Keep writing: A farewell perspective on SNN
By Sarah King, SNN Senior Editor, Ascension Collegiate, Bay Roberts, NL
It is with great sadness, and a heavy heart that I write this, my final piece for SchoolNet News Network. I have been involved with, in my opinion, the greatest online news resource for students and teachers since 1996. I started off as a contributor, then moved to the Editorial Board in 1999, where I served as Opinion Editor for two years, and since 2001 it has been my honour and privilege to be Senior Editor of SNN.
I can still remember the very first piece I ever wrote for SNN. I was twelve years old, and by far the youngest member of the SNN team covering STEM~Net's Hook Line & Net (HLN) '98 conference. At the keynote session, I was sent to interview David Plant. As a first-time journalist and first-time interviewer, you can imagine how nervous I was. I was so afraid I was going to ask the wrong questions and make a complete idiot of myself. However, I was pleased to discover that not only did I ask the right questions, Mr. Plant gave me exactly the information I needed to write my article. I'll never forget Ray McLeod of Auburn High in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia telling the group of SNN journalists at that conference that "the best piece we have here was written by the youngest student." Those words have been my reason for writing for so long.
After that conference, I became a regular contributor for SNN. In October of 1999, I was selected as one of 10 students from across the country to travel to Ottawa, Ontario for a Youth Journalism workshop. Again, I was by far the youngest student there, but I took from that conference many, many tidbits of information from professors at Carleton University, Beth Ryan (SNN's Coordinator at that time), and most importantly, from my fellow writers. At this conference, I was asked to join the editorial board of SNN and I gratefully accepted. From then on I was Opinion Editor for SNN, a section that has always been my personal favourite and the first place I go after entering the SNN webpage.
SNN has provided me with opportunities many young people can only dream of. I have traveled all over the province of Newfoundland, and throughout Canada, talking with talented high-school students who are eager to share their talents with their peers. SNN has also given me the chance to make many wonderful friendships. At HLN 1999, I was introduced to Jennifer Wu, winner of this year's SNN journalism award, and we have been friends ever since!
I am honoured to have been Senior Editor of SNN for the past two years, and I will certainly miss reading all of your works every month next year. I have seen many changes to SNN over the years. I have seen changes in leadership, and I have been delighted to work with such people as Beth Ryan, Ray McLeod and of course, Carmelita Joy-Bolger. To these people I extend a sincere thank-you for making SNN possible, and for giving our country's talented youth a forum for their views.
To all the SNN writers past, present and future I wish you good luck. Keep writing, and be sure to mention SNN in any job interviews that might appear on your horizons. I have been accepted into the University of New Brunswick's Leadership Studies program, one of only 25 students, and I am absolutely positive that having SNN on my resume helped me on this road. Please, keep your pens, pencils, typewriters, computers, whatever close at hand so that when you see news happening in your area you can be the first to record it. Keep those news, sports, entertainment, features and of course opinion articles coming.
I look forward to reading each and every one of the stories posted to the SNN website in the next few years. Along with my fellow Senior Editor, Julia Klassen I wish you all the best and I am sure that among you is the next Peter Mansbridge, the next Barbara Frum or Barbara Walters. Remember, it is you, the writers who keep such a wonderful endeavor as SNN alive. Without you, we are nothing. Thank you for six wonderful years.
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