The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

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Featured Alumni: Tabitha Taylor

Former editor left a lasting impact on the BluePrint
2011+grad+Tabitha+Taylor%2C+shown+here+with+daughters+Adelaide+and+IslaJane%2C+was+a+key+contributor+to+the+early+success+of+the+BluePrint%2C+coming+up+with+the+name+and+logo+that+exists+to+this+day.
Photo courtesy of Tabitha Taylor
2011 grad Tabitha Taylor, shown here with daughters Adelaide and IslaJane, was a key contributor to the early success of the BluePrint, coming up with the name and logo that exists to this day.

“From day one, The BluePrint has been a beautiful collaboration,” said BluePrint advisor, Mr Kerry Naylor, “where I have my ideas, students have their ideas, inspirations and directions are shared and tossed around, but one thing that wasn’t a collaboration was the name.”

Before The BluePrint was able to flourish as an online publication and entertain thousands of monthly readers, it was a physical newspaper titled The Hylite. In 2011, five seniors led the charge to rebrand the entirety of the paper. 

One of the original reporters and headline writers, Tabitha Taylor, played a pivotal role in the success and complete transformation of The BluePrint. When Mr. Naylor asked the small group to brainstorm a new name that represented B-A’s school, students, and history, Tabitha had a “catchy” idea early in the process.

She “spit out” the name that would then become destiny, along with the thumbprint design to represent it.

“I remember smiling very big- I knew. [The BluePrint] was the one,” recalled Tabitha. 

The depth behind the name went further than B-A’s “blue and gold”. There was a heavy focus on the culture and identity of the school that needed representation.

“I made a list of words we used commonly to describe the school and focus on blue and gold…Blue and a printed material and the DNA of who the school was – thus, the birthing of the name The BluePrint,” she said.

Mr. Naylor valued the layered symbolism of the new name, and immediately agreed that it was the perfect fit.

A lot of high schoolers don’t have big circles they run in or anyone who really knows them. Writing down our stories is sometimes our only way at that age to feel seen. Fingerprints leave behind an identity.

— Tabitha Taylor

“It was catchy right away, but once she explained it, I fell in love with the idea,” he said.

The second alteration to the publication was the development of a logo, which was a “fun accident, ” Tabitha said. She realized how a blue finger print could make the new name resonate better with those in and out of the high school.

“A lot of high schoolers don’t have big circles they run in or anyone who really knows them. Writing down our stories is sometimes our only way at that age to feel seen. Fingerprints leave behind an identity,” quoted the 2011 graduate.

Tabitha is one of the many key figures the BluePrint plans to recognize in 2024 in celebration of 10 years as an online student newspaper. And though she was graduated by the time the publication went online, the impact of Tabitha’s time on staff is felt every day.

After blazing the path for The BluePrint’s future progressions and successes, Tabitha built a success story of her own. Living in New York City, she is Vice President at USI Insurance, on Madison Avenue, where she consults on middle market deals as a licensed commercial broker and risk advisor. 

Being a part of the small BluePrint staff taught Tabitha two “major” life lessons that are carried with her to this day.

She learned “how to write copy for a particular audience with a call to action,” which she does daily, but she owes her success to the second lesson:

“Being willing to give someone else credit and share the spotlight was something I desperately needed taught at seventeen,” said Tabitha.

Despite all of her years spent in the city that never sleeps, she can still recall the “hallmark moment” of holding the first printed issue of the reimagined newspaper.

“We were all huddled in the main office copier room, putting together everything as fast as we could, still learning to gel as a team…but when we all held a physical copy, we knew it was something special,” Tabitha remembered. 

Thirteen years later, The BluePrint has morphed into an award-winning publication, consistently earning many state and national accolades each year. Without the work of Tabitha and the four seniors of 2011, the direction of the newspaper would be unknown. 

“We’ll get 20 students in the BluePrint class now and others who can’t take the class but want to do pictures or write reviews or be a part of it somehow,” Mr. Naylor said. “But back then, it was just five girls in a second period class, and there wasn’t a guarantee it would even make it back the next year as a class. We owe everything to those kids.”

Tabitha said there is a lot students can take away from a class like BluePrint.

“Chances to be a part of something like The BluePrint gave me the chance to try my hand at so many things. Some were flops, some felt like magic. That’s the beauty of this publication and what it can teach students,” shared Tabitha.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Hess, Editor in Chief
Olivia Hess Grade 12 Years in BluePrint: 2 What I hope to do this year: I hope we can make it back to the Keystone Awards! Outside activities: Basketball, FCA, Renaissance, Key Club, NHS Why I took BluePrint: I had so many cool opportunities last year, and I like being able to shine the spotlight on the people in our school.

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