Northwest Today

Winter and Spring Activities Enrich the Student Experience

Jazz Bands Shine at SEIBA Festival

Congratulations to the 7th and 8th Grade Jazz Bands for representing NW at the Southeast Iowa Bandmasters Association Jazz Festival, 3/7/15 in Iowa City. The 7th Grade placed fourth in the junior high class and the 8th Grade placed second.. Both groups had several individuals recognized as outstanding soloists, as well. As their Director, Mr. Brown, said, “The kids swung hard, displayed outstanding mature behavior, and (most importantly) had a great time. Congratulations to both these groups for their time and effort performing this great style of music!”

COLORS Club: LGBTQ Governor’s Conference

COLORS Club will be taking a field trip with West High’s COLORS Club to the 10th Annual Iowa Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth April 3 in Des Moines. The event is sponsored by Iowa Safe Schools, a statewide non-profit that works to create safe and supportive learning environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth through education, outreach, and advocacy.

One Book Two Book Writing Competition

Lydia Guo was the grade-level winner of the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature’s “Write Out Loud” project. Lydia was honored at the Iowa City “One Book Two Book” Festival on March 8. Lydia read her piece to the audience and signed copies of a book that includes her work.
Mason Carter submitted a short story to the City of Literature One Book Two Book "Write Out Loud!" competition and was selected as their "The Write Stuff" winner for seventh grade. Mason was recognized along with other young writers at the "Write Out Loud!" event in Iowa City.

TSA TEAMS Competition

NW took four teams to Kirkwood Community College on March 9 to participate in the Technology Student Association TEAMS competition. We only have results for Part 1 of the competition, the multiple choice math round. By the end of the month we should have the overall rankings. At the end of the day, NW claimed the top three spots in the competition. The top 2 teams from our region will qualify for Nationals. For Part 1: Team C is in 1st place (Patrick Taylor, Maneesh John, Samuel Anderson, Ethan D’Alessandro and Yegor Kuznetsov)

Spelling Bee and Geography Bee

      • Congratulations to Tatenda Chivero on her outstanding performance at the state spelling bee March 7! She finished in the top 4 and represented NW honorably. Tatenda finished first in the school competition. Karissa Burkhardt and Sam Fennel-Chametzky were the runners-up.

    • Geo Bee Champion

      • Mr. Shullaw facilitated a large group of participants in the NW Junior High "Geo Bee" on January 20. Patrick Taylor was the overall champion, demonstrating an outstanding amount of geography knowledge

Jr. Kappa League Lends a Hand

John Roarick and Dr. Alex Lodge helped coordinate NWJH’s participation in an Adopt-A-Cop event in February. They packed and delivered over 80 care packages to the Coralville police department. For photos and more details on the event:
“Wear Red and Read” event was held 2/22 in the NWJH library, in honor of Black History Month.

NW Holds Poetry Slam

On February 19 three dozen NW student participated in the Second Annual Slam Club Showcase here at NW. The students recited original works of poetry and prose. Eighth grader Raymond Florke won 1st place with his piece "My Life".

MathCounts Sweeps Local Competition

MathCounts State Championship in Des Moines on March 20, 2015.
  • The Northwest Math Club won the Herbert Hoover Chapter MATHCOUNTS Competition Saturday February 21, at the UI College of Engineering by defeating the other Iowa City area schools. Northwest was the team champion and swept the top ten places in the individual competition. North Central placed second in the team competition and Southeast was third. The winning team of four was Michael Han, Daniel Stewart, Yangtian Shangguan, and John Li. Listed below are the Northwest state qualifiers and their overall individual competition rank. The Vikings will compete at Drake University Friday, March 20th.
      • 1st place: Michael Han

      • 2nd place: Yangtian Shangguan

      • 3rd place: Daniel Stewart

      • 4th place: Ananth Shyamal

      • 5th place: Ethan Chen

      • 6th place: John Li

      • 7th place: Yegor Kuznetsov

      • 8th place: Divya Shyamal

      • 9th place: Steven Yuan

      • 10th place: Frances Dai

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

We would like to congratulate the following students for their award winning art. The results for the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Contest are listed below.

Gold Key

• Sophia Chen - painting "Marzia"

Silver Key

• Emily Buck - mixed media "Endless Possibilities"

• Selina Hua - painting "Green World"

Honorable Mention

• Frances Dai - painting "I Can See You"

• Lydia Guo - painting "Boat in Sunset"

• Aly Hecker - mixed media "A Different Lifestyle"

• Emma Grace Shoppa - painting "Howling Wolf"

• Anastasia Surguladze - drawing & illustration "Profile"

• Alan Wang - drawing & illustration "the art of mixing old and new"

Chess Players Excel

  • Sanmati Thangavel placed second overall for girls in Iowa at the state chess club tournament and will represent Iowa at All-Girls National Championships the weekend of March 17-19. She will also represent Iowa in the National Junior High School the weekend of March 24-26.

  • Joseph Wan, Gokul Thangavel and Michael Takahashi finished 1-2-3 at the state chess club tournament in February.
  • Upcoming Chess Competition:
March 28: 2015 Iowa K-12 Scholastic Open Championships @ Northwest Junior High School
Forms are available in the NWJH office.
For more info please go to:
You can also contact the NWJH Chess Club Moderator by email (

Congratulations to our two NWJH Students Named “Write Out Loud” Winners

  • Lydia Guo was the grade-level winner of the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature’s “Write Out Loud” project. Lydia was honored at the Iowa City “One Book Two Book” Festival on March 8. Lydia read her piece to the audience and signed copies of a book that includes her work.
  • Mason Carter submitted a short story to the City of Literature One Book Two Book "Write Out Loud!" competition and was selected as their "The Write Stuff"

Dates to Remember

Track Practices Begin--Monday, March 23

Parent/Teacher Conferences, Wednesday, April 22, 3:45 to 7:00 pm

Next NW All-School Party--Friday, April 10

Saturday School --April 4, 11, 18, and 25; May 2, 9, and 16

Student Write to J.K. Rowling

The University of Iowa Lecture Committee has started a campaign to get J.K. Rowling to visit Iowa City in the spring of 2016. We are collecting as many letters from her fans at Northwest as possible. A letter-writing campaign was held in the NWJH labs after school on Wednesday March 11th. Over 40 students and staff attended and 50 letters were sent.

NWJH is a proud Play 60 school!

We encourage every student to be active for at least 60 minutes and eat healthy every day. Students are encourage to go to the Play 60 website and update their dashboards often. Mr. Kuepker has some prizes to give away to reward healthy lifestyles!

Sports Boosters and the Pancake Breakfast

The Iowa City Athletic Booster Club will hold its 51st Annual Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, April 11 from 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the West High School Cafeteria. West High School is located at 2901 Melrose Avenue, Iowa City.

The Pancake Day fundraiser is an outstanding collaborative effort between the three local junior highs (Northwest, North Central and South East) and two high schools (City High and West High) that has been occurring for over 50 years. The price is $5.00 per person for an all-you-can-eat pancake meal (children preschool and under are free).

Proceeds from this event supplement the District’s athletic budget, benefiting all the boys and girls athletic programs for the Iowa City junior and senior high schools. ~19 elementary schools feed into 3 junior highs and 2 high schools.

There will be many raffle item selections from area businesses and school supporters and local entertainment groups will be performing throughout the day! City High and West High spirit store items and apparel will also be for sale.

Volunteers will flip over 6,000 pancakes and serve 6,000 sausage patties. Approximately 3,500 people will come through the line. Over 200 parent and community volunteers put this together.

Last year Pancake Day raised (cleared) over $32,000! This year’s goal is to raise over $40,000!

Nearly 30% of the annual athletic equipment budget comes from this single fundraiser!

Iowa City is one of the few districts that doesn’t have a participation fee for athletes.

All funds raised by the Booster Club help to purchase or improve athletic training equipment, uniforms, and facilities for all sports at each of the junior and senior high schools.