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COVER LETTER

May 20, 2011

JESSICA MCCOY 1800 Curry Ave. Orlando, FL 32812 jesmccoy83@msn.com (407) 273-5724

Renee Burke Newspaper Adviser William R. Boone High School 2000 S. Mills Ave. Orlando FL 32806 Dear Mrs. Burke The publications program should include hard working, dedicated, and experienced members. Please accept the accompanying resume for your review and consideration for the 2011-2012 teaching assistant year. As a four year staffer I am well acquainted with the programs needed to produce a publication such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Indesign and Adobe Bridge. I also have experience in writing stories, taking pictures and interviewing on a deadline. As well as all of these skills I also am experienced in writing receipts, entering grades and composing emails. With the amount of experience I have I will be able to complete assignments as well as help students with any questions they have. I enjoy writing, taking pictures and using the Adobe programs and am able to teach others. I am used to the stress and am able to deal with it effectively. I believe I would be an asset to your staff next year. Thank you so much for consideration and I am excited to hear back from you soon. Respectively yours, Jessica McCoy


RESUME

OBJECTIVE

JESSICA MCCOY 1800 Curry Ave. Orlando, FL 32812 jesmccoy83@msn.com (407) 273-5724

To take the skills I have aquired through my four years on newspaper staff and use them in my outside life while furthering my education.

EDUCATION

Completed four years of William R. Boone high school Graduation date June 3, 2011

EXPERIENCE

Newspaper Staff Member, William R. Boone high school Aug. 2007 - May 2011: Worked as a staffer gathering information and research for many different opinion, sports, feature, and news articles. Knowlegeble in Photoshop, Indisign, Illistator, Bridge and other adobe products.

HONORS, AWARDS, AND MEMBERSHIPS

Hi-Lights 2007-08. Pacemaker finalist NSPA Hi-Lights 2008-09. Pacemaker finalist NSPA Hi-Lights 2009-10. Silver Crown CSPA, gold medal CSPA, newspaper 1-16 pages 3rd place best of show NSPA spring convention


A PERSONAL ESSAY Whether it is through writing, photos or design, journalism to me is a medium of self expression. Journalism has given me the chance to express myself in so many ways and really feel like my voice is heard. Expressing my opinion is something that I jump at the chance for, and journalism has given me the opportunity to excel at it. I got started in journalism by looking for something to be a part of when starting high school. My older sister’s friends had been on the newspaper staff and it sounded like something I would love. I started out by taking a crash journalism course over the summer and started on staff beginning my freshman year. I am a senior now and Journalism has become something I see myself possibly doing in the future. I have had to go through a lot personally to succeed. Procrastination is my own worst enemy and it has been something I have struggled with in the past. Though I still struggle from time to time with procrastination, I have been working on it every year and believe that I have grown tremendously. A SELF-ANALYTICAL EVALUATION Although this is my fourth year on staff, it has not kept me from learning even more this year than any other. With each year that passes I add more and more to my knowledge of journalism and how it all comes together. My actual production skills like using the Adobe products such as Indesign, Photoshop and Bridge have only grown this year. Each year I learn more and more with these products and now I feel to be proficient in all three. Without these tools and the knowledge of how to use them our paper could not be produced. As for sales I have learned that you just have to hit the pavement. You need to go as many places as possible, and the worst someone can say to you is “no”. Although it may be tiring it is just something that has to be done.


Teamwork is a huge part of producing a high school paper. This year I have learned that I can be a major part in helping with teamwork and helping to publish our paper. Whereas in other years I have relied on others to help me make deadlines, now I am the one who is helping others to achieve their goals and to make deadline on time. I have learned that teamwork goes both ways and that I play a major role in the teamwork of this publication. Deadlines have always been a struggle for me. This year has taught me that I can do it. It has proved to me that I can accomplish my goals and make deadline every time on time if not earlier. I have always been dedicated to this paper and staff and although that hasn’t always been obvious to others around me, this year has really made me realize how dedicated I am to this paper. I have learned that without dedication a paper like Hi-Lights cannot be produced.


The editorial, “Hospitals violate smokers’ rights,� is the piece that I consider to be my most significant piece this year. The purpose of this op. ed. was to show how some hospitals in Florida were discriminating against smokers in their hiring process. When I first attempted to write this story it was based solely on my opinion, but later as I worked through the editing process I enhanced the story with more research and statistics that backed up my opinion and helped to enforce my point of view throughout the story. If I had the chance to go back and improve upon this piece I would try to find more examples of how this truly is discrimination and how wrong the process of refusing to hire smokers is to help enforce my opinion. I really liked that this piece comes off as a well-informed piece of writing. I was very proud of the piece as a whole when I was finished writing it. This editorial was one of many that I had written this year, but it is definitely my favorite and what I believe to be the most significant.


The editorial, “Words reflect poorly on speakers” is the piece that I believe could still use work. Through writing this piece I learned that an editorial is not based solely on one’s opinion, however strong that said opinion is. In order to write a good editorial one needs to do research on top of research to back up one’s opinion. Just saying you feel one way isn’t enough. You need information to back it up. This piece changed a number of times throughout the editing process, not only with the writing but with the design. Through each editor I gathered more and more research to back up my opinion, and also changed the overall look of the story and graphics. If I had a chance to go back and work on the piece some more I would do even more research to really hit my point home. I would take more time to really solidify my three points and make sure the entire piece read as well as it could. Overall I am proud of my work and think it is a good editorial the way it stands now, but it can also use some improvement given the time and effort.


I took this picture for a step by step on how to change your tire pressure, and check your oil in the March issue. I tried to take something seemingly boring and make it interesting through my photos. This picture has many good elements of composition including a center of visual interest, leading lines, rule of thirds, depth of field and filling the frame. I really like this picture because it draws you straight away to the center of visual interest which is the dipstick. It is a cool view of something as normal ad checking your oil.


I believe I was an asset to the 2010-1011 Hi-Lights staff in many ways. This year more than any other I have made it a personal goal to meet deadlines on time if not earlier and in doing so have done my part in helping the paper go to press on time. Due to the fact that I was finished early on most deadlines, this gave me the opportunity to help other staffers when they needed it. By finishing my work on time I was made available to help others and to help with other things that needed to be done for publications as a whole, such as writing receipts, entering grades, running on interviews and errands. I made it a habit to come to every single workday and make every deadline this year. I believe I have made myself available this year to go above and beyond what was expected of me personally.


My fourth year on staff has presented some problems just like any other year. Coming in to this year I still had some sore feelings about being the only four year staffer and senior that was not an editor. I was hurt personally and had mixed emotions on how I wanted to go through with the year. Though I was upset I made it a goal to be as helpful as possible to younger staffers and make them feel like they could come to me even though I wasn’t an editor, or in a position of leadership. I also made it a goal to make each and every deadline and to not fall behind. I also have problems with confrontation and the way I present myself in an argument. Although this is something I think I will always struggle with I have tried my hardest this year to work on it. Looking back now I would try to handle myself differently in those confrontations and try not to lash out as much. Being a part of Hi-Lights has made me realize that things aren’t just handed to you. You have to work for what you want. Slacking and just barely getting by gets you know where and also earn you no respect from peers and others. Going back I would have liked to have handled many situations differently over the past for years, but I have to regrets because those mistakes have gotten me to where I am today.


Part of my midterm asked me what my three goals were for the rest of this year. Those goals were to continue to make deadline, put my personal problems aside and to continue to help other staffers. I believe I have met all these goals. I continued to make deadline on every story. Even in the last issue when I was sick ad out for a week, I still made it a priority to get back on track and ended up make each story on time for final. This goal was especially important to me. Making deadline is something that I haven’t been the greatest at and this year I wanted to really make an effort and show a difference. While putting my personal problems aside has probably been my biggest challenge I believe that I truly did try my hardest to do so. My personal problems with fellow staffers have created problems in previous years and although this year was not scott-free, I still think that I did well in accomplishing my goal. My last goal, which was to continue to help other staffers, is something that I have taken pride in this year. I really have gone out of my way to try to help others the way that I have needed help in the past. I know that it sucks sometimes as a newbie and I really wanted new staffers to feel like they could come to me if they had any problems or questions.


N4. PERSONAL OPINION: ON-CAMPUS ISSUES “Amendment causes problems for all” Opinions, page 7, Oct. 8, 2010 I have chosen this piece because I believe it to be pertaining to one of the most prominent issues on campus this year. It shows that I really did my research and it comes across as a very well informed piece of writing. I liked this piece because Class Size Amendment was something that I felt very strongly about and something that I had dealt with personally when creating my schedule for this year. I was very proud of my writing and the way I conveyed my opinion in this Op. Ed. N4. PERSONAL OPINION: ON-CAMPUS ISSUES “Sickly students endanger others” Opinions, page 7, Nov. 12, 2010 I have also chosen this piece for this category because I believe it to be something that was very timely at the time that I wrote it as well as today. This issue of sick students coming to school is something that I felt strongly about and by writing this Op. Ed. it gave me the chance to really express my opinion and let myself be heard. Hopefully in reading this editorial I convinced a few sickly students to stay home and not to infect the rest of us at school. N5. PERSONAL OPINION: OFF-CAMPUS ISSUES “Hospital’s violate smokers’ rights” Opinions, page 7, Feb. 11, 2011 Lastly I have chosen this piece because I believe it to be the most significant thing I have written this year, as well as the best written. I am extremely proud of this piece and have gotten a lot of good feedback from it on campus. I believe it to be an editorial that comes across as well informed and opinionated. I also really enjoyed expressing my opinion on this topic.


JESSICA

“mouse”


Over the past four years I believe that I have grown tremendously in the publications program. I have grown not only in personal ways but also with the production skills we use, which is made evident by the progression of my portfolios throughout the years. I believe each year, from freshman to senior, my portfolio has grown not only in size but in showing how far I have come, and how much I have learned. I believe each portfolio is a progression of my skill level which is made evident from the look of my freshman portfolio to the look of my senior portfolio. Each year has looked cleaner than the one before and shows off my skills in Photoshop, and Indesign. My freshman portfolio contained very little design elements and now my senior portfolio contains Photoshop images that have been created using many levels and different brushes and fonts. I am happy with the overall look of this portfolio and believe that it reall does show my growth from when I started to where I will now be finishing.


opinions

H6HHN Brendan Hall Business Manager

Wrong is the new right POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IS ANYTHING BUT CORRECT

A

n anonymous person once said, “political talk radio host, was criticized heavily for her repeated use correctness is simply a speed bump in the of the word on the radio. However, she wasn’t using it in a traffic of truth, free thought and speech.” To derogatory, demeaning or racial sense; she was simply making be even less politically correct, it is ruining a statement about how people use the word. But that doesn’t matter because immediately people across modern day culture. In the past couple decades, the insatiable the country went into a fury. People instantly discounted the context of the word and painted her in a negative light for push for people to be more politically correct using it. She was tagged as being ignorant and insensitive. has gotten out of hand. Radical individuals The biggest irony though is that are working harder than ever to find fanatic individuals claim that people who something offensive in every word that The sooner the movement use such words are ignorant, but by leaves a person’s mouth; it would not for political correctness ends, ignoring context and closed-mindedly be surprising if they started calling the unemployed “involuntarily leisured.” the sooner true acceptance condemning the use of the word, the accusers are actually the ignorant ones. The root of the problem in the can be achieved. On that note, racial radicalism has political correctness movement is not the become ridiculous. Everything is racist. movement itself but rather the people who head it. Instead of rational leaders looking for a common One of the most annoying things is the use of the word ground to set the standards, irrational men and women such “African American.” No one else is called Asian-American or as Jesse Jackson and Sarah Palin continuously attempt to European-American, so why should black people be treated shove the need for political correctness down society’s throat. differently; ironically, it actually discriminates them. Often times crusaders for political correctness will go If moderate individuals were to lead the movement, people to unreasonable lengths to find offensiveness in harmless would be more receptive to their points of view. The biggest problem with the political correctness scenarios. In California, the NAACP forced the ban of a movement is that it ignores context; regardless of what’s said, graduation card that stated the recipient would “conquer it’s offensive. But context means everything. Who cares the universe” because what was meant to say “black holes” sounded like “black whores.” In any other universe, that about cleanliness; context is next to godliness. For example, one of the most explosive words in the English would be neurotic, but not in this one. Even worse, the political correctness epidemic is ruining language is the n-word. Recently, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a

comedy; because people don’t understand the purpose behind such comedians as Daniel Tosh or Bo Burnham, they immediately crucify them and their jokes. The hit show Tosh.0 is frequently criticized for its blatant use of racial and social stereotypes as well as its Schadenfreudian humor. Yet what critics don’t see is that the jokes aren’t meant to be offensive; if they were, it wouldn’t be funny. Rather, by playing off stereotypes and peoples’ blunders, the show is actually mocking and chastising such obscene ideas. Tosh.0 is essentially the Huckleberry Finn of modern television. The push for political correctness is nothing more than a biased movement dominated by biased people, a pathetic power struggle. There is no true solution other than the removal of political correctness; people need to get over their false illusions to see the truth and enjoy the humor. If everyone would lighten up then there would be no need for being politically correct in the first place. The sooner the gilded movement for political correctness ends, the sooner true acceptance can be achieved.

Lg^iZ>c Do you think this column is single-handedly the most inventively brilliant piece of literature you’ve ever read? Why thank you. Leave a comment at hilights.org

LdgYhgZÒZXieddgandcheZV`Zgh OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE PRESENTS PROBLEMS 7n?:HH>86B88DN In today’s society, words are thrown around like they have no real meaning. People tend to speak before they think which leads to things being misconstrued. Today, it has become normal to call someone retarded, a fag, a whore or even the n-word. America is a nation based on equality and freedom. Living in this country means that citizens may live the life they choose the way they choose to live it. Having said that, it is cause to wonder why these words that plague our vocabulary are so widely accepted, or better yet, ignored. Thrown around in day-to-day conversations, these words are offensive to a great number of people. When calling someone “retarded,” one is invariably making fun of those who are born with mental or physical handicaps. Although it might not be seen in such a literal sense, using the word “retarded” in a negative manner puts down those who were born a certain way. When someone is called a “fag” or hears “that’s so gay,” it is in fact pooling close to 10 percent of the United States population into one category and using their lifestyle to cast their sexuality in a negative light. When these terms are thrown around so loosely, one does not tend to think of the number of people he or she offends. While walking down a stereotypical high school hallway, one is confronted with a typical scene: a group of girls gathered around a locker talking about another female. It is not abnormal to hear the group call the other a b***h, a whore or a slut. Now, whether the said other female actually is these things or not is not of any importance to these girls; it does not matter whether their peer is really any of these said things, they are just saying them to hurt her. Calling people names that have no real basis makes the speaker look ignorant. Walking down the street and referring to one of your friends as “my n****r” is not cool, and causes

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peers to lose respect for the speaker. African Americans were shown prejudice for years, first through slavery and then during their fight for civil rights. By calling someone “my n****r,” one is disregarding the pain inflicted with that word in our not too distant past. The Golden Rule is something which every mother surely recites during her child’s youth. The rule teaches people to “do unto others as you would like others to do unto you.” This rule surely comes into play when using offensive terms. When a person uses these terms so loosely when talking of someone else, it is no big deal. However, the second the tables are turned, the speaker does not like the way the said offensive term makes him or her feel. Everything is fine and dandy on the giving side, but things don’t look as bright on the receiving end. As human beings, we need to take into account and understand the fact that our words are actions followed by consequences. When using offensive terms to categorize or label another person, one needs to realize that it is offensive to others, makes the speaker sound ignorant and is not something one would appreciate having said about him or herself. The spoken word is not something to be taken lightly. Contrary to popular belief, no matter one’s age, race or gender, what people say has an affect on the world around them.

October 8, 2010

illustration/KATIE EDWARDS

hilights.org


opinions

Limits spark different opinions Smaller classes, better outcome

By JESSICA MCCOY

By AMANDA FLEMINGER

With teachers having to teach more periods, shorter class periods and students being turned away from classes they need, Senate Bill 30A brings a whole lot of bad, and not enough good. Voted on in 2002, a law passed that limits the number of students enrolled in a single class. This law specifies that the maximum number for a high school academic class is 25 students. Better known as the Class Size Reduction Amendment, the law was put in place to ensure that overcrowding did not occur in the classroom. However, this law causes a multitude of problems. The days of teachers having six periods and time to work are out the door. Because of this law, each teacher needs to teach one extra class period to accommodate the students affected by class size limits. More classes means less time for these teachers to plan and additional class papers to grade. By adding another period, one is making teachers’ jobs harder. In order to compensate for the number of students, all Orange County Public high schools have seven period days. Because there are now seven periods instead of six it causes students to have more homework, as this is another class to study for, plus it only gives 49 minutes per class period. The loss in time adds up to 30 days of instruction lost. For those who argue that more one-on-one time is implicated with the amendment, the truth is that each student is losing almost five weeks of class time. Even with the seven periods, students are not able to take the classes they need or desire. Some students are not able to take honors classes due to the fact that all the available honors classes are at the maximum capacity. Students signed up for classes at the end of last year thinking they would be ready to go at the start of the current year, but the inevitable schedule mistakes always present at the beginning of a new year meant students were not able to switch into the proper classes. Students should not have to change the classes they registered for simply because there are already 25 students in the desired class. By turning students away from the classes, one is affecting their whole future. If students are on the honors or advanced placement track and have made the personal decision to take these classes, they should be able to follow through with their plans. By forcing students to take only the classes that are “left over,” one is interfering with the education of students, possibly negatively impacting their future. While others would like to argue that smaller classrooms lead to more one-onone time between teachers and students, the class size amendment is doing more harm than good. This law forces teachers to teach an additional class, causes a 30 day overall time loss from the school year and disables students from being able to take the desired or necessary classes. In addition to all the negatives, the state will reportedly fine school districts $2,700 for every student over the 25 limit. With the budget cuts that education has already suffered, imposing this fine only causes more problems than it is fixing.

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As students approached the first day of school, they may have noticed the troubles caused by schedules and students switching in and out of classes. To this day, these activities are still occurring. Although students were quick to judge the new amendment, Senate Bill 30A passed by Florida voters, and blame the school problems on this act, one should first consider its benefits. Schools needed to hire new teachers to ensure the amendment work properly; hiring additional employees means allocating more funds for additional classrooms, supplies and salaries. According to American School and University, it is estimated this amendment cost nearly $4 billion per year. Students might argue the money is a waste; however, it is not. These costs are benefiting this country’s future leaders. Smaller class sizes are statistically proven to boost student’s performance. In 2008, Adam Gamoran of the University of Wisconsin’s Sociology department analyzed the findings found in a study of four nations and found that smaller classes provide more personal connections with a teacher. Students can then engage in the lesson and receive help more efficiently with the instructor and increase the one-on-one time. A study by the Tennessee’s Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio Project shows that reducing class sizes in grades K-3 substantially increases math and reading scores. These studies are also confirmed by Wisconsin’s Students Achievement Guarantee in Education and California’s Class Size Reduction Research Consortium’s studies. The Class Size Amendment aids African-Americans and those facing economic disadvantages strongest, according to the STAR and SAGE programs. However, focusing on smaller classes of all races at the start of kindergarten through third grade increases the impact of those students more as they graduate to higher levels of education. According to the STAR study, the longer a student attended a smaller class, the more beneficial the outcome. Long lasting benefits include students taking more advanced classes, less students being retained or dropping out and being more prepared for college. Based on these studies, it is clear that instead of complaining about having one’s schedule being changed five times, students should be grateful for the improvements to their education. As high school students are preparing for college, the more one-on-one time students spend with their teachers could greatly increase their scores, aiding them to the level competitive universities are looking for. Complaining and disapproving the new amendment won’t change a thing; all one can do is embrace the changes. If students want to blame the school’s faults on the law, they are being ignorant. The five schedule changes one might have endured has more to do with the school’s funding rather than the amendment alone. In 2002, when the voting took place, voters did not specifically look at one particular school alone and say, “hmm, they may not have the funding for this amendment.” Rather, they looked at the state as a whole and noticed the amendment’s farreaching benefits. These benefits will only enhance one’s education, not hurt it. In 2006, Florida spent $7,400 per pupil, and today we only spend $6,400, while the national average is $10,000. Only 3.1 percent of Florida’s resources are spent on education ranking 50th in the country in per capita funding for K-12 education. If schools had the correct funding, the amendment would work properly.

www.hilights.org October 8, 2010

75% Do not like Class Size Amendment

Amendment causes problems for all

regarding the amendment that is affecting all public education students in Florida. One states the positive outcomes and defends the Class Size Amendment, while the other points out why the amendment is doing more harm than good.

25% Like Class Size Amendment

In 2002, Florida citizens approved an amendment to in pre-kindergarten through third grade, 23 students in Article IX, Section 1, in Florida’s Constitution, which gave fourth through eighth grade and 25 students in ninth DVWULFWJXLGHOLQHIRUFODVVRFFXSDQF\7KHODZVSHFLÀHVWKDW through twelfth grade. the maximum number for each grade level is: 18 students Below two writers represent both sides of the argument

508 polled, Sept. 17

tell us what you think; should the amendment stay or go? page 7



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