Mrs. Satterthwaite’s moving to California

Victoria Wendt, Staff Writer

The Talon has transitioned from a bronze-winning newspaper in 2005-06 when adviser Mrs. Julia Satterthwaite started at RHS, to a six-time Spartan-winning (highest in the state) and two-time Pacemaker-winning (highest in the nation) publication as she prepares to depart to her next journalism advising adventure in California. 

“My husband and I both got incredible journalism and English teaching positions at the same time, which is so rare,” Mrs. Satterthwaite said. “When all the pieces fell into place, we decided to take advantage of this exciting, new opportunity. Rod will be teaching journalism and English at Palo Alto High School and I’ll be teaching journalism and English at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino.”

This news came to a surprise to The Talon staff. Editor-in-chief and junior Ninotchka Valdez talks about her Talon experience with Satterthwaite, or as the staff calls her “JSatt.”

“I’ve been a member of The Talon for two years and it’s one of the high school experiences I’ll really remember,” Valdez said. “I can’t imagine enjoying it as much when JSatt leaves. She’s made it so easy to pick up the different skills you need as a journalist, and she never fails to make other people admire and respect journalism more. She sees everything in such a positive light.”

Staff writer junior Ollie Najar discusses his understanding about the news.

“My instant reaction was sadness; she’s my favorite teacher,” Najar said. “However, after the shock of the announcement I realized that it was the best for her family and California was a beautiful place. I am excited for her and want to make sure she is pumped.”

Mrs. Satterthwaite is definitely pumped about one particular aspect.

“I’m most excited about the weather,” Mrs. Satterthwaite said. “It snowed every single day of my spring break here. I got hailed on and snowed on last weekend in the middle of May. I hate being cold and winter in general, so I am excited for that to be a thing of the past.”

She also looks forward to the educational opportunities her sons, five-year-old Micah and four-year-old Jonah, will get to experience.

“I’m also looking forward to the educational opportunities that my kids will have in small class sizes with diverse populations,” Mrs. Satterthwaite said. “We’ve already got plans for day trips to the beach or to hike in the redwood forests, so I’m excited to show my kids a whole new place.”

Mrs. Satterthwaite’s husband Rod teaches journalism at Grosse Pointe South High School, and she shares about how their students took the news. 

“Rod’s students who are on The Tower and my students who are on The Talon are bummed that we’re moving, but they understand that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Mrs. Satterthwaite said. “Hopefully we’re setting a good example for them about chasing dreams, and they know we’re only a text, phone call or snapchat away if they need us next year.”

Najar talks about what he thinks will happen to The Talon after JSatt leaves.

“I trust the staff we have already and I trust Rochester High administration to find another suitable teacher,” Najar said. “The Talon will not be the same, but it will continue to be great.”

Although Najar is confident for the future of The Talon, Valdez is anxious about the future.

“I’m definitely nervous for what’s going to happen to the Talon once JSatt leaves,” Valdez said.” I have a lot of faith in the other editors and their ability to keep the paper running. However, it does make me anxious not knowing who’s going to be teaching the class next year.”

While leaving one award-winning publication behind, Mrs. Satterthwaite says she’ll be in charge of another award-winning program. 

“I’ll be fortunate enough to be working with an exceptional journalism program at Monta Vista High School called El Estoque,” Mrs. Satterthwaite said. “Check it out: I’ll be running a 40-page monthly magazine and a well-oiled machine of a website, complete with multi platform coverage. I’m sure they’ll teach me a lot as well, so I’m looking forward to learning new things.”

After 11 years at RHS, Mrs. Satterthwaite says it’s bittersweet to be saying goodbye to RHS and Michigan.

“I hope that we love it in California, have lots of visits from our Midwest friends, and enjoy our vacations in Michigan over Christmas and summer break,” Mrs. Satterthwaite said. “It’ll be the perfect mix.”