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ODYSSEY Newsmagazine An introduction to the unique environment and valuable experience that Journalism provides. Meeting new people, learning to be professional and self-reliant are all part of the journey.


Photo by Edgar Chavez

Above: THE GANG’S ALL HERE: The 2009-10 ODYSSEY staff poses for a picture in the Billy Henderson Stadium. After a busy year of deadlines, writing and producing a magazine, the staff is able to relax and remember all the good memories.


t’s always scary when we find ourselves in unfamiliar environments, and some people adjust more quickly than others. However, as you adjust to the ODYSSEY Newsmagazine’s working environment, remember that you are in the same boat as everyone else in the room. Room 114 can certainly be a whirlwind. During my first year at Clarke Central as a member of the ODYSSEY, I had no idea what I BY JESSE SIEBENTRITT had gotten myself into, except that it was said to Managing Editor be rigorous. Journalism can certainly include a steep learning curve, but by putting in the effort early, developing a sense of journalistic writing and acclimating to the culture of the class, you can help ensure a quick and exciting assimilation into the ODYSSEY. While it may seem like all work and no play, the ODYSSEY really offers a great blend of both. As a member of the class you will see your writing grow through the coaching of your editors and adviser, but you will also enjoy games and teambuilding activities with the class. One of the most valuable aspects of my experience with the ODYSSEY so far have been the relationships I have developed over the course of the year. The great thing about journalism is that it immerses you in a diverse group of intelligent people, who tend to share interests and are all working towards a common goal. This environment is conducive to the growth of lasting friendships and the production of a fantastic product. To me, the ODYSSEY is largely defined by the professional attitude Above: UNEARTHING THE STORY: An ODYSSEY reportthat we like to bring to ers highlighted the life of Corey Devereaux, Clarke Central High School’s drum major, in a two-page feature published everything we do. Yes, in the 2009-10 school year’s November issue. we have fun in class, but as members of the ODYSSEY, we present ourselves professionally and respectfully in school and when we travel to journalism conventions in Georgia and out-of-state. A big part of being a student journalist is developing interpersonal skills, which will be accomplished through learning how to conduct interviews with students and adults alike, and maintaining positive professional relationships with your peers in the class. The ODYSSEY staff strives to produce a professional product in a high school setting, and for many years has achieved a notable degree of success. Now it’s your turn to become a part of the legacy that is ODYSSEY, by learning and evolving with the class. You will stress and struggle and laugh and play, but you will share this experience with your peers, and with determination and effort the ODYSSEY will facilitate personal growth in each individual staff member.

Cover photo by Isabel Atkinson Cover design by F. Tyler Elrod

wo years ago, I entered Mr. Ragsdale’s journalism classroom as a wide-eyed and confused sophomore. The thought of producing a 40-page magazine every month was overwhelming at first. But for most first-year students, simply understanding the ODYSSEY staff’s process can help reduce the stress associated with journalism. The ODYSSEY Newsmagazine is published by Kinsey Lee Clark monthly, and each issue is a minimum of 40 Editor-in-Chief pages. This means that with at least 15 pages already dedicated to advertisements and other monthly published material and a 32-person staff, not every article written will be published each month. At the beginning of production each issue, the class compiles a collaborative list of brainstorms regarding school-level, local and global issues that we feel are pertinent to publish. Students then receive article assignments based on the brainstorms and begin holding interviews and drafting articles immediately. Each young journalist is expected to write at least three versions of an article, the rough, middle and final drafts. By conferencing with their respective section editors, the Copy Editor, the Managing Editor and the Editor-inChief, students improve their pieces and prepare them for publication. Throughout this drafting process, students must also arrange photo shoots with photographers (or take pictures if they are photographers), layout their page in the design program InDesign and meet deadlines punctually. By following through with this process, students are able to improve journalistic skills and become better prepared for life outside of high school in a professional working environment. The ODYSSEY stresses the importance of respect (of teachers, peers and self), along with the need to maintain professional dress and behavior and all times. We pride ourselves on being the face of Clarke Central High School. The ODYSSEY’s circulation reaches more than 3,000 readers in Athens-Clarke County and students are often in contact with important members and leaders of the Athens community. Our process is rigorous, but rewarding. Through hard work and dedication, we learn and grow from failure and share in success together.

UGA football games With an annual budget of almost $25,000 where does the money come from? FUNraising!


Photo by Isabel Atkinson

Above: MAKING MEMORIES: Juniors Emily Allen (left) and Kinsey Clark (right) pause to pose while working at one of the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium concession stands. Students, who are expected to work five of the six home football games, build both working skills and friendships while spending long hours together.

What is Journalism? Who is going to be in the class? Why are we here? Who is Mr. Ragsdale? What am I doing? Those are just a few questions that we will attempt to answer at this summer’s workshop. This is the foundation that next year’s class will be based upon, and it is vital that all new staff members are in attendance. We meet, greet, learn, write, design, photograph and then using our newfound skills, produce a mini-ODYSSEY. The setup is similar to a typical school day, but with additional structure and instruction. There are lessons ranging from Above: REPRESENTING CENTRAL: (From left) sophomore Caleb Hayes and juniors Alexander Rafael writing a news Boza and Fakari Gresham wear Clarke Central High School’s colors, red and gold, to represent their school story to laying at the Southern Interscholastic Press Association’s Quiz Bowl competition in Colombia, SC. out a magazine page to selling an advertisement for the ODYSSEY. Veteran staff members will be learning alongside you, so this is the prime time to meet your editors. Plus, no matter how experienced, talented, or amazing you are, there is always room for growth. This is your first opportunity to grow and to become a part of the ODYSSEY family.

Photo by Isabel Atkinson

ith a wall of gleaming awards and honorary titles, the ODYSSEY has earned a spot among the very best high school newspapers in the nation. As with any publication, however, the ODYSSEY has a budget -- a large budget at that. Among the tasks of production, members of the ODYSSEY staff are required to help raise money for the magazine. With expenditures of by CLaire E. Dennis over $24,000 a year and no financial assistance Senior Copy Editor from the district, the ODYSSEY calls for each and every student to contribute. Contributions are made through several work and volunteer opportunities. Every fall, we operate a concession stand at the University of Georgia’s home football games; students are required to work five of the six games. We work tirelessly with parent volunteers to sell food, beverages and our wonderful smiles to the public. The days can be anywhere from 8 to 12 hours long, and by the end you won’t be able to look at a hot dog. But as each issue costs roughly $2,000 and each game nets us nearly $1,800, the games give us most of the financial support we need. Without the revenue generated from the stand, the ODYSSEY would not have enough money for production. In another aspect, the games are some of the best opportunities for memories to be made on the ODYSSEY staff. Besides the endless wrapping of hotdogs, we start ice-throwing wars, sit on cardboard boxes watching the last few seconds of the game and eat what’s left over from the stands. We work hard, but we also play hard. Aside from the football games, magazine sales, subscriptions (of which we currently have over 200 mailed across the nation) and ad sales allow for our magazine to operate. The ODYSSEY’s business staff manages these sales, and each student must attempt a minimum of 5 ad sales to businesses around Athens. In addition, we are each responsible for selling subscriptions to family, friends, teachers, mentors, priests, coaches- whoever. Through these fundraising opportunities our class is afforded the chance to create the professional quality magazine for which we have become known- the magazine that has earned a spot among the very best high school newspapers in the nation.

Journalism Workshop July 20 - 23 8:00- 4:30 CCHS: ROOM 114


Summer workshop information


Summer workshop information