Looking back… and looking ahead

Summer 2023 Edition

I started writing for “The Buccaneer” when I was a freshman. There weren’t many kids in my grade who wrote for the paper, and I was almost intimidated by the upperclassmen on the staff. (Some of them had full beards, which I never saw anyone in school have.) I had finally broken out of my shell since moving to a new district the previous year, and knew I wanted to write for the school newspaper when I got to high school.
It was through writing for “The Buc” that I built a strong bond with Mrs. Castellano. I never had her as a teacher, but I could tell Mrs. Castellano trusted me from the start of my newspaper writing career. It wasn’t common for a staff writer to earn multiple cover stories over the course of their freshman year, but I felt like I had the skills to write compelling articles about the latest happenings at Mepham. I covered homecoming, Mr. Mepham, and the virtual game nights during my first year on “The Buc” staff.
Sophomore year was a weird one. I went to school via Zoom calls and didn’t really get a chance to meet up with Mrs. Castellano and the rest of “The Buc” staff, but technology helped me communicate with people about school events. It was sophomore year that I decided to add interviewing people to my journalism arsenal, and Zoom helped me interview and record my subjects so that I could easily get their answers for articles. From interviewing Ms. Dennis and Mr. Patten about the Flag Field of Honor to chatting with the music department about the outdoor concert, I enjoyed talking to Mepham’s finest to learn more about the inner workings of my high school.
I was lucky enough to earn a spot on the editorial board my junior year, and I was the only non-Class of 2022 member on that year’s staff. That year, I was Sports Editor. I decided to have a series where I wrote about the amazing girls breaking barriers in Mepham’s sports scene, such as Sofia LaSpina’s historic touchdown and the pair of current juniors making strides in girls’ wrestling.
I was a little upset that my entire editorial board was leaving me that June and was unsure of the future of “The Buccaneer,” but flash forward to present day, where we have a set of freshmen and other new students eager to write for the newspaper for the next four years. I’m currently sitting as Editor-in-Chief (if you couldn’t tell by this article), and we have a solid editorial board this year. I’ve recruited some of my friends to write for the paper, and I’m proud to work with Mrs. Castellano my entire high school tenure.
My journalism career doesn’t end when I graduate from Mepham on June 11. I’ll be going to Hofstra in the fall, and although I’m majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics, my work-heavy degree won’t stop me from setting aside time to write for the university’s paper. I will miss my time writing for “The Buccaneer” and with Mrs. Castellano, but I know I have a great future ahead of me, especially by writing for “The Hofstra Chronicle.” I’m so glad to have learned about the inner workings of Bellmore-Merrick and share them with the entire Mepham community. The past four years have been quite the experience for myself, but it’s my goal to make the next four years of my life even better.
This has been
Samantha Nadler, signing off.