Some of my most favorite memories this school year consist of an array of bracelets, flower patterned converse, a Batman backpack, and photos on social media sporting Instagram’s Lo-Fi bordered filter.
In August of 2018, The Chart staff gained a new adviser. She was an alum of Missouri Southern, and had been an editor at The Chart when she was a student.
In addition to being our new advisor, Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller is also the Managing Editor of two Oklahoma newspapers, The Grove Sun and The Delaware County Journal.
I remember meeting her in Starbucks, one of her top choices for meeting places. I had just been hired as Editor-in-Chief, and hardly knew what to expect.
We met and ordered our drinks, then started talking, both about our lives and about work. At some point, she showed me her photo form the 90s and we both snickered (she later posted about it on Facebook too).
That day, as we talked, it was a bit overwhelming, but it’s nothing compared to a day in Kaylea’s life. On top of managing her Oklahoma papers, she travels down to Joplin every Wednesday night to help us produce each week’s paper, and stays with us late into the night until everything is PDF’d and ready to send to the printer.
Not only that, but she works with us, helping us with page design, editing stories, and improving our journalism skills as well as our growth as people.
We’ve all learned so much from Kaylea. One of the things that sticks with me whenever I’m writing is to make sure to write out phrases like University officials, because “the University is an inanimate object, it can’t do anything.”
I also love that she captures meetings with a selfie. Whether it’s the end of production night or travels at 4 in the morning, on our way to Louisville, Kentucky, she’s there with the front-facing phone camera, ready to save and document what’s going on.
Along with helping us become better writers and editors, she’s for us individually too. There have been so many times when both our plates are full, but she still reminds me to take a deep breath, telling me we will get there.
As much as Kaylea has impacted our lives, I like to think we’ve impacted hers as well. One of the times that I think of especially is one of the days when school was cancelled because of snow.
It was a Thursday. I remember waking up, hearing that school was cancelled, and passing out. Later in the day, I woke up again and saw that I had a message from Kaylea. It read “You are rubbing off on me. I woke up to the ice and I think ooooh that would be a good pic.”
These are the types of things that Kaylea does. She is kind, caring, incredibly hardworking and passionate about what she does.
Over the past few months, she has been so helpful and encouraging to us, and I couldn’t have asked for a better adviser to work alongside this past year.
So thank you to Kaylea, our Oklahoma Lois Lane, for everything. You’ve been there for us through the thick and thins of this year, and it means the world to us.
We love you!