Farewell from Editor-In-Chief

Jeramy Stavlas

As I begin my farewell letter, I’m reminiscing upon three drastically different years I spent as a member of The Wingspan. While putting together my sophomore year schedule, I accidentally signed up for journalism, not even knowing that the course was for the school newspaper. Looking back almost three years later, however, the accidental schedule addition was the best mistake I’ve made in high school. The first time I stepped into room 703, I was greeted by the walls covered in colorful paintings and signatures from previous Wingspan editors. My Journalism I class consisted of a mere seven students, but that allowed us to quickly form a bond, making the room feel like a safe space from the start. 

Then, as I started to get in the swing of The Wingspan, March 2020 came around. As a group, it was a struggle to keep things flowing in a new virtual setting. Switching from paper editing to online editing, new processes of photography, and virtual interviews were all changes we had to make to continue writing and publishing, but the leadership and relationships formed between Wingspan staff members, fueled by advisor Mr. VanWestervelt, allowed us to continue pushing out content. 

Then came the start of my junior year, where I was promoted to sports editor during a year with no sports while  also under the leadership of new advisor, Ms. Mancini. During this year, it felt at times like all we could do was try to stay afloat. The creativity which Mancini brought to the team, however, motivated us to continue to grow The Wingspan, bettering our website and content, despite the fact that we were only able to put out one print issue. 

I’d like to think that I’m lucky to have learned journalism under both VanWestervelt and Mancini. VanWestervelt taught me the ropes of journalism when I started out with interest in following it as a career, and he taught me cooperation so that we, the Wingspan staff, could bring the best out of each other. Mancini brought new ideas to The Wingspan, new structure to The Wingspan, and taught me, as editor-in-chief, how to manage a staff and keep the publication organized. Although VanWestervelt and Mancini are both wonderful instructors on their own, holding journalistic ideals from each of them brought out the best in me. The two years of learning and adapting before my senior year paid off, as The Wingspan produced three magazine issues this year which I could not be more proud of. 

Finally, I know this isn’t an award speech, but I’d like to thank every Wingspan staff member that I’ve worked with over the past three years. My previous editor-in-chiefs, Piper Berry and Delanie Tucker, taught me everything I needed to know to do my best with this year’s group. And although I’m proud of the three magazines I oversaw the production of this year, it was the rest of the Wingspan staff who made the magazines. I couldn’t have asked for a more  committed, creative, and hardworking group to make my job as easy and stress-free as possible. 

Although I’m not making my way into the field of journalism, I plan to study sports management at university next year. If it weren’t for my entrance into room 703 as a sophomore, I would not hold the passion that I do today, as my previous interest in sports journalism has transitioned into my current interest in sports management. Now, I get to put my own signature on the walls of the Wingspan room for future generations of writers to be inspired and continue to make The Wingspan proud.


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