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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Letter to the Editor
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Letter from the editor: It's been a privilege

When the staff of The Feather learned that we are not a finalist for the NSPA Online Pacemaker, many of us were disappointed.

We had worked tremendously hard since January to write compelling and informative articles, to expand our breadth of coverage, to get more involved in our community, to incorporate more multimedia — in a phrase, to produce the best newspaper possible. And, until last week, we thought we were on the right path.

But regardless of the outcome of the Pacemaker competition, I want all of the staffers to know that it has been an honor to work with each and every one of you, and I really could not be more proud.

Over the fall and spring semesters, some of you produced content that was second to none. I don’t have room to include everyone, but I do want to mention a few people whose works were extraordinary and whom I would like to thank in this letter.

For one, senior Andrew Evans wrote a column about his visit to the emergency room that was one of the most vivid and evocative pieces I have ever had the pleasure of publishing. In addition, junior Dana King captured breathtaking photos and penned an outstanding column about her experiences on the newspaper. I know that both of these individuals at some point had difficulty with writing, but they never gave up — a fact which makes their achievements all the more praiseworthy.

Seniors Sydney Carlson and Jessica Massie have maintained a blog about their struggles and successes with self-confidence and appearance. I am proud of them not only for pursuing personal growth but also for chronicling their experiences for other students to read and learn from. They truly are courageous and exemplary people.

While most freshmen struggle with journalism and seriously contemplate quitting, this year’s group was singularly devoted. They improved their skills rapidly and grew to seek out stories on their own. I value their commitment and effort, and I know some of them will be fantastic editors in the future.

Although they are not on the staff, I am very grateful for Beth White, Brian Krigbaum and Ty Hutchins, among others, for contributing hundreds of sports photos to the newspaper. Taking pictures, importing them and sending them to us after every game requires a lot of time and effort — and I appreciate it. Without them, The Feather would not have been able to cover sports games and feature athletes nearly as well as we did this year.

Then, of course, there is our adviser, Greg Stobbe. I thank him for believing in me and entrusting me with the welfare of the newspaper, for helping me to develop the leadership and writing skills I would need to carry out my job. I’m sorry that we didn’t make it this year, but I am confident that he and the others will figure out what we did wrong, improve in the areas where we are weak and raise The Feather to new heights of excellence.

Finally, I want to thank my fellow editors and Webmaster. They have demonstrated an unparalleled passion and commitment to our craft, writing dozens of their own pieces and staying hours after school every day to edit articles and plan for the rest of the week. I am indebted to them for their consistent effort and for their willingness to make sacrifices for the benefit of the staff. They are superstars.

I owe thanks and praise to many more individuals who contributed to our success this year. In fact, I could write volumes about the articles that were outstanding, about the photos that blew my mind, about the times when some of you showed so much improvement that I could not help but smile as my eyes scanned your beautifully and carefully crafted pieces. But this letter is getting long, and it’s about time that I say what I really want to share with you all.

Our season came to an end earlier than we had expected. But our goal from the beginning — to produce a publication that is timely and relevant, one that is unbiased and fair, one that celebrates students’ achievements and encourages kids to get involved in their communities — remains the same.

We will continue to cover school and community events to the best of our ability. We will continue to create videos, slideshows, podcasts, photos, polls and comics. And we will continue to do our job as ethical and responsible journalists. Our common vision has not changed.

Although winning a Pacemaker is out of the question, we still will go to New York City to claim our Crown. The only difference this announcement makes is that we’ll have one fewer plaque to hang on the wall of the computer lab. And that’s all right, because whether or not we have a plaque to prove it, we have attained the uncommon results that we always sought to achieve.

I know this may sound like an award acceptance speech (even though it literally is the opposite), but I would have said these things whether we ended up being a finalist, a winner, or neither. You all are outstanding, and it has been a privilege to work with you. Thank you for all you’ve done.

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