By Camille Sweeney-Carter
Flip through any of the recent yearbooks, and the hard work of Kristina Metzner and her team will shine through. Metzner began her journey as a shy freshman enrolled in Journalism Foundations, the sixth choice on her elective form. Now, three years later, Metzner has the 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 yearbooks under her belt, and is graduating with the Advanced Honors diploma. As if this girl isn’t busy enough, she spends her free time as a lifeguard at New York-New York.
The Roar- What made you choose Publications II, the class that produces the yearbook?
Kristina Metzner- Well, I didn’t choose Journalism II because writing really wasn’t my strong suit. I really wanted to help create something for the school, and I knew that the class was more about layout and pictures than anything else. I also knew that Publications II would be less laid back than Journalism II, and I was looking for a class with a lot of excitement.
TR- What has being a part of the yearbook staff taught you?
KM- The class taught me so many wonderful things. Being editor-in-chief, I was required to answer people’s questions and solve any problems anyone had, and I had to fix those issues right away. My ability to communicate with people improved because of that. Running a staff isn’t easy, but it felt good to be a leader and assist those who needed advice or had questions. I had never been much of a public speaker, so being a part of the staff really helped to bring me out of my shell. I think the things I have learned in the class have helped and will help me in the real world.
TR- How has the class shaped you as a person?
KM- I used to be extremely shy, believe it or not. But, like I said before, Publications II gave me the skills and experience I needed to throw that apprehensiveness away and really get out there. I have learned that the priority is the people and not the book; in the class we all must work together to create something beautiful that the student body can enjoy. I feel like I have become a more cooperative and understanding person that can help someone out if they are stuck. I have even learned how to take an issue we had in previous years and improve on that, like the time I made an assignment for the staff so it would be easier for them to get all the material they needed.
TR- Besides being editor of the yearbook, what else has prepared you for post-high school life?
KM- Because my dad works at the MGM and I’m a lifeguard there, I was invited to join their Junior Executive Team (JET) program. It’s like a mini business class. I have met with corporate executives, learned aspects of business I never would have learned and now have a foot in the door if I want to go into management with the MGM corporation.
TR- What’s it like being a lifeguard?
KM- I have been a lifeguard for a little over a year now, and the job is actually really fun. I get to meet people from all over the world, and those folks can be exciting at times, especially when they’ve had one too many drinks. Every day there’s a new story and something new to laugh about. It’s easy, pays very well, and it’s a good occupation to have while in college.
TR- Which teachers inspired you throughout your high school career?
KM- I had three teachers that were inspirations in my life and made high school a little bit better: Mrs. Thompson, Mr. Andersen, and Ms. Moss. Mrs. Thompson, my yearbook adviser, was always there for me when I needed her. She became like a good friend, always picking me up when I was down. When I would get overwhelmed, she would tell me to breathe. When I had family issues, she would help me through them. She could always tell when something was “off,” and I admire her warm-hearted nature. Mr. Andersen is my AP Psychology teacher. He taught me why people are the way they are and why they think the way they think. I have learned how to read people and figure out why someone says something before jumping to conclusions. I gained an understanding of how the human brain works and that what is common sense for you may not be common sense for other people. His class even helped me learn a bit about myself. Ms. Moss is my AP Language teacher. She is probably the most understanding and forgiving person I have ever met. She has a heart for every single one of her students, no matter who they are. I want to be as kind hearted as she is. It also felt very good when she gave me a compliment saying I was her most improved student.
TR- What’s something you didn’t do in high school that you wish you did?
KM- I wish I was a little more involved in the school. I never really went to assemblies. I never attended any dances. I never joined any clubs. I wish I went to more assemblies just to see what they were like and be a bit more involved in the student body. It might have been fun to go to a few dances. I also really wanted to join clubs like Future Medical Professionals or Habitat for Humanity.
TR- What are your plans after graduation?
KM- I will be attending the College of Southern Nevada (CSN). I’m still debating if I want to study hospitality or become a pediatrician. After that, I’ll attend University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) for either two or four years, depending on what happens. I will also attempt to move up in the hotel industry with the connections I already have as a lifeguard and being in the JET program.
TR- What advice would you give underclassmen about high school?
KM- I would say not to get caught up in any of the drama that high school usually brings. Don’t follow the crowd, don’t get tangled up in other people’s problems, just do your thing. Sure, it can be stressful at times, but all you have to do is breathe and stay focused, and you will get through it. Find your own way to de-stress; I de-stress by listening to music or reading a poetry book. High school is only four years of your life; all those little problems that come up aren’t going to affect you five years down the road. You’ll be fine.