By MR. NATH – I have taken over this student publication for a brief moment to recognize the accomplishments of two of our graduating seniors, Hannah Steele and Jorie Meil, and to express my sincere thanks to all they have done to keep The High Arrow vital and growing.
As freshmen, both Hannah and Jorie were quiet but effective journalists. From that first year, I knew I had future editors in both of them. They were always willing to do the things that needed to be done without hesitation or compromise.
I remember Jorie once responding to a question about who would write a specific article (I don’t remember what it was), by emphatically stating, “I’ll do it! I told her that should be her byline, Jorie “I’ll do it!” Meil. In spite of her many, many, many involvements and activities (did I mention there were many?) Jorie came through every time with well written and informative articles for both The High Arrow and the Indiana Gazette student news pages. She is a fearless interviewer and understands the purpose and value of journalism on an extremely high level. I am grateful to have had the chance to work with her (and for her!) for four years on the High Arrow Staff. I have a great deal of admiration for her and am grateful that she helped this aging Boomer (she did a needlepoint project that says, “OK, Boomer” that hangs in my classroom) to navigate the complex and often confusing world of the minds and social habits of high schoolers. After four years, it’s hard for me to imagine Newspaper Journalism class without her.
Hannah Steele is one of the hardest working and committed journalists I have ever known. She is relentless in getting information and making sure stories are factual and accurate. She took to journalism so much that she has interviewed several national music acts and written about them as a freelance journalist. Her work was published on several online music sites and her work always reflects her passion for upholding the essential principles of journalism. She came to the staff as a shy 9th grader, but it was soon apparent that she had what it takes to be a top-notch journalist. She also planned and organized our High Arrow “Secret Santa” program where we chose a random student’s name and presented them with a gift, courtesy of the High Arrow. I will always fondly remember meeting her at Walmart after school on her own time to pick out the gifts we would be presenting that year. She is a compassionate and driven person who is demanding of herself as well as everyone else on the staff, and her leadership and work ethic are second to none.
Furthermore, I have always enjoyed the company of both Hannah and Jorie, who spent an inordinate amount of time in my classroom over the course of four years. They are both bright and articulate people who have had to, on several occasions, straighten me out about many things that as an old guy, I had no basis of understanding. Senior staff member India Krug shared the following sentiment with which I could not agree more, “Hannah and Jorie are the smartest and most responsible young women I know. Their dedication and leadership as our editors has allowed our publication to blossom and succeed. They created a warm environment for the entire staff and made Journalism the best period of the day. I am so happy not only to have worked with them, but have them as my friends. I know these incredible ladies are going to go so far.”
During their tenure with the High Arrow, Jorie and Hannah helped us to evolve from a print-only to a digital publication, and their commitment and expertise helped us to build our current website, of which we are all very proud. They helped me to learn to navigate the complexities of the site and designed features that are both useful and aesthetically pleasing. The stamp they have left on the evolution of the High Arrow will resonate for many years to come.
Because of the school closure we did not get the chance to give them the send-off they deserve, but I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with and alongside these remarkable students and I will miss them terribly. I am certain that they will go on to do even more remarkable things as they move forward with their lives and their education. The High Arrow owes a great deal of debt and gratitude to these fine journalists and editors and they will forever hold a special place in my heart for both the journalists and the people they are.
Though I might at times drop a derogatory comment about “kids these days,”their optimism and skills give me hope that the future is indeed in good hands. Jorie and Hannah are the type of people that are sure to leave the world a better place than they found it through their character, work ethic, and commitment to doing the right things in the right way.
I have so much more I could say about these two, but I’m going to end this with a quote from a Bob Dylan song because that sounds like something I would do:
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
Climb on every rung
And may you stay
Thanks sincerely to both of you. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with you as students and leaders. You will be greatly missed.