Senior Chloe Ward prepares for future, reflects on contributions to student media staff

Caroline Knapp, Staff Writer

After two and a half years on the Student Media staff, senior Chloe Ward will say goodbye at the end of this year as she graduates and begins her journey after high school. Chloe began her journalism career at GCAA when she joined staff second semester of her sophomore year. She eventually rose in the ranks to become the photo and design editor. Her favorite thing about being on staff has been “the conversations that we have in class and at conferences about the idea of sharing the truth and always being honest and about the power of the press and that kind of thing,” Ward elaborated that she thinks it’s really interesting to have that conversation as student journalists.

One of Ward’s other favorite things about being on staff is being the photography and design editor. Although Ward was originally deciding between applying for photo editor or design editor, Travis Armknecht, high school English teacher and student media advisor, ended up combining them both into one position because the staff was so small, and they needed someone who could do both positions: “I had taken photo and design, and we needed someone that had that experience that could do both jobs,” reflects Ward.

Ward came to GCAA in 8th grade, and loved the teachers and the visual arts department here. She admires how the teachers “really care about the students that they’re teaching, and that’s really helpful when you’re a student, to know that there are teachers that care about you.” She also reflected on how the visual arts department has grown noticeably over the time she’s been here and how flexible it is in terms of the types of projects students can take part in: “I feel like there’s a lot of room for creativity in my art classes that I don’t know if I would have found anywhere else,” Ward expressed.

As far as next year, Ward hopes to attend Webster University, where she was just accepted into the songwriting program. She admits that “might sound a little weird given that [she’s] in the visual arts program and [she’s] going into songwriting,” but she has loved music for a long time and wants to explore songwriting as a possible career path. She believes that her experience being on student media staff will help her in the future by “understanding what it means to work as a team and also to be in a leadership position as an editor.” Through her two and a half years on staff, Ward has also learned how to better work with other people and how to understand that there are other people depending on her, and she must take responsibility for her own work: “the final product is a combination of how hard each individual person works,” Chloe articulates.

Ward wouldn’t completely rule out participating in student journalism again in the future: “I have considered looking into student media again in college, and into being on staff at Webster or wherever else I may go… because I enjoyed it here and I have experience,” she states. No matter what she does with her future, Ward will miss the environment that is present in the classroom. She remarks that “we’ve created a sense of community on staff, and I’m going to miss having that place and the community.” Well, Chloe, we will miss you too:


“I think [Chloe’s] always been a force for camaraderie. Everybody is always together with her. I’ll miss having someone who is always understanding… I”ll miss her presence and the way she will always listen to what I have to say… She’s always there.” -Quin Holt


“This year, as the photo and design editor, she was taking on what had been two people’s jobs previously… She was our primary yearbook designer and a majority of the spreads in the yearbook had at least some influence [by her], but many were entirely designed by Chloe herself, so that was pretty significant. It means that she really left her mark on this year’s book in terms of that design. Now, she is doing essentially a solo project with the senior magazine in terms of designing this all on her own, and is spearheading that as the editor-in-chief of that magazine.” -Mr. Armknecht


“Chloe has contributed such intelligence in each aspect of what a journalism classroom should look like. She contributes excellent work in storytelling, photography and design, which helps tie aspects of media together, whether it be for the senior magazine, yearbook, or website. I will miss how dedicated she is to perfecting her craft, which is essentially design and photography. She is very detail-oriented which is always good to have in a journalism classroom.” -Elyse Luecke
“I don’t know how I would have been able to complete the yearbook without Chloe’s help. I remember the first week or so of school I started attempting to make spread layouts- emphasis on attempting. I created one that ultimately became our division spread, thanks to Chloe’s eye for detail. I initially sent Chloe a spread with a dull, slanted triangle, and what was returned to me was a true masterpiece. Chloe took my design and turned it into something I would have never been able to create! Her own style is represented fluently throughout the entire book, and anyone who has the chance should not pass up the opportunity to see the amazing work she has done. I will definitely miss her creative expertise next year.” – Keeley Burke