By Andrew Goodman, Bailey Metcalf
The 2020-2021 school year is coming to a close. It is easy to note that it has been a different year for all students. This was the first year that high school students were able to participate virtually, required to wear masks, and social distance at school. To say the least, it was not the normal year for students at West High. Here is a year in review.
As construction continued into the school year, the new bathrooms were the first to be finished and be used by the in-person students at West High School. The new bathrooms provided more stalls, cleaner toilets, and new sinks.
All students in Tennessee public schools received free meals until December 31, 2020.
West High’s Student Council voting took place on Thursday, Sept. 17. The new team members were: Emmalee Stubblefield as the Student Body President, Cayden Keltgen as the Student Body Vice President, Hayden Howard as Student Body Secretary, and Lilliana Roberts as the Student Body Treasurer.
The West High Homecoming court was held in October for the football season. Thecandidates were Caitlin Allen, escorted by Jovanny Gonzalez, KyLee Bales, escorted by RyanShafer, Ashton Brady, escorted by Dylan Cribley, Brooklyn Chance, escorted by Dallas Lindsey, Sheena Frampton, escorted by Isaac Adams, Faith Hadley, escorted by Jaiden Picardi, Sydney Haven, escorted by Ian Sexton, Mya Hayes, escorted by Noah Metler, Lexie, Howard, escorted by Jojo Madeno, Kaymryn Odom, escorted by Gabriel Lammey, AmayaYarid, escorted by John Kutbay, and Emily Spain, escorted by Johnny Gallardo. The Homecoming Queen was awarded to Amaya Yarid.
Sydney Terry is apart of the many staff members that we welcomed during this school year. She is a new Algebra I teacher for West High. Terry shared that she enjoys teaching at West High, saying, “West High is full of some of the best people I know, and definitely some of the best Mather teachers I’ve ever had. I knew it would be a great place where I would be supported and have the opportunity to learn from the best!” Terry shared that West High has a great community of teachers, and she has never felt so welcomed, encouraged, and supported. She explained that she enjoyed teaching because “Giving kids the opportunity to learn and trying to find new ways to help make the math make sense to them. Math can seem scary to a lot of kids, but I like to show them it’s more than just memorizing formulas and steps.”
West held their annual food drive in November. It turned out very successful, and many families throughout the Lakeway area were blessed with a Thanksgiving meal.
On Dec. 15, West High received new Trojan Nation t-shirts or masks during homeroom. Students has a choice to get a shirt, mask, or the option to purchase both. The proud sponsors of the Trojan Nation clothing are Healthstar Foundation, Hamblen CTE Works, B.K. Graphics, Castle and Associates- Kevin and Lauren Castle, Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, Manley Baptist Church, McKenna Orthodontics- Dr. Mark McKenna, Morristown Utilities/Fibernet, R and M Painting Professional Services, Citizens National Bank, Surgical Associates of East TN, West High Golf Teams, and West High Student Council.
Morristown West High’s Speech and Debate team attended Soddy Daisy High School’s Forensics tournament Dec. 5. With 23 schools in attendance, West’s team had plenty of competition. The team as a whole placed second in sweepstakes, beating 21 of the other schools competing.
Rylee Links, second place
Kimber Strumski, fifth place
Cayden Keltgen and Tristan Lindsey, third place
Amira Elshennawy and Brianna Knight, fifth place
Cayden Keltgen, first place
Emma Whittaker, first place
Esmeralda Cerritos Martinez, fourth place
Kimber Strumski, sixth place
Esmeralda Cerritos Martinez, second place
Emma Whittaker, sixth place
Kuke McCellan, sixth palce
Public Forum Debate:
Lorna Bailey and Noah Heissler, fifth place
Rylee Linkous, third place
Program Oral Interp:
Delany Miksa, sixth place
Cayden Keltgen, third place
The Teacher of the Year competition has always been a large part of public school systems. It was created to give the teachers that stand out some recognition for their outstanding work. Each school elects on teacher of the year to compete at a district level. The winner from the regional goes to, regional, state, and then national. The TOY award is the best award is the best award a teacher could receive for their amazing work. This year’s TOY is Jessica Bailiff-Noe. She is elected because she is an active advocate in the HOLA Administration. The HOLA Lakeway Administration’s goal is to help teach Spanish speakers English. Noes devotes her time to HOLA by going to laundromats during the evening to help teach the English language to Spanish speakers. Bailiff-Noe teachers Algebra 1, English, and Physics. She has also taught Physical Science and Chemistry. HOLA offers Spanish and English classes. HOLA also offers financial assistance to immigrant families affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Bailiff-Noe stated, “I had always wanted to go to medical school and become a pediatrician, but I began to rethink my plan when I was a senior at Carson-Newman. I was actually in the middle of an exam for one of my classes when my professor told me that West High was looking for Chemistry teachers, so I applied. Once I got the job, I enrolled in a Master’s program at Carson-Newman to get my teaching license.”
West High received many new staff members this year, and one of them was Caty Rush. She grew up in the Morristown and attended to Walter’s State and Milligan College, and obtained her Master’s degree at Carson Newman University. She enjoys teaching and was Inspired by a teacher she has in high school. About her new job at West High, she said, “I have really enjoyed the community at West High and the Teamwork I have experienced as we all try to promote the success of our Students.”
Kyle Ross, a Junior at Morristown West High School, was awarded the Chief of Private Pilots Scholarship, a $20K scholarship that financially aids the cadets chosen to experience an eight-week summer aviation training program at a university. Ross is one of 230 cadets chosen to receive this scholarship globally. Cadets who complete the Training are eventually awarded a Prize Pilot’s Certification, giving them the knowledge and license to privately fly aircraft. Ross has worked hard for this amazing achievement. Ross expressed, “I am extremely excited to be offered this opportunity that only 230 other people in the world get the chance to have yearly.”
Thursday, Jan. 28, students at Morristown West voted for the Homecoming King. The candidates were Isaac Adams escorted by Lexi Howard, Jovanny Cerino escorted by Caitlin Allen, Dylan Cribley escorted by Faith Heskett, Jace Durfey escorted by Ashton Bradey, Jerrod Hammond escorted by Emma Gibson, Matthew Kinsler escorted by Bailey Harper, Patrick Liposky escorted by Cooper Cambell, Jaiden Picardi escorted by Faith Hadley, Ian Sexton escorted by Sydney Haven, Ryan Shafer escorted by Kylie Bales, and Eli Steisslinger escorted by Kamryn Odom.
Jovanny Cerino was announced West High’s Mr. Homecoming. Cerino was asked how he felt about becoming Mr. Homecoming for West and he replied, “It’s honestly a blessing, Obviously, I couldn’t have done it without the student body but the most imporant thing is that it makes me feel like I’ve made an impact on the school enough for people to vote for me. It’s a big thing especially because out of all the boys, 10 got picked and out of those ten, I received the honor to be Morristown West’s Homecoming King.”
Morristown-Hamblen High School West’s new administrative wing and renovated cafeteria opened. Administrative staff began to move into the new offices in late January and by mid-February, the front lobby opened to the public. The new building offered high ceilings and bright colors, bringing a new modern feel to the school. The project broke ground in early 2020 after school had dismissed early due to Covid-19. Throughout the year, new air-conditioning units and bathrooms were added in addition to the renovated cafeteria and new office. The renovated cafeteria began serving students in January. Renovations on the cafeteria began in early 2020 with major renovations being completed by January of 2021.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021, Four-Star Air Force General Arnold Bunch, Jr. visited the Morristown-Hamblen East and West Campuses. Bunch grew up in the Morristown area, attending John Hay Elementary School, Meadowview Middle School, and Morristown East High School. General Bunch’s visit to West High School allowed him to communicate the importance of work and perseverance in a presentation that was held in the auditorium and broadcasted online. He encouraged students to not be afraid to step forward and do something that has not been done before. Bunch thanked his teachers who he had in the past for helping him get to where he is today, gifting his former geometry teacher, now a West High Math Teacher, Linda Sedlack, a special Air Force coin with his signature and job position engraved.
The West High Speech and Debate Team had five qualifiers to compete in Nations to represent Tennessee. The team worked really hard in order to reach that great achievement This was the first time that West High School had a freshman qualify for Nationals. The qualifiers were Emory Starcher, Rylee Linkous, Cayden Keltgen, Kimber Strumski, and Delaney Miksa.
Students began returning back to the classroom in April as Covid-19 began to thin out. More students also returned as a result of the new policy for students to stay
online. The policy was that students were to have a B average or a doctors note to remain in their classes virtually.
The 2020-2021 talent show was held on Friday, April 9. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the contestants were to send prerecorded videos of their acts to be put in the video shown to the rest of West High. There were nine participants who were featured in the talent show. The top three contestants were Emily Gary, who placed first with her flip books, Gretchen Greene, who placed second as she showcased her music ability on the piano, and Camdyn Dore, who placed third and sang “Rock Salt & Nails” while playing guitar.
Sara Nichols and Andrew Goodman placed fourth place in Journalism and Web Design for FBLA State competition. Nicole Bulter is a junior at West High School and she competed in Business Communications. Andrew Goodman who is also a junior competed in Website Design. Other competitors include Dallas Lindsey who is a senior who competed in Accounting I. Hope Nichols, is a sophomore who competed in Introduction to Financial Math. Sara Nichols, is a junior who competed in Journalism. Miller Smith is a sophomore, and he competed in Computer Problem Solving. Kenzie Sprouse is a senior and she competed in Economics. Goodman said, “In this year's FBLA State Web Design competition, I had to design a website for a photographer that allowed the photographer to show off his or her work and allow photoshoots to be scheduled.” Nichols said, “For the Journalism competition, both times, I had to take an exam that tested my knowledge of the basis of Journalism. There were questions that asked things such as "From a business perspective, all of the following are disadvantages of TV broadcasting except: and I had to choose the advantage from the answer choices.”
Prom was announced to take place on Sat. May 22, 2021. With COVID-19 still being a concern, masks are required and more space is available for prom activities.
New Student Council Executive Officers Elected are elected for the 2021-2022 school year. Student Body President is Will Hunley, Student Body Vice President is Austin Hayes, Student Body Secretary Is Joesph Parrott, and Student Body Treasurer is Alma Hernandez.
Students grow flower bedding plants, vegetable plants like tomatos, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, squash, and hanging baskets. The students try not to use any Pesticides on the the plans, finding that easy scouting for pest problems And acting quickly such as removing the planet affected reduces the need for most pesticides. The students usually physically remove any weeds that start growing reducing the need for herbicides.
Over 300 seniors will graduate June 4 at the WSCC Expo Center. June 7, most students will advance to the next grade. West Side Story wishes our seniors success towards their endeavors to obtain a flourishing career!