Dear Carrboro: WELCOME TO THE JAGWIRE

By Jock Lauterer
Carrboro Commons Adviser

There’s a new newspaper in town. No, it’s not the Carrboro Citizen, and it’s not the Carrboro Commons either.

Welcome to the JAGWIRE, the first-ever newspaper produced by the new journalism class at the new Carrboro High School.

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A teachable moment: Journalism teacher and JAGWIRE Advisor Jan Gottschalk, left, works with Carrboro High School newspaper staffers on a thorny technical issue, left to right, Gottschalk, Emile Toscano, news reporter; Mariah Norris, news editor; Tony Powell, reporter and photographer, Editor-in-Chief Daniel Matchar (at computer); and Lavanya Rao, editor of Top Spots.
Jock Lauterer photo

The words “new” and “first” pop up so many times in this start-up that it may numb the senses. But as an old journalist who many moons ago got his first chance to shine at a high school newspaper, let me tell you — this is a certifiable big deal.

In fact, this week’s inaugural issue of the JAGWIRE is something of a small miracle — the product of a dedicated bunch of Jaguar journalists led by editor-in-chief Daniel Matchar (who has been working on this project since last spring), aided by the indefatigable CHS journalism teacher Jan Gottschalk, and supported wholeheartedly by Principal Jeff Thomas.

The 12-page tabloid format debuted last week after Gottschalk and staff wrestled with one technical snafu after another.

I know this first-hand because our Community Journalism class (the Commons staff too) has been there. In sort of a journalistic version of Big Buddies, we’ve adopted Jan’s kids, teaching and mentoring her enthusiastic journalism class at Carrboro High School.

And the inspiration has gone both ways. How invigorating it’s been to watch the Jags in action. What a treat it’s been to be able to give back to a high school journalism program.

After all, if it hadn’t been for journalism advisor Martha Gill and the Proconian of Chapel Hill High School circa 1963, I might not be writing this story today. Go Jags! Go Jagwire!

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