Chances are, your photo was taken by one of these seniors

As the end of the year is upon us and the seniors prepare to graduate, The CHAT looks back at the digital newspaper editors and reflects on their journey through newspaper.

Lindsey Smith, Arts & Entertainment Editor

   In the words of popular 90s band, Semisonic, “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” It’s a comforting phrase that perhaps best explains high school graduation.

   Now marks the time of year where seniors rejoice over graduation caps and diplomas and prepare to walk the school halls one last time as an official student of Pembroke Pines Charter High School. While graduation invokes an overwhelming amount of joy for most students, nostalgia is an undeniable side effect. But as the future diplomats, doctors, lawyers, artists, and leaders of the world flip their tassels, there is a group of students who have been with each other from the beginning: The CHAT’s digital editors.

   Readers know them as the minds behind front page photos and the creative ideas behind social media posts and graphic designs, but the newspaper staff knows them as the reliable editors, the leaders of the class who help to make the newspaper possible. 

   Senior and photography editor, Hailey Tesser, has been a member of the newspaper’s digital team since her sophomore year. 

   “I have been taking pictures for The CHAT since my sophomore year, and I absolutely love it! Working on the CHAT has given me the chance to really work on my social skills and reach out to many people.” 

   Hailey explains that becoming more comfortable starting conversations and being able to connect with classmates is her favorite part of the newspaper, “…besides being able to take pictures, of course!” 

   It’s a right of passage to recall the first time assignment newspaper staff members receive. For Hailey, her first assignment was a school football game, but it had a much larger impact on her.

   “My favorite memory would have to be my first time taking pictures at a football game. I mainly took pictures of the crowd and it made me realize how much I enjoyed taking fun, candid pictures of people!”

   Senior Dylan Padron was a member of The CHAT for three years. While his skills were concentrated mostly in graphic design, he is multi-talented in the digital arts and his work reflected his skill. 

   As graphic design editor, Dylan explained the joy he feels for his work: “Well, I’ve been in Digital newspaper for three years now and I’ve enjoyed every class.” 

   Dylan’s first year of digital newspaper was during quarantine. While the time in quarantine was difficult for most students, a newspaper unable to report on in-school topics proved to be extra challenging for the staff. Nevertheless, Dylan persisted and learned the ways around the website.

   “The first [year] I took [digital newspaper] over quarantine, and I didn’t really get what I was supposed to be doing or what the class was really about, but once actual school resumed, I really got the sense of being part of a bigger picture which is what I enjoyed.”

   As an editor, Dylan was able to connect with the class and see the staff grow on a different level. “Working together with others and seeing others step into their own shoes as digital artists or photographers was a cool experience to see, especially if they actually liked what they were doing.”

   Senior and social media editor, Nicolas Lozada, was also a member of the newspaper for three years. As a veteran on the staff, Nicolas worked on the layout team in the beginning, until moving to social media his senior year. 

   “For my first two years, I was a part of the layout team, so I was responsible for publishing the stories onto the website and making Instagram flyers for all our latest stories.”

   The CHAT’s TikTok, which has reached over 2,000 followers and over 94,000 likes, was co-created by Nicolas and Marianna Ardilla. 

   “This year has been my favorite. I was able to become one of the social media editors, where we were able to start a TikTok page,” he says.

   Students around campus know Nicolas as the interviewer with the camera, asking hilarious, hard-hitting questions, but his work was more than just interviewing students on their opinions about campus, Nicolas, along with the social media team, was responsible for creating questions, staying “in the know” about recent trends, and publishing content that the students would enjoy.

   “Doing interviews during lunch and making short montages that capture our high school experience by far have been what I enjoyed the most. I love that we will be able to look back at all these videos and remember all the food times we had during our senior year.”

   Nicolas plans on attending Florida International University and majoring in Communications and Media with goals of following the road to Digital Broadcasting. 

   “In college I’m really excited that a lot of my friends are going to FIU as well and I even have some friends doing the same major as me.”

   The digital newspaper editors, the masterminds behind the camera, the creators behind the computer, are graduating and leaving the class they so well knew for most of their high school journey. The digital newspaper class was a senior-heavy class with the majority of students graduating with the class of 2023. Megan Rasmussen, Natali Brito, Dylan Padron, Hailey Tesser, and Nicolas Lozada may be leaving the class, but they leave behind a legacy of the 2022-2023 school year. Digital newspaper photographers, editors, graphic designers, and classmates, they leave campus and enter the rest of their lives.