A final farewell
May 30, 2019
After years in the Wingspan program putting in dozens of hours outside of school, Wingspan can hold the title of one of the top journalism programs in the country with thanks to all of the Wingspan staff but more specifically the 2018-19 seniors as they have helped make Wingspan what it is today. Awarded with the NSPA Online Pacemaker and the CSPA Gold Crown, Wingspan continues to make its name in the high school journalism world due to the dedication of these seniors as they give their final farewell to Wingspan and high school as a whole.
As graduation approaches closer and closer, I have began to dawn on the fact that I will once again be a freshman as I prepare for the next step of my life in college. Despite all the hustle and bustle that comes with moving on to this new chapter, it is still beyond surreal to me that I am writing my final piece for Wingspan as I type these words.
I joined Wingspan during my sophomore year, looking for an escape from my other classes and not expecting much from the class. However, I ended up gaining so much more. The longer that I stayed in the program, the more I grew to love it. Journalism taught me something I did not know about myself before: I CAN do more than I thought.
Wingspan gave me the confidence to spread my wings and fly into the world with curiosity, seeking information and living my life boldly. While Wingspan hasn’t always been easy, it has always been beneficial.
Through this program, I have had the chance to cover stories from varying topics, from campus news, to problems faced by other countries in the world. I have learned to question everything and everyone and to always dig deeper. I have learned the importance of knowledge and spreading that knowledge with the world. I have learned that there is always more to a story than you think, and the value of speaking up and expressing my voice.
Beyond all of this, the most important thing that I have gained from being a part of Wingspan throughout high school is the close relationships that I have built with my fellow members in the program. The bonds I have built with everyone throughout this journey run deeper than mere friendships; they carry the strength of a family to me. For this reason, it is so hard for me to come to terms with the fact that I am leaving this family of mine behind.
To all my classmates and friends in Wingspan: thank you for making this such an enjoyable experience and giving me memories that I will never forget. To my adviser Mr. Higgins: thank you for equipping me with skills that I will carry on with me for the rest of my life, for instilling in me that you can still have fun and goof off while getting your work done, and most importantly, for believing in me.
While it is hard for me to physically leave Wingspan, I know that a piece of Wingspan will continue to be with me as I will always have the experiences Wingspan has taught me in my back pocket. These past few years will be embedded in me forever, and I am so grateful for that.
Thank you for sharing this time with me and for always providing a loving environment that I had the chance to come to. I will never forget everything Wingspan has given me and I will always have love for everyone and everything I have met and known these past few years, and I look forward to carrying this passion with me in the future.
There is certainly a lot of excitement around Friday’s graduation ceremony, and I count myself among those eager to walk across the stage and start the next chapter of life.
One of the hardest things to come to terms with has been leaving Wingspan, which has been an integral part of my life for the past four years. Not a day has gone by without some excitement over a story, anticipation for tomorrow’s “WTV Daily Update”, or pure hard work to make our program one of the best in the country.
It is strange knowing I am no longer helping prepare Wingspan TV for the future or contributing to the program through stories or producing daily updates. After Friday, I will be just like any other community member, student, teacher, or parent that views the website and videos for their content and information.
If I have any advice to give, it’s to cherish every moment. The inherent truth of moving on to a new chapter of life is closing the old one; the memories and projects you have created in room C102 will remain with you forever. Being a part of this community has truly been one of the best blessings of my life.
When I sign off for the final time, I want everyone in Wingspan to understand it was their hard work that got us to this point.
Starting my journey as a WTV Staff Reporter and ending as the Executive Producer has given me some perspective: there would be no “WTV Daily Update” without the countless hours of effort poured into this program by every member of the WTV Staff.
Thank you all for your continued dedication to this program. I am excited to see what you all accomplish in the coming years. I look forward to returning to the Wingspan room to compliment and congratulate you in person.
To my adviser, Mr. Higgins, flooding my school email inbox late at night was undeniably irritating, but it also proves how much you care about this program. Your hours of dedication in and out of your classroom is beyond inspiring. Thank you for your commitment to this program and all of our success.
Typing these last few lines, the surreal feeling of this moment is starting to wear off. This will probably be one of the last things I authored, edited, or produced on this site. The memories and relationships I have made as a part of Wingspan will stick with me forever and I do not regret a moment of the past four years. Thank you to everyone who made it possible. Love you all.
Graduation is quickly approaching and I am experiencing multiple emotions: excitement, sadness, disbelief, and anxiousness. These past four years have gone by so fast that it feels as if yesterday I was a freshman wearing my unicorn shirt and going to my first period class in a sea of people. That’s not the point though. The point is that it’s here. A new journey, new opportunities, new people, and new experiences await me in another four years to come. Except this time, I will be spending these four years in college.
For the past four years, I have been committed to two things: law enforcement and journalism. My dedication to journalism for 4 years and my dedication to law enforcement for 2, not only shaped me into the person I am today, but taught me a ton of valuable skills that I can bring to the real world; one of them being communication.
I remember being so nervous as a freshman and sophomore in journalism when it came to doing interviews. I could hardly pull people out of class just to ask them a simple question.
Senior year is where things took a turn for the better. I had the honor of becoming an assignment editor and I even started my own podcast where I catch up with former redhawks. I also had the opportunity to write two special issue stories regarding the Student Opportunity Center and Fostering a Family. Ironic right?
I went from being this super shy and quiet person to interacting with people of all different types of backgrounds. I thank my journalism teacher, Mr. Higgins, for allowing me to start my own podcast for Wingspan in hopes that its legacy continues on as I leave the nest as well as making me a better journalist. I would also like to thank my law enforcement teacher, Officer Turner, for being an inspiration and increasing my passion for law enforcement as that is the path I hope to take.
Although this is a farewell column, this is not farewell. This is a see you again as I continue to reflect on my high school journey and everyone I met along the way that created a lasting impact.
Thank you to all my friends and family who have continuously supported me and to Liberty for providing me with the best possible high school education that I am ever so grateful to have had.
Even though I believe “bittersweet” is an overused phrase when it comes to describing the feeling of graduation, it just so happens to be the most accurate. For the most part of my high school experience I’ve wanted nothing more than to graduate and start a new life. Although I’m beyond excited to fulfill that wish as I move to Stillwater this fall to study marketing at Oklahoma State University, I’m also overcome by an immense wave of sentimentalism.
First things first, I won’t lie and say that high school was the best years of my life. In fact, at some points it can be considered the worst. During these past 4 years, I have experienced some of the greatest losses and trials of my life. However, from it all, the good and the bad, I can confidently say I have gained more knowledge on the world and myself than ever before. A few major lessons learned include: peace of mind is the most important gift one can receive, your worth isn’t determined by anyone other than yourself, deep conversations are the best kind of conversations, and coffee shops + music make for great therapy. I am forever grateful for all the lessons, as well as all that i’ve been able to be involved with.
Throughout my time at Liberty, I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of numerous classes/organizations and meet many great people from it. From the golf team, to NHS, to my zero hour classes, etc. all have influenced me for the better.
However, Wingspan has by far been the most impactful. Throughout my whole life I’ve had a deep longing to feel accepted, understood, and appreciated by others. While I’ve come close to achieving this, it’s only ever been for a rare brief moment, but not with Wingspan. I have never felt more comfortable to be myself around others -even though I’m quite awkward- than I have with my adviser Mr.Higgins and my fellow “wingspanners”… especially in 2B.
Continuing on the note of 2B, I can’t express enough how thankful I am for all the great students I’ve been able to lead as a producer. I have never met more interesting, kind, and hilarious students in my life and wouldn’t trade them for anything. Besides helping me socially, being a part of Wingspan has also allowed me to meet so many other amazing people outside of my classes, and hear so many stories. Everyday I learn something new about filming, editing, writing, and most importantly listening.
To any students, who are not yet seniors, that may be reading this, here are a couple pieces of advice…
- Cherish every moment of your high school experience because it will be over before you know it.
- Try journaling every week, if not every day, as it’s truly amazing to look back on how different things are with each school year.
- Genuinely asking how someone is doing can really make a difference in someone else’s day along with yours as you are able to spark a conversation and learn more about others.
- In a world where social media is in constant use, I have found that the best thing for myself was to step away from it for a while and truly live in the moment.
Wishing all LHS students and staff the best with the years to come!