A photo of Deklin Fitzgerald by Lila Weirich - Courtesy of Deklin Fitzgerald
A photo of Deklin Fitzgerald by Lila Weirich - Courtesy of Deklin Fitzgerald

Growing up on the coast of Maine comes with the benefits of a cool ocean breeze and consistent access to the water. However, some of the disadvantages of growing up in the small town of Rockland is there are one to two people who know everyone. 

When my freshman year started I went from being a known name to being a nobody. A month into my freshman, for better or worse, my life took a turn. I found my friends or better described as a found family. I became a more active member of the Free Press and I started the journey down a path that would ultimately lead me to where I am now. Your new Editor-in-Chief.

Since January of 2023 I have been the Free Press Web Editor, or simply put as the little goblin behind the screen updating the website, the social media(s), and of course an Editor. When I am not dedicating my time to the paper with writing articles or capturing moments in photos, I am working towards my degree on a fast tracked pace. What does that entail? It means that I am not graduating at the same time as many of my peers. Instead I am seeking to graduate a year ahead of schedule. 

When I am not with the Free Press I can either be found at: the South Portland Olive Garden as a host or busser every weekend, or behind the lens of a professional camera capturing photos as a hobby of mine. A hobby that I got into at the start of my freshman year of college.

I applied for the Editor in Chief position because I knew I could do it. Something that I have been asked a dozen times in the last two months is “what is your plan after college?” My answer is that I want to be a War Correspondent. To quote something the current editor said the other day is that some people just “live and breathe” the Free Press. To say the least, I think that might be me. 

It is my plan to keep the momentum my predecessors have achieved, from the low the paper was at in September of 2022 into September of 2023. It is my plan to work tirelessly this summer towards completing my summer courses, garner a summer income, and finally work towards planning out and putting together the “welcome back” issue of the Free Press for the fall semester. 

As of now I have a good editorial team lined up for next semester. A team that will work together to help make this paper run with ease. Our news editor position will be filled by Dakota Eddy; Our Sports editor will be filled by Rhiannon McQuaide; Our Director of Photography will be filled Will Fudge. 

Being a college freshman and having received the position of Web Editor earlier this semester and now Editor-in-Chief. I have been asked how I plan on accomplishing that goal. It has been a great experience, a wonderful opportunity, and I am truly glad to have been trusted with this paper.

To be frank my freshman year has not been the easiest in terms of stress, anxiety, and just learning how to navigate being a freshman in college. However, to quote a snippet of “Still I rise”, a poem about resilience by Maya Angelou. 

“You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.” 

– Maya Angelou


I can say that growing up in a small town high school, my teachers often preached that college is not for the faint of heart. That college professors are difficult, that they aren’t lenient, that they don’t care if you are sick. A due date is a due date, and as an adult it must be adhered to the T.  

It has been because of Resilience that I have made it through my first year of college and without the typical amount of support that many of my peers have. 

To quote “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons. It is because of the Perseverance presented by the Editorial staff when the Free Press was without an Editor in Chief back in August of 2022, that it became “time to build from the bottom of the pit. Right to the top”, and from there a campus group rose “like air” to a well staffed paper. When our starting issue only had twelve pages with only four being in color. To a final piece with sixteen pages, and all sixteen of them are in color. 

It is the resilience in Maya Angelou’s poem that resonates with me. 

I am excited to be your new Editor in Chief; and with that the 2022/23 academic season comes to an end.

Angelou, Maya. “Still I Rise.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, 



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