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Rebekah Bushmire

Signing off

Outgoing Editor-in-Chief Rebekah Bushmire reflects on her four years in the newsroom

I joined the Trail my freshman year after the high schoolers visited us at Booth. They spoke with us, taught us a few things and from that moment on I was hooked. Journalism. One thing I was not prepared for, or thought I would ever enjoy, is journalism and yet looking back on it, I never would’ve gotten here any other way. 

Starting off my freshman year, I was a terrible student journalist. I don’t think I published five articles during the entire year but my focus and talents turned to photography. Where I lacked in writing articles I made up for in photo coverage. After that freshman year, I genuinely considered giving up. And I did. 

I was not a part of the Trail staff for my first semester of sophomore year but after one semester, I transferred classes and became a part of the staff again, but this time I did better. I was by no means a great reporter then either, another time I had barely five articles published but I grew a lot in my photography too. 

The end of sophomore year rolls around and editor positions for the next year are being offered. I got called back into the photo lab by my former editor-in-chief and managing editor. I’m prepared for my offer. I know what is coming. Photography editor of course.

Mikayla Carrino

“We would like to offer you the position of editor-in-chief.”

I genuinely think I stopped breathing for a couple seconds and my heart plummeted into my shoes. Me? Editor-in-chief? Absolutely not, there is no way I am capable of that role because I don’t even know how to be a good writer on my own so there is no chance I can lead a staff. 

But they believed in me. My adviser believed in me. I didn’t believe in myself but because they were on my side, I agreed to take on the daunting role of editor-in-chief. 

Flash forwards to now, the end of senior year and my second year as editor-in-chief of the McIntosh Trail. I want to share some of the accomplishments the staff has made over the past two years.

  • For the first time in the history of our program, our news site has been names a SNO Distinguished Site, and one of only two named in the state of Georgia
  • The staff has brought home dozens of awards from GSPA in both the All-Georgia and Superior categories
  • Staffers have been awarded “Best of SNO” awards for their articles
  • We published our first-ever back to school magazine, “Back to Mac”

Those are just some of the highlights for the staff overall. Now I want to share some of my personal accomplishments.

  • I was the Public Communications Intern with the City of Peachtree City
  • I represented Georgia nationally for two years in a row as a Student Press Law Center New Voices Student Representative
  • I served two years as a Georgia Scholastic Press Association Student Ambassador
  • I have taught two separate workshops at the Georgia Scholastic Press Association’s journalism conferences
  • I have won multiple All-Georgia and Superior awards for my writing, photography and social media reporting
  • I won the Principal’s Award at senior honors night
  • I have represented the school on the Superintendent Student Advisory Council for two years

These are all amazing things, none of which could’ve happened without my presence in the world of student journalism. I make every attempt to be humble and as my father taught me: give away credit and take the blame. Those are prime qualities of leadership. That being said, I am proud of my work here at the McIntosh Trail and I am proud of the growth of our program and the people within it. 

My advice to the returning staff, and to everyone in general, is to always take every chance you get. I never would have achieved all of that if I hadn’t taken the first step. All you need is one person to believe in you, and that is enough. It doesn’t even need to be you. I didn’t believe in myself at all in the beginning and now I have gained confidence, character, humility, understanding and lessons through trial and error. 

Editor-in-Chief Rebekah Bushmire passing the torch to upcoming Editor-in-Chief Grace Lovejoy (Yasemin Kalpakci)

I was not a perfect editor-in-chief, and there will never be a perfect editor-in-chief. But I tried my best and we saw the results. I kept showing up and I tried my best to help the staff.

My advice to future editors is this: you may not be perfect, but don’t let mistakes and doubt get to your head and mess you up. Keep going, keep testing the waters and don’t let one mistake throw you off. Learn from it, embrace it with respect and humility. Take accountability and move forward with grace. 

Thank you to the staff members who were patient and understanding with me when I would get backed up in the editing process and who would never fail to bring a smile to my face when I stepped into the newsroom, no matter how bad my mood could be. Thank you to my team of editors who always have my back with editing and they were always the rock I could stand on to keep us afloat. Thank you to my adviser, Shanon Woolf, for believing in me all those years ago and trusting me to grow into the person I am today. 

And finally, thank you McIntosh, for allowing me to serve as your newspaper editor-in-chief for two years. Some of the best moments of high school happened right there in the newsroom.

 

Signing off,

Rebekah Bushmire, Editor-in-Chief

 

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  • Mikayla SantiagoMay 16, 2024 at 9:39 pm

    AWW Becka! I Miss You already! Come back

    Reply
  • Yasemin KalpackiMay 15, 2024 at 1:17 pm

    Bekah, trust me when I speak for everyone, and say you will be greatly missed. It has been awesome to see you get all of the recognition you deserve at GSPA, and I cannot wait to see you do more awesome stuff. <333

    Reply