Lilly Murr will lead LSNews.org
Lilly Murr has always been interested in newspapers, so it should come as little surprise that upon reaching high school, she joined the former student newspaper, Limelight, and wrote, in her words, "odd articles" during its final year of publication.
As Limelight faded without pomp and pageantry into the deep abyss of L-S High School history, there was no news publication at L-S High School for most of last school year. However, that changed last spring with the founding of LSNews.org. In its first year of publication, LSNews.org published about 575 articles to the tune of more than 200,000 total views.
34 of those articles -- second-most on the staff -- and more than 11,000 of those views come from the pen of Murr, who has served as school news editor for the 2015-16 school year. She does not participate in many other extracurricular activities, and is glad to spend time contributing to LSNews.org.
"I like the structure and a set thing to do outside of school each week," she says. "I like interviews. I like learning about another person's perspective. I get to learn more about people. It got me involved in the school community."
Now, Murr is about to get even more involved: effective June 3, graduation day for the Class of 2016, she will take the reins as the publication's editor-in-chief. She was approached by Mr. Adam Zurn, the publication's advisor, who consulted current editor-in-chief Benjamin Pontz (incidentally the writer of this article) before selecting Murr.
"Two things jumped out at me," says Zurn. "She was a Burrowes Scholar -- it being in English didn't hurt -- and she's the second most prolific writer this year for LS News."
It may have been an obvious choice for Zurn, but accepting was not a decision Murr took lightly. She realizes how much work it entails.
"I was very excited when he asked me," she recalls. "I thought about it. It's a big chance. It's a big responsibility. Then I decided, 'This is something I want to take on.'"
Murr's experience this year has set her up for success down the road. Her articles have introduced her to various aspects of the school, including new principal Dr. Benjamin Feeney, whom she interviewed back in September when he earned his doctorate, an article she still calls her favorite.
Murr's attention now turns to how she wants to move the publication forward, which centers on student engagement.
"I'm so happy we're technologically available, and a lot of parents read it, but there are a lot of students who still don't read LS News, so I want to get people excited," she says, before giving a plug for participation. "If you're looking to get involved with something more on the academic side of school and you like to write, you should definitely join. It's going to be a very open place where you can get involved and meet new people."
It's worth noting that Murr is counting those people who have told her "maybe" they will participate as definitive yeses, which should help bolster the ranks of her fledgling staff.
Of course, there is a long way to go, something of which she is well aware.
"It's a big responsibility," Murr says. "I see how hard Ben works, always running around. It'll be a lot of stress, but I like on stress. I thrive on stress."
As the soon-to-be former editor, I can say that will make her a natural.
--Benjamin Pontz, LSNews.org Editor-In-Chief ... for a few days