The Juniata Valley Press Club has been an elective course at Juniata Valley for several years, but it has been headed by the adviser Andra Minor for the past nine. There have been eight writers yearly writing for the press club. Most have gone onto college, a trade school or straight into the workforce after graduating high school.
“In journalism, we think of ways to shine a light on events that are happening in the JV community. The students write stories diligently and use key reporting skills. In journalism, I hope the students will learn how to deal with stress and meeting deadlines, critical-thinking skills and work as a team,” explained Minor.
Stephanie Bishop, a Press Club student who graduated last year, shared her thoughts on Minor and her experience.
“I think Mrs. Minor is so enthusiastic about recruiting people and teaching them that anyone can write. I was not the best writer until she introduced me to journalism and, now four years later, I’m majoring in it at college,” commented Bishop.
Another past journalism student of the Class of 2016 Dinah Johnson furthered her education at Penn State Altoona in elementary education and is minoring in special education. Johnson is currently student teaching second graders at Juniata Gap before she graduates in the Spring. “Journalism made me a stronger writer and helped me express my thoughts through words. I recommend it to future students because it is a great way to involve yourself in the community and prepares you for college!” exclaimed Johnson.
Former journalist Michaela Smith, another 2016 graduate, completed three years of journalism. “I took this course with a lot of my very close friends. I had so many great memories with all of the girls and Mrs. Minor, but I would have to say that my favorite memory was our first time winning The Daily News (School of the Year Award), because we were all new to writing for the newspaper and the banquet was so much fun,” commented Smith.
For 2018 graduate Taylor Leidy, the press club gave her the opportunity to work on a different writing technique. “Michaela Smith was the one to introduce me to journalism and it sparked my interest!” Leidy stated. Leidy is currently majoring in health science at Lock Haven University and is a guard on the women’s basketball team.
Some past reporters even remember certain articles that were meaningful. Bishop recalled her favorite article: “I wrote an article on the history of the community and school district. The article included information that I myself didn’t know and information that most community members also did not know. I also got a quote from a local historian in the community who passed away recently. It was a different type of article and I enjoyed writing it!”
Each of these individuals diverged their paths in transition to different areas of study all using their journalism background to further their career decisions. Journalism has impacted each person in a different way and helped shape them into the student and person that they are today.
The Juniata Valley Press Club has won the school of the year award several times in the last nine years with Minor as the advisor. “Along with the other schools in the Daily News Press Club, we are working very hard towards the end goal of the school of the year award this year. We all however, enjoy reading the articles submitted by the students from other districts, as it gives us insight on what goes on in our local schools and how creative our reporters can all be! This is really a great program,” concluded Minor.