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Rock of Ages

Rocks Changing the World!
Rocky alums are out in the world doing great things - from doctors to lawyers to teachers to CEOs! Here's a look at what some of our Rocks have been up to in the last decade!
Dr. Jerraco Johnson is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Human Sciences at Ohio State University. Dr. Johnson obtained his BA from Morehouse College in 2014, completed his Master of Education at Auburn University in 2015, and graduated with his Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology at Auburn Univ. in 2019. He won the RIMEF Thoms Family “Above and Beyond” Scholarship his senior year at Rocky and has been the recipient of 30 top honors and awards throughout undergraduate and graduate years. He has numerous published manuscripts with others in review.
 
In 2019, he was chosen as the 2019-2020 "Reynolds Returning Rock" and came back to Rock Island High School to educate, inform, and inspire current Rocky students. 
 
Jerraco
 
Superintendent Dr. Lawrence with Dr. Jerraco Johnson.
 
 
Bill Ruthhart
Bill Ruthhart, class of 1998, is the Writing Coach and Editor for Career Programs at The New York Times, a position he has held since January 2022. Based in New York, he is responsible for supporting programs that help identify and develop the next generation of the nation's top journalists. This includes training, coaching and editing the Times's 30-plus newsroom fellows, early-career journalists who spend a year detailed to an array of desks and assignments at the Times.  
 
Prior to joining the Times, Bill spent nearly 20 years as a reporter covering politics and government. In more than 11 years at the Chicago Tribune, he investigated state government, covered much of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's two terms as mayor of Chicago and covered the 2020 presidential race. Prior to that, Bill covered state government and politics at The Indianapolis Star, writing about the governor, state legislature and the 2008 presidential race. Bill started his journalism career interning at The Rock Island Argus/Dispatch.
 
Bill was named the best government reporter in Illinois and Indiana on multiple occasions and twice was awarded the top investigative reporting award from the Chicago Headline Club, among other honors. Bill lives in Maplewood, N.J. with his wife Adrianne, their two daughters, May and Claire, and two basset hounds, Ernie and Walter. 
 
What inspired you to pursue your career?
 My father, Roger, definitely was a major influence. He was the longtime managing editor of the Argus/Dispatch. I learned a lot just through dinner table discussions and following current events and the news, which was a constant in our house. When it came time to pick a major, I chose journalism because I thought it might be fun to be a sports reporter. I attended Eastern Illinois, which has a great student media and journalism program, and I got a ton of experience early on in my collegiate career. 
 
How do you think your time at Rock Island High School helped prepare you for success in your professional pursuits? 
 At Rocky, I learned that there were no shortcuts and that hard work pays off. Yes, it's cliche, but it's true. If I wanted to get A's, I had to study. If I wanted to play baseball, I had to work out and practice -- a lot. I got to participate in a lot of extracurricular activities and try a lot of different things, so I could find out what interested me and where I excelled. I really gravitated toward my English classes, and I enjoyed participating in putting out the yearbook and the Crimson Crier. 
 
The great diversity of Rocky's student body also really prepared me for life in ways that some others had not experienced when they first stepped onto a college campus or into their first jobs. Without realizing it at the time, Rock Island schools taught me how to interact with students from all kinds of different ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. That really prepared me to build relationships with a wide array of people in my professional life as a journalist. 
 
Do you have any advice for current students or young alumni who are interested in pursuing a career in journalism? 
 Yes. Read a lot. It's hard to be a great writer, reporter, or editor without reading the great work of others. Follow the news and current events. Know what is going on in the world. And perhaps most of all, be endlessly curious. Don't just watch what's happening around you and shrug your shoulders. Ask why it's happening. Who is making the decisions? What is the result? Who is benefitting? Is there a better way? The best journalists never stop learning and never stop asking questions. 
 
Do you have any favorite teachers, coaches, or club supervisors from your time at Rocky? 
 Yes, probably too many to list! Here are a few: 
 
Baseball coach (and gym teacher) Gary Bender probably had the greatest influence on me. I wasn't the best baseball player, but I learned a lot from Coach B -- especially from his mantra "Attitude is Everything." I always keep that in mind when I encounter a difficult situation, and try to maintain a positive outlook and a good attitude. We had some great teams at Rocky, and I saw firsthand what it took to work hard as a team and succeed, lessons -- and friendships -- I have carried with me since.
 
Shirley Perkins also had a big influence on my life as a student. I took her AP English my junior year, and she was tough! I didn't truly learn how to write an excellent essay until I took her class. We read some difficult classics in her class, but she brought such enthusiasm and made each book exciting in her unique way. She really connected with her students, who in turn were loyal and tried their best, because no one wanted to disappoint Mrs. Perkins! 
 
David Wood also was an excellent teacher. Math was not my strong suit (and probably a reason why I went into journalism!), but Mr. Wood had such a creative way of teaching it. I had him for Statistics class, and he used various games (Black Jack, craps, etc.) to teach us about odds and statistics. I learned a lot about calculating percentages and reading statistics that I use often in my daily work as a journalist.  
 
Andy Gray was a fantastic art teacher -- and baseball coach. Much like math, I wasn't great at art. OK, I was awful at art. But that was OK. Coach Gray made art accessible to everyone, no matter their skill level. I also really appreciated that even as a teacher, Coach Gray never stopped creating art. He was always working on some awesome charcoal drawings of Michael Jordan, etc. He showed students you could always keep pursuing what you love to do, whether it was art or baseball. 
 
 
Redrick Terry
Redrick is currently an evening news anchor on KWQC-TV, where he co-anchors the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts Monday-Friday. He began his journalism career at WHBF-TV as a reporter, before moving to the early morning news shift and eventually evenings at KWQC. Redrick also does sports play-by-play announcing for the Quad City Steamwheelers Indoor Football team and high school football and basketball for Mediacom MC22. He studied sports broadcasting at Western Illinois University in Macomb, where he won several awards for sports play-by-play.
 
What inspired you to pursue your career?
I grew up watching the news as a child and it really helped inspire me to pursue a career in the industry. It was always so fascinating to me to learn about people, places, and history of the area I grew up in. 
 
How do you think your time at Rock Island High School helped prepare you for success in your professional pursuits? 
My time at Rocky really exposed me to many different kinds of people and experiences. Being part of the MTIP program also exposed me to WIU, where I eventually ended up attending college. It really helped shape exactly what I was going to do after graduation.
 
Do you have any advice for current students or young alumni who are interested in pursuing a career in journalism? 
Get involved! I know that's the default answer, but it really helps! Reach out to journalists and see if you can make connections with them, pick their brains, go on a tour of their newsrooms and really get an accurate idea of if you can and truly see yourself as part of the journalism industry.Redrick Terry graduation picture
 
Do you have any favorite teachers, coaches, or club supervisors from your time at Rocky? 
I have a ton of them! So many in fact, I hesitate to name them out of fear of forgetting some. It's been about 10 years (!!) since I graduated, and there are lots of teachers who made a real difference in my life while at Rocky for whom I'll forever be grateful!
Brandon Thornton
Brandon is an award-winning teacher (2022 IEA Nominee for the NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence, 2021 Twenty Under 40 Leaders of Distinction, 2021 ISBE East Central Teacher of the Year, 2021 ISU College of Education Outstanding Young Alumni Award, 2020 Redbird Proud Young Alumni Award) that teaches 11th-grade special education language arts and 12th-grade mathematics at Bloomington HS in Bloomington, IL where he has taught for 11 years -- 8 of which were general education mathematics.
 
Brandon just finished his eighth year as one of the head coaches of the state and national qualifying BHS Speech & Debate Team, and an assistant coach of XC. He also splits his time sponsoring numerous programs, clubs, and events that have become permanent fixtures at Bloomington HS. He holds a BA in Mathematics Education from Illinois State University (‘11), an MA in Special Education (‘16) from Illinois State University, and is currently working towards an Ed.D. from Illinois State University in Special Education. His dissertation is titled, “Transition Planning and the School to Prison Pipeline: A Phenomenological Study Investigating the Lived Experiences of Alternatively Placed High School Black Males with High Incidence Disabilities.” 
 
What year did you graduate?
I graduated from Rocky in 2007 as a Golden Apple Scholar. 

What inspired you to pursue your career?
I had always known I would be a teacher. My mother operated a home daycare which turned into two preschools. When I wasn’t working at Taco Bell or doing summer conditioning, I spent my free time helping out at Mrs. T’s Calling All Kids or my dad’s business, Dr. J’s and Sons’ Lawncare. My parents served as my role models for what it meant to care for someone and pour your heart into your work — a core component of my teaching philosophy. 

My aunt is also in the education field, operating two centers in Rock Island and Moline called P & J Tender Care. So, I grew up around littles, which helped me realize I did NOT want to teach that age group. 

While I had amazing experiences at Longfellow Elementary (shout out to Ms. Mikel, Ms. Johnson, Mr. Nusbaum, and Mr. Gurlach) and Washington (shout out to Ms. Beeding and Ms. Melody), I knew I didn’t have the warm and fuzzies to teach that age group. Ironically, most of my day as a high school teacher is spent being warm and fuzzy! 

How do you think your time at Rock Island High School helped prepare you for your success in your professional pursuits?
Being in the Honors English track really helped me feel empowered. I carried that confidence into my math classes, where my math teachers would often keep me after to help peers. Okay, that’s a bit of a lie. They didn’t keep me after. I really loved math, so I would visit these teachers after school for fun. Still, being put in these instructional positions helped solidify even more that my heart was in teaching high school. It also helped me push myself to take all honors/AP classes in my senior year. Had it not been for Rocky, I truly don’t think I would’ve ever considered applying for Golden Apple or the ISU Honors Program. Both programs shaped me as a leader and pre-service teacher exposing me to a wide range of experiences at ISU as well as providing me with lifelong friendships.

Do you have any advice for current students or young alumni who are interested in pursuing a career in teaching?
You’re going to hear a lot of adults tell you that this profession is failing. You’ve probably seen the TikToks of EduInfluencers leaving the classroom too. Please drone these messages out. I’d be lying if I said that this teaching didn’t come with its challenges, but it comes with rewards too, and those will be the things that keep you coming back.Brandon Thornton graduation picture

Do you have any favorite teachers, coaches, or club supervisors from your time at Rocky?
I’d like to shout out my former Cross Country and Track & Field coaches, Coach Gus, Coach Wallaert, Mr. Ed Lillis (also my English teacher), and Ms. Michelle Lillis (also my life coach). I’ve used everything you’ve taught me as an Assistant Cross Country coach. 

It’s hard to pick a favorite teacher, because I loved them all, but my advisory teacher, Ms. Greenwood, Señora Shirk, Señor Hawley, Mr. Adams, my English teachers, Ms. Mendelin, Ms. Ahlstrand, and Ms. Hayek, my math teachers, Ms. Courier, Ms. Stark, Mr. Melody, and Mr. Abney, my science teachers, Mr. Kirgan, Mr. Wolber, and Mr. Stone, and my psych teacher, Mr. Dyer all cemented my choice in becoming a teacher in their own way. 

Earlier I mentioned that this job came with rewards. One of them is that you will matter every day, even years after your kids leave. I think you already knew that though. That’s probably why you want to teach. It wasn’t just what you learned; it was also how that teacher made you feel, and people don’t forget how you make them feel.
 
Jaela Jackson
Jalea Jackson is an Atlanta-based Director, Producer, and Editor who aims to create films that spark conversation.

Jalea has won multiple awards for her work as an editor, filmmaker, and producer. Her work has been screened in festivals worldwide, including Sundance, Cannes Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival, and many more. Her short film, "Things With Feathers", a short narrative that challenges the cultural silence black women have created as a coping method for sexual assault, has won several awards and had successful screenings in New Orleans (New Orleans Film Festival), Los Angeles (Pan African Film Festival), and Atlanta (Atlanta Independent Film Festival). In 2018, a short film she edited, "Blood Runs Down", won "Best Louisiana Short" at the New Orleans Film Festival.

Jalea was the Assistant Editor and DIT for the Sundance 2021 Award-Winning Feature Film "Ma Belle My Beauty", a New Orleanian-French-inspired love story. She also was the Assistant Editor for the feature documentary "Commuted", and the Hulu Documentary "Look At Me: XXXTentacion".

Jalea founded her production company Jalea Jackson Productions in 2016 and currently serves as a Video Producer and Editor for Victory Church. Through her work, Jalea intentionally focuses on telling stories centered on highlighting the culture and authenticity of marginalized communities and the human condition while reclaiming the narrative of stories that are often misconstrued or untold.
 
What inspired you to pursue your career?
That's such a broad question ha, but in a condensed answer, filmmaking became my voice. Throughout high school, I was a somewhat reserved person and saw filmmaking as a way to speak out on certain topics and viewpoints that I felt my mere words just couldn't do. I also saw the power filmmaking had on bringing the community together and it's way of evoking emotion, impacting change, and stimulating dialogue.
 
How do you think your time at Rock Island High School helped prepare you for your success in your professional pursuits?
During my time at Rocky, I'm not sure if we had an AV or Film Club and I ran track which took up most of my time there as a student, but Rocky was where I premiered my first major documentary. In my senior year, I applied for the Thoms Family Foundation: Rise Above Scholarship. The scholarship required the applicants to make an impact in their community. I chose to focus my attention on the Place 2B, a drop-in center for displaced teens. My initiative was to produce a documentary and have a benefit concert to help raise money and awareness for the center. I was able to host the entire benefit concert in Rocky's auditorium, bring the community together, and raise over $10,000 for the center. That documentary and event really catapulted my career as a filmmaker.

Another way Rocky prepared me was that starting my sophomore year, my teachers encouraged and welcomed my love for filmmaking. Whenever we had class projects, I tried to find a way to make a video of some sort. I was able to see the progression of my skill sets. From me making musical slideshows sophomore year, directing, producing, and editing what can essentially be called my first short film my junior year, to producing and editing 2 documentaries my senior year.Jaela Jackson filmmaking
    
Do you have any advice for current students or young alumni who are interested in pursuing a career in filmmaking, production, etc.?
My advice would be to just do it. Your first few films may not be the best and trust me, I have a few that will never see the light of day again, but you learn so much by doing. I'd also say network! Reach out to people who are currently where you'd like to be. Get their advice. Make yourself know. Most of the job offers I get now are from referrals and people I know. Finally, ask questions, stay knowledgeable in your field, and stay curious.

Do you have any favorite teachers, coaches, or club supervisors from your time at Rocky?
I have a few, and I hate that I can't remember everyone's names. But one person, without a doubt, is my track coach, Coach Michelle Lillis. There aren't enough words to say about her. And Tia Rice. I looked up to her and it was a great honor to receive her award in 2012 AND for her to award it to me.

Some others were my senior AP English teacher whose class is where I produced what I considered my first documentary on the educational gap. I'd also like to mention Mrs. Venessa Taylor.
 
Aubrey Barnes
Rock Island native, Aubrey Barnes, also known as “Aubs.”, is a Creative who happens to write poet, perform spoken word on a national level, author, battle rapper, Emcee, teacher of the arts, cohost of Black Thoughts Podcast, and Founder/Director of Roaring Rhetoric and Young Lions Roar. In 2015, he was awarded Best QC Literary Artist of 2015. In 2023, he was awarded the City of Rock Island's Citizen of the Year for the Individual category. He has self-published three poetry books and nine records and has performed and taught in ten different states and one country.

What inspired you to pursue your career? 
I chose to do what I love and make it a career. I love writing and sharing my ideas, so I combined being an artist and educator and created my own career. 

How do you think your time at Rock Island High School helped prepare you for your success in your professional pursuits?
I wrote a lot of poetry in high school, and found inspiration in Ms. Johnson's English class. She invited me to explore my creativity through creative writing. 

Do you have any advice for current students or young alumni who are interested in pursuing a similar career? 
Do what you love, and be ready to put in work to accomplish that goal. Also, find individuals who align with your values and believe in your vision. Accomplishing your dream by yourself means to never fully accomplish it. Aubrey Barnes graduation picture

Do you have any favorite teachers, coaches, or club supervisors from your time at Rocky?
Ms. Johnson and Dave Terronez (coach)
Mikhayla Shaw-Hughes
Mikhayla Hughes-Shaw is a Quad Cities native from Rock Island, IL, and currently is a lifestyle reporter/host for Cincy Lifestyle on WCPO 9 in Cincinnati, OH. She earned her bachelor’s of arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a certificate in Critical Cultural Competence from the University of Iowa. She formerly worked as the main host of Loving Living Local airing weekdays on WHBF-TV in the Quad Cities. She highlighted the local places, people, and things that make the Quad Cities a great place to do life. She is excited to do the same for Cincy Lifestyle!

Mikhayla is well-versed in media including television reporting, magazine writing, podcasting, and social media management. In 2020, she worked as a News 21 Investigative Reporting Fellow for the Kids Imprisoned project, which investigated the disparities in the US juvenile justice system. This project received a Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Digital Reporting.

Mikhayla is not only a storyteller but also an advocate. She served as Miss Iowa 2018 for the Miss America Scholarship Program. During her year of service, she completed over 150 community and school appearances and talked to over 10,000 students about the importance of mental health awareness and suicide prevention. She used this platform to compete for the title of Miss America 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In 2019, she established her nonprofit organization How About HOPE (Helping Others & Providing Encouragement) which works to change stigmas surrounding mental illness, specifically focusing on minority mental health. She is passionate about making a difference. 

Mikhayla also volunteers with Love Girls Magazine, instilling storytelling skills in the next generation of female writers.

What inspired you to pursue your career?
The art of storytelling is a tool that can be used to share perspectives and experiences with a broader audience. I learned quickly how powerful broadcasting can be, and I was hooked after my first internship. I grew up watching Paula Sands Live on KWQC TV 6 and wanted to do what she did, and I am so happy that I get to do similar work each day. Mikhayla Shaw-Hughes

How do you think your time at Rock Island High School helped prepare you for your success in your professional pursuits?
I was involved in quite a few extracurricular activities during my time at Rocky including orchestra, swimming, track & field, Student Ambassadors, and National Honors Society. Having a busy schedule helped me develop good time management skills as I moved into my professional career and my time in college as well. 

Do you have any advice for current students or young alumni who are interested in pursuing a career in journalism?
Go for it! Try out the different forms of journalism. From newspapers and magazines to TV and podcasting, there is so much you can do with a journalism degree. It is a very rewarding line of work as well. 

Mikhayla Shaw-Hughes
 
Do you have any favorite teachers, coaches, or club supervisors from your time at Rocky?
SO MANY! Too many to name honestly. The entire English department was incredible. My journalism class with Ms. Miers definitely helped me find my passion for storytelling as well. Mr. Manweiler is someone I still keep in touch with, as well as Mrs. Taylor. I am so grateful for the people who were a part of my high school journey. 
Raven ClemonsRaven Clemons is a Rock Island, Illinois native, a communication strategist, storyteller, and diversity and inclusion advocate.

Raven studied communications at Black Hawk College and earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications and a minor in marketing from Western Illinois University-Quad Cities.

Joining Caterpillar Inc. in 2021 as a communications specialist, she has made a significant impact through her compelling storytelling and communications support within human resources on topics such as learning and development, diversity and inclusion, labor relations, and employee well-being. She is the global communications chair for the company’s longest-running employee resource group, The Caterpillar African American Network, advocating for inclusion and supporting a community for Black employees and allies. Beyond her role at Caterpillar, Raven is a freelance writer and blogger, with her portfolio featuring publications like Curl Magazine, PopDust, The Anti Magazine (now, defunct), and Music Scene Media.

Before her diverse career, Raven was a Community Outreach Intern at Girl Scouts, passionately
supporting their mission across school districts and youth programs in the Quad Cities. She continues her community involvement through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago.

Currently residing in her favorite city, Chicago, Illinois, Raven hopes to continue to combine her passion for communication, inclusivity, and music in her multifaceted career.
 
What inspired you to pursue your career?
I love making a difference through written communication. As a storyteller, I believe in the power of words to inspire, engage, and connect with people, which is why I chose the communications career path.

How do you think your time at Rock Island High School helped prepare you for your success in your professional pursuits?
Rocky’s English department helped me gain the skills to become a writer and communicator. I also learned time management through extracurricular activities such as swimming and the National Honor Society, which prepared me to balance a career, social life, and more all at once.
 
Do you have any advice for current students or young alumni interested in pursuing a Raven Clemons similar career?
● Network! It’s never too early or too late to meet other communication professionals. Do
informational interviews and maintain the relationship. A networking relationship can open
opportunities for you.
● Read. You become a better writer through reading.
● Learn how to build an effective communication plan. Communication plans are a communicator’s
love language.
● Be open to continuous learning; get 1% better every day.

Do you have any favorite teachers, coaches, or club supervisors from your time at Rocky?
I have so many. I don't want to forget anyone!
  • Venessa Taylor, without her, my life would be very different today.
  • Michelle Greenwood for being the sweetest teacher and keeping English fun.
  • Dorian Foster for her creativity.
  • Mary Mendelin for teaching me how to become a better storyteller.
  • Robert Smith and Scott Dyer for their positive energy each day. I always looked forward to their classes.
  • Dr. Yolanda Grandberry-Pugh for pushing me to become a better writer.

Also, not from Rocky, but a part of the RIMSD family who deserves a shoutout are Mara Goodvin and Rebecca DeJonghe, who both poured into shy little me. 
Ty LewisTy Lewis is making an impact on his community, one connection at a time. Through speaking, coaching, and mentoring across the Quad Cities, Ty inspires, empowers, and invests in young people, educators, small business owners, and all who hear him share his story.
 
Ty is the Director of Emerging Leaders and African American Leadership Society at the United Way Quad Cities. Ty is also a real estate investor and was awarded the 2023 Quad Cities Outstanding Young Philanthropist Award.
 
Ty graduated from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA, where he earned his B.A. in Finance. Ty served as Treasurer for the St. Ambrose Black Student Union, President of the Finance Club, an Ambassador for the College of Business, and Senior Senator for the Student Government Association. He was also the Vice President of the Sales Club, where he won 1st place in back-to-back years in the National Shores Speed Selling Competition, competing against 200 students from all around the United States.
 
What inspired you to pursue your career?
The people I have in my life inspired me to purse my career. My parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors, coaches, and friends all played a role in inspiring me to do what I do now.
 
How do you think your time at Rock Island High School helped prepare you for your success in your professional pursuits?
It helped me so much. Being involved in Marching Band, Basketball, Student Council, Student Ambassador, Key Club, National Honors Society, Junior Rotarian, and INCubator Program all played a key role in my professional pursuit. The teachers as well who went out of their way to assist me also played a very key role.
 
Do you have any advice for current students or young alumni who are interested in pursuing a similar career?
A quote I live by is “ A Closed Mouth Never Gets Fed” meaning if you do not let people know how they can help or that you are interested in learning more or getting exposure they will never know. Reach out to people and ask questions. Be in the room, meaning go to as many conferences, events, and volunteer projects as much as you can. I built so many relationships with teachers, band moms, basketball parents, and more just from showing up and being a good person.
 
Do you have any favorite teachers, coaches, or club supervisors from your time at Rocky?
SOO MANY but the main ones were Mrs. Greenwood, Mr. Carlin, Mrs. Matson, Mrs. Young, and Mrs. Dieudonne.  Ty Lewis
Nate and Megan TrinrudNate Trinrud and Megan Trinrud are a brother/sister writing duo raised in Rock Island, Illinois. They are co-creators and executive producers of the Paramount+ original series, “School Spirits,” which was recently renewed for a second season. Nate is a graduate of Northwestern University, and has an MFA from University of Southern California. His films have been showcased at international film festivals such as Tribeca and Berlinale. Prior to his career in television, he worked on feature films like Marvel’s “Black Widow,” assisting directors. Megan graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, and has an MFA from Emerson College. A former television news producer, Megan is a 2015 Midwest Regional Emmy® award recipient. 
 
What inspired you to pursue your career?
We’ve always had a love for writing and we knew at a very young age we wanted to pursue creative careers. We discovered a passion for television and film while in high school and decided to pursue screenwriting while we were in college. We quickly realized we work better as a team than on our own, and we started collaborating on stories and scripts. 
 
How do you think your time at Rock Island High School helped prepare you for your success in your professional pursuits?
Rocky was an incredible place to learn about writing and during high school we were exposed to so many incredible authors and stories. Our time at Rocky really helped us develop our voices as writers and we are forever grateful to the incredible teachers who encouraged us to pursue our creativity. 
 
Do you have any advice for current students or young alumni who are interested in pursuing a similar career?
If you love to write, keep writing. It’s sometimes a difficult industry to break into, but the more content you generate and the more you hone your skills, the better your chances of finding a career you love that allows you to write every day. 
 
Do you have any favorite teachers, coaches, or club supervisors from your time at Rocky?
Though we were three years apart at Rocky, both of us were lucky enough to have English classes with Mr. Lillis, Mrs. Mendelin, Mrs. Ahlstrand, and Mrs. Hayek, and all four of them were incredibly influential in our lives.
 
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