Four years of newspaper come to an end – Belle Harper

From freshman year to senior year, there have been a lot of changes to “The Southerner.”


Isabelle "Belle" Harper, Editor-in-Chief

My name is Belle Harper, and I have been the Editor-in-Chief for “The Southerner” the past two years. The end of my senior year is quickly approaching, and honestly, it’s difficult to see it come to an end. Out of my 18 years of life, 13 of them have been spent in classrooms and soon the next part of my educational journey will begin. 

I joined the newspaper staff as a freshman, which means that I have had the amazing opportunity to be in the class for all four years of high school. I can’t thank Mr. Asay enough for believing in my abilities and allowing me to join the class. I was so excited to continue my family’s legacy as a journalism student. 

My first editor freshman year was named Sydney; she was kind of scary, but really good at getting things done. Sophomore year, our editor was named Cameron and she was a lot more quiet but a very good editor and writer. I was lucky to have them to show me different styles of leadership. These two prepared me for my junior year when I became the Editor-in-Chief.

There was no way I could have done it alone; however, I had a team of amazing editors to help me with everything. My editors included Jenna as managing editor, Danny as sports editor and Payton as copy editor. I am so grateful to all of them for their help throughout the years, and I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for the paper. 

Payton Henn will be my successor, and I could write so many paragraphs about how proud I am of her and how well I think she is going to do next year. I am genuinely so proud of how far she has come in this class. She has always been there to help me with anything for the website, and she is amazing at fixing attributions. I think she is a perfect fit to take over the class and I know she will run it well. 

PP, Jenna, Dillon and I had so many good times in newspaper playing online games on Fridays. Gameday Fridays were a staple for newspaper class. After stories were turned in and edited Thursday, Friday was the perfect time to have fun. I will never forget playing Gartic Phone and Backyard games

I have learned so much from this class and I am so grateful to have had Mr. Grigsby there to run it. We have been through four years of this class together, and I have learned so much from him. I will use the skills I have learned from this class every day of my life. I can write 300 words in a few minutes now, and I have gotten so much better at speaking to strangers. 

Newspaper class is probably what I will miss most about high school. I was there when we switched from a printed paper to online, and I kind of feel like the website is my child. However, I know that I am leaving it in the good hands of Payton Henn. Not only will I miss “The Southerner” itself but also the amazing people in that class who I have watched become great writers and people. 

Next year I will be living on campus at Indiana University studying international studies and political science and of course being a part of the IU school newspaper. I just can’t wait to see the amazing things next year’s class contributes to the website.