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The Hoofprint Online

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Who is the Face Behind Zachary Student Media? All About Mrs. McClinton!

Zachary High Student Media is home to Zachary’s four student-produced media outlets, which provide news, information, and entertainment to the campus and hands-on learning opportunities for students.
Who+is+the+Face+Behind+Zachary+Student+Media%3F+All+About+Mrs.+McClinton%21

The Student Media Adviser sat down with us to reflect on where she is now with the program and how she got it to this level. 

Troyletta “Troy” McClinton is a native of Zachary, Louisiana. She attended Northwestern Elementary School from grades 1 to 5, then moved to Northwestern Middle School for grades 6 to 8. For high school, McClinton attended Zachary High School, where she was highly involved in extracurricular activities. She participated in volleyball and basketball and was active in several clubs, including the Interact Club, Beta Club, and DECA.

“Like I always tell everyone: always get involved because that will make your high school experience… if you just go to school every day, it’s going to be boring,” McClinton said.

Upon graduating high school, Mrs. McClinton enrolled at LSU to pursue her undergraduate degree. At first, she opted for Computer and Electrical Engineering as her major. However, she soon realized that this was different from the path she wanted to follow. She then switched to the College of Agriculture and completed her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business with a minor in Business Administration.

After graduating, McClinton began working for her mother, who owned a private school then. This gave McClinton her first taste of teaching, as she taught Intro to Business and managed the school’s business office. She soon discovered her passion for teaching and pursued an alternative certification in Business Education from LSU. Once certified, McClinton returned to her alma mater to teach business courses, influenced by her former teachers at ZHS.

“In addition to coming from a family of educators, I had many influential teachers and coaches who inspired me to pursue a career in teaching. These include Mrs. Erica Henry (English), Mrs. Melissa Browning William(BCA), Mrs. June Thompson Sykes(DECA), Mrs. Mandy Bradley(Fine Arts), Mrs. Donna Kline(English), Coach Shipp(Volleyball), and Coach Donald Clark and Coach Sam Barham (Basketball), and Mrs. Cathy Raziano (Beta). Because of my positive experiences in their classes, I wanted to return and inspire others in the same way.” McClinton said.

McClinton taught business and coding courses for seven years before being asked by her former teacher and co-worker to consider teaching journalism. 

“Actually, I kind of just stumbled into journalism… When I returned to Zachary, my former business teacher [Sykes] was still over the yearbook. While on maternity leave, Mrs. Sykes retired and asked me to take over the yearbook,” McClinton said. A few years later, the WZHS-TV and Newspaper Adviser retired and asked if I would take charge of those publications.”

The school already had two student media publications: The Hoof Print newspaper and The Corral yearbook. Although the earliest yearbook available is from the 1950s, WZHS-TV began after McClinton graduated from high school.

“We have had the opportunity to revamp the Yearbook and WZHS-TV, but also bring in Social Media (IG:zhsmedia) and convert the newspaper into Online News (thehoofprint.org),” McClinton said.

Despite managing four publications, Mrs. McClinton enjoys being an adviser and describes it as organized chaos. 

“It’s busy. People are everywhere. When you walk into our space, know we’re working to meet deadlines,” McClinton said.

 

She credits her excellent staff and team of editors for sharing the workload, along with the support of her husband, mom, and sister, who also work at Zachary High.

 Having a supportive family is extremely helpful. In the first few years, I had a small staff of five. I went to every event, took pictures, and returned to the studio to produce the publication. Mrs. Lee [McClinton’s sister], who was not even teaching then, was helping me cover these events.

— Troy McClinton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. McClinton’s passion for growth and leadership led her to attend conferences and join professional groups. She recognized the need for a change to make the program student-run, and with her determination, she initiated a Journalism I class for incoming first-year students, inspiring them to create their publications.

“After speaking with a few out-of-state advisers at a conference in New Orleans, buy-in was necessary to gain more staff. I utilized Social Media, Classroom Visits, Electives Night, and Recruitment Materials to encourage students to join,” McClinton said.

In her 14th year of teaching, Mrs. McClinton serves as the Head Adviser of Student Media. She now has 32 staff members across all publications, with her sister, Mrs. Taylor Lee, assisting with photography and marketing and her mom, Mrs. Veronica Watson, assisting with editing from time to time. 

She is dedicated to helping her staff gain recognition for their hard work and continually seeks new ways to expand the team. Her passion and commitment to her students inspire them to strive for excellence and reach their full potential.

“I always get excited about my staff competing! In the past few years, we won Best Broadcast, Yearbook Design, and Social Media Presence in some of our in-state competitions. Last November, we took 11 staff members to Boston, Massachusetts, for the National Journalism Education Association conference. They learned a lot and are ready for next Fall,” McClinton said.

I always tell them that if they are going to join, they must commit. The news never sleeps. So, when we are given the opportunity, we must give 100% and tell it so that when they return many years later, the publications can truly tell of the years they were in school.

— Troy McClinton

McClinton’s unwavering commitment to the student media program at Zachary High is truly inspiring. 

“I love what I do! It’s a bonus that I also bleed red and blue,” McClinton said.

 

 

 

 

 

Her dedication to providing her students with the best possible experience has resulted in a program that challenges and motivates them to succeed. McClinton’s vision for the program’s future is ambitious, and her focus on excellence inspires all who work with her.

My goal is to make sure my students enjoy what they do, succeed at it, and gain recognition for their achievements at both state and national levels,” McClinton said. “I particularly enjoy sharing the history of Zachary High because I had a wonderful experience there myself. It motivates me to strive to recreate that same experience for my students.”

Mrs. McClinton is married to Coach Jonathan McClinton, and they have two wonderful sons, Jon Reese and Channing.

 

 

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Maximo Gennaro, Online Staff Writer
Maximo Gennaro (9) is a staff writer for The Hoofprint Online news. Maximo is on the ZHS cross country team and track team.  
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