Commemorating the Year at the Journalism Luncheon

Kara Warren, Clubs Editor

   Every day they’re writing, producing, and publishing—telling stories of the people and for the people. With their descriptive words, captivating photographs, booming headlines, and attractive layouts, these students may blend in around campus, but their work will be read for years to come. For these select few, the annual Journalism Luncheon celebrates their achievements and influence felt by students, faculty, and alumni alike.

   The awards ceremony highlights the dedication and commitment students have provided to Pines Charter’s media classes. The big three—Newspaper, Digital Photography, and Yearbook—devote their time to producing and storing memories from the school year. 

   Mckenna Gregory, a member of the Prowler Yearbook’s Photo Staff, received two awards from the ceremony: The Rookie of the Year & Best Sports Editor award! In her own words, Mckenna expresses her gratitude for the class, “This year as a whole completely flipped my views on what I actually love to do and opened up new doors of interest for me. Within the span of this school year, I created my own side business out of photography and now help and teach other people what I know.”

   Taking home not one, but two titles, Mckenna’s first year in the yearbook class gave her the opportunity to explore her interests in photography, and share them with her peers. “It’s crazy to think that in the beginning of this year I really did not know how to work a camera and with patience and time, I created something out of nothing and really put my all into my photography. I learnt all aspects of creating a yearbook and took notes of what and what not to do next year.” 

   The newspaper class, led by Editor-in-Chief Rebecca Lim, has pumped out more high-quality stories than ever before. Engaging students all over campus with their Tiktok interviews and up-to-date articles, the class secured silver status at the Florida School’s Press Association (FSPA) just last month. And after the Journalism Luncheon, it had been raining awards for the class’s most dedicated staff. 

   One of those award-winners, and Editor-in-Chief for the following school year, Valerie Questell received several accolades for her leadership and performance in the class. But winning beside her best friend and mentor, Rebecca Lim, made the award so much more special. “It was such an unforgettable experience receiving the Department-Chair Award with my best friend and ‘22-‘23 Editor-in-Chief, Rebecca Lim. Moments like these are worth all of the stressful days in the newsroom.”

   And for retiring editors, specifically Marko Barrera, “It felt like a full circle moment. I didn’t see my time in Newspaper coming to an end so soon so it was definitely a rush of emotions.” 

   The Co-Managing Editor also offered his advice for future C.H.A.T writers, sharing, “Go far with the C.H.A.T and that passion can help so much with writing stories, in and out of high school.”

   But content is only one portion of the C.H.A.T website, working hand-in-hand with Mr. Foreman’s Digital Photography class. Hailey Tesser, the senior Photo Editor, scored the Best Editor award after her third year in the class. I put in a lot of work these past few years and hearing Mr. Foreman and all of the other CHAT members say all of those nice things really made me feel so appreciated. It was just a heartwarming moment, being recognized for my contributions.

   With this year’s luncheon at a close, Mr.Fagen shared words of advice to all of the journalism students—reminding them to seek opportunities, try new things, and find hope in a good challenge, “Out there things can happen, and frequently do, To people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew. Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!”