Cardinal Times staff says “goodbye” to 2021 seniors

June 10, 2021

The Cardinal Times Staff says goodbye to its 12 departing seniors, Cole Pressler, Sydney Ward, Isabella Lo, Mei Xu, Avery Hellberg, Jaden Schiffhauer, Gabe Rosenfield, Amanda Ngo, Michelle Yamamoto, Holden Kilbane, Gracie Pixton and Katlyn Kenney.

The staff will miss these seniors and their amazing work on The Cardinal Times. We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors and their lives beyond Lincoln.

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Cole Pressler: Editor-in-chief

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Courtesy of Cole Pressler

Former editor-in-chief Cole Pressler will be attending California Polytechnic State University in the fall.

Although his time as editor-in-chief was reduced to an online environment, Cole Pressler will forever look back fondly at his time at Lincoln and on The Cardinal Times

Pressler was always interested in journalism and communication. In elementary and middle school, he dreamed of becoming a broadcaster when he grew up. When he entered high school, his dad, a former sports journalist, encouraged him to join The Cardinal Times. After his first year, Pressler felt a personal responsibility to create a better paper for Lincoln and to see the paper through to his senior year, he said.  

He began in the Intro to Mass Communications class his freshman year and quickly went up in rank after transitioning into the Advanced Mass Communications class sophomore year, when he served as the sports editor. Junior year, Pressler became digital editor for the paper, and was chosen as the editor-in-chief his senior year. 

“[I didn’t really have a favorite position,] I enjoyed all of it,” he said. “It was really fun being the digital editor, just working on the website and expanding the digital side of the paper, because I got to develop skills that I didn’t previously really associate with journalism. And, of course, I have also greatly enjoyed being editor-in-chief.”

However, being editor-in-chief did not go as expected. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Cardinal Times was not able to create hard copies of the paper. Although it was a rough transition at the beginning, Pressler believes that the staff did a good job conquering the challenge. 

“This year’s staff really stepped up. They did a great job taking over their roles with very little to no prior experience,” he said. “It was obviously a very, very hard thing to adapt to because so much of our previous work had to do with focusing on the print issue. [This year] we mostly focused on engagement. I think consistency [with posting on the website and on social media] was the key to transitioning to online.”

In reflecting on his time on the paper, Pressler believes that he has become a better leader, communicator and problem solver.

“I think journalism teaches you a lot of responsibilities, especially The Cardinal Times. We do a really good job with that as a student publication,” he said. 

Being on the paper also gave him the opportunity to develop new connections.

“I really just loved the community of The Cardinal Times,” Pressler said. “It took a bit of a hit when we went online, because it was really fun just being with everybody and laughing and getting each other’s advice, but, regardless, I think it was just a great environment to work in. I’ve gotten a lot closer with the people on the paper and strengthened friendships that I previously had.”

His most memorable experience in his time on the staff was attending the JEA/NSPA 2019 National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim, Calif..

“Having the opportunity to attend [conventions] was something that made the class unique,” Pressler said. “It’s just a really great class to develop life skills that will actually be useful outside of class because, like, not everybody is going to use calculus or literary analysis in their life, but everybody needs interview and critical thinking skills. The things you learn in journalism are very real life skills you can translate to almost every profession and every interaction.”

Pressler is far from done with journalism. In the fall, he plans to attend California Polytechnic State University, where he will major in journalism. 

“I’ve known for quite a while that I just want to keep writing. Journalism is a really interesting profession and something that I want to pursue in the future, partially because of The Cardinal Times, partially just because I love reading news and absorbing media,” he said. “I just couldn’t really see myself not doing it.” 

Pressler has advice for current and future Cardinal Times staff members:

“Recognize the impact of this publication. A lot of people may not notice when we do our job right, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something we shouldn’t still do,” he said. “Working for a newspaper is challenging, but if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. Journalism is something that can really help you in life, and it’s something that you should stick with regardless of the difficulties.” 

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Sydney Ward: News & Features editor

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Courtesy of Sydney Ward

Former News & Features editor Sydney Ward will be attending the University of Washington next fall.

After moving across the world from Auckland, New Zealand to Lincoln High School during her second semester of freshman year, Sydney Ward knew she wanted to find a place at her new school. 

As her senior year comes to a close, Ward is happy to have served as News & Features editor and appreciative of the community she created through The Cardinal Times.

“It was really hard to make friends and I knew that I wanted to join something that would allow me to have a community at Lincoln and make friends,” she said. “I like writing and I’ve always been interested in news, so I thought Mass Communications was the perfect thing to join.” 

It turns out that what she thought would be a good fit landed her in an environment she was a part of for the following two years. After getting her start in Mass Communications, Ward wanted to continue in journalism and find her voice on The Cardinal Times

“I did the intro class in my sophomore year, and joined the paper in my junior year, then applied for News & Features at the end of that year, and I’ve been News & Features for a year,” she said.  

Working on The Cardinal Times has left Ward with lots of fond memories to look back on. One of her favorites was from her junior year on the paper when she got to write an article about Lincoln’s rugby team

 “I found out they were playing a game… and we just turned up there and we awkwardly went up to the coaches and were like, ‘Can we interview you guys for an article?’ It was just so funny, we took pictures there and they had no idea who we were,” Ward said.

Looking back, she has spent time doing a variety of projects and writing all kinds of articles for the newspaper, but one of her favorites was “Some Students Must Choose: Dance or Tradition,” an article about how the Winter Formal Dance fell on the same day as Lunar New Year, leaving many students forced to choose between a dance or their traditional celebration..  

“I’m really proud of [that] article,” she said. ”It has won a few awards, and I really think it made an impact. I thought it was a really important topic that I hadn’t seen anyone talk about, so I really enjoyed that.”

Not only did she make fun memories editing issues after school and reporting on important topics in our community, she also learned what journalism means to her while working with the Cardinal Times staff.

“It’s about getting what’s important out to people, and allowing people to access information that’s important to them as well as knowing what’s going on around the world…I see myself reading a lot more news everyday… I enjoy reading news and I like different types. I think it’s a really important part of life,” Ward said. 

Next year, Ward is excited to attend the University of Washington, where she is planning on studying business administration with a focus on marketing. 

Although one of the biggest lessons she will take to college from her time on the paper was time management, her piece of advice to her freshman year self was to get involved.

“Get involved in as many things as possible… I could have done more things to be more comfortable and have more fun at Lincoln,” she said. “Just be open and try more things.”

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Isabella Lo: News & Features editor

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Courtesy of Isabella Lo

Former News & Features editor Isabella Lo will be attending Oregon State University in the fall.

As senior Bella Lo prepares to leave for Oregon State University, she reflects back on her two years as a reporter and News and Features editor on The Cardinal Times. Lo began her journey freshman year, after she joined Mass Communications to further her writing skills. 

“I liked writing, and I wasn’t really sure what the class was going to be about, but I thought it might be fun. And I wanted to try and develop some better communication skills. And then I just ended up really liking it. My freshman year, there were only a few of us in class, but it’s definitely grown. It’s been a lot of fun, so I just kept going with it,” Lo says. 

After taking Mass Communications freshman year, Lo wasn’t able to move on to Advanced Mass Communications until her junior year due to class scheduling conflicts. While she wasn’t able to officially be in class this year, her dedication to the paper and her role was evident. Over the past two years Lo has been a part of the staff, the people and connections she was able to make stood out. 

“For one, I really liked the community. It’s unfortunate I wasn’t able to be in the class this year, but I’ve met a lot of cool people. And a few are now good friends. I think it’s also been fun to develop writing skills and it’s not, you know, your typical English writing,” Lo says. “You get a little bit more freedom with it. And I’ve learned to work under deadlines and develop my communication skills.” 

One of Lo’s favorite memories was the workshops the staff went to each year. 

“Last year we went to a writers convention at the University of Oregon. That was really fun. Instead of going to school, we met in the morning and drove over to the University of Oregon campus and attended some workshops on journalism. It was a lot of fun spending the day with the staff,” says Lo. 

Lo recalls writing a unique article her first year on the newspaper. 

“One notable [article] I remember was an article about youth vaping. That took awhile and it was a different process, because I had to use anonymous sources, which usually we don’t really like to do,” says Lo. “But just for the purpose of the article, I was interviewing students who had vaped, and they didn’t want to have their names be known. So that was kind of an interesting process. And we just had to be very careful with it and do a lot of research.”

Over her two years on the Cardinal Times staff, Lo learned valuable knowledge to pass on to future staff. 

“My advice would be to enjoy writing and find topics and pieces that you really want to write,” says Lo. “And don’t be afraid to cover things that might be scary and have interviews that might be scary. It might be scary to reach out, but don’t be afraid. And enjoy your time when you’re on staff.” 

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Mei Xu: Arts & Culture editor

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Courtesy of Mei Xu

Former Arts & Culture editor Mei Xu will be attending Dartmouth College next fall.

As Arts & Culture editor for both her junior and senior year, Mei Xu has been extremely beneficial to The Cardinal Times. She looks back at her time on the  staff with fond memories. 

“Being able to collaborate with my friends and other people on articles has been my favorite thing,” she says.

Her start in The Cardinal Times was atypical. After asking herself, “What is something I’m not good at?” Xu joined Intro to Mass Communications as a freshman with the hopes of improving her writing skills. While most students gravitate towards what they can succeed in, Xu chose to challenge herself.

Now, her writing is celebrated not only by other members of the staff, but also Student Newspapers Online (SNO). Three  of her articles have been awarded with a Best of SNO award, with the most recent one being an article on Black Lives Matter protest art. 

Her time on staff has also enabled her to see things in a new way.

“Being on The Cardinal Times has really shown me that authentic journalism is something that incorporates all aspects of a story. Rather than just reading posts online I have become a more critical thinker about issues,” Xu reflects. “I’ve learned how to navigate the 21st century in terms of social media and activism.” 

Xu is looking forward to her multitude of post-Lincoln plans.

“This summer, I am definitely going to continue in the journalism arena,” she says.

Xu will be researching and writing about constitutional law while also doing social, journalistic and media work with nonprofit organizations. 

She also plans to help out the 2021-2022 Lincoln Constitution Team. 

“I am still connected to my Lincoln roots,” says Xu.

In the fall, Xu will be attending Dartmouth College. 

“This is going to sound like a lot,” she says before explaining her major.

 She plans to study government, modified with economics, and Asian Societies, Cultures and Languages.

When Xu was in Intro to Mass Communications, she remembered there being only five or six students in the whole class. 

“My favorite memory was being there from the beginning and seeing everything grow and happen.”

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Avery Hellberg: Arts & Culture editor

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Courtesy of Avery Hellberg

Former Arts & Culture editor Avery Hellberg will be attending Boston University next fall.

Being a part of The Cardinal Times for two years was a huge learning experience for senior Avery Hellberg.  

Avery joined the staff as a junior, following in the footsteps of her brother, who was part of The Cardinal Times while in high school. 

“I wanted to carry out the legacy,” said Hellberg.

She also thought journalism might be something that she wanted to do for a living. By joining the newspaper, she felt like it was the perfect place to start. 

During her first year on the staff, Hellberg served as a reporter and co-hosted the podcast series Gettin’ Flicky With It. Hellberg and fellow reporter Michelle Yamamoto made several episodes where they talked all about movies, whether that was reviews or recapping award shows. 

After her junior year, Hellberg knew she wanted to be an Arts & Culture editor. 

“We have a very rich culture and a lot of really great things constantly going on, so I knew immediately that I wanted to be an Arts & Culture editor,” she said. 

As an Arts & Culture editor, Hellberg enjoyed hearing other people’s ideas and collaborating with people. 

With last year’s in-person classroom environment, she felt that the collaboration aspect was really strong. 

“It was always really great to come into the classroom and be surrounded by people who [were] working,” said Hellberg. 

One of her favorite things about being part of The Cardinal Times was the inclusive community. She always felt accepted, and knew that her ideas were going to be heard. 

Having people tell her that they read her article or seeing people hold copies of the paper showed Hellberg that The Cardinal Times truly has an impact on the community. 

Out of the several articles that she has written for The Cardinal Times, there are two that particularly stick out to her. 

During her junior year, she and Ella Mashroutechi, the Managing Print editor at the time, wrote about the lack of diversity in the Oscar awards.

This year, her favorite piece was an opinion piece about why people shouldn’t have traveled to Hawaii after its reopening. Hellberg identifies as Hawaiian, so writing about this was very personal and close to her heart.

Along with getting the opportunity to express her feelings and opinions, Hellberg gained many skills while on the paper. Learning new writing styles, organizing interviews and working with a variety of different people was incredibly helpful for her. 

Outside of school Hellberg loves to read, hang out with friends, go to different coffee shops and see movies at the theaters. 

After graduating, she plans to study communications at Boston University. 

Her presence and contribution to The Cardinal Times will be incredibly missed.

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Jaden Schiffhauer: Arts & Culture editor

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Courtesy of Jaden Schiffhauer

Former Arts & Culture editor Jaden Schiffhauer will be attending the University of Victoria in the fall.

As senior Jaden Schiffhauer prepares to attend University of Victoria next fall, she reflects on her time with The Cardinal Times and at Lincoln, admiring the memories and skills she’s gained.

Schiffhauer decided to take the Intro to Mass Communications class in her sophomore year after a friend recommended it to her. 

“I first heard about the paper through my friend Mei Xu, who is also one of the Arts & Culture editors,” said Schiffhauer. “She had taken the first intro class, and she liked it. She told me I should take it, so sophomore year I decided to take Intro to Mass Communications and I enjoyed it and I continued on to the paper.”

Schiffhauer has really enjoyed getting the opportunity to write more outside of the standard English classes and tune into what others are doing in the Lincoln community. 

“I really just like being able to write, so being on The Cardinal Times in general has been a really great opportunity for me to just write in every opportunity that I can,” said Schiffhauer. “And then being an Arts & Culture editor especially, it’s fun to be able to look at other peoples’ pieces [and] see what they’re interested in and what they’ve been reporting on, especially about the Lincoln community.”

She has taken a particular interest in the Arts & Culture position.

“It’s nice being in Arts & Culture specifically because that’s the facet of news that I would be most interested in reading myself; seeing what other people at Lincoln are doing with their free time,” said Schiffhauer.

One of the most challenging aspects of The Cardinal Times for her has been asking people if they would be willing to do an interview. 

“Getting interviews and making myself reach out to other people, other students, has been very difficult for me… It’s hard for me to reach out to people and be like, ‘Hey! Do you want to do an interview for The Cardinal Times?’ especially if I don’t know them,” said Schiffhauer.

As a departing senior, she leaves a message for future Cardinal Times staff members:

“Take each little article you do as a learning opportunity. See every new technique you use in your articles as a way to improve,” said Schiffhauer. “I know with each article I’ve done, there’s been at least one thing that’s been different, and that has really helped me improve.”

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Gabe Rosenfield: Podcast editor

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Former podcast editor Gabe Rosenfield will be attending Lewis & Clark College in the fall.

Senior Gabe Rosenfield served as this year’s podcast editor, helping fellow staff members to produce two new podcasts– We Are Not Alone and The Sports Nerds– and hosted his own podcast called The Nonchalant Podcast. Last year, he co-hosted the Pit Stop Music podcast and wrote a variety of articles as a reporter.

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Amanda Ngo: Social media and community engagement manager

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Courtesy of Amanda Ngo

Former social media and community engagement manager Amanda Ngo will be attending the University of Oregon in the fall.

For Amanda Ngo, her journey through high school has had its ups and downs, but the experiences that she’s gained as a part of the Lincoln community and The Cardinal Times have been nothing short of memorable.

Ngo was a junior when she joined The Cardinal Times as a reporter, and, at the end of the year, she transitioned into her current position of social media and community engagement manager for her senior year in order to make sure that The Cardinal Times was accessible to everyone. She has enjoyed reading the work that The Cardinal Times has put out and learning how to market it to certain audiences.

“Being social media manager and being community engagement manager are both really important things,” said Ngo. “You just have to make sure that you’re getting an interaction from other people and make sure you’re putting in the work to make a difference.”

Ngo admires the leadership of The Cardinal Times, and through the student leaders she was working with, Ngo has been able to learn more about herself.

The Cardinal TImes has always picked great leadership. Student leaders are always so amazing because they’re the same age as you… and it’s really great to be surrounded by people who are passionate, driven, intelligent [and] know what they want to do, and I think that’s a lot of the people on The Cardinal Times,” said Ngo. “Getting to experience that has taught me a lot about myself too, and how to be a better person when in a team environment.”

In addition to her work on The Cardinal Times, Ngo has also participated in Red Cross and student leadership. She will attend University of Oregon in the fall, and after she graduates, she hopes to do something that puts her in a position to help people. She has appreciated the opportunities that Lincoln has given her to make a difference.

“I like that I’ve felt like I’ve had the chance to make a difference in the school, whether it be through Cardinal Times reporting, or things that the leadership class plans, or blood drives that the Red Cross organizes,” Ngo said. “I know this might not be the case for everybody, but I feel really ingrained into the school community.”

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Michelle Yamamoto: Designer

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Courtesy of Michelle Yamamoto

Former designer Michelle Yamamoto will be attending George Washington University in the fall.

In her two years on The Cardinal Times, Michelle Yamamoto has specialized in both reporting and designing. She joined to continue her brother’s legacy on The Cardinal Times and to combine her love of writing and art. 

Yamamoto enjoyed the freedom of The Cardinal Times and that she was able to work with other designers and writers to produce the best visuals. 

“I really liked that it gave me a creative outlet within school, because a lot of times I feel like I don’t have time to do creative art and things because of schoolwork,” Yamamoto said. “So [becoming a designer] was a way to kind of incorporate both into one.”             

Michelle’s favorite memories while working on the newspaper were writing review articles with her fellow reporter Avery Hellberg about local food in Portland. They wrote one about the best donuts in Portland, and another reviewing the local coffee shops

“We literally just went around the city trying different donuts, and because it was for reporting we could just leave during class time and go eat donuts. I think that people liked reading it because it was a really fun article that was different from a lot of typical Cardinal Times formats.”

Yamamoto worked hard on her designs and writing, but said she faced some challenges working as a designer that, through overcoming, helped her improve her visuals and design process. 

“The first idea you have for a visual usually won’t work out,” she said. “You usually have to play around with it a lot. It’s a little bit of a challenge if you are set on one visual idea, it might not always turn out exactly how you want it to.”

Yamamoto learned some important lessons while working as a designer that she will continue to use as she goes off to college. 

“I think something I learned is how key and important communication is between editors, and when I’m making visuals for people. It’s really important that everyone knows the status the visual is at so that there’s no miscommunications along the way.”

During her time at The Cardinal Times, Yamamoto picked up some tips and tricks about being a designer and how to get past challenging visuals. She offered her advice to future Cardinal Times designers, recommending Pinterest for inspiration and YouTube for tutorials on how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. She also encouraged looking at any recommended videos that appear because those can teach you how to solve a problem in many different ways. 

Yamamoto’s creativity doesn’t stop on The Cardinal Times pages. In her free time, Yamamoto likes to spend her time expressing her creativity through different forms of art. 

“I like to do physical art in addition to digital art. I really like water coloring. That’s probably my favorite medium. I [also] really like thrift shopping, clothes, fashion and that kind of stuff.”

As for the future, Yamamoto will attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and is planning to major in political science and minor in marketing.

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Holden Kilbane: Designer

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Courtesy of Holden Kilbane

Former designer Holden Kilbane will be attending the University of Southern California next fall.

Holden Kilbane is a graduating senior attending the University of Southern California (USC) in the fall. Kilbane has worked as a  graphic designer since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. 

Graphic design has been a big part of Kilbane’s life since middle school. He enjoys the process of designing and the reward of seeing people appreciate them. 

“Getting to make things for my friends I’d say it’s really rewarding more so than even having a client and being paid to do something,” says Kilbane. “It is nice to see how much people value your work when you do something for your friends and they use it or they appreciate it.”

Becoming a graphic designer for The Cardinal Times staff has taught Kilbane many lessons and has been a very important part of Kilbane’s high school life. 

“First of all, I enjoy just the process of making graphics. Sometimes when I was in class I would walk over to the mass communications classroom and spend some time there also during flex and I just really liked the work environment and the process of watching everybody working together at the same time. Obviously this year I haven’t had the same in person experience, but I think it’s still the same getting to meet a lot of people I work alongside well,” says Kilbane. 

Kilbane plans to continue learning more about journalism and graphic design in college. He is going to major in communications and minor in advertising. He plans to take some more journalism courses while in college. He has also joined  the American Institute of Graphic Arts club at USC. 

Before he leaves The Cardinal Times, he wants to give some advice to those coming into the position and those just starting out as graphic designers.

“Never turn down any graphic requests because the best way to get better is practice and every graphic you do it’s in your hands to make it interesting and valuable,” said Kilbane.  

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Gracie Pixton: Reporter

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Courtesy of Gracie Pixton

Former reporter Gracie Pixton will be attending Baylor University in the fall.

Gracie Pixton has been a reporter for The Cardinal Times since her junior year. She joined the newspaper to pursue one of her passions. 

“Writing has been a passion of mine, and I thought The Cardinal Times would be a great place to exercise that,” she said. “I wanted to be a part of a team that would…get me more involved in my school community.” 

Being part of the newspaper has allowed her to be more involved in school and more experienced at writing.

This involvement has led to her creating the column, “Let’s talk mental health.” Spreading positivity about this topic was a key passion of Pixton’s.

 “I am thankful to have gotten the opportunity to share important mental health resources and ideas with my Lincoln community,” she said. 

Prior to writing articles for her column, she wrote on a diverse array of topics, from substance abuse groups to International Women’s Month

“I have really enjoyed writing pieces where I get to share my opinion with other students and explore different topics,” she said. 

One of her opinion pieces was about the climate walkout and certain student’s choices on the matter.

Because of the pandemic, Pixton was not able to have a normal senior year. 

“The pandemic has been a challenge, but I feel like I have adjusted well,” said Pixton. “It was sad not to be able to participate in senior traditions, but I definitely still had experiences that helped make this year memorable.” 

Pixton’s ability to explore her interests in the newspaper were some of her fondest memories at Lincoln. 

“I was thrilled to be writing things about what I was passionate about,” she said. 

Next year, Pixton will attend Baylor University, where she is planning to major in religion. However, Pixton will always remember The Cardinal Times by its many great memories and for helping her improve her writing skills.

This is Pixton’s last year on The Cardinal Times, but it is also the first of many others. With this new wave of students, Pixton has given her insight on the class. 

“Write about things you are passionate about,” she said. “It makes the process so much fun and gives you more space to be creative.”

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Katlyn Kenney: Reporter

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Courtesy of Katlyn Kenney

Former reporter Katlyn Kenney will be attending the University of Oregon in the fall.

A reporter for The Cardinal Times, tennis star and senior Katlyn Kenney brought a sense of maturity, intelligence and hard work to the newsroom, as well as her amazing work ethic that led to her winning multiple Best of School Newspapers Online (SNO) awards.

Kenney has been part of The Cardinal Times for the past two years, working on countless different articles, her favorite being about Lincoln’s janitors and a new district-wide search and seizure policy

“I talked to [Principal Peyton] Chapman about [the policy] and I heard some interesting stories about how it was used in Lincoln,” said Kenney. 

Kenney is the varsity girls tennis team captain, and has been on the team since her freshman year. She also volunteers with the National Charity League and with Lincoln’s Constitution Team. 

Being a reporter for the paper allowed Kenney to interview many different types of people. For her, a big achievement was speaking to Portland’s district attorney for an article on Portland’s response to protest property damage

“I spoke with him about how he was handling property destruction in protest. It was a very good experience,” says Kenney. 

Throughout her time on the paper, Kenney says she has grown . 

“Taking mass communications and learning about journalism has made me a better writer and has allowed me to connect with people across the school and city that I would not have otherwise known,” she said.

As for the future, Kenney plans to continue pursuing journalism. 

“I plan on joining the paper at my college,” said Kenney. “Hopefully [I’ll be able to] write for a couple of papers abroad when I study in England.”

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