Ranch Reflections are articles written by LRHS students and staff who want to share their experiences, thoughts, and concerns. This is a great opportunity for Mustangs to branch out beyond traditional news stories.  This edition features the thoughts of the senior editor of “Mustangs Ahead” as she moves into the future.

Jennifer Schillinger served “Mustangs Ahead” as senior editor this year

Jennifer Schillinger – Mustangs Ahead Senior Editor

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – As the 2022-2023 school year comes to an end and Mustangs are preparing to graduate, it is now time for me to step down as the senior editor of “Mustangs Ahead.”

When I joined journalism in my freshman year, I never could have imagined what we would have accomplished during my time here.

During my time as senior editor for “Mustangs Ahead” we published our 8,000th story, we had our 250,000th reader, and have returned to our pre COVID-19 normal. In addition, 2022 was our best year ever in terms of distinct visitors to “MustangsAhead.com.”

None of this would have been possible without the amazing leadership team and staff classes.

I would first like to thank the associate editors, senior Katie Foley and junior Ainsley Ellis, in addition to our senior writer Olivia Ellis. Without them first reading each story, none of these accomplishments would have been possible. They were a critical part of the process, and I cannot thank them enough.

In addition, I must thank the staff classes for all of their hard work. Without these student journalists, sometimes writing over 10 stories in one day, I wouldn’t have had a job and none of this would have been possible.

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I would also like to thank journalism teacher Tom Honsa. Without him encouraging me to apply for Junior Associate Editor my sophomore year, I would be a completely different person. His belief in my writing and leadership abilities have allowed me to gain valuable experience in an amazing program that I never would have been a part of otherwise.

When I first started taking journalism my freshman year, I never thought that I would become so passionate about the subject. I expected the class to be a “throw away” class that I would forget about the second I walked out the door. This was clearly not the case. Instead, I found a love for telling stories and sharing information and gained so many new experiences and lessons.

I cannot wait to see all that “Mustangs Ahead” will accomplish with the new leadership team, led by the new senior editor Ainsley. I know that she, along with the rest of the team, is going to do an amazing job continuing to grow the program.

I will be moving on to attend the University of Central Florida in the fall where I will likely be majoring in Journalism. Although leaving “Mustangs Ahead” behind can be scary, I’m excited to see what my future will bring.