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The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Senior Column: Executive Design Editor reflects on year in newspaper, saying ‘yes’

Tess Gagliano shares her experience as student journalist, photographer, designer
This+digital+collage+combines+photos+of+ENO+Executive+Design+Editor%2C+Tess+Gagliano%2C+throughout+high+school.+Along+with+newspaper%2C+Gagliano+was+a+member+of+NHS%2C+National+Art+Honor+Society%2C+Quill+and+Scroll%2C+and+was+a+peer+tutor+and+teachers+aide.+She+plans+to+move+to+San+Antonio+to+attend+Trinity+University+in+the+fall.
Tess Gagliano
This digital collage combines photos of ENO Executive Design Editor, Tess Gagliano, throughout high school. Along with newspaper, Gagliano was a member of NHS, National Art Honor Society, Quill and Scroll, and was a peer tutor and teacher’s aide. She plans to move to San Antonio to attend Trinity University in the fall.

“Sure, I’ll try.”

When I said those words, I had no idea just how much they would change the next year of my life. My Graphic Design I teacher, Lisa Roskens, had asked if anyone wanted to take photos of the cross-country meet the next morning, and even though the meet started at 6 a.m. and was nearly an hour away – not to mention the fact that I’d never picked up a real camera before – I shrugged and said, “Sure, I’ll try.”

The photos turned out terrible. They were blurry and overexposed, but when I showed them to Roskens, she told me I had an eye for these things. She didn’t lie and tell me the photos were good, just that they were interesting and that I should keep trying, that she was excited to see what I would do. 

So I did, and I realized how freeing it was to try something new, knowing that I would probably be bad at it. Nobody expected anything from me; there was no pressure to keep up or fall back. I could just run at my own pace, and I loved that feeling. So when Roskens told us, resigned, that she wasn’t sure they would be able to continue making print issues of Eagle Nation Times since the students who knew how to do it had graduated, I said, “I’ll do it.” 

So I did. I worked on it all summer, learning the program, designing, and editing. Each time I sent a draft, I’d get back a long list of corrections on everything I’d done that broke rules I didn’t even know existed. But eventually, it went to print, and when it came back, I saw huge stacks of the magazine I’d designed piled up around the newsroom. People were carrying it around in the halls; it was displayed in the library and counselors’ offices. It wasn’t just a file that I submitted to Google Classroom to be graded before vanishing into a digital void at the end of the year; I had created something tangible. 

That’s why when Mrs. Roskens invited me to apply to ENO as a design editor for the website, I said, “Yes, I’d love to.” When she asked if I wanted to go to Mansfield with her for a workshop, I said, “Okay, sure.” Eventually, I was the one asking for things – asking if I could write a story over a certain topic, if she could get me into an event so I could photograph it, and if I could redo parts of the website. She responded. 

“Yes, of course.” 

“Okay.” 

“Yes, I trust you.”

I’m sitting in the newsroom writing this, trying to articulate how this year in newspaper has changed me, and one of the editors asks me if I’d be willing to come in over the summer, after I graduate, and teach the team the things I’ve learned about designing the website, story pages, and ENT issues. Without hesitating, I said, “Yeah, I’ll be there.”

When I go, I’ll talk about how to adjust widgets and headline sizes, how to work with Student Newspapers Online layouts, and how to lay out the magazine in InDesign. Hopefully, some of these things stick, and I’ll have taught something helpful to next year’s leadership team. But if I could only teach one thing, I’d skip over widgets and design drafts, drop caps and margins, and talk about the importance of knowing nothing but saying, “Sure, I’ll try.” 

Signing off,

Tess G.

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About the Contributor
Tess Gagliano
Tess Gagliano, Executive Design Editor
Tess Gagliano is a Senior at Prosper High School and currently serves as an Executive Design Editor for Eagle Nation Online and Eagle Nation Times. Outside of school she enjoys reading, writing, and working on her own art. She also plays club volleyball, makes jewelry, and helps take care of foster cats and other animals on the family farm. Honor Societies: National Honor Society National Art Honor Society Quill and Scroll Journalism Awards: 2023 UIL Ready Writing: All Tournament Best TAJE 2024 Best in Texas Entertainment Review, Honorable Mention TAJE 2024 Best in Texas News Magazine Cover, Honorable Mention 2023 ATPI Fall Photo Contest: 3rd Place Photostory 2023 Quill & Scroll Finalist / News Magazine Front Page Design 2024 ILPC Personal Opinion Column - 3rd place  
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