“Dream big and stay curious”: Faith Taylor, Arts & Culture writer

At the beginning of my senior year, I set a goal for myself: to make my final year of high school the “Year of Yes.” My very first action as part of this promise was to join the school newspaper, something that I had been aware of yet steadfastly avoiding since Freshman year. I have been told my whole life that I’m a “good writer,” but I didn’t feel I was nearly good enough to be published. Suffice it to say I was terrified about the whole thing. Looking back, joining the Holly Spirit was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Let me tell you…seeing your own name on the byline of an article that is published on a website? Something that anyone on the internet can stumble across? Gosh. There’s no feeling like it. So if there is something that seems to keep nudging its way back into your life, though you try to ignore it, there’s probably a good reason. I’ve often found that the opportunities in my life that have scared me the most have led to the very best experiences, memories, opportunities and more. 

The Holly Spirit is such a fun, creative and loving space. The friends I have made in it just this year have gotten me–truly seen me–more than some of my lifelong friends. Even the people who haven’t suddenly become my besties are still a complete joy to be around. The Holly Spirit is a place where the nerds and the people who are super passionate about things get to shine. Thanks to its incomparable advisor, there is no shortage of laughs. It is a place of chaos, certainly, but also of deep camaraderie and community.

Sherm, I would like to thank you for everything, but most importantly, for my future. Though it sounds oh-so cliche, the truth is that I wouldn’t be who I am today without you, and I certainly wouldn’t be headed where I’m headed. I’ve always found teachers–especially English teachers–to be some of the best advisors, and I’m fortunate enough to have had a bounty of excellent ones. However, none of them quite came close to having made the impact that you have upon my life. From urging me to join the newspaper to recommending me for AP Lit, to convincing me to retour the college that I ended up earning a full-ride scholarship from, you have made such a meaningful stamp on my life and my future. Your guidance and mentorship have continuously pointed me in the right direction. Given that you are the 2022 county teacher of the year and well-loved by the entire RV community, I know you will continue to do that for many future newspaper writers and English students.

To all future students, newspaper-inclined or not, I would like to encourage you to listen to your intuition and follow your heart. There are so many things to be involved in at RV–you are almost guaranteed to find something that calls to you if you are willing to look. Allow yourself to find and then do what you love and be who you are. And just as some general tips for life: dream big and stay curious. Love deeply and often. Be kind.

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