My four years taking writing classes at Starr’s Mill


Annika Pepper

Every writing class that I have taken throughout these past four years at Starr’s Mill has been a wonderful learning experience. I want to both thank the school for such an inspiring and attentive department and highly recommend students to try at least one writing class beyond the required English literature and composition courses.

It feels like both a century and a few days have passed since I first walked the halls of Starr’s Mill High School. I was a completely different person in many ways than I am now, as most 19-year-olds say about their 15-year-old self. 

However, what has stayed the same within me — and, in fact, has only grown — is my love for writing. I can only thank all the writing classes and teachers that I have had the joy of experiencing and working with the past four years for this. 

When I first started classes in Starr’s Mill, I had no idea what was awaiting me — passionate and talented English teachers, excited to pass on their love of writing to their students. 

Every writing class that I have taken — writer’s workshop, journalism, creative writing, AP Language, and dramatic writing — have been led by incredible teachers who clearly love what they teach. 

Because of them, I have been pushed and inspired to continue and improve my writing. One of the teachers that stands out the most to me is both my old writer’s workshop and current journalism teacher, Justin Spencer. 

Because of these teachers and classes at Starr’s Mill, I have managed to recognize the writing potential that I did not see in myself.

— Op-ed Editor Victoria Sponar

He has known me since my first day at Starr’s Mill, and he recognized a potential that even I did not see in myself at that time. Thanks to a teacher as dedicated to his students and job as Spencer, I was able to involve myself around a wonderful program that is my high school newspaper: The Prowler. 

This newspaper is unlike any other that I have heard from most schools. Spencer and his attentive eye assign each student a specific role based on the potential he sees in them. Every student there is eager to dig deep into the joys of journalism.

The Starr’s Mill literary-art magazine, Musings, is another program perfect for students to dive into their artistic and creative interests. It is taught by teachers who show students the time, effort, and skills needed to make the well-produced magazines that come out every single year. 

Even if the writing classes are smaller, the teachers still find a way to make the classes just as interesting and inspiring. Every English teacher that I have had has gone out of the way to make sure students truly learn something from their class, even the students who are not too interested in writing. 

Because of these teachers and classes at Starr’s Mill, I have managed to recognize the writing potential that I did not see in myself. I am now going to college in pursuit of a journalism major. 

I highly recommend students to at least try one extra writing class so they can feel as included, validated, and well-educated as I did these past four years. I am positive the teachers of these classes will recognize something special within you, too.