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Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

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Students use buttons to express their personality

The magic of a pin can illuminate one’s personality—and make for a great conversation starter.
Kaitlyn Ho ’26
A selection of buttons from Josie Weiland ’26, Kelly Montague ’25, Pearl Tweedy ’26, and Imogen Sharif ’23

For some students, buttons serve as little multipurpose metal windows into the soul.

To senior Imogen Sharif, pins on a backpack are a way to relieve anxiety in the face of grades and clubs.

Senior Imogen Sharif uses the buttons on her backpack to add some laughter into her life. 

“I think you need a silly component to your academic life in order to not burnout,” Sharif said.

    I think you need a silly component to your academic life in order to not burnout.

— Imogen Sharif '23

Her buttons are able to remind her of those silly moments in school. As she graduates, it’s all the more important for her to keep those memories.

“I have this one, ‘Eat Bugs’, because I brought a bunch of bugs to cook for [my] final project last year, and I’m very proud of it,” Sharif said. “It’s one of my highlights of my high school career. I ate and cooked bugs for the class and I gave a presentation about why we should not have the stigma around eating bugs.”

Like Sharif’s collection, freshman Josie Wieland’s buttons tell a personal story. 

Many of Wieland’s buttons are mementos from small businesses she’s visited, and a lot of the buttons are of her favorite music, which include The Beatles, The Who, the Grateful Dead, and the album The Velvet Underground & Nico.

Wieland sells her fused glass at the Lunch Break Vintage store in Swarthmore, and she has a button for that as well.

“[Buttons] also shares a bit of who I am, I guess to the people walking behind me just looking at all my pins like, ‘Hmm, I guess this person really likes, you know, bands and just fun and cool artsy stuff’,” Wieland said.

Sophomore Kelly Montague’s buttons serve as keepsakes from her time in St. Louis, Missouri for the National High School Journalism Contest convention.

In St. Louis, students would find buttons everywhere, and add them to their journalists’ lanyards. They had grabbed handfuls from buckets, but out of all of those journalism pins, Montague is most fond of one that depicts her love for photography. 

“My favorite one is probably this dial shaped one that looks like the top of a camera dial,” Montague said. “It’s just really cool to me, because I love the fact that it kind of represents me. Not saying that camera is my whole personality, but it represents me in a way that shows that I am a photographer, that’s who I am. It also really does remind me of our trip to St. Louis that we took in the fall, which was by far the best experience I’ve ever done in my entire life.”

Montague has a passion for sports photography and can be often found in the media lab working on her photos.

“But like, ‘yearbook for life’ [button]. I feel like ‘yearbook for life’ can mean more than one thing to a lot of people,” Montague said. “Obviously, to the editors, it’s like, oh, you’re [a] yearbooker for life, you run this, you do the whole thing…This is my memento. This is how I’m gonna remember my younger years. And I think that’s really cool to me.”

The pins help Montague when she’s feeling down and needs a reminder of what she’s accomplished.

“I think it also brings me back to remembering my identity a little bit,” Montague said. “I feel like the pins can also kind of represent that I do have a bit of talent… and I am capable of things.”

Freshman Pearl Tweedy uses their buttons as reminders as well, except not as reminders of specific places or events. 

“Some of them low-key represent who I am,” Tweedy said. “But it’s always just a nice reminder for me that I have friends, I guess. Because it’s just like, ‘Oh, my friend got me this’, or like, for the ones where I got them from like the punk rock flea market, I’m like, ‘Oh, I remember when I went there and I got this one the first time I went and I got this one the last time I went’.”

Tweedy appreciates the small acts of warmth from their community.

“It’s just little nice pins, and they mean somewhat a lot to me,” they said. “Because they represent my friends and such, and my family and all that.”

Tweedy’s buttons are simple, but each one has a story…or they’re just enjoyable to look at.

“I have another one, this was a gift from my friend Eli. It has little frogs and mushrooms on it and it says, ‘There is magic in simply existing’, which I think is really nice,” Tweedy said.

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Kaitlyn Ho ‘26, Copy Editor
Kaitlyn Ho is the copy editor of the Panther Press. She enjoys reading, dancing, making noise (typically through piano and cello), and learning how to code. Kaitlyn loves writing, but health and science particularly fascinate her. She hopes that one day her future self will look back on this bio and be able to laugh, but also enjoy reading the stories she has written.
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