The Girl on The Screen


Hannah Osmann, Editor-in-Chief

A student reads from the script as they sit in front of the green screen, with a smile on their face and a camera looking at them streaming to a computer just a couple of feet away. They report on the news that was gathered the previous couple of weeks, and as the person reads off the script they had prepared for that day, an array of things happen behind the scenes in order to make it work as planned. The sound of hushed whispers can be heard from the other side of the room, quiet enough as to not be heard through the microphones on the anchors. 


This is what it is like in the Erie newsroom every time they shoot the news, and over the past four years Danay Schara has been known as the student in front of the green screen. 


Senior this year, Schara had her last day of high school on Wednesday, May seventeenth. Her direction is now due to Kansas where she will study big animal medicine at Kansas State University. 


Kansas, though, is very different from where her story began. Schara was born in Fort Lupton Colorado, and is currently living there now. She has grown up on a farm for much of her life, which is where her love for big animals comes from. She says that she has loved big animals really since she was born, and throughout the school over the past several Danay Schara has been known as the girl who loves horses. According to her, “I have been riding horses since before I could walk and talk.” 


Different from her lifelong tenure with horses and other big animals, Schara over her four years at Erie High School was able to grow and be herself in a different way: reporting for Erie News. 


When Schara started within the class during her freshman year, it wasn’t long before she became an anchor, and took a prominent role within the class. “She kind of found a niche.” Brandon Bird, News teacher at Erie High explains. He says that from the very beginning she has been one to try to find a way to help in whichever way she could. 


Schara recalls what it was like that year as she says, “it just kind of stuck with me… it’s how I made most of my friends.” For Schara in many ways it has been one of her most favorite classes, as when no work was needed to get done the class was able to spend time and connect with each other. “It not only became just a class, it became a little family.” Schara says. 


One of the main things that Schara was able to learn from being within the class was getting out of her comfort zone. As she was given the opportunity to gather information for the stories that she was assigned at any given time she was able to enjoy, “getting to know people more than just their face.” She comments. As Schara was then able to learn more about people that she wouldn’t have normally learned about, she also was able to learn a major thing she says. “People go much deeper than what you see them as.” 


Every student that spends such an extensive time within the Erie News program leaves an impact, and according to Bird, students like that show long term progress and growth, as well as areas in which he can improve. “Ultimately, it has an impact on all students,” he reflects. 


While some students who are in the program all four years might only take a yearbook for example, Schara has been able to broaden her understanding, as she took every class and type of news outside of yearbook [class]. “She really has become a jack of all trades.” Bird says. 


This year Danay Schara was in the Erie News Class, which compared to the class has mixed the Erie Tiger Times, and the broadcast news portions together. This has given Schara to become someone well versed in many different sections of news as she both wrote news stories as well as filmed news and created videos for the news. 


Not only that, but Schara has also been able to grow in ways that reach beyond the class. To begin with, she is known by many as someone who just is herself. In other words, “she’s Danay and she owns it.” Bird comments, as he recalls that she has never been one to succumb to peer pressure.


This stands true according to Schara’s close friends outside of class as well. Natalie Baker, one of Schara’s closest friends says, “[Her biggest personality traits are] that she’s loud, knows what she wants, and she’s confident.” Baker and Schara’s friendship is deep, and while they have only been friends for just over a year Schara has made lasting impressions in Baker’s life. Baker adds, “she is one of my favorite people.” 


Baker also says that Schara is one of the most hardworking people that she knows. Schara explains this as well saying, “I was always taught that hard work is how you get to where you wanna be.” After saying that Schara also reflects that as she is beginning to leave in the pursuit of big animal vet, understanding the principle that her hard work is what has been carrying her through. 


While it has been said that Schara has a “vibrant” personality outside of the class, Bird says that she has really grown within the Erie News class as well. He says that Schara, since freshman year has grown as a leader, pushing kids to be their absolute best in the class. “She has grown in her toughness…and her refusal to let peers get away with not doing anything.” Bird then continues on to say, “some of that is leadership, some of that is growing up and finding your place in this world.” 


As Schara graduates from Erie High school, she leaves a legacy behind. She will do this among the other seniors as they take those uplifting steps across the stage and get handed their diploma, the culmination of the past four quintessential years of their lives. As Schara walks across that stage in May during the ceremony for the class of 2023, she will be leaving some of her favorite teachers and friends behind in order to chase after her own adult life. 


While perhaps sad, the situation is rather bittersweet, especially according to the ones that might miss her the most. “I think she’ll do great because she has a strong work ethic.” Bird says thinking about the subject. Baker, also in reflection says, “I’m really happy for her because I know she’s gonna strive and do well.”