2018-2019 Staff

2018-2019 Staff

Sometimes, Change Is What Is Needed


Change is the act or instance of making or becoming different, no one likes it, especially when it’s about a big aspect of life, such as changing schools. Mikayla Delaney started preschool at a private school full of restrictions and constraints then transitioned to a public high school full of strangers and new possibilities.

“I feel like switching from a Catholic school to a public school and not being a religious person at a Catholic school is really weird, and pushy, and isolating. I was really really shy and scared of speaking. There’s like so many different people I can interact with here other than the same 50 kids I’ve known since I was 4.” Staying at a private school from preschool to eighth grade where Delaney didn’t fit in right was hard on her. 

“I never had the experience of trying to make friends because I’ve always just had  people around me because when you go to private school, it’s like you grow up with these people and you have to be around them because of the circumstance.” This experience stunted Delaney’s growth socially because she was around the same people she is forced to be with five days a week. However, transferring to a different school, filled with different people, and new possibilities became a new beginning for Delaney. 

“It was really hard at first, and going to a new school is hard no matter what, but especially changing from private to public. I think I just took it one day at a time and just try to open myself up more to new experiences and to new people.” When asked what helped her with the process of this change she replied that a lot of people helped her along the way, however, it was “Mercy who makes me way less shy then I actually am.” 

    When asked about the first impression of Delaney, sophomore Mercy Barikor replied, “I thought she had nice clothes, she looked fun and tall. She looked like she’d be an interesting person to talk to.” Asking sophomore Cassidy Safris the same question she replied, “Her style is really unique, she inspires me, I look at her kind of like a style icon.”

When asked about her opinion on Delaney now, Barikor replied, “I think she’s lit, she’s wild and she’s nice.” Asking junior Sara Clinkscales the same question, she replied, “She’s wonderful, I love her.”  

    Now having adapted to a new school and fitting in just well, Delaney explored plans for the future, “My dream job would be being a movie director. I would love to do that. I want to go to an out-of-state college, even though it would be expensive, I think that’s what would be best for me.” 

When asked about the motivations for this dream Delaney replied, “My parents both struggled to go to college when they were younger, so I feel like I have to live up to their expectations of being a second generation college student. So like I really want to get good grades. And my mom couldn’t afford to go to college when she was younger, so I really don’t want to disappoint her.” Delaney describes family as an important aspect of life and how looking to them for guidance is a must for Delaney. 

The journey of change for Delaney was challenging to say the least, however, if a person surrounds themselves with good people who support them and push them to do better and to reach goals in life, there is always a way to make change a smooth and manageable journey.


A Behind The Scenes Look At Rosie Guerra

In an exclusive interview with Rosie Guerra on October 29th, the Urbandale High School senior gave  her insight on her life at school, after school, and her plans for the future. Rosie’s current post high school plans are to take a “gap year to work, then figure out college.” 

She says she currently has “three colleges” that she is looking at applying to. Rosie says she has been thinking about leaving Iowa and is considering heading to New York for college. 

Currently at UHS, Rosie doesn’t have a favorite class, in fact she said: “I’m just taking this [Journalism] so I pass.” However, she did say that Oda (coincidently the Journalism teacher) is her favorite teacher. 

Outside of school, Rosie is an avid artist, in more ways than one. She says she “loves art” and more specifically “painting, sketching, and I really love ceramics.” She also enjoys playing the guitar and ukulele and singing. She says her artistic inspiration comes from “Vincent Van Gogh” which she says the answer is “overused but he’s definitely one [of her inspirations].” 

When it comes to singing she says her inspiration is “definitely Amy Winehouse.” When it comes to her guitar and her music she says, “I do write my own songs, they’re not good, they’re still in the process.” She says she likes covering songs more than she likes writing her own. Rosie stated that writing her own songs isn’t hard but “getting the sound is hard.” She says she’ll sit for “days and like ‘I’ve got the words but I don’t know how I want it to sound.’” 

Excitingly, Rosie is coming out with an EP next year. An EP or Extended Play is a term for a small CD with about five songs on it. So far she only has her “second song done” and she hopes it will have “five songs in total, which will be originals” and “maybe one cover.” Rosie said she likes “slow, sad songs.” She doesn’t quite know how to explain why she likes those types of songs. She likes “happy songs that sound sad and sad songs that sound happy.” Rosie said she is also a fan of musicals such as “High School Musical, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera and Rent.” 

Rosie’s many artistic talents will not go unnoticed and will hopefully someday put her on the world’s stage. Her abilities to create so many beautiful things, whether it be on paper or on a guitar, will help her get far in life. If she plans on attending an art school, there is no doubt she’ll be accepted. This has been an exclusive, behind the scenes look at the life of Rosie Guerra.

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Luke Lanigan

Life and Goals

Luke is a sophomore at Urbandale High School, and was born October 5 2002. Luke Lanigan “Lil’ Lanni” enjoys playing hockey for the Des Moines Capitals and playing soccer for the Urbandale J-Hawks. Luke calls himself a social guy, a jokester, and a likable guy. 

As well as being a likable person, Luke is also very caring as he has volunteered at Meals From the Heartland multiple times. Luke plans to go to Iowa university or Iowa State University for a 4 year degree in engineering. After college, Luke wants to travel/ move to Minnesota and says he would like to visit Ireland.

In Luke’s free time, he likes to play basketball, even though he says he isn’t very good at it. For sports Luke plays hockey and soccer. Luke’s most memorable moment from all his time playing hockey was senior night when he was a freshman. Luke said it was very cool to see all the seniors with their parents. Luke does not plan on playing sports in college but says he wants to run a marathon and be on American Ninja Warrior.

Luke says life at home is very good. Luke has never lived anywhere except for Urbandale. Luke has a older brother, Jack who is a senior this year. Luke also has a dog named Lola. Luke likes playing strategy games like chess and Stratego, and will challenge anyone to game pigeon.

Luke plays hockey for the Des Moines Capitals and says his favorite times are on road trips and being with the boys, “It’s like a brotherhood”.

Some more things about Luke are that he likes rap music and really wants to make a rap song. Luke also dreams to be 5’-8” when he gets older. Luke wants to invent one thing that will change the world. Luke likes the outdoors and nature and also wants to be seen as hard working and also be seen as a role model to younger people.

Overall, Luke James Lanigan is a driven young man who want to make a difference and be seen as a positive role model to younger generations, as well as being a fun jokester while hanging out with teammates. Luke Lanigan wants to enjoy his time on earth while not forgetting about what it means to have people look up to you and be a role model.

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John Legler: Goals In and Beyond Urbandale

Some strive to be a star in their community with their actions and personality and that is exactly what John Russell Legler is. John was born March 11, 2003. He is currently a sophomore at Urbandale High School. He described himself as a “jokester” with an outgoing personality. John enjoys playing hockey for the Des Moines Capitals. He plays forward for his team. John likes playing hockey because it is a lot of fun, fast paced, and he likes to throw a couple of “hits.”

He also likes to run and plans to run track at Urbandale in the future. John described running as, “No matter what distance you run it is always going to be painful, it just depends on if you can push through it.” One of John’s goals in life is to run the Boston Marathon.

John was born in Norwalk, Iowa, and moved to Urbandale when he was 10 years old and has been there ever since. 

John says, “I like Urbandale, it is an enjoyable place.”

John is a very outgoing character at Urbandale High School. Everyday John tries to have a positive attitude. John said that when he sees things, he tries to just look at the big picture. 

Luke Lanigan, one of John’s friends was asked about how he feels about him and he said “John is always so cheerful and in a good mood. His positivity really brightens people’s days.”

John is a sophomore which means planning for his future is not uncommon. He plans to go to college, possibly in Oregon. He wants to get a degree in nutrition and be a nutritionist when he grows up, because he really enjoys health, making plans, and wants to know the importance of eating healthy. He also said when he grows up he wants to live on a farm, somewhere where he can play with his dogs.

John said that as he moves on from school he wants to be remembered as the guy who always tried hard, who was always caring, and who was a small guy with a big heart.


Even Explorers Grow Up

Wanting to be an explorer, finding new trails and fighting off enemies as a child, and having a big imagination as a child really helped him see the big picture. UHS student Luke L now wants to help people around him and his community. Luke sees that being an explorer was all fun and games as a child, and now he sees helping his community what he wants to do. Luke was born on January, 17 2003 in Urbandale, Iowa and attends Urbandale High School. One challenge Luke had to overcome when he was young was breaking his leg in second grade and staying strong and pulling through. He claims to have an easy life and now wants to help others who may not have it so easy. The young man now has many hobbies like soccer, guitar and likes to do show choir. Luke now volunteers for Meals Of The Heartland and wants to continue to do so in the long run and also do more volunteer work for his community. 

Luke now seeing his future nearing sooner than he thought, wants to be a creative writer or a chef of some sort. Luke also says he is very proud to be a part of what he is involved in, like show choir. The happiest day of his life was going to Costa Rica for vacation. Luke’s grandpa was his biggest role model and a big part of his life growing up, and Luke wants to be like him. Luke wants to be a leader and be kind to those he meets. One thing Luke would like the students of Urbandale to know and to remember about him is his positive attitude. Words he uses to describe himself are kind, funny and hard working. Despite having to think about the future Luke says he just wants to pass all his classes, improve his talents-like music and choose a right career path. A life motto that Luke lives by is “go with the flow”,  as everyone else should do. High school life goes by quicker than you think, and Luke seems to be going on an adventure everyday.


Chloe Mcfarlane: Girl of the Future

Chloe McFarlane is hardworking, family oriented, and passionate about her dreams. She began her life in Cedar Falls, Iowa with her parents, Kari and Blu, and her younger sister, Bella. In the seventh grade she moved to Urbandale and began attending Urbandale Schools. Since beginning her high school career Chloe has shown her dedication to success by participating in Academic Decathlon and art club. She states that what motives her is making her parents and teachers proud. Her favorite memories are ones spent with family. 

               “In Cedar Falls I would go to the video store with my dad- who has the best movie taste. Another favorite is when I went to Hawaii a couple years ago for my mom’s birthday.”

Chloe’s hope for the future is to attend a four year college. Her dream career would be working with children or becoming a chef. 

“I’ve just always loved baking…more specifically becoming a pastry chef sounds great to me, but for now i’m keeping my options open as far as career choice”

She expresses that she would love to live in New York City or even out of the country. With her driven personality, the possibilities for the future are endless. 


Grace Wilson; Look Out World!

Grace Wilson is a UHS Junior who has exciting plans for the future; she doesn’t let her limitations hold her back. Grace is a kind and busy girl who loves a little sarcasm. She is a diligent student who prides herself on good grades and dancing. Grace loves her family. She has two younger sisters named Genevieve and Charlotte. They are thirteen and four years old. Academics is one the most important things in her. She is very involved in the community

Grace is involved in competitive hip hop dancing and youth philanthropy. She said that she started working on the  youth philanthropy board a year ago. Grace explained that the group chooses a topic to give their grant money. They recently decided on human trafficking for this year’s topic. 

“It’s really fun because I get to make a difference in the Polk county area.”  

Grace explained that she has been dancing since she was three or four.The name of her dance team is The Grimes Superstars Hip-hop Production Team. Grace is proud of the work she has done to be a part of the dance team. She occasionally volunteers for silver cord. She lives by the advice she got from her eighth grade English teacher, Mr. Lighter. This advice was “Try not to suck.” 

Grace works hard to get good grades so that she can get into a nice college. She plans on going to DMACC then Iowa to get a degree in teaching. She loves social studies; she wants to teach history at the middle school or high school level. History is a big passion of Grace’s. She equates this love of learning to some of her teachers. Mr. Ahlquist and Mrs. Hale are a couple of her favorite history teachers. Grace recommends that you take any of their classes at least once before your high school career is over. Being a history buff also includes her love of the musical Hamilton.

“I’m actually not a musical person. But when I listened to the music and I got to go see it, I was like holy cow this is awesome.”

Grace opened up about living with epilepsy. “It prohibits me for doing a lot.” 

She spoke about her restrictions due to her condition. She will not be allowed to drink alcohol, be around strobe lights or stay up late. Grace explained that there is a spectrum of epileptic seizures. 

“The tiny ones, they are just called petit mal seizures, they are mostly just like staring off into the distance for like thirty, forty seconds.”

Grand mal seizures are the more violent type. Grand mal seizure is characterized by loss of consciousness and muscles convulsions. In August she got the ok to get her driver’s license and she has gone eight month without a seizure. 

Grace is a kind and funny girl. She she is involved with many activities across the county. Grace focuses on her schoolwork so that she can become a teacher. Grace wants to become a history teacher for middle school or high school students. She doesn’t let her epilepsy hold her back.


A Students Life- UHS

Senior at Urbandale High School, Jacob Brechtel was born in Kaliningrad Russia in the year 2000.  Jacob was born into his new family as the youngest child with two older sisters. He had spent the first year of his life in Russia before him and his family moved to Urbandale, Iowa in the United States of America.

As a kid growing up in Urbandale, Jacob and one of his sisters were homeschooled by his mother.  Even then Jacob knew that he wanted to play sports. When he was in elementary school Jacob started football, track, and baseball, and would go on to do fencing.  Growing up Jacob liked to play games in the outdoors with his friends. He excelled in track, it being his favorite sport and stuck with it through his early years and all throughout high school.  In addition to playing sports, Jacob had also played the cello, but quit because he didn’t want to buy a cello. Once Jacob finished 8th grade, his parent reached the decision to send him to the public school, Urbandale High School.

At Urbandale High School Jacob quickly made friends on the football, track, and wrestling team.

“I think he’s a quality guy.  I like him on the team, he’s a good guy to be around,”  said Alex Economos, one of his teammates. 

Jacob personally considers himself to be a “Jokester,” and “A unique breed,” he said.  At Urbandale High School Jacob takes classes based on his interests like photography and drawing.  After he graduates Jacob said he plans on staying here in Urbandale.

Once Jacob graduates he’s still undecided on what he wants to do for schooling.  He’s considering going to a four year college or go to a two year then a four year,  or going to trade school, or just getting a job after. One thing he said he wants to do for sure is become an electrician for his career.  Jacob also said he wants to continue to volunteer in his community even when he’s an adult.

Jacob Brechtel is a good kid with plans and goals he’s working towards.  He has many friends who all encourage and support him throughout his athletic activities and in school work.  At the end of the day Jacob Brechtel is a hard-working and determined athlete and good friend to many.


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