Senior Goodbye: Alyssa Sherry


Alyssa Sherry, Editor-in-Chief

In September 2018, I walked into Room 151 for the first time, and my life changed. 

I had pushed really hard to get into Mrs. Nazarko’s Journalism elective, as there wasn’t space for many freshmen, and on my first day I entered a class full of people I did not know. 

As I scanned the room, I noticed an empty seat next to a girl who looked about my age. She had blonde hair and glasses; her name was Amanda. I sat next to her. And so it began.

In the months and years that followed, Smoke Signals became an integral part of my high school experience. As our time in Journalism progressed, Amanda and I fell further in love with the subject. Immediately, we joined Smoke Signals together. From standing together against the wall timidly during our first meetings as freshman staff writers, to leading our last meetings together as senior Editors-in-Chief, we are forever grateful for all of the memories Smoke Signals provided us with. Whether Amanda and I were staying up late to finish a round of editing, independently compiling a full edition of the paper from quarantine, or writing four articles each for a single issue, we did everything with passion and with love.

I first joined the newspaper because I love to tell my own stories; I stayed on the newspaper because I love to hear the stories of others. I so enjoy interviewing people around Wayne Valley and earning the opportunity to glimpse their perspectives for just a moment. 

The biggest lesson that I’ve learned from all of this? People change people. I’ve written many articles to spotlight the accomplishments of individual students, and in every single interview, the students credit their successes to the people around them—their coaches, teammates, communities, families, friends. And I know that this lesson is true, because Mrs. Nazarko, Mrs. Hannon, Amanda, and the rest of my wonderful Smoke Signals team have all changed me: I am a better, more confident leader and person because of them. And although my time on Smoke Signals has come to an end, I will carry these lessons with me into college and beyond. I wish next year’s editors the best of luck. 

With love, your Editor-in-Chief, signing off <3