The Write Side

PWHS News Update - 2017 Special Halloween Edition

Interested in the history of halloween?

Halloween is a holiday many children and adults love due to the promise of candy and funny, and sometimes scary, costumes. One of the most recognizable holidays celebrated in the United States, Halloween differs from most because it doesn't originate from commonly held religious views or have country-specific historical significance. So, how did this widely celebrated holiday come to be?

View the video above for a brief National Geographic video discussing the history of Halloween. Also, read the entry "Halloween" from Salem Press Encyclopedia to gain a better understanding of Halloween's origins. Interested in more? Visit INFOhio to continue researching this spooky holiday.

Turpen steps up for Un-haunted Forest presentation

Sophomore Key Club member Kyleigh Turpen volunteered in Shawnee State Park's Un-haunted Forest guided lamplight tour held on Oct. 28, 2017.

Initially, Turpen was scheduled to be a tour guide. However, due to unforeseen cancellations, when Turpen arrived at the event, she was recruited to play a more significant role as an animal character, the fox. "Kyleigh stepped right up and did a great job," said tour guide and Portsmouth West High School teacher Carolyn Callihan.

Key Club advisor and PWHS teacher Leah Blevins also played an animal character.

Beginning at Shawnee State Park Nature Center, tour guides led families through a half-mile looping trail and encountered various animal characters telling their stories. The tour ended back at the Nature Center where families were able to make s'mores while listening to music around a campfire.

To see all the park's scheduled events in November click on the flyer link below.

Senators earn home-field advantage in first football playoff game

Contributions by Cody Staggs

Portsmouth West Football team clinched a home-field playoff game for the 2017 postseason set to be played on Friday, Nov. 3. The Senators (9-1) will host Martins Ferry (7-3) in the Regional Quarterfinal game with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets will be on sale for $8 in the high school office Wednesday and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets will be $9 if purchased at the game. The cheer block theme for Friday's game will be 'wild orange and black.'

Sensational Senators perform at state competition

Portsmouth West Marching Band competed Sunday in the state band competition held at the University of Dayton Welcome stadium. The Sensational Senators were awarded a 2, or excellent rating, for their performance.

Though many would deem an excellent rating as positive, many of the performers had hoped for a repeat of last year's state score, a superior rating. Senior band member JP Igaz stated, "Although we didn't get the superior rating we had worked for, I feel we had a superior season."

Halloween Popcorn Pumpkins

Submitted by Emily Hatfield

Recipe found in


  • 5 cups popped popcorn

  • 1 cup candy corn

  • 1 cup chopped salted peanuts

  • Planters Peanuts Dry Roasted

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine

  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows

  • 4 drops red food coloring

  • 3 drops yellow food coloring

  • 4 sticks red or black licorice, cut into thirds

  • Add all ingredients to list


Prep- 5 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Ready In 20
  1. Grease a muffin pan and set aside. Place popcorn, candy corn and peanuts into a large bowl and set aside.

  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in marshmallows, red food coloring and yellow food coloring, adjusting color if needed to get a nice shade of orange. When the marshmallows are completely melted, pour over the popcorn and stir to evenly distribute the candy, nuts and marshmallow.

  3. Use a greased spoon to fill the muffin cups. Insert a piece of licorice to act as the stem, and mold the popcorn around it. Let stand until firm, 10 to 15 minutes, and then pull the pumpkins out by their stems and admire your pumpkin patch!

Monster Munch Halloween Popcorn Mix

Submitted by Phillip Robinson

Recipe found in


  • 12 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 cup candy corn

  • 1 cup dry-roasted, salted peanuts

  • 1/2 cup candy-coated peanut butter pieces (such as Reese's PiecesĀ®)

  • 1 pound chocolate almond bark (chocolate confectionery coating), broken into chunks



15 m

Ready In

15 m

  1. Mix popcorn, candy corn, peanuts, and peanut butter pieces together in a large bowl.

  2. Melt the almond bark in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth, 1 to 3 minutes (depending on your microwave). Do not overheat or chocolate will scorch.

  3. Pour melted almond bark over popcorn mixture; stir until popcorn is well coated. Spread popcorn mixture out onto a flat surface lined with waxed paper or parchment. Let dry completely, then break into clumps.

Announcements and upcoming events

10/31 - Trick or Treat (Scioto County 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.)

11/02 - Waiver day/No School for students

11/02 - Parent/Teacher conferences (1 p.m. - 6 p.m.)

11/03 - No School

11/19 - Fall Carnival @ PWHS

11/22 - 11/24 Thanksgiving break (no school)


Students in the 2017-2018 Digital Technology class contribute to both The Write Side newsletter and the high school web page.

You can also find The Write Side newsletter in the Campus Life section of the high school web page.