Senior Goodbyes!

Amber Lau

This is the first article I’m writing. In my 2 years of being in Journalism, I have not written a single article until now. As a photographer, I was able to have unique experiences behind the scenes of many school events (press privileges).

To the Squad (Rachel, Melanie, Kira, Annabel, Abby, and Skylar): “Jealousy and impulsivity lead to great decisions” –Melanie. Basically sums up our chaoticness. Especially during our rounds of Cards Against Humanity, those were the best. Here’s to making more impulsive decisions that actually go through, along with the memories. 

To the EICs, Halo and Angela: You guys were fantastic EICs this year. Good luck Angela wherever you’re heading, and Halo, enjoy your last year in high school. I wish you both success in your futures.

To Skylar: Fellow comrade, I enjoyed our time together in Psychology when we created our “Communist” regime with Helen and Canny. I always wondered how Mr. B was able to put up with us. I enjoyed every moment with you during that class, talking about history and Turkish dramas and music. I hope you continue to talk about the things you love, and please try not to get Paw Prints silenced by the admin again. Our website is still blocked on school Wifi. By fellow comrade, Amber.

To Rachel: My first friend in Journalism! Last year when I first joined, I was familiar with the others, but not very close with them. You were the first one. My fellow (former) Genshin player, who I helped carry for a good few months before you ran out of storage. Come back please. The memories of SCJEA last year were the best and I will forever treasure them. Also E-Board was so fun with you around, and I’m going to miss it. Good luck as features editor once again, and enjoy your time in Paw Prints. 

To Melanie: Remember how we had to cut down our half-hour, 20+ page final English presentation on K-pop to less than 10 minutes, and still got called out by Mr. Gomez, who told us to hurry it up? Yeah that was a fun time. I’m glad I met you that year, and also last year during Environmental Science, where we basically did nothing. I enjoyed talking with you during break with Skylar, and planning our impulsive get-togethers (still have to plan that escape room) with the rest of the Squad. That Disney trip was the best, albeit how impulsive it was due to jealousy. I wish you luck in your future endeavors (that sounded like Lorenz), and let’s meet up with the rest over the summer.

To Abby and Kira: I will miss both of your chaoticness and randomness that goes on during class. Abby, you had a great no-point-gain while we played Cards Against Humanity, so keep trying to win those points! (I’m joking, please don’t take it seriously). Kira, I enjoyed playing Genshin with you and Annabel during class, and how we had to help her because her levels were too low. Both of you, good luck in your respective editor positions, and I will miss you. 

To Annabel: Best doubles partner!! Thanks a whole bunch for helping me in Stats, I am still pretty sure I bombed the AP exam. You’ve done so much for me that I don’t even know how to thank you. How dare you ditch Genshin for Star Rail, not when I helped you so much (insert crying emoji). Regardless, I wish you good luck in your gacha pulls, and have fun at Art Center. Also, it was fun me teaming up with Gary to make you do a comic for the week. You’re welcome.

To Gary: Sorry I copied off your Stats homework so much, but also thanks for letting me copy it. You were a great tablemate to have with me and Annabel, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. I will remember our partnership in getting the EICs to assign Annabel to do a comic when she wasn’t paying attention. A highlight of the year, considering we made her do at least 3 or 4 by our convincing alone. Good luck wherever you go afterwards. 

To everyone else: You have contributed so much to the program, and I hope you all had an enjoyable year. Also I hope you all didn’t mind me pestering you for the photos, as it had to be done. I wish I could thank you all individually but it would probably be too long. Make some more memories and keep Paw Prints Weekly going. 

Amber will be attending San Francisco State University with the hopes of going into the medical field.

Angela Xu

I’ll just keep it short and simple and I would like to thank the editorial board for everything you guys have done this year. Journalism would not be the same without you guys. I would specifically like to shoutout my co-EIC, Halo I wouldn’t know what to do without you. Throughout the three years I have been in journalism I greatly appreciate those who have mentored me and helped me to be where I am at today. Lastly, staff writers and artists you guys did amazing this year and I cannot wait to see how Paw Prints will flourish years after. 

Thank you to everyone and I truly mean it from the bottom of my heart. I have learned many skills and met many new people through Paw Prints Weekly and will be internally grateful for that. As high school comes to an end I will look back to my high school career and think of you guys. 

Annabel Liu

Probably because of the COVID pandemic, high school years seem short and long, as I still feel unreal about graduation and think I’m a freshman just a glance before. Even though PawPrints are all about the hearsay about school events and things outside of school, artists make the articles look fun and interesting and I definitely had a fun time making those comics.. (cough, cough at Amber and Gary). As my journey to college I’ll cherish the things I learned and moments experienced as an artist for many great writers. I definitely made new friends and spent a lot of good times with the crew throughout the year.

High school always comes to an end, but the friendship with the Squad continues. I definitely enjoy our time at Disney even though my feet at the end of the day made me walk like an old lady. I hope our Discord chat blows up everyday trying to figure out where to hangout during the summer, and breaks that we have during college times.

I hope everyone had a wonderful year and hope your college years also will be memorable, (to seniors and everyone else), and everyone has been really fun and PawPrints is definitely something I would join again if I got the chance to with all the amazing people.

Axel Mondaca

Hahaha, I never thought the day would come where I had to write this! First and foremost I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone in the Paw Prints program for taking me as one of their own. From Charlie, Jacob, John, and Joseph, all of you made going to fifth period like a good ol’ game of russian roulette. From Ms. Robles to the rest of my peers, thank you for a wonderful two years of my academic life, I cherished every second. Writing has become a way to express myself in ways I couldn’t accomplish before. For anyone who took the time out of their day to read my work, I thank you and I hope you enjoyed what I had to say. The program remains in good faith with two incredible EIC’s and outstanding section editors (Especially Allen)! It was a pleasure to be part of volumes 54 & 55 and I know volume 56 will not disappoint, CAUCUS 4 LIFE!!!

Charlie Snyder

With Paw Prints having been a part of my everyday life for the last three years, it is a surreal moment to finally bid farewell. Despite all of the ups and downs throughout my time in the program, however, I can confidently say that I am going to miss it dearly. It feels like a lifetime ago that I was just a freshman with a knack for writing, blindly applying to a program that I did not know would act like a family for the rest of my high school life. From Zoom meetings to lore spilling, chess matches to editorial board meetings, Paw Prints Weekly is a volume in my life that I will never forget. 

To Jacob, even though you ditched me (twice), thank you for getting me to join this incredible program. I have said it to you before, but you are like a brother to me, and the time spent with you over the years encompasses some of my favorite memories. To Axel, thank you for being my right-hand man, and always making me laugh like few could. You will never be quite as good at chess as me, but I lived for the countless cold nights in Stoke nevertheless. To John and Joseph, I hope we remain in touch. You two have been some of my favorite and funniest people to have ever sat to my right. To the Caucus, the fog is here. To Carol, thank you for teaching me what a strong work ethic looks like, and thank you for being one of the kindest people I have ever met. To Rani, Renee, Angela and Halo, thank you for the countless hours you devoted to making this program run, as well as making my time as an editor truly enjoyable. Although few, I will always be grateful for the witty conversations that we shared. To Ms. Robles, thank you for bringing me in, and always making me feel like I was welcomed. Finally, to all of the staff that I have not mentioned, thank you for making the last few years unforgettable, and wherever life takes us never feel that you can not reach out. It has been real. Much love, Paw Prints.

Charlie will be attending UC Santa Barbara with the hopes of going into the communication field.

Gary Lee

It has been a long time since I’ve written something for the paper. Not really sure what to say, so I guess I’ll start from the beginning. When I first joined the program, I was pretty stressed, like most incoming staff writers I myself never really consistently wrote anything on a set time schedule considering all we had were a couple of semester essays back in eighth grade. Writing 2-4 columns of text each week was far more than what I was used to or had ever done. But that year, in that room, I had a lot of help from upperclassmen that cared about the programs. They would always find some way to help me improve whether it’d be writing or my communications. Sure they were pretty strict but all of them helped in one way or another. In fact that year was the year that I finally started to use social media. Every time I wrote a new article, I go through that learning process again and again. I had a lot of fun being in that year and I can still remember it like it was last week. Shout out to our boy Remy for making the time right quarantine all the more fun and interesting. 

Then quarantine happened, but not much changed besides the students in the program. To be honest I got quite lazy back then and procrastinate on all of my articles. We still had fun, we still kept on writing, and I guess the weirdest part was how both ELAJEA and SCJEA were online. 

Come my junior year, I was double registered as my role of online editor did not really require me to be in class. But I still had fun going to the competitions with everyone else, but from what others had to me, I missed out a lot during that year. 

Finally, my senior year, I’m not going to embellish or exaggerate what I did or how I feel, I basically bossed people around and slept almost every day. It was a pretty novel experience being one of the oldest members seeing how everything has changed and how many new faces were in the program. They’re a lively bunch I tell you You got the boys editors chilling in the center table, you got the girls doing their podcast; you got Allen chilling with the EICS (kind of reminds me of myself during freshman year and how I would always sit with Carol and Emma); you got others people chilling in their own corners; and finally me and my stats people who I copy homework from. The year went by so fast and I still can’t believe I made it all this way, all these years in the program and I practically remember every moment of it. The times I struggle at the back table of the old room during  E-boards in front of the editors; the way I finish articles in 2 hours on a Wednesday night while having Zoom meetings; the annoyance I felt when looking at the drive with 4+ unfinished articles and 20+ missing calls on Friday night; and finally the way that I wake up in class and see everyone doing exactly what they’re not supposed to. 

To you future members and those who will continue this newspaper even after I’m gone, I hope you the best. I hope that when I’m gone, people will still stick to their deadlines and that the whole program doesn’t just go up in flames. I pray that my dream of reviving journalism to the great program that it once was (and still is to some extent) with like 30+ people (those promotion videos are insane) will continue to live on. For those who were with me this year, I thank you, thank you for toughing it out throughout the whole year. Coming from one of the oldest members of the program, I know with around 60% certainty, that those who were here before you would’ve been proud. (P.S. You guys really need to have FUN FRIDAYS again.)

Gary will be attending the University of California, Riverside with the hopes of going into the business field. 

Isaias Santiago

Hi! To be honest, I’m not sure what to Hopefully, typing down all my racing thoughts and trying to mush them into a decent senior goodbye will work, so I’ll start now.

To Miya and Angela, “how’s your day going? Miya, you’re such an amazing artist and even more amazing person. I’ll miss your weird obsession with rats, and our strange and off-topic conversations. Thank you for my Ken, I’ll be taking him with me to college. Angela, listening to you talk about plants I had never heard of is something I’ll always cherish and carry with me in college. I’ll miss both of you very much. 

To Joseph, Axel and Charlie, thank you for all your out-of-context jokes and keeping our spirits up with your upbeat personalities. To Arianna, you are such a lively and wonderful person! Congrats on being the new Co-EIC! To Gary, thank you for all your hard work maintaining our website, uploading articles, and managing our online everything. To Halo and Angela, our wonderful EIC’s. Thank you for all your hard work and being the best EIC’s we could ask for. I’ll miss your leadership. 

And to our Advisor, Miss Robles. I am eternally grateful for everything you’ve done for me, and for the program, always sticking your neck out for us despite our occasional trouble-making. I learned much being your student. 

To everyone else in the program, thank you to everyone in the program for making this year so memorable. I wish you all the best and thank you for making Vol. 55 the very best possible. 

Love, Isaias Santiago.  

Isaias will be attending the University of California, Riverside and will possibly major in English or whatever he feels passionate about. Math will still be his least favorite subject. 

Joseph Mendoza

When people depart from someone or something dear to them, they try their best to fill their goodbyes with beautiful words meant to inspire, evoke, and persevere in memory or on paper. While I view this as a noble and worthy endeavor, I think it’s predicated on an arbitrary reason. Now is the time for goodbyes, but the time for beautiful words is always. I will regret often forgetting that truth, but while always is still with me, let’s begin:

To the artists, thank you for always being diligent and self-sufficient! Your proficiency and independence throughout the years  has oftentimes led me to forget that I was Visuals Editor. Thank you for making my job easy. To the writers, . To Ms. Robles, thank you for your resilience,  transparency, and dedication as an advisor. Your interest in us as a class and as people is palpable, and your energy and desire to keep improving is enviable. To Halo and Angela, thank you for being our advocates, without people stepping up such as yourselves, Paw Prints would not be nearly as successful or as enjoyable. Thank you also for being such personable, understanding, and funny students. Even just seeing you two interact with each other throughout the year assured me that Paw Prints was and will be in good hands. To Arianna, to say I am excited for what you and Halo will accomplish next year, both as Co-EICs and seniors, would be an egregious understatement. Godspeed! To Axel and Charlie, don’t go to Europe on April 18th, 2027. I’ve enjoyed our time together so much that I cannot in good conscience fail to warn you guys. To my fourth year brother Gary, keep on dreaming. To all those who came before; Sauce, Emma, Carol, Jacob, Ana-Sofia, and others- if you’re reading this – please reach out to me! You all have been some of my biggest inspirations throughout highschool and I want to continue looking up to your examples. 

As a final note, I would like to admit that prior to my freshman year, I had finished my application portfolio to become a staff artist in approximately 30 minutes and had submitted it thanks only to a kind custodian who unlocked Ms. Robles’s door after I failed to get to Wilson on time despite living 3 minutes away. The biggest thank you goes to him, Ray Hinojos.

Lauren Vilacorte

It was a coincidence that I came to end up in Paw Prints Weekly (PPW). In my sophomore year, I wound up with Ms. Robles—PPW’s advisor—as my English teacher, who was all too excited to advertise the journalism program. She spoke about all the things PPW had to offer: an opportunity to write, push the bounds of your comfort zone, make new friends and more.

To be honest, I was a little skeptical. But I wanted to write, so I applied to be a Staff Writer for PPW’s Vol 54. I spent my junior year doing what I loved—writing—and then eventually applied for and became Perspectives Editor in my senior year.

Now, having spent so much time with the program, I can confidently say that Ms. Robles was right. My writing has grown, but so have I. These Staff Writers, Artists, Photographers and Editors are people that I can rely on; I wouldn’t take back meeting them for the world. Thank you, Paw Prints Weekly, for a great couple of years. I’ll see you in college!

Lauren will be attending University of California, Riverside where she will pursue an English degree.

Melanie Zhong

When I tried out for Paw Prints, I was just looking for a schedule filler in my senior year. I had taken many electives with varying degrees of satisfaction, and I thought, “Well, it wouldn’t hurt.” But it did. I’m just kidding. 

Anyway, at the very least, I am glad I tried. Who knew I could start my senior year with more friends and end it with more people to miss? 

To Kira, Abby, Skylar, Amber, Annabel and Rachel, thanks for being a part of the best fifth period I had at Wilson! There were many jokes and lots of chaos, mostly thanks to Skylar, but I regret nothing. It was always such a fun time and the hours passed by in a blur. To Kira, even though I ditched you in art class years ago, I am glad I convinced you to join journalism with me. (As history repeats itself, I will be ditching you once again.) To Abby, thanks for keeping me endlessly entertained with pop culture news and your cursed comments. To fellow comrade Skylar, I never thought I would find someone who enjoyed reading Wikipedia articles as much as I do. Or someone who talks so much about communism. There was never a dull moment, and all of you guys made journalism a class period I looked forward to every day.

To Lauren, thanks for being the coolest editor ever. It was infinitely helpful to have your constructive gaze when all I saw was word vomit. And in the chaos, your 100 edits per perspectives article have polished each one to a T. I appreciate your genuine and detailed feedback in every article up until the end. 

To the EICs, Halo and Angela, thank you for navigating the program when things went awry. I appreciate not only your writing feedback, but also your resilience and tenacity as leaders! Good luck on both of your journeys!

To the rest of the editorial board, staff writers and artists, your contributions were an essential piece of the Paw Prints puzzle. I always looked forever to seeing what the artists came up with! I respect you guys so much. 

All I can say is: it did not hurt to try. Thank you for the opportunity to be a writer of Paw Prints Weekly. 

Melanie will be attending Mt. San Antonio College where she will pursue accounting. 

Tiffany Sauceda

With graduation only being just days away and being off onto my next chapter in life, I have to say thank you to Paw Prints. 

I would have never been able to decide what to go into in my future without journalism. I would have never thought I would have written for the school newspaper just a couple years ago. Being a part of Paw Prints has given me the ability to use my writing strengths for something good.

I am so glad that I decided to join the Paw Prints team even if I didn’t believe I had the qualifications to be a part of it.  Thanks to them I was able to see my strengths in writing and what sections I was best at writing for. 

I remember being told about the program in Junior year when an old friend was applying to be a part of Paw Prints. People had always told me I was a good writer, especially since I wrote in my free time, so I thought hey why not just apply. So, I did! Thank goodness I stepped a little out of my comfort zone and took the risk of applying.  I was so excited when I was told I was going to be a part of Paw Prints the following year.

Now I am going to school to become a journalist. I truly enjoyed being a part of Paw Prints, even if it was just for a year. I don’t know where I would be right now if I wouldn’t have applied in Junior year.

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