My last day of high school is less than a week away, and it’s hard to believe that I am writing my last journalism story. I remember reading the Spud freshman year and anxiously waiting till I could enroll in this class. Writing for the school newspaper was just something that I thought would be fun. I had no idea how many countless memories I would make with my fellow writers and teachers, and the person I would become.
Sophomore year, I was new to the class. I walked in and all of the seniors were sitting at one table. These senior writers were professionals in my eyes. Some of them had already qualified for the state level in journalism. But here I was, a dumb sophomore that had no clue how to write like a journalist. I sat at my table waiting for someone that I knew to enter the room. Eventually, in walked Shelbee Burke: the only sign of consistency in my journalism career.
I slowly got more comfortable in the class. Mrs. Digmann wasn’t the scary senior teacher anymore, just my journalism teacher. The upperclassmen weren’t intimidating anymore, just fellow writers. In the fall, we were given the opportunity to attend the Lincoln Fall Journalism Convention. This convention taught me so many journalism essentials and going to it truly made me a better writer. Countless memories were also made on the trip, like doing facemasks with Kelsey, Shelbee and Brady and making fun of Mrs. Digmann on the bus. When February came around, it was time to submit state entries. I had little expectation of qualifying, so you can imagine my shock when I qualified for the In-depth Writing event along with Shelbee Burke, Kelsey Horton and Magi Hoff. Due to Covid, we were unable to travel to the competition, so they ranked us based on our preliminary entries. We took home the fifth-place title. This is one of my biggest accomplishments in my high school career.
Junior year was a very different journalism experience, but I loved it nonetheless. The seniors from the previous year graduated, leaving returning Spudsters to a very low number. The only people who were coming back to the class from last year were Kelsey, Shelbee and me. Kelsey was named the Senior Editor, Shelbee was the Web Editor and I was given the opportunity to be the Spud’s Jr. Editor. Another change this year was that Mrs. Digmann was no longer teaching the class. She had taken on the role of AHS’s Assistant Principal, and Mrs. Ramos was our new teacher.
Mrs. Ramos was thrown into the fire with us, so I admire her for taking on this challenge. Shelbee, Kelsey, and I only had one year of journalism under our belt, and Mrs. Ramos hadn’t taught this class before. It might have taken a while, but we figured it out. Despite the anxiety and having to adjust to the changes, my junior year of journalism was an experience that I will never forget.
Senior year, we got a new teacher, yet again. At first, I was anxious about having to adjust to these changes one more time, but Ms. Rejino really let us seniors take on leadership responsibilities and run the class how we knew how to. Shelbee and I were assigned to be Co-Editors-In-Chief, and Brooklyn was our Senior Editor. We also got to attend the Lincoln Fall Journalism Convention, an activity that I didn’t get to attend my junior year because of Covid. Brooklyn Branstiter and I were the only seniors to attend, so we got the privilege of having a room to ourselves. Brooklyn and I stayed up far too late just talking for hours before cozying up into our own beds. Although I did break my glasses on this trip and looked absolutely insane in Olive Garden, these are the little experiences that I am forever grateful for.
I want to thank Mrs. Digmann for instilling a love of writing in me during my sophomore year. Without her, I would never be the writer I am today. Thank you to Shelbee Burke for being my journalism ride-or-die for three years. Thank you to Brooklyn for joining journalism last year and always finding a way to make me laugh in class. Brooklyn and Shelbee truly made going to eighth period my favorite. During the semester, German exchange student Ella Oezen joined the class. Although my time in journalism with Ella was short, I am so grateful she joined the class because it allowed me to spend more time with her before she returns to Germany.
Joining the Spud was one of the best decisions I have made. Not only am I a better writer, but a better person. This is Morgan Moomey, Co-Editor-in-Chief, signing off.