Grateful for my opportunities


I’m Hayden Swope, the new editor-in-chief of The Rocket Press. Over the past two years, I’ve been fortunate enough to get involved with Rocket Productions.

My freshman year I was in a class called “Digital Media Design and Production” that put together the school’s yearbook. I had been thinking about what I wanted to do after high school, and when I walked into class with Mr. Browning asking me if I’d be interested in broadcasting, my life changed. 

During the Covid shutdown, I was watching the NFL draft with my parents. I remember sitting there thinking, “Hey, this might be something I’m interested in,” but didn’t think anything like that could come my way. Coincidentally, the very next Monday, Mr. Browning asked if I would join his broadcast class. I remember my mouth dropping, getting an odd look from Browning, and everything clicking in that moment. 

I started my sophomore year taking both Video Production and Yearbook. I quickly caught on to how they ran things in the broadcast world, and fit in well with the other reporters. I immediately knew it was for me. 

Browning saw something in me that I didn’t, and gave me the opportunity to host a show called The Rocket Coach’s Corner. Shortly after, I took over the sports segment of our weekly show Wake Up Rose Hill.

During the second semester of my sophomore year, I was a special contributor to the Rocket Press. After writing my first story, I was urged to join the news magazine staff my junior year, and fill the shoes of last year’s editor Sydney LaKous. 

In early March, Browning told me of an internship for VYPE Kansas. I immediately took the position and started writing for the magazine. Looking back on it now, I can confidently say it has truly changed my life for the better. 

I wasn’t able to write more than two stories for The Rocket Press, so I was beyond nervous to be writing for a professional magazine. With the guidance of Browning, which I wouldn’t be here without, I successfully wrote my first six stories for VYPE. 

With the Coach’s Corner, the sports segment, and VYPE, I thought I had enough on my plate. Though towards the end of the year, I came up with the show called The Player’s Lounge, which started to air at the beginning of September. 

After high school, I hope to attend a college with a good journalism program. While I am undecided on what college I would like to attend, I can only hope that one day you will see me on your TVs. Until then, I have a lot of people to make proud, and I can’t wait to see what these last two years hold.