This year the JerEcho bids farewell to our largest group of seniors yet. We will miss you and wish you well as you go forth.
Editor-in-Chief Taylor Kang, who will attend Princeton University to study comparative literature and creative writing, has been an extremely vital part of the JerEcho for the past four years. Kang has transformed the JerEcho into what it is today. “I think there’s a real sense of community at the JerEcho, which I think I’ll definitely miss the most. We all get along really well, and it doesn’t feel like an actual class.” Kang also says that becoming a student journalist might seem intimidating at first because of the independence required in pursuing stories, but students should “always give 100% because there is so much to learn and benefit from.”
Executive Editor Sam Newman, who will attend the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, has been an integral part of the JerEcho throughout his time in high school. He feels that working on the site has been a great experience. “My favorite part is the teamwork that goes on every day in the class because we have the unique ability to really impact our school and discover things that go on in our school that other students may not ever get the chance to see or hear about.” Newman will miss the collaborative atmosphere that is so prevalent amongst the staff. Newman offers the following advice to aspiring high school journalists: “Never stop chasing the stories that make our paper so innovative.”
As Senior Managing Editor, Mikaela Adwar has greatly contributed to the JerEcho’s success. “I think I am most proud of my involvement in the class this year editing other people’s pieces, which sort of meant that I didn’t get to publish as much, but I still enjoyed helping others.” Adwar, who plans on pursuing political science at Washington University, also feels that she learned valuable skills. “I learned a tremendous amount from being in this class especially through our use with WordPress. I think those are life skills that I will use and take with me throughout my college experience and my career.”
Sports Editor Giulia Milana, who will matriculate at Syracuse University, plans to pursue sports journalism in the future and will greatly miss the class and Ms. Valenza. “I am going to miss being with Ms. Valenza every day. I don’t know what I am going to do without her.” Milana believes that the skills she learned in this class will stay with her forever.
Editor and Social Media Coordinator Evan Silvera, who plans on attending the University of Maryland, said, “Before taking this class I always thought journalism was an interesting and exciting field, but I never really understood the mechanics of it and what it is about. But now, because of this class, I’ve learned effective communication skills and how to be a better writer and proofreader. Most of all, I’ve learned how to work better with others.”
Secretary Teresa Lee will be attending Binghamton University to study communications and marketing. Her favorite part of the class was “getting to interview more people and acquire more knowledge about those people and the school.” Lee has been an active member of the JerEcho throughout her entire high school career. Lee greatly enjoyed the “chill” class environment and the open-mindedness that the JerEcho offers.
Photo Editor Alanna Levine plans on studying neuropsychology at the University of South Florida and advises, “Take the hardest idea, and do it and find out what’s going on in the world.” Levine will miss many things about the class. “I’ll miss Ms. Valenza the most, and I’ll also miss being able to investigate new ideas and writing reports like my Hempstead piece because I got to experience a whole new culture.” Levine is also very happy that she was able to incorporate her other interests into the class through her reporting.
Rebecca Simon, who plans on attending the University of St. Andrews to study history, enjoyed the creativity she was able to explore in the class. “My favorite part of the class is probably that we have the freedom to work on the pieces that we want to do. We have creative freedom, and we’re allowed to write about what we are passionate about.” Simon advises following your heart: “Find out what you’re most interested in and specialize in it.”
Carly Lapidus, who will enroll at Emory University, had many proud moments while working with the JerEcho. “I am most proud of my ‘Bored and Brilliant’ article because it took a lot of work.” Lapidus says she will miss her New Media Communications class, where she feels comfortable with her friends and Ms. Valenza.
Amanda Damon plans on enrolling at the University of Pennsylvania as a communications and political science major, and although this was only Damon’s first year in the class, she has been involved in the club since freshman year. Damon said that the most valuable lesson she learned was the importance of deadlines and time management. She also believes that that class “teaches you how to recognize what information is important and how to deliver that information in a way that the school and your peers will appreciate and recognize the importance of.” Damon said that she will miss the environment of the class the most. “The environment of the class is not a typical one. It’s not a ‘take a test’ type of class. It is a fun class. You do many different things and I’ve had many experiences in this class that I wouldn’t have been able to have in others.”
Sammi Stein, who will soon be a freshman at Binghamton University, explained that her favorite part of the class is how it allows her to be creative and explore a variety of topics. “I love when we all sit together and discuss possible ideas for pieces. I have also really enjoyed being an editor and helping other students become better journalists,” Stein said. She will miss the freedom to cover topics that she finds interesting. “I will definitely miss being a part of the JerEcho community and being able to say that I contribute to this amazing website.”
Kyle Margolis will attend the University of Wisconsin, and although Margolis has spent only one year in the class, he feels that the JerEcho allowed him a new outlet to express himself. His legacy at the JerEcho includes the “Meet the Hawks” series. Margolis will miss the friendships formed through the class. “My favorite part of the class was the comradery and the bonding that I felt through the year.”
Marti Rose Shanker, who will attend the Fashion Institute of Technology to study fashion merchandising and management, feels that she learned a lot during her time at the JerEcho. “I will miss learning more about journalism. We learned a lot about the different resources used in journalism like Hindenburg and WordPress. I also will miss the firsthand experience of being a journalist, and hope to continue using these skills in college.”
Madeline Kaufman will enter Pennsylvania State University as a freshman come fall, and says her favorite part of the class was “being able to work with other people and really exploring my creative outlets.” Kaufman says that the most valuable thing she learned was communication skills that will stay with her throughout her college education.
Nikki Berrin, who will matriculate at Pennsylvania State University to study business, enjoyed the community aspect of the class. Berrin learned that it is important to be timely. “Don’t leave anything until the last minute,” she said.
Michelle Gelé will attend James Madison University to study forensics accounting and said her favorite part of the class is “going on interviews because it teaches you skills you need for the future.” She also enjoyed that the class was a mix of various grade levels, as she didn’t have the opportunity to meet underclassmen in many of her other classes. To both current and future Jericho students Gelé suggests, “Don’t stress too much because high school is a small portion of your life.”
Nikki Dukoff (left) and Sammi Silverman will both attend the University of Florida, and agree that one of their favorite aspects of the class was that they were able to write about anything that they wanted. “It’s really open. There is a lot of room to think creatively,” said Silverman. Dukoff shared her affection for the class as well, “I have really enjoyed learning more about journalism and working with different people in the class and exploring new ideas for pieces.”
Gabrielle Garten, who will attend the University of Wisconsin, enjoyed being a part of the JerEcho. “I learned a lot about what it means to be a journalist. I felt the environment of the class was very exciting and helped further my knowledge of journalism.”
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