Senior Staff Biographies: We’re sad to see them go

Senior+Staff+Biographies%3A+We%27re+sad+to+see+them+go

TUCKER JOHNSON

Much has already been said about the changing face of newspapers.  Increasingly, technology has made printed news obsolete.  The Internet has been called the single biggest change since the printing press, and even here at the Clarion we are not insulated from the digital revolution.

After two years, Tucker Johnson has built the Clarion into an online empire, bringing high school reporting into the 21st century.  After only a few months writing for the Clarion, Tucker was made Web Editor and given the keys to the Clarion’s website and Twitter account.  The website was boring and thankless, but the Twitter account was more exciting.  He still likes to recount the time he heard two students in the hall between class, discussing the changes to the SAT that the College Board had just announced.  One student thought his friend was pulling his leg, but by way of proof the first kid said, “Nah, the Clarion tweeted it.”

This year, Tucker led a movement to rebuild clevelandclarion.com.  The new website is cleaner and easier to read, and is intended to make reading an online newspaper feel more natural.  Behind the scenes, Tucker also led the shift that moved Clarion files from the PPS network and onto the cloud, allowing reporters to file stories from anywhere, anytime.

Of course, he writes stories too, earning his first Clarion byline in October 2012, after only a month in the journalism class.  He has covered the track, cross country, and swimming teams the past two years. He also wrote commentaries, covering everything from narco-terrorism, to foreign relations with China, and calling for the city council to enact a $15 minimum wage. Sometimes, he wrote news too.

Tucker loved his time on the Clarion, and wants to thank Emma and Cleo for being great co-editors-in-chief.

EMMA JONES

Emma Jones joined journalism on a whim as a quiet sophomore. During that year she wrote a couple of pieces which made it into the newspaper, and took that as a sign to become part of the staff for her junior year. Her first piece as a Clarion reporter was a story on the first two girls ever on the football team. For the remainder of that year, she dabbled in many things, writing the Clarion Poll Story with her friend and now co-editor-in-chief Cleo Bethel, volleyball, dance team, golf, and the occasional news piece. However she found her true calling was working on layouts. She dropped most else of what she was working on and dedicated most of her time, eighth period and beyond, to learning all the tricks of the trade from her predecessor.

Slowly but surely the solutions to difficult pages became clear. Emma took the Clarion by storm her senior year, putting out 16 page issues from the start. Her sole article of the year was covering the prestigious Commerce Cleveland Alumni Awards ceremony. Emma enjoyed a larger Clarion staff this year and enjoyed meeting younger reporters and making unexpected newsroom friendships.

Emma would like to thank Cleo and Tucker for being excellent co-editors-in-chief and making this year less stressful and more fun!

CLEO BETHEL

Cleo Bethel signed up for journalism as a junior, hoping to gain some knowledge and join the newspaper staff for her senior year. She has always enjoyed writing and was hoping to put her interest to good work by applying it to the world of journalism. However, because of an understaffed year, she was placed straight onto The Clarion staff and quickly realized she was where she belonged. During her first year, she could be found writing numerous poll stories with her partner in crime, Emma Jones, or covering many choir concerts. Although inexperienced, she learned the ropes rather fast and discovered that her one true goal in life was to be a Clarion editor-in-chief. Through hard work and dedication, she realized her dream in her senior year. She now sits alongside her partner Emma, as well as her friend Tucker Johnson.

This year, Cleo is a columnist who provides healthy recipes for all occasions and also gives help to people with love woes. One of her proudest moments is when one of her photos ended up in the Willamette Week, and also the first time she had a front page story. She has enjoyed getting to know the new staff and loves hearing all of the fresh ideas. Throughout the many ups and downs, she has learned a lot about leadership, communication, and unity, skills that will help her through the rest of her life.

THEO BOURQUIN

Theo Bourquin began his foray into journalism in his sophomore year, taking the journalism class from Mr. Sorensen. He discovered a passion and drive for investigative reporting and writing during this time and gained lots of useful skills relating to graphic design and layout,   newswriting, and conducting interviews. He always chased the big stories; the ones that had a big effect on students, and relished the chance to inform people about things happening that were important in the world. There was no question that he would sign up to join the Clarion team the following year, as a junior.

With the support of the fantastic and dedicated editors that year, Theo grew as a reporter and had a great experience being part of the team through many late nights, deadlines, and crunch times. His career at the Clarion junior year focused mainly on hard news and investigative pieces, and also movie and music reviews. Although the editors consistently asked him to write a commentary, he never did. Some big stories he covered included the new teachers that have been hired, the implementation of the gender-neutral bathroom in the College and Career Center, and the election of Callie Krevanko as Cleveland’s 2014 Rose Princess.

His senior year he took the position of copy editor, tasked with editing all the stories that come in for grammar, punctuation, and accuracy, as well as catching errors on the layout pages. It has been a very fulfilling responsibility, and a lot of fun. Some of the big stories he has covered this year have been the story about the robotics team losing their support from the district, the Youth Career Expo at the Convention Center, and a story on the retiring staff members this year. He would like to extend thanks to Ana Meng Canseco-Spiers, his fellow copy editor and also the Managing Editor, and fellow reporter for two years, for all her hard work and cooperation on the team. He also wishes the best for the incoming editors and continuing team members, as well as all of the students joining the Clarion team next year. It’s been a great ride!

ANA MENG CANSECO-SPIERS

Ana Meng Canseco-Spiers took the less conventional route to joining the newspaper team. Although she never formally took Journalism, she was scouted by Mr. Sorensen and asked to join the crew her junior year. Beginning as a reporter, she immediately teamed up with fellow reporter and buddy from eighth grade, Theo Bourquin. The two aimed to cover and report on the bigger news stories, forming what would later be known as the “Dynamic Duo.”

The Dynamic Duo set out on interviews together, divvying up the responsibilities. She would knock on doors and pull people out of classes, while he would record interviews and listen to them to find quotes for the articles. He was too shy to walk into classrooms and she hated the way her voice sounded on a recording — it was truly a match made in heaven.

Working closely with editors and other reporters her junior year, she grew as a writer. Folding endless copies of the newspaper for subscriptions, snacking on pizza at ungodly hours of the night during layout week, and missing every single deadline made for a great experience as part of the team.

Her senior year she returned to the team, this time as an editor. As both Managing Editor and Co-Copy Editor, she juggled keeping the books, handling the money, and screening for typos. While she spent most of her time standing outside of the Business Office, adding in Oxford commas, and covered in ink, she truly enjoyed her time with the Clarion.

She would like to extend an apology to Mr. Running for the number of students she yanked from his Math Studies class for interviews, she wishes the returning members and prospective newsies luck in the coming years, and she wants to thank Mr. Sorensen for letting her be a part of the team.

To the best newspaper crew in the Pacific Northwest, here’s to us!

SOPHIE BROIDE

Sophie Broide has been working on the Clarion staff for the past year as photo editor. She assumed her position after it was decided that the newspaper needed someone in charge of taking photos and making sure that each story had a photo to accompany it. This is her first year as a member of the Clarion and she is grateful for the opportunity to be a photo editor of the best newspaper in Portland.

Sophie spends most of her time taking photos, as well as writing her own fashion column, Sophie’s Style Watch. She hopes to do something similar in college and pursue her interests in fashion and photography.

Photography is an important aspect of journalism and “every story should have a photo,” says Ace regularly. “Our newspaper class is a great community and I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it this year,” says Sophie.

OSCAR DEARDORFF

Since the beginning of his years spent in high school, Oscar has been a lover of art in all its forms, appreciating the beautifully and creatively unique individuals that make up Cleveland’s amazing student body. Often times, he walks a thin line between gratitude and cynicism. One constant that has remained throughout the past four years is his sarcastic humor, which has brought attention to detail, as well as ridiculous misunderstandings and even persisting to the point of being pulled from The Clarion. As a member of the newspaper team, he has been producing comics for each issue, consistently adding the occasional movie review or graphic. Oscar’s graphics have won him eight “best graphic” awards, elected by fellow students since the beginning of the year. He has learned so much throughout the year while on The Clarion, like the importance of punctuality, teamwork, and companionship. As the torch was passed down to him, it will soon become time to continue the tradition of having a comic in the paper. As an artist, having your work published in The Clarion, no matter how bad you think it is, is a great way to get messages across to your community. While encouraging your readers to appreciate your creations and carry the comic torch another year, he will also remember his wonderful time on The Clarion for years to come.

KATHERINE JONES

Katherine Jones was an active participant in Mr. Sorensen’s third period English class her junior year. With friends in newspaper, she spent a lot of time helping with stories and learning how the ropes worked. Her passion for writing along with limited time left in high school got her a spot on the newspaper staff the following year, despite having not taken journalism. Katherine had been an avid reader of the Clarion for a couple years, and was inspired by many former and current staff. She has enjoyed writing stories of various genres, including her “Guardians of the Galaxy” commentary. Later, she dabbled in news and reviews, writing about issues such as the pope and sexual harassment. During her time on the Clarion, Katherine has gained a new appreciation for current events and informing people on issues they might not otherwise know about. She hopes to someday continue with her love of writing and informing.

Aside from writing stories, Katherine has also enjoyed helping with layout and subscriptions, which is where she got to know so many of the amazing Clarion staff members. She would like to thank Ally, Tseten, Ashley, and Adriana for being such a driving force of positivity and light, especially when the team needed it most. As she retires from her place at the Cleveland newspaper, she wishes the best for the coming and current members.

KATHERINE DEAN

Katherine joined the journalism class in her junior year, thinking she would be a part of the yearbook staff the following year. Immediately, she fell in love with journalism and decided that she wanted to be on the Clarion staff come senior year. She was fortunate enough to write as a guest reporter for the Clarion in the spring of her junior year, while still in the journalism class. Katherine officially joined the Clarion staff her senior year as a news writer and a columnist.

Katherine’s favorite story to write each issue is “10 questions.” She feels the interviewing process is really rewarding and also a great way to meet new people. This year Katherine co-wrote a story reviewing the best red carpet looks of the 2015 awards season. She says writing that story solidified her intent to study journalism in college, in the hopes of writing for a fashion magazine later on in life. Katherine has loved her time on the Clarion and says that it has extremely influenced her decision to continue studying journalism in college.

ISABELLA GARCIA

While taking the underclassmen-filled journalism prerequisite her junior year, Isabella Garcia found a passion for writing with a journalistic focus and quickly fell in love with the subject. She first experienced the thrill of having a story in the paper as a journalism student and knew from then on that she wanted to be a regular reporter.

Receiving the opportunity to work with dedicated peers to create 10 outstanding issues has been the highlight of Garcia’s senior year. The newspaper room has always acted as a comfortable, creative safe haven where she has been able to find her focus and identify her passions.

Garcia enjoyed contributing to each issue with minor news stories and a couple commentaries, but it wasn’t until the she covered the scandal surrounding former Cleveland teacher Patrick Kanealey that she felt like a “real” journalist. It was the most work she had ever done for a story, not only having to run around the Multnomah County Courthouse for information, but persuading her adviser and some skeptical peers that she had the ability to cover the story in the most professional way possible. The work was well worth it in the end, The Clarion being the first news source to cover the story with Garcia’s article being quoted by the Willamette Week.

Garcia knows that she would not have made the decision to study journalism at the University of Oregon next year had it not been for her positive experience working with this year’s Clarion staff, the examples set by her editors, and the constant support from her adviser.

GWEN FROST

Gwen Frost joined newspaper as a junior and has been the working editor of Grover’s Corner (the fun page) as well as the co-voice of the Love Column. For two years Gwen has written on average three to six stories per issue, ranging from boys soccer editorials to commentaries on the Charlie Hebdo conflict. She frequently writes Six Pack as well as Speak Now. She enjoys writing political commentaries regularly for the paper as well as Mixtape. Some of Gwen’s topics include dress code controversy, cultural appropriation in the modern world, biased online health courses, racist celebrities, ridiculous right wing loudmouths, and world news. Gwen lingered in taste buds as well as columns like warrior profile, boys soccer, and top ten.

BEN DORFMAN

In autumn of 2013, Ben found a copy of the then-latest issue of the Cleveland Clarion lying on the floor of the auditorium stage. He opened it up. The page he flipped to contained a summary of Kanye West’s latest album, “Yeezus.” A radical Kanye fan, Ben was intrigued by what the writers at The Clarion had to say about it. After reading a few sentences, he came across a brief passage which was outright libel. The statement in question read: “…all of the tracks, which were produced entirely by Kanye…” Ben was appalled, as West had commissioned over 20 producers to help out on the album. How could such a reputable, esteemed and renowned publication such as The Clarion print something like this? Ben could not stand by and let the school he attended be bombarded with false statements regarding such artistry. He decided it was time for a change at Cleveland.

Due to his outrage, Ben found himself in Mr. Sorensen’s newspaper class on a brisk autumn morning in 2014. He quickly found passion in writing about music, and though he only saw one year of action at battlefield Clarion, he enjoyed the time he spent with his colleagues and the teamwork they used to create each issue. I luckily had the chance to interview him and ask him how he feels his time at The Clarion will benefit him later in life. “The Clarion,” he says proudly, “showed me that I really like working with other people. Accomplishing things on your own is a great feeling, I love it. But imagine that feeling multiplied by two, or six–or in this case–30. That’s what it’s like accomplishing something as a group. It’s a great feeling to share.”

ANYA DeCARLO

Anya DeCarlo transferred to Cleveland from Nowhere, Utah senior year and began her time on the Cleveland Clarion. She has been a contributing writer and photographer ever since. The first article she ever wrote in her journalism career was a commentary on the “Yes Means Yes” bill that was passed. She wrote her first–and last–food review in that issue as well. At each pep assembly, Anya was there taking pictures of teachers embarrassing themselves and students dancing to mediocre pop music. As her position as a photographer picked up, Anya began going to outside sporting and school events to take pictures for The Clarion. She attended many of the drama’s productions, swim meets, girls basketball games, and various other activities. During this time, she was able to capture many moments of Cleveland. After gaining this experience, Anya decided it was time to take her knowledge of Cleveland’s interesting dynamic and began working on a piece to show the many different faces of Cleveland which turned into the story “I Opening.” She interviewed 10 senior guys at Cleveland and asked them a series of personal questions, then chose four of the guys and their most thought provoking answers. As this year comes to an end, Anya will leave Cleveland with the experience of working in a competitive, fast-paced,  and high pressure environment. This time spent on the paper has been eye-opening, to say the least.