Student Media of Pittsburg High School

Konopelko: Editor-in-chief reflects on three and a half years on student publications staff

May 10, 2019


Nicole Konopelko has been on the staff of The Booster Redux for three and a half years and editor in chief for one.

For three in a half years, I’ve spent endless hours piecing the stories of this school into words.

Yet, piecing together this last one seems almost impossible.

This time, though, I don’t have an excuse. I can’t blame it on time. I can’t blame it on limited space. I can’t blame it on my word limit.

I can only blame it on myself. The truth is, ever since the beginning of the year, I’ve dreaded saying goodbye to The Booster Redux, and I can’t believe that my day has finally come.

Fortunately, you know something’s special when it’s this painful to say goodbye to it.

I joined The Booster Redux staff during the second semester of my freshman year as a shy freshman with a passion for writing, but an unfamiliarity with journalism. Our phenomenal adviser, Emily Smith, quickly taught me journalism 101 and directed me to award-winning work. Inspired, I teamed up with the staff’s best writers to cover class enrollment and the unbalanced lunch system, which administration reformed after my story printed.

As my passion grew, I delved into other skills aside from writing. I took videos and photos, designed pages and revamped our website, working my way up to the position of managing editor and ultimately, editor-in-chief.

When I think of the Booster Redux a few years from now, I’m not going to think about what it was like to say goodbye; I’m going to think of all the moments that led up to it.

I’m going to think of when I watched Brett Wiemers cheer for his brother, Tyson, as he crossed the finish line at the Special Olympics track race and earned a silver medal. I’m going to think of when I wrote the story of a homeless student who — after spending a night in a tent — knocked on the door of a foster care organization himself to find his own home. I’m going to think of when I shot photos of the soccer team’s final game in the rain as tears fell down the players’ eyes.

I’m also going to think of when — fueled on coffee — Ximena Ibarra and I stayed hours after school to finish editing our first print issue of the year, bonding over journalism to build a comradery that we would carry with us until the end of the year and into college.

When I think of the Booster Redux a few years from now, I’m not going to think about what it was like to say goodbye; I’m going to think of all the moments that led up to it.

— Nicole Konopelko

As an outgoing editor-in-chief, I couldn’t be prouder of the risks we took to expand our storytelling, from cultivating our nationally-recognized online news site to building up our social media presence. Some things worked and some things didn’t, but the successes and failures were all a part of the process; a part of our mission to cultivate an informed student body.

Believe me, I don’t want to stop here. This school has so many more stories that I want to use my camera and pen to tell. Just as I could write a 1,000 word-long senior column, I could also write 100 more stories if I had enough time left in the year.

But unfortunately, I can’t. My time is up.

Thank you to my amazing staff for buying into my vision, listening to my feedback and producing phenomenal content. Thank you to my sources for every interview and every effort to help build my story. Thank you to Smith, for pushing me and exhausting every possibility to help me become a better storyteller.

I can only thank The Booster Redux for inspiring me to continue journalism in college and leading me to what I was born to do. I look forward to being a cheerleader from afar and can’t wait to watch the publication thrive.

Looking back, I don’t think this goodbye was as painful as I thought it was going to be.

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