Some might cling to the idea that “good things come in threes”, an apt adage when it comes to primary colors or nursery rhyme animals. Others prefer groups of four, whether it’s a quartet of barbers or the Beatles.
I prefer a quintet. Specifically, the five well-rounded reporters who will be taking over the student news column for the year 2022-23: Eileen Liu, Grace Wu, Elise Spenner, Ellen Kim and, me, Chesney Evert.
These writers all grew up in San Mateo County. Currently, we are wading through the stormy waters of high school. It’s true that our geographic locations may vary slightly, but we’re united by a fierce passion for journalism that stems from the belief that our writing will change the world.
Idealistic? Maybe. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s entirely possible.
Eileen Liu is a sophomore at Menlo-Atherton High School who writes to amplify unknown voices in her community. She was born in China and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was 5 years old. Liu’s cultural identity informs her perspectives on current social justice issues; his editorials can be found in the Piedmont Post and the San Mateo Daily Journal, as well as the Piedmont Middle School Paper. She hopes to explore climate concerns and write about immigrant-owned restaurants in her columns this year. Besides writing, Liu enjoys art, music and photography.
From the classroom to the courtroom, Carlmont senior Grace Wu mends breaking news. A local fire? She’s there. A new mask mandate? She covered it on Scot Scoop. Wu is also the editor of Carlmont’s Highlander news magazine. Although her career as a journalist began on a whim, she came to love the instant communication that information allows between writers and readers. She looks forward to bolstering her opinion chops this year. When she’s not writing, Wu is preparing for the Carlmont mock trial or teaching Chinese and music lessons to college students.
Elise Spenner is a junior at Burlingame High School. Passionate about politics at heart, Spenner’s journalistic journey was born out of an insatiable curiosity to understand the workings of our government. She is currently the editor of Burlingame B and a writer covering the Supreme Court. In addition to journalism, Spenner is an athlete: She hopes to take her readers onto the soccer field by exploring toxic competition and finding joy through sport in columns this year. When she’s not writing, you can find Elise pondering a recipe or between the pages of a good book.
Environmentalist Ellen Kim set out to unite her love of writing with climate awareness. A senior at San Mateo High School, Kim got involved with her school’s newspaper, the San Mateo Hi, last year. However, her background in climate journalism has permeated her entire educational career: she works with an environmental education organization and helps their blog run smoothly. Kim also has a strong background in creative writing and is co-captain of her school’s mock trial and debate team. She looks forward to covering a diverse set of topics in her columns this year.
I, Chesney Evert, am a senior in the journalism program at Carlmont High School. I write to connect with the world around me and see a future where all news is uncensored, well-researched, and empathetic. Practicing many forms of media (from podcasting to video production, op-ed and op-ed writing to magazine design) has helped me cultivate a love for print journalism that I will continue in as editor of the Carlmont Highlander this year. When I’m not typing frantically, you can find me working at the Reading Bug, playing Bananagrams, or singing and dancing on stage.
Eileen, Grace, Elise, Ellen and I are honored to write for the San Mateo Daily Journal this year; we hope you will join our quintet every week in the columns of student news. You can find them online or in the weekend print edition.
Chesney Evert is a senior at Carlmont High School in Belmont. Student News appears in the weekend edition. You can email student news at [email protected]