Q&A: Magpie Senior Reflections

As their time on staff nears the end, seniors reminisce about their years on Magpie
The senior staff members of Magpie take a picture together.
The senior staff members of Magpie take a picture together.
Veda Fagner
What is your role in Magpie?

Kylee Langley, Editor-in-Chief: I basically make sure that everything’s running smoothly, and I check in with staff members. I work hand-in-hand, specifically, with the managing editors as well as the multimedia editors. I’m the one who publishes the stories. I always read them and look through the pictures and all that before they get published. I schedule them out. If anyone has questions, they can come to me or the multimedia editors or managing editors. I just make sure that everything’s going as well as it can. 

Emily Sanchez, Managing Editor: A managing editor does more of the organization side of it. We’ll go in and make the staff’s folders and link their stories to it. We have a spreadsheet that we use to put people’s story ideas in. It’s also the editing process. When someone finishes a story, the team leader or section editor will read and edit it. Then, it will go to us, and then Kylee will read and publish it. It’s really mainly just organization and keeping everyone on track and making sure everyone has a way to contact and communicate with others whether that is through the Band app, Instagram, or even Gmail. 

Leah Alder, Managing Editor: My responsibility is mainly to edit articles. I also schedule them and keep the story assignments updated. I check in with my little, one of the new staff members that was assigned to me. I make sure that they know what to do and check on their progress. I also write articles once a month because of the busy editing and scheduling. I oversee everything that Kylee does. I’m like her position but on a smaller scale. 

Elijah Bault, Carissa Dawson, and Payton Mucker

Carissa Dawson, Multimedia Editor: Right now, our main focus is the broadcast that we are starting, but otherwise, I focus a lot on helping other people get podcasts and things done and trying to get people interested in podcasts and videos. I also help people come up with new ideas and expand on ideas that people may already have. 

Gretchen Prifogle, Multimedia Editor: I basically oversee a lot of the multimedia aspects of Magpie, things like photography, video, and podcasts. But, me and Carissa split up the duties so that it’s a little easier. I do mostly photos and videos while Carissa helps with the people interested in podcasting, but we still work together on everything.  

Payton Mucker, Business Manager: Currently, I am who handles the money. I work with Justin Snay to get things done whether that be giving ad contracts to people, coming up with businesses people can contact, creating fundraiser ideas, deciding prices, and purchasing things that Magpie needs. We look at different products and our budget and try to decide what will work best for what we need and our price range. 

Jasmine  Zimmerman, Staff Culture Director: I’m in charge of keeping spirits high in the classroom. I plan activities for our Fun Fridays. I create things like kind cards to try and spread some positivity, and sometimes I even do lessons about spreading kindness. I’m kind of the cheerleader of Magpie. 

Vasan Nomany, Team Leader: I have a group of people that I look over and supervise. I’ll check in with them, ask them their story ideas, see how much progress they’ve made on their articles, and things like that. I’ll also help them as much as possible with anything they need, and if I can’t help them, then I’ll direct them to someone who can. It’s really just working with other people and helping each other with any problems. 

What was your original reason for joining Magpie?

Langley: My main reason was because of Emily. She told me that I should join her, so I decided to join because she said it was really fun. Then, I also found out that it was an art credit, and I hate art. So, that was a plus because I could write instead of do art. I ended up actually loving Magpie a lot. 

Sanchez: My cousin was in Magpie in her junior and senior year, and she was telling me about it one day. I’ve liked writing for a long time, so I decided to join. It was between Tattler and Magpie for me, and I chose Magpie because of her. I remember being really nervous because I was a freshman and didn’t know what to expect. But, I’m really glad I did because I’ve met so many amazing people and been on so many great trips, I’m actually really sad that it’s about to end because it’s been such a huge part of my life.

Alder: All throughout my school career, I have always maintained an interest in writing. At first, it was a small interest. But then, I joined the journalism class, and I actually really liked that class. That was when I realized that journalistic writing might be the kind of writing I wanted to pursue because all of the writing that I had done previously was literary writing. I liked literary writing, but I knew that I didn’t want to do that forever. So, when I was introduced to journalistic writing, I realized that I had a knack for it and really liked doing it. It is really one of the only interests that I’ve had that I actually stuck with.

Dawson: On the first day of school in my sophomore year, I was walking around the school just minding my own business, and Mr. Pearcy approached me in the hallway and told me that he had just become the adviser and asked me if I would be interested in joining. I didn’t really like writing, but I decided that I would give it a shot. So, I joined the afterschool group and just wasn’t really feeling it. But, I still ended up joining staff, and I’m really happy that I did because it turns out that I’m not that bad of a writer. Then, it just expanded, and I got to try a lot more stuff. So, originally it was more of an “I had nothing better to do’ thing,” but now I’m really happy that I did it.

Prifogle: Originally, I didn’t want to join Magpie at all, but Pearcy kept asking me to join. I just really don’t like writing, but then I found out that I could take pictures. That was the thing that made me want to join. So, I signed up for the class, and I have not regretted it at all.

Mucker: Freshman year, I took journalism because my mom had told me that it was her favorite class in high school, and I was really good at it. So, I joined the Magpie staff as a photographer in the second semester of my sophomore year.

Zimmerman: In my sophomore year, Mr. Pearcy kept asking me to join Magpie. I was honestly scared, but Kylee told me about it and said that it was a lot of fun and that you got to learn a lot about the school. I decided to join because I wasn’t really involved in anything, so I was excited to have a way to be a part of something. 

Nomany: I originally got into Magpie because of Gretchen. She was the one who told me about it. She thought that it would be a lot of fun to be in it together and do photography together because she knew that I really liked taking pictures. I just thought that if there was a way that I could do something that I liked and apply it to things going on in the school then why not. I would say that that was one of the best things she could have done was get me into Magpie. 

What has been your main reason for staying in Magpie?

Langley: I love being able to write important stories. I like to write things that I think people need to know about. I really like to write features and news articles. I try and get more than just a surface-level story. I try and go deeper, really tell the stories I need to be told. I love to find out information about things that are going around the school, and  I love to be able to share it with other people. I also just love the atmosphere that Magpie is. The staff just feels like a big family. I know that the people are definitely the main thing that keeps me on Magpie. Sometimes it’s really stressful, and sometimes it’s a lot to deal with. But, I know at the end of the day, I have all these people that are there to help me and who want to see me succeed.

Sanchez: The people. Once you hold those relationships with people, you just don’t want to let them go. We have worked together for so many years, and we all know each other so well. That’s really what made me realize that I wanted to stay in the class. I’ve always been an organizer, so I love being a managing editor. It has always been so fun to just watch people’s process and to see everyone grow as a staff.

I am growing my social circle and am actually able to be a part of something meaningful in this room because in a lot of other places, people don’t really get to feel that. In Magpie, everyone has a place and everyone has a purpose. We all get along and like each other, so why would I want to leave an environment like that.

— Carissa Dawson


Alder: I think it’s the staff. I’ve really liked the staff over the years. There have been a lot of good people in here every year that I have loved seeing. When we get separated into two different class periods, it’s really hard and annoying. I wish we could all fit into one class period now because I don’t have any connections with some of the people in the other class. Whenever we are all in one class, it is a lot of fun. I really like how everyone gets along. We have always had a group of good people who share a common interest, and I feel like we are all closer because of that.

Dawson: I think that beyond what we do here, I love the relationships that have come out of Magpie. I am having a lot of fun. One of my really good friends came from being in Magpie. If we didn’t have Magpie, we wouldn’t talk to each other. We wouldn’t even know each other, and now we are rooming together in college. A lot of these people that I have met from being in Magpie hold such a special place in my heart. I also love the work that we are doing in here, and I do think that I am learning a lot from it. But beyond that, I am growing my social circle and am actually able to be a part of something meaningful in this room because in a lot of other places, people don’t really get to feel that. In Magpie, everyone has a place and everyone has a purpose, and we all get along and like each other, so why would I want to leave an environment like that? 

Prifogle: It’s been so cool to help people learn to take pictures and see them get better and blossom into amazing photographers and become more comfortable with it. I think it is really cool that we have an outlet to tell stories in a different way. I just love doing photo essays because you can tell the stories in such a different way, and you have more freedom and control. I did a photo essay on a pep rally, and I thought it was so fun because I had these pictures of people screaming and celebrating. You can see the emotion through the picture. I think it’s just such a cool and different way to express yourself. 

Mucker: I really like to tell stories of people. I find it fascinating how everyone’s life is different and unique in some way shape or form. I just like to cover interesting people and tell their stories. I feel like that is what really inspires me to get out there and do this stuff. There is also The Felix Frame, which is exciting because that is really similar to the kind of work I want to do when I’m older. So, it’s nice to get more experience with a more news type of video.

Zimmerman: Definitely the staff itself. I love the people, and I love all of the time we spend here with everyone. We are such a close group of people, and we do such fun things together. We learn a lot together. I feel like the Magpie staff, they’re my family. I can’t leave. 

Nomany: I would say just the atmosphere of the class. I don’t think I would get this kind of energy in any other class. The staff has all done so much together, and we’ve been on some trips that we have all gotten really close. I’ve made a lot of friends through Magpie, and it’s just really great to get to spend time with all of them. 

At a football game, senior Gretchen Prifogle takes a break from taking pictures to show school spirit. (Reyna Hernandez)
What do you plan to do after high school?

Langley: I’m going to Ball State to study news writing and journalism with a minor in communications. 

Sanchez: After high school, I plan to attend Indiana University in Kokomo. I’m going to go for my bachelor’s degree in nursing and then eventually into pediatric nursing. I’ve always had a soft spot for kids. I’ll probably stay home while I’m in college, and then, hopefully, move to Indianapolis and get a job at Riley Children’s Hospital. 

Alder: I think, given that journalism is the only thing that I have really stuck with throughout high school, I am going to try and pursue that first. I know that I am going to go to IUK first because it is a smaller, less expensive college, and I want to get all of the required classes done. Then, I would take some time to branch out and see what I am interested in. I’m not sure what I want to do for my career yet, but I think journalism is something that I will definitely try.

Dawson: I’ve gone back and forth on a lot of things. I know that I’m going to go to Ball State, but I haven’t decided what I am going to study. For a while, I thought about studying journalism, but I don’t know if that’s really what’s calling me. So, I think that where I’m leaning is English education, and I would teach high schoolers. 

Prifogle: After high school, I’m attending Purdue University to pursue a degree in organizational leadership, which I am going to use to run a nonprofit organization that helps kids in some way.   

Mucker: I plan to go to Ball State University and hopefully have a major in journalism and news writing. After that, I’ll probably come back to Logansport and try to get a job at the Pharos-Tribune and maybe someday move to a bigger city where I can become a news anchor.

Zimmerman: I want to be an art teacher. I’ve always liked art and making things. Art has been very important to me, and I want to give that to others too. 

Nomany: I’m going to Purdue University to study environmental engineering with an alternate major in planetary sciences, and once I get out of college and find a job somewhere, I’ll hopefully stay in touch with my friends I’ve made in Magpie. 

How do you think being in Magpie will help you when you’re an adult?

Langley: It definitely gave me a starting point in journalism. Before I was in Magpie, I never thought about journalism as a career. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I thought I would end up going into the health field or going into accounting, but not ever journalism. But after being in Magpie, I realized how much I love writing, especially writing in such a journalistic way, so I decided that that was what I wanted to do forever. Magpie not only helped me find what I love to do, but it also gave me a really good starting point for when I’m an adult. 

Sanchez: Magpie, as well as the other things that I do, like cheer and speech, have all really helped me with my communication skills. I wouldn’t be able to talk to people as well as I do without the extracurriculars I do, especially speech and magpie because I have to be able to talk to people to be in those. I have better communication and leadership skills than I did before, and I feel more confident in myself now. I have also gotten better at working as a team because if you don’t work as a team in Magpie then it will all just crumble and fall apart. Everyone has to put in their peace to create a successful staff. 

Magpie not only helped me find what I love to do, but it also gave me a really good starting point for when I’m an adult.

— Kylee Langley

Alder: There is a lot of teamwork in Magpie. I have never been one to really love doing group projects. I have always favored working by myself on things. But, the environment that we have and the teamwork that is required in Magpie has definitely helped me become a more social person. I have had to work a lot on my teamwork skills so that I can become a better teammate and leader later on when I’m in a career working with other people. I think that’s probably what is going to help me the most.

Dawson: You have to have a good work ethic to be in Magpie. You have to be willing to work with people, be patient, understanding, and have good people skills. There is a lot you have to do in order to succeed in Magpie other than just writing or taking pictures as you might think. The biggest thing is that you just have to work hard and care about it and work with the people around you. Going into the real world, it’s really important that you know how to do that. The real world isn’t going to be a room like this. You won’t be able to go and talk to your friends and advisers about what is upsetting you. You just have to deal with it. I think Magpie is a really good place to start though because you do still have that landing pad to fall back on.

Prifogle: I think that being in Magpie helped me learn a lot of leadership and teamwork skills. I am going to have to work with difficult people sometimes, and Magpie has really taught me how to keep my head about things and not just be angry all the time. It’s taught me how to take a step back and think about how to work through a problem. Magpie just really helps you build a lot of skills for the workplace, and that is more important than just sitting in an English class or something. 

Mucker: Magpie has definitely helped me by teaching me the basics of journalism, especially now that we have The Felix Frame because that is directly what I am going to do in my future. I’m getting a lot of work experience and am really getting exposed to as much as possible. Now, I can actually know what to expect when I get to college and get a job. 

Zimmerman: I feel like I have learned so much about teamwork and how everyone has to work together in order for something to work. The big plan is not going to work out unless everyone is doing their part. There is a lot that goes into Magpie. You have to do your job, do what you need to do, and also do things to help everyone else get their job done. It has also taught me how to be punctual. Getting things done and having things ready is such an important part of Magpie. 

Nomany: Magpie has definitely broken my shell a little bit because a lot of the times when you do photography, you have to go out and put yourself into situations that are sometimes really uncomfortable and still be able to get what you need. You have to be able to be seen, to be in a kind of spotlight, and still do what you know you need to do. So being a photographer and a team leader has definitely made me become more open and daring. I feel like in the real world, if I ever have a problem, or if I’m really trying to get something done, even if it’s uncomfortable I think having been in Magpie will help me not be as afraid as I used to be.

What is your favorite memory from your years on staff?

Langley: The one that really sticks out to me is Boston. I love that it was my senior year that we were able to do that. It was really nice trip. All the people who went were amazing, and we made a lot of good memories together. We also learned a lot of good information and went to a lot of different workshops. I think as I get older, I will always remember that trip, and it will always stick out to me as one of my favorite things from Magpie. 

Sanchez: My favorite memory is probably when we went to Boston. I’ve never experienced something like that before. It was really such an amazing experience. We went to Boston. We went to New York. It was such a special thing that we got the funds and that I got to go with some of my closest friends, and I made a lot of new friends on the trip too. I also love the Ball State J-Days that we go to. There was one time that we got to pay a dollar to pie someone in the face because they were doing a fundraiser for a fraternity. I think the trips are definitely a big source of some of my favorite Magpie memories. 

Veda Fagner

Alder: I mean Boston was wonderful, but overall on staff, I can’t really pinpoint a specific memory. I can say that I always love it when we have the staff parties because I feel like those are always a good time, especially since we now have Jasmine, who’s our staff culture director. She has really made sure that everyone’s having a good time, and it is a lot more organized. Overall, I would say the Magpie staff parties for holidays and other things. 

Dawson: In my sophomore year, we shared a room with Tatler, and we had this thing with them where we would hide a little green sticky hand. After a while, Tattler started getting really good at hiding the sticky hand. So, one day I was looking around, and I saw it from across the room on top of one of those really tall bookshelves. I got so excited that I sprinted across the room and jumped up to grab it. I did, but then I came down and fell straight into and through a box on the ground, and I could not get out of that box. 

Prifogle: I loved going to Boston. I was really surprised with all of the friendships that I made with the people on staff that I never really talked to before. I thought it was a really cool experience to be able to go somewhere and get to feel that freedom with a lot of my friends. 

Mucker: Junior year was always an interesting time just because of the different talks that we would have in class. It sounds crazy, but just having a class where I am able to talk and goof around is really nice. It makes Magpie not feel so much like a class because you get to have more fun than a normal class.

Zimmerman: It would have to be our first kindness circle. I have always wanted to do something like that for Magpie, and that was the first big activity that I got to do for Magpie. I think that the kindness circle made everyone really happy. It was just such a genuine time with all of my people, and I really enjoyed it. 

Nomany: My favorite memory has to be when we went to Boston. It was such a different experience, and we went with a good amount of people on staff who I am close with, so it was easy to make a lot of fun memories with all of them. I still have the pictures on my phone from the trip. There are tons of pictures and I think just by looking at how many pictures I have from there just goes to show how much fun I was having. 

What is the best part of Magpie?

Langley: The people for sure. Magpie has changed a lot in the last few years, and we wouldn’t be where we are with everyone contributing the way they have. Whether that’s through their writing, photography or even personality. People don’t think personalities are that important, but they really add so much to the staff. I know we wouldn’t be in the place we are without everyone.

Sanchez: I like that we are able to cover topics that are not usually covered. We can talk about important things that have happened in the school or the community. It feels more personal because you can talk about things that you are interested in or what the student body is talking about. We can be the voice. We get to tell the students what is happening. It’s also nice because we can cover the harder topics that need to be talked about. We have are limits of course, but for the most part, it’s up to us what we want to cover.

I like how everyone in Magpie is different and has a unique way of telling a story. Everyone is so talented, and we have a really good mix of people.

— Payton Mucker

Alder: I always love having a leadership position, so I love the fact that I’m a managing editor. Having that is a responsibility that I also have earned because I’ve been on staff for a long time. I have the experience of being a seasoned member of Magpie. I think makes it the best part for me is being a managing editor and also being surrounded by the people I’m surrounded by.

Dawson: My favorite part of Magpie is the freedom and the creativity that we get in this class. We can really push ourselves and try new things and still end up with something to show for it and be proud of. 

Prifogle: I think again I just love being able to tell a story in a different way than just writing. That has to be the highlight. I love that I am able to express myself and tell stories through videos and photos. 

Mucker: The best part of Magpie is just the people in it. I like how everyone in Magpie is different and has a unique way of telling a story. Everyone is so talented, and we have a really good mix of people. I’m excited to see what happens once we leave because I think that there are so many new people who are really good, and I think that Magpie is just going to continue to get better. 

Zimmerman: Definitely the staff and the relationships you form with these people. You’re with everyone every single day, and you depend on them, so you get really close with them and it is really great.

Nomany: It’s really the people you get to work with. I mean you work with people all the time, but with Magpie, it’s just different. You’ve been with these same people for so long that when you help someone it feels like you’re helping a friend. I think that everyone in Magpie is friends, so it’s not like you’re helping a classmate that you don’t talk to or a coworker that you hate. Through Magpie, it’s really just like working together with your buddies, which makes it a lot more enjoyable than just working by yourself or with someone you don’t know. 

It is important for new staff members to collaborate with old staff members. As the senior members will be leaving this year, the newer members need to be able to fill in their shoes. (Jasmine Zimmerman)
What has been the most challenging part of being on staff?

Langley: There’s a lot going on all the time. I get stressed out sometimes when we’re behind, or I have other stuff to do because I’m the one in charge. I’m the one who has to make sure everything gets done and published on time, especially because I have Magpie and I have work and I have to get my stuff done on top of other classes and on top of having a job. It can be very stressful. But, it can also be very rewarding when you see all the positives that come with being on staff. 

Sanchez: Magpie is already a hard class to succeed in, but it gets even more difficult when we don’t work as a team. If somebody doesn’t put in their part, that is when everything starts to get harder. When one person falls too far behind, it pulls the rest of us back a bit too. When they don’t finish on time, then the team leaders can’t edit it, which puts them behind. It’s like a domino effect. We do pretty well for the most part, but it can get stressful if we don’t all do our part.

Alder: Keeping up with everything because not only do I have to worry about myself, which I am a massive procrastinator, so keeping up with my work because I really only have one deadline. But before it was so hard, but keeping up with my work on top of the fact that I have to make sure everyone is not only on schedule but like knows what they’re supposed to do because we’re now really starting to integrate elements. Even though I’ve been on staff for a while, I’ve never once taken a picture. I’ve never done a video. The integration of everything is definitely good because every staff should be fluent in doing these multimedia things. It’s just going to be difficult for me to adjust. Being consistent with timing and the quality I think that’s the most difficult.

Dawson: The hardest part is really just sticking to it and succeeding in an environment where you are not pushed to succeed. It’s a blessing that we have the creativity, but it’s on our own. You have to want to do it, and that is hard for a lot of people.

Prifogle: Sometimes it just gets hard to work with people. It can get really stressful with the deadlines. You’re supposed to ask for help, but it’s hard to ask for help when you know everyone else is stressed out too. It is a really stressful environment, but I also think that is why Magpie is so important because you learn how to deal with stress in those kinds of situations. 

Mucker:  I would say time management is the hardest thing. Trying to get everything to fit with each other can be difficult whether that be scheduling interviews, going to games, or taking pictures. You really have to know how to balance your time.

Zimmerman: The punctuality. It is so hard to make sure that you have everything done. I’m also a team leader, so I have other people that I am in charge of, and I have to make sure that they are getting their stuff done. I need to get my staff culture director duties done. Plus I’m a senior in high school, so I have so many other things going on. It can get really stressful, so punctuality is definitely one of the hardest things, just making sure that I can get everything done. You don’t want to disappoint these people, so you have to do your part. We all have to do our parts. It can just get hard when you fall behind.

Nomany: Trying to be punctual can be difficult sometimes. In high school, it gets really hard to balance your extracurriculars, academics and homework. It gets really hard too when all of your other classes are just piling homework on top of you, and you have an article dew the next day that you haven’t even started yet. Magpie just really requires you to be good at time management, and you just have to always get your stories done on time if you want to get a good grade.  

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