Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

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Aydin Maredia
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Olivia Straus
Olivia Straus
Creative director

Senior Spotlight: Olivia Straus

Senior Olivia Straus shares her experience in the journalism program.
Angelina Lim
Cover by Courtney Brown

A camera clicks, a spread is designed, a page turns… Yearbook editor in chief, newspaper creative director and national award winning photographer senior Olivia Straus takes on the making of the yearbook for her last year.

 Straus hopes to study pre-med at A&M next fall. As she enters her senior year, she reflects how the journalism program at LHS has changed her life. 

“It just gave me a sense of worth, because for my earlier years of high school I didn’t really know who I was,” Straus said. “I really struggled finding that part of myself and it was only until after I joined [the] yearbook did I really find a place where I belonged.”

Straus said that the yearbook has inspired her to “reach [her] full potential”, “breaking [her] out of [her] shell.”

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“Looking at the growth that I’ve seen myself go through, I just feel like a whole new person and I’m so proud of myself,” Straus said, “I’m so much more confident in myself, all thanks to the yearbook.”

She said she was introduced to the yearbook program after taking the Graphic Design 1 class her sophomore year. 

“It was crazy how quick graphic design impacted my life, cause that’s what threw me into the yearbook,” Straus said. “At the end of my freshman year when I had to choose things for my schedule, it was an elective that seemed interesting. It opened up a whole new world of technology for me.”

Straus described how when she first joined the yearbook staff, she really wanted to make a good impression on the staff to show them that they “didn’t make a bad decision by putting [her] on staff.”

“After joining Alley’s Graphic Design 1 class, since she told me that she’d love to have me on staff, I started looking into the staff more and it just looked like this whole big family and such a fun environment that I wanted to be a part of,” Straus said. “I wanted to find my place at Leander High School, and I thought the yearbook would be the perfect place.”

She said Alley has “changed [her] life” and that she is grateful that Alley “saw something in [her],” prompting her to join the yearbook.

“Without [Alley], I wouldn’t have won the awards that I’ve won, I wouldn’t have the leadership positions I got [and] I wouldn’t have the confidence I have now,” Straus said. “I just think what she does for her kids is very cool because she’s changed so many kid’s lives more than she knows, including mine.” Straus said. 

Straus became the editor in chief of the yearbook staff her second year of being in the program. She said the shift from having no extracurriculars, to being very involved in the journalism program was “initially overwhelming.”

“Saying it now, even though I know I’m editor in chief, it’s still crazy to me,” Straus said, “thinking about where I came from, being a sophomore doing no extracurriculars, to now the editor in chief of a national award winning program.”

She said she quickly became proficient in photography after joining yearbook, even though she had “never touched a camera in [her] life.”

“I had to learn really quickly because they teach you the settings and stuff but then they really just throw you out there at events,” Straus said. “Then, my third event was a swim meet for Leander High School. My third time ever picking up a camera, and I ended up getting a photo that won a first place award for the state of Texas.” 

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About the Contributor
Sophia Straus
Sophia Straus, Reporter
Sophie Straus is a sophomore and first year reporter. In addition to being a staff member for The Roar, she is on the Blue Belles dance team. She likes fashion, film and performing. She enjoys writing about media, culture and peoples’ stories. After graduation she plans to study performing arts. She especially enjoys watching “Chicken Run.”