On March 20 Ohio young adult author Mindy McGinnis will visit both Portsmouth West Middle School and Portsmouth West High School to speak to students about writing and publishing. McGinnis, an Otterbein graduate and Edgar-award winning author, uses rural Ohio as a common setting in her writing. 


Photo of Mindy McGinnis

No stranger to awards and praise, McGinnis’ debut novel, Not a Drop to Drink, has been optioned for film by Fickle Fish Films, while A Madness So Discreet won the 2016 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult novel. Her most recently published novel, The Female of the Species, was given a Starred Review by School Library Journal in addition to the novel’s other honors such as The Kirkus Prize 2016 Nominee for Young Readers, SLJ’s Best Books of 2016 for Young Adults, and Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 for Young Adult Fiction.  

Photo of book titled "not a drop to drink".


On March 17, Emily Taylor signed her letter of intent to play soccer for Shawnee State University. This honor was accomplished after 15 years of playing soccer. She is the first female player from PWHS to play soccer at a collegiate level. 

With her father’s encouragement, Taylor began playing at age three with the local little league team. Some years he was proud to be her team's coach. While on the field, Taylor has worked hard. Mostly, she has played striker, but she can be a very versatile player. Girls varsity soccer coach Gibbs would appreciate her team spirit and willingness to be a leader. She is also a dedicated student taking both AP and Dual Enrollment courses at SSU and is a member of Beta Club and Honors Club. 

At Shawnee State, Taylor plans to study biology with a concentration in ecology and environmental science so that she can go on to fulfill her goal of being a field biologist and conducting studies at nature preserves. She plans on also obtaining her Master’s degree in this field of study.

“She’s an excellent student and is committed to both her academics and athletics,” said her Dual Enrollment Computer Applications teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson. “She always gives 100% and we are excited about her future.”

Autism Awareness "Wear Blue" Day will be held on Friday, March 31.

Blue Puzzle Piece "Autism Speaks It's time to listen."


Autism Awareness t-shirts, provided through the Southern Ohio Autism Project are available.

The cost of each t-shirt is $13.

An order form is located in the main office of all three campus buildings.

The deadline to order t-shirts is Monday, March 20th

Everyone show your support and wear blue on this day.

Proceeds from t-shirt sales will support the Southern Ohio Autism Project.

 Gray t-shirt example with Blue words about autism on it


Questions? Please contact Andrea Kegley or Joyce Banks at the Elementary School.

Yearbooks are now on sale. The cost is $50 or $55 with a name stamp. Checks may be made payable to PWHS Yearbook. The deadline to order is Friday, May 26
Other yearbook deadlines: senior photos from outside photographer ($25), senior quotes, and senior ads ($100) are due by March 17.




Article and Photos by Madison Cochran


During third semester, some of Mr. Estep's advanced art students have worked on a process known as “Cyanotypes.” To do this, students take an overhead sheet and copy their picture onto it creating a negative. Once the negative is ready two chemicals are combined (ammonium iron (III) citrate and potassium ferricyanide) and “painted” onto their watercolor paper. Once the chemicals are on the paper students lay their overhead images over the chemical and leave it in the sun to expose. After being exposed in the sun the students remove their overhead images and wash the paper in water. Then, it is washed in hydrogen peroxide. Finally the “photo without a camera” is revealed.

Below are photos showing the process.


Congratulations to the PWHS Varsity Cheerleaders! They received the Champion Award in their group and overall Grand Champion at the Arnold Sports Festival held in Columbus, OH on Saturday, March 4. 

Senior cheerleaders holding banners and trophy they won

Senior squad members display the banners and trophy that they helped their team win. These will be proudly displayed at our school. 

cheerleaders perfoming stunt

The amazing fitness and skill of our cheerleaders is evident as they perform this amazing stunt that helped propel them to Grand Champions!

Cheerleaders pose as a group before the competition.

Cheerleaders pose as a group with their squad coaches before the competition.

High School