Lucy Leen, Leesville High School’s newspaper Editor-In-Chief, has accomplished many notable feats in her four years here, yet rarely receives any public recognition because it is strongly advised to not write about other students in Journalism class. Therefore, several of Leen’s triumphs go unrecognized due to classroom policies.
Being an EIC (Editor-In-Chief) is no easy task. There are endless leadership roles one must adhere to, all the while maintaining the regular responsibilities everyone in the class must follow. Some of those leadership roles Leen maintains are “organizing writing and media projects, overseeing the actual print edition, and being able to answer any student’s questions about all things across the board,” she said.
The most important trait Leen picked up over the last three years in newspaper is the ability to be open to any and all questions someone has: “Being there for everyone, no matter what it pertains to in order to help them through that process.”
Journalism class is very hierarchical: A student enters during their sophomore year as a staff-writer and works their way up to an editor position as a junior and senior. EIC, however, is the most honorable recognition available in class, and is earned to someone our teacher, Mr. Broer, feels can balance all the facets to authority.
Aside from her love of writing in newspaper, Leen challenges herself with difficult classes in order to set herself up for college. Leen wants to pursue a Biology major in order to follow the Pre-Veterinary track, so she takes courses such as “AP Bio, AP Chem, things that will help with what I want to do in life, yet at times this makes my high school experience very overwhelming,” she reflects. Between Vice President of Special Needs Awareness Club and a role on the school’s Executive Council, Leen finds herself spread out among many duties around Leesville.
In an athletic sense, there is no let up when it comes to Leen’s accomplished. Having been a member of the school’s Women’s Varsity Basketball team since freshman year, Leen is the only 4-year varsity letter. As a junior, Leen was named captain and her leadership roles have only progressed since. “Being the point guard really does put me in control of the game. When the coach is talking, he is talking directly to you for play calls,” said Leen, but in that same sense has helped her mature faster and develop a strong sense of confidence early on.
A basketball court surrounded by upper-classmen is a difficult place for any freshman to fit in, yet Leen quickly received recognition for how she handled herself in the midst of older, more experienced players. In the face of struggle, Leen continued to persevere and has furthered her ability to develop valuable relationships on and off the court, for she too was once that younger, scared player, making her more relatable.
Not everything is as easy as it may seem, however, and the pressure at times gets to be immense. “Starting out as a younger player was a lot, and I was new to all of it,” Leen said, yet as she pushed through and continued to play she was able to “gain confidence and courage, but of course I still felt that pressure, it just was not as debilitating.”
Teammates, classmates, teachers, and peers who come into contact with Leen during her commitments all have the same feeling about her personality, “inspiring and caring.” Paige VanGorden, senior at Leesville and member of the Women’s Varsity Basketball team, when asked to describe Lucy in one word chose, “tenacious,” as she reflects on their friendship since 6th grade. Her teammates describe her as someone who “thrives under pressure, and adjusts to her situation and then conquers it.”
Leen’s dreams and hard work have all been at an attempt to get a scholarship and play for a respectable team at the collegiate level. After an invitation to Rollins College in Florida during the month of September, she was aware that a scholarship was on the table. Still hesitant of going any further than North Carolina, Leen “kept [her] options open and approached everything willingly.” After learning that the scholarship was a full ride, “this was obviously extremely overwhelming- yet such an honor to be awarded,” said Leen.