The Wingspan

Centennial High School's Daily Online News Source

The Wingspan

The Wingspan

Alumni Feature: Alyssa Bailey


Centennial alum Alyssa Bailey has always liked knowing things before other people. Coupled with her love for writing as a high school student, Bailey was immediately drawn to Centennial’s student newspaper, The Wingspan, which was one of the most coveted high school journalism programs in the county at the time. While Bailey had initially joined the elective to expand on her love for writing, her time as a member of The Wingspan acted as a catalyst for her career in the field of journalism and eventually her top spot at the most- read fashion magazine in the world: Elle Magazine. 

Bailey joined Centennial’s journalism class as a sophomore, then feature editor in her junior year. Eventually, she simultaneously worked as managing editor of The Wingspan and the Editor in Chief, and founder, of a subsect of The Wingspan called “FYI”. Bailey said that “FYI,” “let a couple of things really shine” and had a modern look with more color that featured more student lifestyle-oriented content.  Although Bailey wrote more student interest and trend stories compared to harder news stories, she still remembers herself and the rest of The Wingspan staff taking their role as the reporters of Centennial very seriously. “There are stories happening every day at that school that are worth telling, things worth celebrating, things worth calling out,” Bailey said.

Bailey at homecoming the year after she graduated holding a copy of FYI and the yearbook.

After her time on The Wingspan, Bailey spent two years at the University of Maryland, College Park studying journalism, then transferred to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she wrote for the Daily Tar Heel, one of the most prolific college newspapers in the country. Both during and after her time in college, Bailey worked at various newspapers. From freelancing for the Washington Post Express, to writing for Girl’s Life Magazine, to interning at the Women’s Wear Daily’s office in Paris, to finally landing her current position as Senior News and Strategy Editor at, Bailey maintains that the experience and knowledge she gained from working on The Wingspan played a pivotal role in her success. “That journalism class became a springboard for me to go into the career professionally,” Bailey stated.

Bailey emphasized that her journey into the “big leagues” of journalism was a direct product of her high school forays into the journalism world, stating, “High school is one of these places that you get to have big ideas and just explore them, and once you’ve kind of moved on you just would never have that kind of playground.” Bailey’s time on The Wingspan gave her space to make mistakes and begin to build the foundation of what would become a lustrous career in journalism. 

Despite the mounting negative repertoire of journalism as a career and its validity in a digital age of news, Bailey was staunch in her opinion that journalism will forever be intertwined within our society. “That telling the first draft of history … writing stories as they happen, being impartial, that is so important for our democracy and for culture at large.” In fact, Bailey insisted that she wished more people had taken journalism since it provides lessons for how to be better communicators and consumers of media. That being said, Bailey didn’t sugarcoat the cutthroat nature of the journalism industry for up and coming writers, emphasizing the need for true writing talent to really get into the thick of the field. 

Since her time at Centennial, Bailey has had amazing experiences as a journalist, from getting sent on lavish European trips, sitting front row at Fashion Week, and reporting live from the red carpet. While there were certainly ups and downs for Bailey throughout her career, she consistently told herself, “If I live once, I want to pursue a job that I’m passionate about that’s fun and that everyday …  feels like being on The Wingspan.” 


For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

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About the Contributor
Tavroop Kaur, Managing Editor