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The Purple Clarion

The Purple Clarion

Wilson to replace Wall as Purple Clarion adviser

Kylan Jerrell
Krystal Wilson teaches her Vocational English IV class.

Due to Purple Clarion adviser Cathy Wall’s retirement this year, the position to lead the newspaper was open. English and twenty-year HHS teacher Krystal Wilson plans to take the position, using her knowledge and experience as a student journalist to help spread the passion of journalism to her students.

“I have seen firsthand how instrumental journalistic writing has been in making me a better writer,” Wilson said. “I want to help pass that incredible gift to more students here at HHS so they can also benefit from those essential writing skills in their own futures.”

Current journalism teacher Cathy Wall has confidence that Wilson can take on the role.

“She knows what it means to truly do journalism,” Wall said. “She knows that sometimes it means giving up your time, it means giving extra energy, and she always took it incredibly seriously. This was not a game to her. When she was a kid, (the newspaper) was her thing, her niche, and so I think having those memories and that love for the process is going to work to her advantage.”

A change in scheduling will allow Wilson to better prepare for teaching journalism.

“My schedule next year will primarily consist of senior English,” Wilson said. “This will allow me to have fewer classes to prepare for and more time to focus on journalism. Medieval/Early British literature was my concentration area for my English degree, so this is a welcome change and one that I am very excited about.”

Wilson expects the class to stay strong despite it needing a new full staff next year.

“Since we will be rebuilding the staff from the ground up, there will likely be a strong emphasis on foundational skills (for next year),” Wilson said. “Rebuilding after losing so many seniors will be tough. However, I am confident with strong recruitment practices and consistency, the Purple Clarion will be fully staffed in no time.”

Wilson encourages interested students to join the newspaper next year.

“Any student can find their place on the newspaper staff,” Wilson said. “The only requirement is a willingness to learn and try.”

Wall has seen how journalism can help students in all walks of life.

“I have kids who are now in a wide variety of fields – medical, legal, armed services – any number of fields who still say that newspaper is what made them who they are,” Wall said. “You knock heads with one another, you challenge one another, and you have to be prepared to operate under a certain set of rules.”

Senior Frankie Messerschmidt, a three-year Purple Clarion member and current editor of the paper, seems to agree with Wall.

“Journalism has taught me that everyone’s voice matters and can help inform or make a difference,” Messerschmidt said. “It’s also taught me a lot in putting myself out there. I have to interview people I never would have talked to otherwise. I’ve learned and grown a lot as a writer. I’ve learned how to use all sorts of Adobe products. I’ve learned how to act like a businessperson. All of these are skills that can be carried into my life after graduation, whether it be for college, getting a job, or even a career. I hope to pursue journalism as a full career after graduation.”

Wilson is confident that she can manage the position, regardless of the challenges that come with it.

“I am not sure anyone is ever adequately prepared to teach journalism,” Wilson said. “Journalism is a unique field and subject because it is always changing and evolving along with the world around us. But, I have the drive, desire, and determination to ensure our program continues to be the standard of excellence when it comes to high school news production.”

Wilson looks forward to teaching the class next year.

“I am very excited to take on this new role,” Wilson said. “It is incredibly nerve-racking because I am stepping into some really big shoes. Mrs. Wall has built a fantastic program that is truly something our school, district, and community should be proud of and celebrate.”

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About the Contributor
Kylan Jerrell
Kylan Jerrell, Staff Writer
Kylan Jerrell is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is his first year working as an Purple Clarion staff member. He participates in the school band, playing the trombone for the concert, jazz, and marching band. He is also an active member in Key Club, History Club, Music Club and Book Club. He is passionate about literature, writing, and music.  Kylan spends his free time reading, writing short stories and poetry, practicing his instrument and listening to a wide variety of music. He plans on attending school to study both music and literature.  “Student journalism gives a voice to students, both as writers and participants in school activities. It is an essential part of the ‘High School Experience’.”

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