Character Trait

Above all else this year, journalism has given me courage - courage to be myself and courage to say what needs to be said. I have always wanted to be a columnist, but I was afraid that people would criticize me and my work. News writing is hard to mess up as long as you check your quotes and facts. Column writing, however, is relative, and people can think and say what they want. This year, however, I took a risk and became a columnist. Although there were some times when I wrote a column and then wished I hadn't published it, there were some that received a lot of positive feedback. By far my most controversial column was on inappropriate dancing ("grinding") at school dances. I knew that I was criticizing some of the more "popular" kids at my school (of course, I did not name them in that article), but I was able to make an impact on school policy and even sparked a debate in the Political Action and Awareness Club. I certainly got some negative feedback, but I learned to stand behind my opinion and not let other people's thoughts cause me to bury my feelings. I said what I wanted to say and I was proud of it. Being a columnist has taught me to become a more outgoing and less self-conscious writer and person overall. 

Journalism Portfolio

For examples of my best journalism work, please see my personal portfolio here.

About Me

My name is Glenda Marshall and I am a senior at Foothill Technology High School. I am a news writer, columnist, and Co-News Editor for the Foothill Dragon Press. 


1. Girls' Golf - For four years, I have been a varsity player on the Ventura High School Girls' Golf Team. I attended daily practices and weekly matches during the season and was Co-Captain and MVP for the third year in a row.

2. Loma Vista 4-H - I am very involved in 4-H. I am a teen leader for the Cavies Project and teach young project members about basic animal care, diseases, anatomy, and showmanship. I am a member of the Executive Board and have served as the club Refreshments Officer, Supply Officer, Historian, Treasurer, Secretary, President, and Healthy Living Officer throughout my time as  4-H member. In addition, I have volunteered at several community events and attended the National 4-H Youth Conference on Healthy Living which was held in Maryland.

3. Youth and Government - This was my second year participating in Youth and Government, a mock legislature program through the YMCA. I attended weekly meetings, helped write a bill and argue it in front of real appellate court judges, and went to Sacramento where I learned to be a respondent in the Appellate Court program. 

4. Music Lessons - For as long as I can remember I have been taking music lessons. I have been playing piano since I was four years old and I recently started learning guitar. I take weekly lessons for both. 

Best Work

Cheating "rampant" and "like a plague" at Foothill, survey shows - I wrote this article in April of 2013 after many reports of cheating on my high school campus. I wrote, conducted, and gathered data from two surveys, one of students and one of staff. I also interviewed many students and staff to get a full picture of the situation. The article took approximately two months to write, but was very much appreciated by the staff. Many teachers thanked me for my investigative reporting and told me they were going to use the information in my article to help them create a fair class environment. 

The Neverland Syndrome - This was my first column as well as my favorite. I enjoy writing columns because they allow me to show my creative and funny side, and this particular column helped me connect with my fellow seniors. I wrote it in September shortly before college application season.

Former Foothill teacher Chris Prewitt struck fatally by car - This was by far one of the hardest articles I have ever written, but also one of the most far-reaching and influential. After my former teacher was killed by an allegedly drunk driver, I volunteered to be part of the team who covered the tragic circumstances of his death. It was a very sensitive subject and I had to be careful interviewing those affected by his passing. Though it was a very sad article, many people thanked me for my coverage of the event and said that it helped them cope with their loss.


1. STAR Testing Article - I took initiative this year when I volunteered to cover the Breaking News article on the end of STAR testing. As soon as I heard about the change, I was quick to gather information and interviews and got an article up later that night. It was a huge shock for many students at Foothill and it was important to write an article quickly and accurately. 

2. Mr. Prewitt's Tragic Death - When Mr. Prewitt died, I was quick to start interviewing and developing an article. It was an absolutely horrible situation, but I pursued the story and talked to several people who were close to Prewitt. Even after the initial article was written, I continued to cover other tributes to Prewitt such as his memorial. In addition, I showed initiative when I showed the staff Emily Park's letter that we published on the site. 

3. Journalism Banquet - This year, I volunteered to organize the first ever Dragon Press journalism banquet. Although this was not typical journalism initiative (pursuing an article that has never been covered), it was important for class culture and parent involvement in the Dragon Press. I think it is critical to the success of the class that we show initiative in ways that also help foster class environment, not just the success of our publication. I helped make awards, organize location and timing, and make invitations. It was a arduous process, but it was worth it and I think it will become a great journalism tradition. 



Team Management

Journalism has allowed me to assume many leadership positions and grow as a mentor for other journalists. A a Co-News Editor, I have learned how to effectively manage a team and be both engaging and strict. In addition, I have been in charge of other projects and events such as managing the team that covered Every 15 Minutes, a major, two-day event at my school that illustrates the detrimental effects of drunk driving, and planning the first ever Foothill Dragon Press banquet to recognize seniors in journalism for their service to the school. 


I have been writing for the Dragon Press for three years now and understand how to create a straightforward and articulate article. This year, I was also a columnist and learned to write in a more conversational and amusing fashion. Most importantly, I learned how to keep the attention of any reader and say what needs to be said efficiently and effectively.  


As a news writer, I am an excellent interviewer and understand how to make people feel comfortable in a conversation when we have only just met. After covering Chris Prewitt's death this year (see Best Work), I have also learned how to approach sensitive subjects that may cause people to become emotional. I can also write very fast and have developed my own shorthand. 

Work History

Work History

Foothill Intervention Reinforcement and Enrichment (FIRE) leader

Foothill Technology High School

Youth Volunteer

Loma Vista 4-H



Paul Pritchard

Lisa Wittrock

Melissa Wantz