Sydney Stam

Sydney Stam, editor-in-chief of the Highland Rambler wins the award for Sterling Scholar in business.

Kyle Adams, Associate Print Editor

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Walk in to room E212 during B-7, and a few things may catch your eye. The staff of the Highland Rambler may be busy paginating, planning issues, or simply playing catch with Coach Winn’s Toupe. But amidst a torrent of layered discussion, design, and deadlines, editor-in-chief Sydney Stam stands an island of calm civility and level-headedness.

“I try to keep things organised,” Stam said.  “Even though it doesn’t always work.”

As a leader, Stam is humble, kind, and dedicated. The work that she does behind the scenes allows the 16-person staff to function and consistently put out newspapers that are not only filled with quality content, but are also visually stunning. Her ability as both a designer and a kind, charismatic leader have propelled her into the top of the best high school newspaper in the state.

“Sydney is somebody that puts everything she has into it.” journalism advisor Brandon Winn said. “There have been some people that have told me that they don’t want to disappoint her. They know how hard she works on it. That’s what a leader should do, they should lead by example more than anything else.”

An artistic designer by trade, Stam has been forced to adapt into more of a flexible  central position through her work as editor-in-chief. There is hardly a day in which you won’t finder her laboring away, creating graphics, editing photos, or  paginating the paper.

In the last year, Stam has branched out into a wider field of journalistic study and begun to write. It’s the passion of this designer turned writer that has allowed her to become such an effective creator.

Whether she’s taking photos or whether she’s writing something, you really see how deep of a person and how much soul and thought and just genius she has,” Stam’s mother, Pam, said.

Stam’s obsession with art and design began when she was very young, but fully blossomed when she took her first art class when she was 12. From there she took off, eventually learning how to create stunning hyperrealistic drawings. Primarily working in graphite, charcoal, and watercolor, Stam has recently found herself branching out in this field as well. Stam is using oil paint to to make the most recent addition to her AP studio art portfolio.

This fearless willingness to learn new things and explore her environment is what really makes Stam remarkable.

“She’s grown as much as anyone I’ve ever taught.” Winn said.

To Stam, nothing has had quite the impact as journalism has. The combination of a vibrant class life combined with the integrated and varied multidisciplinary structure has allowed her to truly flourish.

“It’s kind of been like my second family,” Stam said. “Its helped me be more outgoing. I love everyone.”

But as well as a family, the Rambler is also a business. Fittingly, the boss is Highland’s sterling scholar representative for that very category. As the Sterling Scholar for business, Stam will be representing both the school, and the journalism class.

Stam is especially captivated by the marketing aspect of running and operating an award winning newspaper. One of the difficulties of modern journalism is captivating an audience. Stam does this through her design.

“As a business, you have to attract customers,” Winn said. “And that’s through the product.”

Creating a meaningful and consistent product is what Stam was made to do. It is her passion.

She designs for her father’s holster company as well, doing the same work that professional marketing and agent or designer would be commissioned to do. The several short design internships she has participated in have also helped her not only improve the rambler, but also become a more prolific business woman.

“I think the world is at her feet.” Stam’s mother, Pam, said. “I don’t think there’s any mountain she can’t overcome because she just has that kind of passion in life where if she if she sees the hill, she takes the hill. She does not do anything halfway. She goes big on everything.”

It goes without saying that Sydney’s drive and capacity to learn will take her far in life. It is her dream to someday run her own graphic design business: be her own boss. She has skills that many will never acquire. Her eye for design and capacity for leadership set her apart.

I am proud to call Sydney Stam my editor-in-chief.

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