Senior Tributes

Alex Shapiro, editor-in-chief

June 24, 2021

Some people tend to overlook the power of a voice. Whether it’s typed, written on paper or spoken aloud, self-expression truly gives every person a chance to stand out. I came to this realization as a result of my work in the journalism program.

I am proud to say I have learned so much during my four years of high school, and what The Lighthouse has taught me I will carry with me forever. 

Writing had always been a passion of mine, but I never took it too seriously. I was a good student who cared about doing well in my classes, and I especially excelled in English.  I was definitely someone who was shy at the beginning of high school, but I always tried to push myself. 

As a freshman, I thought the newspaper was the coolest thing ever, which is why I was eager to join the journalism class at the start of my sophomore year. Playing soccer, doing competitive cheerleading and participating in indoor/outdoor track, my plate was already pretty full. However, as soon as my first-ever article was published in the newspaper during my sophomore year, I knew I wanted to remain in this program until the day I graduated.

Who would’ve thought that a once-shy person would be able to take on a top position at one of the most successful school publications in the state?

Writing an article is nothing like writing a paper in English class. It adheres to a whole different set of rules, writing styles and techniques. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I joined journalism, but I can surely tell you that this class is far from typical. Whereas in some other classes you grow from learning on your own, in journalism collaboration is encouraged. Everyone works together as a team, and many people contribute their artwork and photography as well as revise and edit their peers’ work to make The Lighthouse’s content the best it can be. And to me, that teamwork is something amazing and unlike anything else.

At the end of my sophomore year, I knew I wanted to take on more responsibility. By that point, I was no longer afraid to share my thoughts and ideas with the staff, and I wanted to use my own experiences to help out my peers who were new to the program. I trusted my capabilities and decided to apply for a top leadership role. My junior year, I was one of the webmasters for The Lighthouse, and though I was nervous to pursue the position, it ended up being one of the best decisions I could have made.

The pandemic impacted almost every aspect of normal life, and I would say it definitely hurt our publication. So much of our readership stemmed from our print newspaper, but in April 2020, we had to move the publication entirely online.

My responsibilities as webmaster definitely grew at that point, and it was an exciting moment for me. Even though there were very few school events and functions to report on, the staff kept creating content for our readers to enjoy. Continuing to publish our work also provided a sense of normalcy and serenity for our writers, artists, photographers and podcasters. 

By the end of last year, I was confident I could take on the responsibilities of being editor-in-chief. Who would’ve thought that a once-shy person would be able to take on a top position at one of the most successful school publications in the state

Although we were not able to produce a print newspaper this year, I still enjoyed editing as well as selecting and assigning the content we published on our website. By taking on the role of editor-in-chief, I realized how much I enjoy being a leader and helping others. I would like to thank The Lighthouse adviser Ms. Pastor and my peers for such an amazing experience in this program, and I have no doubt it will continue to be successful for many years to come.  

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