Editor’s Note: Back at it again


Anna Henning

In room N123, our storyboard is full of projects the staff is working on. Above the storyboard, signs show our goals for the quarter: Prioritize coverage diversity, publish more consistently, improve journalistic voice, and elevate staff morale.

Anna Henning, Editor in Chief

I came into this school year full of confidence. My Co-Editor in Chief, Maddy Lewis, and I knew exactly what we wanted to accomplish while running the paper. However, not only did hybrid learning mess that up, but so did the quarter system. We went from having Journalism II every-other day, all year, to having the class every day, for half of the school year. 

During the first and third quarters, the staff did not have class, meaning we had no designated time to run Etched in Stone during school. While much of my staff, myself included, vowed to continue writing stories, not many were published. We got consumed by the business of having the same classes daily, and had to dedicate our time to those, rather than writing news stories.

Personally I struggled to see our paper dormant for a few months. Lewis and I wanted to work on consistently publishing many stories each week. To see that goal not happen for an entire semester was difficult. We simply did not have the time to maintain our publishing pacing during other quarters. I have to remind myself that we are only a high school newspaper, and we do not have all the time or resources of a paper like The Coloradoan. Still, it hurt to see production slip away.

Now, we are back. For the first time in over a year, the entire journalism staff is together, in one room. The energy my staff brings to class every day is inspiring. They all come so excited to learn, write, and be together in community. We are all ready to jump back in, and ready to run.

Lewis and I have been starting everyone on the same page through lots of goal setting. We wrote four goals as a staff, and everyone wrote an individual goal. Instead of quantity, we are encouraging our writers to focus on quality. Growth is what we are looking for in our staff, so everyone is proud of what they publish. To help the staff along the way, Lewis and I are continuing our mini-lessons, to share everything we have learned from four years in the program.

While we are getting serious about our productivity again, I cannot help but feel the joy of being back together. I forgot what a full newsroom sounded like. I missed the constant laughter coming from Kelly Colanto and Melissa May, our resident joke-sters. I missed full class conversations about current events, bringing us deep into debate. I missed checking in with my new writers, and getting to know them. 

For the first time, I fully feel like a Co-Editor team with Lewis. We were in school on separate days during hybrid learning, so we finally get to work together in person. It feels strange to finally start running class together when school is almost done, but I am just so grateful for the opportunity. We get to revisit a lot of things we wanted to do, but could not in remote learning. Room N123 is getting a makeover, and we are excited to make it feel even more like a newsroom. 

This is it. While I feel like I am finally getting to be an Editor in Chief like I always imagined, my time is almost up. Soon we will be selecting a new team of leadership, and soon the paper will be theirs. In the meantime, I am doing all I can now to prepare my staff for the future, while enjoying every moment of being back with my family.