Cass High’s Newspaper Staff Hits the Road to get the Scoop on UGA

Cass High’s Newspaper Staff Hits the Road to get the Scoop on UGA

On Wednesday, April 13th, Cass High’s newspaper staff hit the road for an epic adventure to Athens, Georgia to attend a program at the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Mrs. Micaela Armona, the journalism (newspaper) advisor, supervised the group and Coach Hughes committed to driving the bus through early morning and late afternoon Atlanta traffic. Those who attended included Aldon Aquarian (writer), Jovany Contreras (writer), Eli Etheridge (writer), Caroline Guthry (writer/artist), Ricky Le (writer), Dayanara Solorzano Martinez (writer), Alexis Moser (writer), Aniya Perry (writer), Jeff Vu (writer), and Andrew Ziemer (editor).

In Athens, the newspaper team had the opportunity to explore all the exciting career opportunities available in the field of journalism.  With the help of the Scholastic Outreach Coordinator Stephanie Moreno, a program was created to allow CHS’s newspaper staff to enjoy presentations from top UGA educators including Amanda Bright the Director of the Cox Institute Journalism Innovation Lab, Carlo Finlay the Assistant Director of Carmical Sports, Media Institute, and Mark Johnson a Senior Lecturer who specializes in Photojournalism. Students were also given the opportunity to communicate with student speakers in relation to what a day in the life of a journalism major looks like and how they are using the knowledge and skills they have gained at UGA in the real world, tour the Grady Newsource studio, and take a peek at the new film studio space for Entertainment and Media Studies program and the MFA Film program. Senior Aldon Aquarian really enjoyed the atmosphere the presenters created saying, “They were so passionate, very driven towards expanding their program and themselves. They oozed a very energetic and organic energy that was infectious. It has really made me think about journalism and the pursuit of information as a potential career.”

Possibly one of the most effective recruiting tools UGA utilized was making the Cass High students feel right at home. After some quick research, they discovered that Diane Murry the Director of Alumni Relations and Outreach for the Grady School of journalism is a proud Cass High School Graduate, class of 1985. Proving the old saying Once a Colonel, Always a Colonel, Ms. Murry made sure to take time to come see us and check up on her Alma Mater. “Meeting Ms. Murry was such a special moment,” offered Mrs. Micaela Armona. “I think sometimes our students don’t realize how awesome they are, and they are afraid to dream big—but meeting a former Cass student in an important position at a major university, I think goes a long way in proving to them that it’s ok to dream big because big things can happen for Cass students.”


Coming off the Bulldog’s National Football Championship win, you can’t say University of Georgia without thinking of sports. It was no surprise that many of the Trumpet’s staff members were interested in learning more about how to parlay their love for sporting events into a thriving career. Cass senior, Jeff Vu, was happy with how his trip to Athens turned out. “The journalism field trip to UGA was awesome! The speakers were very interesting and made Grady College at UGA sound a lot more fun than I initially expected. What amused me the most was finding out that UGA’s football stadium was named after the founder of the Journalism program: Dr. Steadman Vincent Sanford.

For those attracted to the world of athletics, UGA’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers programs sure to help students build skills for a lasting career. These programs are designed to train students for every facet of sports promotion, whether it be broadcast reporting, sports writing, marketing and promotion, public relations, or photojournalism. Senior Ricky Le commented, “The [event] was eye-opening. I didn’t know careers in journalism were so broad. It combined my interests in sports and photography and has really helped steer me in the direction I want to go in after high school.”

Senior Jovany Contreras shared Le’s excitement. “When I first thought about [majoring in] journalism, I thought it was just about writing papers and reading articles, but this field trip to UGA really opened my eyes to the different fields within journalism. Some of the things that really caught my eye while there were sports mass communications and photography. I’ve always had an interest in photography but didn’t think I could do anything with it until UGA showed me that I had a place at their school. I’ve always thought that I would go to school to just become an engineer, but this has made me rethink that. ”

Grady’s photography expert and senior lecturer, Mark Johnson, was the last of the speakers, so the Trumpet had the pleasure of being led through the building by Mr. Johnson. He had many insights to share, not only about the history of Grady, but also the complex and developing culture of UGA. When asked about the ethnic diversity of UGA, Mr. Johnson shared that while the diversity is not what he would like, it is certainly becoming more diverse, and he would love to see a much more diverse culture at UGA in the future. Mr. Johnson guided the Trumpet team through various recording spaces as well as one of the most sound-proof rooms on campus. Although the ground was concrete, a material that typically echoes loudly, the rest of the room was covered in sound-proof material, which created a space where high-quality movies could be filmed. His tour also covered an expansive library of the latest in recording and photographic technology. Mr. Johnson took pride that several of his journalism alumni tell him how much better UGA’s equipment is than that of their current careers.

Overall, the field trip was a positive experience for all. Eli Etheridge explained, “Our visit to UGA’s school of journalism was very informative and fun at the same time. As someone who loves to write and has a deep interest in journalism, it felt great to learn about the vast number of opportunities out there to advance my skills as a journalist. I learned a lot through speaking with current students and professors, and touring the school made me a hundred more times excited to begin college this fall!”