Student Spotlight: Kendall Vanderhoof
For three years, Kendall Vanderhoof has been editor of the Glenwood Springs High School Brimstone, which prints the first Friday of the month during the school year. A native with deep roots, Vanderhoof will depart for school in Ohio in the fall. Before she graduates, she took a moment to talk about her time at GSHS.
Post Independent: How did you get involved with the Brimstone?
Kendall Vanderhoof: My eighth grade year at St. Stephen’s we had a journalism class. It really sparked my interest, so I started Journalism I as a freshman even though it’s usually a sophomore class. I just loved it, and my teacher encouraged me to apply for the editor position.
PI: Why did it appeal?
KV: I’ve always loved writing and reading. I like making something from scratch that we can put out every month. It’s amazing to see almost the entire school setting down their phones and reading a newspaper. It makes me happy every time.
PI: Was it odd to be directing your own peers?
KV: It was a little strange, but at least this year we have a really good group of students. They know what to do and will do it, so a lot of times I’m just editing photos or whatever. I’m the only senior, so I feel like it’s my responsibility to help.
PI: What do you see as the role of a school paper?
KV: I think it’s there to get kids excited about reading and about learning what’s outside of our community. There a lot of high-schoolers that just focus on what applies to them directly, and we allow them to get their news in a fun way. They also find out about the school itself and learn about their classmates, which kind of connects the school.
PI: Are you thinking of doing journalism professionally?
KV: I’m going in as a physics major, I just like learning about how and why things work in the world. It makes sense, and it has so many real world applications. I’m thinking of concentrating on sustainable energy. Kenyon College is also very writing based even in math and science classes. I’m thinking of doing the newspaper or the literary journal there and maybe double major or minor in English.
PI: Is it tough balancing those different interests?
KV: I’ll use everything I learned in journalism because it applies to absolutely everything. If a scientist doesn’t know how to put together a well-written finding of their invention, no one’s going to know about it, and you’re not going to have any investors. I think just getting your ideas down is so important.
PI: Tell us more about swimming.
KV: I’ve done it since I was 7. I do both club swimming and high school swimming, so I’m doing that year-round almost 20 hours a week. It’s become part of who I am. I like how it’s an individual sport, but you also have the team aspect with relays. It’s taught me life skills like time management and determination. I really enjoy pushing myself to where I feel like I can’t go any further but I can. I want to always drop another second or even a hundredth of a second.
PI: Any predictions for journalism by the time you’re getting your bachelor’s?
KV: I don’t think in four years it’s going to change immensely. I think you’ll see more newspapers just online, and articles getting shorter. Everyone’s lives are getting busier, so sometimes you just want to figure out what happened without the fluff.
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