Season for goodbyes – Two editors bid farewell

Abney Bernardini – Opinion Editor

As the school year comes to a close it is time to say goodbye to Illinois Valley Community College. I am not simply saying goodbye to a college, but to my home for the past three years. I’ve been on an incredible journey here. When I began school I was 17 and choose to go full time to high school and college to become a step ahead even though I had no idea what I was planning on doing with my life.

I met lifelong friends who pushed me to work harder in school, and to never give up on dreams. A short list of people I’d like to thank include Ali Braboy, Brent Bader, Kyle Russell, Jessie Winchel, Corey Winchel, and Andrea Neff. I can’t even begin to thank these people enough for what they have done for me these past few years and how much they have inspired me to become a better human being.

The person I am the most grateful to is Lori Cinotte. She has been an incredible mentor the past two years. I would like to thank her for never giving up on me. She believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. I’m so grateful for everything she has done. I’ll never forget when I walked into her English classroom and she asked me to join the newspaper. I honestly was terrified at the idea and started planning what to say to her so she wouldn’t ask again. I am so glad I took the chance, and so grateful for her asking me. Sometimes you just have to take a chance on something new.

These past three years I went from a high school student dual enrolled in college to a mother of an infant. With the love and support of so many nothing has stopped me on my journey towards a degree. They have taught me nothing can deter you from your dreams. A lot of college kids find clubs unnecessary in college. That is not the case for me. A lot of people find it hard to juggle work, school, family, and extra activities. It is hard to juggle, but it is not impossible. The time I spent with the IV Leader was well worth it. If I hadn’t joined the IV Leader, and met the people I did I would not be the same person I am today. The IV Leader is the reason I could find the perseverance to receive my degree this year, and this is only the beginning for me. I’ve learned the sky is the limit.


Andrea Neff – Editor-in-Chief

Saying goodbye to IVCC and the IV Leader is bittersweet. Although this school has only been my academic home for two years, and the newspaper half of that, I leave with an extremely heavy heart and the notion that I will miss this experience more than any previous. I could have never anticipated the kind of impact this year would have on me ‒ I’ve come out a new person, better prepared for the challenges life away at Arizona State University will present me during the next two years. I plan on writing for The State Press, ASU’s student newspaper, and I’ve applied to work as a TV production trainee at Kaet Public Television Station, Phoenix, so I’m hoping to have plenty to distract me from my displacement.

This reflection may sound nothing but incredibly corny when read from the outside, but part of me will always feel indebted to this school and the wonderful, supportive, innovative, sporadic staff I had the honor of leading. With limited managerial experience, I’m unsure if this feeling could be dubbed unique, however, mention of my staff and any of the accomplishments we’ve thrown together over the last nine months has me bursting with pride (now coupled with a bit of healthy nostalgia). The 2014-2015 IV Leader staff represented such a beautiful melting pot of IVCC students ‒ those of all ages, backgrounds, and future plans. I’d like to thank each and every one of you, whether you spent all of five minutes in the office or called it your second home, whether you wrote one article or ten, whether this was a class requirement or an instrument for growth. You played a part in shaping, challenging, and encouraging me to pursue journalism elsewhere, and I hope the impact I reciprocally had on you was a positive one.

Overall, I want to thank Lori for going above and beyond her call of duty as advisor, for being the driving force behind every endeavor, and making sure we got our daily dose of sugar. I doubt she knew a year ago when she recruited me for the editing position that she was supplying me with endless opportunities and a marvelously dysfunctional extended family. I will be forever appreciative of you taking me under your wing and instilling confidence in me ‒ this job has been extremely constructive, gratifying, and indescribably once-in-a-lifetime.