Paw Print: A Year in Review (2017-2018)


Alyssa Hein

Mrs. Edwards reunites with the students from the Paw Print.

Renee Chaples and Aislinn Connon

This year of Paw Print has by far been the most hectic. Not only did the class go through two teachers within the year, but we also went from old school print newspaper to having our own online website.

On the first day of class, Aislinn and I were greeted with what seemed to be a pleasant surprise. We had fourteen people in the class. The year prior there were only five students at most which meant each individual person was responsible for nine, even ten, articles per issue. This also meant newspapers would take longer to publish. We had high hopes for the newcomers and thought that we could get papers out more regularly, especially considering students were now only responsible for three to four articles. Spoiler alert, we were let down.

What started out as a seemingly promising year quickly turned to a year of complete chaos. First it was smaller issues. Lots of people meant the class needed far more structure, and often times people would ignore the structure we put in place. This caused the first newspaper of the year to be pushed back by nearly a month.

Fortunately, we tried to keep a positive outlook on things. With the experience from the first newspaper, everyone could move towards improvement. This actually turned out to be the case, since the second newspaper was going far more smoothly than the previous one. However, this bliss would quickly come to end. First, I got pneumonia and was out of school for an entire week. A few weeks after I returned, we got the news that our teacher was fired. We were only days from the final deadline of the second newspaper and we did not have a teacher. Aislinn did her best to round up all the old articles, but eventually the second semester started and we lost a good portion of the class.

Once some people had abandoned the Paw Print, quite a few of us stayed back in hopes of finishing off this paper. Two girls did end up joining whom we gave some left over articles to work on together since we were running out of options. Eventually, we did finish the newspaper, but after waiting an extra month for the prints to arrive we realized we had made a tremendous mistake. In an article dedicated to Alyssa Wood, a picture of Emma Doran stood in the place where Wood’s face was supposed to be. This did not go over well with the student body at first, but eventually everyone had completely forgotten about this ordeal and it now only exists as an inside joke between the Paw Print staff.

Eventually word got around about the new teacher hired to fill in for Mrs. Edwards. The new teacher started and at first the Paw Print staff was not happy with the replacement. We all just wanted our original ‘mom’ back but we came to accept our fate and our new teacher. Ms. Dow thankfully accepted our strange sense of humor and odd habits within the class and did not try to reroot everything we had done. She did have a big hand in helping us go completely online and although we miss the printed newspaper, having a website is far more convenient and practical.

Months passed by and we actually started enjoying having our new teacher. Although we never really warmed up to her, for the most part we were okay with the current condition. However, she did seem to be too lenient with the editing and no matter how often Aislinn tried to tell our peers that they must show her their articles before Dow could see them, this was more than often ignored. The quality of the articles being produced quickly suffered quite a hit.

Now comes the final week of school and the students have come to learn that Dow, like Edwards, would not be returning for the rest of year. Rumor has it she may have been fired, or even quit. No one is really sure but that did not matter since Paw Print returned to its root, being chaotic and teacherless. The only adult we had could fully counted on throughout the year was Mr. Fuller, who was kind enough to keep us informed and help us with editing.

According to Fuller, about the same amount of the students have signed up for the class for the next school year. Hopefully by then we will have a teacher, but at this point nobody knows.