HomeStudentsA Sandpiper Retrospective

A Sandpiper Retrospective

Published May 31, 2023


After a combined 11 years of experience with The Sandpiper, countless hours spent conducting interviews, writing articles and making the newspaper’s layout, our time at Carmel High School has come to a close, signifying the end of our tenure at The Sandpiper. As co-editor-in-chiefs for two years, we’ve had the pleasure of working with two amazing staffs…and with each other. 

Sophia Bone 

I’ve always enjoyed writing and hearing about people’s stories, so when I first picked up a copy of The Sandpiper my freshman year at CHS, I was so excited to discover that Newspaper was a class I could take. Growing up watching “Gilmore Girls” with my mom, I was always in awe of how the protagonist, Rory, was so passionate about journalism, and I was eager to love something in that way. In my mind, this was the perfect class for me.

However, I almost didn’t take it for even a second year. What I didn’t realize was that Newspaper was hard. Being a 15-year-old reporter that could only interview sources over Zoom was challenging, and it was hard to see the benefits of my work. I had to constantly push myself to reach out to community members to talk to and find stories.

These challenges are all so important to how I grew as an individual. I have never been more cognizant of happenings in my community because, before taking this class, I didn’t realize the importance that journalism has in bringing people together. While reaching out to people is daunting, I learned that everyone has something to say and is usually grateful when someone gives them the gift of saying it.

Despite being online my first year, Newspaper was the one class where I really got to know my peers. This class attracts cool, intelligent people who are just fun to be around. When we came back in person, I realized this and was so glad I stayed in this class so I could keep surrounding myself with great humans. 

Being an editor with Riley and Emma has just been the best. These two marvelous humans inspire me to work hard and make them proud. We are a team, and being able to be there for each other through seemingly endless ad checks and little (sometimes not-so-little) mistakes has made us so close. Thank you guys. 

And thank you readers for letting me grow into the writer I am today. Yes, I might still not really understand what an Oxford comma is, but besides that, I know that with the support of such a strong community, I have blossomed into a stronger writer than I had previously thought imaginable. 

Emma Brown

I wanted to join The Carmel Sandpiper before I ever stepped foot on the Carmel High School campus. When I was sitting next to his daughter, my best friend, in the backseat of Mr. Palshaw’s car on the way home from softball practice, I picked up an issue to make room for my bag. At the time, I wanted a venue in which I could write and be read. As a senior, I am saying goodbye to The Sandpiper knowing that it has become so much more to me. 

When I started at The Sandpiper, I was fourteen, and could barely get through a budget meeting without quivering, absolutely terrified to share my pitch. But what I lacked in confidence, I made up for in determination. As a freshman, Mr. Palshaw reassured me, “You’ll get your story with teeth,” when he turned down a story proposal for what felt like the tenth time. If only he knew just how correct he would become.

The past four years, the Carmel community has experienced its fair share of controversy, and because I have been writing for The Sandpiper through that era of confusion, I have gained skills that I will take with me to future newsrooms. This paper is a culmination of student determination, a record of how we have preserved through unanswered emails and declined interviews. The Sandpiper teaches students how to operate in a world that is complicated, a world from which, to that point, they are largely sheltered. 

But my experience with The Sandpiper isn’t defined only by the articles that I wrote or the interviews I conducted, but by the memories that I made during my tenure. Like when Mr. Palshaw and I spent an entire class yelling about “To Kill A Mockingbird” or when I was forced to take a walk after getting so frustrated with the Adobe InDesign software that I was practically in tears. I think back fondly on snack-filled block periods, hours of ranking Taylor Swift songs and afternoons spent working on layout with Riley and Sophia after school. 

The Sandpiper is more than just a newspaper. It is a family of passionate students, of people who want to change the world and help the community. I’m so lucky to have been a part of it.

Riley Palshaw

I grew up in the classroom where the Carmel Sandpiper is made. Since my father is the adviser for the newspaper–if you haven’t figured that out by now, surprise!–I spent countless childhood hours in his room observing editors formulating the paper and overhearing discussions about layout, story pitches and interview strategies. Their conversations left a mark on me. 

Freshman year I stepped into the newsroom, not as an English teacher’s daughter, but as a staff writer. Although it took some time to get my bearings, I grew to love newsroom culture as a contributing member of the paper. After my first year on staff, I advanced to website editor and later co-editor-in-chief with Sophia and Emma from junior year on. While these roles have certainly provided me with technical abilities, like creating the paper on InDesign or running a website through WordPress, the best part of being a journalist is the growth I’ve experienced with interpersonal communication.

I find that I’ve developed confidence in having exchanges with all sorts of adults, whether it be a Pulitzer-shortlisted journalist, Carmel’s mayor, CUSD’s superintendent or the editor-in-chief of a local newspaper. I’ve realized the value of expressing interest in the interests of my interviewee, asking the superintendent about how the public records process is going and the athletic director about how his football season has gone. Taking time to hear about someone else’s pursuits can be rewarding, and at the end of the day I just love listening to people tell stories and talk about their passions. 

I’m not quite sure yet whether my ultimate path lies specifically in journalism or in something with broader communication applications, yet I know that interacting with people and crafting language is going to be a key component of it. It’s the world in which I grew up, and it’s a world in which I’m excited to continue to be a part of. 


No comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.