Chase Brown, WKHS Senior
There are many ways a teacher gets the most out of the student. Sometimes, that includes discovering talent that is already present, helping develop it and watching it grow exponentially.
Jessica Hemmelgarn, teacher and advisor for Worthington High School’s news magazine, The Ravine, recognized a talent in now-senior Chase Brown as early as his freshman year.
“I always loved writing,” Brown said. “She recruited us in a way by saying we were great writers and they would love to have us (in freshman honors English) on The Ravine.
“From there, I took it as my opportunity to be able to write and do something I love. I really just felt she was approachable. I feel during her pitch, and during my conversations with her, she really embodied what I wanted to find in writing. She pushed me in the right direction.”
Brown began writing for The Ravine in the second semester of his sophomore year. There, he joined a staff of juniors and seniors who had been together for a while. But despite recognizing the fact there were many established writers, Brown was made to feel welcome.
“Coming in as a sophomore, I was kind of nervous about my expectations,” he explained. “But I felt very welcome by the whole class.”
The January-February issue that year was one that tackled a serious and sensitive issue; mental health.
“That was kind of jumping straight into the deep end,” said Brown. “That’s something that’s very personal to a lot of people, so interviewing people for that subject was hard and challenging, but it was definitely a great place to start, because it pushed me to be an even greater writer than I thought I could be.”
Brown has since been recognized locally and nationally for his writing. For a story about the inequalities between men’s and women’s athletics, he finished runner up in the Best Sports Writing category in The Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists and Dispatch Media Group’s The Martys awards, and placed fourth in the nation for the National Scholastic Press Association’s 2017 Sports Story of the Year.
As for the future, Brown plans to study journalism at a four-year college and hopes to be a writer professionally in some capacity.
“I know I want to do print journalism or maybe become an author,” he stated. “I just love to write. I love the way it makes me feel.”
While Brown had the inner ability to write, he appreciates his teachers’ and school’s part in untapping his potential.
“Worthington Schools has really set me up in great ways to be a great writer,” he said. “Through my journalism class and Mrs. Hemmelgarn, through my English teachers, they have encouraged me to be the best writer I can be.”