Best of SNO

Stories from West High School
Emmie Boylan: living with spina bifida
Features

Bess Frerichs | December 10, 2019

The diagnosis

In December of 2014, English teacher John Boylan and his wife, Sarah Boylan, went to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital for their daughter, Emilia “Emmie” Boylan’s,…

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Jazzing up exercise
Features

Fareeha Ahmad | December 5, 2019

While some may drive right by the “Feeling sweaxy?” sign outside of the jazzercise fitness center on Gilbert Street, other curious individuals might just be intrigued enough to stumble upon their new…

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Human Rights Campaign announces Municipal Equality Index in Iowa City
News

Bess Frerichs | December 4, 2019

On Nov 19, the Municipal Equality Index (MEI) was announced at City Hall in Iowa City. The MEI rates 506 different cities in the United States on the inclusivity of laws and policies through five categories…

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“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” encapsulates the wonder of Mister Rogers
Arts & Entertainment

Jack Harris | December 4, 2019

It’s been an astounding 58 years since Fred Rogers began hosting a television program for children, and 51 years since the premiere of the beloved show, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” In this era…

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Out of sight, out of mind
Features

Hanah Kitamoto | November 20, 2019

The soft glow of the SMART Board beams at the front of the room, casting a low-lit shadow over the faces of those residing in the front row. As you are concentrating on the presentation in front of you,…

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Mind over matter
Sports

Joe Goodman | November 18, 2019

One can of tuna.

That’s all wrestler Brock Pelfrey ’22 allowed himself to consume on the day of last year’s dual meet against City High.

In the weeks leading up to the meet, Pelfrey, who plays…

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How far is too far for cancel culture
Opinions

Mariam Keita | November 18, 2019

Imagine you wake up in the morning and open your Instagram, Youtube, or Twitter feed to see your name trending across all platforms, thousands of people calling you out, tagging you in harsh comments….

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Voiceless
Features

Kailey Gee | November 18, 2019

Inappropriate touching. Unwanted sexting. Catcalling down the hallways.

All of the above have happened right here at West High.

Almost five years ago, WSS wrote a cover story titled ‘No Excuse’…

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“Jojo Rabbit” is a powerhouse of comedy and emotion
Arts & Entertainment

Edward Keen | November 12, 2019

Taika Waititi has proven himself again and again to be one of Hollywood’s greatest tour de force directors of delightfully bizarre arthouse films that tread the line between drama and full-on comedy….

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Trojan Workhorses: Offensive linemen
Sports

Joe Goodman | November 5, 2019

They are five of the biggest guys on any given football field, yet most fans hardly even notice they are there.

Football fans eyes’ are almost always glued to the ball, meaning they focus on the quarterback…

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“The Lighthouse” is without question the best film of the year
Arts & Entertainment

Jack Harris | November 1, 2019

“The Lighthouse” is a tale of how two men, isolated on a decrepit rock, fall into a state of murderous hysteria. Robert Eggers is such a stupendous filmmaker, viewers will likely fall victim to the…

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Friend Crush: Mia Dillingham ‘20 and Mary Woodward ‘21
Features

Bess Frerichs | October 28, 2019

Mia Dillingham ’20 and Mary Woodward ’21 met two years ago in cross country, completely unaware that they both knew sign language. They were sprinters, so they became friends over their shared love for…

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No off season
Sports

Caroline Chandler | October 15, 2019

It was the golden era of West High athletics.

From 2010 to 2014, ‘Dynasty High’ won 19 state championships across 10 different sports, including seven in the 2011-2012 season alone. In 2015, the…

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Remembering Akram
Features

Fareeha Ahmad | October 14, 2019

When remembering Akram Mergani ’18, there are always certain qualities that tend to come to mind. He was funny and kind. He was passionate and caring. He was an individual who left a positive mark on…

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Forced to scramble
Sports

Joe Goodman | October 14, 2019

This is the story of a young boy who could climb as quickly as he could read. A boy who could play just as well in the band as he could on Friday nights. The story of new friends and new schools. This…

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Unsustainable.
News

Annabel Hendrickson | October 8, 2019

From a birds-eye view, the earth appears to be dead. What was once green is now brown; what was once frozen is now melted. Trees can no longer survive in the extreme temperatures, glaciers have completely…

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“Joker” review and why we need controversies
Arts & Entertainment

Jack Harris | October 8, 2019

From Todd Phillips, director of “The Hangover” trilogy, comes one of the most beautiful, jarring and controversial films in years. “Joker” is, at its best, a unique character study that just so…

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More than an app
Features

Sumner Wallace | October 8, 2019

The soul-crushing sound of a Hydro Flask crashing against the worn tile floor sets off a chorus of “sksksks” and “and I oop’s” that echo around an otherwise silent classroom. These are the exclamations…

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Postoperative
Features

Natalie Dunlap | October 2, 2019

In preparation for Maia DeGrazia’s ’20 eighth grade formal, her mother was adjusting her dress. While her mom was standing behind her, adding clear straps to the sparkly strapless top of the dress,…

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Gridiron Girls: West’s female linemen
Sports

Paras Bassuk | September 25, 2019

What began as a normal school lifting class became an opportunity for two girls to participate in one of the United States’ most male-dominated school sports.

Without schedule flexibility for…

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Twirling through the ages
Sports

Bess Frerichs | September 23, 2019

In perfect unison, the marching band struts onto the football field. They stand still, waiting in anticipation until the shriek of the conductor’s whistle cuts through the air. As they start to play,…

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Why representation in media is a necessity
Opinions

Mariam Keita | September 23, 2019

You walk into the movie theater and the smell of buttery popcorn fills the air; shushes and whispers fill your ears as you take your seat. The trailers finish and finally, the movie begins. You look up…

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Peddling through life
Sports

Carmela Cohen Suarez | September 23, 2019

Although West High seems to have no shortage of sports to offer, there is one that does not make the list. Competitive cycling. While cycling is not available for athletes to participate in at West, there…

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An uphill battle
Sports

Abby McKeone | September 19, 2019

They walk in unison to the open field, all singing the Trojan cross country song. The girls line up and cramp together as tightly as possible. They try to suppress the feeling of anxiety and focus on staying…

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“Loki: Where Mischief Lies” is a brilliant examination of the famed character
Arts & Entertainment

Edward Keen | September 19, 2019

Loki: the God of Mischief, Prince of the kingdom of Asgard, adopted brother of Thor, the wronged son of the devious Frost Giants. His tales of plunder, adventure, and roguery have always been a shining…

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From the page to the stage
Features

Natalie Dunlap | September 17, 2019

It was a crush that brought sixteen year old Caleb Rainey to first perform poetry as a high school student. After his classmate told him she was interested in poets, he got to work in preparation for his…

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Fashion Friday: socks
Features

Bess Frerichs | May 30, 2019

In fashion, one of the easiest parts of an outfit to overlook is socks, as most of the time they are hidden by shoes. However, for some students at West, socks are integral to their unique style.

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From classroom to dorm room
Features

Lucy Polyak | May 29, 2019

Olivia Dachtler and Maddy Luegering: University of Iowa
West Side Story: How long have you been friends?

Maddy Luegering: “We started being friends this year, so it was pretty recent. We had a Kirkwood…

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Friendship: an underappreciated necessity
Opinions

Natalie Dunlap | May 16, 2019

I started sophomore year without many friends. Most people in my close friend group had been split up because of new district lines or because of families moving away.

A few months into sophomore year…

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A household in harmony
Arts & Entertainment

Jessica Moonjely | May 14, 2019

Having a professional musician as a father, it is no surprise that Phoebe Burt ‘21 was humming before she could talk. Phoebe and Kevin Burt discuss how music has helped the two grow more in tune with…

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Inaugural track and field festival to be held at West High
Sports

Kara Wagenknecht | May 6, 2019

A new tradition will begin this Saturday at West High: the Eastern Iowa Track and Field Festival. Teams and individuals from across Iowa will show up and compete in hopes of qualifying for the Drake Relays…

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High stakes
Features

Sophie Stephens | April 30, 2019

*Some sources in this story have been given aliases, as they chose to remain anonymous.

It’s a summer night, just a few weeks before you start high school. You are sitting with your friends in the…

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Head in the SoundCloud
Arts & Entertainment

Alex Carlon | April 22, 2019

Disclaimer: some of the songs embedded in this article contain profane lyrics.

Drake, Kanye West, Eminem: these are the names that come to mind when one thinks of “rap.” But, over the past few years,…

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Second annual March for our Lives held in downtown Iowa City
News

Ken Wilbur | April 10, 2019

The second annual March for our Lives took place in downtown Iowa City on Saturday, March 30. The event, coordinated by West and City High Students Against School Shootings (SASS) members, protested school…

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Book review: “The Waning Age” is a lackluster novel about emotion
Arts & Entertainment

Edward Keen | April 5, 2019

Emotions. It goes without saying that our emotions, our inner feelings and our sensations, are a main proprietor in making us who we are. We use them during every moment of our life, whether they be the…

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Don’t panic
Opinions

Alyssa Skala | April 5, 2019

At the beginning of Spanish class, my stomach felt queasy. I was nervous, I didn’t want to give a presentation, especially in another language. The teacher required us go in alphabetical order by last…

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The pronoun problem
Opinions

Bess Frerichs | March 26, 2019

In January, we celebrated diversity and inclusivity with the MLK Day Activities. The purpose of the event was to learn about the civil rights movements and to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Yet as I…

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Providing a bright spot
Features

Natalie Dunlap | March 26, 2019

The trudge from one class to another can be a mundane journey, but students making their way past room 117 might catch a glimpse of Kedi Ochs singing and dancing outside of English teacher Ann Rocarek’s…

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“Captain Marvel” impresses and disappoints as a superhero film
Arts & Entertainment

Edward Keen | March 20, 2019

If there are a few things that viewers have readily come to expect from every new Marvel Studios film that makes its way into theaters, they are consistent entertainment value, boundless mesmerizing thrills…

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Attending athletics
Sports

Ken Wilbur | March 20, 2019

The bell rings, signaling the end of yet another long school day. The halls are abuzz with excitement about tonight’s big event. Athletes’ lockers are covered with posters wishing them luck for the game.

Students…

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Column: Hard work pays off, but money does too
Admissions Scandal

Sophie Stephens | March 20, 2019

One of the most cliché pieces of advice we’ve all heard growing up is that hard work pays off. For the most part, this has proven to be true. Take the “miracle stories” of people working their way…

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Parent perspectives
Features

Sophie Stephens | March 13, 2019

The stands are filled with cheering fans decked out in green, gold and the student section theme for the night. The illuminated scoreboard shows that you are down in the last quarter. It’s hard for you…

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Walking into a reputation
Showcase

Fatima Kammona | March 12, 2019

She was an athlete. She would push her body past its breaking point in hopes of seeking perfection. The stage was her canvas and with her body, she became an artist, painting a picture for all to see….

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In the minority
Features

Anjali Huynh | March 5, 2019

Teachers. Coaches. Lunchroom staff. Paraeducators. Janitors.

These individuals are integral to shaping student futures and partake in a process that impacts society. While in these positions, each acts…

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High school celebrity
Features

Jenna Wang | March 3, 2019

It was just four years ago when singer-songwriter Abbie Callahan ’20 picked up her classic black Fender guitar and posted her first singing cover on Instagram, armed with nothing but a big dream and…

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“Alita: Battle Angel” delivers breathtaking cyberpunk spectacle
Arts & Entertainment

Edward Keen | February 26, 2019

When one considers the great directors of Hollywood who revolutionized the world of filmmaking, James Cameron is a name that will be more than likely to pop up in a high position on the list. For the past…

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A woman’s place is in charge
Opinions

Maddi Shinall | February 22, 2019

I refreshed my Twitter feed while sitting in front of my living room TV on midterm election night, trying to get results as soon as they were available. I felt a growing sense of hope. At long last, it…

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I owe you nothing
Opinions

Sophie Stephens | February 12, 2019

Everything you do in high school has the chance of being noticed, questioned and even judged. No, West High isn’t an institution that breeds “mean girls,” popularity contests or anything else that…

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Keeping her father alive: how a ‘suburban dad’ and Charles Barkley impacted a nation
Features

Anjali Huynh | February 11, 2019

The wild journey began with a cat litter scientist from Iowa, a former NBA superstar and a strange coincidence that would impact their lives for the better.

Residing thousands of miles apart, Lin Wang…

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Handling life
Features

Natalie Dunlap | February 9, 2019

Hundreds of dogs yelp and run around the concrete building. Every single bark echoes throughout the whole of the room. Along with animals, a few spectators and owners crowd around the performance area…

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