Katherine Kopkowski, a senior at Anthony Wayne High School, was so inspired by her classmates' talent that she worked for months to create a forum for them to showcase their work.
Miss Kopkowski and about seven other students have met after school once a week since the fall to assemble MUSE, a literary magazine. The magazine, which is the first of its kind produced at the high school in more than 15 years, is set to debut next month.
"I thought it would be great to have a magazine at our school, because I know how much talent there is with both art and writing," said Miss Kopkowski, who was editor of the publication. "A lot of that talent goes unrecognized by the student body."
She got the idea for the magazine about a year ago when she attended a student conference at Columbia University in New York. She recruited other students to work on the magazine and got Nancy Silvers, a teacher at the high school, to be the magazine's faculty adviser.
"Katherine really pushed for this," Ms. Silvers said. "Our staff is small, but they're very, very dedicated."
Students on the MUSE staff put up flyers around the school asking for submission of art and writing and visited English and art classes to describe their plans for the magazine.
"Our initial challenge was just getting people to submit," said Brandon Palinski, a senior on the MUSE staff.
About 20 students turned in pieces, and the MUSE staff later consulted teachers to seek out shy students with talent. Most students who were approached by MUSE agreed to have their work published.
The magazine features a variety of student work, including photographs, paintings, essays, poems, and short stories.
"Our main standard was creativity," Miss Kopkowski said. "We were looking for students who expressed themselves in a moving way."
After deciding what to put in the magazine, the MUSE staff worked with one of the high school's technology classes to design the publication's layout on the computer. Laura Dodge, a senior in the class, chose MUSE as her main project. "I'm really happy with it. I wasn't expecting it to turn out as well as it did," she said. "I think it's a magazine people will really enjoy."
To cover the costs of having the 48-page color magazine professionally printed, MUSE got donations of $1,000 from the student council, $500 from the Anthony Wayne Education Foundation, and $100 from the Waterville branch of Fifth Third Bank. The magazine will be available May 7 at the district's art fair. The staff printed 500 copies, which will sell for $5.
The MUSE staff, which is mostly seniors, is hoping to leave the proceeds from magazine sales in an account for students to publish a new edition of the magazine next year.
"We're hoping it will continue," Ms. Silvers said. "We're looking even now to see who could take over."