In Selena we trust

Freshman photoj all-star De Jesus is on the short list of top MacJournalism contributors for this school year


Anna Bausman

In a rare moment in front of the camera, freshman Selena De Jesus dons the Uncle Sam gear to celebrate Amercia Day with photojournalism teacher Dave Winter. Photo by Anna Bausman.

Anna Bausman, guest reporter

11 p.m. Selena De Jesus sits down at the computer; her older brother and mother are sound asleep in the other room. The house is silent. Selena has just gotten back from her volleyball games. She begins sorting through the hundreds of photos she took.

11:30 p.m. She selects seven photos at a time and uploads them onto an email to send to Mr. Winter, the photojournalism teacher at McCallum. The mouse is clicking in the silence of the house. Each second feels like a minute. Selena has not yet figured out how to use, a website that stores photos. As Selena stares at the clock, willing it to stop, she regrets not learning how to do it.


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GLAZED AND PRAISED: Fifth-period photojournalism students Selena De Jesus, Dashel Beckett, Viv Osterweil, Izzy Wolf and Gracie Jones enjoyed thank-you doughnuts for the 111 photo credits the class earned on Macjournalism’s online platforms during the first six-week grading period. Fifth-period had a huge lead in the photoj class contest against the third- and fourth-periods, but the A-Day classes caught up after a slow start. “At first we all thought we were going to win,” De Jesus said, “but fourth period pulled off the impossible and beat us by one credit.” Fourth-period will enjoy a Chick-Fil-A lunch in appreciation for their 112 photo credits tomorrow. Third-period earned a respectable 90 during the first six weeks. Photos by Maeve McGeady and Olivia Capochiano. #dayinthelifeatmac #MACphotoj #photoj #macjournalism

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11:45 p.m. The Internet begins to slow. The loading sign seems to mock her as she waits for the attachments to load. Today is the last day of the first six weeks grading period of her freshman year. Her class trails fourth period but only by a few photo credits that she could earn if she can just send the emails in time. In order to win a breakfast party for her fifth period photojournalism class, she must send these photos.

12:07 a.m. Done! Selena glances at the clock, and her heart drops. Too late. She feels disappointed in herself. Only seven minutes too slow. The final score of the winner of the photojournalism competition was only one credit away, but it was too late to catch them.

Anna Bausman
Freshman Selena De Jesus on a assignment as the varsity volleyball topples the Reagan Raiders for a road victory on Oct. 12.

At most of the volleyball games, basketball games and other school events, it is very common to see Selena De Jesus standing on the side of the court, camera in her hands. She is always a comforting sight to many of the players.

“The teams get used to her taking pictures because she takes them so often,” Mr. Winter said. She gets better pictures because the players are just so relaxed. “They see Selena with the camera and they’re like ‘Oh! Of course.’”

Although she seems so comfortable taking pictures now, it wasn’t always that way.

“When I started, my pictures weren’t as good as they are now,” Selena says. “I used to take pictures of everything and everyone, but now I am more focused and get clearer pictures.”

As a photojournalist, taking pictures is not all Selena had to do. She also has to write captions, create stories and collect interviews from the people in her photos.

Selena De Jesus
Freshman Selena De Jesus earned an Interscholastic League Press Conference Individual Award in the print newspaper sports reaction category for this picture of the varsity girls celebrating their road victory over LBJ. Photo by Selena De Jesus.

According to Mr. Winter, “Selena’s biggest area of improvement has to be her caption writing.

“We used to have to work to get her captions up to speed with her photos,” Winter said but now, Selena goes the extra mile to help Mr. Winter out. “It’s super helpful. She just does it all. She knows how to get a really good quote from the players and collect all of the details from the game in order to write a good caption.”

Selena has only just started taking pictures this year. This hobby was never her first priority. Sports were. Playing volleyball, basketball, and track is already creating a busy schedule.

But Selena goes above and beyond! She stays after her games just to take pictures to support the Macjournalism Instagram and staff.

This isn’t even all that she does, she still has school! She is first and foremost a student who has to finish her homework, complete projects and study for quizzes and tests. In addition to being success on the court as a player and on the sideline as photographer, she has also excelled in the classroom.


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FIFTH TAKES THE THIRD: Fifth-period photojournalism students enjoyed the fruits of their photojournalistic labor today as they received a complimentary @chickfila breakfast for earning the most #macjournalism Insta credits for the previous grading period. It was a particularly close contest. Fourth period pulled to within one photo credit at 164-163 after school on Dec. 14, the last day of the third grading period. Photoj rock star Selena De Jesus covered the girls varsity basketball game against Lockhart and earned the credits that clinched the win for fifth. MVPs Anna Bausman and Kennedy Weatherby led the scoring effort racking up boys basketball credits throughout the grading period. Third and fourth period will try to supplant fifth period for #photoj supremacy in the fourth six weeks. Fourth period leads for the year with two wins to fifth period’s one. Photos by Dave Winter. #dayinthelifeatmac

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Selena led her class effort in the second six weeks grading period, but it wasn’t enough as her class again fell to fourth period. In the third six week grading period, her class held a narrow lead but fourth period was gaining on them. Late on Dec. 14, the last day of the grading period, fourth period pulled within to within one credit at 164-163.

Selena shut the door on the contest by covering the girls varsity basketball game against Lockhart, and no faulty computer problems were going to stop her this time.

Since then, she’s photographed track and field, the AVID cording ceremony and the fourth annual Ballet Folklorico quinceañera.

“She is just a dream student,” Winter said. “She goes so far beyond what the class requirements are. It makes you feel good about being a teacher when you have a student like that.”

We are posting this story today, the first day of spring semester finals for all students at McCallum, because it is also Selena’s birthday. Happy birthday, Selena, and thanks for being such a photoj rock star!