Jordan Pyle, Editor

I’m not sure I would be here today without this class, room, and the people who have filled it the past three years. Everyone I have seen come through this room and have interacted with has had some sort of impact on my life, for which I am eternally grateful, but in particular, those of you who have been around this year—even if we don’t talk often—have had the most lasting impact. This school year has been, and I do not say this lightly, the worst of my life. From the beginning, I was struggling and it just seemed to get worse at every turn. From family fights to illnesses to death of a family member to mental struggles, I felt like I was never going to catch a break. But the people in JE113 made it more bearable and made me feel exponentially less alone. There is so much more I could say about what this paper has done for me over the past three years, but the most powerful part of that influence lies within this school year, so I’m going to stick with that.

Before I go any further, I’m obligated to shout out my fellow editors, Riley and Claire, for everything they have done for me this year and in previous years. You guys helped hold us together after our previous adviser left, and this would not have been possible without the rapport between the three of us, which of course includes the completely sarcastic insults and jibes. This year, though, you both went above and beyond for our publication when I didn’t have the mental energy to focus on much more than I was already dealing with. You were both there for me through everything, and unfortunately, you both related to most of what I was—and still am—going through on a deeply personal level. For some reason I still can’t comprehend, you both listened to my rants and let me vent about all of my struggles even when you were going through your own things. I genuinely don’t know how to repay either of you for that, but just know that I would not be who I am without both of you, and I probably would have dropped out—as if my mom would have let me, but you get the point—by now if you hadn’t been there to support me. Throughout most of my life, I’ve felt like no one really likes me or wants me around, but you have made me feel wanted in some way, shape, or form. Forever and always, I love you guys (and yes that was a Taylor Swift reference because I couldn’t hold myself back).

To my fellow seniors, Max and Sam, you have both made this year and my high school experience so much more enjoyable, exciting, and entertaining. Max, you are the reason I found the courage to audition for our fall show freshman year, and though our four years of theater did not end the way anyone expected, I’m forever grateful that you pushed me to do something I never thought I could, because that tenacity and confidence has carried over into everything I do, including Clarion. Sam, there are no words that can truly encompass who you are as a person and a friend, but it is incredibly telling that all of our friends consider you to be the nicest person they have ever met. You are the kindest and most genuine person I know, and getting to spend everyday with you at school is truly a blessing. You are absolutely hilarious and no matter what happens or how I’m feeling, you always manage to make me smile. That did not go unnoticed, especially this semester, so thank you for making my day even when you didn’t know you did. I’m so excited to get to go to Indiana University with you next year, and I’m holding you to those weekly donut runs with Alivea and me.

I want to briefly thank all of the underclassmen because I don’t want to rant too much, but you are all genuinely so incredible as people and as staff members for The Clarion. I admire each and every one of you and your hard work to make this year’s paper what it is. Though I’m not very close with most of you—for which I sincerely apologize for, as I did not make much effort to bridge that gap—I know you will all go on to do wonderful things regardless of what path lies ahead. I’m going to specifically shout out Mason, though, because we work together, so I know you a bit better than I know the rest of your peers. You, like Sam, never fail to bring a smile to my face with your dry, witty humor. I’m so grateful that I got the opportunity to get to know you better this year, and I hope we keep in touch when I go off to college—I’ll even help you with your comp homework.

Last, but certainly not least, I need to thank Mr. Vaughn. You took over a program that was practically decimated and you took on the massive task of helping the three of us editors completely reinvent the paper. While we didn’t do as much as we had hoped, we made momentous progress and it would not have been remotely possible without your help. Outside of your obligations as our advisor, however, you became a sort of confidant for the three of us, and while I can’t speak for the other two, I am fairly confident in saying that we all feel the same way. We were able to confide in you about the things going on in our lives and what we were struggling with and we were always met with open ears. Like I said about my fellow editors, I would not have made it through this school year intact without you and your support, not only as a teacher, but as someone who sort of became the editors’ therapist in many ways. I will always remember what you did for us and how you guided us through these last two years. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me during this part of my journey.