West Side Story

The West Side Story (WSS) is Iowa City West High School’s award-winning, student-run publication that covers subjects of interest to West High and the Iowa City community. I served as Managing Editor, Copy Editor, Reporter, and Photographer. During my time at WSS, I won multiple state and national awards and was named the 2019 National Scholastic Press Association’s Writer of the Year. Below are some of my best articles out of the 50+ I wrote for WSS. More of my work can be found here.

In the minority

Published on Feb. 22, 2019

The Iowa City Community School District had a shortage of minority teachers as compared to minority students. This article examined the lack of racial representation in district staff and the impact the discrepancy had in the broader community.

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

Published on Feb. 5, 2019

West High alumna and former West Side Story design editor Shirley Wang received considerable attention after her podcast highlighting her dad’s friendship with Charles Barkley went viral. Shirley and her brother Mason sat down with me to explain the “story behind the story.”

We are not your enemy

Published on Nov. 28, 2018

As my first opinion piece, this piece highlights the lessons I learned from my time at the Al Neuharth Journalism and Free Spirit Conference I attended as the representative from Iowa. It details why the news media should not be viewed as the people’s enemy.

A spectrum of perspectives

Published on Nov. 15, 2018

In 2017, the Iowa City Community School District surveyed all students to gain an understanding of the student climate within the district. The results showed that students who identified as LGBTQ+ felt less safe in the school environment. LGBTQ+ students shared anecdotes on their experiences in the district and what should be done moving forward.

A toxic tradition

Published on Oct. 4, 2018

As one of the best high schools in Iowa, West High students consistently perform at high rates in academics, athletics, and the arts. However, along with this came a mental health stigma characterized by lack of discussions in the classroom and an elitist portion of the student body. This article investigated the lack of attention to the culture surrounding student mental health.

Hidden among us

Published on April 6, 2018

In the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, legal and illegal immigrants at West High alike expressed concerns about the United States’ immigration system and what current trends signal for their futures.

Charged Women’s March rallies in downtown Iowa City

Published on Jan. 21, 2018

One year after the inaugural Women’s March in Washington D.C. and a multitude of sister marches nationwide, hundreds of Iowan protestors carrying posters and donning pink clothing met in downtown Iowa City to carry on the tradition.


Published on Dec. 22, 2017

The Iowa City Community School District had illegally utilized “seclusion rooms” as disciplinary tactics for elementary school children. Students shared stories of being confined in such rooms and administration discussed the process of phasing this criminal procedure out of the district.