The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

Alexssa Takeda

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Alex Takeda is West Signals’ Co-Editor-in-Chief. As a rising senior at West High, this is her fourth year on staff. Inspired by the writers around her, Alex hopes to use journalism as a tool to amplify the voices of those in her community. Aside from Signals, she is a member of Girls’ Tennis and Drill, and is on Choreo Club board. In her free time, you can often find her journaling, playing video games, or hanging out at Yogurtland.

All content by Alexssa Takeda
From left to right: Ila Krauss (11), Hannah Takasaki (10), Cammi Merendo (10), Kaitlyn Gates (11), Molly Paulson (12), Danielle Wissler (11), and Jaden Mooney (12). Not pictured: Mia Gibson (12). WDAAM’s Lyrical performs at West Coast Elite (WCE) Dance Nationals on Friday, March 10, using the thought of the seniors’ graduation as fuel for their emotional piece. “I really want[ed] to [dedicate this piece] to this team — specifically Lyrical — to these underclassmen, and my friends,” Co-Captain and Lyrical performer Molly Paulson (12) said.  Photo courtesy of Julia Araujo (12).

WDAAM Season Concludes With National Wins

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief April 15, 2023
West High’s All Male elicits shrieks of amazement and fear with their monster themed performance at WCE Nationals on Saturday, March 11. With their final competition quickly approaching, All-Male Captain Koshi Hashinokuchi (12) said they’re determined to conclude their season on a high note: “For MDDT Nationals, we’ll try to make it as perfect as we can. 10 times better than WCE for sure.” Photo courtesy of @westdrillandallmale on Instagram.

WDAAM Dominates at WCE Nationals

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief March 30, 2023
At an abortion rights protest at the Redondo Beach Public Library, Nichelle Henderson, an LA Community College District Board Trustee spoke on pro-choice abortion rights. Alongside other speakers, Henderson recounted her personal experience with abortion and warned others on the dangers of banning it. Photo Courtesy of High Tide, Redondo Union High School’s News.

A Month Post-Roe: Going Beyond Abortion

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief July 29, 2022
Consumers wrestle with the reality that, while buying from fast fashion companies may offset costs, the industry is corrupted by humanitarian and environmental issues.

Paying the Price of Fast Fashion

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief May 7, 2022
Whether it’s an animated musical or a nail-biting thriller, these movies are perfect for entertaining yourself on a spooky night-in this Halloween!

Spooky Shows To Stream This Halloween

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief October 29, 2021
West High’s Friendship Club is back on campus with a ton of new in-person events! After almost two years of missing out on activities due to the pandemic, West High Chapter co-president Faith Iwanaka (11) is “super excited to get going again this year.”

Making Connections With Friendship Club

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief October 6, 2021
Students make their way down the whimsical garden path into the Mad Tea Party Formal Event. The day before, as ASB was setting up the campus, ASB Advisor Ms. Eriksen expressed her excitement, saying “I think people will be surprised at what school can look like when you throw some different lighting on it. I’m looking forward to it!”

Formal Returns To West High

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief June 3, 2021
As finals week approaches, it’s crucial to take time to take care of yourself. Co-Vice President of Tutorial club Michelle Fong (12) notes how she recharges during this stressful time: “Whether [it be] self-care stuff like just making yourself something nice to drink [or] doing a face mask, I find that that really helps me relax for a bit and find my motivation again to just power through with that last assignment or whatever I have to get done.”

A Stress-Free Finals Week

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief May 25, 2021
Following a TUSD board meeting discussing the full reopening of Torrance campuses, disdain from teachers and students for the district’s decision-making process grows louder.

TUSD Board Democracy

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief May 11, 2021
Since the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions in California, businesses such as movie theaters are slowly beginning to reopen. But after Governor Gavin Newsom announced the elimination of capacity limits in these theaters, some movie-goers wonder if it will remain safe.

It’s Showtime! But Is It Safe?

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief April 30, 2021
On April 12th-14th, tryouts for West High’s Speech and Debate team were held. Team captain Jana Abulaban (11) expresses what she got out of being a part of the team: “Once I joined, I understood the broader concept of Speech and Debate and really understood what I wanted to gain [from] it: that feeling of being part of a really supportive team...I have learned to publicly speak more and be more confident with it.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to this Debate

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief April 27, 2021
Despite the challenges, ASB was able to host a great week of competitions to bring students together through these isolating times. Track race runner Makena Young (12) stated, “It was nice that they recorded it so we can all share some school spirit!”

Courtesy of West High ASB.

Let the Games Begin!

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief March 30, 2021
West High’s ASB threw themed events for each class using the GooseChase scavenger hunt app. Anika Agarwal (10) participated in the St. Patrick’s Day themed event, noting how one event included collecting as many green items as she could find to photograph: “it was pretty fun, especially [when] asking my family to [help].”

The Hunt Is On!

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief March 25, 2021
West High’s Drill and All Male dance team came together to record their pandemic-style performance on the football field to enter into their first competition following an unprecedented year of COVID-induced stress and technical difficulties.

WDAAM Competes Through the Virtual Year

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief March 15, 2021
Thoroughly Modern Millie was the last Spring Production that took place in the Performing Arts Center before the pandemic shut it down. Despite sports coming back to campus, the West High Theater Department has been left waiting. In their #StandUp4DramaKids media campaign, the department is calling for answers. Photo courtesy of West High Theater Department.

#StandUp4DramaKids: Will the Show Go On?

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief March 14, 2021
Many students are feeling isolated from surviving months of quarantine. This has led many teens to the darkest times in their lives. To suicidal thoughts and depressive episodes. Its hard to look on the bright side in times like these, but the end of quarantine is near. Students are using pets and the outdoors as a way to hold onto positivity.

Suicides Surge Amidst the Pandemic

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief March 5, 2021
A new tiny homes village has opened its doors to North Hollywood’s homeless citizens, but many skeptics wonder if this is the most that California’s government can do to fight the homelessness crisis in the state.

Tiny Homes With a Large Impact

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief February 22, 2021
Many fundraisers have been canceled following California’s strict stay-at-home orders, but West High ASB members stay optimistic having planned many fun events this virtual school year.

Fundraising Through A Pandemic

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief February 19, 2021
For the past 6 months, restaurants have faced strict COVID guidelines. Last week was LA County’s first time in a long time where restaurants were once again allowed to serve guests outdoors. This is a huge victory for restaurants that were struggling to stay open during this unknown time. Doug Howarth, the owner of Silvio’s, expressed that he’s glad to be open for business and safety is still the number one priority, “You’re nervous for your own health, as well as your employees’ health. You’re worried about your income and business.”

A Glimmer of Hope: Outdoor Dining Resumes

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief February 4, 2021
Students including Kristen Sayano (9) are doing their best to prepare for finals this week. “I feel prepared and a bit nervous, Sayano admits. Last year for Bio [Honors] finals I felt good about them, so I have a good feeling about this semester’s finals as well. Photo courtesy of Kristen Sayano (9).

Flying Through Finals Week

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief January 22, 2021
A new and more contagious strain of COVID-19 discovered in the UK has spread into the farthest corners of the world and sent many cities back into lockdown.

New COVID Strain Raises Alarm

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief January 20, 2021
West High students hopped on their laptops for a virtual Winter Rally in exchange for the typical in-person experience. The rally included a baking competition among students from each class and their advisors. The winner, Marina Suzuki(9) had a few things to say about her winning dessert: “I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the process of baking this cheesecake cake. If there’s an opportunity to do something you love, you should always do it...I saw the opportunity on Instagram, plus I love baking so I just went for it.”

A Holly Jolly Winter Rally

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief December 29, 2020
Despite all the negative events this year has brought, Pfizer and BioNTech offer a spark of hope with a vaccine that seems to be effective against COVID-19. “It was unexpected that the effectiveness would be that high,” Ms. Cortina commented. “If this assessment is accurate, the vaccine can go a long way towards ending the pandemic.”

Pfizer Vaccine: Good News Amidst the Pandemic

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief November 20, 2020
With the full moon shining this Halloween, NASA’s recent announcement about finding water on the Moon has us all looking upwards. Mrs. McCulloch (Earth & Space Science and Physics) expressed that NASA’s discovery, “is re-exciting people to have that child-like wonder and curiosity. I think that’s the bigger impact.”

Lunar Water: A Space Travel Breakthrough

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief November 6, 2020
As Halloween creeps closer and closer, Kate Phan (10) and Molly Paulson (10) paint minion designs on mini pumpkins. Despite the restrictions on traditional Halloween gatherings, Phan expressed, “Surprisingly I actually love quarantine. I dont really have many friends to hang out with, Ive learned quality over quantity.”

A Safe and Spooky Halloween

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief October 28, 2020
The recent rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide and political pressure from the Trump Administration raises political and ethical concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine coming before the November election.

The Race to Relief

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief October 27, 2020
To get through a tough day, Cassandra Hernandez (12) spent time sewing a pillow as a gift for her friend.

Destress from a Distressing Year

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief October 16, 2020
West Highs Native American themed logo is facing recent backlash due to a group of students demanding a new mascot.

#NotMyMascot: Replace the Warrior

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief October 16, 2020
For the past few weeks, many students at West High have been struggling to adjust to the changes that come with virtual learning.

New Normal, New Problems

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief October 6, 2020
Parents, students, and teachers encountered many of the ups and downs of West High’s virtual Back-to-School Night over Zoom.

Back-to-Zoom Night

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief October 4, 2020
These are a few of the simple, but effective masks Hana Mitzutamari designed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Picture Courtesy of Hana Mitzutamari.

Making Masks At Home

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief May 16, 2020
This pair of flower earrings is one of the many designs Lindsey Kim (12) creates in her freetime. Picture Courtesy of Lindsey Kim.

Captured By The Arts: Lindsey Kim

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief February 21, 2020
Picture Courtesy of Samantha Takeda (9)

Spicing Up Valentine’s Day

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief January 30, 2020
Courtesy of Alexssa Takeda.

Simple Step Towards a Healthier Planet

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief January 27, 2020
Student Amber Huang (9) watched a firework show with her family while reminiscing about the passing year. Picture Courtesy of Amber Huang.

New Year, New Me

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief January 15, 2020
The man leaders gave it their all during their performance to the song Jingle Bell Rock at the Winter Sports Rally. This performance helped them get ready to cheer at this year’s Powder Puff game the following week.
 Picture Courtesy of Freshmen ASB @officialwhsclassof23 on Instagram.

Jingle Bell Rock Your Class Colors

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief December 18, 2019
Courtesy of Alexssa Takeda

New Fur Ban Causes Controversy

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief November 8, 2019
Making A Statement With Mock Trial

Making A Statement With Mock Trial

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief October 22, 2019
GSA’s Fight for Equality

GSA’s Fight for Equality

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief October 3, 2019
Courtesy of Ulia Zaman

Make Way For Med Club

Alexssa Takeda, Co-Editor-in-Chief September 13, 2019
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