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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Emma Baker

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief

Two year staffer Emma Baker is a heavily involved senior at Millard West. As a National Honor Society officer, member of Wildcat Service Club and national spokesperson for the Sunshine Kids, she values giving back to the community. Emma is also involved in French Club, Student Council and Senior Class Board. When school is out, she enjoys spending time with friends, family, her dog and a good book.

All content by Emma Baker
Cheeseburger’s The Nation burger pays tribute to a McDonald’s staple: the Big Mac. Though this version had more flavor and higher quality ingredients, it still wasn’t a favorite of mine.

Munching on mediocrity

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
May 19, 2021
“The Mitchells vs the Machines” provides plenty of good laughs and action-packed adventure sure to make the whole family fall in love with the dysfunctional Mitchells.

The Mitchells made my day

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
May 14, 2021
Seniors Andrew Kenny and Drew Hinton — both members of the 32 and Above Club — hold a plaque for being National Merit Finalists. Some take the ACT once, others retry to achieve their desired score or get a feel for the kind of pressure they may be under. “I took it once in October before we had to take it together as a class,” Kenny said. “I wanted to know what it was like before we had to take it.”

Above and beyond

Emma Baker, Editor-in Chief
May 7, 2021
Taking on the hardwood, senior Kaitlyn Dickmeyer throws the ball at the NSAA Bowling Championship. With COVID-19 restrictions, this was one of the only times her mother Heidi Dickmeyer could watch her play. “I don’t think she quite grasps how cool it is that she will forever be in the books, in Nebraska’s high school bowling history, as being one of the firsts,” Heidi said. “We couldn’t be more proud of her.”

A striking young athlete

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
April 28, 2021
The Netflix film “The Dig” captures the grit of an excavation, the romance and drama of young love and the beauty in once-in-a-lifetime moments, but there is still criticism to be made of the supposed “accurate portrayal” of the real Sutton Hoo dig.

This film needs to dig a little deeper

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
April 19, 2021
Hollywood is long overdue for more inclusivity and authenticity in producing films with disabled actors.

Cinema’s systemic ableism

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
April 1, 2021
Nurses prepare to distribute vaccines at Millard North High School. In the last couple of weeks, thousands of school educators and staff have been vaccinated at weekend clinics.

A shot towards normalcy

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
March 12, 2021
Foxy Sushi’s Crazy Salmon and Crunchy Hollywood cooked sushi rolls may come from a drive-thru, but their flavor still holds up. Both are covered in crispy panko, incorporate delicious seafood and provide satisfied smiles for under $8.00 each.

New to the ‘thru

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
March 10, 2021
For support in moments of crisis, reach out to trusted individuals or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
March 2, 2021
This tiered cake is bursting with flavor and pizzaz from it’s lovely vanilla cake to its cream cheese frosting and gold-dusted berries. Friend and customer Valerie Pioppi is proud of Olivia and her baking business. “I show all my friends her cakes, and I think it really displays her work ethic,” Pioppi said. “I would definitely get a cake from her because the way she decorates them is so pretty.”

Baking the world a better place

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
January 29, 2021
“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” chronicles the tale of a down-on-his-luck toy maker. His estranged daughter and granddaughter inspire him to believe again.

Jingle Jangle all the way

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
December 17, 2020
A young Friedland lights her hanukkiah. “I was raised Jewish so I have celebrated it [Hanukkah] since I was a baby,” junior Abby Friedland said. “Hanukkah, to me, is just family time, like many who celebrate Christmas. It’s a good way to feel connected to those around you.”

Eight days of love and light

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
December 7, 2020
Set up your favorite festive decor because this holiday season, staying home and limiting the size of gatherings will be imperative to stop the spread of the virus.

‘Tis the season to stay home

Emma Baker, Editor-in-Chief
November 13, 2020
Ariana Grande strikes a pose for her latest album “Positions.” Through many killer songs, the album showcases the confident and intimate side of  Ariana.

In a position of power

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
November 5, 2020
Don Bacon is running for re-election as US House Representative and faces opponent Kara Eastman. The two have created many ads, some promotional and others attacking. Either way, they’re getting more than enough air time.

A cacophony of campaigns

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
October 28, 2020
La Sierra is known for their flavorfully filled gorditas, like the one shown with ground beef and mildly spicy poblano peppers.

Durango dishes definitely delivered

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
October 13, 2020
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a time that shines a light on young warriors but also the extreme lack of funding for the disease.

Four-saken funding

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
September 18, 2020
Sophomore Tayler Hand picks an apple at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard over Labor Day weekend. The Apple Festival allowed for Vala’s to have a sort of “test run” before the rest of their fall season. “My favorite part was being able to do something that feels normal in a world of craziness,” Hand said. “It is similar to the pumpkin picking in which you drive out to the fields on the hayrack ride.”

Fall traditions kept alive

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
September 11, 2020
Netflix hits the mark yet again with season two of  “Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star,” a binge-worthy series filled with tons of artistic talent. Many contestants, like James Mac Inerney pictured here, share their work to thousands on social media every day.

Come for the drama, stay for the talent

Emma Baker, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
September 2, 2020
Millard West math teacher Brooke Hartnett reviews with her students on Zoom before their quiz. She has explored many new digital tools, like a program called Formative, during her time teaching online. Although she acknowledges that it’s great to bring back new things to the classroom, she misses her students. “I miss interacting with my colleagues and students,” Hartnett said. “I really miss the feedback I can get from the facial expressions and body language of my students when Im teaching. It is very difficult to gauge their level of understanding without that.”

An education enigma

Emma Baker, Staff Reporter
May 8, 2020
Writer-director Alan Yang made this scene tense and emotional as a young Pin-Jui takes one last glance at his home town in Taiwan with his new wife beside him.

An immigrant’s complicated story

Emma Baker, Staff Reporter
April 28, 2020
Junior Molly Jenkin and freshman sister Riley Jenkin play with their new puppy Bentley. “She is super bubbly and energetic, so she gives us something to do,” Molly Jenkin said. “She is also quite ornery, so it’s never boring around here.”

Tell tails of the times

Emma Baker, Staff reporter
April 14, 2020
In this era of COVID-19, social distancing and self quarantining ranks high on the list of priorities. Staying home gives people the opportunity to not only stay safe and healthy but to read a book or play video games from the comfort of their couch.

Vouching for the couch

Emma Baker, Staff reporter
April 2, 2020
March 14th is National Write Down Your Story Day. To celebrate, we decided to go out and ask the students and teachers of Millard West what their stories are.

Stories to inspire

Emma Baker, Staff Reporter
March 12, 2020

Cranes carry hope

Emma Baker, Staff Reporter
February 28, 2020

Jam the gym

Emma Baker and Morgan Weir
February 6, 2020
Arriving on Netflix on January 17th, Tyler Perry’s A Fall from Grace is a haunting story of love, loss, crime and mystery. Some critics believe Perry’s jaunt into thrillers is off to no good, others admire its variety, calling it “memorable.” For me, the movie was mediocre—a great cast and thought out plot with some parts failing in execution.

Grace-ing us with a new genre

Emma Baker, Staff Reporter
January 24, 2020
A poster featuring one of the koalas up for adoption, Oxley “Kenny” Twinkles, hangs at the Scooter’s Coffee senior Olivia Oeth works at. Made by Oeth herself, it provides information on what her friends and co-workers have worked together to contribute for. “Olivia has always cared about the environment,” senior donor Logan Berggren said. “She’ll always find ways to help it in anyway she can.”

Local push to save the bush

Emma Baker, Staff Reporter
January 15, 2020
Junior Rami Hanash plays bingo with residents at Walnut Grove Retirement Community. Millard West Student Council visits there frequently and this year they also held a Halloween Bingo. They absolutely love seeing our faces and talking to us, senior and Student Council president Olivia Oeth said. We bring a good variety of people there to interact with the residents.

Spreading cheer B4 the holidays

Emma Baker, Staff Reporter
December 18, 2019
Junior Kaitlin Keleher goes into an arabesque during one of her performances at Lauritzen Gardens last Sunday. She has been dancing for as long as she can remember and loves any opportunity to get out into the community. “Dance evolved from me being on the competition team, to me just learning to love to perform,” Keleher said. “I always hope I can give the audience a little bit of joy that day because life can’t be great all the time. Sometimes seeing a smile on a performer’s face just helps make your day.”

Evolution of dance

Emma Baker, Staff reporter
December 13, 2019
On the left is a more recent photo of retired auto worker John Demanajanjuk, and on the right is a younger Demanjanjuk from a war identification card that formed a part of evidence that determined if he was or was not Ivan the Terrible. “The Devil Next Door” relays the true story of the trials and appeals Demanjanjuk faced over the span of around 30 years in a mysterious five part series.

Man or monster

Emma Baker, Staff Reporter
December 9, 2019
Inner Rail Food Hall’s outdoor fireplaces, games and indoor communal tables make the environment welcoming and fun for all ages. It transforms a small eatery into a great place to hang out.

Old Idea, New Style

Emma Baker, Staff reporter
October 14, 2019
Senior Josh Pachunka displays his undershirt that says “SUPER HERO!” after his program’s graduation. With the help of a mentor, he delivered a great speech on his strengths and the importance of Special Olympics. “I am hoping all of you are getting involved with Special Olympics to help other superheroes get stronger, faster and learn more about themselves,” Pachunka said. “And remember, always be super!”

Superhero training camp

Emma Baker, Staff reporter
October 3, 2019
Emma Baker, Alex Stamer-Fuentes, Martin Plascencia, Daniel Leiva and Christhor Roy stand with their right hands raised as they are sworn in as junior members of the Los Angeles Police Department. After being inducted, we met the chief and our officer for the day. Then, we rode in the motorcade to Raleigh Studios. “The motorcade was super fun,” junior Alex Stamer-Fuentes said. “I felt some empowerment because they closed down Hollywood Boulevard for just the president and us, the Sunshine Kids.”

Sunny in Cali

Emma Baker, Staff reporter
October 3, 2019
El Alambres house speciality, the Alambres. Three meats, onions, peppers and cheese piled into one delicious dish. Scoop it onto a tortilla or eat it with a fork - Theres no wrong way to do it!

Authentic with a Twist

Emma Baker, Staff reporter
September 6, 2019
Aditya Naganna’s dad Naganna, sister Artzi, brother Abhay and mother Sushama, stand in front of the Petronas Towers. The 1,483 foot towers have 33,000 stainless steel walls and 52, 000 glass panels. “When I was standing directly below them, I couldn’t see their spires,” Naganna said. “To go up in them, you have to make a special appointment.”

Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, oh my!

Emma Baker, Staff reporter
September 5, 2019
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