November Showcase: Emily Jorgensen


Emily Jorgensen and Sarah Harris, Messenger associate editor and member of the sports coverage group, race each other in Mario Kart. Sarah won, but Jorgensen was not embarrassed by her sixth place ranking. The newspaper staff deserved a play day because they worked remotely the entire snow day to make Issue 3 deadline. They also came in at 6:30 a.m. the day of deadline to make finishing


I advise the Messenger publication online and in print as well as MHSNews (broadcast). In addition to the two production courses, I teach Writing & Reporting, Visual Journalism and Introduction to Digital Media Production.


Current Focus:

Today’s focus is on re-energizing the staff after a deadline and before an even tighter deadline, so we are having a Mario Kart tournament. Play contributes to creativity as well as staff bonding and increased morale. Every week we do some sort of activity during our block period to encourage coverage groups to work together and to compete against each other in friendly competition. Sometimes the activities are curriculum based, such as scavenger hunts for story ideas or sources, but other times, like today, they are pure fun. We have a tally going of points each coverage group earns through each activity and the winner at the end of the semester will get bragging rights (and maybe a sweet treat). Features is in the lead and sports is last right now. I also have other stress relievers in the room for students to play before school, during lunch, after school, during Flex Time, etc. The staff has a table where they always have a puzzling going that they all work on. I also have coloring pages in the room and other toys I occasionally put out such as brain teasers, Rubik cubes, etc. We also have a snack/coffee bar that is regularly stocked.


Timely tip:

For my staffs, and possibly for yours, this time of year is when we start planning for next year’s staff.

Within the staff, the main editors are going to more actively train students to take over next school year by teaching them leadership skills and have them shadow what they do. We’ll add staff at semester, so we need our newbies to not be newbies anymore. Outside the staff, we’ll also start implementing our recruitment plans because January will be here before we know it.