Community supports disaster relief

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Students buy baked goods and treats for the fundraiser.

By Laura Kors ’21

Members of the middle school community purchased baked goods, pizza and popcorn provided by the Simon Says Girls Club, as well as Coolhaus ice cream bars and sandwiches supplied by Emma Limor ’21 in order to support Natural Disaster Relief Day. The event took place on Sept. 28 at the Middle School from break to ninth period. The proceeds were split between the Houston Food Bank, UNICEF and Red Cross to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and the earthquakes in Mexico.

The event was a collaboration between the members of Simon Says Girls Club and Limor who started an event to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey but later expanded it to include those affected by Hurricane Irma. After the earthquakes in Mexico, Simon Says Girls Club planned an event to help the schools destroyed, but due to the similar nature of the events both fundraisers were combined.

“I really didn’t care [that they combined our events], as long that we were doing something so that we could raise money to help the people. My motivation strictly comes from helping the people, particularly […] the students because so many schools have been devastated and I just feel like as a school we should be looking out for other schools,” Brenda Simon, Middle School Attendance and Health Coordinator and Simon Says Girls Club Faculty Advisor said.

The fundraiser raised $3,000.07 for disaster relief. Every item was sold out, and there were also many donations.

“I wanted to create a pathway for the school to be able to directly help those in need as well as bring conversation on natural disasters as a whole, because natural disasters can occur at any moment, any time, and we as a community need to be prepared,” Limor said.

Students said they enjoyed the event as well.

“I think it’s a really good cause, and I’m happy so many people are coming out to support it,” Samantha McLoughlin ’21 said during the event.

 

Faculty attend Mexico Trip

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Photos Courtesy of Mr. Gustavo Godoy

By Ethan Lachman ’21

Faculty and staff from both campuses traveled to Mexico City from June 13 to 19. According to Spanish teacher Anamaria Ayala, who was one of the trip coordinators with upper school history teacher Ken Neisser, the goal of the trip was for participants to experience Mexican culture first-hand and actively learn about Mexican history. Trip participants visited the Anthropology Museum, visited artists Frida Kahlo’s house and Diego Rivera’s house and experienced Mexican culture.

Ayala had already been to Mexico City once before, but many of the other trip participants had never traveled there. Ayala said many teachers on the trip are incorporating the information they learned about Mexican culture and history into their curricula.

Even though Ayala said that visiting the museums and cultural sites was great, she had a different favorite part of the trip.

“I had been in Mexico before, and I had been in the places that we visited with the faculty, and of course visiting those places was great for me, but I think my favorite thing about these kind of trips is doing it with the faculty. It is very different to be with the faculty doing something outside of the school: enjoying the food, enjoying the sites and just learning about each other and learning about a culture with each other,” Ayala said.

Trip participant and English teacher Sidney Kohls said that the trip was very interesting and expressed her gratitude for the experience.

“I felt very grateful to get to have that opportunity [to go to Mexico City] [….] It was really nice to get to know other teachers, so I felt connected to the school in a bigger way,” Kohls said.

Girls tennis works hard

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Teammates pose for a picture

By Madi Massey ’21

All four of the girls tennis teams have been working to make this season as rewarding as possible. Players have been attending practices for the past few weeks to develop their skills and get ready for the matches ahead.

The program got off to a slow start this year, as the first four meets were cancelled due to excessive heat, as well as the varsity team’s first match directly following Labor Day weekend. According to the Girls Tennis Program Head Jelena Durisic, this resulted in not having all their combinations down before the match, but overall these obstacles were a minor setback and provided a good learning experience for the team.

The varsity team meets five days a week and plays one to two matches every week. However, the girls said they have a lot of fun practicing and competing in tennis. The varsity squad also has many goals they wish to accomplish this year, including receiving rewards and maintaining records. The varsity squad hopes to become the sole champions of Mission League this year, as opposed to last year in which they were co-champions. In the past two years, the team reached CIF finals, which were the first and second times in school history, and they are working to continue to reach that goal. They will be competing for the individual, doubles and team championships. The varsity squad also hopes to win the State Team Championship and get the highest GPA. They have an overall record of 3-2 and 2-0 in league.

“It’s a great group of enthusiastic girls on the varsity team and we’re looking forward to a great season,” Durisic said.

While the JV squad is not competing for any titles specifically, they hope to win as many games as possible.

“Tennis is a really fun sport because you get to interact with a lot of other students and all the coaches really help you improve,” JV player Kylie Azizzadeh ’21 said.

The girls on the JV squad said that they are enjoying themselves on the court and learning a lot from their coaches.

“I’ve been playing tennis for a while and doing it at Harvard- Westlake is definitely the best. I just love all the girls on the team and the coaches are super nice and helpful,” JV player Dottie Shayegan ’21 said.

There are both red and black middle school squads this year; the players were randomly split up into the two squads, unlike past years in which the black had been the more advanced one.

“Tennis is definitely one of my favorite sports, and this is my second year being captain of the team, and I think tennis is a great way to stay active and meet new people along the way,” black team captain Jade Zoller ’22 said.

So far, the black team has only played two games, and the red team played their first game on Sept. 29. The middle school squads will compete in the Delphic League and will try to win the Delphic League Team Championship and also have the ability to win the Singles and Doubles Championship. The coaches want the squads to receive the first and second places in the Delphic League. They also hope to obtain the Sportsmanship Award, and end the season with a winning record.

“We’re a young team with a lot of young players, but we’re all very hard working and we’re excited to see what the season brings,” Durisic said about her overarching perspective on the upcoming season.

 

 

Girls golf is back at it

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Team captain Josie Baker tees off.

By Maxine Zuriff ’22

The varsity girls golf team started off the year by winning many victories. Head coach Marge Chamberlain is focusing all her time on the varsity team, which consists of eight girls. The team began training during the summer and has been working hard to keep up the wins. During the spring, middle school golf will start. The middle school golf team consists of seventh and eighth graders. Although golf is an individual sport, the girls work together to make themselves better players and support each other no matter what.

During the varsity team’s first match on Sept. 7 against Chaminade, they won by a score of 187 to 272. Team captain Josie Baker ‘18 shot an even par of 36, and Daisy Wan ‘20 shot one under par and made three birdies during the match. The team’s second match was against Louisville High School. The girls won 188 to 286. Baker scored one under par with two birdies.

The girls played their first mission league match on Sept. 19 and took the win. Wan took the lead carding three under 33 with two birdies and one eagle.  Katie Kennedy ‘21 had her best round of the season so far with a 37.

Yet another victory from the varsity girls on Sept. 26, winning their fourth match against Notre Dame, 187-205. Wan was the top player at the end of the match, achieving her top score during the season so far.  Skylar Graham ’20 and Baker both scored an even par 34 while Kimberly Wan ’21 fired off a 39.

The varsity team competes in division games, a mid-season tournament, a final tournament and the CIF championship. Since 2015, the team has not lost a single divisional match.

“Playing varsity golf is so much fun. The upperclassman are so nice and supportive and fun to be around. Being on varsity golf has made me an all-around better golfer and has been a great experience so far,” Kennedy said.

The JV team consists of five girls. So far their season has started out slow, coming in sixth place during the Mission League match. They have been practicing a lot to achieve a better outcome.

Despite having such a small team, the girls work hard and always have a good time. Chamberlain has been helping the girls improve their golf game.

“I love playing on team with five members because so far it has made us closer. Everyone is so supportive to one another,” Natalie Phillips ‘21 said.

 

 

Faculty attend Mexico Trip

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Photos Courtesy of Mr. Gustavo Godoy

By Ethan Lachman ’21

Faculty and staff from both campuses traveled to Mexico City from June 13 to 19. According to Spanish teacher Anamaria Ayala, who was one of the trip coordinators with upper school history teacher Ken Neisser, the goal of the trip was for participants to experience Mexican culture first-hand and actively learn about Mexican history. Trip participants visited the Anthropology Museum, visited artists Frida Kahlo’s house and Diego Rivera’s house and experienced Mexican culture.

Ayala had already been to Mexico City once before, but many of the other trip participants had never traveled there. Ayala said many teachers on the trip are incorporating the information they learned about Mexican culture and history into their curricula.

Even though Ayala said that visiting the museums and cultural sites was great, she had a different favorite part of the trip.

“I had been in Mexico before, and I had been in the places that we visited with the faculty, and of course visiting those places was great for me, but I think my favorite thing about these kind of trips is doing it with the faculty. It is very different to be with the faculty doing something outside of the school: enjoying the food, enjoying the sites and just learning about each other and learning about a culture with each other,” Ayala said.

Trip participant and English teacher Sidney Kohls said that the trip was very interesting and expressed her gratitude for the experience.

“I felt very grateful to get to have that opportunity [to go to Mexico City] [….] It was really nice to get to know other teachers, so I felt connected to the school in a bigger way,” Kohls said.

Wolverscreens are placed around campus

By Keira Jameson ’22

Four television screens, dubbed the Wolverscreens, have been installed on campus to project announcements and times between classes.

Previously, there were only about two or three television screens around campus.  However, because of the popularity of the screens, the school decided to increase the number of the TVs and come up with a name.

For example, every screen shows how much time is left in the period and what time the next period starts.

Students spoke about the appeal of the screens.

“I love the Wolverscreens!  They help me with time management, and they help me get to class on time,” Ally White ’22 said.

Another beneficial piece of information that is projected on the Wolverscreens is important news from the Daily Bulletin.  Often students in all grades are not able to check the Bulletin, but the screens project announcements and news of upcoming events.

Upon their arrival on campus, new information was added to the circulation of the slideshow on the screens, and Wolverscreen content changes on a consistent basis.

“I found that I am more likely to participate in campus events.  I like that [the Wolverscreens] connect the on-campus community,” librarian Elaine Levia said.

 

New course policies to be enacted

By Tessa Ausberger ’22 and Maddie Morrison ’22

At the start of this year, the middle school administration passed a policy that prevents students from placing their backpacks in the cafeteria. New concerns from deans, faculty and maintenance have resulted in this change. Backpacks that are placed in the cafeteria are now moved outside of Horn Commons and onto the lawn.
“I think it was a necessary change, because it was getting really clogged [in the cafeteria], so it’s the best way to keep things organized,” seventh grade dean Kate Benton said.
According to Benton, because backpacks are neatly strewn across the lawn, it would be easier to find them, rather than previously where students had to dig through the cafeteria’s piles of backpacks.
“This was always the original policy, but slow and gradually it has gotten more and more relaxed. The main reason is for safety. People trip, they fall and they get injured. We have parents and older people on the campus, as well as students, so it’s mostly a safety issue,” Benton said.

While this change has made the cafeteria more safe, some students are finding that it is difficult to find their backpacks because they have been moved from the cafeteria to a random spot on the lawn.
“One time, I left my backpack in the cafeteria, to get a snack for a class. It got moved, however, and I was late to my class because it had been moved to some random spot on the lawn, ” Will Sheehy ‘22 said.

Ninth graders present stories

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By Daniel Ju ’22 with additional reporting by Allie Landecker ’21

Ninth grade students in Angle and Saenz met in the library for a storytelling meeting modeled on a podcast called The Moth, where unprepared stories were shared among the teachers and students. Each student shared a humorous and personal anecdote.

“There was one story about a girl whose grandmother who gave her a wedding sari and she talked about her indian identity, so that was pretty interesting, and there also was a boy who talked about eating coffeecakes, even though he was allergic to milk, and it made him be less allergic to milk, and now he can have ice cream and yogurt and all sorts of things that he couldn’t eat before,” english teacher Sydney Kole said.

 

Community supports disaster relief

to edit
Students buy baked goods and treats for the fundraiser.

By Laura Kors ’21

Members of the middle school community purchased baked goods, pizza and popcorn provided by the Simon Says Girls Club, as well as Coolhaus ice cream bars and sandwiches supplied by Emma Limor ’21 in order to support Natural Disaster Relief Day. The event took place on Sept. 28 at the Middle School from break to ninth period. The proceeds were split between the Houston Food Bank, UNICEF and Red Cross to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and the earthquakes in Mexico.

The event was a collaboration between the members of Simon Says Girls Club and Limor who started an event to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey but later expanded it to include those affected by Hurricane Irma. After the earthquakes in Mexico, Simon Says Girls Club planned an event to help the schools destroyed, but due to the similar nature of the events both fundraisers were combined.

“I really didn’t care [that they combined our events], as long that we were doing something so that we could raise money to help the people. My motivation strictly comes from helping the people, particularly […] the students because so many schools have been devastated and I just feel like as a school we should be looking out for other schools,” Brenda Simon, Middle School Attendance and Health Coordinator and Simon Says Girls Club Faculty Advisor said.

The fundraiser raised $3,000.07 for disaster relief. Every item was sold out, and there were also many donations.

“I wanted to create a pathway for the school to be able to directly help those in need as well as bring conversation on natural disasters as a whole, because natural disasters can occur at any moment, any time, and we as a community need to be prepared,” Limor said.

Students said they enjoyed the event as well.

“I think it’s a really good cause, and I’m happy so many people are coming out to support it,” Samantha McLoughlin ’21 said during the event.