A wall dedicated to the awards won by years past staffs.
A wall dedicated to the awards won by years past staffs.
Photo by Addi Herrick

Herrick: Growth in More Ways Than One

The word “Growth” has many dictionary definitions, meanings, and interpretations depending on who you are, and the context you’re using it in. Three definitions that stood out to me when thinking about this past year in the newsroom would have to be “the process of increasing in physical size,” “the process of increasing in quality, value, or importance,” and lastly, “the process of developing or maturing physically, mentally, or spiritually.” Last year the newsroom was home to 10 people. Ten white females who all came from very similar demographics and very similar social groups. This past year our team has experienced immense growth in physical size by nearly doubling last year’s numbers and housing 18 people on staff. Not only was this growth numerical, but also brought in much more diversity. This year’s staff included multiple perspectives and social groups as well as breaking the all-female barrier set last year. These people have taught me so many things about the world of journalism by opening my eyes to new angles to write about, different ideas I would have never imagined and most importantly being true to themselves and adding their own personal flairs to everything they wrote. This dedication and passion from each one of them allowed our news site to grow in the number of stories posted, and also become a high-quality production that has led us to be a finalist for News Team of the Year.

Going into my junior year and my second year as a staff member I knew that this year was going to be one where more was expected of me. I knew I needed to write quality stories and be a leader on staff while also balancing the hardships that come with a loaded schedule. This caused me a lot of stress and anxiety at the beginning of the year. I felt pressured to have to take everything on at once and be perfect. As this year has continued being a part of this staff and getting to work in a role where there is always someone there to pick me up if I fall down has lessened my burden a lot. I know I can rely on the other staff when collaborating to put out quality work and truly split the workload if I need more time. I know that my editors will pick up on and allow me to fix any mistakes within my writing and I know that my adviser will always advocate for me and my writing no matter what happens. This has allowed me to grow as a person as I now know that it’s okay to take a step back and lean on others once in a while.

Continuing in that growth this class has taught me so many life skills. Being placed in a role where I constantly interview people who stray from my social groups and friends has taught me not only how to be a more confident social person, but also how to work with and understand people in a new light. This class has provided me with the professional skills to thrive in a working environment as I can talk to my superiors in an educated and knowledgeable manner while still being professional. I attribute these skills to the monthly press conferences with Superintendent Dufoe and interviews with teachers, athletic directors and school officials. These skills have led me to obtain higher positions within the school such as Student Council President and Quill and Scroll member.

Lastly, this class has led to the growth of knowledge being spread through our community. Every story written this year has been hand-picked by a staff member and made for the purpose of keeping ADM informed. Looking back on the year I can confidently say that we have achieved that goal. The growth that this staff and myself have experienced this year will prepare us for the greater things we do in life. Thanks to the Black and Redgister I feel ready to take that next step.

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