The Bear Facts: LZHS student newspaper has editor prepared for college, career
Lake Zurich High School student Angelica LaVito is the Editor-in-Chief of the school's student newspaper, Bear Facts. Photos by Laura Pavin
Updated: January 28, 2013 2:41PM
LAKE ZURICH — Angelica LaVito is confident her experience at Lake Zurich High School has her prepared to take on college and the professional world.
LaVito, the editor in chief of the Bear Facts school newspaper, credits the high school’s journalism curriculum for much of her personal academic success, as well as that confidence.
The student newspaper recently was honored at the 2012 National Scholastic Press Association’s Fall National High School Journalism Convention. Her own personal victory came in the form of admission into the University of Illinois’ competitive College of Media program.
“Journalism is more than just putting graphics on a page and writing a lede; it’s about conversations, people skills and learning to be more professional at a young age,” said LaVito, a LZHS senior. “I was a freshman when I was in Journalism 1, interviewing the principal and the administration ... that’s something a lot of kids my age don’t even know how to do.”
Not only has the curriculum allowed her the chance to flex and further define her journalistic muscles, but she explained that it’s also helped her develop professional and leadership qualities.
Q: How long have you lived in Lake Zurich and been attending District 95 schools?
A: Since I was five. I initially went to Kildeer Countryside Elementary School and moved to Middle School South in seventh grade.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in town?
A: Gianni’s in Deer Park, I love it there. I’m Italian, so for us it’s the best we can get around here. The owner is so nice.
Q: What does your job as editor in chief entail at the high school level?
A: It entails reading articles, editing them before they are published. I also do all the behind-the-scenes stuff, so I help run the website and enter competitions. We post everything ourselves and post the photos ... but we are looking to get more hands-on with the site and to do more with social media. It can be hard because we only have about 22 kids in the class, and when we go to national conventions there are as many as 85.
Q: What inspired you to pursue your current position with the school paper?
A: I initially signed up for broadcast journalism, but we didn’t have enough numbers to pursue it. As a sophomore I wrote for the viewpoints section and I wasn’t really sure if I liked it; but after a couple of months I recognized how much fun I had on staff and enjoyed the experience I was getting and the opportunities I had.
Q: Do you plan to pursue journalism long-term, as a future career?
A: Yes, I am enrolled at UofI to do News Editorial in the College of Media, and after that, I don’t know if I will go into print or digital media.
Q: What are your career goals?
A: I’m really interested in politics, especially in international media, so I would like to pursue that and cover what goes on in the Middle East. Actually, my sophomore year I wrote an article about the U.S.’ involvement in Middle East, and I was able to get in contact with a representative at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, and that was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had.
Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: Electronic dance music. I’m a concert addict.
Q: What’s your favorite part about the holidays?
A: I would have to say Christmas cookies. I was up the other night at 1 a.m. baking because I was bored and procrastinating ... so I made cookies!