When I interviewed for the position as student correspondent to The Valley Reporter at the end of my freshman year, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was ready to write up the weekly student bios and, initially, I was not planning to do much else. Those articles kept me busy enough, between finding time to interview students and tracking them down in the hallway to get their pictures and ask a few more questions.
Eventually, I started covering bigger events at Harwood: fundraising dinners, new classes added to the curriculum, Spirit Week festivities and the ever-popular Socrates Cafe discussions. One of my favorite opportunities I had through this work was being able to interview students from The Noble Academy, a charter school in the south side of Chicago, when they came to Harwood to help improve the Harkness dialogue method used in classrooms. Growing up in Vermont has greatly bounded my concept of diversity. Being able to sit down and talk with students from different racial and economic backgrounds opened my eyes to the experiences of other kids my age outside of my small bubble in the Green Mountains.
Over the past two years, writing up student features became something I looked forward to every week. It gave me the chance to reconnect with people I hadn’t spoken with since elementary school and allowed me to find commonalities I never knew I shared with my peers. I would like to think I was always very organized with writing each piece and getting them in on time, but many of my classmates were used to me shouting, “Who wants to be student of the week?” through a crowded lunch block in the senior cafe when I hadn’t planned it out the week before.
I already miss writing my weekly articles, but I know that the Student of the Week feature will continue to be the first thing I flip to when I open up The Valley Reporter.
This fall, I will be off to the University of Vermont to study nursing. Although I will not be pursuing journalism in college, I will definitely continue to write, and I am very excited to see all that Ingrid Lackey-Howell will do as the new Harwood correspondent.