The Grizzly Gazette Becomes One of a Kind!

Student generated news website nearing official launch.

Mr. Doug Wah, Adviser

Every Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) middle school has classrooms. Every LAUSD middle school has a cafeteria. Every LAUSD middle school has a gym. But, only one LAUSD middle school has a journalism elective that teaches students how to create a school digital news site (which for earlier generations would have been a school newspaper). And, that middle school is Sepulveda Middle School located in North Hills, California.

This exciting new student venture is being launched under the guidance of two of the English department’s teachers, Ms. Giselle Vivado and Mr. Doug Wah, in December of this year. Both teachers are simultaneously advising the same student staff to create the school’s yearbook, The Grizzly Tracks, as well.

A student staff of fifty meets sixth period three times a week to discuss, plan, create and publish both forms of media to represent the school. The staff is made up of editors, writers, and photographers.

Students learn different methods of journalism throughout the school year. Skills being taught include story selection,  researching, interviewing, photography, article writing, and digital design. However, both teachers hope there are more personal areas of growth that students will receive from being a part of the yearbook-journalism experience.

“I hope our staff will develop that uplifting motivation one gets from helping others, those they write about, feel self-importance,” said Wah.

Vivado’s vision for growth expands even further beyond the elective staff.

Journalism Team Shirts (Aiden De Marcos)

“This (elective course) will build school spirit over time, class after class, year after year” she said excitedly. “The students learn a new experience, a new expectation, a new normal. This spreads one kid at a time throughout the entire school.”

Both teachers are already seeing excitement for the student news site in not only the student staff, but administrators, teachers, faculty and parents as well.

There have been some growing pains with launching something new to the school at the same time as creating the annual yearbook. However, the continual effort and determination of all involved to not just launch a news site, but create a connection to the school community that all can be proud of, will make The Grizzly Gazette one of a kind indeed.