The news site of Blue Valley High School

BV Tiger News

The news site of Blue Valley High School

BV Tiger News

The news site of Blue Valley High School

BV Tiger News

“Find your light and shine it bright for those to see.”


As I entered Blue Valley High School, I imagined myself becoming just another face in the crowd, but little did I realize that joining Newspaper would become my stage for self-discovery and transformation in ways I never imagined possible.

When I first started at BV as a freshman, I was shy, introverted and struggled to connect with others, especially when my best friend moved away that year. I spent all of my time by myself, dreading each day of school and watching the clock throughout every class.

As the quiet, introverted freshman I perceived myself as, I never saw a future for myself. I never saw myself getting involved in any way, having a friend group again or even confidently talking to people.

At the beginning of my sophomore year, I was enrolled in film photography. My teacher Miss Pickell was so welcoming to me and the other students. She brought my love for photography out of me and helped me express it in ways I never thought were possible. That class was the root of my spark for photography.

Second semester I enrolled in computer graphics. Although I had already completed graphic design first semester, I thought the class would be different from graphic design. I was wrong. So for those wanting to take both, choose one. With my love for computers and my knowledge of graphic design, I was breezing through assignments and falling asleep in every class. I didn’t think much of my talent in graphic design, but my computer graphics teacher Mrs. Huss did.

At the end of my sophomore year, Huss suggested I join the school’s newspaper staff. Huss made me realize that I have a talent, and I’m able to put it to use for others to enjoy. I didn’t know much about newspaper at first, but I’d hear tidbits from my friend Rhylan every so often when I talked to her. I informed her I was suggested to join the staff next year, and she thought it was a great idea. Hesitant at first, I decided it was the right choice.

I began my junior year enrolled in digital imaging and newspaper first semester. The duality of these classes assisted me in quickly learning the dynamics of a digital camera. Mr. Mosier, my digital imaging teacher, supported my path throughout my first year of newspaper and provided me with special tips, camera accessories and information outside of class. My mastery of cameras only grew during first semester.

With the help of taking film photography II in my second semester of junior year, my passion for photography and cameras intensified. I started to submit my work for contests to get my art in the public eye.

Throughout the rest of my junior year, I began to come out of my shell, speak up more and take on leadership roles in my newspaper class. Newspaper made me realize that I have a voice and that my words could make a difference. They mattered. Writing for the school newspaper gave me confidence, and it shaped me into a new person.

As I continued to get my photos across to people through social media, opportunities began to spark from every corner. People saw my work, and they showed tremendous appreciation for it. I was given the chance to work with so many amazing groups of people.

I have accomplished so much in the past four years of high school, and to my freshman self, that would have sounded like a dream.

For those who may have one to three years left of high school, you all have so much more to look forward to. Even if it might seem too late to join a club, enroll in a course out of your comfort zone or find a group of friends who accept you for who you are — it’s never too late. We’re all still trying to figure it out. So find your light and shine it bright for those to see. Continue to come out of your shell and make a positive impact on the world around us.

Thank you to all of my art and computer teachers who pushed me and shaped me into the person I am today. Thank you for teaching me the skills that now define me, and I appreciate all of the staff who made my high school experience one to remember — something I never thought would be possible for me.

And to my newspaper classes the past two years: the presence you’ve had in my life taught me I am capable of standing on my own two feet, and for that, I will always be grateful.

About the Contributor
Ava McNiel
Ava McNiel, Photo Editor
Ava McNiel is a senior and this is her second year on staff as a Photo Editor. Ava loves living life spontaneously and is up for any adventure at the drop of a hat. Her expertise is in the field of digital art, photography, and writing. For fun, Ava loves to listen to music, hangout with friends, shop, create digital art, experiment with musical instruments, and do her own nails. She hopes to pursue her dreams of becoming an architectural engineer. Ava is thrilled to be part of the Tiger Print Newspaper team again this year.