Alexis Drevetzki, Co-Editor-in-Chief:

Journalism started out as a last choice class to fill up my schedule, something I never thought I’d take seriously, let alone succeed in. But now, four years later, I’m preparing to move to Colorado and take up a major in Journalism in order to pursue my passion.

The experiences I’ve undergone and the emotions I’ve encountered are ones I couldn’t put into words, even as someone who’s spent all of high school perfecting my writing capabilities and editing others’. However, I can say that Journalism has put me through every emotion, starting with frustration and disappointment at feeling like I didn’t belong in the class, to pride and confidence in becoming co-editor and winning awards, to love and joy when spending hours and hours with my Journalism family, whether that be on long Friday night work sessions or days spent in a city across the country.

I want to thank my staff, from this year and last, for giving me the encouragement I needed to be their editor. They showed me what it means to be a leader, that we can have fun times outside of C122 and spend hours laughing, but when we’re in the newsroom, we’re focused on creating the best articles the site has seen. Witnessing Maggie, Adriana, and Julia bloom as writers has made me such a proud mom. Vinh’s humor and wild personality will undoubtedly be missed, and writing features without Jackie won’t be the same. I’m especially thankful to Cassie and Sofia for making the transition to having them as editors seemless– I have no doubt in my mind that the Southwest Shadow will continue to be the best online news site around.

I want to thank Althea, my co-EIC and absolute best friend. She has been my shoulder to lean on for over seven years, especially these last four in Journalism. Without her, this site wouldn’t be half of what it is now. Seeing her grow over the years has been inspiring, and watching her confidence as a writer build has been amazing. I have her to thank for sending reminders, pushing deadlines, and encouraging the staff to finish articles. She’s the reason this site is number one, and I know she’ll achieve phenomenal success wherever life takes her.

I also want to thank Mr. LaPorte. Without his guidance, my articles would be lackluster and this staff would be in shambles. Without his tough love (which he’ll never admit is love), I never would’ve become the journalist I am now. He’s encouraged me to go further in depth on an article to truly tell a story, and knew I was good enough to win Journalist of the Year in Nevada when I never even thought to enter. He’s the reason I’m an outspoken, overconfident journalist, and he’s the reason I’m following my dreams in Colorado.

Thank you to those who have supported the Southwest Shadow over the years, and will hopefully continue to do so in the years to come. This site has been my baby for two years, and although it’s upsetting to say goodbye, I know I’m leaving it in more than capable hands, and I’m ready for the next chapter in my Journalism adventure.

 

Althea Gevero, Co-Editor-in-Chief:

Journalism has been one of the most rigorous yet gratifying courses I have ever taken. When people say “student-run publication,” I cannot think of a better example than our own. Every word, every punctuation mark, every candid picture on our site is produced and gathered by our students.

I attended my first journalism convention in San Diego as a sophomore. I did not expect that the next four years would indulge me with national recognition, trips across the country and bright friends who inspired my writing. Journalism has given me an outlet through which I can immerse myself in the world around me and encourage education and mindfulness. However, this course would have been nothing without my advisor, Mr. Matthew LaPorte.

I am always amazed at how much Mr. LaPorte pushes each and every one of his students to grow, to learn and to excel to the best of their ability. He leaves no one behind, consistently making monumental efforts to make each student feel like an invaluable part of our Journalism family. For this, I will always be grateful to him. In all of my years of education, I can confidently say that he is without a doubt my favorite teacher.

To my staff:

Cassie, you remind me of myself. Quiet but always up for a surprising laugh, and incredibly passionate about writing. I have grown with and helped cultivate the Southwest Shadow over the past four years, and I am absolutely comfortable leaving it in your hands. Thank you for being you.

Sofia, you are so energetic and full of spirit and ability. You and Cassie are a formidable team. I have heard so many great ideas from you and I can’t wait for you to bring them to life. Though I will miss your never-ending giggles, I trust that you’ll keep the laughter alive in the newsroom.

Adriana, wow! I hope I was never too harsh on you in class, because seeing you grow has been such an honor. If you remember only one thing from my annoying edits and comments, I want you to know how powerful and sincere your voice is. Thank you for being patient with me. You have made me so proud.

Jackie, I feel like I’ve known you forever, even though it’s only been a few years. I can recognize your writing in an instant by now, with its unmistakeable strength and personality. Our journalism trips have been so fun, and I know your future trips will be amazing as well. Never doubt your ability. I know that our new staff can rely on you as a leader and guide.

Julia, I know I’ve told you all of this before. You work so hard and are one of the most determined people I know. I admire your drive and ambition so much, and I can’t wait to see you show senior year what’s up. Despite the tough times that journalism has given all of us, you’ve managed to persevere—which is no easy feat.

Maggie, though you insist that you’re not a good writer, I disagree. Reading your first few reviews, I remember breathing a sigh of relief—at least one writer that I wouldn’t have to worry about this year! Whatever you decide to pursue in life, I know you’ll be bringing your dedication and positivity.

Vinh, hey knucklehead. I trust you to monitor the fashion sense of the news staff, and to set the warm, wild tone of J2. You’ll always stand out in my mind as someone who is unfiltered; you’re never afraid to express your emotions, and it translates into authentic writing. Thank you for making my time in journalism that much more memorable.

And lastly, Alexis. We have been best friends since 7th grade, and what are the chances that we would end up being Co-Editors-in-Chief? Or that we would both be Student Journalists of the Year, but for different organizations? Or that we would have the exact same schedule for two years… because of Journalism? You have always inspired me and driven me to work harder. Thank you for all that you have done for me.