Examining academic rigor at the high school
By Clara Atwell, Editor-in-Chief, and Isabelle Spence, Associate Editor
History of academic success
The Vashon community has long valued education, supporting the school district through volunteering for organizations such as Partners in Education, Vashon PTSA, and the Vashon Schools Foundation. The community consistently votes “yes” on local levies, funding from which most notably helped pay for construction of the high school building and the new track and field.
This focus on education is reflected in the high school’s high graduation rate, which stands at 94 percent, compared to the state average of 87 percent, as well as above average standardized test scores. These factors ranked VHS at number 12 out of 315 public schools in the state by SchoolDigger.com — a website that evaluates schools based on students’ standardized test performance — for the 2017-2018 school year.
The school also ranks highly in comparison to state and global averages in AP test scores, which notably exceed standard in social science classes such as AP Human Geography and AP U.S. History, both of which are consistently offered. However, state test scores do fall behind state averages in many STEM-based classes that have been offered inconsistently, such as AP Chemistry and AP Computer Science.
The overall reputation of academic excellence at the high school has caused large numbers of commuter students from West Seattle and Port Orchard to attend Vashon schools.
“I came here because the middle school and high schools were lacking in my area, and [I] continued [to attend the Vashon schools] because I made great friends and built strong relationships with my teachers,” junior and West Seattle commuter Margot Armstrong said....Read More
“Us” Review: Peele nails the art of high-quality film
Aidan Janssen, Reporter & Designer
With a strong use of narrative and characters, “Us” raises the bar for the psychological thriller genre.
Directed by Jordan Peele, known for his comedy series “Key & Peele” and award-winning film “Get Out,” “Us” tells the story of the Wilson family, following Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o), Gabe (Winston Duke), Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph), and Jason (Evan Alex) Wilson as they go on summer vacation to the California coast.
However, in typical horror and thriller movie fashion, something is amiss. Everyone on the coast finds themselves being hunted down by their own doppelgangers, a group called the Tethered. It is the Wilsons’ main goal to escape and find safety...Read More
Students speak out on climate change
By Elizabeth Lande, Copy Editor
In recent years, scientists and climate activists have reported an increase in rates of global warming-related phenomenon, from rising temperatures and sea levels to deforestation and the negative effects of greenhouse gases. The battle has now turned political, with groups debating the best ways to solve such problems.
However, many young people believe that politicians aren’t doing nearly enough to address the issues. In response, youth across the globe have taken the problem into their own hands.
Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate change activist Great Thunberg is particularly well-known for her encouragement and organization of the global school climate...Read More
Bowden brothers to embark on West coast tour
Eleanor Yarkin, Reporter
Senior Frosty Bowden can be seen around the high school with his shoulder-length black hair, ripped black jeans and hints of humor on his face. He and his brother sophomore Jacob Bowden have become well-known throughout the high school for their popular and energized performances at Open Mics. The Bowdens’ band, “20 Eyes,” has played gigs at many local venues and are now looking beyond the island’s limits.
"20 Eyes" is a punk rock band, with Frosty Bowden playing bass and singing, and Jacob Bowden on the drums. With support from their father, the brothers are looking for new venues in which to perform.
“My dad has connections in Oregon and knows people all throughout Washington,” Frosty Bowden said. “We’re trying to set up a West Coast tour.”
The band recently played their first off-island show at the Plaid Pig, a bar in Tacoma.
“[Our gig] was on a Tuesday at a bar in the middle of nowhere, so we’ve had better shows than that, but it was fun to get some exposure off-island,” Frosty Bowden said...Read More
Competitive coaching advances softball player Rachael Freebourn
By Klara Plenk, Reporter
Since sophomore Rachael Freebourn started playing softball five years ago, it has become more than just a sport for her. Freebourn hopes to play softball in college, and is actively pursuing her goal every year.
“[Softball is] excitement, the feeling, competing with your friends on the field,” Freebourn said. “It’s up and down, a rollercoaster: you cry sometimes, you are sad and upset, but [it] makes me happy.”
Freebourn participated in basketball, track, and soccer in elementary and middle school, but she soon realized she wanted to focus solely on softball. She now plays for the high school softball team.
“[Softball] is special to me because it is … totally different,” Freebourn said. “It is more strategic, [and] once you get more in depth, it’s a whole other level of playing.”...Read More