LSHS Valhalla looking better than everNot many of us pick up the Lake Stevens High School Valhalla newspaper but if you get a chance you should definitely take a look at it.
With a staff of 11 students lead by Advisor Tiffany Lagant, the Valhalla has stepped it up with a well-designed paper and content that would interest more than just the fifteen hundred high school students at Lake Stevens High School.
“We have new leadership in the class and incredible support from the district and school administration,” Lagant said.
The Valhalla student staff learns the ins and outs of running a newspaper through summer camps. Upon their return they are ready to sit-down and brainstorm for new ideas and stories. The students put a lot of time into the paper including the summer months when most kids are enjoying their time off. On the first day of school, they had a paper printed and ready to hand out to every student.
“It’s a good opportunity for them (the students) and it’s a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice,” Lagant said.
The staff includes Editor-in-Chief Katie Van Dyke, Managing Editor Caolan Hampton, Design Editor Amelia Dickson, Business Manager Cassie Hesch plus three Section Editors, Tristen Nance, Emily Garvin and Alex Pena. They also have two Reporters, Preston Chapin and Alissa Margett, two staff photographers, Nate Lynch and Shavawn Elisbury and a Contributing Artist, Rosie Heffermen.
Organization is the key to managing not only the staff but the business side which includes advertising and making sure everyone meets deadline.
Caolan Hampton explained that with his job as Managing Editor he has to make sure everyone stays on track.
“There’s a lot of stress because of the deadline oriented program,” he said.
Most of the students on the Valhalla staff want to explore a future in journalism or writing of some kind and feel that the class will help them attain their goals.
“I joined Journalism because I want to be a journalist,” Amelia Dickson, Design Editor said. “I got shoved into this position but I really like making things look clean.”
“It’s fun to hang out with the other students and I’ve learned to really work in a team,” Tristan Nance added.
Alex Pena, a contributing writer to the Journal, enjoys writing for the school sports section.
“I’ve really been into sports and like writing, so it just clicked,” she explained.
Of course, this is a high school class where learning is the main focus and each of the students have learned more than they expected they would when joining the Valhalla team.
“You think that someone is going to think one way and you find out they think differently,” explains Emily Garvin regarding interviewing people for stories.
“I like the influence I have over the paper and I like knowing what’s going on in both the business and editorial side,” Editor-in-Chief Katie Van Dyke said.
What it comes down to is a team of high school students working together in a professional and academic atmosphere whose main goal it is put out a good-looking paper with information the students at Lake Stevens High School want and need.