The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


Sweet Treats by Julie

Valerie Questell: The Leader, Guide, and Inspiration for the future of Journalism

From being a clubs editor to a news editor to becoming editor-in-chief of the CHAT newspaper, Valerie Questell has worked her way up to get where she is today. Leading the newspaper to the most successful year yet, she has and continues to inspire those around her. Valerie Questell leaves Pembroke Pines Charter High and CHAT newspaper as the number one “Best Online Journalist” in the state of Florida. Along with this accomplishment, Questell has led her newspaper to win “Sunshine Standout” as the number one online newspaper in Florida and All Florida publication, along with several other Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA) awards.

 With many successes, there were also failures. In Questell’s sophomore and junior year of high school she applied for the “Emerging Young Journalist ” award and “District Representative” and was unfortunately let down. However, this did not stop her or diminish her work ethic, but instead made her strive to do better. This Spring FSPA Questell won “Online Journalist of the Year” which was a great achievement made with all that she has learned throughout her years at Charter. Although she recognizes her accomplishments, Questell gives credit to her co-managing editors, section editors, and staff writers.

“Every year, when I see people consistently improve and become better, I think that’s what has motivated me,” shares Questell, grateful for her team. Newspaper has not only taught her to be a strong, organized writer, but she has also learned to lead and guide other students and watch them grow. “The team is one of the most important aspects of running a newspaper,” she states.

For Questell, the newspaper was never just a regular class. “It’s late nights, what I did outside of class, and everything I was researching for the website,” she says with dedication, “that is definitely what has carried us as a publication.” Her three years of passion, love, and hard work for journalism have paid off in the end as she finishes her senior year at Charter.

“There was one time where the editors and I were all just sitting down together, and we realized that the year was about to end,” expresses Questell, taking in the moment, “we are all individuals, and we have all grown together.” CHAT has always been a unique way to make new connections with people who all share the same love for journalism. Questell has been able to do just that and will continue to take the memories moving on to the next chapter and going into college in which she will be attending the University of Central Florida (UCF). 

Questell plans on going to UCF for economics legal studies. Although this is not journalism she explains how she wants to pursue media law and that it “ties back into journalism” as she aspires to be an attorney for news publications.

At the same time, Questell moves forward, but she is also looking back. If she had to tell her younger self one thing it would be that “If you are passionate about it go for it.” Ever since she was younger Questell knew that journalism was something she was interested in and wanted to excel in. “Writing stories in my mom’s office since I was about four, I knew I wanted to go into journalism,” she says reminiscing. 

“Take the risks and go after things even if you are considered audacious,” Questell advises future CHAT members. As Valerie Questell steps out of the Pines Charter newsroom for the last time, she leaves behind the past of her high school experience, but what will also be the future of journalism.

Sweet Treats by Julie
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About the Contributors
Alexia Rivera
Alexia Rivera, Social Media Editor
Hey jags! I’m Alexia Rivera, the CHAT’s Social Media Editor. I’m currently a junior and this is my second year being involved in the school’s newspaper. Along with my passion for writing, I’m a Dance Team Captain and I love art. I am very excited and looking forward to this new school year. I would love to hear from you!
Evan Omana
Evan Omana, Graphics Editor
Hello, my name is Evan Omana! I'm currently a sophomore and this is my first year in the CHAT. This year I'll be the Graphics Editor. I like making art from photoshop, doing Krav Maga martial arts and playing guitar. I'm hoping to have the best year possible! If you ever need anything from me contact [email protected] or just say hi when you see me around!

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