Pella High Speaks: Emerging Journalist Faith Vandenberg


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Zane: Hello! And welcome to another episode of Pella High Speaks. I’m your host, Zane McSheehy. Here at the Pelladium news team, we have plenty of incredible young journalists. All working the beat to find the best stories to be told on But one member of the staff was recently selected as one of the Top 10 Emerging Journalists in Iowa. So today we’re here to ask our very own Faith Vandenburg some questions about her journalism career for Pella High, and how she feels being selected for this. Welcome, Faith.


Faith: Hi! 


Z: So starting off with our first question here… when did you become a part of the news staff?


F: I became a part of the news staff second semester of my freshman year, after completing Intro to Journalism my first half of freshman year. 


Z: So you’ve been with the team for quite a while then?


F: Yes. 


Z: So what was it like when you first joined? Was it exciting or were you nervous at all? Did you think that you’d do a great job with what you were going to do?


F: I was pretty confident. I was a little nervous. I didn’t know many people… I actually joined the class with a friend who actually went to yearbook this year. But, after about the first couple weeks I definitely started getting more in my groove. I became friends with some of the upperclassmen and… it was a really fun time meeting a lot of new people and a lot of amazing student journalists. 


Z: And throughout that time you worked on quite a few stories, so coming to our next question… What are some of the favorite stories you’d say…that you created for Pelladium? And what was it sort of like to work on those?


F: So.. My favorite type of articles to write are the ones where it’s mainly opinion and freehand. I’ve written two. So at the end of last year, I wrote an article about the mask drop and why I felt like it was pointless. It took me maybe an hour to write it, it was so much fun. I like… getting my opinion out there and thinking about it. And another article that I wrote this year was the importance on kindness and how I saw… just students not showing teachers the respect that they deserve. And why I felt like we need to really step it up as a school, particularly as a grade.


Z: Moving on to your recent achievement, how does it feel being selected as one of the Top 10 Emerging Journalists in the WHOLE state of Iowa?


F: I was… it was very surreal at first. When I first got the email it was very unofficial looking. So I was like ok, I’ll read this later, I don’t really know what this is about. And then, I clicked on the link that it provided and then went and took me to the website and I saw my name and I’m like “oh my gosh,” this is real. And then, I was actually in the choir room and I started crying. 


Z: Moving on from your achievements to the future; are you looking to enter a career in journalism?


F: Definitely, I also love photography. So, definitely kind of mixing my two passions… wanna be a photojournalist and… go around the world and try to improve the world through my writing and photography. 


Z: So… if and when you plan on going to college, did you plan on being a part of any sort of news team for the college while you’re there?


F: Yeah, I think I will be. I don’t know if I’ll do it my freshman year. I probably will, but if I don’t feel settled in…maybe just try to establish myself a little more freshman year then join my sophomore year.


Z: And uh… when do you think you’ll be finished with your journalism here at Pella High? Do you think you’ll stop before you graduate or do you think you’ll carry it all the way through?


F: I’m gonna carry it all the way through. I love Mrs. B, I love the class, I love the environment. It’s just a fun class and I always learn something from all the people in there. 


Z: Story-wise or just in the future or maybe in the coming fall did you have anything you’re looking forward to reporting on any time soon?


F: Reporting? No. But I just created this really cool playlist and I’m still adding songs. It’s so much fun because I keep getting other people’s opinions and it’s a good way to talk to people about what songs THEY like and what THEY may be wanting to hear… And I’m also interviewing all of the retiring teachers who I may not even have as an actual teacher and it’s really cool to hear about their time at Pella High.


Z: It’s funny that you mention that moving on to our next question and that’s… do you think you’ll miss your time here and your fellow reporters here when you finally graduate?


F: Yes, very much. I love all the people in the department. I love the environment, the people, and… I don’t think there’s quite another high school department like it.


Z: And that was Faith Vandenberg, selected as one of the Top 10 Emerging Journalists in the State of Iowa from our very own Pelladium News Staff. Thank you very much for coming to this interview, Faith. And we’ll see you on the next episode of Pella High Speaks.