The final days are drawing near, college soon upon the class of 2015. It is time to say goodbye and leave behind what we have known for four years. No longer are we safe in a bubble of schedules and friends that some of us have grown up with since Kindergarten; we are now exposed to the responsibilities and the pressures that is growing up.
For the Editors of The Roar, saying goodbye is not easy and leave with these final words.
Caroline Cravens, Assistant Editor
Before I say anything, I must say thank you to the best staff I’ve ever been with. Y’all have gone above and beyond expectations many many times, and I can easily say that everyone on this staff has amazing talent. Simply because all-year-long no one told me, “I can’t.” Don’t worry, I have something to say to everyone on staff individually, but give me just a moment to explain just how fantastic this year with this staff has been.
There was a point in time where maybe only two or three people in the journalism room cared about working hard. Journalism I, where not even the teacher really had an interest in journalism. Mrs. Nabi, the old teacher, wanted to move me up into newspaper next semester and I declined because that was my baby belle period. I was a little upset, but now I’m rather happy I did.
Only because in the next year Mrs. Bell took over. The instant I walked into the room my sophomore year I knew things were going to be different. Mrs. Bell cared about journalism, she was excited for our newspaper, she had ideas to get things going, and just like me, she was ready to just dive in. Over the next three years of my life Mrs. Bell took her newspaper staffs to tons of conventions and competitions; I was always inspired. I’m glad that I’ve always had Mrs. Bell as my newspaper adviser, I wouldn’t want anyone else.
Like I said, y’all are my favorite staff, and I am truly sad to say goodbye. I hope that this is more of a see you later though as I really hope to hear about everyone’s future accomplishments.
To Mrs. Bell, I can’t say thank you enough for all the wonderful opportunities that you have given me. Much of my success can be attributed to the lessons you have taught me both inside and outside of the classroom. I know that I come up with a lot of crazy ideas but thank you for never saying no and always helping me find some way to write the stories I want to.
To Siandhara, when I said there were only two or three people that cared in Journalism I, I counted myself, you, and gave one other person the benefit of doubt. We’ve grown together in these past four years, and I know we had plans to attend OU together, but now we can share our different experiences in the future so that we can continue to grow together. Thank you for not only being a great Editor-In-Chief, but for also being one of my best friends.
To Claire, I am so glad you came to Leander our junior year! You’re a total sweetheart and I always could confide in you. As much as I hate UT, I am truly happy that you get to attend school there because I know you’ll love it. I’m very glad we were Assistant Editors together, thank you for being my partner in crime.
To Jack, you are one crazy kid. We’re not really related but I’m pretty sure you’re my little brother. It’s been a pleasure to watch you grow as a writer, and heck, you’ve grown a lot as a person this year too. You really are a fantastic writer and don’t ever let anyone stop you from doing what you love. Get ready for next year Editor-In-Chief, you’ll do great, but thank you for being the best you could’ve been this year.
To Laynie, girl, you’ve got talent as a writer. Always remember that you are capable of anything if you put your mind to it. I wish I had gotten to know you a little bit better, but I know that you are a strong young woman. I can’t wait to come back next year and see how much you’ve grown. Keep up the good work Laynie! Thank you for working so hard this year.
To Matthew, you did it! You made it through all the crazy deadlines! I’m so proud of you for always working through your stories and never just saying I can’t. Always remember to have fun next year, thank you for being on staff.
To Austin, I can’t wait to see all the awesome things you accomplish in the years to come! Your editorials are always on point, and you’re just a super talented writer all around. You’ll do great as an Assistant Editor next year! Thank you for making us all laugh during class and working extremely hard even though you came onto staff late.
To Gigi, I know you’re going to grow into such a talented and beautiful lady someday. You really do have a lot of talent as writer and you’ll keep growing as the years go by. I’m so happy that you got to be on staff even if it was only for a little while! Keep up the good work, thank you for being such a sweetheart.
Claire Kyllonen, Assistant Editor
The first day I walked into Mrs. Bell’s room, I barely spoke to anyone. Ask the girls and they’ll tell you that I was shy and kept to myself for a very long time. I joined because I was desperate for a chance to write–any way I could. I felt that was my only way to vent my pressures of moving 550 miles away from the only home I’d known for the past 9 years.
It’s funny because whenever I have free time in class now, I always gravitate to Mrs. Bell’s room. I’ve slept in here, I’ve eaten in here, I’ve basically lived here these past two years. Now whenever I feel lost, I know I can come here and feel safe. I know the people in this room are my second family and would do anything for me. They all have proven to be the best friends I’ve had in my whole life. Goodness, I’m crying as I write this…
To Caroline and Siandhara, you two opened your arms to me the first time I walked into this room. You gave me a home, a place to belong. No questions asked. I will never forget that. I love you both so much. You both are beautiful inside and out, and it’s been a pleasure working alongside you as we took this newspaper to new heights. I’m so incredibly proud to call you two my best friends.
To Jack and Austin, you both are so gifted and talented. You both have so much to offer. I know we seniors can leave this newspaper knowing it is left in very capable hands. Jack, you are going to be something great. I can already tell. I can’t wait to come back and see you working. You’re an amazing kid, and I know this newspaper will go even higher under your guidance. Austin, your spunky and upbeat attitude will be missed so much. You always make me smile with your great ideas and funny jokes. You’re going to be an incredible Assistant Editor. Thank you both for always being ready to work. I know it hasn’t always been easy, but you should be very proud. I know I am.
To Gigi, Laynie and Matthew, thank you all for working through crazy deadlines. Your great ideas and unique insights have been a part of that Silver Star Award that now hangs on our wall. I’m so proud of how all of you have grown. Thank you for putting up with your quirky, often crazy, Assistant Editor. I’ve enjoyed working with all of you and I can’t wait to see where next year takes you.
To Mrs. Bell, I’m pretty sure I’ve said everything I could ever say possible. But it’s still not enough to thank you for what you’ve done for me. You’re an inspiring, uplifting teacher that looks out for her students like she would her family. That’s what makes you so extraordinary. Thank you for accepting me as I am and showing me that I can still be a creative writer as a journalist. I owe it all to you.
I know all of us have been to the point of wanting to pull our hair out over deadlines, but we’ve pulled through it. As our final days together draw to a close, I catch myself staring at little details of the journalism room, willing my eyes to remember every little detail. I know I’ll never know this same sense of family once I leave this room. I love all of you. Best of luck; you’re going to do great.
Siandhara Bonnet, Editor-in-Chief
When I first walked into the door of now room 2320, it was room 221. The computers hummed and made the room oddly warm, there was a room full of students that obviously did not want to be there, and a teacher that would retire in a year. It wasn’t home, it was a foreign land, and it was the first class I had as a Freshman: Journalism 1. I was, to say the least, not excited. Eventually schedule choices for the following year came along, and on a whim, I decided to join Newspaper – The Roar, an online publication that didn’t look like too much of a hassle, and boy was I wrong.
I am so incredibly honored to have been able to serve this publication for three years and be the Editor-in-Chief for two. I have been able to find a home, a voice, and my own person with this amazing family. I have learned what it is to be strong, patient, and willing to sacrifice anything necessary in order to achieve what you love. I have learned what it is to be passionate and what it takes to make something happen and have your voice heard – it is not easy.
Although I haven’t grown as close to my staff as I would have liked (I don’t know their favorite colors, I don’t know their dreams or aspirations), I know that they have done their best to make this website as great as it can be, and they have not let me down.
To my staff, I am so incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication you have all put in to make this publication the best it has been in years. We are the new era, and you will continue it when the seniors are gone. Help the news-bies, and keep going strong – make next year better than this one, it’s possible. Thank you for not giving up, for continuing when the going got tough. That’s what we do – we keep going.
To Austin, next year’s Assistant Editor. My dear child, you are amazing. You came in second semester, worried and anxious. And now look at you. You had qualms about returning because of your schedule, but you decided against that. I’m so glad that you did. You have writing in your blood and talent seeping out of every pore in your body. You write beautifully, I only wish I was as talented when I was a sophomore as you are now, and I know you will only continue to grow. I am so incredibly proud of you, there are no words. Keep going strong.
To Jack, next year’s EIC. I know Mrs. Bell and I made the right choice in picking you for next year; I know that I’m leaving it in good and capable hands. You’re going to keep the paper alive, and I couldn’t be more proud of the journalist you’ve become. Your strengths have developed, and your weaknesses have shrunken. You’re an all-around reporter, and I know that you are going to go so far in this world. I sincerely cannot wait to see what you write next year and those to come. Good luck.
To Caroline and Claire, my Assistant Editors, my best friends, I could not have made this journey without you. Caroline, you really are my Day 1. From J1 to now, we’ve been together. We may not have always seen eye to eye (see the tree editorials, Christmas, etc.), but we’ve always been friends. Claire, I’m so honored to have been the first person you met at this wonderful school, for this crazy staff. Your light personality has brought a certain joy and cheerfulness to this staff, and I’m so grateful to be able to call you one of my best friends. Both of you have made this publication extraordinary, and that’s only because you both have shown leadership, encouragement, and dedication to me, the staff, Mrs. Bell and our paper. This year would not have been possible without you; our success would not have been possible without you. I love you both so much, and thank you.
To Mrs. Bell, thank you. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to find out who I am and what I am capable of. Thank you for giving me a safe place and another place to call home. For pushing me to my limits and making me soar higher. I would not be able to proudly say that I have discovered who I am without you. You have taught me patience, independence, and strength. You have helped me find my voice, and that is something that I never thought I would have. You are an amazing teacher and person. Our publications, this school, my journey would not have been the same without your loving guidance, wisdom, and strength. Thank you.
As I look around, the room is quiet except for the ticking of keys on boards. Jack is already planning for next year, I can see it in his eyes. The computers still hum, and the room is still oddly warm. The clock still doesn’t work. The room is now familiar, I know each nook and cranny. But it’s time to say goodbye.
We’ll probably be in the room again after school, if not to publish some final articles, then to say farewell to Mrs. Bell one last time before graduation. If we aren’t there, then we’re on our way home, reminiscing about the days when we didn’t know how to write a caption or a headline, how to create a gallery or write a feature lead. Saying goodbye isn’t easy, but it has to be done. We’re passing the torch and giving our final Roar.