picture” in 2017. However, the release of “Love, Simon” is the first movie produced by a major Hollywood studio that showcases a gay teenage protagonist. Within the first two opening box office weeks, the movie amassed over 32 million dollars and was the beginning of making LGBTQ+ characters more mainstream and understandable to the public. “With LGBTQ kids, representation is incredibly important to see,” said Colors Club president Emily Buck. “Society likes to imprint all of these models and expectations on building relationships and how to be with other people and what is deemed normal.” According to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), LGBTQ+ teens are six times more likely to experience symptoms of depression than the general population. “When you don’t see LGBTQ relationships or LGBTQ people, a lot of LGBTQ kids feel isolated, they feel like they’re not normal,” Buck said. “That’s really detrimental to their health because mental health is something the LGBTQ community struggles with a lot. So I think this [Love, Simon] representation is huge because it gives people all sorts of different models they can look at, point out and see, like ‘Oh that’s what I can be. That’s my potential. I see myself in these characters.’ And that’s invaluable.” However, despite the success of “Love, Simon,” Hollywood has failed to portray LGBTQ+ characters broadly across the board. An organization called GLAAD, founded by LGBTQ+ people in the media who released an annual study about LGBTQ+ representation called the “Studio Responsibility Index,” proves the trend. Of the 109 film releases that GLAAD counted from major studios in 2017, only 12.8 percent contained any characters that identified as LGBTQ+. Nearly half of all films that GLAAD analyzed in 2016 found LGBTQ+ characters to have less than 1 minute of screen time. In its annual grade ranking of studios, no studio has ever received an ‘Excellent’ rating. Many in the LGBTQ+ community hope that “Love, Simon” is the catalyst that helps to change the representation standards for LGBTQ+ in mainstream media and to give them a greater voice in the world. “In a world where the majority rules, representation is so important because it makes
Marvel Studios came out with its first nearly all-black casted movie, “Black Panther” on Feb. 16, 2018. Within the first two release weeks, it had already crossed the $700 million mark, becoming the second-highest opening in box office history. The movie release came after a long history of white representation at the Oscars, inspiring the #OscarsSoWhite social media campaign which forced Hollywood to revisit the issue of representation on-screen. According to research from the University of Southern California, African-Americans represented only 13.6 percent of characters in major film projects compared to 70.8 percent of white characters in 2017. African-American directors were also represented at just 5.6 percent. Peyton Freeney ’19, an aspiring film director and Film Club leader, believes that “Black Panther” has changed that pattern. Becoming the top-grossing film of all time directed by an African-American, it has inspired Freeney in making his dreams a reality. “I want to tell stories about my experiences being an African-American and I want others to feel that they can express their creativity and that their story needs to be told,” said. “I would watch interviews about [Black Panther] and just learn about how people behind the screen were African-American and it inspired me personally that I could create something that monumental.” Despite Hollywood limitations, Freeney believes that setbacks are what make movies like “Black Panther” more influential. “There’s this certain perception that minorities won’t do as well in the box office but they end up doing just as well,” Freeney said. “They are even more impactful and inspiring.” However, throughout working many film projects during his career, Freeney has faced personal struggles along the way. “Just trying to learn how to do [projects] by yourself is already so hard and I’ve attempted to create so many things that haven’t caught on to the plans in my mind. You dream and think so big that sometimes in reality it doesn’t turn out how you wanted,” Freeney said. “I’ve definitely gotten to low points where I asked myself, ‘Why am I still doing this?’ I almost give up. But I think that kind of pushes me more.” In overcoming those barriers, Freeney believes that people shouldn’t just wait for opportunities. “I think we have to reach out and do whatever it takes,” he said. “Even when I struggle and face barriers, successes like “Black Panther” drive me even more.” ART & DESIGN BY VIVIEN HO
percent of characters of Asian descent in topgrossing 100 films Source: USC Annenberg
13.6 percent of characters that are African-American Source: USC
12.8 percent of characters that identify as LGBTQ+ Source: GLAAD
sure that the minorities have a voice,” Buck said. “Democracy is all about doing what the majority wants so for [minorities]; representation is a way to have a voice in the system, to have your story be told, and to make sure you feel like this is a place where you belong.”
E N T E R TA I N M E N T OCT. 4, 2018
FUN IN THE
FA LL BY SOPHIE STEPHENS
Need some help passing time in the new season? WSS has a list of things to help you stay warm and cozy this fall.
PHOTOS BY ADITI BORDE ART & DESIGN BY AMY LIAO
E N T E R TA I N M E N T
OCT. 4, 2018
COLONY PUMPKIN PATCH
WILSON’S APPLE ORCHARD
Not only can you find your perfect arrangement of pumpkins and gourds to decorate or carve, Colony also offers fun activities like hayrack rides, a children’s play area and zombie paintball hunting in the corn fields.
Take Instagram-worthy fall photos and eat and drink some fresh-baked treats including tasty turnovers or fresh apple cider. Make sure to check out their other activities like tractor rides too.
Go out on an adventure and make the trip to Atkins, Iowa to Scream Acres at Bloomsbury Farm with a group of friends. The haunted houses on an autumn night are perfect to get you into the spooky mood.
PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES
APPLE BAKED GOODS
A classic for fall, the pumpkin spice latte coming back signifies the return of the new season. Enjoy a hot or iced pumpkin drink from a chain restaurant, local cafe or make your own.
With fall comes every store stocked to the brim with Halloween candy. Whether you like the tri-colored candies or not, it’s hard not to associate them with the autumn season.
Fall is a great time to eat apples. Eat them raw or with caramel, or do some baking to make apple cider donuts, apple turnovers or apple pie.
There’s nothing more Iowan than purposefully getting yourself lost in a corn field. Enjoy this classic activity at Bloomsbury Farm, and go Friday or Saturday nights to bring Scream Acres into the maze with you!
Join the student section and support the West High football team, marching band and cheerleaders during West’s Friday Night Lights. Make sure to participate in the theme and follow the cheers as you enjoy the game.
Cozy up next to a roaring fire as the temperatures drop after dark. Grab some marshmallows and chocolate and make s’mores with a group of friends.
Jam while you read!
E N T E R TA I N M E N T OCT. 4, 2018
A A UU TT UU M MN NA A LL TT UU N N EE SS With fall now in full-swing, youâ€™re probably looking to replace your overused summer playlist and maybe even the one you used to get through the beginning of the school year. Well fear not, because here is a list of light-hearted songs for you to bop to.
1. Dearly Departed / Shakey Graves 2. Only Human / MisterWives 3. Graveclothes / Birdtalker 4. Laughter Lines / Bastille 5. NoLo / Grace Mitchell 6. For Elise / Saint Motel 7. Scare Away The Dark / Passenger 8. Simple Song / The Shins 9. Land of the Living / Roo Panes 10. Delilah / Florence + the Machine 11. Stargazing / Kygo ft. Justin Jesso 12. Bonnie & Clyde / Vance Joy 13. Was It Worth the Love Song / Precious Kid 14. Life Again / Blossom Caldarone 15. I Wanna Get Better / Bleachers COMPILED BY LUCY POLYAK ART & DESIGN BY BRENDA GAO
FOR MORE CONTENT, GO TO WSSPAPER.COM
A DV E R T I S E M E N T S
OCT. 4, 2018
Sushi and sake in a casual Japanese eatery Lunch: Dinner:
Mon-Sat 11am-2:30pm Mon-Thur 5pm-9:30pm Fri-Sat 5pm - 10pm
745 Community Dr., North Liberty
OCT. 4, 2018
THE MENTAL EDGE BY FATIMA KAMMONA
weat streaks across his forehead, his skin is stickier than pancakes drenched in syrup on a lazy Sunday morning. His ears are pounding, muscles tightening. This feeling never gets old. At least, that’s the case for Iowa City West golfer Kyle Spence ’19. “I could just play a hole and then walk
back to the tee box and play it … 10,000 times [again], and it would be a completely different experience every single time. That’s just the nature of the game,” Spence said. Having moved to America from Ireland, Spence’s father learned golf through work and later introduced it to his son. “[My dad] didn’t know a lot about basketball, didn’t know a lot about football, baseball [or any] American sport,” Spence said. “He gave me a little plastic golf club when I was two-years-old to mess around with in the backyard, and I’ve pretty much been in love with it ever since. It’s been my lifelong passion.” Even with a love and dedication for the game, Spence still spends hours improving and perfecting his swing. From working on his grip to analyzing videos of his own performance, Spence is always looking for ways to improve. “If I win a tournament, I could always go back and say there’s five or six shots there that I still left out on the course,” Spence said. Athletes can spend hours a day pushing their bodies, but that’s only half of the battle. “[In] golf, one of the most important traits is to make sure that you run through the tape. And to make sure that you know if you have a bad hole,
you pick up and go to the next one, because the next one shouldn’t be affected by the last one,” Spence said. “It’s a different hole and that’s the only way to recover.”
“IF I WIN A TOURNAMENT, I COULD ALWAYS GO BACK AND SAY THERE’S FIVE OR SIX SHOTS THERE THAT I STILL LEFT OUT ON THE COURSE.” -KYLE SPENCE ‘19 While the physical components are important to getting a perfect swing, the mental aspects are just as important. “I consistently pick the most terrifying, terrible shots because my [signature] is that if I make myself really, really uncomfortable in practice and pick the … worst possible shot in practice, nothing is going to faze me when I play in the tournament,” Spence said. “The worst break [or] the worst hit off of a tree on to a terrible spot can’t faze me because I’ve done it before … It’s better to be faced with it [in practice] than to be faced with it in the tournament having never seen it before.”
PHOTOS BY SEAN BROWN AND KARA WAGENKNECHT DESIGN BY RAIN RICHARDS
OCT. 4, 2018
From the court to the course, having the right mentality can change the outcome of a game’s most important moments.
ccording to Grace Fleckenstein ’19, getting the perfect serve is all about mentality. “Volleyball is so mental. If you have any doubts in your head that you’re going to miss a serve, you probably will, even if you’ve served thousands and thousands of balls,” Fleckenstein said. However, the mental components in volleyball
differ from other sports. “Since it’s a team sport, you can’t get in your own head because it will create islands, and we can’t have six individual islands on the team,” said Rylee Fay ’20, a member of the volleyball team. The key to getting that perfect serve is knowing how to recover from the bad ones. “I just brush it off. I focus on [the fact that] this is a team sport,” said Haley Gallagher ’19, explaining how she and the team recover from
their mistakes. “You have to play [as] one team. Your teammates have to have trust in you and have to know that you’re going to come back with the next pass or … whatever you do next,” said Gallagher. The team strives to leave their personal lives behind when stepping onto the court. “Our coach says … ‘Be where your shoes are,’” Fleckenstein said. “So if we’re in the gym, we’re supposed to leave all outside things outside of the gym.” The still-recent death of Caroline Found continues to put day-to-day struggles into perspective. Every year, the team visits the tree for Found, writing something down on a ribbon and tying it to the tree to honor her life. “That was such a big event that happened,” said Fay, recalling the accident that took Found’s life. “[There are] little things in our lives that you bring into the court; there could be something so much worse that could happen to us, and we just need to let everything that isn’t big [not] affect us, because something could happen any day,” Fay said. In the end, getting that perfect serve all comes down to being a team. “We’re teammates, and we all are trying to accomplish the same goal,” Gallagher said. “You can’t let your problems affect you when you step onto the court. I feel like if you do it, affects the whole team’s mojo.”
OCT. 4, 2018
STARS OF FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
BY LILY MENG It’s finally Friday night, and the student section is bursting with green and gold attire. Everyone is waiting for the stars to make their appearance on the field. Soon they arrive, some dressed in heavy uniforms with feathery white plumes, some with their hair pulled back into a braid secured with a colorful bow and some clutching Trojan-themed pompoms. These stars — the poms, feature twirler, cheerleaders, drumline and marching band — invest much of their time into making the Friday night football games the most enjoyable they can for the enthusiastic student section.
ith matching outfits, hairstyles and shimmering white pompoms, the poms team truly looks unified. Although the poms have a strong bond, they extend that friendship to the cheerleaders as well, putting their arms around each other, kicking their legs up simultaneously and getting the student section involved in all the different cheers. “What pumps [the student section] up the most is when we do cheers with the cheerleading team,” said Sadie Floss ’22, a poms member. “Sometimes the student section likes to start some cheers, and we like to join in with them because they’ve learned some of the ones we do.” Like the cheerleaders, the poms pump up the student section and cheer on the football team, but the two are vastly different. “The poms team is a dance team, and we do a lot of turns and jumps and movements, but the cheer team is a lot of gymnastics like flips and hand-
enter stage during the marching band’s performance stands a single performer dressed in a sparkly green and gold dress, twirling long, metal batons. This performer is Lizzy Slade ’21, West High’s feature twirler. Slade performs both with and independently from the marching band; they come on the field together, where she stands in the middle of the band formation but does her own routine, catching the eyes of the student section during the halftime show. Nevertheless, she has to work with the band to make her routine successful. “Each song has a different routine that I do,” she said. “We take the music and make a routine out of it. If there’s a loud bang, I’ll do a big trick to go with the music.” Slade also practices with the band every morning. She has to move with them, which can be difficult, since Slade and the instrumentalists move at different paces. Slade tends to move quicker, because she’s leaping and cartwheeling across the field. “I always have to make sure I’m getting to where I need to go, but also that I’m not going
too fast where I’m running people over,” she said. To prepare for football season, Slade takes a class called field twirling at her baton studio, Ambition, where she learns big tricks that aren’t usually found in competitions. In competition routines, she shows off a series of tricks, but in a field routine, sections are put together to go with the music. Slade is currently the only feature baton twirler at West. According to her, this is because baton twirling isn’t as popular in Iowa as some Southern states. Ambition opened two years ago, so most high school students had already found their sport at that age. Although Slade has a team at her studio, she enjoys twirling on the field by herself. “I love individual twirling because I get to show off my personality a little more, whereas as a team, we all have to show off the same thing,” Slade said. “I’ve always loved performing, so being out there with everyone else, but also being the only one doing what I’m doing … is a lot of fun.”
springs and lifts,” Floss said. Unlike the cheerleaders, the poms team’s main focus is the halftime show. They perform a fun pom routine, which differs from their usual routines, which are for national competitions. The nationals routines are more difficult, with lots of turns and complicated movements. During practice, the poms focus mainly on their nationals routines. If there is a football game coming up, then they practice their pregame and halftime routines. The poms have a strong bond both on and off the field. They occasionally go out to restaurants or have sleepovers together. Since Floss is new to the team this year, she looks up to the older members. “[The older girls] give a lot of really good advice, and I’m really excited to be on a team with them because they’re really good role models,” she said.
s soon as West scores a touchdown, the student body drowns out all other sounds with cheers. Despite not being able to hear anything, the flashing of green and gold pompoms flying into the air catches everyone’s eye. The cheerleaders’ main job on Friday nights is getting the crowd excited and encouraging the football players. They also ensure that the student section is invested in cheering for the team by performing ‘nice’ cheers — ones that demonstrate sportsmanship. “If we’re trying to get the crowd pumped up, we’ll do a cheer we know they’ll like, and we call those the ‘crowd cheers’ where they get invested and rowdy,” said Lexi Goodale ’19, one of the captains of the football cheer team. In addition to cheers, the team performs stunts during timeouts and breaks between quarters
OCT. 4, 2018
to boost crowd morale. Sometimes they toss a cheerleader into the air, who does several flips before safely landing in the other cheerleaders’ arms. Other times, the cheerleaders do ground work, where they flip and cartwheel with the support of the whole team. “When [we] are doing stunts, [the whole team] is … spotting in case somebody falls. If they don’t get it right away, we try to help each other,” Goodale said. “The people that do higher level stunts help the younger girls figure out how to do it with the proper techniques so nobody gets hurt. We always support each other.” Cheerleaders have plenty to do on the field, but they still manage to make time for each other. “I really love getting to know other people and getting to hang out with my friends on Friday nights,” Goodale said. “It’s something that brings us all together.”
he student section goes wild, not because the football team scored a touchdown, but because the drumline has gotten into formation. The drumline members play in the marching band but do their own routine before the third quarter. They serve to hype up the student section before the second half of the game. “The best part is marching off … and we head over to the student section and they’re all cheering,” said Charlie Duffy ’21, a snare drum player in drumline. Instead of playing whole pieces like the marching band, the drumline plays cadences, a series of notes with a distinct beat. Additionally, there is a lot of improvisation that goes along with the cadences. “We might not follow the music exactly … we still read the music and try learning as best we can, [but] we just might improvise a little bit because it can be bland sometimes,” said tenor drum player BJ Wolf ’21. Like marching band, the drumline partici-
pates in Heck Week. Drumline started practicing a day earlier, working solely on cadences. They also practice with the whole band during first period everyday, but occasionally they have their own days to work on their cadences. The drumline is home to a variety of instruments: cymbals, bass and tenor and snare drums. Together, these instruments create a fun beat for the student section to cheer and dance to. Duffy thinks watching the student section is the best part of drumline. “It’s fun because … you can see the [bleachers] dip while everyone’s jumping,” he said. “It’s always fun because it’s just a good reaction out of people.” Outside of drumline, they are a close-knit group as well. “We’re basically all just a group of friends, because we’re connected through drumline,” Duffy said. “[We’re] all doing something that [we] love,” Wolf added.
he sound of whistles cuts through the air and soon you see “The Incredibles” logo forming on the field, accompanied by the blares of horns and the clashes of cymbals. This large group of about 200 instrumentalists is the marching band. They get the crowd pumped for the football game and create an upbeat and happy atmosphere. Every year, the pregame pieces are the same: “Tribute to Troy,” “Fight Song” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” However, the halftime show changes from year to year. Besides just playing the pieces, the marching band gathers in different formations on the field. This year, they arranged themselves into “The Incredibles” logo while last year they spelled out the word “Beatles” because they performed a Beatles tune. The band also plays “Fight Song” and “Tribute to Troy” in the stands when the football team scores a touchdown. As effortless as the marching band tunes
sound, the members actually undergo rigorous practice that starts a week before school. This week, dubbed Heck Week by the band members, requires them to learn all the different marching techniques and go over the new music and prepare for the first halftime show, which took place on the second day of school this year. They also spend the whole first trimester practicing marching band music in class. Heck Week also brings the band members together, according to Caitlyn Wicks ’20, a drum major. “I think of band as a whole family, because a lot of people in band … just kind of get along, and we have to go through Heck Week all together,” Wicks said. Wicks enjoys marching band season more than regular band class. “I really like marching band season because it’s ... a time where you can talk to your friends and have a good time … and [there’s] more fun music to play,” she said. PHOTOS BY KARA WAGENKNECHT DESIGN BY MADELINE EPHRAIM
OCT. 4, 2018
FLYING FORWARD LILY ERNST ’20 HAS MORE ON HER PLATE THAN EVER AS SHE ENTERS THIS SWIM SEASON AFTER BATTLING A MAJOR HIP SURGERY. BY KARA WAGENKNECHT
ix months. A record-setting swimmer, Lily Ernst ’20 had to slow down and do physical therapy for six straight months to help ease a severe pain in her hip. She started experiencing hip pain early last school year. “We were painting my [bedroom] wall and I was sitting criss-crossed, and my [right] hip popped out of place,” Ernst said. Her hip progressively got worse, bothering her everyday. It got to a point where she could barely walk. Ernst’s doctor recommended that she try physical therapy to ease the pain. She went back to her doctor to see if there was an underlying issue. Ernst had an MRI, and a few days later she found out she had hip dysplasia. “Hip dysplasia means that … the socket doesn’t fully cover the ball portion of the upper thigh,” said athletic trainer Sheila Stiles. “Your hip makes a bowl [shape] and your leg bone is a ball and the ball sits in that bowl. With hip dysplasia, the bowl is too shallow … so the ball moves too much.” Along with hip dysplasia, Ernst also found out
she had a torn labrum. “After years and years of [your hip moving around] … you can tear your labrum, which is [the] cartilage around [the hip],” Stiles said. “You don’t see it a lot, but you see it.” Typically, doctors recommend physical thera-
“HIP DYSPLASIA MEANS THAT … THE SOCKET DOESN’T FULLY COVER THE BALL PORTION OF THE UPPER THIGH,” -SHEILA STILES, ATHLETIC TRAINER
py to see if it will relieve the pain. If that doesn’t work they have to perform surgery. After Ernst exhausted the physical therapy option, it came time to undergo surgery. Ernst was lucky enough to schedule her surgery almost immediately following her MRI. There are only two doctors in Iowa who perform a combined surgery for hip dysplasia and a torn labrum. “You don’t see a lot of surgeons that do a lot of labrum [surgeries],” Stiles said. “For a while, Iowa City didn’t have a surgeon for this. The surgeon we had left and we didn’t have anybody. You went to Des Moines or Minneapolis [if you needed surgery].” Ernst decided to get the hip dysplasia and labrum surgeries at the same time, since they both had equal recovery times. She underwent a sixhour-long surgery in February and stayed the rest of the week in the hospital. “Two or three months after surgery I was able to get into the water again,” Ernst said. “I really just wanted to get into [the pool] and do what everyone else [was] doing. It was hard not being able to [swim].”
Gradually, Ernst was able to return to the pool more often, but she had to “pull.” Pulling is where a swimmer puts a pool buoy between their legs so they float. It’s a method for injured swimmers to begin practicing again using only their arms. Along with pulling, Ernst attended more physical therapy sessions. “I go to [University of Iowa Health Care] Sports Medicine for [physical therapy],” Ernst said. “They have a pool there; it’s really weird because it’s a treadmill, but it’s underwater. I would
“ [LILY] IS
ONE OF THE HARDEST WORKERS AND HAVING THAT MUCH TIME OFF IS DIFFICULT FOR HER.” - BYRON BUTLER
run on it while [the pool] pushed jets on me.” Following her many physical therapy sessions, Ernst began her recovery process months before she was supposed to and was able to compete in the state long course meet for her club team, iFly, in late July. “I did [the 100 meter butterfly] and I was within [one] second of my best time, and I got third. … I was really close to my best times in other races, which was great,” Ernst said. After being fully cleared by her doctors in August, Ernst began swimming full time again. Head West swim coach Byron Butler has high hopes as the season progresses. Ernst has started off this season strong. She was milliseconds away from qualifying for state in the 100 meter butterfly at a meet earlier this season. “I don’t see any issues with Lily getting to state and being a scorer again,” Butler said. During Butler’s junior swim season at the University of Iowa, he had to sit out and pull most of the year due to an overuse hip injury. Though he never had surgery, he can still relate to what Ernst is going through. “[Lily] … is one of the hardest workers and having that much time off is difficult for her,” Butler said. “She’s incredibly competitive by nature and expects certain times and results immediately, and coming back from something that serious is a major process.” Ernst is at a crossroads as she continues through her season. With the possibility of having surgery on her other hip due to more labrum tears, Ernst is taking the season one day at a time. “I don’t know what to do right now because I
OCT. 4, 2018
“ I DON ’T WANT TO B E OUT FOR ANOTH E R FOU R MONTH S, BUT I F I ’ M GOI NG TO DO IT I HAVE TO DO IT.” - LI LY ERNST ‘20 don’t want to get surgery again,” Ernst said. “I don’t want to be out for another four months, but if I’m going to do it I have to do it. I can’t wait a year and get back to where I was and then do it again.”
PHOTOS BY KARA WAGENKNECHT DESIGN BY SIMON JONES
A DV E R T I S E M E N T S OCT. 4, 2018
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OCT 4, 2018
A HARRY SITUATION
Web Arts Editor Harry Westergaard shares a story about his days in Boy Scouts and how this led him to distrust authority. BY HARRY WESTERGAARD
hen I was in elementary school, I was in Boy Scouts. I didn’t quite know myself then. I wasn’t sure where I fit in yet, what I was most interested in spending my time on. Boy Scouts wasn’t bad at first, but by the time I reached my rebellious pre-teen stage, it got even more excruciatingly boring, and I eventually quit. There are a multitude of fun stories like this one that I could share with you, dear reader. But alas, I have only one page to fill. So I got to thinking about my problem with authority. The Man. The Powers That Be. I’m not into that. And one of the first times that I had that realization happened when I was imprisoned at Boy Scout Camp. I was trapped there for a whole week with nothing but a bunch of smelly boys and homely but committed older men. It was weird. I had never gone this long without “Doctor Who” and Sgt. Frog before. It was grueling. Despite the presence of friends, the frequent lineups in the morning and exhausting marches made sixth grade me feel like I was in a prison camp out of an old ’60s movie. One day, near the end of the whole ordeal, I was in a class on knot tying in an outdoor pavilion with no walls — just a ceiling held up by poles on all four ends with dirty wooden tables inside. For once, me and my motley crew of nerdy friends had arrived early from whatever we had done before. An old man was finishing up a knot-tying lesson, when we walked in. He was pacing around with his hands on his bum, nodding approvingly
and occasionally providing advice to the poor souls who barely knew how to tie their shoes, let alone a Clove Hitch. The man mesmerized me. He must have been in his sixties. He was short, had a graying mop of thin hair, a large hawkish nose and tiny but strong little eyes and bore strong resemblance to Patrick Troughton, the second doctor from “Doctor Who” — one of my favorites. He was a friendly character who you felt could be your kind grandfather. Because of this, I automatically trusted the man, and suspected we would be in good hands for knot tying. However, once he finished his observational rounds, he went over to a young man seated off to the side at a table where the kids were plugging away at their knots. I had taken him to be a mere youth leader, but it looked like the grandpa was switching places with him. He was taking over the class. When Grandpa Troughton came by, the pale, uniformed, snotnosed young man looked up quickly. My cohort and I had taken a seat at a nearby table. While two of my friends argued away about some video game I had never played, I tuned out, still fixated on this mesmerizing old man. Now I was straining to get an idea of what his voice sounded like. Did it, too, mirror Troughton? He was simply running down the schedule when he casually shattered my perceptions of authority. “The knots are all here,” the grandpa said, pointing to his sheets in paper protectors on the wooden table. “The part that you have to get right is the story. Now here’s what you’re going to say: ‘You had an uncle. This uncle was a
sailor. You spent a lot of time with him, and he taught you how to tie these knots. Now you’re passing it onto them. Sound good? That’s good, I’m gonna head off now.’” I was shocked. Some naivety in me still believed all of those old stories that they told, believed that these gave the Boy Scout activities purpose and meaning. But now, I found out that it was all a charade, a put-on, to trick us into feeling some personal connection to the activities. All of the pain and exhaustion that I had gone through that week now seemed more pointless than it had before. That cemented it: I would never get this week of my life back. That’s all there is to my tale. I don’t remember any of the dinky little knots the kid told us, just the fact that this event turned me into what I am now: a grumpy cynic obsessed with countercultural media.
“ TH I S EVE NT TU RN E D M E I NTO WHAT I AM NOW: A G RU M PY CYN IC OBSESSE D WITH COU NTE RCU LTU R AL M E DIA . ”
DESIGN BY FRANCES DAI PHOTO BY MADDI SHINALL
OPINION OCT. 4, 2018
EDITORIAL: SAFETY FIRST In this “think piece” editorial, West Side Story editorial board discusses how the deaths of two local women signify the need for structural changes in societal norms.
his past summer, the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts garnered national attention after the 20-year-old University of Iowa student didn’t return home from her evening run. After several weeks, Iowa authorities found her body covered with multiple stab wounds. The alleged murderer was a male illegal immigrant. This fall, a promising female Iowa State University golfer, Celia Barquin Arozamena, was also fatally stabbed multiple times, this time on a local Ames golf course. In this case, the alleged murderer was a white male. These events, heightened by extensive media coverage, have recently become forums for political debate after both conservative and liberal politicians used the events as avenues to support their respective political intentions. However, political manipulation and persistent coverage of these tragedies undermine the true issue at hand — women’s safety. Politicians continue to capitalize on the opportunity in front of them as a result of these two tragedies. Individuals of varying political viewpoints have taken these events and used them to further their own personal agendas. Moreover, by covering the most controversial, relevant topics, the media collects more readership and gives larger spotlights on politicians. Some conservative news outlets, for example, attempted to blame illegal immigration for the rising percent-
“ POLITICAL MAN I PU LATION AN D PE RSI STE NT COVE R AG E OF TH ESE TR AG E DI ES U N DE RM I N E TH E TRU E I SSU E AT HAN D — WOM E N ’S SAF ETY.”
ages of violence against women. On the other hand, liberal news outlets tried to emphasize the relevance of systemic sexism in today’s society. These narratives in particular have given politicians a way to attract more attention, especially in the case of Mollie Tibbetts, where they have overshadowed her innocent death. The tragedies of Mollie Tibbetts and Celia Barquin Arozamena should not fuel politicians’ attempts to create controversy or support their political agendas. These incidents should serve as incentive for lawmakers to make policies to prevent these horrific developments from happening again. Instead, politicians today have polarized the media to the point in which Mollie Tibbetts’s family publicly asked for time to process the information and to share their grief in private. They did not want Mollie’s death to be associated with politics because she was a person, not a bargaining chip others could use for their gain. What befell these women should instead be examples of how to prevent similar tragedies, and this process starts with practical and nonpartisan news reporting without the intervention of politicians. This past June, the United States made its debut on the Reuters Foundation’s top ten most dangerous countries for women — the only Western nation to appear on this list. Regardless of political agenda, both sides can agree that securing women’s safety is crucial. According to a 2014 Gallup Poll, 45 percent of women say they do not feel safe walking alone at night, compared to 27 percent of men. Additionally, Stop Street Harassment, a non-profit organization, found that 81 percent of women have reported experiencing street harassment in their lives as opposed to 43 percent of men. While women and men both face fears regarding safety, many women also have to manage fears of aggression that may come from angry men. In dire situations, women often keep silent in fear of violence, muffling their shouts of refusal in fear of public shaming for speaking up. Yet the reality is, there are not enough protective measures for women’s safety nor preventive measures against aggressive harassment. As a result of this toxic culture, women have taken it upon themselves to ensure their own safety in a society that has normalized harassment and mistreatment. Many females around the nation, including West students, carry defensive tools with them wherever they go. Rath-
“ WHAT B E F E LL TH ESE WOM E N SHOU LD I N STEAD B E EX AM PLES OF HOW TO PREVE NT SI M I LAR TR AGE DI ES.” er than teaching men to respect women as people and not treat them as objects, women instead have to provide their own means of protection to fend against unwanted advancements. American culture has normalized male violence to the point where stores have entire walls of supplies designated for protecting women from potential attackers. The norm should not be reinforcing male supremacy by forcing women to find their own modes of security. Female students should not have to feel unsafe while performing actions as simple as going to school or spending time with friends. While many look to improving women’s safety as the primary solution, an additional solution is changing how men interact with their female counterparts. Society often emphasizes the need for women to act or look certain ways in order to protect themselves when it is truly toxic masculinity at fault. In order to prevent harassment and infringement upon women’s safety, we need to increase awareness of systemic issues within communities across the nation. Men should be taught from an early age that forcing themselves on women is not tolerated. If this is embraced, girls all over the country will grow up knowing their worth and believing that they have the right to say no. By introducing these ideas at a younger age, children are less prone to develop characteristics that continue a tradition of patriarchal superiority and female subjugation that has endured for so long.
A DV E R T I S E M E N T S
OCT. 4, 2018
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West Side Story reflects the views of the staff and does not represent the school administration, faculty or student body. Guest articles may be accepted to represent an additional point of view or as a part of a collection of reader contributions. The staff will carefully scrutinize all reader submissions. All ads are subject to approval by the business staff. Those that are libelous, obscene or plainly offensive may be rejected. West Side Story attempts to publish all letters, which must be signed, to the Editors, but may reject submissions due to space limitations, inaccuracy or poor quality. It is the responsibility of the opinion editor to verify authorship. Editors can make minor edits for the sake of clarity, length and grammatical correctness. For our full editorial policy visit: wsspaper.com/policy.
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The girls cross country team hosted the second annual Trojan Early Bird Invitational on Thursday, Aug. 23. Sarah Hamed â€˜20 leads the team off the starting line during JV race. Hamed placed fourth with a time of 23:08.
BACK TO SCHOOL
B I NGO Something green
A healthy option in a school vending machine
West’s new weight room
Stairway Number 3
A lost pencil on the floor
Mr. Kirpes’ tie
Students reading the latest issue of the West Side Story
Selfie with the wall of WSS archives in Room 109
Dear Martin bookmark from the library
Someone working out in the new gym
Someone wearing some stylin’ Crocs
A West High T-shirt
A ‘Say Something’ Poster
String friendship bracelet
Second floor of the library
South band room
Socks with sandals
Selfie with the book outside the auditorium
WEST S I D E STORY
The art hallway mural
West High Trojan
A West Side Story staffer
IN ORDER TO WIN: Search for and take original photos of these items seen around West High. DM your photos to us by 4 p.m. on Oct. 4 to be entered into a raffle to win a gift card to Sweets and Treats!
COMPILED BY ANNABEL HENDRICKSON
ART AND DESIGN BY FRANCES DAI