The independent student media site of West Linn High School


The independent student media site of West Linn High School


The independent student media site of West Linn High School


Emily Topping

Emily Topping, Co-editor-in-chief

Ever since Emily Topping, senior, was young she hoped to make a difference on american culture. With her unique outlook on life, strong work ethic and dedication to journalism, she is sure to achieve her goal.

Unlike most students on the staff, Topping started out writing for the Amplifier after being recommended by Ann Breyne, her freshman English teacher. Not only did she start out as a reporter on the staff, skipping the mandatory introductory class, but she also earned the title as The People Editor.

“After Ann read some of my writing and found out about my wish to become a broadcast journalist, she insisted I join the school newspaper my sophomore year,” Topping said. “I decided to join, thinking it would be a good way to start my future career.”

She has grown to love the fast pace of the class and enjoys how she is able to focus her energy on a task she is passionate about. After almost three years on the staff, Topping was announced the co-editor-in-chief for her senior year.

Not only does Topping channel her energy into journalistic writing, but also into numerous other activities. These include acting, creative writing and all forms of visual art. She hopes these will help to shape her future.

“I began going to acting workshops my sophomore year, and I still attend them every monday after school,” Topping said. These workshops focus on scene studies and creating showcases to perform.

“My focus used to be towards acting, but has now changed to film and writing,” Topping said. To pursue her love of writing, Topping has an intention of writing a small piece everyday. She tends to write about her thoughts, opinions or interesting things that happen.

Topping also draws, paints and/or takes photos weekly.

“My dad used to be super involved with art and kind of pushed me to stick with it,” Topping said, “We’d draw pictures together all the time when I was younger.” She is still taking art classes, but over her high school career wasn’t able to take as many as she would have liked.

Topping has changed her focus from acting to broadcast journalism and now towards filming. In an ideal world she hopes to film/create documentaries to combine her love of journalism and film. Whatever Topping ends up pursuing, she is sure to meet her purpose of making an impact on the world around her.

“Whether it’s directly or by simply creating something helpful, I hope to make a difference.”

All content by Emily Topping

Amplifier 2016 Senior Edition

June 3, 2016

Below is our Amplifier 2016 Senior Edition. Click the link below to read feature articles, and to find out where seniors are going to college.  

Chemistry teacher Steve Davala set to release second book

Chemistry teacher Steve Davala set to release second book

June 2, 2016

During school hours, Steve Davala is most likely found grading papers or helping students balance chemistry equations. It wouldn’t be too difficult to imagine, however, that Davala’s interests extend...

11.22.63 brings the mystery of a century back to life

June 2, 2016

If you could go back in time, would you kill Hitler? Would you stop a murder, a fire, or the collapse of a family? Would you change the past to make a better future? These moral and technical implications...

Why prayers arent enough for San Bernardino: the scope of mass shootings in the USA

Why prayers aren’t enough for San Bernardino: the scope of mass shootings in the USA

December 3, 2015

At least fourteen people were killed at a shooting on Dec. 2 in San Bernardino. The story sounds all too familiar for Americans. Two gunman, Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, entered a public facility...

Modest Mouse will play at the Crystal Ballroom Dec. 6 and 7.

December looks like one to remember

October 8, 2015

94.7’s annual concert event “December to Remember” has kicked off. Tickets are now on sale for twelve different alternative artists during the month of December, and are selling fast. Dec. 1 -...

WLHS Administration releases statement following charges pressed against teacher Jonathan Peachey

WLHS Administration releases statement following charges pressed against teacher Jonathan Peachey

September 29, 2015

Following charges pressed against West Linn High School Spanish teacher, Jonathan Peachey, principal Kevin Mills has released the following statement in an email: "The Lake Oswego Police Department...

The remaining three competitors in last years Survivor attend the final elimination in front of the school. Janae Turner, far left, won the competition and a new MacBook.

West Linn’s “Survivor” has been permanently cancelled

September 24, 2015

To the dismay of many students, West Linn’s annual “Survivor” has been cancelled. “The school district saw an opportunity with (Mills) as our new principal, and decided this was the year to...

West Linn Farmer’s Market moves to Sundays

June 12, 2015

The West Linn Farmer’s Market has been moved this year from Wednesdays to Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market has been pushed back to better suit the needs of both vendors and attendees. “Attendees...

Sasquatch delivers an incredible weekend

Sasquatch delivers an incredible weekend

June 12, 2015

Rolling into the Sasquatch! Music Festival camping grounds at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, the scene looked more fitting of Woodstock - an endless expanse of tents and half-naked college students, many...

“Andromeda Sun” raises money for its sophomore album at the Youth Music Project in Willamette

May 4, 2015

As “Andromeda Sun” began playing their set list, a collection of original 60s and 70s-esque rock and roll songs, the entire audience at the Youth Music Project stayed seated. The space in front of...

John Ott, street performer, hopes to return home to Kentucky for the holidays by collecting spare change from Portland citizens. Otts parents and siblings are excited for him to return after not seeing him since he moved to Portland almost four years ago.

“Home for the Holidays or Bust”

December 17, 2014

“Somewhere elsewhere across state lines, I sit and drink to pass the time. Nowhere to go, nothing to see and now I’m free.” On a bitterly cold street corner in downtown Portland, Ore. John Ott,...

Green Machines

Green Machines

December 16, 2014

With 2014 shaping up to be the hottest year on record globally, the phrase “global warming skeptics” seems like an oxymoron. Still, the majority of America’s population does not consider climate...

“Oklahoma” impresses on the high school stage

“Oklahoma” impresses on the high school stage

December 9, 2014

The West Linn High School theatre department has produced yet another professional-grade production, with it’s rendition of Oklahoma! whichstarred Amber Mitchell, junior, as Laury Willams, an independent...

Intelligent Design

Intelligent Design

November 12, 2014

Kelly Schoenborn, senior, walks through the streets of Portland, envisioning the surrounding skyscrapers and bridges as future projects. Since she was a pre-teen, Schoenborn has known that she wanted to...

Ebola health-care workers wear hazmat suits to protect themselves from the disease. There is currently no evidence of Ebola in Oregon.

Ebola in Oregon: what’s the risk?

November 4, 2014

Five people have been monitored for Ebola symptoms in Oregon. None of the persons have shown any signs of Ebola or come in contact with a victim of the disease, but are being watched simply because they...

Kaylee Combs, senior, and Abby Gross, freshman, hold sign-ups for Life 101 in the library. “Life 101” will be held on Friday, Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to noon.

“Life 101” prepares students for life beyond graduation

October 7, 2014

Every teacher has heard the familiar cry from their students, “when will we use this in real life?” There is often a disconnect between school curriculum, from the quadratic formula to cell parts,...

Mark Horak

September 30, 2014

In honor of West Linn beating Lake Oswego 20-6 last friday and half the teachers showing up to witness it, Mark Horak, vice principal, temporarily dyed his hair green.

Annie Kaiser returns to her roots as Leadership Director

September 23, 2014

Students at West Linn are probably used to seeing Annie Kaiser in the theatre building, busy sewing costumes, reading scripts and directing productions. However this year, Kaiser, Performing Arts and newly...

The magic of “the Giver” fails to translate to the big screen

September 22, 2014

Fans of Lois Lowry’s eerie, utopian-turned-dystopian 1993 novel, “The Giver,” will most likely be disappointed by its leap to the big screen. The complexity and social commentary of the book is lost...

A girl sits on the shoulders of her friend at the Foster the People concert on Monday night. This was the last mainstage show at Bumbershoot.

Bumbershoot 2014 was a weekend to remember

September 10, 2014

Nothing proves Seattle’s reputation as a hub for great music, art, and comedy, than the city’s annual arts festival, Bumbershoot. The festival took place over Labor Day weekend, and featured over 35...

Peddling for a Purpose

Peddling for a Purpose

June 10, 2014

Sometimes making a difference means an act of strength. All it takes to help someone in need is the willpower and determination to see it through. For Angie Hammond, IT Specialist, who hadn’t so much...

Vigils are held tonight to honor West Linn car crash victims

Vigils are held tonight to honor West Linn car crash victims

June 9, 2014

UPDATE: Madison Higgins, junior, passed away at 11:45 p.m. Monday night. Her parents have chosen to donate her organs. Hayden Soyk, Class of 2013, died in a devastating car crash late Sunday afternoon....

West Linn Junior Mock Trial team places 7th in the nation

West Linn Junior Mock Trial team places 7th in the nation

May 14, 2014

Months of preparation finally paid off for the West Linn Mock Trial team this weekend’s. Grueling courtroom competition at the Nationals Championships. The team placed 7th in the nation. “It’s...

West Linn students look forward to Outdoor School

April 28, 2014

The end of the school year means graduation, finals and, hopefully, warm weather. Another yearly tradition, Outdoor School, will be held at Twin Rocks Camp this year from May 20-23. Hundreds of sixth graders...

May Court princes and princess announced

February 28, 2014

The contenders for May Court 2014 have been released, with nine senior princes and princesses as follows: Princes: Ian Anderson Jacob Arrigotti Samuel Cook Chad Crader Ellis Eaton Connor Gardner Graeme...

“An Enemy of the People” cast prepares for its debut

February 26, 2014

West Linn High School’s drama department will present a full-length dramatic play called An Enemy of The People, directed by Annie Kaiser, on Friday, March 7. The play follows Thomas Stockmann, played...

Spirit Squad supports West Linn’s fan base

Spirit Squad supports West Linn’s fan base

February 18, 2014

“The best student section in the state” is a large, albeit self-appointed, title, and one West Linn High School seems to fill perfectly. At every single football, basketball and soccer game the stands...

A month abroad in Oregon creates countless memories

January 31, 2014

A single month can make a large difference in one’s life - just four weeks has the opportunity to form lasting friendships, make memories and broaden horizons. Only a month ago Roger Hernandez, junior...

“Her” is destined to become a classic

“Her” is destined to become a classic

January 30, 2014

Spike Jonze’s latest masterpiece, “Her”, centers on a traditional plot of a lonely, melancholic man learning to love again—only this time the object of affection isn’t entirely human. The film...

Cailin Guerins, senior, gains experience in the classroom through West Linn’s Primary Tutor Program

December 16, 2013

“Once upon a time there was a little gingerbread man…” Cailin Guerins, senior, sits in front of a class of gaping five year olds, a picture book resting in her lap. Every student in the room, bright...

The United Brony Club continues to enjoy their passion, despite outside criticism

The United Brony Club continues to enjoy their passion, despite outside criticism

November 19, 2013

Chances are, if you’ve heard of the latest TV show sweeping the nation (one whose fans are referred to as Bronies) your reactions may not be entirely positive. Fans of the show “My Little Pony: Friendship...

The Debutantes dominate weekend dance competition

The Debutantes dominate weekend dance competition

November 15, 2013

The Debutantes West Linn High School’s dance team, were ecstatic last Saturday when they placed 1st place in Kick and 3rd in Hiphop at a dance competition at David Douglas High School. The Debs have...

Young musicians prove their talent in the Portland Youth Philharmonic

November 5, 2013

The Portland Youth Philharmonic, an association created to maintain high quality youth orchestras, has been inspiring and educating young people for nearly a century. The association is made up of two...

Hannah Matthiessen: finding success in front of and behind the camera

Hannah Matthiessen: finding success in front of and behind the camera

October 28, 2013

Hannah Matthiessen, senior, might be found studying for classes, taking photos, or posing with celebrities in the pages of a magazine. Matthiessen, 18, has been modeling since she was a sophomore. This...

Line-up for December to Remember Announced

Line-up for December to Remember Announced

October 14, 2013

The lineup for Alternative Radio Station 94.7’s annual concert series, “December to Remember,” has been announced. Portland music fans and concert-goers alike flocked to buy tickets for the shows,...

Co-Ed Soccer offers sports and fun to high-schoolers.

October 8, 2013

Students at West Linn enjoy playing through the Willamette United Soccer Club. Among the many activities available in West Linn, often competitive and time consuming, co-ed soccer offers a different...

New Changes Made to Early Release Schedule

New Changes Made to Early Release Schedule

September 23, 2013

Students at West Linn High School are used to the routine of early release days: waking up at the crack of dawn just to come to school for half-hour classes, then returning home by 1:10 and feeling as...

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Emily Topping