Eighteen-year-old senior at J.E.B. Stuart High School Hallie Colegrove may have the potential to be the next Barbara Walters, but says that journalism isn’t something she wishes to pursue as a future career.
“I don’t want to study journalism, but I really like some of the aspects of being an editor. I like that kind of leadership position,” said Colegrove. “I’d love to take a creative writing class, and I hope they offer it wherever I go to college. I don’t want to stop writing.”
Colegrove was recently named High School Journalist of the Year by the Virginia High School League (VHSL) for her work as Editor-in-Chief for Stuart High’s student newspaper “Raider’s Digest.” The esteemed title also came with a $500 academic scholarship named in honor of the celebrated publications adviser Charles Savedge, known as “Mr. Yearbook.” After being nominated by a panel of student publication advisers at her school, Colegrove started the application process for the award. Honored, she went forward without any high expectations.
“I found out that I was nominated and thought ‘OK, I’ll do it, you never know.’ Then, I heard I had won it and I was like, ‘Wow, I have no idea where that came from,’” said Colegrove with a laugh.
Colegrove has been active on the “Raider’s Digest” staff since her freshman year at Stuart. After taking the journalism elective course on a whim, Colegrove soon discovered her knack for writing. From there, her position and influence over the paper escalated during her consecutive years at the school. She became a staff writer her sophomore year, managing editor her junior year and finally achieved her current position as editor-in-chief as a graduating senior. Colegrove admits the increase of responsibility, while sometimes tricky, has primed her as an outstanding leader in a team atmosphere.
“I’ve taken away so many valuable things from this experience,” Colegrove said. “I really think it has helped me as a leader, and learning how to mediate. When you have a bunch of high school-aged teens in a small room without the advisers, there’s going to be fights. It’s really taught me how to step forward and break it up.”
Like many seniors caught in the midst of prom and graduation plans, Colegrove is keeping the future open for possibilities with hopes to study sociology or anthropology wherever she decides to go for college. Until then, she remains surprised and grateful for this honor and experience.
“I’m so happy. I put so much work into the paper and this really just means so much,” said Colegrove.