Caitlin Tungate is a former alumna from Granite Hills High School and the creator of the Grizzly Gazette.
With the help of Tungate’s mother and two other students in the 2004 journalism class, the Grizzly Gazette was born.
Tungate originally wanted to enroll in the photography class at Granite, but she was placed in the journalism class along with two other students. These students did not think the class was going to be available since there were only three students enrolled in the course.
“It is a lot of weight on your shoulders trying to create the foundation,” stated Tungate.
With the progress of the three students, the class was kept throughout the year.
Tungate’s mother has a lot of experience with website designs. She maintains the rock group’s Incubus fan website and was a big help with the creation of the Grizzly Gazette.
“My mom helped me with the design and my brother was into photography as well,” stated Tungate.
The Journalism class of 2004 only had three utensils that they could use to create the Grizzly Gazette: one recorder, Tungate’s Olympus camera, and a $500 budget.
Tungate originally started the website with the program Dreamweaver, but the coding was difficult for her.
“I really enjoyed Granite,” said Tungate. “My favorite teacher was Evan Hackett because he always pushed me to try hard and do my best.”
Hackett, the journalism advisor at Granite, came up with the idea to start an online newspaper.
“The paper really began to take off when Lauren Rabaino took over the paper,” said Tungate, “the year after I graduated, Hackett wanted to start competing in online newspaper competitions. The Grizzly Gazette has done very well especially after Lauren took over.”
Tungate is now attending California State University, Monterey Bay. She is majoring in liberal studies and is planning to become a teacher.
“I am considered a senior because I am taking upper division classes that focus directly on my major,” stated Tungate.
Tungate is taking classes that cover the topics of social action, human development, and math for elementary school teachers.
“I have always wanted to be a teacher. I have always been around little kids and I really like them,” said Tungate.
Hackett keeps in touch with Tungate and tells her how her online newspaper is doing.
“When I hear about all the awards the paper wins, it makes me happy to know what a strong program it is now,” said Tungate.
Responsibilities, such as taking over a successful online newspaper, may seem stressful, but they can also be very rewarding.
“Just hold on, it can be overwhelming, but be open to new ideas and you will do great,” stated Tungate. “I do not think anyone could be a better journalism teacher than Mr. Hackett; he is an amazing teacher. The paper is doing great and I am glad to see it being run so well.”
Since Tungate graduated in 2004, the following people have served as editor of the Grizzly Gazette: Cassandra Patterson, Lauren Rabaino, Jeremy Rabaino, Ebony Bailey, Caryn Hernandez, Ryan Gibson, Richard Buettner, and Erik Bartlett.
The current editor in chief, Bartlett, will be attending the University of California, Berkeley as a computer science major. He will hand over the responsibility of managing the Grizzly Gazette off to Victor Espinoza for the 2011-2012 school year.
“Running the Gazette was a fun experience,” said Bartlett, “it really teaches you how to work with a lot of people to accomplish a common goal. I think Victor should do a good job next year because he knows what to do to be a great editor.”
Tungate will be watching the Grizzly Gazette continue to show progress as she finishes her education at CSU, Monterey Bay in becoming a teacher and following her dreams.
Above Photo arranged from left to right: Caitlin Tungate, Erik Bartlett and Victor Espinoza stand in fron of a Mac where the Grizzly Gazette is displayed.(Photo by Julissa Hernandez)