Introducing the Titans’ new Tattler

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 18, 2024

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By Chandler Inions

CLEMMONS — For decades, a student has provided an insider’s glimpse into the inner workings and happenings at West Forsyth High School.

Claire Reinthaler was the latest Titan to wear the Tattler title, but as Reinthaler looks towards her collegiate future, a new journalism student is ready to step up into the role — Lena Pearson.

Peason is a rising senior and currently serves as the features editor for the Titans’ online newspaper the Zephyr.

The Zephyr has served as the West Forsyth paper for many years but recently went to an online format following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pearson, who lives in Lewisville, moved to North Carolina from the Rocky Mountain capital, Denver, Colorado. Her father is from N.C. and it’s where he met her mom, but Pearson had never lived in the Tar Heel State until the family’s recent move.

It was an admittedly difficult transition for her, starting over at a new place in the midst of a pandemic that forced schools to close and instruction to go online. Pearson mentioned nature being a drastic shift for her, going from a mountainous area like Colorado to the Piedmont of N.C., but something else stuck out to the teen.

“Southern hospitality is a real thing,” Pearson said. “I feel like people are a lot friendlier here.”

As she settled in and got to know her surroundings, she said she started to feel a lot better about the move. She took a journalism class that first year at West Forsyth which led her to the paper.

“I have been in the newspaper now for two years,” Pearson said. “This is my first year as the features editor. Last year, I was just a writer.”

Pearson prefers the methodical style of journalistic writing compared to the prose style of longer-form English literature.

“I like it concise,” Pearson said. “Short and sweet is more fun for me.”

Pearson is the president of a student club called SAVEDD, which she explained is a combination of two organizations, Students Against Destructive Decisions and Students Against Violence Everywhere.

“They are about promoting teen safety and teen health,” Pearson said.

The rising senior pointed to the spate of gun violence that thrust Colorado to the forefront of national discourse, including the massacre at Columbine High School, that kick-started the debate about access to guns for young adults.

“Coming from Colorado, there was so much gun violence around me,” she said. “By my first grade year, I had experienced so many lockdowns in public schools. There was a lot of history with Columbine and everything. So many places around we were experiencing gun violence. That resonated with me.”

Following her move, Pearson observed a relative lack of discussion around the topic and hopes that through her work with the organization, they can continue to shed light on the issue, which is why she is active in the club at the state and national level.

When she’s not at school, Pearson is working her job at Ketchie Creek Bakery’s Clemmons location. She indicated that she loves the food and the social interaction that the job affords her.

As she turns her attention to the year ahead, she is looking forward to continuing to cover her school and fellow classmates for the Clemmons Courier.

As a reporter and editor for the school newspaper, Pearson prides herself in covering stories that might not get as much attention as the score of a game on Friday night.

“This year, as the features editor, it has been covering whatever topics are relevant around school,” she said. “I have done profile pieces, like the one of our new SRO officer. I did one about people who have done big things around the school, such as our ACE academic team winning the county championship.”

She’s not sure which route she will go after high school, but is not in a rush to make that decision.

“Not entirely sure about college yet, but journalism is definitely something that I plan to look into more,” Pearson said. “I know it is something that I enjoy and something that I know I can get better at.”