The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

PHS News: A Year in Review

The+PHS+News+Editors+pose+for+their+profile+photo+on+their+publications+website.+These+editors+have+displayed+extreme+determination+and+care+throughout+the+2023-2024+school+year.
Sydney Appleton and Lucas Howes
The PHS News Editors pose for their profile photo on their publication’s website. These editors have displayed extreme determination and care throughout the 2023-2024 school year.

180 days. That’s how long the PHS Newspaper staff spent together this year. The team, consisting of diligent and hardworking students, made the most of this year. One-of-a-kind projects, articles, and stories were released on various platforms throughout the year, ultimately building the website’s reputation and helping Plant Panthers get the most up-to-date stories and information possible and it’s all because of the staff and editors efforts. Without their determination and skill, PHS News would not have achieved all it did this school year.

Editor in Chief(s)

As the staff returned, they waved goodbye to the previous year’s seniors and welcomed the new Editor in Chiefs. This year’s group of EICs consisted of five extremely bright young women who were undaunted by the significance of their new roles. They took on their jobs with all the confidence needed to get things done, and that is precisely what they did.

Seniors Abby Pointer and Ellis Brandon collaborated to create a Print Magazine to serve as a secondary form of publication, fulfilling the role of Print EICs. Their magazine features many unique souls that make Plant High School what it is. Ellis managed all the content that shaped the magazine, and Abby designed it. The two put in immense effort to make the print magazine spectacular, and their commitment will shine bright when the magazine is distributed at the end of the school year.

As Publication and Coverage EICs, Seniors Luka Vaicekauskas and Emily Mangione worked on making sure the paper covered every event, club, class, and sport. Emily helped represent these associations, shedding light on each group and teaching Plant Panthers more about what builds their school. Luka offered countless ideas to staffers on what they could write about while crafting her own pieces. She taught them how to be good writers and peers, helping them learn professional journalism skills.

Seniors Sydney Appleton and Giada Moralejo served as EICs for the website. Sydney edited, reviewed, and posted articles daily, getting out content to the many individuals involved with Plant High School while frequently presenting lessons and teaching her peers how to complete projects correctly. Giada approved content, provided ideas, and worked with the staff to ensure their work was as good as possible. She also ensured all assignments were completed and posted on the platforms on time. Both worked tirelessly with their staff and peers to keep the website running smoothly while forming lifelong friendships with their team members. Their extensive effort is visible as phsnews.com is exquisitely maintained, and the newspaper classroom has a welcoming environment.

Section Editors

The publication’s platform for releasing content is phsnews.com. The site gets hundreds of views daily and has five main sections: News, Culture, Sports, Opinions, and Features. These five sections keep the site organized and offer a home for each article that is posted to the site. Each section has a central leader who is responsible for editing each piece that

fits into that section’s category. The role of a section editor is tedious and demanding, but each one in Plant Newspaper fulfills their role spectacularly.

When a viewer reaches the website, the first thing that they see is the news section. Junior Ellianna Valkenburg kept this section manicured thoroughly as she edited work quickly, fact-checked diligently, and stayed tuned to current events. She created countless news stories of her own but also helped her peers understand the importance of a news section. The section covered everything from local, school-specific news to global events important to Panthers. Ellianna’s passionate and kind personality helped her to create strong bonds with many of her peers. Because of this, she inspired many students to write news articles, ultimately growing the section. Her loving energy is clear, leaving everyone who interacts with her with a bright smile.

Below the news section is the features section. Daniel Beccue, a junior in newspaper, managed the features division well by covering many topics throughout the year. He wrote countless features while collaborating with peers to write features on topics like school events, student achievements, and worldly events. Daniel is organized, thoughtful, and determined to get things done promptly. His passion for keeping the website going is displayed through these traits, as he will drop everything to get an article submitted to Sydney so she can post it to the site.

Following features, viewers are brought to the sports section. After some difficulty with growing the sports section, this year, the editor was determined to break the cycle and finally make the publications sports tab known to all. Junior Bella Johnson took the section and turned it into something grand. This year, the section covered every sport at Plant, creating fantastic content that brought in hundreds of website viewers. In January of this year, one of Bella’s articles received a Best of Sno award. This award is given to articles written by students who are a part of the Sno Sites program, an association for student journalism and school publications. The recipients of this award are recognized by the association for having written a one-of-a-kind, magnificent article. Bella’s Best of Sno article was about the University of Georgia Football coach Kirby Smart visiting Plant High School. On the day of his visit, Bella dropped everything to write a detailed, thorough news article about the event, leading her to win the award.

After sports, the opinions section has its home. Senior Amelia Knust has led this section to victory this year, creating a unique space for student writers to share their voices. Amelia focuses her writing on pop culture topics, such as new albums, songs, movies, or even concerts and festivals. She helped her peers to find confidence in sharing their thoughts and voices. Opinions was a well-loved section among the staff, as it was several writers choice when writing. Many students adore opinions because it allows them to speak their minds, and no one can shut them down. In the high school environment, students often don’t use their voices and have to do what they are told. Opinions allow them to break free from this and share their thoughts freely.

The culture section neighbors’ opinions, offering similar stories. It also shares stories about art, history, movies, films, music, and more. However, unlike opinions, it does not incorporate student voice. Junior Kate Fairbairn pioneered the culture section this year, leading it to great heights by sharing stories about sections of plants that are not typically covered. Kate did a fantastic job ensuring that all areas of the high school were covered and represented through the paper and helped her peers do the same. Kate’s kind personality was passionate about shedding light on all the groups involved with Plant so that everyone could be represented. She spent much of her time writing about the Color Guard, a performance group at Plant. In previous years, the group was not mentioned throughout the publication. However, Kate stopped this by going above and beyond to bring this group into the spotlight. She wrote extraordinary pieces throughout the year, incorporating critical stories into the publication. Kate’s soul did an excellent job of shining a light on groups that are not appreciated as they should be. Her considerate personality has taken her far and will continue to do so.

Social Media

As stated previously, the publication has many ways to release content. The website and the print magazine are established platforms for PHS News, as are the social media pages. The publication posts to Instagram and Facebook every school day, engaging with countless Panthers and their families.

EIC Giada Moralejo managed the social media platforms at the start of the year. Sophomore Stella Griggs began helping Giada manage the social media accounts in the middle of the school year. EICs Sydney and Giada taught Stella how to edit, review, and post social media pieces. They collaborated on these projects, ultimately bringing in more viewers and advancing the platform’s designs and layouts. Stella’s organization and technique when crafting and editing social media posts has changed and improved the publication.

All in All

The work completed throughout the year by the staff, editors, and newspaper supervisor, Christina Porcelli, displays the hard work, determination, and talent of all PHS News members. Ms. Porcelli, the Plant Journalism teacher, supervises the newspaper class. Although the class is student-led, she provides advice, wisdom, and strength to the publication and is the glue that holds it together.

The year was filled with many ups and highs for PHS News, and it was certainly one to remember. The work done for the newspaper will forever be memorable to the creators, as they had the chance to work while creating lifelong bonds with their teammates. That opportunity does not come often.

Personal Statement

To all the editors and staff members, and of course, Ms. Porcelli, thank you so much for all you do. Being an EIC for you all made my year, and I will miss you and the work we did together tremendously.

And with that, the 2024-25 school year has come to an end.

Several of the editors of this years staff pose together to capture their last moments all together. Many of the editors and staffers have formed strong team-like bonds, but also loving friendships that will last for a lifetime.
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About the Contributor
Sydney Appleton
Sydney Appleton, Online Editor In Chief

Hi everyone! My name is Sydney and this is my third year on staff. I am this year's Online Editor In Chief. I love to play piano, write, and spend time with my friends and family. This summer I attended the School of the New York Times to study Journalism. I can’t wait for a great year! 

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