Senior Goodbye: Amanda Vogt

Amanda Vogt, Editor-in-Chief

Writing this doesn’t feel right: I still see myself in my freshman-year journalism class sitting next to Alyssa Sherry. The journalism duo was born in room 151 during that period 2 class. We sat together on the left side of the room and always worked so well together– even at the start of the year when we first met. The class was large and full of seniors who didn’t seem to care about the course as much as we did: we always sat wide-eyed and ready. From staff writers as freshman to co-editors-in-chief as seniors, I would not have wanted it any other way. 

Smoke Signals has been the backbone of my high school career: I’ve always looked forward to it the most. For only meeting during a week every marking period, the memories that I have made writing and editing for this paper are some of the strongest that I will be leaving Wayne Valley with. I have always loved writing and it has always come naturally to me in a way that I cannot explain. Mrs. Nazarko’s class taught me so much about every type of journalism, which has influenced all of the writing I have done for Smoke Signals

Alyssa and I together became editors our sophomore year after applying for the positions together at the end of our freshman year. This was probably the best decision I’ve made. Becoming an editor taught me so much, and it gave me a group of people to bond with that shared the same enthusiasm of witnessing stories come to life. 

Journalism in itself is so fulfilling. All 7.674 billion people have their own story, their own idea, comment or concern, that needs to be poked and prodded in order to be brought to life. And it’s through an interview– via email, phone call, whatever– that the examination happens. Asking the right questions, following up in the right spots, and writing it all down for the world to see is all a part of finding (and then reporting) that breaking news.

Next year I will be continuing my journalism journey at the Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University. I always knew that this was the path I wanted to take, and this year I really narrowed in on how: sports journalism!

To Mrs. Nazarko, Mrs. Hannon, Alyssa, and the rest of the editors, thank you for making these past four years so special. No matter where I end up, Smoke Signals will always be the first paper that I was published in, and I would never change a thing. Getting the chance to share so many unique sides to a student, a teacher, an athlete, or a coach, is the most rewarding feeling…I can’t get enough. We are the authors of our own stories, but we may only be a chapter in this world.