Letter From the Editor: Goodbye, USJ, and Thank You


Quinn Rudnick

Graduating Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott poses with all of the magazines she worked on (minus Winter 2020, which the USJ archives doesn’t have) and holds up her final issue.

Carly Philpott, Editor-In-Chief

Walking the same halls I’ve walked for four years is suddenly surreal.

A benefit (drawback, actually) of AP classes is the last few weeks of the semester present just about nothing to do. Bouncing between teachers and final class wrap-ups, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the halls this week during classes when it’s quiet. I find myself looking at every detail more carefully than usual. So many posters for clubs I hadn’t even known existed. So many tiled hallways I won’t cross more than twice a year soon.

There’s a lot of surreality there. Like when I look at my underclassmen fellow students and realize they’re not leaving, they’ll be here next year. Or when I realize this is the final article I’ll write for the Union Street Journal – ever.

The first article I wrote, way back in September 2019, was also an opinion piece, in which I sought to explain how music can help and otherwise affect mental health. When I wrote it, I wasn’t in the journalism class, but I was welcomed into the fold regardless. I spent so many hours my freshman year in the old USJ room (IC703!) and I truly felt like a part of the journalism crowd. That hasn’t gone away. And to me, that’s the real magic of all of this: how beautiful it is to be surrounded by fellow students who want to approach the world the same way you do.

I’ve felt that way every year. But this year was truly something special.

With a staff of over 30 for the first time in years, the USJ this year created four magazines and hundreds of articles that all contained the same level of dedication to the craft. But beyond what’s on paper, this staff has been the most unified community I’ve ever been a part of. I had the pleasure of making so many new friends in the journalism classroom this school year, and I’ve learned a lot from all of them.

And I have full faith that will continue next year and beyond. With the vast majority of this year’s leadership group continuing with journalism next year, and under the supreme leadership of my current co-Editor-in-Chief, Alex Gribb, I truly believe that next year’s USJ will be the same show of artisanship, talent, and innovation that this year was.

Regardless, just about my least favorite part of senior year so far is leaving all of it behind. This small piece is my 100th and final article in a journey that started on Aug. 30, 2019, when I discovered the USJ at the club fair, and took me through COVID, politics both local and national, protests and demonstrations, wildfires, football championships, and of course, four years of high school. I will always be thankful for our advisor Mr. Fine, my fellow editors and classmates, and every single one of you who ever read anything I wrote or told me between classes that you thought the USJ was pretty cool. Thank you.

Above all, I want to express my extreme gratitude for the Cherry Creek community, which gives students like me the tools to grow and learn so well.

I will never forget any of it.

All the magazines Carly Philpott worked on (minus Winter 2020). (Carly Philpott)