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


Grace Nickas

Grace Nickas, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Rather than waking up an hour or two before the school day, Grace Nickas, senior, starts her day four hours earlier. On a typical say, Nickas wakes up and starts her drive to downtown Portland at 4:30 a.m.

“I’ve been rowing for four years now,” Nickas said. “I row for Rose City Rowing and we have practice before and after school every day.”

Rowing has become a big part of her life, and it motivates her every day. Even though she goes through every day in blistered covered hands, it is all worth it in Nickas’ mind.

“Next year I’m hoping to row for Gonzaga,” Nickas said.

When she isn’t rowing for them, you’ll be able to find Nickas in the science building as she prepares for her future as a nurse.

“My favorite class has been AP Biology,” Nickas said.

The motivation and drive that flows through her on race day is easily reflected through her years of high school. Nickas joined journalism to improve her writing skills freshman year, and since then has been a section editor, a business manager and now for her senior year, she is a co-editor-in-chief of The Amplifier.

“I know my dream job doesn’t have much to do with journalism, but writing articles and managing the paper is a great way to build various skills,” Nickas said.

With her packed schedule and future on the horizon, Nickas savors the few precious moments of free time she can find.

“When I can, you can usually find me napping or watching Netflix,” Nickas said.


All content by Grace Nickas
Six senior athletes sign their National Letters of Intent to play college sports on April 11. The NLI is a binding document that requires one full year of athletic participation.

Six seniors sign to colleges

Grace Nickas, Co-Editor-in-Chief
April 17, 2018

Playing college sports is a dream for many athletes. Six seniors signed their National Letters of Intent (NLI) to continue their sports in college April 11. The NLI is a binding document used to indicate...

Oregon native Mat Kearney performs at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Ore. on Feb. 22. Kearney put on an amazing show despite some major challenges the day of the show.

Oregon musician returns home

Grace Nickas, Co-Editor-in-Chief
February 28, 2018

Power outages and snowy and icy conditions could not stop singer/songwriter Mat Kearney from putting on an incredible show in his home state. Kearney performed at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland,...

Nine Thespians are named state finalists at the regional competition. They will attend the state competition April 6.

Setting the stage for State

Grace Nickas, Co-Editor-in-Chief
February 13, 2018

Weekends full of drama sound pretty terrible for most people, but for members of the Thespian troupe, it is the best kind of weekend. Nine members of the Thespian troupe have been named state finalists...

A mariachi band performs at the Dia de los Muertos celebration at Wilsonville High School. The celebration had quite a few students of our own in attendance.

Celebrating other cultures

Grace Nickas, Co-Editor-in-Chief
November 14, 2017

Mariachi bands, bright colors, and good food were all present at the Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, celebration at Wilsonville High School Nov. 1. Students involved in the Spanish language program...

Decorations are out for Halloween. Students share their plans for Halloween night.

Ready for a good time

Grace Nickas, Co-Editor-in-Chief
October 31, 2017

Decorations, costumes and candy are what typically come to mind when one thinks about Halloween. Plans for Halloween, however, vary for each person. “My gymnastics team always does something fun...

With their final year beginning, seniors are starting to be excited for the next chapter in their life including the college application process. Students have begun to try and figure out where they want to go to college and what they want to study.

[Photo] The beginning of the end

September 1, 2017

With their final year beginning, seniors are starting to be excited for the next chapter in their life including the college application process. Students have begun to try and figure out where they want...

AP testing has ended and has left students feeling relieved yet frustrated over the fact that the tests are lacking importance due to stress and being forced to miss school in order to take a test.

It’s over

Grace Nickas, Current Events Editor
May 17, 2017

The two weeks of late night cram sessions, three hour exams and insane levels of stress has ended. AP testing is over. Students have spent the last few weeks taking exams for all of the AP classes...

Advanced Placement testing is coming up and students are overly stressed about tests that do not have that much meaning. AP testing is harmful for students mental state and should not be required by the school.

Against our will

Grace Nickas, Current Events Editor
April 24, 2017

Forcing people to sit down for hours on end, not being allowed to speak, eat and perform mentally straining tasks on little sleep seems like a form of torture. This is the reality for high school students...

Symphonic band performs at Tualatin High School for their league competition. At the competition, all of the schools gathered to perform a tribute for a Newberg band student.

Band plays a tribute for Newberg Student

Grace Nickas, Current Events Editor
April 19, 2017

Symphonic band set out for Tualatin High School on April 11 for the Three Rivers League competition. They competed against Canby, Lake Oswego, Lakeridge, Newberg, Sherwood, Tigard, and Tualatin, placing...

Unity Day is going to be a day to promote a stronger and more welcoming community. The West Linn United club is hard at work planning out all of the details for the day on May 26.

We stand united

Grace Nickas, Current Events Editor
March 24, 2017

After many divisive events, the West Linn United club has decided to host a Unity Day in May. “It will be a day promoting unity through workshops,” Tristan Waits, senior, said. “It’s going...

The 2016-2017 Link Crew shows the incoming class of freshmen around. The eighth graders were from Rosemont Ridge Middle School.

Class of 2021 arrives at their future home

Grace Nickas, Current Events Editor
March 22, 2017

Casey Affleck wins Oscar, despite having been charged with sexual harassment. Controversy has erupted over Affleck’s win, showing that sexual harassment won’t stop a white man from winning the highest honor in his field.

Sexual Predator wins Oscar

Grace Nickas, Current Events Editor
March 1, 2017

  Sunday night, Casey Affleck won Best Actor at the 2017 Oscars for his role in “Manchester by the Sea,” despite major controversy of his nomination due to his sexual harassment charges. In...

The Symphonic Choir performs at the Spaghetti Dinner in preparation for the Northwest Division Conference. The choir will be performing Sat. Feb 18 in Bellevue, Wash.

Best in the (North) West

Grace Nickas, Current Events Editor
February 14, 2017

The Symphonic Choir is headed to Bellevue, Wash. for the National Association for Music Education Northwest Division Conference. “We're going to head up to University of Puget Sound early Friday...

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has decided to defund Planned Parenthood along with repealing the Affordable Care Act. This would be a direct attack on women’s health care and rights.

Say goodbye to healthcare

Grace Nickas, Current Events Editor
January 10, 2017

The Republicans and GOP have been trying to defund any health service that saves people’s lives just because it is funded by the government or it does not benefit themselves. The GOP has ruthlessly been...

The 2016-17 swim season has officially started. The team has their eyes set on placing higher than last year.

Take your mark, attention, go!

Grace Nickas, Current Events Editor
December 14, 2016

Even though the temperature is dropping, people are just now starting to hit the pool. The 2016-17 swim team has officially began, hoping to go farther this year than last year. The swim team has placed...

 Early fall is the worst time of the whole year with the unfortunate temperature fluctuations throughout the entire day. Oregonians simply cannot wait for the cool, rainy weather everyone believes Oregon has year round.

The problem plaguing us all

Grace Nickas, Current Events Editor
October 17, 2016

The crunchy yellow leaves under boots and the cool, muddy pumpkin patches come to mind when the season fall arrives. But what’s forgotten about fall is the incredible turmoil people are placed in during...

The construction of the 700 building, which is supposed to be finished in December, moving teachers back in there by January. Teachers are forced to teach in weird places throughout the school this semester due to the construction.

700 building remodel leaves teachers stranded

Grace Nickas, Current Events Editor
September 26, 2016

Rushing from class to class in six short minutes used to be a stress just for students, but with the reconstruction of the 700 building, teachers are forced to race to their next class as well. Teachers...

“The X-Files” leaves fans wanting more

“The X-Files” leaves fans wanting more

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
May 20, 2016

The beloved series, “The X-Files,” came back into the lives of “X-Philes” for a six episode event that began Jan. 24 on FOX. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprised their roles as Agent Fox...

“Lady Midnight,” the first book in Cassandra Clare’s new trilogy “The Dark Artifices,” leaves fans thrilled with the exceptional sequel to the beloved “Mortal Instruments” series. The book released Mar. 8, following the story of Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn who are trying to find out the reason for the increase in demonic murders in Los Angeles.

“Lady Midnight” thrills fans as the new edition to the Shadowhunter World

Grace Nickas , Staff Reporter
April 25, 2016

Heart-pounding, tears spilling down cheeks and screaming at the book should be expected when reading “Lady Midnight.” by Cassandra Clare. Although, any Cassandra Clare book has this effect on the readers....

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“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” came the a thrilling conclusion featuring Academy Award winner, Jennifer Lawrence. The movie showcased some of the better acting of all the movies along with a lot of action rather than talking.

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” appeases fans with a stunning conclusion

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
December 18, 2015

The beloved book trilogy, “The Hunger Games,” comes to a thrilling finale with “Mockingjay Part 2” released. Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is in the hospital recovering...

Laurel Sleeper, junior, performs at Wordstock on Nov. 7 in the Portland Art Museum. Sleeper performed ‘The Applicant’ by Sylvia Plath and ‘Her Kind’ by Anne Sexton. Kate Walters and Riley Knowles, juniors, performed at Wordstock as well.

Wordstock showcases poetry talent

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
November 17, 2015

Before walking into the Portland Art Museum, Kate Walters, junior, expected to see small groups listening to a performer, accompanied by a mellow, informal vibe. To her surprise, Wordstock, Portland’s...

Spirit Week 2015 flops

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
November 13, 2015

Spirit week is a time when students dress up in crazy outfits to show their love for their school. It took place the week before homecoming, and the days included Messy Monday, Tropical Tuesday, Workout...

Students enjoy last year’s homecoming dance under the large white tent on the baseball field. Homecoming is on Oct. 23 and the dance will be held after the football game. “Students can expect homecoming to be fun, loud, and exciting,” Kylie Fretwell, Sophomore Class Director, Assistant to Public Relations and Assistant to Spirit Squad, said.

Homecoming on Oct. 23 is a great time for students to support their school and have fun

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
October 22, 2015

Putting on a nice dress or shirt, then going to dinner, and dancing with a date is how most schools celebrate homecoming, but that’s not how it’s done at West Linn High School. On Oct. 23 there will...

“Hippo Campus” opening for “Jr. Jr.” at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland, Ore. on Oct. 7. “Hippo Campus” recently released their new EP “South,” which sounds different from most alternative bands with their unique voices and music.

Indie band “Hippo Campus” on the road to headlining

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
October 13, 2015

The unique and catchy style of the alternative band, “Hippo Campus,” is what earned popularity among West Linn High School students. The band recently debuted their new Extended Player (EP), “South,”...

La Sen Vietnamese Grill provides a wide range of delicious options for a fair price. La Sen has three locations in Sherwood, Ore., Tigard Ore., and West Linn Ore

Delicious Vietnamese food comes to West Linn

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
October 5, 2015

Walking into a Vietnamese restaurant and expecting to sit down at a table and receive a menu is not what you will find at La Sen Vietnamese Grill. Instead of ordering traditional Vietnamese food from a...

WLHS students spend the summer 2015 abroad in Costa Rica

WLHS students spend the summer 2015 abroad in Costa Rica

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
September 22, 2015

Waking up to the sounds of waves crashing in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Beth Hoots, junior, felt like she was in paradise. “It was absolutely beautiful,” Hoots said. “I was with a family right...

Jillian Emken, junior, hands Bryan Chapman, freshman, his yearbook. The 2015 Green and Gold yearbook is 220 full color pages and features a different design concept in each section.

WLHS yearbook turns out even better than expected

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
June 12, 2015

With over a year of hard work put in, 52 students' input,  and 220 full color pages, the WLHS yearbook was finally handed out to students on May 28. The yearbook has adopted a fresh and unique look this...

Hailey Kim, junior, and Gabrielle Elrod, senior, begin preparing for final exams. Finals will be held June 10-12, beginning with periods 5 and 6. All of these days will be half days.

How to prepare for finals with less stress

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
May 26, 2015

One of the most grueling parts of the year is just a few short weeks away: Finals Week.  Finals can be one of the most stressful parts of the year, what with the reviewing and the late nights study sessions,...

The Varsity Girls Golf Team took first place at the Oswego Lake Country Club. The Girls Golf Team plays May 4 at the Arrowhead Golf Club and the Boys Golf Team plays May 4 at the Stone Creek Golf Club.

WLHS golf teams score well this 2015 season

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
April 30, 2015

The Girls Varsity Golf Team placed first in competitions at the Willamette Valley Country Club and the Oswego Lake Country Club April 21 and April 27.  The Boys Varsity Team placed third at a competition...

La Sagrada Familia, a church in Barcelona, will be one of the sights students will see while in Spain. The trip to Spain and Italy will be led by Marc Zollinger, Spanish teacher, during the 2016 Spring Break.

WLHS students have the chance to experience new cultures next Spring Break

Grace Nickas , Staff Reporter
April 15, 2015

Walking down the streets of Italy, looking directly at the Roman colosseum and seeing the Palacio Real up close could become a reality for West Linn High School students next Spring Break. Students will...

“Insurgent” was released March 20 and made $52.26 million in the opening weekend. The movie follows Tris Prior and Tobias “Four” Eaton trying to save their city from the harm of the faction system.

“Insurgent” gives book fans a decent movie adaptation

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
April 7, 2015

Since the dystopian trilogy, “Divergent,” by Veronica Roth was released in 2011, it has captured the nation with the books and the first movie of the franchise. The second movie, “Insurgent”, opened...

Claire Grace McKern was born to Kaleb McKern, math teacher, and Allison McKern, Rosemont Ridge wellness teacher, on March 11, 2015. She was 7 pounds 1 ounce and 21 inches long.

McKerns add to their family with the birth of Claire Grace

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
March 20, 2015

Kaleb McKern, math teacher, and Allison McKern, wellness teacher at Rosemont Ridge Middle School, welcomed a new addition to their family on March 11 at 3:16 p.m. Claire Grace McKern, 7 pounds, 1 ounce...

Rosemont Outdoor School moves to March

Rosemont Outdoor School moves to March

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
March 4, 2015

Outdoor School for the sixth graders of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District is happening sooner than later this year, and that might benefit the juniors and seniors who serve as counselors. Students...

Cleaning up Oregon, one school at a time

Cleaning up Oregon, one school at a time

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
January 9, 2015

From the beaches of Oregon to the rivers that flow through the state, West Linn High School’s advanced science classes are working to help the environment. Working with SOLVE, a statewide, non-profit...

Animal Abuse: not just limited to animals

Animal Abuse: not just limited to animals

Grace Nickas, Staff Reporter
November 21, 2014

May 9, 2013, a man in Portland, Ore. was accused of beating his dog in front of a veterinary clinic and was not sentenced because no lasting injuries were found on the dog. Animal abuse is not just deliberate...

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