Editor Farewell: Morgan Reddekopp

Morgan Reddekopp, Editor-in-Chief

I admit, I’ve been procrastinating writing this letter. Writing this letter means my time with The Winonan is over, and it is time to graduate and begin a new chapter in my life. As excited as I am for this new chapter, I am struggling to say goodbye to the previous chapter – to the Winonan and all the wonderful people it has introduced me to. 

For the last four years, my life outside of school has been riddled with cracking jokes at Sunday night budget meetings, conducting interviews and writing stories, chatting in the office and suffering through endless layout nights. I enjoyed every moment of it and began to get more involved. In my four years I’ve held the titles of reporter, photographer, online editor, copy editor, news editor and finally, editor-in-chief. 

This final semester has been my favorite, as I’ve had the privilege of working with such a wonderful staff. They have helped The Winonan not only survive but thrive during this year of uncertainty. Thank you.

Maurice, I’m sorry we were never able to meet face-to-face this semester. I truly appreciate all the hard work you’ve put in to ensure our sports section doesn’t crumble, even with sports being cancelled this fall. The layouts you created remotely were extremely impressive, even more so when you consider the fact that all your training was over Zoom. Your creativity and hard work never ceased to amaze me.

Alek, it has been such a privilege getting to know you. Our friendship began as brainstorming investigative story ideas (and suffering) in Viv’s class and swapping ghost stories and grew into you becoming a fellow editor. You are a talented writer, and I can’t wait to see where you go from here. Congratulations on your new position as news editor!

Kristin, I am so happy to have met you in our Literary Studies class, even though it took a few more months before you joined The Winonan and officially became my friend. A year later, when the position of copy editor became available, I knew you would be a great fit. It has been so fun to watch you grow from writer to editor! You are one of the strongest women I know, and I am certain that you’ll make a fantastic teacher. 

Mo, your photography amazes me. Even the photos you take on your phone are exceptional! I am so excited to see where your new photography business goes and even more excited to see your photos in The Winonan. I always enjoyed hearing you talk about all the crazy things that have happened during your life, and all the places you have lived. You always put a grin on my face, and I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know. 

Matthew, I don’t know where to even begin. I’m so happy to have become friends this semester. From joking around during class, to listening to you talk about macros and Kanye, you’ve easily become one of my closest friends. You and Ren showed me what real friendship is. Thank you. It is inspiring to see your passion for literally everything. I don’t know how you manage your schedule, but you always make time for everything and everybody you care about. You’ve put so much hard work into The Winonan. You started out as a beginner writer before tackling online editor, and now you’ve blossomed into features editor. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and seeing you grow.

Ren, thank you. Thank you for always waiting with me until layout nights ended and being my second set of eyes. Thank you for bringing me food when I’m sad. Thank you for having my back, both at The Winonan and otherwise, and helping me transition into a leadership position. Thank you for being my friend. I could list all the ways you’ve helped me grow this semester but then this letter wouldn’t ever end. You’re an amazing person, and an incredible journalist. You aren’t afraid to write the tough stories, and the stories you write have a massive impact on those who read them. You use your writing to advocate for those who may not otherwise have a voice. I am so proud of you. You’re going to be one hell of a teacher. You are going to change kids’ lives.

McKenna, I’ve always seen you as a sort of mini-me in the sense that I knew in my gut you’d follow in my footsteps to become news editor and then editor-in-chief. I had picked you as my replacement an entire semester early and was almost too giddy to keep it a secret. My confidence in you only grew stronger after reading your series on Winona State’s budget deficit, because you always found a way to take a massive topic and make it make sense to the readers. I couldn’t be prouder of the writer and editor you’ve become. I feel like a parent dropping their kid off for the first day of school, but I can’t tell if you’re the kid or if The Winonan is my kid in this scenario. But it doesn’t matter, because I know that I’m leaving the paper in excellent hands.

To the rest of the staff: thank you. A newspaper is only as strong as its staff, and you all have proven to be hard working and resilient in a time where journalism is needed more than ever. I say it all the time and I’ll say it again: I am so proud of you all.

To Doug, Tracy, and Grier: Thank you all for the support you have given me. This semester made me feel like I was going crazy but the advice that the three of you offered helped me stay sane.

To the editors who came before me: thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone, and for teaching me what journalism really is. Thank you for believing in me.

Well, this is it. Time to say goodbye. I’m not great at goodbyes, so I’ll leave you with a cheesy quote by none other than Winnie the Pooh:

 “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard….”