The Looking Glass

Continued: Looking Glass Senior Editors Leave Legacy of Success

Senior Editors Margaret Sparicio (left) and MaryGrace King (right).

Ana Liu '17

Senior Editors Margaret Sparicio (left) and MaryGrace King (right).

Alex Rider '18, Features Editor

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As seen in the May 2016 Senior Keepsake Print Edition, here is the continued article on this year’s Senior Editors:

 

You’ve all read their articles and fielded their interview questions, and for those of us on the Looking Glass, we’ve worked closely with them for years. Editor-in-Chief MaryGrace King ‘16 and Sports Editor Margaret Sparicio ‘16’s years of dedication and hard work have made the newspaper a great success; but, more importantly, their cheery and determined dispositions have been inspirational to the newspaper and Montrose communities. MaryGrace and Margaret have instilled a sense of school spirit and passion for writing that will live on through the student reporters they’ve influenced.

Mrs. Whitlock, who has served as advisor to the newspaper for the past two years, said: “MaryGrace has been a stalwart participant and committed leader of newspaper. She has taken a strong independent role while also supporting students with a gentle and encouraging approach. Her articles are exceptional, from in-depth analyses, opinion pieces, news pieces and features — to poems and legendary fun pieces for April Fool’s. We will miss her, but we also know that she has left the newspaper stronger for her leadership.” Mrs. Whitlock added: “Margaret is a go-to, behind the scenes leader who can bang out an article, scoop up photos and encourage writers. She is our secret success to getting most editions finished by deadline. Her can-do attitude makes her steady and always reliable.”

From Humble Beginnings to Becoming Editors

Margaret Sparicio ‘16 began writing for the newspaper in her junior year when she decided to take Journalism as an elective. She said: “I was never a big fan of writing essays, so at first I was actually extremely intimidated. However, as I started writing, I realized that journalism was something I truly enjoyed. Creative writing has always been something I love to do, and the student newspaper allowed me to pursue that love and still have a voice on student issues.”

MaryGrace King ‘16, on the other hand, was simply curious. She said: “I wanted to explore another creative outlet. Writing for the newspaper isn’t the same as writing for school or writing purely on my own. Instead, it’s a mix of the two: As a newspaper writer, I was able to write what I chose to explore, and then share it with the school community. Communicating with a school audience was a very interesting aspect to writing for The Looking Glass.”

Clearly, there was something more about writing for The Looking Glass that motivated the girls to more than willingly commit themselves to becoming editors. Margaret, who has been on multiple sports teams and coached JV lacrosse in the past, felt as though her personal insight on sports would add something special to the newspaper. She said: “I also love how there is a feeling of school pride behind every sports article that the newspaper publishes! It is not only invigorating for me and others in the Montrose community to be updated on the successes of our teams, but also interesting to learn about the hard work and commitment it takes for the players to reach their goals.”

For MaryGrace, it was a spirit of service that kept her writing for the newspaper: It was primarily the idea of writing for a general audience that encouraged her in becoming Editor-in-Chief. She said: “I liked the idea of polishing articles so they’d be ready for the school to read them. Looking over articles as a copy editor in my junior year helped me hone my own editing skills and also gave me the tools to make well-informed decisions as a chief editor this year. I was also inspired by Mrs. Whitlock and our two chief editors last year, Monica Stack ’15 and Katrin O’Grady ’15, to continue their hard work on the newspaper and keep it going.”

The Impact of Being an Editor

These Editors have undisputedly made lasting effects on The Looking Glass. But how has contributing to the newspaper impacted them?

MaryGrace said, “The newspaper has definitely opened my eyes to what’s going on around me. Sometimes I’ll hear about a notable thing someone did and think, ‘that would be a really good newspaper story!’ Journalism is about noticing the stories happening all around us and telling those stories in a compelling way so that others are interested, too.”  Margaret added, “I have developed a newfound respect for reporters that choose to cover controversial stories and topics. I have experienced firsthand the pushback that some articles receive because they are not necessarily the popular opinion. I have a huge amount of respect for writers who ignore the negativity and choose to report on topics they are passionate about or they think needs to be looked at in a different light.”

Favorite Articles

MSpar

Margaret Sparicio’s favorite article that she wrote was the Warning Expose article. She said: “I worked really hard to research my material and portray both sides of the situation in order to create a fair and accurate expose. I ended up receiving some criticism for my article because it was such a controversial topic, but in the end I still stand by the article.  At the newspaper, we work extremely hard to fact-check our information and gather personal quotes that help build the foundation for an accurate and interesting article. I am very proud to be part of a team that works so diligently.”

For MaryGrace King, she loved writing her poem, “Ode to the Senior Commons.”  She said, “I wrote it pretty spontaneously because I thought the print edition needed something to spice it up. It was fun to write and worked well in balancing the other articles, so it always counts as one of my favorites.” For an alternative favorite, Mary Grace chose the “Tributes to Friends” article. She says, “I loved how everyone got to participate by writing down their tributes and putting them in the box. It was actually really sweet to read and compile all the nice things Montrosians were saying about each other, and I hope that idea gets used next year, too.”

MG King

 

What They’ll Miss and What They Wish

MaryGrace King said, “I’ll definitely miss being immersed in the Montrose community, constantly surrounded by great stories to write about. Montrose and its students have so many interesting stories that I’ll be sad to miss, but I’m confident that the newspaper team next year will do an amazing job communicating them online and in the print edition. I’m already so impressed with the work of our writers! I know the Looking Glass is in good hands with the team we leave behind working on it. You can bet that I’ll be following along on the Looking Glass website when I’m in college next year!” Margaret Sparicio adds, “I really love working at the newspaper and know I will miss being able to have a student voice that investigates topics that require more clarity. I also love our little newspaper team that has really accomplished so much in just a short time. We have such an amazing team that constantly works to make the newspaper as great as it is. The head of that team is Mrs. Whitlock, and I honestly don’t know where we would be without her. She puts in so much time, energy, and thought into our newspaper and we have been so lucky to have her.”

Mementos and Words of Encouragement from the Members of The Looking Glass

The members of The Looking Glass remain touched by the work and spirit of Margaret and MaryGrace. One member said, “I didn’t really know either of them before, so participating in newspaper allowed me to get to know them through talking with them and reading their articles.” Another member was able to develop a close friendship with Margaret, “always sharing inside jokes in the hallway.” Others express their gratitude for having the chance to talk with them as MaryGrace or Margaret helped edit their articles. One said: “Through working with Margaret and MaryGrace, I really got an insight into their characters: they are truly kind and always willing to help, complete with a great sense of humor.”

The two girls have proved to be exemplary leaders in their field. Members unanimously agree that it will be difficult to fill MaryGrace’s shoes as Editor-in-Chief, and that Margaret’s high work ethic and dependability cannot be matched.

We thank Margaret and MaryGrace for the tireless time, work, and effort that they have put into the newspaper these past few years. It has benefited not only the constituents of The Looking Glass, but also the readers and the entire Montrose community. Your work is of utmost value and is greatly appreciated. We will miss you next year, but know that the newspaper has been made all the better from your leadership.



Above: MaryGrace King ’16 and Margaret Sparicio ’16, illustrated by Molly Bowman ’18, Layout Editor and Cartoonist.


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