A Tribute to the Seniors of The Phoenix

As seniors prepare to leave Holy Family, members of the Phoenix would like to say goodbye to the seniors who contributed their wonderful efforts and talents towards writing, photography, and much more for the student newspaper. Many of these students’ efforts are behind the scenes and go unnoticed, but not today! The Seniors involved in the Phoenix include: Mark Haran, Emmett Curran, Sophie Lynch, John Grunow, Alexis Pricco, Emma Terris, Ronnie Deckard, Nora Erdman, Gracie Lund, Joe Olson, Claire Rothstein, and Claire Johnson.

During their last week, I decided to ask some a few of them about their experiences with the Phoenix.

What was the hardest article or event you’ve covered?

Nora Erdman: “I had to write an album review article but it was never published because it took me so long to write. I had no motivation  and wasn’t interested in the albums I was reviewing.”

Mark Haran: “The hardest event that I have ever had to cover would be the Boys Hockey Section Final game vs. Minnetonka this year. I remember going to it last year and having a ton of fun as a fan and bystander, but going this year to film made me very anxious. I wanted to make sure I got film that was usable as well as entertaining. There was so much going on so I felt conflicted between filming and watching the game as a Holy Family student.”

Ronnie Deckard: “The opinion article I wrote about my nose piercing. I spent the most time on this piece, trying to find the adequate words to articulate an effective message about the wrongly associated misconceptions and stereotypes with appearance.”

What was your favorite article?

Nora Erdman: “Probably the one on Prince’s death or the Fleet Foxes album review.”

Mark Haran: “My favorite article would have to be my Grammy 2018 Review article. It’s my favorite article because I spent a ton of time analyzing the performances and giving my full input on the numerous artists and talented individuals of today’s music industry. It was almost too much coverage on my part as the article ended up being a good couple thousand characters; nevertheless, I was proud of my work.”

Ronnie Deckard: “My favorite article would be the article I wrote on my experience at the March For Our Lives in D.C. It was an incredible experience for me, and I captured it through different forms of media. I wrote the article the night proceeding the march because of the excitement and determination sparked within me.”

Do you have a proudest moment or achievement in the Phoenix (yours or others)

Nora Erdman: “I interviewed a band all on my own (with the help of John) and I just felt really professional and I felt good about the article I wrote. I also felt really proud of all the Phoenix staff whenever the Phoenix would be shut down or articles would get negative comments because it just felt reassuring that everyone was proud of their work and were able to defend it.”

Mark Haran: “My proudest moment is just finishing up my year as Editor in Chief. I put in so much work both inside and outside of school to promote the Phoenix and the school community. I can’t explain in words how much the Phoenix means to me, and hopefully, I displayed my appreciation for the platform through my actions and dedication to it.”

Ronnie Deckard: “Honestly, getting to showcase the artistic talents within our school in my “artist spotlight” articles. I was very proud that I got to bring attention to some incredible pieces of art.”

Will you continue any writing, photography, or graphic design like you have accomplished in the Phoenix?

Nora Erdman: “Yes, of course! I have learned so much from the Phoenix and Witchger that I couldn’t possibly think of not putting it to use!”

Mark Haran: “I plan on doing it all! I’m going to join the Iowa State Daily (the student newspaper) as well as participate in social media management for clubs and organizations in the community. My goal is to become Editor in Chief at Iowa State and become the videographer for one or more of their sports teams.”

Ronnie Deckard: “For sure. I will continue to write about my beliefs and sue my words as a source of insight for others. I will always have my film camera with me wherever I go.”


Thank you seniors for all you have contributed! We wish you luck as you continue your journey and look forward to seeing what you accomplish. In conclusion, here is a final remark from our 2018 Editor in Chief, Mark Haran: “There’s a lot more that I (and my peers) would like to say, but we should probably keep it short. Thank you to the students, the faculty, staff, friends, family, administrators, and most importantly, Mr. Witchger. The Phoenix has truly changed our high school experiences and has made each of us the unique group of students we are today. We can’t thank you all enough, and we can’t wait for what the future holds.”