Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

Yoochan An

The Olympian: Brigitte Peterson

Senior Brigitte Peterson has dreamed of leading The Olympian ever since freshman year. After three years of hard work, from half-jokingly and half-lovingly being called the “little sophomore” of the class, she is now the Editor-in-Chief of The Olympian, leading seven students to craft the 2022–2023 school year yearbook.

As Editor-in-Chief, she runs the show, making overarching decisions that shape the direction of the yearbook. She’s responsible for making sure that things run smoothly and deadlines are met. “My job is to make sure people get assigned what they need to be doing,” she said.

Peterson describes her role as an intermediary between students, parents and Adviser Kristy Blackburn. “I’m there to be a teacher, but closer than the actual teacher,” she said.

She and Blackburn are both involved in creating the yearbook, meeting weekly to plan out what they want completed and assigned for the week. “I’m the support for the kids, and [Blackburn is] support for me,” she said.

As rewarding as leading The Olympian is, Peterson noted that being the Editor-in-Chief comes with challenges. According to Peterson, the most challenging aspects include giving hard feedback and reconciling differing visions for a page. When she and her staff’s ideas differ, Peterson’s solution is to compromise. “I do understand where people are coming from,” she said. “We try to find a place that fits part of my vision and part of [their] vision so we’re both happy.”

Although the work is deadline-driven, a typical class period is flexible for staff members. Students check in about the progress of pages and assignments at the start of class, then disperse to finish their tasks. “There are people taking photos, doing copy [writing text for spreads] and doing design—some people do all three,” Peterson said.

As The Olympian staff continues to churn out spreads, interview students for quotes and photograph student groups, their goal this year is to increase awareness of the publication outside of the yearbook distribution season. After all, The Olympian is recording memories for a lifetime. “It is about producing something that people will have forever,” Peterson said.

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