Muscatine Community School District
Muscatine Community School District
Muscatine Community School District offers public education from three year old preschool through high school. The district prides itself on making all of its students success stories.

Muscatine Living

By Sascha Cacho, first year guest writer for the MHS Auroran Today from the journalism one class

The students in the newspaper class have lots of creative freedom when it comes to the stories they write. Nevertheless, with this creative freedom, they are still held to high standards and expectations for the quality of their content, timeliness of their writing, and some of the mediums in which the products are read, one being in the form of the Potty Press – a weekly mini-newspaper for bathrooms all around campus.

Ultimately, MHS Auroran staff members’ work gets published on the MHS Auroran Today website and posted via their social media, which although an improvement from years past, still has its flaws.

Mrs. Rauenbuehler said, “the problem with our publications honestly was just the fact that no one read it.”

Mrs. Rauenbuehler recognized this issue and turned to colleagues for advice, and Mrs. Kindra Petersen, another ELA teacher, offered a possible idea.

Mrs. Petersen suggested the idea of a Potty Press, a condensed form of a student-written article, and some sidebars of information plugging for various clubs or upcoming events.

“I think it’s been an effective way to get stories read in condensed form,” said Mrs. Rauenbuehler.

Sometimes the student writers of the MHS Auroran Today struggle to find recent things to write about. This year, trends have gone by fast. The Potty Press is meant to cover topics that are relevant to the student body and respond to requests, like the recent Potty Press about the desire for a female flag football team requested by an MHS student via email to the Chief Editor, Lanie Weikert.

Each Monday, students, like Amaya Wagner, meet during Muskie Time and split up to hang up the writings. Photo courtesy Sascha Cacho.

Lanie said, “from the feedback I have gotten, people like reading them no matter what the topic.”

Another struggle for the MHS Auroran Today has been finding interviewees to make stories, and the Potty Press is as inclusive as possible. Students feel more comfortable interviewing their friends because it’s easy to talk to them, but in doing so, not all of the student body gets covered by the content produced.

Mrs. Rauenbuehler said, “I think it’s important for us to have to push ourselves as an entity to not just stick with what’s easiest, but to have a newspaper staff that’s representative of the entire student body and is diverse, and to go out and find those voices as well.”

Another step in the process of making the Potty Press is making the work eye-catching, while still including the “meat” in the stories.

Lanie said, “I like that the Potty Press is more of a playful writing because it makes whatever we’re writing about fun to write and read.”

Although most students enjoy the Potty Press, not all students seem to appreciate them. Some students have even gone as far as vandalizing them. The Auroran Today Staff felt slighted by their peers, but they made light of it. They made a new Potty Press in the form of an editorial out of the old vandalized one.

Mrs. Rauenbuehler said: “I love opportunities like that to call people out to be better, but in a tasteful way. Sometimes that is what good journalism does.”

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