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Irresistible Revolution

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Last week Josh Reid’s senior Bible class connected with Shane Claiborne via Skype. During their 90 minutes together, students asked questions they had written out in advance of the Skype date. Students began reading Claiborne’s Irresistible Revolution before Christmas break, and just recently finished. Shane Claiborne is a Christian author, speaker, and activist, and founding member of The Simple Way, a community of Christians living in community in North Philadelphia.

A few thoughtful questions for our Westside seniors:

  • How do you reconcile the Old Testament passages of God’s people going to war in His name, and the New Testament commands to love our enemies?
  • When is it okay for disruptive protesting? When is it not?
  • What responsibilities do Christians have regarding the environment?
  • How can we distinguish God’s voice from our own? How can we turn our hearing to properly hear God’s instructions?

Seniors & Shane via Skype in the library





Motion Labs

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This week freshmen Physical Science students measured static friction (the friction of the object resting on the surface) and the kinetic friction (when the object is moving over the surface) with different masses of objects over varying surface textures. Then students measured the force necessary to lift a block vertically and how that force is reduced when the object is lifted on an incline plane at three different angles. Before doing these activities, students learned all the various ways friction is part of our lives: gravel on icy roads, our fingerprints, the friction between our shoes and the ground…

Science in action!


Jack Carr & Taylor Foglio



Peter, Morris, and Madison motion testing.



Four different friction sources for testing.



Incline motion testing in process.



Testing materials.



Dee Anna Bricker & Rebecca Gurnee excited about their lab write-ups.

Margaux Meganck

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Margaux Meganck, a Portland author and illustrator, came to Miss Tosti’s Digital Design class to speak about how she uses Photoshop in her daily work.  She is a published children’s book illustrator, and walked the students through her design, development, and the publishing process, step by step.

Margaux lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in painting/drawing from the University of Oregon’s Robert D. Clark Honors College in 2008. After graduation she attended two consecutive summers at The Illustration Academy. She worked for two years as a children’s art teacher before making the decision to freelance full time. She works in a variety of media including traditional (watercolor, ink, gouache, pastel, graphite), and digital (adobe illustrator, indesign, and photoshop). She loves sunny walks and rainy sleeps, bottomless teacups, and playing for keeps. She spends her days painting, drawing, writing, and gallivanting.

See Margaux’s work on here website at: margauxmeganck.com


Margaux demonstrating illustration techniques.



Margaux’s work broadcast, in real time, up on the JTouch.



Students and Photoshop in action.



Artwork from Susannah Fischer.



Space, courtesy of Simon Griffin.



Ethan Cupper’s underwater world.

Bible Debate

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Mr. Reid & Mr. Westerberg engaged in a stimulating debate on either side of the pacifism / just war discussion in Bible 12 this week. Over the course of 90 minutes students heard two esteemed teachers discuss, from two different perspectives, their understanding of what the Bible says regarding just war / pacifism while looking at the Noahic covenant in Geneis 9:6, Paul’s instructions from Romans 12-13, and the personal implications of the life and teachings of Jesus.

What an opportunity to have two learned biblical scholars debate with humility, civility, and the earnest desire to know God’s heart on such an important issue.


Mr. Reid & Mr. Westerberg

Lincoln-Douglas Debates

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Students in AP Language and Speech classes have been exercising their argumentative skills through Lincoln-Douglas debates. They’ve been spending weeks researching and writing arguments on topics that are fundamentally VALUE driven. Such topics include juvenile delinquents and the justice system, socialism vs capitalism, compulsory immunizations, and more! They are required to debate within the confines of a given resolution and be able to articulate the foundational values that drive their stances. They are quite an impressive lot!


Bailey McKay and Catalina Gillis



Andrew McCormick and Simon Griffin



Will Geib and Ali Mills



Chris Kaetzel and Anna Laporte

Anthem Review

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Mr. Trine’s English classes needed creativity and comprehension for a recent assignment in class: create an Anthem board/card game.

Review the grading rubric and see some excellent examples below!






Knowledge Gained Participants could not correctly state facts about the topic used for the game without looking at the game. Participants could easily and correctly state 3-5 facts about the topic used for the game without looking at the game. All participants could easily and correctly state 5-7 facts about the topic used for the game without looking at the game. All participants could easily and correctly state 10 or more facts about the topic used for the game without looking at the game.
Accuracy of Content 3 pieces of information used in the game are not accurate. 2 pieces of information used in the game are not accurate. 1 piece of information used in the game is not accurate. All pieces of information used in the game are accurate.
Rules The rules were not written. Rules were written, but participants had some difficulty figuring out the game. Rules were written, but one part of the game needed slightly more explanation. Rules were written clearly enough that all could easily participate.
Cooperative work The group often did not work well together and the game appeared to be the work of only 1-2 students in the group. The group worked fairly well together with all members contributing some work. The group generally worked well together with all members contributing some quality work. The group worked well together with all members contributing significant amounts of quality work.
Creativity Little thought was put into making the game interesting or fun. The group tried to make the game interesting and fun, but some of the things made it harder to understand/enjoy the game. The group put some thought into making the game interesting and fun to play by using textures, fancy writing, and/or interesting characters. The group put a lot of thought into making the game interesting and fun to play using textures, fancy writing, and/or interesting characters as shown by creative questions, game pieces and/or game board.



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Snow Day(s)!!!

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Westside student’s didn’t sit around idle with school canceled yesterday and today. Check out some of their creative snowman creations!












Spanish: Guess Who?

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Spanish 1 students are currently studying vocabulary for body parts and colors and are playing Guess Who? to practice their speaking, listening, sentence structure.

Guess who…


has brown hair,



…blue eyes, and a green hat!


Something Blue at WCHS

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Guest speaker Denyce Weiler, a professional photographer from Something Blue Photography, demonstrates to students in Digital Design how she uses Photoshop to enhance portraits in her everyday business.  Students in the class are using Photoshop to not only touch up and repair images but also to create artistic self-portraits.

Thanks for coming to share Denyce!!


Denyce Weiler from Something Blue Photography.



Sharing with students.