The Pack of the Past: Former Members Reflect

Everyone’s got to look back at their pasts sometimes: here are three former Pack members reflecting on their time with The Pack and where they are today.

The Pack of the Past: Former Members Reflect

By Njeri Jackson

The Pack is the hub for student news here at Tuscarora. It has come to change throughout the school’s history, from the development of the sports broadcast program to even its name (which Aidan Butler came up with). Where are some of these members now you may ask? Here is an interview from Anna Lunt, Taylor Byrne, and Aidan Butler, who gave part of their high school time to “working” for The Pack.

The Pack consists of broadcast and newspaper. Students have the opportunity to explore their interests in writing, social media, morning announcements, podcasts, sports broadcasting, and more. Students post their work on the website, on Soundcloud, Youtube, and Instagram. Each student plays their own role to make The Pack operate. 

“My role with The Pack was as a staff writer my Junior and Senior year, and my Senior year I was promoted to assistant editor,” Byrne said.

“I was in charge of producing the morning show,” Lunt answered, “which included writing the script and working with anchors to present the show to students.”

Butler stated, “My role was, rather enthusiastically, the voice of the Tuscarora Huskies, doing play-by-play coverage for every sport that we managed to do, football, basketball, both men’s and women’s until the world shut down.”

During their time at Tuscarora, each of them had their own personal memories and favorite parts.

My best memory with The Pack was probably my Junior year before Covid hit,” Byrne stated, “we were all just hanging out and working on our individual work and then Mrs. Kelley surprised us with snacks and it turned into like a mini party.” 

“Something I always enjoyed was when people would come to Ronan and I before or during our broadcasts and say ‘oh we’re this student’s parents, and they have relatives that live far away or can’t travel anymore, but they listen to you guys,’” Butler said.

He continues, “That really inspires me doing what I do because we are providing a service to people, and it helps people in some way, like being able to be involved in what their friends and family do, that’s something that I’m very proud of.”

But the all time favorite memory Butler adds, “was getting to go down to Liberty and call the state championship football game against Lake Taylor. The result of the game still haunts me but the leadup to it, getting to hear that people were tuning in to listen, because this was before NFHS, so we were the only way people not traveling to the game could get real time updates on what was going on. And then getting on the field before the game, getting official press credentials, and getting the space that we did to the call game, was very surreal, for a couple kids who were only in their first year doing what we were doing, it was a sense of at least for the moment of  ‘we made it.”

Besides all the fun and accomplishments they have been part of, they have also seen its impact post high school. 

“I’m now a Junior at Liberty University, studying Digital Journalism and Video Production with minors in Digital Performance and Spanish,” Lunt says, “I have a few jobs on campus, first being a content operator on our Campus Production team which runs 3 shows a week. I am also a part of the sports production team, broadcasting on ESPN+, running Graphics and Cameras, and occasionally being a TD (Technical Director). I recently just accepted the role of Digital Media Producer for our newspaper called The Champion.”

She adds that many of the journalism skills she learned in high school prepared her for what she’s doing now; “The interview, writing, and collaboration skills I learned from working with The Pack definitely set me up for success as a communications student. The experience also helped me become a digital director which is a great opportunity!”

Right now Byrne is a freshman at Syracuse university at the Newhouse school of communication. “I am a public relations major minoring in anthropology. I am also now the digital director for a magazine on campus, a member of a community service fraternity, a member of women in communications, and a Newhouse ambassador.”

Aidan stated, “I finally got to Virginia Tech which was the main goal for the first 18 years of my life. But the goal is still the same down in Blacksburg: do the best job I can do and keep getting experience on the mic.”

As a piece of advice, Butler adds, “If sports journalism is something you want to do, you’re going to be competing against some other high end people, and when you can get real experience in high school, and already having a leg up going into college, that’s going to pay dividends. Student news outlets are something that a lot of schools do, but when you can get on-air experience that people are going to pay attention to, that’s huge.”

“I was able to establish myself as a sports journalist and it’s helped me build the foundations of my future and my career, and I couldn’t be more thankful to Mrs. Kelley and The Pack as a whole for helping to get me where I am.”

If you are interested in being part of the Pack next year, talk to your counselor and make sure to email Mrs. Kelley ([email protected]) for more information!

Thank you to all the people who interviewed, good luck to them on all their future endeavors!