The Weekly

West High School's Weekly Updates: Sept. 19 - Sept. 25

National Merit Semifinalists Announced

On September 14th, officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. West High leads the state again with 20 students as semifinalist students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. These twenty (20) West High School seniors are among the top one percent of students nationwide with this honor.

Congratulations to the following 20 West High seniors who are designated as semifinalists:

Nathan Abramoff

Jaya Blanchard

Shanthi Chackalackal

Eugenia Chen

Emma Cooper

Christina Dai

Ned Furlong

Dylan Gao

Yiwen Gao

Jiung Jung

Joshua Kwok

Casey McClenathan

Jacquelyn Nielson

Nathaniel Nyberg

Ryotaro Ohashi

Jennifer Pigge

Olivia Read

Simran Sarin

Deborah Terry

Lily Westemeyer

These academically-talented high school seniors have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 Merit Scholarship awards, worth $33 million, that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements and advance to the finalist level of the competition.

About 1.6 million juniors in over 22,000 U.S. high schools entered the 2017 Merit Program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an academic record of very high performance, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier qualifying test performance. The semifinalist and his/her counselor must submit a detailed application, which includes the student's self-descriptive essay and information about his/her participation and leadership in school and community activities.

Approximately 15,000 of the semifinalists are expected to advance to the finalist level and it is from this group that all National Merit Scholarship winners are chosen. Merit designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2017 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 323,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Top Five for This Week!

  1. Sept. 19th, Sept. 20th & Sept. 22nd-Fall Drama Auditions 3:30pm-6:30pm
  2. Tuesday, Sept. 20th-Girls Swim Meet at Coralville Recreation Center against City High at 6pm
  3. Seniors interested in running for senior class president or vice president should see Beckie Smalley in the main office by Wed., Sept. 21st.
  4. Dine Out For Education-38 participating restaurants will donate 10% of daily sales if you dine one of their establishments on Thursday, Sept. 22nd.
  5. The Music Auxiliary Car Wash is Saturday, September 24th 8am-4pm.
Bonus: The varsity volleyball and varsity football teams are both away this week. On Tuesday the volleyball team competes at Xavier, while the football team travels to Prairie this Friday.

Bison Trample Iowa, West High

West High students and teachers benefit greatly from a close relationship with the University of Iowa. Many of our students have access to classes, jobs and cultural experiences through the University. It was natural, then, for West High to agree to a request from the University of Iowa to permit the North Dakota Alumni the use of the front parking lot on Saturday, September 17. The formal request was for the use of the auditorium parking lot from 4:30 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday. However, Bison fans proved to be much more eager and more numerous than the University realized when the initial request was made. The result was not only an inconvenience to West students using the building on Saturday, but also an annoyance to our neighbors. In addition, the tailgating activities that took place on our grounds is inconsistent with our educational mission and a violation of district rules regarding alcohol and tobacco on school grounds. Although we appreciate our relationship with the University, it is safe to say that we will not agree to any more rental agreements that involve college tailgating on school grounds. We plan to apologize to our neighbors this week and thank them for their patience.

Homecoming Court Nominations Announced

The following students were selected by a vote of the students for the 2016 Homecoming Court. They were announced at the Homecoming Dance on Saturday night. Congratulations to the winners and to all of the nominees. And a big shout to Student Senate and their advisors Brady Shutt and Stacey Strief for a great Homecoming week and concluding dance.

Most Spirited-Guy

  • Nate Jelinek

Most Spirited-Girl

  • Maddee Whitehead

Most Talented-Guy

  • Ryo Ohashi

Most Talented-Girl

  • Kate Vanderleest

Most Athletic-Guy

  • Oliver Martin

Most Athletic-Girl

  • Valerie Welch

Homecoming King

  • Ned Furlong

Homecoming Queen

  • Katie McGrane

West High Weekly: Sept 15 - 29

Shakespeare Troop Visits West High

The Q Brothers are a duo of rapper/actors based in Chicago who specialize in modern adaptations of Shakespeare. On Friday, September 16, they entertained and worked with West students to teach them their craft. Currently, the Q Brothers are artists in residence at the University of Iowa. Over the course of five weeks, The Qs are working with twelve students from the University of Iowa to devise, revise, and remix Shakespeare's Julius Caesar into Rome Sweet Rome, a modern hip-hop musical exploring the themes of fate, betrayal, and political corruption. Shows are Sep 29, 2016 to Oct 15, 2016 at the David Thayer Theatre. See this link for more information:

Keep Up With all the Daily News With Our Digital Signage Site

West High is partnering with Arreya, an Iowa-base technology company to power our digital signs. Anyone, however, can access this site from any web browser. It is fun to keep up with all of the twitter information throughout the day. We encourage the entire West High Community to bookmark this address and visit often:

Mark Your Calendar--Parent Teacher Conferences

We are only one week away from Parent-Teacher Conferences, which are scheduled for Wednesday, September 28 and October 5 from 4:30 to 7:30. Conferences are held in the school cafeteria arena-style so it is very easy to drop in on several different teachers for a 5-minute conversation per teacher. Parents needing more than 5 minutes are requested to contact teachers by email to arrange a discussion at a different time. In addition to these scheduled blocks, teachers will also be conducting phone conferences during midterms as an additional option for those who cannot make it.

Dine Out For Education

Dine Out on Thursday, September 22nd in support of our schools!

Thursday the 22nd of September is the Fall Dine Out for Education event. There are 38 restaurant partners that have agreed to donate 10% of their daily sales back to the ICCSD Foundation. This money helps support many programs and events our kids know and love like School of the Wild, Symphony Goes to School, Visiting Author, MakerSpaces and STEM clubs and competitions that the junior high and high school students are involved with, and so much more! All you have to do is visit one or more of the 38 restaurant partners on Thursday the 22nd and either DINE IN OR CARRY OUT. This is the easiest fundraiser ever! Dine Out for Education on Thursday, September 22!

Visit for the full list of generous Dine Out restaurant partners.

Donate online:

Galapagos Trip Informational Meeting

The Biology Department is hosting an informational meeting on Tuesday, Sept 20 at 8:15AM in room 26 for those interested in our biannual trip to Ecuador. Both parents and students are invited to attend! Trip itinerary and details will be discussed. Initial deposits are due October 10th.

Join us as we travel to the Equator June 6-19, 2017 and experience the biodiversity of the mountains, jungle, and the famous Galapagos Islands!

Club West Looks to the Future

Club West is a parent-led organization whose mission is to support the tradition of excellence throughout all of Iowa City West High athletic programs, dance and cheer teams by providing financial support, assisting game day operations for the benefit of fans and visitors and fostering school spirit throughout all levels of the district and community.

Club West accepts memberships from more than just families of athletes. We welcome all West High families, alumni and community members as well. If you or a friend would like to join Club West as a member, you can join online at or contact Please consider joining if you haven't already done so, and thanks to all those that have.

Club West relies on the time and generosity of those in the West High family and beyond. One need not be a West High parent in order to help be a part of Club West. We are looking for enthusiastic individuals to fill the following positions:

Secretary - The club's secretary is an executive member of the Board of Directors and shall be responsible for attending meetings, preparing meeting agendas and minutes. This position may, but does not have to be combined with the Communications Coordinator.

Communications/Web Chair - The Communications Chair will be a Board of Directors member responsible for maintaining and updating the club's website and social media accounts. Website experience is preferred. This person may, but does not have to serve as the club's secretary as well.

Alumni Relations Chair (or Co-Chair) - The Alumni Relations chair/co-chair's responsibility is to engage Iowa City West alumni and families in membership & volunteering, and will coordinate the annual Alumni Golf outing once each summer. This position may be shared and will have one vote on the Board of Directors.

Future Trojans Chair - The Future Trojans chair will be responsible for the engagement of families and community members at West High Feeder Schools through club membership, volunteerism and school spirit events. This chair will coordinate with the liaisons from each of the feeder programs. The position may be co-chaired and will have one vote on the Board of Directors.

Elementary/Junior High Liaisons - We are looking for one or two people at each of the West High feeder elementary schools and Northwest Junior High to help the Future Trojans Chair coordinate membership and spirit events at their individual schools.

If you are interested or you know someone who would be great for one of the positions listed above, please contact Club West board meeting are held in the evening on the second Monday of every month at West High.

Attention Juniors: Nominations Needed For World Affairs Seminar

Each year has a different theme. Past themes have dealt with Social Justice and Gender Equity, Water, Technology, Global Energy and many other important current global topics and trends. This year the theme is “EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: SHAPING THE WORLD YOU WILL INHERIT".

The sponsoring Rotary club pays the $680 fee for each participant.

The 2017 WAS is scheduled for June 24-30, 2017 at Carroll University located in Waukesha, Wisconsin, about 20 miles west of Milwaukee.

For more information please visit one of the following websites: and you may also visit:

West High 6th in Bank Iowa Traveling Challenge Cup

Although West High does not compete in all the categories, it nevertheless ended up 6th among all Iowa High Schools in the Bank Iowa Traveling Challenge Cup, an honor that comes with a prestigious crystal award and $2,000. West High last won the award in 2012 and has come in first place three times since it was introduced in 2007.

Introduced in 2007, the Bank Iowa Traveling Challenge Cup is a statewide competition designed to recognize Iowa high school students for academic excellence and outstanding achievement during state competitions. Points are assigned for every activity in which a school reaches a state competition, advances in a state competition, receives Division I ratings and earns academic recognition from either the IHSAA, IGHSAU, IHSSA and IHSMA. Winning schools in each of the state’s four classifications (1A, 2A, 3A and 4A) are determined based on the best combined score.

“What we love about the Bank Iowa Traveling Challenge Cup is the opportunity to recognize student accomplishments across all school activities as well as in the classroom,” said Jim Plagge, President and CEO of Bank Iowa, headquartered in West Des Moines.

The 2015-16 top ten schools in each of the class divisions and points earned are as follows:

Class 4A

1. Waukee (1,580)

2. Pleasant Valley (1,510)

3. Urbandale (1,195)

4. Kennedy, Cedar Rapids (1,105)

5. Ankeny Centennial (1,065)

6. West High, Iowa City (960)

7. Mason City (940)

8. Cedar Falls (925)

9. Ankeny (910)

10. Ames (865)

For more information on the Bank Iowa Traveling Challenge Cup, visit the Iowa High School Sports Network website at or Bank Iowa’s website at

Run for the Schools is October 16th!

Did you know you can earn money for your school by participating?

Volunteer: Run for the Schools Sign Up

Walk or Run: (Register by Sept. 30th to get a T-Shirt)

Donate online:

The more volunteers, race participants and donors we have , the more money we earn for our schools!! For more information or for a downloadable race form, visit: Thanks For Your Support!!

Get All the Liberty High News

Scott Kibby officially started as the Liberty High Principal and he has been busy. Since the boundaries for the new high school have not yet been determined, we would like some help from you in establishing an email list for anyone interested in receiving occasional updates about the opening of Liberty High. Although these are targets to future Liberty High parents, anyone interested in getting this information can sign up by simply following this link: and filling out the short form. Scott also invites all future Liberty High parents to contact him directly through email: or call him at his office at North Central Junior high at 319-688-1210 ext 8491.

Other helpful LHS Links:


Twitter: @LibertyHS_Kibby as well.

Liberty High Apparel:

Welcome to The West High Weekly

The West Weekly is an on-line publication by West High School administration and staff and will be distributed on Sundays via email and popular online media sites like twitter and Facebook. The purpose of the weekly is to keep the West High Community informed of upcoming events and also report the news of the previous week. If you have some suggestions or ideas of things you would like to see in this publication, please email.

Non-Discrimination Statement

It is the policy of the Iowa City Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy, please contact Kingsley Botchway II, Director of Equity, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000,