A Letter From The Editor: A Reflection on a Year of Growth and Dedication

Courtesy+of+www.davidmartinekco.com

Courtesy of www.davidmartinekco.com

Ashleigh Hollowell, Editor

Dear Readers,

 

Without a doubt, letters from the editors of school newspapers all across the country will wrap-up the year discussing their program’s achievements and successes that were accomplished throughout the duration of the school year. However, very few will ever discuss the challenges the program faced. The Panther Perspective Staff  has had incredibly successful stories throughout the year that we were all extraordinarily proud of, but unlike other years where our greatest successes were our stories, this year our staff’s greatest accomplishments came from self-leadership, determination and individual drive.

This past year,  lack of enrollment in the Journalism Program caused it to almost be cut as a class. Our class was combined with Yearbook, but only eight of the students enrolled in the course were signed up for the Journalism part including myself and my Co-Editor, Micaela Davidson. Due to the large number of students in the class that were enrolled in the Yearbook portion, as well as a hard transition to shortened class periods, we had to develop our own lesson plans, goals, meetings, discussions and ideas. In previous years, Journalism was an hour and a half long class period with 15-20 students enrolled. This year took a lot of dedication, long hours and motivation to adjust to the smaller staff size and shorter amount of class time.  We learned quickly that eight people was not enough to cover all of the important and interesting events around campus. The priority of articles should be quality, not quantity. Cutting back and narrowing down to stories that  were the most interesting and really needed to be covered became second nature to us.  Unfortunately, with our vast reduction in staff this year, we were not able to put out our community paper last semester due to lack of content. It was something hard for everyone on the staff to take in, but this Spring Semester community paper to present to you. Some of the included content is from the paper that was not able to be produced last semester, alongside new and exciting stories written in just the past month.

Despite the changes in our program, our staff has been self-motivated and dedicated to everything they do. In the transition from the Fall Semester to the Spring Semester, we lost two members of our staff, but gained one in Spring. We learned to work as a unit and motivate ourselves to accomplish the tasks presented to us.

I have been involved in the Journalism Program for three years and it has opened countless doors for my future. As an Editor for two of the three years, I helped in pioneering the first community paper like the one you are currently holding, as well as establish the program’s first online version of the paper and the incorporation of social media into the program. It is so important for this program to continue to thrive and grow, because news will always be important. Journalism is the first draft of history and deserves to be written with integrity, ethics, and knowledge. Witnessing how far this program has come from when I first joined, to witnessing how much we have accomplished together as a staff just this year alone; I have no doubt that it will continue to grow and the reporters will continue to thrive and inform the public with knowledgeable sincerity.

As I move on to college and major in Mass Communications with a focus in Journalism, I know that the Journalism Program here in Woodland Park will continue to succeed and overcome any challenges that they may face. The upcoming leadership from next year’s Editor In Chief, Micaela Davidson will only continue to further all that this wonderful program has to offer.  I am forever grateful to The Panther Perspective for developing my interest and passion in journalism and for giving me the opportunity to discover abilities I never knew I had. Journalism is now a passion that I cannot live without.  I hope that this program will peak the interest of a future reporter like it did mine, so that they will be able to carry on the incredible  passion I have had for this program that has led me down so many significant paths.

Sincerely,

 

Ashleigh Hollowell

Editor In Chief of The Panther Perspective