Graduating editor: a final goodbye

Graduating editor: a final goodbye

Erin Jones, Copy Editor

Erin Jones – Copy Editor

As my time as an editor for The Winonan comes to an end, there’s one thing I want to say before anything else: Thank you. All of you. I have told all of the editors this about a million times since I started at The Winonan my junior year, but you have truly done so much for me. I was on the verge of transferring after a difficult first two years at Winona State University. I changed my major to journalism after a lot of consideration and figured I would tough it out at Winona State for one more semester. At the time, I didn’t think anything could or would change my mind. That’s when I met my future editor and one of my future best friends.

Maddie, you have changed my life in a way that no one else ever has. You believed in me when I was at one of the lowest points of my life and you have been there for me during my toughest times. Without your encouragement, I would have never had the confidence to join the Winonan or to share my gift of writing with the world. If I hadn’t met you, I would not be the journalist I am today. At a time in my life when I was unsure of who I was and what my purpose was, you were the person who helped me discover those things. For this, I cannot thank you enough.

Zach, you are the only editor-in-chief I have had in my life so far, but I am over 100% certain that no one will ever beat you out as the best and as my favorite. On top of being a fantastic editor and writer, you are truly a fantastic person. You are a natural leader and you have a kindness about you that is unlike anyone I have ever met. You are understanding and compassionate, qualities that are so rare to find in people these days. I am so honored to have had the opportunity to know you as a person and to have worked with you on The Winonan.

Mitchell, I swear no one in the Winonan room has made me laugh like you do. Your quiet yet hilarious jokes never failed to surprise me and always brought a smile to my face! I am so grateful for your patience with me as I struggled to understand sports jargon. You and I both know I will never fully understand sports, but thanks to you, I won’t be totally lost now! I have so enjoyed working with you as a writer and as an editor but feel most lucky to have known you as a person and to now call you my good friend.

Sydney, I have loved watching you grow and thrive in both writing and editing. Though you have only been features editor for one semester, you have done so well and I am so proud of how far you have come. As I have gotten to know you better during my final semester here, I have noticed an incredible spirit radiating from within you. Your positivity and silliness are so contagious and uplifting, and you always know just what to say when I’m feeling stressed. With these qualities, I know you will become an amazingly caring teacher who will make a difference in the lives of all your students.

Nikki, you are a spectacular photographer and photo editor. You have a brilliant mind and a brilliant eye, and your photography skills never cease to amaze me. I feel extremely lucky to have gotten the chance to learn more about photography from you because I know when you are taking photos for National Geographic someday, you will probably be too busy to give me advice! I am looking forward to watching you continue to grow as a photojournalist, and I will very soon be subscribing to National Geographic so I can keep an eye out for your stunning photography!    

Morgan, I have watched you refine your writing, editing and photography skills since your start at The Winonan and it has been so fun spending my last few weeks helping you to become the best copy editor The Winonan has ever seen! Though it has been difficult for me to let go of my position and say goodbye to my Winonan family, I know you will exceed expectations as copy editor for The Winonan. You are a kind, clever and funny young woman and you are the perfect person to take over as copy editor.

And last but not least, to the writers and photographers of The Winonan. I am so honored and so fortunate to have had the opportunity to watch all of you grow over the past two years. You are all so, so talented and I know that each and every one of you will go on to write fantastic stories and take spectacular photos and be wonderful people. I am over-the-moon excited to watch you continue to accomplish great things.

It’s time for one final goodbye to everyone. As I said, all of you have done so much for me. All of you have made such an impact on my life. Not only have you taught me valuable writing and editing skills, you have taught me the true meaning of friendship. I will forever be grateful for my experience at The Winonan and for this little, perfect family I have become a part of and that has helped me to find myself. Again, and I cannot emphasize this enough, thank you for everything. Goodbye, Winonan!