The Families of The Sentry

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The Families of The Sentry

Current Sentry siblings have a laugh together

Current Sentry siblings have a laugh together

Lindsey Bowers

Current Sentry siblings have a laugh together

Lindsey Bowers

Lindsey Bowers

Current Sentry siblings have a laugh together

Anna Trainum, Sentry Staff Reporter

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The Yorktown Sentry is a tight knit class that holds immense legacy. Through the years, English teacher Chrissy Wiedemann, The Sentry’s advisor, has seen dozens of siblings carry on the family tradition of being a part of the school’s paper. Currently, returning siblings from the Currie, Boda, Stroup, Kuwanna, McNamee, Finn, Rita, Lowen and Trainum families are in The Sentry.


Louisa, Connor and Sophie Currie:

The Curries have been a part of The Sentry for seven years. Louisa is the last of three Currie’s to be on The Sentry. Following in both her brother and sisters footsteps, Louisa was destined for the newspaper.

“My brother and sister both did The Sentry when they were in high school. My brother is currently out of college, and my sister is in college. The Sentry seemed like such a big part of their high school career, and they both seemed to enjoy it so much. I really felt like I needed to carry on the tradition and make it something that I did in high school. I really wanted a class where I could bond with people and be part of a community. My brother and sister both had that experience, so I decided to join. If neither of them did The Sentry, I wouldn’t have known to join such a great class,” Louisa said.

Sophie was the second Currie to take newspaper, and urged Louisa to be the third.

“I loved having a lot of my friends in the class with me. It was cool to be able to work with them to create something to share with the whole school. The classroom environment was so welcoming and I always looked forward to going to class. I really encouraged Louisa to join because I had such a great time in the class. I knew it would be something she would enjoy and would help her get involved just like I did. It also allowed me me to show my creative side which isn’t common in some other classes and I wanted her to be able to do that too,” Sophie said.

Connor is now out of college, but remembers newspaper as one of his favorite classes in high school. He began the long line of Currie legacy within The Sentry.

“My favorite things about newspaper were the people and the product we made. Newspaper was probably the closest thing to the real world jobs I worked down the road and experiencing that dynamic while I was still in high school was very important. Working with a team, meeting deadlines, and having a final product beyond just a grade was great and it’s something I still do now. I was pretty close with a lot of the folks I worked with and I enjoyed being on a team of people who got along really well. I also liked having a finished piece of work every month or so that the whole school saw. We still did hard copies while I was there and it was gratifying seeing everyone’s work distributed all over Yorktown,” Connor said.


Caroline and Libby Boda:

After five years in The Sentry, the Boda family will be saying their final goodbye to the class this year. Senior and news editor Caroline is the final Boda to walk through Wiedemann’s welcoming door. Her older sister convinced her to join newspaper freshman year, and she has enjoyed it ever since.

I was prompted to join because my older sister Libby was on staff when she was in high school. She always told me how much she loved newspaper and encouraged me to apply my freshman year. I am so glad I applied because I have met some of my best friends and have had fun covering issues in our school. I love the family aspect in The Sentry and how so many of us have followed in our siblings footsteps,” Caroline said.

Libby is now at James Madison University (JMU), but can vividly remember the welcoming community within The Sentry.

“I loved building a community by pulling people together from different pockets of the school and making them known. The Sentry staff draws in a diverse group of people and allows them to bond over a love for writing and sharing news,” Libby said.


Aidan, Maren and Grace Stroup:

The Stroup family has been a part of The Sentry for six years. Currently, both junior Aidan and freshman Maren are in newspaper, following their older sister Grace’s footsteps.

“[Grace] said that The Sentry was a lot of fun and that she liked all the people in it. She said it was a great community and that it bettered her writing. [Having a younger sister in the class] is a little strange. I’ve had school with her before, so it wasn’t too out of the ordinary,” Aidan said.

“My older sister Grace did newspaper. She loved [The Sentry] and said everyone was super nice. She loved Ms. Wiedemann and writing also,” Maren said.

Grace is currently a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). She still misses The Sentry and all the relationships she made in the class.

“I really just miss the people [in newspaper] more than anything. The classroom saw me at my worst and my best and the friends and the circle I had in journalism are the people I still go to today,” Grace said.

“I’m just really proud of Aidan and Maren. I wouldn’t necessarily call it following in my footsteps because they’re both going places that I doubt I’ll ever get to. My siblings are some of the brightest individuals that I’ve ever met. It just makes me extremely happy that they’ve found circles in journalism and really good people to lift them up. That means more than anything,” Grace said.


Cammie and Claire Kuwanna:

The Kuwanna family has been part of newspaper for four years. Claire was head editor of The Sentry last year, and urged Cammie to join newspaper this year as a photographer. Cammie was inspired to join the class since she had heard amazing things from her older sister, and has been a great addition to The Sentry.

My older sister, Claire, did The Sentry for three years and she was just always was telling me about how she had such a positive experience and that The Sentry staff became her family. She fell in love with journalism, and that’s why she is actually pursuing it in college. I think she just had such a great experience and wanted to share that with me. That’s why she told me to join,” Cammie said.

Claire is currently a freshman at Northwestern, and is still using the skills she learned in newspaper to this day. Claire was the first Kuwanna to join The Sentry, and is greatly missed.

“I am still writing in college. I am in the Medill School of Journalism here at Northwestern, so I have been learning a lot about journalism, especially reporting. Most of my homework involves stories or writing assignments. ” Claire said.

“I miss the people at The Sentry the most. It was such an amazing community to be a part of, and I miss being able to spend time with the class almost every single day. It was such a supportive environment, and I was lucky to have so many people that were willing to help me and be there for me,” Claire said.


Ella and Maddie McNamee:

The McNamee family has been a part of The Sentry for six years. Two years ago, Maddie was sports editor for The Sentry, and this year, her younger sister Ella joined newspaper as a freshman. Ella was interested to join the class since Maddie had enjoyed it so much.

“My older sister Maddie was on The Sentry and it was her favorite class. She would always come home and talk about how fun it was and how much she enjoyed it since everybody in the class is so close and Ms. Wiedemann is such a great teacher. She really made me want to join [newspaper] and continue the legacy,” Ella said.

Maddie is a sophomore at the University of Virginia (UVA), and now writes for UVA’s newspaper, the Cavalier Daily. She misses The Sentry immensely.

The Sentry helped me find something for which I am truly passionate and taught me not only writing skills, but people skills and professional skills I have utilized in college and will continue to use in life. I now write for the Cavalier Daily at UVa and it has been one of the best extracurriculars in which I have been involved, as I get the opportunity to broadcast my individual voice to a large university, and I would not have the confidence to do so without the Sentry,” Maddie said.

“I’m not one to get mushy, but I truly miss the bonds and endless positivity and support the Sentry brought me. It was a class full of a mixture of characters and personalities and I just don’t have that same family type of love in my college classes. Obviously, that is much harder to get in a college lecture of 500 people, and I love going to a big school, but it’s the little moments with people who knew me better than anyone that I miss make me cherish my days in journalism. Also, the parties with endless food weren’t too bad either, definitely miss those as well,” Maddie said.


Charlie and Kevin Finn:

The Finn family has been a part of The Sentry for four years. Last year, Charlie joined The Sentry, and has enjoyed his time being a reporter ever since.

“My brother always found journalism as his favorite class in school, and as soon as I got to high school he wanted me to do it freshman year, but I didn’t. By sophomore year, he had convinced me, so I joined. He told me that it was a really fun class and that he had so many friends in the class, and he wanted me to have the same sort of experience when I was in high school,” Charlie said.

Kevin inspired Charlie to join since he had enjoyed the class so much.

“I’ve been able to help friends with setting up websites… I’ve found the skills I’ve learned there transfer pretty easily to the other website companies. As for the writing, I’ve had a few classes that required me to write expository papers and because of my time on The Sentry I have a better sense of how to write papers that aren’t standard essays,” Kevin said.


Chris and Patrick Rita:

The Rita family has been a part of newspaper for five years. Following his older brother, Chris decided to join newspaper last year.

“My brother was a reporter for The Sentry. I was too young to really understand why The Sentry was such a great class to be in, but he made sure that I filled out an application and applied for my sophomore year. He knew that it was such a good class, and I’m happy he [told me to join],” Chris said.

Patrick enjoyed being a reporter for The Sentry, and misses the class to this day. He recommended it to Chris since he had such a great experience, and wanted the same for his brother.

“What I appreciated most about newspaper was the freedom and unique nature of the class.  It was the only class I took at Yorktown where you create your own assignments based on the story ideas you come up with.  Since there’s so much flexibility with that, the class in its nature becomes so much more versatile and different from any other class and as a result, you start to become really close with your classmates and fellow writers which you don’t often get in a typical classroom setting.  One thing I really appreciated was that as I became a more senior writer in the class, I felt that I was given more opportunities to write stories and columns that I was passionate about and The Sentry gave me an avenue to share those stories and ideas with the greater Yorktown community,” Patrick said.

“When Chris was trying to figure out his schedule, a lot of the focus was on how to take as many AP classes as possible, which is sometimes the norm for upperclassmen at Yorktown.  I wanted him to consider journalism because it would give him a little relief from that stress and introduce him to a fun and different type of writing course. I told him all about how journalism will be a valuable elective since he will have the opportunity to have his writing published to the entire community as well as develop closer relationships with classmates and Wiedemann, which is always a plus,” Patrick said.


Evelyn, Michael and Matthew Lowen:

The Lowen family has been an important part of newspaper for five years. Evelyn joined the class this year as a freshman, and has been a great addition.

“Both of my brothers, Matthew and Michael, were on The Sentry. They started in their junior year, and Matthew told Michael that he had to do it because he loved it and the Michael told me. I wasn’t too sure about [joining] since I would be a freshman and there would be seniors in the class, I was a little nervous, but they both told me that I would love it and it would be really good for me,” Evelyn said.

Michael is a freshman at the University of Georgia (UGA). He misses the class and Wiedemann greatly.

I miss all my fellow editors and Wiedz of course. The best thing about The Sentry is the sense of family and that is definitely what I miss the most,” Michael said.

“The Sentry is a great way to get involved with the school while developing writing and personal skills. Luckily [Evelyn] took my advice and hopefully she can add to the Lowen legacy,” Michael said.

The first Lowen to be on The Sentry was Matthew. He inspired both his siblings to keep the tradition alive.

“After YHS, I went to UVA and studied engineering but the skills I developed in Newspaper were still very useful. Asking the right questions was always important as a reporter and I continue to apply those skills in my current job today,” Matthew said. 


Anna and John Trainum:

My family has been a part of The Sentry for five years. My older brother John joined his junior year and became opinion editor his senior year. I had always heard of the infamous “Weidz” and was extremely excited to join my freshman year. While I was certainly nervous to join a class full of upperclassman, having no experience as a reporter, The Sentry has been the highlight of my high school experience so far.

Many families have passed through The Sentry over the years. This year, we have many returning siblings as reporters and photographers. With such an overwhelming sense of community within The Sentry, it is hard to not want to join. There is lots of legacy within Wiedemann’s walls, and more to be created.

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