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Senior Journalists: Year in review

Presenting the senior Journalist. Photograph by Jaylee Cortes

Presenting the senior Journalist. Photograph by Jaylee Cortes

Presenting the senior Journalist. Photograph by Jaylee Cortes

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You read our stories, our news, the highlights, but do you know the master behind the madness? The mind behind the story? The writers?

Eight seniors have made a significant impact on The Bolt Live’s success through videography, art and, of course, writing.

Andrew Barron was in journalism for two and a half years, the second semester of the 2017-2018 school year he took journalism off his schedule to fulfill his Physical Education credit due to his huge dedication to the arts in theatre. However, his contribution was significant to journalism’s success. He was previously the entertainment editor.

Andrew is involved in Thespian Club, the drama department and dance, and he is also a blogger and enjoys creative writing.

After high school, Andrew will be attending University of Oregon to study further Cinema and Creative Writing.

Gabe Cortes is the news editor for Gabe joined journalism the second semester of the 2017-2018 school year because he needed another class in  his schedule. His favorite article was “The Aaron Hernandez Legacy” because it was ‘close to home for him.’ You can read it in Exposed, the magazine supplement available May 23. Throughout high school Gabe has been involved in football, wrestling and Auto Club.

After high school, Gabe plans to attend California Baptist University to major in sociology. He eventually wants to be involved in Law enforcement.

Amanda Figueroa is the copy editor of The Bolt Live. Amanda has been in journalism for two years and joined to be with friends as well as improve her writing skills. Her favorite articles she wrote this year was “Charter Oak Cost,” which is featured in The Bolt Live magazine Exposed. Amanda, as well as the Journalism class, is also proud of an article she wrote at a California State University Northridge Journalism competition, which placed third in the editorial write-in.

“I was excited to be a high schooler. I distinctly remember tripping over the same tree outside the F-Building on the first day of every year,” she said reminiscing.

Amanda has been involved in Interact and Key Clubs and is also an IB Certificate Candidate. The summer after high school, she plans on taking an internship with High School Insider and will be attending Citrus Community College and transfering to a four-year university.

Clarisse Guevarra is the video/podcast editor for The Bolt Live, and this is her first year in journalism. Clarisse is also involved in Thespian Club, the drama department and dance. Her favorite article was the student walkout, “An Inside Look at the Walkout: Charter Oak High School,” and she was really proud of it.

“Drama is pointless, let it go,” she would say to her freshman self.

Clarisse will be attending Chapman University, a top film school, to major in film production. In the future she hopes to be working on film or videography.

Priscila Manzo is the co- editor in chief for The Bolt Live. Priscila joined Journalism four years ago on the recommendation of a  friend wanting to take the class with her. Her favorite article written this year was “Halloween Horror Nights” because of the detail and length. She describes her high school career as stressful and full of anxiety, but all worth the experience as she phrases it. Priscila loved meeting new people and making new memories.

While at Charter Oak, Priscila has been involved in IB, had taken two AP exams, participated in Key Club as well as Asian Unity and is a board member of Interact Club.

“Don’t be scared to take risks, and put yourself out there. Also, develop good study habits,” she advises her freshman self.

After high school, Priscila will be attending University of California, Santa Barbara to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Biology.

“I love working in Journalism. I really appreciate Mrs. Wilcox and her efforts with the class. I will really miss Charter Oak,” said Priscila.

Charlene Morentin is the feature editor of school newspaper. This is her second year in journalism she initially joined to have a class with her best friend. Her favorite article written is “Walk to Remember” about the annual Charter Oak Remembrance Walk. She loved meeting new friends and having fun.

While in high school, Charlene has been involved in Journalism, Yearbook, IB, Athletic Training, Earth Club, and Interact Club. She also volunteered at  church and the Special Olympics. Charlene is currently undecided on what school she will attend after high school.

In the future Charlene plans to work with special needs children, be married and travel.

Debbie Tien is the opinion editor for CO’s online news forum. Her favorite article this year was “He’s done keeping his story STRAIGHT,” a review on the Love, Simon, or “Women, and others, march for change.” Debbie did onsite research by attending the National Women’s March in Los Angeles.  

Debbie was involved in Journalism, IB, BETA and dance. After high school, Debbie is undecided on what university she would like to attend. In the future she hopes to be working for a record label or assisting management’s publicity advisor.

Stephanie Wang is the co-editor in Chief for The Bolt Live; this is her third year being editor in chief. Stephanie joined four years ago on the recommendation of graduates she knew. She is an excellent writer. Her favorite article this year was ‘Perfect grades, test scores and extracurriculars are not enough for colleges’ because it was written from the heart, and the problems addressed in the article were shared by a majority of the student body.

Throughout high school Stephanie was involved in IB, Journalism, Interact Club, Key Club, Asian Unity and the San Dimas Mountain Rescue.

Stephanie’s advice to her freshman self is “Get into BTS now and go watch their free concerts before they blow up. Also think about your actions before you do them. And be more involved.” Stephanie’s favorite part of high school was seeing her friends and classmates everyday and being able to spend time with all of them.

“I regret being shy my first three years of high school,” Stephanie said, “because my class and friends are much nicer than I had thought, and I made memorable friendships once I stepped out of my bubble.”

After graduation, Stephanie plans on getting a summer job and will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall.

“Journalism was really an eye-opening experience and helped me in more ways than I would ever imagine. Most of all, it helped me make friendships that I will cherish forever,” she said.

All of these seniors have had a significant impact on my, and others, high school experience. These individuals each help shape who I am and who I will become in the future. These eight seniors, whether for a semester, a year or four years, have molded journalism into a family, a community within a community. Laughs were shared, tears were shed and bonds were formed. These seniors will be missed dearly and always, always have a place in my heart. I could never thank them enough for just how much I have learned and how many memories were formed. Every moment is cherished. Every laugh is cherished. Every word written is cherished.

Good luck to these seniors entering the next phase in their life and diving into the world head on. Good luck in your new experiences and new obstacles and with the new people you will encounter on the staircase to adulthood.

“We have outstanding seniors on the journalism staff this year. All are excellent writers, and because of the strength and experience of our staff, we were able to produce a printed magazine, which we couldn’t have completed without Clarisse’s technical and Amanda’s graphic design abilities.

“We have benefited from Stephanie’s and Priscila’s knowledge from being in the program for four years, and they have been invaluable leaders as editors in chief. Debbie did some exciting breaking news reporting for The Bolt Live, and she has the courage to address sensitive topics. Charlene is a solid writer, and she and her family have offered amazing support for our fundraisers. I am grateful for Clarisse for keeping the Live part of The Bolt Live alive this year. Amanda’s articles are insightful and carefully written. Gabe was a great addition to the class at the semester; he is a strong writer and brought an interest and depth of understanding to sports article. We miss Andrew’s enthusiasm and vocal demonstrations in class, but are grateful he has continued to contribute to the news forum. I was really excited when Priscila and Amanda won first and third place in the editorial write-in at CSUN Journalism Day; that was a first for our program,” said Margo Wilcox, journalism adviser.


“Life’s too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people you treat right, forgive the ones you don’t and believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it’d be easy, they promised it would be worth it.”

  • Dr. Seuss


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Senior Journalists: Year in review