Meet the Press

Spotlight Date: 
May 28, 2015
Michelle Birch and Samantha Rose
The Muse, the Dreyfoos student run newsmagazine and Columbia Press Association Gold Crown award-winner, has just appointed their new Editors-in-Chief: Michelle Birch and Samantha Rose. These communications juniors are up for the task, and already planning out their summer responsibilities. 
Michelle Birch’s love for Communication Arts started in elementary school, when she and her sisters would make movies for fun. As a middle schooler at Bak Middle School of the Arts, she became even more involved in film and all other aspects of communications. She knew she wanted to continue her education at DSOA. “At Dreyfoos, it is easier to feel like an "individual" not only because we are on an educational path that includes the activities we love and care about, but also because we have a smaller population, allowing for stronger teacher/student relationships and even more resources that allow us to grow as people within our departments and in general. Dreyfoos is a school unlike any other, and I believe that I would not be the person I am today without it.”
Samantha Rose took a broadcasting class in eighth grade, and along with her interest in creative writing, knew applying to Dreyfoos for communications was the next step for her. Once at Dreyfoos, she discovered her love for journalism. “Had I not gone to Dreyfoos, I don't think I would have even pursued journalism at all. I never thought I'd have what it takes to be a journalist, but Dreyfoos and The Muse have allowed me to learn and grow in journalism and to be fortunate enough to lead an amazing publication. My home school also does not offer film, my other art class, so I would not have been able to grow as a filmmaker either. I am also very academically motivated, and I feel that Dreyfoos has challenged me in that sense as well. Dreyfoos fosters an atmosphere that encourages academic and artistic growth, and I think this has helped me improve in both realms.”
This summer Samantha plans to attend the Asian American Journalists Association's JCamp, a journalism intensive in Minneapolis. She will have the opportunity to learn from professional journalists and bring back what she learns to The Muse. In addition to the intensive camp, she and Michelle will be busy with updates to The Muse website (something staffers are expected to keep up with all summer), planning on how they will train new staffers, and getting the classroom set up for the new year. 
Once the school year begins in the Fall, their responsibilities as Co-Editors-in-Chief only increase. At the start of each issue, a brainstorming session is held amongst the staff and, as editors, Michelle and Samantha choose which stories the staffers will pursue and ultimately publish. They oversea the editing processes for every section, keep staffers on track for deadlines, and address any unexpected issues along the way. Michelle adds that “The editors-in-chief need to be "people's people." It is our responsibility to not only guide the production of the newsmagazine, but it is also imperative that we maintain an almost family-like atmosphere among the staff because the closer we all are, the more time we will want to spend together to create an amazing product we can distribute to our classmates.”
Apart from the Muse Michelle studies film, dances, and does kickboxing. Although she is keeping an open mind, she thinks she would like to attend the University of Florida and study Communications, Public Relations and Marketing, or Clinical Psychology in preparation for law school.  “Education is so much more than just waking up at 6 a.m. to go to school, coming home and doing homework; it is every experience, class, and conversation we have. Having an education means going through school not only for the grades, but for knowledge and wisdom that will propel us into the next chapters of our lives, and I want to take mine as far as possible”
Samantha also studies film and says that film allows her “to exercise a lot of creative freedom in several aspects, including screenwriting, cinematography and editing.” She also is Co-Secretary of National Honor Society, Treasurer of Key Club, a Board Member of the Communications Honor Society, a member of the English Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society, and a black belt in taekwondo. So far, she is interested in applying to the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University, probably to further her education in Communications, or perhaps English. “No matter what I study in college, I want to apply it to whatever career I decide to pursue. Education is so much more than rote memorization and passing tests; it allows intellectual and personal growth. I believe what I learn in high school and college will help me later in life, no matter what I do.”
For as much time as they will have to spend at Dreyfoos next year, they don’t seem to mind. Samantha says that “Dreyfoos is a second home to me. I probably spend almost as much time in Building 1 as I do at my house. It is a place where I have grown as a student and as an individual. I have made lasting friendships here and have learned from incredible teachers. It is hard to believe that next year will be my last one at Dreyfoos, but I am so grateful to have benefited from a school full of such intelligent and talented people.” 
To Michelle, “Dreyfoos means individuality; an uncommon opportunity to express who you are free from judgement, along with the power to pursue your dreams, artistically, academically or otherwise. I believe that there is no other school like this and I am so incredibly grateful to have the chance to complete my high school years in such a unique and open-minded community.”