How do you keep up to date with everything going on at Seneca High School?
You need a Bird’s Eye View.
The school’s newspaper had been largely ignored by Seneca students until Paige Venable stepped in as editor. In that role, she revamped Bird’s Eye View’s online presence, recruited new writers and kept the paper current during the pandemic.
“In past years, people had barely heard of it, but this year it’s definitely gotten more attention,” Venable said.
Venable is a sophomore, but her drive and passion for the paper have allowed her to take the publication’s top spot. She spearheaded two new sections for Bird’s Eye View: Teacher Spotlight and Golden Tales, a collection of fictional stories written by students.
“Last year, my parents said ‘get involved, try it out,’” Venable said about joining the paper. “And I’m so happy that I did. Even though the process might be hard, it’s definitely rewarding.”
Venable has worked hard to revamp the paper’s website. She’s learned how to use different programs to create an aesthetically pleasing site and has incorporated Google Forms as a way to get readers involved with the paper.
“It’s great timing to have Paige and her leadership,” newspaper advisor Jackie Lambusta noted. “There are students who are online more than ever. Maybe they’re stumbling across the Bird’s Eye View and reading more of it than they usually would.”
Under Venable’s direction, the paper’s six reporters write regular stories about Seneca sports, events, clubs and other news. The pandemic made it difficult for staffers to write their usual event coverage, so Bird’s Eye View expanded to cover more subjects, like the 2020 election and advice for high schoolers called Teen Tips.
“[Venable] has really made it her mission to make the Bird’s Eye View successful,” noted another newspaper advisor, Jaclyn Zeigler.
“We’ve had years where there are tons of enthusiastic writers who are constantly churning out articles,” she explained. “And then, we’ve had years where it’s really hard. It’s amazing when you have someone to take the bull by the horns, to recruit more students and push for them to take pride in it.”
Venable is a self-professed “planner,” so although she still has years to go, she sees herself becoming a lawyer in the future. Being a part of Bird’s Eye View isn’t only helpful for future journalists, Zeigler and Lambusta said. Working for the paper gives staff members experience talking with unfamiliar people, improves their writing skills for high school and beyond and work with others.
“I just love giving students the opportunity to find their voice,” Zeigler enthused. “A lot of the staff are younger, but we watch them grow, develop as writers over the years and become stronger and more confident.
“That’s something that I’m honored to witness.”