Maddy Lewis and I could not be more thrilled to step into this position. We have been a part of the journalism program since our freshman year. Although, we think of it as less of a program and more of a family.
During freshman transition day, I remember going into Journalism I and being terrified. With my social anxiety at its peak, I was so scared to hear my teacher, Ben DeGear, say that I would interview people and publish my writing for all students to see. I decided that I would drop the class later that week. But, on my first day with the older staff, I fell in love with the program. Everyone was so excited to start the year, talking about all the different things they would write. I was in the corner of the room, reading my book and trying my best to be invisible. But, Karen Manley being the bubbly person she is, pulled me in along with the rest of the freshmen to be involved and included with the other staff members. It was in that moment that I realized this is where I was meant to be, and journalism has grown to be one of the most important parts of my high school experience.
At the start of my freshman year, I never pictured myself leading a program, a class, a family. But, I remember beginning to dream with Maddy. When the seniors finished their presentations at the end of that school year, with everyone in tears, Maddy and I realized how much the program would truly come to mean to us. She turned to me and said, “I can’t wait until that’s us.”
Senior year rolled around faster than I expected, and Maddy and I were named Co-Editor in Chiefs. We were ecstatic. I was going to lead alongside one of my best friends, and we knew we would make the perfect pair of editors. We have slightly different personalities that complement each other so well, and with our color coded notebooks we were ready to take on the year.
Beginning the summer, Maddy and I began envisioning how to turn our dreams into goals. It began to fully dawn on me what being an Editor in Chief meant. We got to make all the changes we ever wanted. We changed the website, class structure, and staff expectations. However, as we began to create our several pages of goals, we did not even consider the idea of not being back in school. We were blinded by our excitement for senior year, and could not possibly picture the pandemic lasting so long.
There were lots of tears and fears for our senior year, as Maddy and I mourned the loss of the perfect year we had imagined. But, we quickly turned our feelings around and we were determined once more. We rewrote our goals and with the support of Ben DeGear and our amazing leadership team, and we were ready to lead to the best of our abilities. The excitement of leading returned, and we were hoping to support our staff not only with writing, but also with life. We hope to be “the legendary Co-Editor in Chiefs of the pandemic,” because our year will be different than any other Editor in Chief before us.
I cannot think of anyone I would rather go through this experience with than Maddy. We have grown, watching amazing Editor in Chiefs before us—Serena Bettis, Karen Manley and Olivia Doro, Macy Fowler and Liam Flake. We are so grateful and excited to be the next generation of leaders. Maddy and I hope that we can carry on their legacy, and support our staff the best we can in the middle of this pandemic.