An Editors Goodbye


Neely Burns and Megan Mannelly

Megan Mannelly, Editor

When I first joined journalism my freshman year, I would have never thought that a single class would lead to so many amazing friendships, peers, opportunities, and experiences. Although Journalism, at its core, taught me the art of professional writing and an insight into the newspaper industry, it taught me so much more, far beyond the craft. From this single class alone, I have learned teamwork, cooperation, leadership, and successful communication skills, and for this invaluable knowledge, I will forever be grateful. 

I still remember walking into the journalism room for the first time as a starry-eyed freshman, right out of middle school. For the next couple of months, I wrote about peculiar subjects, trying to write ghost stories in mid-January and joke articles in may. This is where I first began to write stylized, casual editorial or feature articles, addressing the audience and spiraling off into tangents. I would have never been able to write such oddities and send them out for the world to see if it wasn’t for journalism. Though, this class also aided me in walking out of my chaotic comfort zone. I learned how to professionally write news articles, how to sound completely unbiased when reporting, and how to give all of the facts and details and spin them into an interesting, eye-catching story. The past editors I had known, and, now that I think back on it, had most of my high school experience with, guided me on my writing journey.

When I was a writer, the editors (the higher-ups in the class who revised and edited our articles) were personable and well-rounded young individuals, several of whom I would gladly call friends. The head editor in chief, a brilliant young man named Kevin, still inspires me to this day with his wit, amazing work ethic, and talent in not just writing, but many other academic fields. The editors were not just the underclassmen’s higher-ups, but our mentors, friends, and guides through much of high school. Having someone older who could give advice (about articles or otherwise) was invaluable in my high school experience, and their wisdom and advice still help me to this day. 

Many of the current editors and eldest writers (myself included) have been in the journalism class for the majority of their high school years. We entered the class together, wrote together, and grew together as a team. I still remember making silly TikTok with them, laughing with them, and writing with them. It was moments like these that made many of my high school memories and thanks to these amazing people, I have seen what hard work and dedication look like throughout the years. 

It was this class alone that allowed me to meet one of the most prestigious, kind-hearted people I know, Neely Burns. When I entered this class, Neely and I were strangers, now, when leaving it, I would consider her to be one of my greatest friends. I don’t remember at what exact point we became close, but ever since then, I have had some of the most colorful, humorous, or otherwise thought-provoking conversations and experiences with her. Neely has taught me the importance of responsibility, diligence, honesty, and virtue. I couldn’t ask for a better person to call my friend. 

Other close friends and partners in crime I have made in this class would be Hannah Collier and Ellie Bonnette. I remember being in this class my freshman year of high school, Hannah and Ellie sat behind Neely and me. I remember (shamelessly) eavesdropping on conversations, getting a good read on both of their personalities. Hannah was (and still is) bright and friendly, an extroverted combination of eccentric and excited. She always had something interesting to say, a witty comeback, or a hilarious joke. Ellie was (and, yet again, still is) reserved and intelligent, sophisticated beyond her years, albeit friendly and approachable. Both were (and still are) extremely hard-working individuals, with a bright future ahead of them. It was in my sophomore year that I got to know them better, laughing with them, working, and writing with them. These two amazing human beings have shown me what it means to live life to the fullest, to see a mountain and explore it, to work hard not just to meet ends, but to go above and beyond. I cannot wait to see what their future holds. 

But what would a class be without a teacher? If I could describe Mr.Henry with one word, it would be ‘Cool’. I respect anyone who hangs up Lord of the Ring posters in their class and can have a detailed conversation with someone about Star Trek. In all seriousness, Mr.Henry is one of those teachers who you actually know. He is personable and interesting, as well as understanding when it comes to deadlines. Throughout the years, Mr.Henry has become a role model for me, and I can only hope to achieve the level of chill this man has when I am older. 

Finally, I would like to address the younger writers in the class. Even though I know the pandemic has deprived you all of the experience I and all of the other editors had when we were younger. I hope you know that I am extremely proud of all of you. Journalism is no joke, especially when it comes to responsibilities. Time and time again you all continue to amaze me with your hard work, dedication to the craft, and your articles. I have seen how your writing has improved over the years and months I have edited them and I am so happy to see some of you grow in both your writing and yourself. Despite the pandemic, you all are the strongest writers I know, and it has been a privilege to edit your articles. 

Even though my time at both Thunderbird, and in Journalism has come to a close, I will leave knowing I made the most of the experience, and that the future editors of Journalism are more than ready to lead the class.