Ripples alumni: Former editor incorporates experience in classroom settings

BY MONICA DIX —

A little known fact about Evan Schmidt, French and economic theory teacher, is that he is not only a graduate of SHS’s class of ‘98 but also an alumni of Ripples.

Schmidt wrote for his first three years before joining the editorial board as news editor his senior year. “I enjoyed writing articles for Ripples because I liked the journalistic style of writing,” Schmidt said.

A special memory of his time in Ripples was when a police officer came to visit Schmidt and the other editors in the layout room late in the evening.

“Evidently I had failed to inform my mother that we had layout so she had called the police to track me down. I was very embarrassed at the time, but now that I’m older I realize why she was worried and it was sweet that she called the police,” Schmidt said.

Overall, Ripples was an intense extracurricular for Schmidt. “It was a contentious environment. A lot of my classmates were very into it … There were some battles,” Schmidt said.

Since his experiences on Ripples, he sees that it has changed. “We didn’t have the online version, we didn’t have the Twitter feed: it was just the physical paper,” Schmidt said. “There are more ways to read it.”

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(courtesy of Evan Schmidt) Evan Schmidt, class of ’98, now teaches at Shorewood.

Despite the changing formats of media, Schmidt still sees some similarities.

“I think that Ripples is a very important institution of our school, and I’m very happy to see that it continues. It’s just as strong as when I was here,” Schmidt said.

After graduating, Schmidt has used his Ripples experiences in his everyday life and classroom at SHS. “I am constantly reading the news,” Schmidt said. “In both French and economic theory I like connecting news content to what we’re learning, because I think it makes the subject more real and answers the ‘So what? Why do we care about this?’ and I think that’s a really important question to answer when teaching content.”

He also incorporates a journalistic style of writing into his classes when they write about current events. “[Ripples] has helped me think about the objectivity of media of different news sources. This is something that was instilled in me quite early because of Ripples and something I require of my students when they’re writing their commentaries,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt has a positive reflection of his career in Ripples, and its impact on his life now. “I’m glad that I did it because it helped me realize that it was not my area of interest,” Schmidt said, “You’re going to have to write after Shorewood, after high school and in your job, so those are skills that are very important because you need to be able to effectively communicate verbally and in written form.”

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