A Letter to The Panther

Tessa Zink, Editor-in-Chief

Thank you.

Since freshman year I have been a staff writer for the Seattle Prep Panther, and it has been an amazing outlet for me to grow into the student, journalist, and person that I have become. I am sincerely grateful for the opportunities I have received because of The Panther, and for the stories and events that I was able to hear and record. The Panther has given me the opportunity to not only strengthen my design and writing skills, but also allowed me to be a member of an incredibly special community.

To recap my time on The Panther I have compiled list of my three biggest takeaways from my time on the staff. They follow:

  1. Listen to others more often. The best stories I wrote about and interviews I conducted were from when I would simply listen. When I began writing for the paper, I was convinced the only way I would succeed in writing my articles was to begin the interview with an abundance of questions and be prepared for every possible angle of the story. I was so focused on succeeding that I missed the stories that I wasn’t prepared for. Beyond newspaper, I’ve carried this lesson in my relationships and interactions. I’ve realized that that when I took the time to truly listen to others, it allowed me to get to know them a lot better.
  2. Everyone has an interesting and unique story to share, you just have to ask. Ignorantly, I always felt that I knew what other people were going through. My time on The Panther has taught me differently. Everyone, especially at Prep, is unique and has their own special talents and interests, something I never knew until I asked. Additionally, it helped me understand that my pre-convinced ideas of others were not true and pushed me to begin forming relationships and viewing people as who they were and not who I thought they were.
  3. Never show up to a journalism meeting without snacks. A popular phrase in flex room is, “came for the journalism, stayed for the snacks.” Or vice versa, “came for the snacks, stayed for the journalism.” When I first started in Journalism, every day during window we would have a snack. The most common and favorite snack choices were goldfish, rice Krispy treats, or fruit snacks. It quickly developed into a fun tradition, and the saying, “came for the snacks, stayed for the journalism” developed. The Prep curriculum and expectations have always been difficult and rigorous and therefore adding a non-optional class to your schedule often felt very daunting, and therefore the snack incentive was created. However, despite the added work people realized the sense of community and overall purpose that accompanied developing a newspaper, and therefore stayed for the journalism. Unfortunately, this year because of Covid, the tradition is missed but I am hoping next year the snack tradition will continue and bring on more students eager for snacks and passionate about journalism.


Overall, I am beyond thankful and honored  to have gotten the opportunity to work for The Seattle Prep Panther. I appreciate the support that was given from the Panther staff and readers and will forever cherish the relationships I made because of it.


Thank you,

Tessa Zink, 2020-2021 Editor-in-Chief