Editor expresses thoughts on newspaper, staff
Yee reflects on awards, individual growth produced through challenges
Senior Editor Maddie Yee reflects on how The Feather staff has exceeded her personal expectations for the '12-'13 school year.
To be honest, after losing 17 seniors from the journalism staff last year, I had no clue what The Feather would be like this year. I thought, "You know what, it will be a rebuilding year; a year to teach the younger students. There is no need to get my hopes up because realistically, we probably won't be able to accomplish what we did last year."
But no. Once again, the staff exceeded my personal expectations by receiving the All-American award from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) in Nov., and three All-Columbian Honors and a Gold Medalist placement from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), Feb. 27.
While physically receiving an award is satisfying, it is not just the plaque that gives me encouragement for everything the staff has done. It is witnessing the long hours each journalism student has put into writing articles, making videos and podcasts, taking pictures and advancing in the multimedia world of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
As Senior Editor, it has been an honor to see my fellow journalists develop their confidence and individual writing skills. I have seen some students go from writing an article in one week, to writing an article in one day. I have witnessed staff members break outside of their shells and become teenagers who are responsible and committed to hard work.
Working alongside Editor-in-Chief Tynin Fries, '14, Features Editor Viviana Hinojosa, '14, and Photo Editor Ryan King, '15, has been a great privilege. Each of these three individuals have poured numerous hours into their job during the school week and on weekends.
Viviana and Ryan definitely stepped up into their roles while Tynin and I were gone for the soccer season this year. Staying after school to finish editing articles, making slideshows, and running our frontpage stories. I could not have asked for better editors. These two never complained about the workload and willingly completed their duties above and beyond what was needed.
"While physically receiving an award is satisfying, it is not just the plaque that gives me encouragement for everything the staff has done. It is witnessing the long hours each journalism student has put into writing articles, making videos and podcasts, taking pictures and advancing in the multimedia world of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter." --Maddie Yee, Senior Editor
Without the guidance and encouragement of our adviser, Greg Stobbe, I know we would not have the drive to work hard each day. He constantly challenges the staffers to migrate away from our comfort zones and dive into new experiences. These difficult tasks are soon overcome and often develop an inner growth in each student.
In the CSPA's critique of The Feather, I was greatly encouraged by the CSPA judge's comments on the publication's diversified coverage. It felt rewarding to know that the staff's work is not going unnoticed, and is maintaing a high level of well-informed content.
Along with the kuddos that the staff received for the CSPA, I also appreciated the time the judge took to inform us of where we need to improve our efforts. The feedback was very straightforward, which gave me a clear picture of how we can fix our flaws.
Though I am uplifted by the CSPA's critique on The Feather's current work, I am even more so motivated to finish the year on a strong note. In just 16 days, a group of Feather staffers will be traveling to New York City (NYC) for the 89th annual Spring National Convention at Columbia University, March 20-22.
I still remember sitting at the awards ceremony last year, and watching the seniors wait in great anticipation. When The Feather was announced as a Silver Crown winner, I knew how disappointed they were at not receiving the Gold Crown like the previous seniors had.
As Yee recalls seeing last year's seniors wait in great anticipation at the 2012 NSPA Spring National Convention, she prepares herself to sit in the same position for the New York trip this year, March 20-22.
Though I felt sad for the seniors, I could not experience the same feelings they did because I was not in the same place as them. They had labored for months over striving to be one of the best high school online newspapers in the nation; it was their final year on the staff and they wanted to end it with a bang.
Despite the disappointment in New York, their spirits were reignited in Seattle, when The Feather received an NSPA Pacemaker. It was a relief, to say the least. I was exhilarated when I heard the news, and I knew that the seniors were most likely jumping for joy with the feelings of sweet accomplishment.
This year, as one of the few seniors on staff, I will be sitting in the same position as the seniors from last year. I will wait with high hopes of hearing The Feather being named a Gold Crown winner. While I know chagrin may creep in if my expectations are not met, I know that overall, I will feel satisfied knowing that the staff worked to their best potential.
According to British politician Winston Churchill, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Whatever comes, I know that The Feather will push past disappointments and continue to pursue excellence through the staffers' will to accomplish what is before them each day.
For more opinions, read the Feb. 28 article, Disneyland brings relief to junior (VIDEO, PODCAST).