A Farewell to Room 370


Stephen Serrano

In honor of my last article and my story throughout newspaper, I am sharing my original staff picture in my freshman year.

Stephen Serrano, Section Editor

Goodbye and farewell. 

When I sat down to write my 86th and final article as a part of The Wrangler, I was overwhelmed with emotion and so many good memories. Being a member of The Wrangler has profoundly impacted my life and my entire high school experience. Inside and outside of this class, The Wrangler has been another family for me and many others. Because this is my last article, I want to delve into my story– the reason why I joined Yorba Linda High School’s newspaper and my journey with it during my four years of high school.

I can still vividly remember how I found out and/or heard about The Wrangler. I was sitting in Mrs. Riley’s eighth-grade honors language arts class at Travis Ranch Middle School when two seniors and an enthusiastic teacher came to visit. The two high school students introduced themselves: Nikita Kheni (Former Student) and Rachel Seo (Former Student), both of whom were going to be the Co-Editors-in-Chief for The Wrangler in my freshman year. And of course, the bubbly teacher introduced herself as the advisor for both newspaper and yearbook, Mrs. Shay (Staff).

When I was in eighth grade and excited to join high school, I made it a personal goal of mine to make myself uncomfortable by trying different endeavors than what I felt most safe in. After Mrs. Shay and the Co-Editors-in-Chief explained the publications programs, I knew that I wanted to continue expressing my love of writing. From there, I raised my hand to receive an application. Little did I know that by taking that one step, I had changed the trajectory of my high school experience forever. 

Alongside future section editors Gabby McCutchan (12), Malieka Khan (12), Janet Han (12), as well as current senior Amr Baumy (12), we were called up to the front office at Travis Ranch for envelopes with the Yorba Linda High School seal and marked with our names on the front of them. All of us, doe-eyed and naive, opened up our letters and actually shrieked in excitement. From our reactions, the office ladies shushed us and sent us back to class. It is crazy to see how my journey with The Wrangler started with four eighth graders in middle school.

Fast forward to the second day of freshman year. This was the first time I went to a zero period newspaper class. The Co-Editors-in-Chief explained their expectations and began their first writing lesson on the basics of newspaper articles. Feeling like it was a little much for my freshman brain, I was overwhelmed, and a couple of us freshmen considered dropping and coming back next year. Some of us ended up dropping the class, but luckily, I persevered and stuck with it so that I could improve, one article at a time. 

My freshman year was coming to an end, and editor applications were out. Even though I knew that I probably was not the smartest or most qualified as the youngest to apply and interview for a spot, I put forth my best efforts to try and secure my spot as an editor in the class for my sophomore year. In the end, I ended up earning one of the spots. My freshman self felt a whole new sense of responsibility and maturity with the new position. 

And the rest is history. In my four years with YLHS newspaper I: wrote 86 articles, traveled to New York City to attend a journalism conference, participated in a national journalism conference and competition at the Anaheim Convention Center, ran and directed The Wrangler’s social media platforms, served as a Section Editor of three years, added new aspects to improve the class, helped make three magazines and one physical newspaper, and found my passion in journalism which I will pursue at the University of Southern California.

The Wrangler has brought me from an inexperienced, unconfident student to a mature, self-assured young adult in society. The countless lessons I have learned from the class and from writing articles will stay with me as I journey into higher education. The momentous occasions that I saw firsthand will keep me grounded in my roots. The family that gave me the support I needed in some of the hardest times in my life will forever strengthen my faith. 

As my time is coming to a close as a section editor, I am truly grateful for all the opportunities that have opened up because of The Wrangler and for the wonderful students and advisor that run it. I will miss every moment of each zero period class with my editors and the late nights researching for articles. 

Goodbye and farewell, room 370. Until next time.


Stephen Serrano (A Mustang, student, photojournalist, section editor, social media buff, future Trojan, and native of room 370)