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Editorís Closing: Another great year at SNN comes to an end
By: Ashleigh Viveiros, SNN Senior Editor, Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, MB

SNN started off this year with a new look and a new coordinator, as longtime coordinator Beth Ryan left us and Carmelita Joy-Bolger joined the crew. Thanks in part to Carmelitaís efforts, SNN got a ďface-liftĒ, that is, a newer, sleeker and cooler looking website.

Whether it was thanks to the new website, or whether word just got around about how much fun SNN is, we had a record breaking number of teenagers contributing to SNN this year from all over Canada, primarily, though, from Manitoba, Newfoundland, and Ontario.

A number of new programs and events also began this year, including the attempt at cross-Canada collaborations between SNN reporters. Unfortunately, this didnít catch on too well. We only had one such collaboration (between myself and Danielle McC. of St. Johnís Nfld), but maybe next year, you guys will be more adventurous.

After a number of years of being just talk, the first School Net News Student Journalism Award was awarded to three aspiring young journalists. The award was judged by professional journalists and journalism teachers from across Canada and was sponsored by Readerís Digest. Jillian Dollimont-Caines of Port Saunders, Newfoundland received $500 for first place, Allison Barnes of Thunder Bay, Ontario got $300 for second, and Lily Smallwood, also of Port Saunders, received $150 for third place.

A lot of big things happened in world news over the past year and SNN reporters were quick to show their views on a number of big topics. Andreas R., a Norwegian Exchange Student from Thunder Bay, Ontario, wrote an article on the Napster controversy, and Isaac A. of St. Stephens, New Brunswick, wrote a tribute to former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who died this past September. And an excellent article on the plight of women in Afghanistan was contributed by Katrina M. of Brooks, Alberta.

SNN reporters were particularly interested in the issue of the teen image and how media and adults tend to portray and see us. There were several notable articles on this issue, among them, one by Danielle McC. of St. Johnís, Nfld. Articles on teen stress, teen suicide, drug and alcohol use, and peer pressure were also big this year including an informative article on teen suicide by Michelle V. of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

This is whatís so great about School Net News: that students can write about whatís important to them. SNN is an outlet for teenís ideas, a place where you can vent, where you can write things that anger you, or that you feel need recognition. Itís an organization that gives the teenagers of Canada a voice in a society that sometimes forgets weíre here. SNN gives teens an opportunity to let their opinions be heard on a national scale. Itís a place where you can be secure in the knowledge that somewhere out there are students who will read your article, and nod their heads in agreement.

SNN is for the shy kid that sits at the back of the class, praying that the teacher wonít call on her. Itís for the popular kid who doesnít know how to make his opinions known. Itís for the dreamer, who writes articles about the amazing future we have in front of us. Itís for all the kids who have a passion, whether it be writing, sports, or movies...whatever it is. SNN gives them a chance to let their opinions be heard by thousands. This, I feel, is one of the most important aspects of SNN.

SNN is written by students for students. Our opinions. Our concerns. Our hopes and dreams. Nothing can compare to that. That is why SNN is so important, and why I am honored to have taken a role in helping to decide the direction and content of this yearís program. I thank all of you who have made this year at School Net News so great. This program is one of the things that I will miss most when I graduate from high school, for it has helped me make the decision to become a professional journalist, a career that I might have never thought of if not for my chance to write for SNN.

Have a great summer! And best of luck with next yearís, undoubtedly, great issues.

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