Isabella Scuteri: A surprising spark lit her fuse

By Russell Stern
Millennium High School

Growing up, Isabella Scuteri did not yet have an interest in journalism.

“As a kid, I never really watched the news,” said Isabella, a 17-year-old rising senior at Patchogue-Medford High School. “I didn’t really understand what was going on in the world at the time.” 

Surprisingly, she discovered her love for journalism because she had to meet a school requirement.

“When I was in ninth grade, I had to change my school schedule because it was wrong,” she said. “My guidance counselor told me I had two choices: I could either take astronomy or journalism; I ended up choosing journalism.”

Once she enrolled, journalism quickly became her favorite class. She consistently demonstrated her dedication to reporting by compiling a portfolio of articles published in her high school newspaper, The Red and Black.

Her first piece told the journey and success of Burt Young, a prominent actor from the “Rocky” series and Rodney Dangerfield’s “Back to School.” The interview showed how Young was not only an actor but also a man of broad talent.

Isabella also wrote a story that recalled the musical journey of the pop band “Why Don’t We,” which came together after its members performed in their hometowns. Little did she know that what seemed like a typical feature story would become an instant hit online.

“ ‘In the Limelight’ ” received 154 comments from all over the world on The Red and Black,” Isabella’s journalism teacher, Michele Sullivan said. “It is our most read story with 5,416 views.”  

Isabella’s hard work has certainly paid off.  Not only did she become co-editor for The Red and Blackbut she also was one of the few accepted into the Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society, an honors program that only admits skilled journalists.

“She is always willing to help others,” Sullivan said. “She is patient, creative and dedicated. She works tirelessly for both The Red and Black and Raider TV, our television station.” 

Being part of The Red and Black has motivated Isabella to consider a career in journalism. Now, as a member of the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists, Isabella’s passion for reporting not only continues to grow but motivates her to improve her skills and learn new things.

 “When I know that people are actively reading my work, I feel that people are genuinely interested by it,” she said. “It encourages me to keep brainstorming, to keep writing, to keep doing what I love.” 

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