West Press https://lwhspress.com The Student News Site of Lakota West High School Tue, 03 Mar 2020 18:33:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 New Master Facilities Plan https://lwhspress.com/1156/news/new-master-facilities-plan/ https://lwhspress.com/1156/news/new-master-facilities-plan/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2020 18:33:04 +0000 https://lwhspress.com/?p=1156 Rumors have been floating around for years about possible changes to the Lakota Local School District. From adding a third high school or building a separate school for gifted students to consolidating East and West into one unit–there is no lack of speculation. The board has recently announced that they are working on a new “Master Facilities Plan” that will serve as a roadmap for adapting to rapid growth in West Chester and Liberty Townships. These changes could be big for the district. Many people are wondering: what is going to happen to Lakota?

As far as what changes could be made to the district, things are still very much up in the air. Before moving forward, the district has to complete an assessment of its facilities and make predictions about what the district will need 20 years down the road. Until the district knows exactly what the needs and problems are, it’s difficult to decide on solutions. 

The MFP is still in its infancy, and there are few concrete details as of now. According to Lakota’s communication director, Betsy Fuller, the board has opened up to community input and won’t present any options until April 8th. On April 15th and 16th an open house will be held across the district so community members can see possible options and give feedback. A plan won’t be finalized until the board meeting on May 11th. Until then, we’ll have to keep speculating.

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Symptoms of Senioritis https://lwhspress.com/1124/student-life/symptoms-of-senioritis/ https://lwhspress.com/1124/student-life/symptoms-of-senioritis/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2020 18:30:14 +0000 https://lwhspress.com/?p=1124 To say that senior year is a bit stressful is quite an understatement. With five classes (three of which are AP), a job that keeps me busy for 20-30 hours a week, and the impending doom of college decision-making before graduation, senior year has been a blur. As soon as autumn approaches, it becomes clear to the senior class that not only do we have to pass our last year of school, but that by the end of it, we are also supposed to have a vast majority of our future all figured out: where we wanna go, who we want to be and what exactly life is without high school.

Look at me — thanks to three shots of espresso in the morning, another two after school, and a Monster™ before work, I manage to stay up until one in the morning and still not get one piece of homework done. It feels as though every day we inch farther and farther away from stability as we try to clasp onto adulthood. The cycle of procrastinating on homework, going to work and trying to muster up the motivation to at least peep at college portals is so repetitive, it has made the year slip from our grasps. 

  Not to mention, since the year has started, many seniors’ personal expectations have hit an all-time low. As long as we manage to make it to school half the time without panicking and to maintain grades above a C, we feel like we can pat ourselves on the back. In my own experience, I have always maintained straight As, minus the exceptional AP U.S. History and Honors Precalculus classes. 

Not to mention, every other day is a senior skip day, and what was once frustration during freshman year over a test, is now something we shrug off. Winging it is our new motto. Sometimes these senior skip days are truly just relaxation and rest days from the constant pressure we seem to be under. 

However, I think the vast majority of this senioritis comes from not only mental exhaustion and burnout from all the decisions we are having to make but also from the need to thrive during our last year at Lakota West. For over ten years, we’ve been working hard, trying to get good grades and going to school every single day with the same people. But a couple of months from now, that all is going to change. For most of us, we’ve already made it to the finish line, and as graduation approaches, we want to spend our time making memories instead of laboring over homework. We want to have five shots of espresso a day only to end up staying up until three in the morning to make garlic mac and cheese and watch Netflix. These next few months are the last few months we get until we’re off on our own. Maybe senioritis is solely us trying to make the best out of what we have left. 


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Freshman Building Creates New Mural https://lwhspress.com/1141/news/freshman-building-creates-new-mural/ https://lwhspress.com/1141/news/freshman-building-creates-new-mural/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2020 18:27:59 +0000 https://lwhspress.com/?p=1141 West Freshman’s drab brick interior is getting a colorful makeover thanks to Mr. Gronas’ mural club. “I’ve been recruiting students to paint in the halls and my room,” says art teacher, Matthew Gronas. Walking through the halls is inspirational, bringing a new, happy feeling to school. While we were visiting the Freshman campus, Mr. G asked us to join the fun. We painted simplistic images and sayings on his cabinets. 

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Study Tips https://lwhspress.com/1138/student-life/study-tips/ https://lwhspress.com/1138/student-life/study-tips/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2020 18:15:10 +0000 https://lwhspress.com/?p=1138 There are plenty of ways to study, most of which you’ve probably heard of, tried out, or both. What most people don’t know is how to make those studying methods more effective. A lot of students try to brute force it, studying for hours on end, not taking breaks, or stressing out the night before the test. This can result in  time being wasted, as not having good mental health can wipe the effects of studying. Here are some good ways to better your studying sessions, and maybe even enjoy them a bit more.


  • Organize your study space: Keeping your areas clean and tidy reduces distractions and puts you in a good mindset. Make sure you’re comfortable while studying, but not so comfortable that you can’t concentrate. A couch or a chair is good, but your bed might be too much of a distraction. If idle noise helps, go to a public but quiet place like a library or Starbucks.


  • Take frequent breaks to let your mind relax: If you’re taking too many breaks to remember anything, try holding them as a reward. For example, “If I read this chapter and answer the questions for it, I can watch 15 minutes of Netflix”. You have to be able to hold yourself to this, setting clear guidelines for what is worthy of a break.


  • Plan out early in your day when you’re going to study: If you only study whenever you feel like it, it’s easy to get distracted. Tell yourself “Tonight I am going to do my homework for 2 hours, then study for science for an hour, then English for an hour.” This helps hold you to your work.


  • Constantly review what you have just studied: After finishing a chapter, take a 2-minute break, then come back and quiz yourself. If you can’t remember everything, skim the chapter, take another break, and quiz yourself again. Keep doing this until you think you have a solid grasp on the subject. Quizzing yourself helps put you in that same mindset as a test and makes you recall the information.


  • Don’t stress out the night before the test: Sometimes, the best way to study is to not study at all. Play games, go out with friends, watch TV, whatever you want to do. Good mental health during a test can make all the difference in how much you remember.
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What’s Up with Junior Year https://lwhspress.com/1122/student-life/whats-up-with-junior-year/ https://lwhspress.com/1122/student-life/whats-up-with-junior-year/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2020 18:11:43 +0000 https://lwhspress.com/?p=1122 Junior year is oftentimes said to be the most difficult year out of anyone’s high school career. With major stressors such as taking the ACT, beginning to look into colleges, and maintaining a promising GPA, students can feel overwhelmed. Most teens also work part-time jobs in order to save up money for things like college and cars. Adding extracurricular activities and other resume builders is time-consuming, causing early burnout. For example, Kevin Chou complained that  “ACT testing, classwork, and classes like economics really stresses me out.”


Though junior year seems like a stressful headache-filled mess, there are many advantages. Being able to attend the school prom, and other elevated freedoms such as participation in Nerf wars, better seating in the student sections, and more class choices make school life better. Additionally, many students start to finally feel like school is falling into place. For senior Megan Philkill, she believes that it is during junior year “when a lot of people realize, ‘oh no, I need to start getting serious.’”  Additionally, senior Arabella Vitt says that junior year is “when you really get to know people and form true friendships.”

Unfortunately, pessimism is often a tendency when talking about the third year of high school. The social aspect can be tolling, many people lose and create new friendships. Staying positive is hard to do. To make it worse, maintaining a positive outlook can seem like just one more thing that needs to get done. 

With all the stress and events that take place in Junior year, it is really easy to give up and not want to do any work, but senior Arabella Vitt reminds current juniors that  “All the challenges from junior year showed me how to work hard for college applications and how to prepare for higher education, [while] also showing me how to relax and have fun.”


Your third year of high school puts you through the wringer; however, in the end, you will see all of the treacherous work you put in finally pay off. Your junior year helps you become a more well-rounded person. You grow both mentally and physically pushing yourself to take a leap into the future.

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Artist Spotlight: Maddy Zimmerer https://lwhspress.com/1129/student-life/artist-spotlight-maddy-zimmerer/ https://lwhspress.com/1129/student-life/artist-spotlight-maddy-zimmerer/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2020 18:09:39 +0000 https://lwhspress.com/?p=1129 Lakota West senior, Maddy Zimmerer is a photographer at Lakota West who also participates in extracurricular activities like track and cross country.  Maddy’s work has even been recognized in the Ohio governor’s show in the nation’s capital for her pancake piece. When asked about the pancake piece she states, “it’s my favorite because it reflects my favorite season and making pancakes is one of my favorite things!”



She started getting into art when she was in sixth grade and received her first iPod. She first started taking pictures of flowers and nature, and her art grew from that. When asked if she would like to pursue art in the future she stated, “yes, I’m not going to major in it but I want to do it as a hobby, and hang up my art in my apartment.” Her favorite thing about art is how she can find anything to take a picture of. 


Make sure to check out her work around Lakota West!

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Fiddler on the Roof https://lwhspress.com/1125/opinions-reviews/fiddler-on-the-roof/ https://lwhspress.com/1125/opinions-reviews/fiddler-on-the-roof/#respond Fri, 28 Feb 2020 18:17:28 +0000 https://lwhspress.com/?p=1125 Lakota West Theatre is proud to present Fiddler on the Roof on April 3rd, 4th, and 5th. The play follows Tevye, the poor milkman, who lives in the small town of Anatevka with his wife and five daughters. Tevye tries to protect his daughters from the rapidly changing customs and traditions while facing the challenges of the anti-Jewish sentiment sweeping across Europe. This timeless story will make you laugh, cry, and dance right in your seat. This show contains some of the most well-known songs in musical theatre, including “Tradition,” “Matchmaker,” “Sunrise Sunset,” and many more.


FIddler was first performed at “Broadway’s Imperial Theatre on September 22, 1964” according to MTI. The original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof was the first show to surpass 3,000 performances in a single run. This musical is so popular that it has hit the stage in countries like Spain, France and Japan. The show has been on multiple world tours and still lives on to be a classic.


The cast and crew have been hard at work to make this production come alive on stage. With auditions beginning in November, the cast prepares for six months to put on a weekend of shows. Every week, there are vocal, stage, and dance rehearsals after school. It takes a whole team to put together a clean and smooth show. Kim Elgridge, the director, helps students perfect the scenes and block them on stage. Susan Bauer and Nick McGill are in charge of vocals where the cast learns the songs. For dance rehearsal, Christy Munafo choreographs and cleans. There are many other staff members who put countless hours into making the show a success.


Make sure to come out and support the students who have put months of practice into this classic show. Tickets can be purchased at



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Student Spotlight: Tate Fishman https://lwhspress.com/1119/student-life/student-spotlight-tate-fishman/ https://lwhspress.com/1119/student-life/student-spotlight-tate-fishman/#respond Wed, 26 Feb 2020 19:16:49 +0000 https://lwhspress.com/?p=1119 Tate Fishman is a senior at Lakota West high school. He is a varsity basketball player, a Red Sea student-section leader, and also has a role in this year’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

How long have you been playing basketball, and what’s your favorite thing about playing or the team?

“I’ve been playing basketball pretty much all my life, and my favorite part is bringing the energy on game days and making something special happen. We (the team) have great chemistry, so being with the guys is pretty great.” 

As it’s your first year in theater, what made you want to join it and what’s your favorite thing about it? 

“I’ve always wanted to do theater, but I never had the time to do it until this year. My favorite part so far has been meeting  many new people and finally getting results after a tough rehearsal.”

What is something people are surprised to find out about you?

“People are often surprised when they find out I wear a size thirteen shoe, I don’t know why it surprises them but it does.”

What are your plans after highschool?

“My plans after highschool is to attend Ohio State University.  I’m undecided on what I will study.”

What is one thing on your bucket list?

“To go to England.”

If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?

“Flight or levitation. It’d be super fun and I wouldn’t have to worry about traffic as much.”

And finally, what’s your favorite memory from high school?

“My favorite memory is singing the national anthem on my senior night. It was a very special moment for my family and me, and I’ll remember it forever.”

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Movie Review – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker https://lwhspress.com/1115/opinions-reviews/movie-review-star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker/ https://lwhspress.com/1115/opinions-reviews/movie-review-star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker/#respond Wed, 26 Feb 2020 19:11:35 +0000 https://lwhspress.com/?p=1115 Ranking as the seventh Disney movie of 2019 to surpass 1 billion in the box office, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, directed by J.J. Abrams, is the final part of the recent Star Wars trilogy. Receiving a 52% on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has taken heavy criticism for not having continuity in plot.


When I heard that there was going to be another Star Wars movie I had mixed feelings, as the first two of the new trilogy were only mediocre compared to the originals. After seeing The Rise of Skywalker, I felt a little disappointed because throughout the whole story we see new abilities that Rey can pull out thin air such as Force healing and being able to talk and interact with Kylo Ren — based on what happened in the other movies, this seemed made up for convenience. We see Kylo Ren under heavy pressure to choose sides, either help the First Order find and destroy the Resistance or help fight against it, preventing the need for so much action. Also, the story is so fast paced, to the point where I felt I couldn’t absorb what’s happening.  It feels like a much longer movie was crammed into the 2 hours and 22 minutes. In the end, however, even with a confusing and chaotic storyline, the movie had a beautiful soundtrack and visuals that made up for it. The end of the trilogy makes those who like the Resistance and Rey happy with how it ends, but I wish they would’ve let the dark side win for once. I think in the end it was worth the money but didn’t exactly meet my expectations for the finale of one of my favorite childhood series. 


As a stock investor of Disney, I strongly recommend watching the movie. 

If you’re a longtime fan of the Star Wars franchise, then I would recommend watching the movie, even though it’s a little confusing at times, it also gives a sense of nostalgia, but more importantly: it’s the final film of the trilogy.


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Freshman Graduation Requirements https://lwhspress.com/1111/student-life/freshman-graduation-requirements/ https://lwhspress.com/1111/student-life/freshman-graduation-requirements/#respond Wed, 26 Feb 2020 18:49:33 +0000 https://lwhspress.com/?p=1111 As classes continue to graduate and the years continue to pass, the state of Ohio is making alterations to the current graduation requirements. The lastest requirements affect this year’s freshman class and those beyond 2023. To get a better sense of what these changes look like for our West freshmen, below is a list of the updates to the graduation requirements.


For the class of 2023, there are three main objectives to achieve in order to earn your diploma.

  1. Students must complete a minimum of 20 credits, with specific objectives in each subject area. For example, students need four credits each for both English and math. 
  2. Students must demonstrate competency in English and mathematics through a standardized test, such as the AIR test or the ACT. They may also show this competency through alternative options like CCP or military enlistment.
  3. They must demonstrate readiness by earning two seals, such as a college-ready seal requiring you to earn a remediation-free score on the ACT or SAT.


Another interesting change is in AIR testing. The infamous standardized test has taken a step back for the class of 2023. While it is still required to take a wide variety of tests in different subject matters, Ohio has now removed the requirement of the English Language Arts I test and is even considering the removal of the Geometry test. So, while this year’s freshmen still are required to take AIR tests, at least one of them has been withdrawn as a requirement.


Overall, the requirements for graduation are pretty similar to the classes prior to 2023. With a few minor changes and the addition of the graduation seals, freshmen will be on the path to graduate. 

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