Goodbye From The Senior Editors


Photo by Meghann Callaghan

Learning more than just journalism, this opportunity will always be remembered. Thank you. From, the senior 2021 editors.

Finally, we have reached the final stretch to the end of the 2021 school year. Freshman have successfully completed their first year of high school, seniors are graduating this month and we have all survived a full school year in a pandemic. From online learning to hybrid to back in person, we should all be proud of ourselves, seniors especially. We made the most of a crazy year and now we are preparing to say goodbye and move on to our next milestone: college.

As we begin to say goodbye, we senior editors would love to say thank you, let you know our future plans and encourage the next year’s Aztlán staff.

Ashlyn Bautista – Opinions Editor

I can’t believe we have finally made it to the end. After four long years, we are graduating high school. As for my future, I am excited to announce that I will be attending the University of California San Diego in the fall and majoring in Literatures in English. I am not quite sure what my plan is for the future when it comes to my career, but I am eager to spend the next four years figuring it out.

I am so grateful to have been a part of the Aztlán staff for the past two years and to have been the Opinions Editor this past year. Being a part of the staff really helped in my decision to be an English major. It helped me find my own voice, learn to work with others and realize how important it is to be informed and inform others. If you are thinking of joining the newspaper staff, do it. Even if you feel like you are not a strong writer, you will learn how to be and discover that writing does not have to be so black and white. You get the freedom to write in your own style and express your own opinions and voice. Not to mention how great it looks on college applications.

To next year’s staff: keep up the hard work. I know there are going to be a lot of new faces and changes, but don’t let that deter you from putting out the best work possible. My advice for you is to not be afraid of the “scary” topics. If something is on your mind or is important to you, speak out. The best articles come from people who are passionate about what they are writing about. I know this year has been filled with controversy, so I encourage you, when you feel like something needs to be said, say it. I wish you all the best, and hopefully, next year you will be able to have actual, physical print copies.

Finally, thank you to my fellow staff members and amazing guide, Mrs. Callaghan. Even though our staff was small, I am so proud of the work we were able to put out this year, especially in a global pandemic. Thank you Mrs. Callaghan for giving us the freedom and opportunity to speak out while guiding us and encouraging us to be the best writers we can be. Thank you again for everyone’s hard work this year, and I am so excited to see what next year’s staff has for the Aztlán.

Ryen Hernandez-Features Editor

As a 4-year member of The Aztlán, being exposed to so many opportunities to hear stories of people from all walks of life has been influential for my future career. I’ll never regret my decision to join journalism staff in 7th grade, as it has allowed me to gain a new perspective and use my writing to inform the uninformed.

I will be majoring in English for Secondary Education at Grand Canyon University to pursue a career as a high school English teacher. My goal in my future career of education is to inspire hardworking qualities and lead students to discover themselves as they navigate the world. With many of my own English teachers as my role models, I hope to be the guidance and support that my students will need.

With a background in journalism, you will develop professionalism and confidence, as well as effective communication and leadership skills. No matter what career you enter, being on a journalism staff provides never-ending benefits, in addition to its great look on high school transcripts and experience on college applications.

I am proud to have been in journalism for 6 years, as a member of the Aztlán staff for the past 4 years and have carried the role as Features Editor for the past 2 years. It’s my go-to hobby to voice my opinions and fuel my desire to connect with and inspire others. With extensive freedom, writing is my outlet to declutter my mind and boost my future career as an English teacher with a background in journalism.

I wish the next year’s staff luck and success as many of you experience the thrill of writing what you want for the first time. Remember that journalism attracts intelligent and passionate people to be on staff. Passion is everything because it is seen in your writing through tone of voice. You don’t have to be the best writer or the best editor to be successful and connect with your readers. Those who are driven are the best journalists. Pick and pitch articles that you will enjoy writing, as articles should never feel like homework or a grade. My advice is to never stop learning and enjoy the art of journalism.

I am extremely grateful for the support and kindness of my staff members and advisor, Mrs. Callaghan, who I might add is also my teaching inspiration. Thank you to Mrs. Callaghan, who will never understand how much her guidance has inspired us. With our small class this year, I am proud and impressed with the work we released. We wrote and edited quality articles as a tight-knit unit that worked together cohesively. I am excited to receive and read articles from the Aztlán for years to come. Farewell to my high school journey on the Aztlan staff, but journalism has been unable to get rid of me. Have no fear, I am joining the staff in college.

Alexis Lunsford- Features Editor

As graduation approaches, I am planning on attending Santiago Community College as of next fall. I’m going to be majoring in business, but to be honest, it will probably change at some point. Although I’m majoring in business, I’m not completely sure what I want my job to be. I’m leaning towards teaching but I’m just waiting to find something that I’m passionate about.

Being on the newspaper staff these last two years has honestly been one of the tasks I looked forward to in high school. I truly did enjoy being able to create something that I could be proud of allowing people to be able to read about topics that I feel school doesn’t focus on enough. I did learn, if you put your thoughts down on paper, with description and character, you could write something that people truly enjoy. Just being able to take information and make it your own work, and report to the school, while creating a close bond with the staff is the main reason why anyone should want to join the Newspaper Staff.

For next year’s staff, good luck with any obstacle that is held in front of you. Actually, look at obstacles as opportunities. It’ll give you something more to write about. Also, don’t forget that you’re allowed to push people. Being nosy while writing for the newspaper is anything but a bad trait. Remember that even if your staff is small, there will always be something to write about. Finally, if you’re passionate about your work, you will produce good quality articles that you can be proud of.

I would just like to say thank you to everyone who guided me throughout these past years. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to write for the paper and will miss Mrs. Callaghan and everyone on staff sincerely. I hope college and life find everyone well. This is something I will look back on and be proud that we were allowed to have a voice for everyone on campus. It’s an experience that will remind me to always keep up. Thank you again to the amazing staff and Mrs. Callaghan. Everyone did such a great job with everything we’ve gone through this year.

Jocelyn Castañeda- Editor-in-Chief

My time in journalism will forever remain as one of my most cherished and appreciated experiences. After transferring from Fullerton to the Placentia-Yorba Linda school district after seventh grade, I was forced to choose from a limited number of election classes since most had already been filled up. One of my options was to join journalism, and I wasn’t very intrigued by it and had immediately turned it down. During that campus visit, however, we bumped into the current journalism teacher, Mrs. Perez, who encouraged me to join her class. Thus began my career as a journalist. I had picked up on it pretty quickly and enjoyed it a lot and was made News Editor for that year. I evidently continued journalism in high school becoming a Reporter for a year, Opinions Editor for two and Editor-in-Chief for this last year.

Through the writing experience of journalism, I have been able to write beyond just facts. I found my love for writing opinion pieces. I started off high school as a very closed-off person. I had always been great at understanding multiple perspectives, but I hadn’t yet learned how to be comfortable and confident with my own. Through writing these opinion pieces, I have challenged my beliefs and morals to create a version of myself I am proud of. These publications mean much more to me than just a writing assignment. I use them as a platform for my peers. My hope is that my peers will shape their opinions of me from my pieces as they represent my inner self.

Going off from that, I encourage others to try journalism as they can find much more than just their writing style, but they can find their voice. And having an outlet to express yourself is very important and freeing. I’ve learned so many lessons from newspaper that I decided to center my college application essay around my experience. Yes, you get better at writing and learn how to edit and how to put together a publication. But the best part is becoming a well-rounded person. You don’t just pay attention to everything that happens on campus, but also everything outside, such as the bigger world issues.

Although this is my last year on The Aztlán staff, I will be continuing to write articles for the University of La Verne where I’ll be majoring in Criminology, minoring in Psychology and getting a certificate in Cybersecurity. From there, I plan on joining a sheriff’s department and eventually becoming an investigator.

For next year’s staff, I encourage you to work hard and never stop pushing forward. Use all the resources and materials future staff have left to guide you into the creation of The Aztlán’s next look. Once you get momentum, you’ll really enjoy creating these publications and treat them as if they were your child. It’s always the best feeling when you get to release something you worked so hard on and are excited for people to see.

That’s it for me as an Aztlán staff member! The one thing I want to leave you all with is: open your mind, welcome change and do not allow yourself to become ignorant. Through this, you’ll slowly create a version of yourself you can truly be proud of.