Bittersweet Beginnings

BITTERSWEET BEGINNINGS -- From left to right: DayOnna Carson, Danae Wnuk, Abby Young, and Cassandra Castillo enjoy a Powderpuff game as sophomores.

Jaheim Williams

BITTERSWEET BEGINNINGS -- From left to right: DayOnna Carson, Danae Wnuk, Abby Young, and Cassandra Castillo enjoy a Powderpuff game as sophomores.

DayOnna Carson, Editor in Chief

Who would have thought that my final story— not my first— would be the hardest to write? Outside of class, I would spend most of my time each week working on assignments, if not thinking about the people that made up the Central Digest. Even on summer break, I constantly thought of story ideas and other ways to improve the way I reported news to our cherished readers.

I remember my first day walking into seventh period; I was quite a shy kid who had little experience writing nonfiction. I thought that I would never be able to gain the courage to interview “strangers” around the school. However, I quickly learned that interviewing was not overwhelmingly intimidating. In fact, interviews turned out to be more like conversations that revealed the deep admiration and dedication that permeates Central High School. Just by hearing teachers and administrators praise students for their achievements, as well seeing as students’ faces lighting up at the mention of their favorite classes, I could tell that there is a strong sense of supportiveness among these groups. I realized they were not mere “strangers,” but a close-knit community that acted as a second family.

The Central Digest helped me break out of my shell and feel like I was part of something bigger than itself. There are many skills that I developed through journalism, such as networking and communicating with administration, that will be useful throughout my life.

Taking on the role of Editor-in-Chief this year was a big leap for me. I never had such an important responsibility as leading an entire class before, so I feared that I would not be able to fulfill the role. However, it is through the wonderful 2019-2020 staff that I was able to develop the skills necessary to collaborate with others and maintain the website.

Jack, with his many “bathroom breaks,” was always willing to help out when necessary, bringing up various podcast and video ideas.

Ashley was a breath of fresh air with her timely work ethic and dedication to writing. I have been in her presence enough to realize how much of a genuine, kind person she is.

I have had the most amazing conversations with Baylee, who always knew how to brighten everyone’s day and make class enjoyable. I am sad that you could not spend the entire school year at Central, but I am happy to have gotten to know you over the years.

Sarah Katheron, you have proven to be a strong leader and talented journalist. It is comforting to know that there are still people out there who are passionate about telling the untold stories of others. With your achievements, you are bound to go on to do great things, and I cannot wait to see you lead the staff one day.

Morgan, I am so glad that I got to know you more this year! You are such a funny, intelligent person to be around, and I miss those days in personal finance. You always have the inside scoop, and I cannot wait to see you become a well-known muckraker.

Karleigh, you are one of the most talented, driven people I know! Your creative nature and knack for graphic design and editing has inspired me so much! You have a very bright future ahead of you, and I am confident that you will be amazing at helping lead the staff and will take the Digest to even greater heights.

Blake, you are naturally a genius. Great things lay ahead of you, and I am certain you will do an amazing job as leader of the staff next year.

Bailey, I miss your Nicki Minaj performances and random history facts. You are a very smart, sweet, and organized individual. I know that I am leaving the staff in good hands with you as one of the leaders.

Jaheim, you always know how to brighten the mood, and you know how to tell a good story in person! I enjoyed hearing all the questionable and hilarious encounters you have had with people.

Abby, where do I begin? You are such a gifted writer, and I miss laughing until I cried with you. I appreciate you for always being so kind to me and being my partner in crime. I can totally see you becoming a screenwriter yourself, and definitely starring in films, as you are a very gifted actress.

Danae, I am so glad you decided to join our staff this year! I hope that you enjoyed your time in journalism, having discovered another medium of writing that you have grown to love. We have been inseparable over the years, partly because of our nearly identical schedules, but there is no better person I would have liked to spend my classes with! Thank you for putting up with me all this time and not being annoyed by my random tendencies.

Cassandra, you are the glue that keeps the class together. I would lose my head if it were not attached to my body; however, you were always there to remind me of things and organize our Digest celebrations. I am so glad you decided to join me in journalism all those years ago after I persistently claimed,“It will be fun!” Thank you for taking on the job of Videographer as well as Copy Editor. You produced the best videos that we ever published on the Digest’s channel. I appreciate you for always encouraging me when I did not believe in myself and even helping me prepare for my college interviews. I do not deserve a friend as loyal and great as you, and I know you will prosper as a video editor, historian, and renowned journalist.

Mr. Cantrell, I do not know where to start. Even in your English classes, you strove to set the bar higher for me, always encouraging me to do my best and reach for more and more ambitious goals. Your instruction was different because most of my other English teachers did not bother to give me pointers since my writing was already pretty decent. Without you, I never would have been able to attend the Princeton Summer Journalism Program, which helped prepare me for my role as Editor-in-Chief, as well as the college application process. I appreciate you for writing a multitude of teacher recommendations for me as well. I will miss hearing “Dominique” and watching clean Vine compilations with the class. I hope that I can make you proud, and thank you again for allowing me to lead such a talented staff this year.

Although it is unfortunate that COVID-19 cut this school year short, I am eternally thankful for all the fun moments we got to spend together. From using a vintage “spaceship” waffle maker to spraying invisible ink on each other, I have a lot of great memories of the Digest that I will cherish forever.

I am always here for you guys, so do not hesitate to contact me for anything.