LeopardLife editors and staff for 2017-2018 announced

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Claire Easley is an individual holding a passion for creating. Having been published in Fairview Magazine, one of Easley’s biggest loves is writing. Easley doesn’t describe herself as a big reader even though she adores creating things for others to read. Though, words are not the only thing she uses to express herself. She enjoys music and art, as well as alone time. For some, time spent without the presence of others appears as boring, maybe even frightening, but for Claire, it’s one of the most beautiful occurrences, being left alone with your thoughts.

Claire Easley, Editor in Chief

Easley lives with her parents and has one brother, Trenton, who is 11 years older than her. To many’s surprise, she and her brother get along just fine. For the most part, at least. They often bond over “Big Brother” and the few music artists they can agree are worthy of their listening, both deeming themselves ‘music snobs.’ Obviously a music lover, Easley can often be found with earbuds in with the music being at such a high volume, almost anyone within a ten-foot radius can hear the Lorde, Halsey, or Twenty One Pilots lyrics being sung. Claire can often be found strumming away at her ukulele or playing her piano, adoring the absolutely amazing impact it can have on her mood.

Flowers are another thing Claire loves, seeing them as one of the gorgeous things anyone can view no matter who they are or where they come from. She enjoys seeing things for their beauty, her outlook on life consisting of the thought that we were all put on the earth for a reason even if it might take us some time to learn exactly what our purpose is. Along those lines, Claire strives to be a person that makes a difference.

Easley is also very passionate about mental health, and very much enjoys advocating for the topic. She believes mental health is just as important as physical health, and it should be brought to light much more often than when it presents itself. Because of her passion for the topic, Easley is taking part in an Independent Study on how society can recognize depression and suicidal thoughts/actions and how a change can be made. Though, to everyone, she advises self-love and self-care are vital to a happy life no matter who they are or what their past looks like.

An ex-basketball player, Easley was forced to quit the sport she held a deep passion for due to her concussion count. Though, of course, that doesn’t mean she can’t be found slouched over on the couch eating Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked while watching highlights all throughout the season.

Regularly attending Creekwood United Methodist Church, Claire enjoys getting to visit with her peers and discuss her faith in an environment filled with individuals that have many things in common with her. Easley thoroughly enjoys her time at church, even if it means waking up earlier than she’d like.

As Editor-in-Chief, Claire looks forward to getting to being able to show her love of writing in a journalistic style, but she’s most excited to be a positive influence on her peers. Easley can’t wait to see the success of the newsroom for the 2017-2018 school year and watch both her and the rest of the staff grow not only as writers but as strong, independent, kind young adults.



If someone needs help finding a book to read, the person to ask is Ailsa Kokoricha. Born August 13, 2004, this 13-year-old girl will gladly point out the right direction.

Ailsa Kokoricha, Editor in Chief

Her personal favorites include, but are definitely not limited to, the Hunger Games series by author Suzanne Collins, the Insignia series by SJ Kincaid, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, and The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery.

Ailsa’s favorite activities are reading, watching shows on Netflix, and buying shoes. She owns an impressive variety of sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, boots, slip-on, wedges, and heels. Because of this, she is frequently described as “having the best shoes” by friends.

The story of how Ailsa got into Ms. Sanders’ fourth-period journalism class is slight to moderately funny. Due to having an empty space in her schedule on the very first day of school, Ailsa went to the counselor’s office to get it fixed. Once there, she decided to take up journalism because there were few classes left open and it sounded interesting to her. From then on she has loved both this class and the one next door.

While having no idea why she was picked for either position, Ailsa enjoys being Leopard Life Editor-in-Chief and WSMS News Anchor on the Tuesday announcements, aka the class next door.

Ailsa also enjoys all her GT core classes, even Algebra 2. She plans to attend UT Austin for her undergraduate degree, and apply to Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania (Go Quakers!) for a degree in Business.




Lindsey Hughes has a strong love for writing, but at the same time, she still manages to sing, keep up grades, and spend time with friends and family at the same time.

While balancing core class

Lindsey Hughes, Managing Editor

es, Hughes has began learning Spanish this year. Learning a new language has created an opportunity for her to enjoy writing even more. Along with Spanish, she has also joined the WSMS choir pop group, Limelight, practicing more outside of school.

One of Hughes’ favorite activities is spending time with family and friends. If she is not at school, she can often be found with people. One of the main reasons why she loves going to school is to see her friends again. Hughes also loves watching movies, playing board games, but overall she enjoys being with people.

Hughes’ favorite people in the world are her sisters and dog. She enjoys seeing her dog, Butterscotch, after school every day. Many other things make her happy. In her free time, Hughes enjoys riding her bike, watching Netflix, and baking. She also finds joy in helping others and doing service projects.

Hughes likes many things, and writing in the newspaper is one of them. She is very excited to serve as Managing Editor in Leopard Life. Being energetic and happy, she can’t wait to write more articles in her future.


Hey, and welcome to Parker Post, where life is a rollercoaster of events. Parker is consistently mistaken for a child and given kid’s menus at restaurants, but believe it o

Parker Post, Managing Editor

r not she is 13-years-old, also known as past the age limit for kid’s menus. From the outside, people see Parker as a happy, outgoing, talkative, bundle of happiness, but what they don’t see is her passion for her Christianity, her strong academics, and her love for the perfect pen and highlighter combination.

In her spare time, Parker attends Watermark church, jams out to Ed Sheeran, watches Netflix, plays her trumpet, and supports her volleyball team. She is usually involved in club and school volleyball but is recovering from an injury and is only able to watch now. This doesn’t stop Parker from going to all the games and screaming for her teammates (you can tell by her scratchy voice). Even though she can’t participate, hanging out with and encouraging her team is one of her most loved activities.

If it hasn’t been obvious yet, Parker loves every living thing ever. Whether it’s a pretty tree, a best friend, or a small group leader, Parker will latch on, sometimes literally, and learn as much as she can. Parker is most inspired by her amazing friends and the love that she receives from them. She knows that whenever something goes wrong she has someone to go to. Being an only child, she doesn’t have any siblings, so she adopts her best friends’ siblings and calls them her own. Not surprisingly, Parker has several friends that are only in fifth grade but loves them as much as any other friend she has.

Parker is excited for her role as an eighth-grader writing and managing LeopardLife. Parker remembers when she was a seventh-grader, coming into newspaper was very nerve-wracking for her, but is glad that she stuck with it. This year, Parker is excited to take all of her seventh-graders under her wing as their Managing Editor.





Sydney Stout is a very busy girl from being Leopard life Photo Editor, to managing her extracurricular activities, and keeping up with her siblings.

She can do wonders with her photo editing and photography and she is known to be one of the best in the photography category.


Not only can she do outstanding work in photography, but you can always see her buzzing around working on her extracurricular activities such as club volleyball, playing the violin, shooting different subjects, and working on her school work.

Volleyball has been a part of her life since she was 8, and she hasn’t given up since then.

Sydney has also had music in her life since her sixth-grade year, she is a violinist and she currently plays for the WSMS orchestra. She hopes to achieve many great things in the orchestral word and become the best she can be.

Keeping up with her siblings is definitely one of her hassles, but at the end of the day she’s an amazing sister, and she is a keeper!

Sydney has a very bubbly personality, and she will keep people on their toes, whenever someone is sad she will be there in a heartbeat to help.




Olivia Lauter is a smart girl but loves to have fun while working hard. She makes great grades in school, can play piano, write stories and music, and keep up with everything, but when she has everything complete she just wants to have a good time.


She can manage a lot of things like cheer, choir, her own music, and now even newspaper. All this sounds like a lot, but for Olivia it’s nothing.

Olivia is a joyful and loving person. While she can stay on top of things, she always wants to hang out and laugh with some friends. Olivia is always positive and looks for the best in people, so she and her friends can always have a good time together.

Olivia has been a musician for as long as she can remember and has always loved to spend a ton of her time on it. Olivia has played piano since she was seven, and has recently started to write her own music.

When she has some extra time, she will either light a candle and indulge in a new book or binge watch one of her favorite shows on Netflix.

She is also a hard worker in school. She is in GT English and she has always been an all-A student. She makes sure to get all of her work done to the best ability without stressing over anything and  is considered a super sweet and caring girl by all her friends and family. She loves everyone, so she has many “second families” and “second homes.”





India Ingham is a musical, fun, caring girl who puts her best foot forward every day. She originally hails from England but has a name after another country… She came to the US a few years ago.  If not found behind a camera or doing computer art graphics, she can be found in the art room or singing at House of Blues in December or performs yoga with goats…  literally in a class she’s excited about, applied for this October. She is also a cheerleader for WSMS.

She plays the guitar, piano, and ukulele and is a singer, obviously and loves animals of all kinds and food.  India also loves to travel and has visited many places around the world. Her favorite seasons include Fall and Winter, including the holidays Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving and her birthday. She loves going shopping and going to get food. She wants to move to LA when she grows up and produce music, she loves writing her own song. She likes trying out new things and is very spontaneous. She hopes her school year will be full of success and many opportunities.

She is also very artistic and loves working with graphics and using the camera. She plays the guitar, piano, and ukulele and is a singer, she loves animals of all kinds and food. She is a cheerleader at WSMS and is in eighth grade. India also loves to travel and has visited many places around the world. Her favorite seasons include Fall and Winter, including the holidays Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving and her birthday. She loves going shopping and going to get food. She wants to move to LA when she grows up and produce music, she loves writing her own song. She likes trying out new things and is very spontaneous. She hopes her school year will be full of success and many opportunities.


SECTION EDITORS: KATYA WISE, Real World Editor; LLOYD (Lee) BLAYLOCK, Campus Life Editor; TYLER CALL, Sports Editor; SAM WALTON, Business Editor; DINAH THADIKONDA, Etcetera Editor





Generally found on the court during a volleyball game or having fun with friends, Katya is cat crazy, a chip lover, and a huge fan of 5 Seconds of Summer. (She also can be found by the vending machine, probably buying Ruffles, and no one knows why.)

Katya Wise is now an eighth-grader at Willow Springs and is Real World Editor of Leopard Life. She is an outgoing, bubbly, and compassionate person. Playing volleyball takes up a lot of her time and will always be seen playing or talking about it, whether it is school volleyball or Elevate, a volleyball club. Katya has played this sport for six years and isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon.

Listening to music has given Katya the opportunity to find and become obsessed with a band called “Five Seconds of Summer.” Shortly after discovering one of their songs she was able to recite all of their names, songs, and even the date that all of them joined. By this point, this band wasn’t an admiration, but an obsession.

Since half of her family is Russian, she goes to Russia every summer to spend time with her family and hang out with her friends. There she is able to experience the vastly different culture they have in Russia. And yes, she is fluent in Russian.

Now, if you have heard of Katya ever before you would know that she has many different nicknames. These can include but are not limited to Katya, Kat, Kitty, Kitty Rice, Nemo, Katie, Katerina, and KitKat. If and when you meet her feel free to call her whatever (she really doesn’t mind).



Lloyd (Lee) Blaylock fills his life with many sports. He plays so many that he can barely count them. He runs, throws, and kicks. When asked how many sports he plays, he paused for quite a while. But his favorite is throwing a back flip. He always pushes himself to do more and more flips each day. His goal is to learn a backflip 360 on the ground.

He loves sports and being on the field, but nothing compares to his family. He has many memories and unique stories with them. His family is from a lot of places around the world, from Ireland to Spain, his family has a wide variety of languages.

He is very involved in watching sports, one of his favorites is NFL Football. Where he supports the Dallas Cowboys, even though he knows in the back of his mind that they are trash mixed with garbage. His favorite player on the Cowboys is Tight End, Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys Veteran

Lloyd wants to be a science teacher or a gym coach when he grows up. But he will never forget to flip. He will continue to flip forever.

He loves all his classes and electives. and he appreciates his school and education, just as much as anything else. After middle school, he will be glad to see all his friends in high school, and he is ready to take on the world.






Samuel Walton, as busy as he is, now has two periods in what some call his second home, others, the newspaper room.

Sam does soccer, runs cross country and track, plays percussion, and takes journalism and yearbook. All of these extracurriculars have out of school work to be done like cross country meets, soccer games, and much more. He sometimes gets together for a quick basketball game with his friends.

As busy as some may think he is, he gets all his work done in a timely fashion with full effort. He says that he only changes when he wants to, and does his best in all assignments.

He takes three writing classes because he wants to be an author when he grows up. He’s trying to make ideas for a sci-fi fantasy series, but having some trouble with coming with ideas. He’s eager to get projects done and loves what he does.

He gets problems worked out, whether it’s his or not, and supports all his friends, whether they fail or win.

Overall, Sam’s ready for another great year in journalism.




Dinah Thadikonda is a writer among many things. Those many things being a singer, a classical Indian dancer, and much more.

Some hobbies that Dinah enjoys doing in her spare time are reading, singing, writing, and baking. She loves cooking anything whether it be desserts, main courses, or appetizers. She is in the WSMS choir and has also been doing classical Indian dance, Kuchipudi, since the age of five. Along with dance and choir, Dinah also runs cross country and track for the WSMS running program.

While Dinah has many loves, she also has many pet peeves. She cannot stand when people walk slowly in front of her, and she also dies a little inside when people take a bite out of a KitKat without breaking the chocolate wafers apart. Uncapitalized words, messy handwriting, and an unorganized desk make her want to hit something.

“ I just can’t understand why anyone would go at the slowest pace possible in a hallway when they know that there are many people behind them that actually have to get places. Would it really hurt to pick up the pace when you’re walking somewhere? The answer is no, it would not,” Thadikonda said.

In the future, Dinah hopes to be a lawyer or a political figure. She loves stating her opinion and winning arguments is her specialty. Not a day goes by without her stating a sarcastic remark, and roasting her sophomore sister is her one of her greatest talents. Her role model is her mother, a teacher at the Lovejoy Highschool who makes her laugh like no other.

“ My family is super-crazy and I don’t think that there has been a single party, practice, or meeting that we have ever been on time to. The only way I could describe my family is like one of those crazy art pieces; it’s chaotic, but it’s beautiful,” she said.

One of the most memorable qualities about Dinah is how crazy she is. She gives everyone she meets food names, has wandered through the weird side of YouTube, and has memorized every single way that a person has mispronounced her first and last name. She has many nicknames, some being Pokemon, Dinahsaur, Dinahmite, Polyester-Vester, etc. She thinks that there is too much things in this world to do that you should not waste one second doing something you don’t like. She is prepared for high school next year, but as for this year, she is super excited to see what’s in store.


LeopardLife STAFF,  missing at press time are photographers Katie Kole, Preston Jones and Adam Mendelson photos and profiles.

Ahmed Bouafif is 12 and is turning 13-years-old on October 29. He is a legend at everything, super smart, handsome, and lit. He is also a party animal. Some people say he is awesome and that he might be a unicorn, the world will never know. He is not bubbly. He is also not a she. But he is a he. He also plays football and soccer. He loves to talk, play games, and get involved. He also tries to listen to music any time he can. Ahmed is also a joyful person and near vending machine getting snacks. Ahmed Bouafif, like natural a lot, he has two goldfish, six sheep, used to have 25 turtles, one tortoise, seven birds, one dog, and six hermit crabs. He also goes outside a lot and just observes nature. Ahmed is an athletic person. He talks and walks most of the time, he is legend after everything he tries to do again. He is better than the world at life. He is the most interesting person in the world. He is a natra boy. He is amazing at things he tries to do. He is a living breathing and pooping living thing. He is an amazing living thing.







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The student news site of Willow Springs Middle School
LeopardLife editors and staff for 2017-2018 announced