The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

Stories from West High School
Across the board
Features

Heidi Du | November 23, 2022

Whether verbal or nonverbal, communication is the basis of human connection. However, it is not limited to symbols and syllables. Even games, like chess, can be a medium for communication — through its…

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Into new waters
Sports

Zaira Ahmad | November 22, 2022

After student-athletes took the leap and left their hometowns to dive for the University of Iowa, they were met with unexpected frustration. Following the 2021-22 school year, the University of Iowa cut…

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Fake rank
Features

Lilly Graham | November 22, 2022

In February, tenured Columbia University math professor Michael Thaddeus published an investigation challenging the accuracy of data Columbia submitted to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges…

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Destination: West
Features

Reem Kirja | November 18, 2022

Immigration can be a difficult process, with immigrants facing hardships such as navigating complex legal systems, leaving friends and family behind and sometimes learning a new language. However, hope…

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A lifetime of discovery
Features

Ella De Young | November 17, 2022

When West High students hear the name Mr. Wymer, they likely think of the biology teacher with the multitude of plants in his classroom or the AP Environmental Science teacher who often takes students…

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Let’s ace sexuality: Asexual Awareness Week
Features

Nicole Lee | October 28, 2022

High school is the stage of life where the concept of sex is a touchy and sensitive topic— at the same time, it’s something most teenagers explore in-depth, naked and bare during this period. They…

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Money moves
Sports

Ella De Young | October 21, 2022

A person’s name, appearance and personality are all qualities that others remember them by. But in this competitive day and age, it is unlikely an individual will make money based solely on those attributes….

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Triple threat
Sports

Maya Chu | October 17, 2022

Not many 14-year-olds are training for the Olympics — even without a disability. Four years ago, freshman Hannah Longmire didn’t think she would be either. Longmire was born with a congenital limb…

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Aftershock
Features

Zaira Ahmad | October 12, 2022

Fight or flight — it’s often one or the other. The choice can be difficult, and your answer may differ when you have to make a split-second decision versus when you have time to process the situation….

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Living with OCD
Features

Lilly Graham | October 11, 2022

Kaylee Gibson ’23 once had to tap a rhythm on her computer for three hours before she was able to begin her homework. When passing through doorways, she always steps with her right foot first. She must…

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Black Excellence at West: Dasia Taylor, Layan Ahmed and Moustafa Tiea
Features

Helelia Wa Kalala | September 29, 2022

Black students make up 24.1% of the student body at West, the second highest percentage after white students, which is 49%. The West Side Story started this series to showcase Black students at West and…

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Test optional?
News

Vivian Polgreen | June 2, 2022

For almost a century, standardized tests have been an important part of any student’s college application in the US. However, in the last two years an increasing number of colleges and universities have…

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Write this down
Features

Zaira Ahmad | May 27, 2022

Tapping out the rhythm with her sparkly boots against the band room carpet, the strumming of a guitar and piano notes fill the air. She grins ear-to-ear as the opening lyrics of her favorite song, “Write…

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Shoe game
Arts & Entertainment

Lily Prochaska | May 11, 2022

To some, shoes are just another accessory, something to wear to protect your feet. For others, collecting shoes is a fun hobby, and their footwear brings out a sense of pride. From Yeezys to Crocs, shoes…

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Teachers teaching teachers
Features

Soomin Koh | April 29, 2022

West High’s tradition of excellence spans over five decades, with hundreds of students coming and leaving, and hundreds of teachers departing and staying. It is no wonder that some teachers might have…

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The NFT craze
Arts & Entertainment

Krisha Kapoor | April 28, 2022

One quick click and a piece of art worth millions is now yours. However, you will never hold it in your hands. This is the reality of Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs.

NFTs represent ownership of a piece…

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Pierrfect
Features

Ruba Ahmed-Abdelmutalab | April 27, 2022

There are approximately 330 million people in the U.S., yet only about one in 18,000-20,000 have a form of albinism, according to the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation. Pierre Rutagaya…

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Home
Features

Ella De Young | April 26, 2022

Iowa nice: the term describes the overwhelming kindness members of the Hawkeye State practice. It refers to Iowans’ tendency to greet strangers on the street or make conversation while checking out at…

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Crossing the limits
Sports

Owen Aanestad | April 14, 2022

One step into Iowa City’s CrossFit Kilo 2 and all you can hear is Eminem’s ’Till I Collapse, barbells rattling, stationary bikes roaring and sweat hitting the floor as it drips off of everyone’s…

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Is it over yet?
News

Vivian Polgreen | April 13, 2022

In the last few weeks mask mandates and other COVID-19 regulations have been curtailed or dropped entirely. Overall, worldwide cases have steadily decreased in recent months. So is the pandemic almost…

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Epidemic
Features

Maya Chu | March 7, 2022

The stress of school tugs you down with every step you take. Your body itches for some relief from the tension. During online classes, the black screen could easily hide the stench and smoke. Now, the…

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Stress solutions
Features

Miguel Cohen Suarez | February 2, 2022

Math class made no sense. You stayed up late studying, and the lack of sleep made focus impossible. Upcoming tests ensure that you will need to put in hours outside of class to catch up. Feeling overwhelmed,…

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Winter volunteering creates community amidst COVID-19 pandemic
Video

Alaina Greenlee | January 31, 2022

As the winter comes to an end, so does one of the most opportune times of the year for volunteering. Numerous opportunities for community service arise during the holiday season. But this year, COVID-19…

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Equal footing
Sports

Heidi Du | January 28, 2022

It is the final meet of the season — hundreds of hours dedicated to a three-minute race that determines whether her team takes home the state title. A disqualification in the form of a false start or…

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Workers wanted
Features

Jane Lam | January 27, 2022

West High at work

She took a step back as the customer launched into a rant about the wait time, letting her manager step in to deal with the situation. They tried to assure the customer that the…

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Language logistics
Features

Maya Chu | January 26, 2022

A school district in southeast Iowa is probably not the first place someone would think of as “diverse.” But the ICCSD, with a white student population of just under 57%, is a notable exception. From…

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We are the BSU
Features

Katherine Shoppa | January 24, 2022

Ripping out pages from her notebook in the Little Theatre, Nisreen Elgaali ’22 decided it was time to turn students’ words and emotions into action. Following a meeting with West administration…

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Helen’s Hot Takes: Putting the ‘age’ in ‘teenager’
Opinions

Helen Zhang | January 19, 2022

From cult classics like “Mean Girls” to Oscar-nominated films like “Ladybird,” there is no questioning the cultural impact teen media has. American shows and movies in particular have a habit glorifying…

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Don’t overlook Omicron
News

Vivian Polgreen | January 6, 2022

The Omicron variant is one of many COVID-19 variants that has developed over the course of the pandemic. Omicron was named a variant of concern on November 26, only a week after it was first discovered…

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If we’re green, we’re golden
News

Krisha Kapoor | November 29, 2021

The House of Representatives passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill Nov. 5, which includes $47 billion designated to climate resilience and preparing communities for natural disasters that have been…

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Breaking barriers
Sports

Krisha Kapoor | October 8, 2021

Friendship. Camaraderie. Sense of belonging. High school athletics offer students a built-in community, support system and the chance to represent their school. Unfortunately, many students with talent,…

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Managing mistrust
Opinions

Rosemary Timmer-Hackert | October 8, 2021

Sixty years ago, three-quarters of Americans trusted the government, according to the Pew Research Center. This percentage has not managed to exceed 50% since 2001 and has not exceeded 25% since 2008….

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The college conundrum
Features

Lilly Graham | October 6, 2021

You fill with dread as your alarm blares repeatedly. Under the heap of honors homework and AP review books, you groggily reach out your hand to find your phone: 8:47 a.m. You feel panic threatening to…

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The price to play
Features

Maya Chu | October 4, 2021

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. But does hard work beat monetary resources? Without proper financial investments, success in sports, music and other extracurriculars becomes far…

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Honore-ing a better life
Features

Fareeha Ahmad | May 3, 2021

Confident. Humorous. Athletic. Wrestling coach Tom Lepic saw all of these traits in one person walking down the hallways of Northwest Junior High. Lepic approached the student while trying to find recruits…

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Hate is a virus
News

Maya Chu | May 3, 2021

Despite a clear sky and shining sun, a somber cloud hung over the Pentacrest lawn. Speakers stood on the steps of the Old Capitol behind eight buckets of flowers — one for each life lost. 

“Everybody…

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Accelerated
Features

Heidi Du | April 27, 2021

On a typical morning at West, it’s no surprise to see a stream of cars pulling into the parking lots, followed by dozens of students walking into school, jangling keys in hand. For many, being able to…

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The division decision
Features

Hanah Kitamoto | April 26, 2021

As your classmates settle down into their cozy nooks and crannies, the noise in the once chatter-filled room dwindles down to near silence, with the exception of an occasional page flip. So drawn into…

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The end of the rainbow
Opinions

Caroline Mascardo | April 26, 2021

The rainbow is fading.

Like many other states in the country, the Iowa Senate and House of Representatives saw the introduction of a historic number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills. These bills range from intrusive…

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Elevating untold stories
News

Helen Zhang | March 5, 2021

In response to a year full of political activism and pushes for a more diverse curriculum, the ICCSD is offering a new English course starting in the 2021-2022 school year: African American literature….

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Let’s talk about sex
Features

Marta Leira | March 4, 2021

In the classroom

You walk into the sixth grade classroom, refreshed after a recess break. But now the room feels different. Your classmates go silent as the dimly lit projector reveals the elusive…

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Rahmatallah’s road
Features

Fareeha Ahmad | March 4, 2021

Throughout high school, math teacher Hanan Rahmatallah was ambitious. She was involved in a diverse range of activities from singing to playing sports. She especially enjoyed the wonders of creating. Inspired…

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Straight to the point
News

Kailey Gee | March 3, 2021

It’s been over a year since the novel coronavirus made its first appearance. Although the pandemic has felt never-ending, with the introduction of two COVID-19 vaccines released by companies Pfizer and…

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Beyond the binary
Showcase

Hanah Kitamoto | March 1, 2021

In the world of sports, there’s no in between.

The ball is either in or out. You make the shot or miss it. You win or lose. Even the way sports teams are categorized is firmly rooted in the binary:…

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Moe legacy lives on in Iowa City
Sports

Owen Aanestad | March 1, 2021

Six foot nine Pete Moe ‘22 is easy to spot in the hallways, regardless of the recently crowded West High halls. Knowing almost no one beyond his new teammates on the basketball court, Moe found himself…

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Post-performance
Sports

Camille Gretter | February 23, 2021

When parents first sign their children up for a recreational soccer league or for tennis lessons, kids probably don’t think of it as much more than an activity that takes up a couple of hours of their…

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The music of teaching
Features

Bess Frerichs | February 18, 2021

West High special education teacher Alex Michenfelder started losing the upper ranges of his hearing in sixth or seventh grade. Hearing loss has always run in his family, so he wasn’t that surprised….

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A nation divided: Students reflect on the Capitol attack
Features

Bess Frerichs | February 11, 2021

Recap

Following a rally for former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump supporters formed a mob and made their way to the Capitol to protest Congress’ certification of the presidential…

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Class of COVID
Features

Maya Chu | January 4, 2021

The college application process is always a new and stressful experience for high school seniors. This year, however, admissions officers are also finding themselves in uncharted territory. With testing…

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The ADHD impact
Features

Bess Frerichs | December 22, 2020

With school shifted online, many students are finding it harder to focus and get their work done. This is especially true for students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental…

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