Assistant Editor Koen Samuel

Assistant Editor Koen Samuel

Koen Samuel, Assistant Editor

So the time has come. It’s time for my senior tribute and final Wigwam article, the final piece to this puzzle, the final page to the chapter that is my high school journey. I’ve learned these past few months that time flies; it’s like time travel. There is so much that I want to say to capture my thoughts and feelings on the past four years, the present, and the future. I will do so knowing that I’ll add this tribute to the pantheon of staff writers who have come before me. 

For starters, I wouldn’t be writing this if it wasn’t for Mrs. Pickrell’s English ll Pre-AP class. It was my sophomore year, and we had been given the assignment to write an editorial essay. During that time I’d been struggling to find any confidence in myself as a student. But that editorial was a reminder that I had an affinity for something: writing. I wrote about Papa John’s and it’s dispute with the NFL. I remember that my rough draft was about 400 words over the 500 word limit. While I did end up scaling it back, the experience gave me so much promise because I had something to set my sights on. 

My extracurricular desires would completely become focused on writing and journalism after I was cut from the school’s soccer team at the end of my sophomore year. I felt let down and disappointed by this at the time. Looking back now, it has yielded positive results and bettered me. It taught me to make the most of and appreciate every opportunity. But where one door closes, another one opens, and I now see that as something that has guided me towards another passion.

The last four years have been all about trajectory and transformation. Who am I and who do I want to become? I’ve tried to figure it all out at once, but time answers many questions. I think high school is a chance for kids to figure out who we are. This is the period where we enter as kids and leave as adults. We might not completely understand our purpose, but we’re meant to get on a path towards it. 

I remember last semester one of the juniors in a class told me, “For a senior I’m surprised you have so much energy. I’d expect you’d be dead inside.” I understand where he was coming from. One of the biggest themes that you hear about in your final year is “senioritis.” Many seniors can’t wait to move on. For me, there were ups and downs, just like any other year. But I felt that I had so much left to give. Whether it was my time,  energy or presence, I saw so much opportunity and promise even the twilight of my high school career. 

As I get ready to graduate I can’t help but feel different from those around me. After all, I’m the senior who wanted to take PE and have a full schedule. I’m the senior who doesn’t mind riding the bus. A part of me is still the underclassman making jokes and doing anything to be funny and out of the ordinary. But now I also see a mature side to me. I am able to see people and the world differently. I’m reflective and I’ve learned to look for the deeper meaning in the world around me. I’m happy to say that I’m not completely the same person I was. 

One of the biggest things about the entire high school experience is how you fit in. But I’ve embraced not always having to be like everyone else. Over the last four years I’ve learned to fit out, not fit in, the importance of inclusion, and to treat people with respect and value; some of the best lessons I have taken away from my high school experience.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Lemke for giving me this platform as a writer for The Wigwam as the Assistant Editor. I would also like to thank her for giving me the opportunity to compete in UIL. I was a student with no formal experience and yet I felt welcomed to be a part of the media staff the last two years. I hope that from the craziness of the classroom to the inclement weather of trips to UIL tournaments that I have been able to make my mark here at KHS Media. While it wasn’t the storybook, fairy tale ending I was hoping to get a chance to write in UIL, two trophies, three ribbons, and two first place medals later, I’m happy to say that Ms. Lemke’s support, trust, and encouragement has helped me fulfill a desire to compete for and represent the school again. I hope that I’ve been able to continue the journalism pride at Keller High. 

I would also like to thank Señora Cisne and Mr. Vogel, both of whom have played an instrumental role in my high school journey. They made my high school experience go beyond curriculum. They believed in me and made their classroom environments a place where I wanted to be. 

I hope through either reading my articles and/or knowing me personally I’ve given people an opportunity to get a glimpse of who I am. Thank you to Mrs. Pickrell for introducing me to journalism. Thank you to Ms. Lemke for making it a reality. Thank you to my parents and family who have been supportive and encouraging of my endeavors. Lastly, to everybody at Keller High School, from the administration to the teachers and custodians to the students, I hope I’ve left as influential of an impact on you as you’ve left on me. I know it’s time for me to say goodbye. Thank you for shaping me and I know I’ll carry my memories with me as I journey on to the next chapter of my life.