Award-Winning Reporters Say Goodbye

Three seniors reflect on their time writing for the West Bend Current

Samantha Dietel

For how long have you been a member of the Current and what prompted you to join?
I joined the Current about halfway through my sophomore year. I was looking to get more involved at school, so it seemed fitting to step outside of my comfort zone while also utilizing my love for writing! It certainly helped that Mr. Beltmann, the Current’s adviser, was my teacher that year for Honors English II. Joining the Current was easily the best decision that I have ever made. By now, it feels like it has become a part of my identity.

What is your favorite piece that you have written for the Current?
I spent several months of my junior year working on a magazine-style student profile entitled “Portrait of a West Bend Girl at 17.” Not only was I able to challenge myself with a new type of journalistic writing, I was also able to tell a story that I still believe is tremendously important to share. The story was inspired by Jennifer Percy’s 2019 profile for Esquire Magazine of a different West Bend student. Though my article can no longer be found on the Current’s website, I still value the personal growth as a journalist that I experienced by working on that piece.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your time as a Current staff member?
I know that I have talked about the importance of journalism time and time again, but it’s true: the Current helped me to realize how truly essential the press is to society, and how it is equally important to strive for impartiality.

What are your plans after graduation?
I will be attending the University of Missouri to major in journalism. Only time will tell precisely where my interests take me after college, but I hope to pursue a career as an international or investigative journalist. Ultimately, my dream home is New York City, so I hope that I can someday make it there.

What advice do you have for new or recent members?
Sometimes it is necessary to be a pest. It is the student journalist’s job to ask the tough questions and tell honest stories, not fall into a misconception that we are a publicity arm for the school district. There is always room for positive stories, of course, but it is important to remember to not turn a blind eye to the not-so-positive realities of life at the West Bend High Schools.

West senior Samantha Dietel has served as the Current’s editor in chief for the last two years. She published her first story in December 2017.


Caitlin Marsch

For how long have you been a member of the Current and what prompted you to join?
I joined the Current my sophomore year, because I had Mr. Beltmann for Honors English II and he talked to us about it, and it sounded really appealing to be able to inform people about fun and unique things going on.

What is your favorite piece that you have written for the Current?
I love all of my personality profiles, but especially my first ever article about Evan Beekman. That one was a lot of fun. I learned a lot about a topic I never thought much about, and it was interesting to see how much hard work actually went into his project.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your time as a Current staff member?
I learned to always think outside the box, and to notice things that other people may not.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to go to Ripon College for political science and psychology. I don’t have a specific career in mind, but one that I’ve been looking into recently is campaign manager.

What advice do you have for new or recent members?
Don’t be afraid to ask those tough questions. They can transform your entire story.

East senior Caitlin Marsch published her first story in November 2017.


Lily Mottet

For how long have you been a member of the Current and what prompted you to join?
I started writing for the Current in the ninth grade. I had always enjoyed writing and I was exploring the numerous clubs and extracurriculars offered to me at the high schools. I was encouraged to attend the first meeting by an upperclassman who was already a member.

What is your favorite piece that you have written for the Current?
My favorite pieces to write were always the student interest stories. I loved learning about and sharing the amazing things my peers were doing.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your time as a Current staff member?
The Current taught me how to put myself out there. I was very nervous to conduct my first few interviews, but, over time, I became more comfortable speaking with people I had never met.

What are your plans after graduation?
In the fall, I will be attending the University of Chicago to study international relations.

What advice do you have for new or recent members?
For all the new or recent members, always be on the lookout for great stories. Some of the best pieces I have read or written have started as a rumor or an overheard conversation in the lunchroom. Listen to what your peers are talking about, and then investigate!

West senior Lily Mottet published her first story in December 2016.


(Photos courtesy of Dietel, Marsch and Mottet.)

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