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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

Morgan Weir

Morgan Weir, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief

Morgan is a senior returning for her third year on the CATalyst staff. She enjoys writing opinion and news stories. As a member of Millard West’s Justice and Diversity League, she strives to bring her commitment to equity and inclusion into her writing. Outside of class, she enjoys practicing calligraphy, reading the news and binge watching HGTV.

All content by Morgan Weir
Millard West concert band, symphonic band and wind ensemble come together for their last performance of the year in the auditorium. The concert was the seniors’ final time on stage. “There were some hiccups here and there, but thats just kind of how it goes, and we recovered really nicely,” senior Sophia Hakeman said. “It was overall a really good performance. The “Irish Tune” was like tradition so that was really nice to finally be able to play.”

One last band performance

Morgan Weir, Editor-in-Chief
May 4, 2022
Millard West journalism staff poses for a photo with their medals at NSAA State Journalism. The staff took third place overall.  “It was good to have awards in person,” adviser Mark Hilburn said. “I think the students deserve to be recognized in person for their work and not in a video a few days later.”

Wildcats take State Journalism

Morgan Weir, Editor-in-Chief
May 3, 2022
In their final quarter of high school, many seniors are struggling to stay focused and motivated academically.

Senioritis is real

Morgan Weir, Editor-in-Chief
April 25, 2022
Coach Jacque Tevis-Butler gives a presentation on Title IX at the Women in Sports and Leadership summit. Tevis-Butler spoke about the importance of female representation in athletics. “Representation matters because if you can see it, you can be it,” Tevis-Butler said. “When women are not equally represented in leadership positions, it sends a subtle, but extremely powerful and negative message about women.  It sends the message that men hold all power. We need more perspectives.”

Commemorating Title IX

Morgan Weir, Editor-in-chief
February 15, 2022
Members of the wind ensemble perform in their middle school recruitment concert. The concert gave middle school musicians the opportunity to ask questions about high school band and connect with high school band members. “Playing with the middle schoolers was an amazing experience,” senior clarinetist Courtney Dice said. “It gave us an outlet to connect with the eighth graders and show them the fun opportunities that high school band provides. It also immersed the eighth graders into our band family which allows them to receive positive feedback about band or high school in general.”

Band concert collaboration

Morgan Weir, Editor-in-Chief
February 8, 2022
Steven Spielberg’s 2021 remake of West Side Story was released on Dec. 10, 2021.

A revamped West Side Story

Morgan Weir, Editor-in-Chief
January 27, 2022
With record COVID-19 cases across Omaha, masking is a critical safety measure in schools.

Follow the mask mandate

Morgan Weir, Editor-in-Chief
January 24, 2022
Millard West’s newspaper, the Catalyst, was submitted at the end of the 2020-2021 school year for Pacemakers. The Catalyst, along with the MWHS Wildcat News, won a Pacemaker under the hard work and leadership of editors. “In my two years, I moved from staff reporter to editor in chief,” former Millard West Catalyst editor-in-chief Emma Baker said. “I had zero design experience at the beginning of that second year and had to learn as I went. Being in that leadership position, I learned how important it is to be adaptive and communicative.”

Setting the pace

Morgan Weir, Editor-in-Chief
December 10, 2021
Nine students pose for a picture at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Chuck Hagel Symposium on Public Service. The symposium introduced them to different paths within the public sector and started a conversation on the importance of civic engagement. “I already wanted to go into social work, but the symposium helped me extend my knowledge on public service,” senior Alexis Bahensky said. “I barely knew what other opportunities were out there, and going to the symposium and hearing Chuck speak about how important it is really piqued my interest.”

Symposium on public service

Morgan Weir, Editor-in-chief
October 29, 2021
Everyone should continue to do whatever they can to slow the spread of COVID-19, whether that be through masking, sanitizing, vaccinating or social distancing.

Do your part to slow the spread

Morgan Weir, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief
September 16, 2021
A member of Justice and Diversity League hangs a banner of flags in front of the library. The flags are part of a large display that is meant to increase inclusion and awareness of the LGBTQ+ community in the school. “We chose this because the flag is of course a big part of the symbol of the LGBTQ+ community, so it needs to be included,” sophomore Maggie Scott said. “If people see all the pride flags hanging then maybe they will come and read about our display. By making all the other smaller flags for gender identity and sexualities, we hope that everyone that is a part of the community will feel included and welcome.”

Millard West celebrates Pride

Morgan Weir, Editor-in-Chief
September 13, 2021
New York City’s Broadway, usually buzzing with tourists, artists and activity, remains lifeless during the pandemic.

When the curtains fell

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
May 20, 2021
Seaspiracy details the corruption and environmental destruction of the commercial fishing industry. 3/5

Seaspiracy conspiracy

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
May 19, 2021
Ageist stereotypes are harmful for all Americans, and they are causing a rift between older and younger generations in the country.

America hates the elderly

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
May 10, 2021
Junior Connor Thelen poses for a photo in a yellow jumpsuit. Wearing bold outfits to school has become a form of expression for Thelen in the last year. “Anyone can do it,” Thelen said. “More people are gonna support you than are gonna hate you. It’s just that the haters speak louder.”

Showing style at school

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
May 5, 2021
Standing in front of an American flag, senior Aiden Schollmeyer poses for a photo. He hopes to attend the Naval Academy and enter the Navy after high school before he enters the medical field, but for now, he is taking steps to prepare. “Im still working out and working long days, as well as learning different leadership styles and traits from several resources available to me,” Schollmeyer said. “The Naval Academy will give me a Bachelors in science and hopefully the Navy will allow me to pursue a medical career later in life.”

Soon to be in service

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
April 19, 2021
The main hall of the Durham Museum, usually filled with visitors, is empty over a year into the pandemic.

Museums matter

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
April 16, 2021
On March 17, Netflix released their original documentary “Operation Varsity Blues,” which explores the high-profile college admissions scandal that shook the nation. 5/5.

Behind the scenes of a scandal

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
March 30, 2021
A Google search for “giving away money to homeless people” provides over nine million results. The top results are YouTube videos with hundreds of thousands or even millions of views, all of which use charity as clickbait to get views and money.

Charity for clout

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
March 25, 2021
A study from the National Association for Gifted Children found that around half of gifted children will “level out” and perform at grade level by the time they reach high school. As students get older and school becomes more difficult, it’s natural to stop progressing at high rates. For students who have been labeled gifted at an early age, however, this leveling out can make them feel like they are an academic fraud.

Growing up gifted

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
March 10, 2021
The average age of members of the House of Representatives has been increasing since the 1790s. In the past 120 years, it has made its way up to 58. While the median age in the US has also grown, it still remains under 40 – well under the current average age of US Representatives.

America’s government is aging

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
March 1, 2021
David and Myra Sadker, authors of “Failing at Fairness: How America’s Schools Cheat Girls,” found that there are major differences in the expectations, attention and praise given to students by teachers based on gender.

Sexism starts in the classroom

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
February 8, 2021
Internet safety and privacy issues such as cyberbullying, grooming and sharing personal information impact minors in unique ways, yet most social media sites refuse to implement sweeping, specific protections for this age group.

Social media isn’t safe for teens

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
February 2, 2021
A disclaimer about racial stereotypes plays before Disney’s “Dumbo.” The disclaimer lasts for 12 seconds and can not be skipped. It also plays before movies like “The Aristocats” and “Peter Pan.”

Disney’s racist legacy

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
January 14, 2021
Social media has given a voice to people who were previously ignored and allowed them to express concerns about the harmful actions of powerful influencers in society. Influencers have brushed off these demands for accountability by claiming that anyone who criticizes them is trying to cancel them.

In defense of cancel culture

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
December 18, 2020
Some students sit, socially distanced, in a public school classroom while others appear on Zoom. As Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos refuses to attend discussions about school reopenings, students and teachers are adapting and showing resilience.

The destructive legacy of Betsy DeVos

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
December 10, 2020
Gender norms are imposed on every gender in all aspects of society, from arts to sports to politics to fashion.

Breaking barriers

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
December 9, 2020
The tag weight loss journey on TikTok has almost 3 billion views. The weight loss tag has over 13 billion views, and what I eat in a day has 4 billion views. Some tags, such as pro-anorexia, which promotes eating disorders, have been blocked on the app.

TikTok’s fatphobia problem

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
November 20, 2020
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris wears suffragette white onstage to give her victory speech, a nod to the official colors of the National Woman’s Party. During her speech, Harris paid homage to the women who came before her: “Tonight, I reflect on their struggle, their determination, and the strength of their vision—to see what can be unburdened by what has been—I stand on their shoulders.”

Madam Vice President

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
November 19, 2020
According to an analysis by the New York Times, CNN’s privacy policy has a Lexile score of over 1600, meaning that it would be a difficult read even for those in professional fields like law and medicine. Hulu, Airbnb, Zoom and Disney have similarly difficult policies with Lexile scores of over 1500.

Teens need to care about data privacy

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
November 6, 2020
Over 40 million people have voted by mail this year already, according to data from the US Elections Project. That includes almost 400,000 mail-in ballots returned in Nebraska. The 2020 election has brought unique challenges for voters, and unique opportunities for politicians looking to suppress voting.

Voting is a right, not a privilege

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
October 29, 2020
Diversity Council members eat lunch and discuss at an October meeting. They focused on the topic of racial identity.   I am looking forward to hopefully making school a safer place for every student, junior Emery Golliday said. I hope that the Diversity Council will be able to make visible changes in the community.

Discussing diversity

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
October 12, 2020
President Donald Trump was right when he referred to America’s history education as a “twisted web of lies,” but it’s not because of a heavy emphasis on slavery, as the Southern Poverty Law Center found in their study.

America needs to confront its history

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
September 30, 2020
The current wave of conspiracy theories has quickly spread to mainstream audiences. Many factors influence who is most likely to believe them, including political affiliation and education level.

Coronavirus conspiracies

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
September 21, 2020
Students are overwhelmed with work and pressured to push even harder each day. Rest, in any form, is often their last priority.

Students deserve a break

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
September 14, 2020
The US Census Bureau found that over 350 languages are spoken in the US. English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog and Vietnamese are some of the most common. Even within these languages, there are different dialects and varieties, making the US incredibly linguistically diverse.

Stop policing people’s grammar

Morgan Weir, Opinions Editor
September 4, 2020
Fake news has become a prominent socio-political problem as politicians, news organizations and consumers grapple with whose responsibility it is to handle misinformation.

The real problem with fake news

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
August 28, 2020
Coronavirus is posing a variety of problems in the criminal justice system, especially in prisons.

Policing during a pandemic

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
April 29, 2020
Omaha World-Herald is providing free access to articles about COVID-19. Their local coverage continues to provide critical information and stories of hope to the community.

Reporting from the front lines

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
April 15, 2020
Nebraska governor, Pete Ricketts, talks to education leaders in Lincoln on March 13th. Initially, schools in Omaha were ordered to be closed for 6-8 weeks. On April 1st, Governor Ricketts issued a Directed Health Measure to keep students out of school buildings through May 31.

Coronavirus widening gap

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
April 5, 2020
A century after the ratification of the 19th amendment, women are getting more involved in politics and voting in higher proportions than men.

The Pink Wave

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
March 12, 2020

Jam the gym

Emma Baker and Morgan Weir
February 6, 2020
Most New Years resolutions are given up on within the first month.

New year, nothing new

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
January 27, 2020
A map of Omaha created by Dustin Cable at the University of Virginia using 2010 census information. It is the most comprehensive map of racial distribution in America that exists, as reported by Wired, since it maps individuals. Each dot represents a person: blue shows white people, green shows African-American,  orange shows Latino and red shows Asian.

Black and white

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
January 24, 2020
The alumni display hangs next to room 203. Social Studies teacher Tim Royers intends to cover the entire wall by the end of the year. “I’ll keep expanding as much as I can,” Royers said. “I figure the more examples the better.”

Wall of fame

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
December 20, 2019
Members of National Honors Society pack bags with fruit and juice at Food Bank for the Heartland to be donated to families. “Whenever I have time I always try to do things like this because I really enjoy helping people,” junior Jordan Bakar said. “It was fun engaging with people and working with others to help out the community.”

Feeding the community

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
December 13, 2019
Daylio, Stoic, Stop, Breathe, and Think, Clear Fear, Cove, Sanvello, Quirk and Youper were among the top mental health apps of 2019. They range from journaling, mood tracking, AI chatbots and more.

The top mental health apps of 2019

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
November 26, 2019
Recycling in Omaha is on a downward trend. See info-graphics for stats

Recycling can’t save the earth

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
November 19, 2019
The 2019 Promoting Empowerment workshop was held at Temple Israel, the oldest Jewish reform synagogue in Omaha.

Promoting empowerment

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
November 11, 2019
A student browses for e-books on the Sora by Overdrive app.
The school started working with the Overdrive company last year and has been trying to let people know about it. “We have it on the announcements, we have signs around, we’re tweeting about it and just trying to do what we can to get the word out,” said librarian Mindy Longe.

Going Digital

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
November 1, 2019
Extremists, neo-nazis and members of the alt-right hold a demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia. Participators had used Facebook to organize the event and spread racist messages. According to a survey by the Anti-Defamation League, one-third of social media users have been the targets of online hate speech.

Social media regulation

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
October 14, 2019
Student Press Law Center declared 2019 the Year of the Student Journalist. They hope this will bring awareness to the important work student journalists do everyday. They also hope it will help people understand the threats student publications face when it comes to censorship, budget cuts and retaliation.

Pressing need for free student press

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
October 3, 2019
The leading Democratic candidates participated in seven hours of climate debates on CNN in early September. To prepare, they released environmental plans on their websites.

Climate plans for the future

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
September 25, 2019
Fires burn and destroy trees in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest near the road to the Jacundá National Forest. The National Institute for Space Research has reported around 87,000 forest fires in Brazil during the first 8 months of 2019. NASA confirmed this and says this has been the most active year for fires in the Amazon for almost a decade.

The lungs of the Earth are on fire

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
September 6, 2019
Showing their silly side, Olivia Oeth and Ethan Dunn pose for a picture as the new Student Council presidents. They bonded with other members at the annual Student Council Banquet at Valentino’s. “This year I want to really get to know everyone in Student Council because in past years I feel like it’s been more divided,” senior Ethan Dunn said. “My vision for the year is to make sure there is one unified group where we all hang out.”

The Fresh Presidents of Millard West

Morgan Weir, Staff Reporter
September 4, 2019
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