Serena Paulson: An Editor from the Past


Stephanie and Serena’s bricks, captured on DJ’s wall.

Many attempts have been made to contact the names on the bricks. From email to Facebook messenger, to searches on the alumni website; finding these people sometimes feels impossible. Though many are unresponsive, a few days ago I got a surprise notification. When I saw the name Serena Paulson at the top of my inbox, my heart may have skipped a beat.

Serena painted her brick alongside her co-managing editor, Stephanie Shin. The black and purple bricks display a glittery spider web with 2 spiders in the center. Surprisingly, Serena could recall creating the masterpiece.

“I wanted Stephanie and my bricks to be special so I came up with the idea of adding glitter to it. I’m a little bit of a perfectionist, so I spent way too long on it but it came out great in the end. I’m sad it won’t get to be in the new high school, but I’m glad I have the memory of quite literally leaving my mark.”

Along with the memory of her brick, she shared a few other memories she could recall from her time writing for The Web.

“One of my favorite memories during my time on the WEB was BYOB days and getting Bruegger’s (RIP) bagels with my co-managing editor Stephanie Shin.”

Through these bonding experiences, Stephanie and Serena got to know each other well.

“After staying up late Thursday nights on Facetime working on the print layout, we would head to Brueggers during the class period. We became really close that year and decided to do our brick together that can still be seen in DJ’s room.”

Making friends and eating bagels. It’s safe to say Serena had a pretty great experience writing for The Web. Since graduating and moving on to bigger and better things, Serena gave me the rundown on her post-Ames high life.

“I went to Iowa State where I received a bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Biology. I now live in southwest Missouri working as an Operations Leader for Schreiber Foods. Some other random things I have done since attending Ames High include spending a year hiking in CO, helping elect Rachel Junck (one of the youngest women to hold elected office in the history of Iowa) to Ames City Council, and making a lot of good friends along the way.”

Obviously, Serena has come a long way. With lessons learned and knowledge gained, she is no longer the bagel-eating, brick-painting high school kid she once was. In a desperate attempt to gain wisdom from Mrs. Paulson, I once again asked for some advice.

“At the end of the day it’s just not that deep, so don’t worry about it and enjoy the time you have in high school. I remember it being really easy to get caught up in things; Stepping back and minding my own happiness would’ve served me well when I was in high school and I implore students now to do the same.”

Well said Serena. It would do Ames High well to just take a step back and breathe. With the craziness, uncertainty, and our ever-changing lives, what great advice for us to focus on what’s really important.