The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Lisa Rossa: More Than An Adviser

Head Advisor, Lisa Rossa.

After eight years of being the adviser of the Niles West News, Lisa Rossa has decided to step down. Rossa became head adviser in 2016 after Evelyn Lauer left the position.  

Although Rossa had no experience as a professional journalist, she took journalism classes while working towards her undergraduate degree. After graduating, she first went into publishing, specifically children’s books, but she was unhappy there and ended up switching careers. She was influenced by teachers she knew around her to try student-teaching, and fell in love with the job. 

For the past eight years Rossa and her assistant adviser, Rachel Gross, have proved to be a great team. 

“Our friendship and working relationship really bloomed in the last 8 years. In a lot of ways she’s my work soulmate. I feel comfortable sharing with her all the ups and downs of this work, not just advising the newspaper but just being an English teacher, but that has extended beyond work and into our personal lives,” Gross says. 

Students past and present have reflected on the impacts of the Niles West News and the importance of having a teacher like Rossa throughout high school.

“Ms. Rossa impacted my time on NWN in countless ways. She has a really good knack for realizing people’s potential and giving them the best tools to achieve that and I think she did that for me, and I saw how she did that for a lot of other students. She inspired and helped me grow as a leader and a person as well,” former Editor-in-Chief Ella Lindemann (Class of 2023) said.

One thing that drew Rossa to the Niles West News was the unique position of advising students.   

“It’s a slightly different relationship; it’s more like a coach to a sport than a teacher to a classroom. I can teach you the skills, the ethics and the practices, and I can work with you on the writing, but you have to go out and play,” Rossa said. 

Her students benefit from this coach-player relationship.

“She really wanted to see her students grow, so as the adviser of NWN, she would give opinions when you asked for them, otherwise she would let you steer the ship as you wish,” former Editor-in-Chief Gloria Kosir (Class of 2022) said. 

Rossa’s impact on students reaches beyond their years on staff, and aside from her teaching style, students are drawn to her personality. 

“She also cares a lot about her students, like almost every day after class right when the bell rings I hear her go, ‘Ok bye guys, love you,’ and I love that about her. She obviously, wants the publication to be good and she wants us to write the stories that we need to write. She’s just so nice and so sweet and I’m definitely going to miss her,” junior and incoming co-Editor-in-Chief Leila Meseljevic said. 

“She gets us and she sees us and that’s something I always really loved about her is that she knows how to put her foot down for sure but she also knows how to listen to you and hear you out and see who you are,” senior Bryanna Ayala said.  

For students who joined the Niles West News in the beginning of high school, Rossa helps smooth the adjustment to being on staff. 

“I was super shy when I first joined, but she just made the NWN seem like such a loving community and made it a comfortable class where I could be who I want to be in. She kind of helped me figure out what my standing is at this school. And going from someone who is super introverted to being able to talk to people whenever, I would say I give all my credit to her for that because she helped a lot with that. She gave me so much motivation and she’s someone I want to be when I grow up,” junior and incoming co-Editor-in-Chief Khadija Khan said. 

Rossa’s impact on students goes beyond teaching, including her sense of style and personality in the classroom. 

“Something I will remember the most about Ms. Rossa is her outfits, she’s super stylish, and she’s so classily stylish and her outfits are always so cute. I told her once last year, I was like, ‘You’re like my role model, in the future I hope to dress like you.’ And she was like, ‘Oh stop,’” senior and Social Media Manager Katarina Pljevaljcic said. 

“She is such a fun teacher to be around and bring such positivity into every class. I know that when I walk into second period every day, she will bring a smile to my face,” senior and Managing Editor Gia Bexes said.

Former students have a unique perspective of Rossa’s impact once they have left Niles West. Sometimes they don’t recognize her impact until after they’ve left the classroom. 

“One thing I wish I told her but never did was that she was always so inspiring and probably the best teacher I had at Niles West. She made me more confident in my academic abilities and was someone I appreciated so much in high school but probably didn’t tell her enough,” former Social Media Manager Luca Hatzopoulos (Class of 2022) said. 

With Rossa stepping down, Gross will take over as Head Adviser after 11 years as Assistant Adviser. Gross is excited for the next step in her career, but will miss the presence of Rossa in the classroom in the future. 

“I feel really excited about the future of the publication, but Rossa and I really work as a team, and it’s going to be a tremendous loss for me. I will still consult with her all the time but I’m definitely going to miss the closeness of this working relationship,” Gross said.

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    alliMay 17, 2024 at 10:22 AM

    my queen ms. ross!!!