The Student News Site of Lyman High School

Greyhound Growl

The Student News Site of Lyman High School

Greyhound Growl

The Student News Site of Lyman High School

Greyhound Growl

Passing the Yearbook Torch

Journalism program receives a new adviser just in time for school.

Ms. Danielle Pomeranz left at the end of the last school year and Lyman welcomed a new teacher to the journalism program: Mx. Jo Nguyen, who transferred from Oak Ridge High School in Orange County.

Pomeranz’s leaving left a strong impact on many students, especially in a program where students had her year after year making the last five yearbooks that now grace the headquarters room of 7-107.

“Leaving Lyman was a very bittersweet decision for me, but one I felt like I had to make,” Pomeranz said. “I am rooting [my students] on and I support them completely. I’m just doing it from the sidelines this year. For me, teaching was always about building connections with the students.”

In recent years, the Greyhound Yearbook faced many well-documented struggles. The turning point was two years ago. Students lined up outside 7-107 to receive their yearbooks as administration and the school board crammed themselves within the teal walls with district lawyers.

“The superintendent’s office was worried that we said the phrase: ‘It’s ok to be gay.’ They didn’t want that message to be from the voice of Seminole County Public Schools. I was largely left out of conversations [and] by the end of the day, I just broke down. It was without a doubt the worst day of my teaching career,” Pomeranz said.

Despite this, Pomeranz was never afraid of standing up for her students. “The overall impression my students left on me is one of hope. I believe this generation is bold and proud and not afraid to make their voices heard for issues that matter. I have seen so many amazing students have the courage to be unapologetically themselves and that is inspiring to me.”

Filling the position days before the start of the new year, Nguyen met with Pomeranz to learn about Lyman’s journalism program. 

“It was very important to me to pass the torch…and to be as helpful as possible to [Nguyen] during their transition to Lyman,” Pomeranz said. “I was thrilled when I met them and had such a feeling of relief that the Journalism program I care so deeply about will be in great hands.”

Despite being the youngest teacher, Nguyen entered the teaching scene three years ago and has related to most experiences students have.

“I graduated college early and started teaching at 21. There’s something different about teaching when I’m from the same generation as you guys. Although, that doesn’t stop me from being completely shocked by some things you don’t know,” Nguyen said. “But there’s never a moment of ‘Miss, you just don’t get it’ because I do. My goal is to try to hold as big of a safe space for as many students as possible.”

Nguyen started teaching English before finding their way into the journalism field. 

“I did newspaper when I was in college [writing] for New College News and was a social media assistant,” Nguyen said. “But I didn’t do yearbook when I was a high schooler at Boone. I [took over Oak Ridge’s journalism program] last year and that was my first yearbook. Now I’m in my third year teaching at Lyman making my second yearbook.”

On the other side of town near Millenia Mall, Oak Ridge High has a different demographic of students who all had to work right after school or take the bus home. This limited their ability to do anything outside of class.

“I do miss my Oak Ridge kids. A lot. [But they were] giving me less journalism classes and [were] asking me to teach English 1,” Nguyen said. “After two years of no yearbook and coming in to revive the entire program last year, it was impossible to continue my publications there to the quality I had with those limitations and I’ve really fallen in love with yearbook and newspaper.” 

With the issues that Lyman had with their last yearbook, Nguyen did not come in blindsided.

“I already knew about the situations that have happened in the last two years with the yearbook and I knew that was something I was going to have to deal with,” Nguyen said. “But it’s something I’m excited to tackle because I want to make sure that everybody feels included and that the diversity of Lyman is represented.”

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About the Contributor
Johnathan Singh, Staff Writer
Hey everybody! My name’s Johnathan and I am a junior this year that is part of Lyman's Newspaper this year! I’m very excited to cover multiple different types of topics this year that range from all different fields. I love the sports scene that Lyman offers. I play volleyball here but I also love all the other sports. I love explaining my thoughts to people and making sure the students' voices are heard.

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