The Student News Site of Traverse City West Senior High

The Occidentalist

The Occidentalist

The Occidentalist


Should School Personnel Be Armed?

  • No (55%, 17 Votes)
  • Yes (45%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 31

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Letter From the Editor

Kendall’s final words of her Occidentalist newspaper experience
Photo Courtesy: Kendall Kaberle

  At the end of sophomore year, I was really bummed out that there was no longer going to be a French teacher at WSH. I had always wanted to learn French and become proficient in the language, but I had been put at a disadvantage. Going to sign up for my classes for the following year, I was quite unsure of what I was going to do in place of the credit I needed to graduate. I had heard from some friends that Newspaper was not their favorite class, but I had a background in Yearbook, as I took one year of the class in middle school. I had also always loved writing and English classes, so I decided to sign up for Newspaper. I was very unsure of this decision, but looking back it is one of the best decisions I made because of how much the class has brought into my life.

  The first day of my junior year, I walked into the first hour of the day, newspaper, I sat down in the first spot I saw; little did I know that the people I sat around would become some of the people I looked forward to talking to every day, and would be such a big part of the reason I learned to enjoy newspaper. These people were Wave Spence, Kate Barnum, Ava Nelson, Bella Walters, Anna Sperry, Nola Raven, and Karinda Tupper. The conversations we had while working on the publication were extremely meaningful to me and kept me afloat during the difficulties that my junior year presented. I was not sure what Newspaper would be like without these lovely people.

  As the first few months of the school year passed by, I chose to take on the role of section editor on the editorial board, and the role of business manager. I felt as though I had some favorable editing skills to contribute as many of my friends had asked me to proofread their essays over the years, and I also had similar experience to being a Business Manager because I was the Advertising Manager in my middle school Yearbook class. As time went on I became pretty comfortable editing stories, and through closely shadowing and observing the 2022-2023 Editor In Chief, Anna Sperry, I got a glimpse into how that leadership role takes place. She was always very patient whenever I asked her questions or wanted to talk to her about her role. Towards the end of the school year, I knew that I wanted to be an Editor In Chief for the 2023-2024 school year. At the end of the 2022-2023 year, Mrs. Tenbusch deemed a few others and I as the next group of “leaders” for the class. Then, we anonymously voted on leadership positions for the following year before attending Michigan Interscholastic Press Association’s (MIPA) summer camp at Michigan State University; not knowing what the year ahead would hold.

  While at camp, I chose to take the InDesign for Publications course, which helped to strengthen the page design skills that I lacked. After a week of playing around with design tactics and learning shortcuts and tips, I was confident in my ability to design a page on my own. Not only did I learn how to design a page and other journalistic techniques while I was there, but I also met a wide variety of new people, some of which I stay in contact with to this day – (shout out to my friend Chloe from camp, who I adore). MIPA was an unforgettable experience that I cannot recommend enough to any journalism student, whether they may be in Yearbook or Newspaper. The experience helped me to put myself out there and socialize with several others who share similar interests to me. It also gave me the opportunity to explore my future college, while having unique and fun experiences that the camp provided. It was hard to leave after the week was over and I would go 1,000 times over again.

  Flash forward to when senior year was about to begin, the other Newspaper leaders and I met with Mrs. Tenbusch to discuss how the new year would start, and I finally learned that I was going to be an Editor In Chief. I could not have been more thrilled; I felt extremely honored to be chosen for the position. I was also glad that Morgan Orth got the opportunity to be an Editor In Chief as well, and that we could split up the tasks rather than having it fall on one person’s shoulders. It took a while to get used to the balance of having two Editor In Chiefs, but I believe we handled it conscientiously. Eventually, I also figured out the balance between Newspaper responsibilities and school work as well. Yes, undoubtedly, there were times where I felt stressed trying to manage everything, but the people I had to support me made the struggle worthwhile, and showed me that my fierce sense of independence can be combated.

  I already felt as though I understood a lot of the things required of being a leader, but along the way I acquired so much more. Newspaper has given me the opportunity to learn better skills of communication, how to have a lot of patience and understanding while working with others, plus problem solving when a deadline is in your hands. Not only has Newspaper helped me improve some of my personal skills, but it has also helped me to socialize with people I never thought in a million years I would interact with. 

  I want to thank Emma Howell-Leman for always being a bright light whenever I walked into the newsroom (she always said hello to me or gave me a big hug when I needed it most).

  I am also very thankful for the connections I built with the freshman who were new to the class as well. One of the coolest experiences though was having my cousin/freshman, Coral Cravey, in the class with me as well. I feel as though it is pretty rare that a freshman and senior get to have classes together, nonetheless family members. Every day when I would see her in class I was always so thankful to be spending more time with her. 

  I would also like to thank Nola Raven, for always staying after school with me to work on meeting deadlines and being so supportive towards my position. I have loved being in the class with you the past two years, loved being roommates at MIPA, and I am so excited to go to Michigan State together. 

  Thank you to Ashley Beeler, my best friend, for choosing to try something new by taking the class; I am so grateful we were able to spend every first hour together, and that we could work alongside each other. 

  Thank you to Alexa Bageris, Sole Demeuse, Audrey Kohler, Emilia Shoemaker, Sammy VanWingen, and others who sat near me, for always being there to help out and have fun conversations during class this year.

  Moreover, thank you to the entire Occidentalist staff; I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside everyone in the class with the ultimate knowledge and leadership of Mrs. Tenbusch. There truly is no “I” in team, and everyone’s hard work and effort has definitely paid off in making this year’s publication so successful. I would also like to extend my thanks to Mrs. Tenbusch for being the fantastic mentor that she is; the Newspaper would not be the program that it is without her dedication. In conclusion, I am truly grateful for my time in Newspaper and the opportunities it has given me, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for The Occidentalist. I will miss everyone on the staff.

Next year, I will be attending Michigan State University to pursue a degree in Journalism. I am so excited to be a Spartan and continue family tradition of attending MSU. I also hope to be able to write for the local university news, The State News and I look forward to all of the opportunities that are about to open up for me. Writing holds a special place in my heart and I attribute a big part of it to my two years in Newspaper class.

With gratitude and thanks,


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About the Contributor
Kendall Kaberle
Kendall Kaberle, Co-Editor in Chief
Kendall Kaberle is a senior in her second year of newspaper. This year she decided to take on a larger leadership role as co-editor-in-chief as she really enjoys writing and editing stories. She chose to take this class as a backup option last year due to the fact that West doesn't have a French teacher anymore, but now she aspires to be a journalist. Outside of school, Kendall enjoys spending time with her family, and friends, weightlifting, and loves swimming in Lake MI. Kendall aspires to travel the world and write about her experiences while traveling.

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