After school, most teachers attend to their lesson plans, catch up on some grading, and of course, eventually head home to spend time with their families. While these are common activities for first-year Portage Northern English teacher Amanda Thorpe, she has also – in her free time – returned to Portage Community High to advise her newspaper staff, The Spitfire. And starting next school year, she will bring this same dedication and passion to The Northern Light as its new adviser.
“This is a tremendous honor for me and I am really stoked. I really value what The NL staff has done so far, especially with the change to magazine style. I look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence that The NL has while also preserving the spirit of fun that defines the staff,” shared Thorpe on her new position here at Northern.
While Thorpe may be new to Portage Northern and The Light, she is well-versed in journalism. As a student in high school, she served on her school’s journalism and yearbook staffs for all 4 years, and in college, she pursued a communication degree to simply teach journalism. While teaching at Community High, Thorpe started their award-winning publication, and in her tenure as adviser, the paper earned one Spartan Award, 5 Gold Awards, and one Bronze Award in addition to over 150 individual awards. Ben Neal, current NL adviser shared, “No doubt, the NL is in great hands; Thorpe is legit and will certainly take Northern’s publication to amazing grounds. It’s time for a change in the program, and I can’t think of a better or more qualified person to take the reins here with The NL.”
Advising a paper of this caliber has always been a “bucket list type dream,” and Thorpe can’t wait to get started. She sees a tremendous opportunity to impact Portage Northern through the publication, and first she wants to “get a greater percentage of the population reading The Light and then tackle tough topics that really can be impactful and cause change.”