18 Under 18 East's Most Influential Students


Through student and teacher nominations, our Editorial Board narrowed down the more than 2,000 East students to the 18 most influential based on the following criteria:

1.Potential for future success after high school:

How likely is this person to be successful after high school? This person must possess the traits required to succeed in whatever field they choose to go into.

2. Involvement during high school:

This person must be involved in numerous extracurriculars around East. Whether it be sports, clubs, or anything outside of school hours, they must make a positive impact on numerous activities.

3. Unquantifiable:

There are some things about influential people that can’t be taught or defined. While this category can be subjective, we ask that you consider the personality, compassion, and intangibles that a person possess when nominating.

4. Leadership:

Do people follow this person? To be selected, this person must not only be involved in many different activities, but be in positions of leadership in and out of the classroom.

5. Skill-set/talent:

This person must be inherently talented and skilled in whatever they do. These skills must be used to positively impact the East community.

By Lizzie Kahle

Yashi Wang

“I just want to leave knowing I made it a better place, so people in coming years can build on what we’ve done”


After moving here from China when she was seven years old, senior Yashi Wang has always craved the sense of urban hustling and activeness she experienced there. What she learned from life there has shaped her into the person she is today: involved in multiple areas and impelled to better everything in her path.

Wang is a part of StuCo, co-president of the Latin club, co-design editor of the Harbinger, a concertmistress who leads the first violinsfirst-chair violinists, a staff member of the Freelancer and an IB student. She began most of these activities freshman year, yet she has been playing the violin since the fourth grade.

Her co-editor, junior Anna McClelland, says if there is one word to describe Yashi, it would be driven.

According to McClelland, Wang drives others to be the best versions of themselves, and she also pushes herself to be the best in what she does. When she joined Latin club, it had five people. She and her friend, senior Jessie Peterson, took it upon themselves to reinvent the club: fix the budget, create more hands-on activities and get others to join. With the Freelancer, she has created a website to gain more popularity and publicity for the literary magazine. She also hopes to submit it for awards to gain recognition.

“I don’t necessarily want people to know of the certain impact I have made [at East],” Wang said. “I just want to leave knowing I made it a better place, so people in coming years can build on what we’ve done.”

In the future, Wang plants to go into social sciences such as sociology or economics. She has considered graphic design, but would rather keep it as a freelance job rather than an actual career. In that regard, her peers are confident that the impact she has made at East is sure to go on beyond high school and carry her to success in the real world.

By Lizzie Kahle

Clayton Phillips

“I am a firm believer in loving everyone, no matter what they’ve done to you or what others say about them”


Artist. Musician. Two-sport varsity athlete. Record breaker. All-state player of the year. K-Life regular. Senior Clayton Phillips is not just well-rounded, he is successful in nearly every aspect of his life. He has broken the school record for the most goals scored this past soccer season, made the KMEA all-district orchestra for cello, successfully completed a portfolio for the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Chicago Art Institute and amongst other things, prioritized his faith and respect for others.

“I don’t like to have enemies,” Phillips said. “I am a firm believer in loving everyone, no matter what they’ve done to you or what others say about them.”

In addition to the activities named above, Phillips is a member of Coalition, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Student Activities Advisory Council and he is an executive of Hammock Club at East.

However, what makes him stand out in each of these clubs is his adaptive outlook on what is possible through each one. As a senior, he wants all future Lancers to remember to go into everything with an open mind, because if you do, he said, you never know what you’ll be able to accomplish.

He encourages people to try everything and to put their best effort into whatever they do. Whether that’s staying back on the soccer field as the captain to help other players, or stay late in the art room to work on his portfolio, he proves that he practice what he preaches.

Next year, he plans to attend art school instead of a four-year college or university. In his AP 2D Studio Art class, taught by Adam Finkelston, he has been able to put more meaning into his artwork and create portfolios with deeper and more fluid themes. As his time at East comes to a close, the impact that Phillips has made in each of his activities represent his passion, open-mindedness and all around love for what he does.

By Anna McClelland

Dane Erickson

“I got my eagle scout when I was 13. I pretty much advanced through everything quickly."


“Dane Erickson is a great leader because of his ability to multitask,” sophomore Bobby Kissick said, “He maintains a 4.6 GPA when he is playing 3 sports, is sophomore class president of STUCO, is running his own lawn mowing business and is also an active Eagle Scout.”

Kissick, one of Erickson’s closest friends, admires his time management skills and work ethic.

“Most weekends I will call Dane and ask him if he wants to come play football or see a movie,” Kissick said. “Most of the time he will reply with something like ‘Sorry I have to finish my homework,’ or ‘I need to go mow lawns’ even though it’s a Saturday.”

Erickson earned his Eagle scout in the eighth grade, at 13 years old. Most scouts earn theirs at 16 or 17 years old.

“I worked really hard at it,” Erickson said, “I found a project pretty quickly so I could get it done even faster.”

To earn his eagle scout, Erickson organized a fundraiser that raised over $1,000. The event was a kickball tournament at Corinth Elementary, involving 20 teams. Sporting KC players Seth Sinovic and Chance Myers attended and played on teams with elementary students and East students.

For the second part of his project, Erickson built five bookshelves for the Upper Room with the help of his troop. The Upper Room provides academic help to underprivileged children.

Erickson sets a high standard for the sophomore class. He leads through example, influencing those around him to work hard and accomplish their goals. His hard work and leadership qualities are only part of what makes him such a remarkable student. His potential for future success is enormous, there is no limit on what he has the power to do

By Annie Jones

Iman Jaroudi

“I guess I do all this because I want things to outlast my existence here at East”


Junior Iman Jaroudi spends most of her time in room 317 heading discussions in Feminist Club or maybe freestyling a piano solo at a jazz concert. Other times she’s studying for hours on end in her room and loving every minute. But you won’t see her in the stands during football season or cheering in the bleachers at a basketball game, instead Jaroudi tends to focus on the things that make an impact on her fellow students. She may come off as quiet, but Jaroudi has spread herself into all areas of East, making an impact at each place.

Jaroudi was prematurely panicking over her college application in eighth grade. Going to Harvard was her number one priority, but to reach Harvard she needed extracurriculars. Without the gift of athleticism, Jaroudi turned to clubs – specifically the start of her own club.

Jaroudi initially aimed to bring something to school, something that could make a difference and have a lasting impact. So she brought Feminist club, a place for everyone to discuss or rant about international, national and local issues that women are facing.

To top off her already full plate, Jaroudi brought Junior Board to East her freshman year. Junior Board is a SHARE-based project where students prepare presentations on non-profit organization in hopes of donating money to them. Jaroudi knew this would be a good fit because of her natural devotion to other people.

When she presented the idea to SHARE coordinator, Krissie Wiggins, Jaroudi hoped for a way to give to her community using her best skill – academics.

“It’s her passion that launched it,” Wiggins said, “I’ve never seen passion quite like that before in a student.”

So whether it’s winning regionals as the youngest member on the varsity mock trial team, organizing a bake sale to support female education in Peru, working until sun up on a Junior Board presentation or losing herself in a jazz piece, it’s hard to deny the roots that Jaroudi has planted at East

“I guess I do all this because I want things to outlast my existence here at East,” Jaroudi said.

By Annie Jones

Peter Haynes

“East is the best school in the country. There’s a place for everyone and that’s what I love about it so much”


Juggling more than five extracurriculars seems painful to most students, but to senior Peter Haynes, being at school from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. is a normal day. From track team captain to student body vice president to choir leader, Haynes is always busy.

“I just want to be one of those guys,” Haynes said. “The ones who makes a difference.”

Haynes began his ties to East in Kindergarten, when he was on a Little Lancer’s football team. Since then, he has devoted himself to his school activities. Whether it’s StuCo or sports, life as a Lancer has always been important to Haynes.

“East is the best school in the country,” Haynes said. “There’s a place for everyone and that’s what I love about it so much.”

The end to this year’s football season was disappointing for most seniors, losing semi-state in overtime. For Haynes on the bench with an injured meniscus, it was worse. While off the field Haynes set his mind to making the team better, leading the players from the sidelines at every practice and game.

“[Haynes] is the complete package: he works relentlessly at everything he attempts to do, and does not accept less than full effort from his peers,” offensive coach Andrew Walter said, “He is a rare combination of work ethic and talent. The result is a kind, bright, inspirational, humble and tenacious leader.”

But even if Haynes isn’t playing, it’s easy for him to fit in the front row of the student section, letting the Lancers know he loves them and giving the refs an earful during basketball games.

By Annabelle Cook

Reilly Moreland

"When I see people happy that just automatically makes me happy"


“You are capable.” “Be bright.” “Stress less.” “Laugh often.”

These were just a few of the phrases written on colorful Post-It notes a month ago. The positive messages lined the lockers, classrooms and hallways of East, all in attempt to brighten up the days of students.

The idea for “Operation Sticky Note” came to freshman Reilly Moreland as she was scrolling through randomactsofkindness.org. Moreland got together with a group of her friends and spontaneously decided to pursue the project on a mission to spread optimism throughout the school.

Her Instagram bio reads “My goal in life is to make people happy,” and that’s the mantra she lives by.

According to Moreland’s friend, freshman Brynn Winkler, Moreland is constantly making her positivity infectious. When someone is having a bad day, she creates a handwritten card that lists out “100 Reasons to be Happy” in bold, colorful lettering. Optimism is the daily standard for Moreland as she waves to her friends in the hallways and asks classmates how their days are going.

“She is so kind and just radiates positivity,” Winkler said. “Whenever I'm in class with her she always makes our classmates laugh, and even our teachers. I don't know if I have ever seen her in the hallway not smiling.”

In middle school, Moreland was president of Happy Club, taking charge of bringing a more positive vibe to Indian Hills. As for East, she has planted herself in several extracurriculars like StuCo, Happy Club, Club Hammock and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“My grandpa has this saying: ‘Leave them better than you found them,’” Moreland said. “So if someone’s sad, I try to cheer them up and it could make their day. When I see people happy that just automatically makes me happy.”

By Annabelle Cook

Brayten Bowers

“With yell leading, it was more of me wanting to help the student section and make sure everyone was having fun. And then the leadership part came along with it”


Under the stadium lights at Rockhurst high school, a sea of students decked out in white packed the bleachers. The student body chanted “East” in unison, accompanied by the heavy beat of a drum. Their chants eventually erupted into uncontrollable cheering. At the front of it all, leading the cheers, was senior yell leader Brayten Bowers, the conductor behind the orchestra of East fans.

Bowers is known as the chief yell leader, using a whiteboard to tell the crowd what chant is coming up next and keeping energy and volume levels high. Before the football season had even started, Bowers brainstormed 10 new chants for the student section, collaborating with the drumline to set a rhythm. This year, he set out to revamp the school’s spirit, after last year’s attendance at games was sparse and pep was lower than ever.

“With yell leading, it was more of me wanting to help the student section and make sure everyone was having fun,” Bowers said. “And then the leadership part came along with it.”

Freshman year, Bowers and his soon-to-be fellow yell leaders set out to be the biggest East fans they could, even if they were the only kids in the bleachers at the JV basketball games.

According to yell leader Jack Griswold, they never officially signed-up for the position, but it was passed down to them through years of supporting school sports. They believe that during their freshman year, the student section’s energy was at its peak.

“[The yell leaders] were really hype about it,” Bowers said. “They had a lot of ideas and a new chant every single game. Everyone knew who the yell leaders were and they were pretty well-respected. That slowly started degrading through the next few years.”

According to Bowers, yell leading wasn’t taken as seriously last year. Stands at North on a Friday night were only half full, and Bowers was determined to change this. According to his fellow yell leaders, he treats it like a full time job.

“Yell leaders are the face of East,” Griswold said. “So whatever behavior we present, promote or encourage is what people see. Brayten has had a positive influence on the student body by making school spirit somewhat cool again.”

By Seamus Carroll

Christian Kennedy

"I like to take care of people. I think shows are high-stress and its nice to have friendly faces on people”


Senior Christian Kennedy has been involved in theatre for almost eight years, earned leads in musicals since her sophomore year and is involved in five singing groups. But it is her team-first mindset and family attitude in theatre and life that have defined her theatrical career at East.

“People call me the mom,” Christian said, “I’m usually the mom of the family; people just consider me to be very motherly in terms of shows. I like to take care of people. I think shows are high-stress and its nice to have friendly faces on people.”

However, Kennedy’s influence reaches far beyond that of the East scene. She is also a member of the chamber choir, KC Acapella, Stage Right, Vocalocity and Vocapella.

Along with being the talent in many different groups, Kennedy also has responsibilities off the stage. As a junior, she was secretary for the East theater program and this year she is president of the executive board. She runs theatre events every month and works on other district events.

All of these activities after school create a crammed schedule and hectic life, but that is no problem for Kennedy.

“I hate being bored,” Kennedy said. “I think that's the reason why I cripple myself with so much stuff after school. I hate going home and doing nothing. Summer is the worst when I’m done with the summer show I’m sitting there for four weeks. Like, what now?”

Kennedy has decided to not take the Broadway track for her career. Instead, when she graduates, she plans on going to the University of Washington to get her degree in education for musical theatre. Right after college, she plans on being a musical theatre teacher but her main goal is to open her own theatre company and do local shows, being able to continue her motherly compassion in her career.

By Seamus Carroll

Caleb Hanlon

"Over time I got better and better at being able to let two people see their differences and not be mad at each other. It was something I started enjoying doing.”


As soon as senior Caleb Hanlon picks up his carpool of four seniors before school in his grey, 2002 Chevy Prizm, the arguments and discussions start. Ranging from Greek philosophy to racism in America, the debate for Hanlon begins and does not end until Discussion Club after school.

“Every day there’s something new to talk about,” Senior Coleman Brockmeier said. “Caleb is a scholar, someone who loves to learn for the sake of learning.”

Being the mediator of arguments is nothing new to Hanlon. When he was younger he had two cousins that were constantly fighting with each other.

“Whenever I was with them, it was kinda my job to make sure that they didn't kill each other,” Hanlon said. “I was exceedingly good at it, just over time I got better and better at being able to let two people see their differences and not be mad at each other. It was something I started enjoying doing.”

This skill turned into a passion once Hanlon was introduced to more formal discussions in the middle school Gifted program. Once in high school, he jumped at every opportunity East offered him. He has taken debate for two years, forensics for all four years, been a member of the legal studies program and is involved in Youth in Government, a yearly mock congress in Topeka. Hanlon takes pride in Discussion Club, which he co-founded with seniors Coleman Brockmeier and Michael Liesner. The club meets every other week to discuss issues facing America.

Hanlon believes that his schedule, activities and passion have prepared him for a future in law or mediation. He has applied to various schools with some of his tops schools being Duke, Georgetown and Vanderbilt. He plans on going to law school after his undergraduate studies, but has not decided where.

By Robbie Veglahn

Anna Dierks

“I’m going to try to be a good person and that's all I can control”


In the car ride back from her last-ever Drill Team camp at Emporia State – her first ever as a varsity captain – senior Anna Dierks let out a sigh of exhaustion. Her mind and body were worn out; four days of dancing from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. can do that to a person.

A few nights later, Dierks’s phone rang and the bawling voice of an underclassmen she had gotten to know only a few weeks before blared through the speaker. The call had nothing to do about Anna, nothing to do about drill team. And yet, she called Dierks.

“Her feeling like I was a person she could confide in about a serious personal problem made all the work that goes into being a leader on the team worth it,” Dierks said.

A self-identified “control-freak”, she has always tried to manage every aspect of her life. But as she’s gone through high school, she’s learned that no matter hard she works, she may not always be at the front of the dance formation, reach her goal on the ACT, or make the team she wanted – but she can control how she affects other people.

“Anna is just such a people person. If I was a mom, I would want to hire her as a babysitter,” junior Toni England said. “Even if you don’t know her she’ll always go out of her way to try and make your day better.”

Dierks hopes to bring that mentality to everything she does, whether as captain of the Drill Team, Harbinger staffer, Stephen Minister and Youth Deacon at Village Presbyterian, Coalition Executive, or Homecoming Queen.

Her recent time spent as a Stephen minister has reaffirmed a passion formed when she learned of her cousin’s non-profit work in Rwanda. It’s has led her to pursue a career in nonprofit management; a career, where no matter what happens she can always control what’s most important to her.

“I’m going to try to be a good person,” Dierks said. “And that's all I can control.”

By Robbie Veglahn

Jessie Peterson

"that's what is most important to me, making sure that everyone knows we want them to be there regardless of how old they are"


As senior Jessie Peterson walked to the 50 yard-line of the Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium at the Kansas State University Band Festival, she turned to the few-thousand-strong crowd and saluted. In what was the height of her career as the drum major of the marching band, she couldn’t help but think back to when she was just a freshman. Back to the “clarinet bonding times” or the 6-hour-long summer marching practices that a screaming drum major somehow made enjoyable.

It was these welcoming actions of a few upperclassmen that pushed Peterson to be where she is today. And to Peterson, it's up to her to return the favor.

"That's something I always liked when I was a freshman, having upperclassmen like Jane Commerford or Matt Lindboe actually engage with you and make it fun no matter your skill level," Peterson said. "So that's what is most important to me, making sure that everyone knows we want them to be there regardless of how old they are."

Davis Vaughn, a sophomore clarinetist, sees the same kind of qualities in Peterson. As a freshman, she reached out to to Vaughn and helped him learn his difficult symphonic pieces.

“Some upperclassmen aren’t always the nicest to younger kids, but she’s always been encouraging, helpful and including,” said band member sophomore Davis Vaughn. “She’s not only helped me get better but has made band fun and I really appreciate that.”

Petersons welcoming attitude is always present whether she is standing in front of the student section, keeping the tempo of the school song, in her section as the first chair clarinet, in her toga as the consul of the Latin club, or as an editor of "The Freelancer."

“She always carries herself with an attitude that shows she’s kind and approachable, but at the same time very much a leader,” said fellow band member senior Nick Kashka. “She almost always knows what she’s doing and isn’t afraid to ask for help when she doesn’t.”

By Morgan Biles

Denny Rice

“I really believe that there is a lot of potential here for growth and to be able to be apart of helping other people achieve that level of growth in themselves is what motivates me everyday”


After the Lancer Day parade last year, while the rest of East’s students were meandering back up Mission Road, then-sophomore Denny Rice walked the parade route picking up trash. No, he wasn’t serving detention, he simply wanted to help out. And while his peers sped out of the parking lot to get ready for the football game, Rice went back into the building to grab the letters for the marquee and proceeded to update the sign out front – a job, which as any StuCo member will testify to, is not an easy one.

This level of commitment is something that the now junior brings to all the activities he has been involved in at East – activities which include cross country, swimming, tennis, debate, StuCo, Amigos de las Americas and the IB program.

“Whereas often a lot of people sort of passively do their various activities for their resumes, Denny seems to do it because he actually cares,” junior Julius Von Rautenfeld said.

However, it is not just that Rice takes on leadership positions, but also how he uses those leadership positions. According to his peers, whenever a group project comes up, Rice is always the one to organize the group, but never attempts to dictate it. Rice is one of the kindest people they know; he is always the one to start conversations and when he disagrees, he respectfully listens.

In the future, Rice hopes to serve the State Department and work somewhere in East Asia. For now however, he will continue with his service to the East community.

“Hopefully people do see me as someone who is involved and who does care about this school,” Rice said. “I really believe that there is a lot of potential here for growth and to be able to be apart of helping other people achieve that level of growth in themselves is what motivates me everyday.”

By Morgan Biles

Sean Overton

"I hope that people see someone like me who is really content with themselves and content to be different than the norm and know that they can do that too”


Whether he is twerking during a pep assembly or sharing his latest art project on Instagram, senior Sean Overton is never afraid to be himself.

Being himself means that Overton is also never scared to speak up for what he believes in. During his four years at East, Overton has been a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, environmental issues and gender stereotypes. He wants to take his advocacy all the way to New York City, where he hopes to become a fashion marketer.

“Right now there are a lot of issues with ageism, racism and size issues [in the fashion industry],” Overton said. “So one thing that I want to implement in my career is having marketing and advertising represent a wide variety of demographics.”

For now, Overton is still fully invested in the variety of activities he is involved in at East, which include DECA, Fashion Club, Healthy River Projects, SHARE, Cross Country and Art Club. Despite his busy schedule, Overton always takes them time to encourage others to be themselves, too.

“If I’m having a bad day and I run into him at the coffee shop and we are both loading our coffees full of creamer, I’ll tell him about my day and he’ll be like ‘You know what? Brush it off. Your haters are annoying,’” senior Portia Renée said.

Overton has been on the other side of hurtful words, so it’s always been important to him that he is doing his part to create a welcoming and judgement-free environment.

“I know that being different from the norm is really scary,” Overton said. “But I hope that people see someone like me who is really content with themselves and content to be different than the norm and know that they can do that too.”

By Anna McClelland

Molly Terlouw

“[Cinderella] was my first high school show that I got to create and design all by myself. It was one of my best theatre moments ever.”


Since the sixth grade, Junior Molly Terlouw has been fascinated with stage lighting and theatre. The selfless aspect of standing behind the light beaming down on others suited her personality. She has been interning since then, and joined the East theatre program her freshman year.

As the head lighting designer for the theatre department, Terlouw typically designs the lighting for the mainstage shows – the fall play, winter musical and spring play. She has lit up the stages of “Cinderella” and “Our Town”.

“[Cinderella] was my first high school show that I got to create and design all by myself,” Terlouw said, “It was one of my best theatre moments ever.”

One of Terlouw’s favorite parts of theatre is bonding with her fellow crew members. She jokingly refers to one of her closest friends, sophomore Blake Peery, as “Potato.”

“Her best qualities are her ability to make anything into a joke and her acceptance of anyone’s personality,” Peery said, “She loves what she does no matter how hard or boring it gets.”

Terlouw has a knack for boosting people’s moods, putting the spotlight on their strong suits. Never once will you see her walk through the hallways without saying a cheerful hello to a friend or acquaintance.

Her love for lighting design comes from more than just the technical side. It’s the love for bringing light to someone's life, always reaching to brighten other people’s moods and illuminate their strengths.

By being a strong pillar of the theatre community, Terlouw has a great influence on East as a whole. Whether it’s lighting up a stage or lighting up someone’s day, Terlouw remains comfortable behind the spotlight, not in it.

By Celia Hack

Jack Melvin

“His personality and his spirit combined, I think, have raised awareness on how kids with special needs can interact and be a part of the normal school setting”


When sophomore Jack Melvin walks through the halls, his smile beams as he gives a quick ‘hi’ or wave to nearly everyone he comes in contact with.

“[If] he doesn’t know someone, he just says ‘hi’ to random people,” senior Kendall Dunbar said.

Dunbar, who met Melvin as a Special Olympics co-chair, watches Jack morph into the embodiment of school spirit at each pep rally, football and basketball game. As he dances alongside the cheerleaders and drumline, the student section follows his lead.

Melvin’s positivity radiates. Art teacher Jodie Schnakenberg met him when he took her class, where they began a daily routine of telling jokes to entertain the class.

“He has really good leadership qualities,” Schnakenberg said. “He’s got the kind of energy, when he’s in a good mood, that you want to be around.”

That’s how he influences Dunbar, as well.

“[Everyone’s] like, ‘Jack Melvin is having such a good time, why can’t I be having that much fun?’” Dunbar said. “He just raises everyone’s mood. [But] when he’s having a really great day or a really good moment, I would say his happiness [level] is unreachable.”

Melvin is there to help others attain this elusive level by nurturing a smile, at the least. Dunbar seeks him out when she’s having a rough morning or exhausting day.

He’s there — always — in the hallway, with a word of encouragement and a smile. He gives Dunbar a hug and reassures her that she’ll have a good day.

That’s what he does for East, too.

“The kid loves Shawnee Mission East high school like there’s no tomorrow,” said his father, John Melvin. “His personality and his spirit combined, I think, have raised awareness on how kids with special needs can interact and be a part of the normal school setting.”

By Celia Hack

Deegan Poores

“You can make music on your own, but that’s not how I prefer to make music. I try to include as many people as possible, because the more people I include, the more people will care”


Senior Deegan Poores loves two things: music and the people that surround him while playing it. Poores makes an effort to incorporate as many people as possible while in the band room, during the drumline’s shows and through his own personal music.

When sophomore Emma Broaddus joined band her freshman year, Poores made a point to introduce himself during marching band. As the year continued, she noticed that even when she was exhausted from four hours of marching, Poores was still smiling, head up.

“[When he plays the] triangle or tambourine, he just goes all out,” Broaddus said. “It’s really cool to have someone that’s always doing the best that they can [even on the] little stuff.”

Two of Poores’ contributions to the school have been his mixtape — ”Admission is Free,” which dropped in May — and an original halftime show performed at football and basketball games.

He worked on the mixtape for almost a year, producing it in his bedroom. But he realized early on that the experience was ultimately more enjoyable when he could collaborate with others. He featured others on the mixtape, like senior Alex McWard rapping, senior Guanghao Yu singing and senior Sarah Milgrim singing. He plans to produce a second soon, featuring more of the East community.

“You can make music on your own, but that’s not how I prefer to make music,” Poores said. “I try to include as many people as possible, because the more people I include, the more people will care.”

Poores also worked over the summer to create a compilation of Kanye songs, performed by the drumline at football and basketball halftimes.

“We’d do the most popular songs, [the ones] that people would want to hear,” Poores said. “That’s the other thing about music — the way people can enjoy it. I just try to send my enthusiasm for music to other people.”

Poores has produced an East that makes, celebrates and appreciates music, together. As he continues his music career, in high school and potentially beyond, he hopes to bring this inclusion element with him.

By Grace Chisholm

Katie Kuhlman

"I’d just like to rebuild that positive community where you are proud to be here”


Senior Katie Kuhlman laid out her clothes the night before – black tank, black jeans, black boots. She silenced the radio in her car that morning, perfecting the phrasing of the points she wanted to get across. Kuhlman parked her car in the senior lot and headed straight for the news crew lining Mission Rd.

That morning, a reporter for Fox 4 KC interviewed her about her role as one of the seven senior girls who created the “Wear Black” movement that swept through schools across the Kansas City area on Sept. 20.

Kuhlman became a student voice for the movement which protested sexual assault, spreading awareness for victims through the media.

“I think it helped give me that power to talk to people,” Kuhlman said. “Some [people] I knew and many I did not, approached me and felt comfortable telling their story because of what we had done.”

From her senior IB classes, to leading the Hauberk staff as tri-head-editor, to volunteering at Micah Ministries, Kuhlman seeks to immerse herself in a diverse group of people and opinions – and become a friendly face for all.

She sparks conversation with wrestlers before they step on the mat to make them more comfortable while she shoots and loves seeing the gratitude on a young mother’s face at the Micah Ministry church while babysitting the woman’s kids. She’ll bring socks and gloves to photographers on the sidelines of freezing football games or drop everything to help a staffer with their camera settings or editing projects.

“She does a lot for other people and is incredibly considerate and caring,” said junior and Hauberk photographer Venus Gutierrez. “She doesn’t have to do any of that stuff, but she does it out of the kindness of her heart.”

Though Kuhlman didn’t have any “Lancer allegiance” going into her freshman year, watching upperclassmen who came before her shaped Kuhlman’s strong Lancer pride. Her grade, she says, has worked to rebuild that atmosphere.

“Apart from how terrible those incidents were alone, [it] just made me sad to think about like, ‘That’s your first impression of East?’” Kuhlman said. “That’s not what we’re about. I’d just like to rebuild that positive community where you are proud to be here.”

By Grace Chisholm

Brigid Wentz

“You can’t always know every stranger, but I want them to know that they were a part of my day, and when I was with them, I enjoyed it or I learned something”


Walking through the halls, freshman Brigid Wentz says hi to everyone. She’ll talk on FaceTime for hours to help a friend brainstorm ideas. She’s the first person to visit a friend in the hospital when they’re sick.

“When I meet someone and I walk away, I want them to think that I care about them,” Wentz said. “You can’t always know every stranger, but I want them to know that they were a part of my day, and when I was with them, I enjoyed it or I learned something.”

She avoids gossip at the lunch table about somebody’s haircut and is known to her friends as “the mom.” Though it “sounds so cheesy,” she loves getting to know those around her, because it’s important to know who you go to school with every day, she said.

“She’s very open and friendly to everyone,” said freshman STUCO representative Anna Parker. “She’s casual about everything which makes her easy to approach, and she’s not intimidating.”

It’s easy to see how some could find her drive intimidating, but her personality counteracts this. The class president keeps a color-coded planner, filled with reminders about her study schedule and barre classes. She knows she needs at least eight hours of sleep to get through her busy day. And she can never leave her bed unmade or her room too messy.

“I’m a list maker,” Wentz said. “If I could do all of that stuff [on my list] in one day, that would be the perfect day. “

According to Parker, Wentz is a devoted STUCO president.

Wentz’s organizational skills have lended themselves well to creating STUCO projects such as the Peanut Butter Drive and Puzzle Room – even giving speeches in front of her classmates during a seminar meeting this fall.

Right now, she’s focused on the little things, like convincing her parent’s to let her drive where she wants – she only has her permit – but Wentz hopes to tackle goals in the future such as modeling and going to college in a city.

And no matter where she ends up, she wants to continue to spread positivity.

Created By
The Harbinger


Photos by Morgan Browning

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