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History of the Cougar Growl

A class project of the Seventh Grade Students

By Angela Jos ('05) & Cameron Woods-Ortiz ('05)

2003-2004 Co-Editors

Beginning in 2003, the seventh grade computer classes undertook, as a class project, the creation of their very own student newspaper -- The Cougar Growl. Our first co-editors for this project were Angela Jos ('05) and Cameron Woods-Ortiz ('05).

Our task was to create a student newspaper, that each family with students at St. Maria Goretti School would receive, to keep up with the happenings at our school. We set our first deadline, and targeted tp publish it, in time for Parents' Night in September 2003. We found out, that meeting deadlines was very difficult, and as time grew closer, we had to revise our deadline to publish our project for Catholic Schools Week in January 2004, but we kept adding more stories, and realized that we couldn't meet that deadline either. We kept working at our project, and again revised our target deadline, so that we could produce our first edition by Graduation 2004. We didn't make that one either, but we did try.

Jobs were selected, and each seventh grade student was assigned to write an article about a different event or aspect of our school. After each of the articles was typed and reviewed, we needed to select a format for our publication, as well as a name.

The name of our newsletter, The Cougar Growl, was chosen because of our school's mascot, the mighty cougar. We now thought we were ready to "go to press." We weren't even close.

The articles we had prepared, were copied and pasted into the pages of the "template" we had set up, but now we found that we needed graphics and pictures to improve the appearance of our publication, and we hadn't even thought about the amount of space we needed or writing headlines.

Overall, the project taught us many things. We learned about teamwork and cooperation, and how each of us had to work together and contribute to the success of our project. We also learned that our computer was much more than just a typewriter with a TV screen. We also came to recognize that meeting deadlines was very important, and sometimes publishing our work on time, was more important than including ALL of the material we had available. We could always us the less timely material in another issue, rather than trying to make one big volume. We learned that this kind of project is an ongoing "Work-In-Progress."

At the end of the year, even though we failed to achieve our ultimate goal, we did leave behind, a legacy and a foundation for all future classes, a cool name, and even a template from which the new editors could begin.


New Editors and staff make second attempt

By Jenna Wright ('06) & GianCarlo "J.C." Le Gal ('06)

2004-2005 Co-Editors

Taking over the seventh grade computer class project, of creating a student newspaper -- The Cougar Growl, we too, found out quickly that it really wasn't as easy as it sounded. We had our first deadline to meet for Catholic Schools Week in January 2005, but as with the previous co-editors, we had difficulty deciding on what stories were most important, and what graphics and pictures to use. Just learning how to use a template, and arranging everything on each page was more difficult than we had imagined.

Sports reporting became the most difficult, since by the time we got the stories written and edited, we'd already moved into a new season with more stories to write and events to report about.

We were determined to get something together by Catholic Schools Week, so our parents and guests could see what we were accomplishing, and be proud of our work, so we asked for help from our teacher, on the assembly of our project. Much to our surprise, it came out so nicely, that our pastor, Father Tom, had it printed in time for the open house.

We took advantage of all the hard work that the previous staff had put in, and used some of their stories for our Special Catholic Schools Week Invited Guests Preview Edition (CSW EXTRA). We even managed to include a picture of one of our events, that we had a story written for.

After we got our first issue printed, we struggled to figure out what to do next. We had so many stories and pictures, that we made the same mistake that the previous staff made, trying to fit everything in, and adding more pages, until our publication got so big, and time got so late, that we didn't get a chance to complete another issue before the school year ended.

We gave it our "best shot," we got one issue published, and we set the challenge for the new co-editors and their class, to do better than we did, and get two issues published during the school year.


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