By: Karli Stichter
A new generation is upon us at Tustin High School. Legends have passed through this school and endured unique experiences. Each student’s experience has provided a piece to the amazing story of Tustin High. As our school continues to improve and grow, new students are rising to the occasion and making themselves into legends. Senior, Matthew Gaddis is a student who is on his way to making a name for himself at Tustin High School and his future in the years after graduation.
The Tustin High Journalism Program is a newer program and is run by Mrs. Robinson.The Pitchfork Newspaper was brought to life last year and has provided many opportunities for students of all grades and ages. Matt joined the Journalism Program last year as a junior when the program made it’s comeback. Matt admitted that “[he] joined Journalism because [he] wanted as much general knowledge on things as [he] could possibly find. Journalism was a good place to start.” He had a natural desire to learn and be apart of a program with a foundation of teaching students to explore and find their passions through their explorations. “I thought it was just going to be an easy A and a place to have fun”, said Matt. But there was something more for him in the program than just a place to have a good time.
He started off the year trying to write but quickly realized that wasn’t something he felt a strong passion about. Matt felt as if he wasn’t in the right place. “In the beginning I didn’t really have a purpose. I was just kind of there going through the motions and having fun”, explained Matt. Journalism is a place to have fun but it’s also a place to grow in your writing skills and learn the importance of work ethic. As Matt struggled to find his place in the upbringing of The Pitchfork, Mrs. Robinson slowly involved Matt with the technical aspects of the newspaper and that sparked Matt’s new found passion. “I changed and ran the website and as time went on I started managing the class and making sure everyone was on task”, Matt explained. He was a key component in helping The Pitchfork exist and gain its rising popularity.
Matt was given the fortunate gift of organization and management, but how did he grow to be the person he is today? “Growing up, I didn’t exactly have the easiest childhood, and it was kinda rough during a lot of periods of times. So I think all the adversities I had to overcome just made me a stronger person, made me who I am, and made me want to be better for myself and everyone else”, said Matt.While he’d rather not elaborate on his childhood and his past experiences he clarifies that his own history has shaped him into who he is today and who he strives to become.
Matt’s “official” title in the journalism program is the Business Manager. Management has always been a natural capability of Matt’s, but he took the time to polish up his skills by reading the book, “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino. This book has taught him the goals of a successful business man and how his professionalism in business can make him into a great salesman in the future.
Next year Matt plans to begin basic training at Camp Pendleton Marine base, which will last three months. After his time in Boot Camp he will travel to the School of Infantry on Perris Island, where he will receive a physical education based around combat training. When his military training has reached its end, he plans to attend University of Southern California and major in Engineering with an emphasis on Auto and Diesel Mechanics.
Matt continues to be an active student at Tustin High with his involvement in the Journalism program, position on the Boy’s Varsity Lacrosse Team, and participation in rigorous classes.
Here’s to the past, the present and the future of Tustin High School and it’s rising Journalism program.