The Feather Online History

The Feather Online History 2016-12-24T21:30:27+00:00

Online and print edition history

The Feather Online

The Feather Online staff has numbered 20+ staff members each year since October 2001. Before the online paper existed, the staff often hovered around 5-10 members. Currently there are 29 staff members for the 2016-17 fall semester. These include the editors, reporters, photographers, videographers, bloggers, and podcasters.

While past webmasters play a significant role, the 2016/17 website is a collaboration between staff and their advisers, Greg Stobbe, Kori Friesen and IT director Robert Hyatt. The total switch from a proprietary website to a modern WordPress design continues since the old Feather Online was shut down April 15, 2015, and retired. The new Feather Online began publishing, Sept. 8, 2015, after being shuttled for five months.

The Feather Online, since its inception in 2001, is a product of student innovation and design. While Feather adviser Greg Stobbe is an integral part of that, each version is designed and created using Feather staff and its web team.

The online newspaper actually began in 1997/98 school year when Stobbe began to pass the idea around to then print editor-in-chief Nate Warkentin. Highwired.com began as a template-based website that was offering a way for high schools to put their newspapers online. With then superintendent Tim Wilkins backing the idea, Stobbe went ahead and began enlisting Warkentin to put Feather articles on the Highwired.com website. While they did not put every article on the web, the site did give Feather students a way to publish online for a worldwide audience. Unfortunately, Highwired.com only was funded for three years and The Feather articles disappeared with their demise in the summer of 2000.

The Feather editors, Greg Stobbe and then IT director David Martens spend the next 18 months starting a new Feather build on a FileMaker Pro format. It was ready for daily publication in October 2001. And while FileMaker Pro was never designed for a web-based site, it provided a way for online publishing for three years.

The first reformatted version of The Feather Online originated in the summer of 2004 when adviser Stobbe charged senior Doug DenHartog to rewrite the code and redesign the paper into an HTML format. The editors wanted to make better use of newer technology available since the original online design created using FileMaker Pro in 2001. The difficult part was not the creation of the first new Feather, but the linking of articles from one format to another so as to not loose Feather history.

The next rewrite was handed off to junior Matthew Shattuck in June 2005, and continued through the 2006-07 school year. He added new sections and expanded the capabilities of The Feather Online to include the first videos. However, after Shattuck graduated, the staff determined The Feather Online needed a third revision in order to restructure the PHP scripting using a more modular design. The webmaster, junior Andrew Rurik, chose to change the HTML structure from a tables-based design to a layers base. This version of The Feather Online launched in January 2008.

Sophomore David Casuga accepted the position of webmaster after Rurik graduated in May 2009. Cauga added new features, including audio and visual slideshows, expanded comic and podcasting sections and new media capabilities to The Feather Online. David Casuga graduated in May 2012.

Dalton Cowin took over the reigns of webmaster during the 2012-13 school year. While he did not add additional features or change the looks of The Feather, he continued to manage the back end until he retired after the 2013-14 school year.

There has not been a true webmaster since then. The Feather Online 2016-17 editors continue their work on a new website with the WordPress template, archiving past articles with adviser Stobbe, photojournalism adviser Kori Friesen and new IT director Robert Hyatt. Today with the addition of plugins, The Feather Online is poised to publish into the late 2000-teens.

 

Feather Online Editor(s)-in-chief since 2001

Bradley Hart: 2001/02 – 2002/03

Alex Elmore and Anne Hierholzer: 2003/04 – 2004/05

Brianna Stobbe: 2005/06

Mary Kneefel and Jennifer Sherfield: 2006/07 – 2007/08

Chelsea Joy: 2008/09

Suzanna Quiring: 2009/10

Austin Ward: 2010/11

Nicky Avery and Mary Hierholzer: 2011/12

Tynin Fries: 2012/13 – 2013/14

Sara Peterson: 2014/15

Chloe Mueller, Rees Roggenstein and Joshua Carter: 2015/16

Phillip Christopher, Jennifer King and Nick LeBlanc: 2016/17

 

The Feather print edition

The print edition of The Feather began in 1982, five years after Fresno Christian Schools began in 1977. The paper was taken over by Joanne Johnson who led the paper until 1993 when Molly Sargent took over the reigns for two years. Current adviser Greg Stobbe helped direct The Feather from 1993 until it ceased operations in May 2010 when it solely became a daily online newspaper.

Over the years, The Feather was an All-Valley high school newspaper, earning numerous San Joaquin Valley Scholastic Press Association (SJVSPA) awards sponsored by California State University, Fresno, and their Mass Communication and Journalism Department. The culmination of The Feather’s efforts was in 2008 when the staff won the top award and was  honored as the best print high school newspaper from Bakersfield to Lodi in 2008, winning the SJVSPA Sweepstakes and All-Valley newspaper honor.

The Feather Online history last updated November 2016

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