About clay

Meet the Senior Editors: Mari Stanton and Julia Holmgren

Meet clay’s 2021-22 Senior Editors!


Mari already working on physics homework

Hey! I’m Mari Stanton, and I’m a senior from Colorado. This is my fifth year with TPS, and I’ll be taking AP Statistics, AP English Literature, AP Psychology, Anatomy & Physiology, Spanish 4, and College Contemporary World History. My third year with clay, I’ve also worked as the Open Mic editor and the Theology & Worldview editor. When I’m not sitting in front of the computer procrastinating on homework, you can find me training Brazilian jiu-jitsu, skiing, playing violin, singing along to country songs, taking unplanned naps at my desk, and eating too many snacks.

Julia practicing for TPS classes

Hi guys! I’m Julia Holmgren, and I’m a senior from New England, although my family and I frequently live abroad. This’ll be my sixth year with TPS and my third year with clay. I’m taking AP English Lit and Comp, AP Calc BC, and AP Physics with TPS, and AP Chem, AP World History Modern, and AP German elsewhere. In addition to competing in swimming and triathlons, I also enjoy backpacking, MMA, photography, playing the violin and piano, and planning phenomenal pranks for my family and friends.

In case you’re wondering about the photos, we unfortunately hit our awkward phases early. So these are the only decent photos we have of ourselves. Our apologies.

We’ve asked some of our staff members to ask us silly, serious, and interesting questions to help you all get to know us a bit better. Turns out, interviews are scary.

Charlie Su, Film Columnist: Just how much power do you have with your dictatorship over clay? And can we start a revolution to overthrow this evil regime of yours?
The amount of power we have shall remain confidential, but we can assure you that no revolution could overthrow the Senior Editors. Mwahahaha

Grace Wang, Teacher Spotlight Columnist: What is the first thing that you usually think when you wake up in the morning?
Mari: “I don’t wanna be awake right now.” I usually hit the snooze button immediately afterwards.
Julia: To be honest, I’m typically too tired to think of anything when I first wake up, but I believe I must subconsciously think of food or about the sunlight streaming in from my windows.  

Erika Yee, Girls’ Student Spotlight Columnist: If you could excel in any two instruments, what would they be?
Mari: Definitely the didgeridoo. And…maybe the sousaphone, because carrying that thing around would probably help build some muscles.
Julia: I’ve always wanted to play the tuba and contrabass; imagine waking up your family with the sounds of those instruments. Amazing.

Joie Koo, Craft Columnist: What are your favorite foods? And what food would you never choose to eat?
Mari: Chocolate, fried chicken, pizza, barbecue, and sushi are my all-time favorites. And I would happily banish peanut butter from the face of this earth forever.
Julia: My favorite food is definitely candy, but since people are always telling me that “candy isn’t a food,” pizza would be a close second. Peas, broccoli, and papayas are, with no doubt, some of the most repulsive foods, and I avoid them at all costs. 

Emma Martin, Poetry Columnist: Do you prefer the mountains or the beach, and why?
Mari: Well, I basically live in the mountains already, so I’d have to say the beach if I were choosing a vacation destination. But I definitely like the mountains better, especially in the winter. Who doesn’t like sliding down a snowy slope at crazy speeds while balancing precariously on two boards?
Julia: I love the mountains; they offer the best views, skiing, scents, and hiking. Although the beach can be beautiful too. So I prefer both. (; 

Kate Martin, News Editor: Ronald Reagan said you can know a lot about someone by their way of eating jelly beans. How do you eat your jelly beans?
Mari: You know that game Beanboozled? Go through the box and pick out your favorite jelly bean flavors and save them for yourself. Then get a bunch of your mortal enemies together and watch them try to swallow the worst possible jelly bean flavors in existence as you happily stuff handfuls of nice flavors into your mouth.
Julia: Jellybeans!!! My favorite. I usually grab a handful and stuff them all into my mouth at once, enjoying the wide variety of flavors: cappuccino to buttered popcorn. However, if I’m feeling stressed, I eat one jellybean at a time. Also, how cool is it that “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts”?!

Joshua Wideman, Boys’ Student Spotlight Columnist: I am told by my sources that the Senior Editors are paid a salary in gummy bears. Can you confirm this information?
That is highly classified information. *aggressively chomps on gummy bears*

Hope Berry, Cooking Columnist: If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be, and what would you say to them?
Mari: I’d want to meet the entire Fellowship from Lord of the Rings and ask Legolas how and where he learned to climb up an elephant’s leg.
Julia: I’ve always wanted to meet Charlotte and Templeton from Charlotte’s Web; I would saunter up to their barn and greet Charlotte with “salutations” and tell Templeton to quit the selfishness. 

Nathanael Choi, Arts & Culture Editor: If computer/keyboard functions could translate into superpowers, would you rather have “control Z” or “control C”? What would you do with it?
Mari: I would want “control C” so I can replay all my good memories. Like the time I got a massive nosebleed onstage…or when I got lost walking around the block…or when I spilled coffee all over the airport floor…you know, the fun moments in life.
Julia: I would definitely want to have “control Z” powers so that I could undo and redo anything, like all those exams, the time I did the most epic wipe-out in front of the entire college ski-team, or my first trumpet recital where I forgot my music and my shoes…

Amaya Leiby, Bible Spotlight Columnist: What is your favorite quote and why?
Mari: My favorite quote is, “Never let the fear of striking out stop you from playing the game” by Babe Ruth. And my favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 40:31.
Julia: My favorite Bible verse is Psalm 118:24, since it reminds me to be grateful for each and every day. Any quote by Dr. Seuss is my favorite, especially “You’re off to great places..Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.”

 Bronwyn Dix, Serial Story Columnist: If you could create a space for yourself of your own design, what would it look like?
Mari: I would buy a really cute turquoise pickup truck and fill the truck bed with fuzzy blankets, pillows, and snacks. Then I can drive wherever I feel like going and look at the stars or jump into a lake or something–all with country music blasting in the background.
Julia: I would build a treehouse right at the top of a pine tree, so I could have both beautiful views of my surroundings and the aroma of pine needles. Inside my house I would keep plenty of beanbags, candy, good books, and speakers (which would blast solely country music and Vivaldi). I would, of course, have a zipline attached to my treehouse, so if I ever felt the need to restock on candy or say hello to my friends, I could zip on down.

Maia Gaskovski, Arts & Culture Editor: What is one unique clothing item you cannot live without?
Mari: Definitely gym shorts and sweatpants. I refuse to wear anything that’s not comfy.
Julia: Hairbands. These are an absolute necessity, and if they’re not on my wrist, they’re in my hair; when they’re not in my hair, they’re on my wrist. 

Samantha Carollo, Satire Columnist: You’ve heard of a spirit animal. What would you say is your spirit fruit?
Mari: My spirit fruit would be a watermelon. They’re always at the party, which I wish I could say about myself.
Julia: My spirit fruit would be a tomato, because they’re absolutely delicious (especially when  you eat them like an apple.) Also, I get sunburned super easily, and when I do, the resemblance between a tomato and me is startling. 

Sasha Kuhlman, International Correspondence Columnist: If you were a Marvel villain, what would your backstory be?
Mari: Can I be a good guy instead? Maybe Captain America?
Julia: I’ve never actually seen a Marvel movie, but according to my best friend, Google, Loki is a Marvel villian? 

Hadleigh Gleeson, Church History Columnist: What is your favorite TPS course that you have ever taken?
Mari: Mrs. Yagel’s Advanced Composition! By the way, Section 1 is the best, and that is final.
Julia: Either Mr. Crosby’s U.S. Military History or Dr. Rathmell’s AP Psych! 

Laura Cervantez, Visual Arts Columnist: If you could require that everyone eat a certain food every day, what would it be?
Mari: I’d say everyone should eat several bell peppers a day. As long as y’all eat all the bell peppers in the world, I won’t have to choke another one down for the rest of my life.
Julia: I think everyone should eat a carrot every day; Ben Franklin said “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,”  but I say “A carrot a day keeps the doctor away.”

Holly Erickson, Archaic Culture Columnist: If you could become literally anything while keeping (or growing) your intellect, what would it be?
Mari: I’d become an invisible version of my smarter self. Then I can sneak around and see what people are talking about, but I’d also be smart.
Julia: I would like to become a fly-swatter-immune-long-living fly; I could then buzz around, annoy people, and listen in on conversations. It’s perfect!

Emma Grob, Unusual Arts Columnist: If your lives went perfectly to plan, what would your future look like?
Mari: I’m going to interpret this as “What do you want to be when you grow up?” if I ever manage to grow up. I’m looking at going into physical therapy, and I would totally want to live in a place with easy access to good food.
Julia: If life went perfectly, I would own two dogs, a Newfoundland and a Chocolate Lab, live in either Norway or Qatar, and be an emergency physician or a civil engineer. 

Dianna Pledger, Open Mic Editor: If you had to pick an unusual building to live in, what would you pick and why?
Mari: I’d live in an airport because those buildings have everything. I can take a nap in the first-class lounge, grab some food in Terminal B, people-watch at Gate 32C, and even go mini-golfing at some airports!
Julia: I’d live in a museum! I could walk around all day looking at artifacts and art, dining in the cafe, and stocking up on cool t-shirts from the gift-shop.  

Iris Woodall, Health/Fitness Columnist: How would you describe yourself?
Mari: My MBTI is ENFP, and that pretty much sums me up.
Julia: Honestly, my MBTI and Enneagram describe me pretty accurately: I’m an ESFJ and 7w6.

Cary Didden, Cartoonist: Do you have a state or country that you would love to visit?
Mari: I really want to do a WWII tour of Europe–basically starting in southern England and touring through France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.
Julia: I’ve always wanted to go on a hiking trip through Scandinavia and see the Northern Lights there. I also would love to travel to New Zealand, South Africa, and Qatar.  

Adam Quantz, Humor Columnist: What’s your favorite Veggie Tales song?
We prefer to eat our cucumbers and tomatoes, not watch them dance across our TV screens. Salad is healthy, right?

Welcome to clay, everyone!


Image Credit: Julia Holmgren


  1. The interview was beautiful XD Great to know more about y’all!

  2. the q&a is absolutely hilarious!

  3. We must begin the revolution before it’s too late

    • “We prefer to eat our cucumbers and tomatoes, not watch them dance across our TV screens. Salad is healthy, right?”

      SACRILEGE! We must revolt! Band together and depose these Veggie haters before they can corrupt more innocent minds!

  4. THOSE PICTURES AKSJDFHDKJ absolute gold 🤣 also the title in the link 😂😂

  5. This is amazing! and those pictures….priceless! It’s gonna be an epic year! God bless you both!

  6. Loved the interviewXD and the baby pictures were so cute!

  7. love the intervieww, it is absolutely hilarious bahhaha XD

  8. Yo, I think one of you knew my older brother Andrew last year

  9. *long round of applause* Congrats guys! Happy tyranny! And wow that’s a lot of AP classes 👏🔥 😎

  10. “benevolent dictatorship”????

  11. Mari: Mrs. Yagel’s Advanced Composition! By the way, Section 1 is the best, and that is final.

    Pardon my interruption, but I beg to differ. The best AC section came a year before yours did. It was so awesome, in fact, that almost all the members have graduated and someday you’ll see us in the news =D

    Ok, just kidding; y’all do have a claim to awesomeness, but seriously, please define key terms like “best” before you make claims like that; an ambiguous argument isn’t very useful.

    • Oh my gosh Ethan 😂😭 I agree tho our section was the best! Btw hi mari!!! Miss seeing you in class!

  12. I’m excited to serve under your benevolent dictatorship! 😜

  13. That was fun to get to know more about y’all! Y’all’s answers to the question, what characters would you meet and say to them were hilarious.

  14. Julia how could you, peas and broccoli are the best!
    I kid you not, I love those xD

  15. Can’t wait to see what this year brings for y’all!

    God Bless and Good Luck!

    Here’s to a good year! *raises arm with glass of punch* And to good times, and to those times that aren’t so good that make us a tad stronger and give us a tad more story to tell.
    *Clink n’ Drink*

  17. This made my day XD. So glad to be working with you both this year!

  18. This interview is brilliant. I can’t wait to work with you guys this year!

  19. LOL. I don’t think I can sum up how good this is.
    Between the pictures and Q&A, it is absolutely priceless.

    Have a great year!

  20. haha, this is hilarious! Can’t wait for the next year with our new benevolent dicta…… new senior editors!

  21. This is great! Go Mari!!

  22. Yay, Mari and Julia!! You will do amazing! Can’t wait to see what you come up with;)

  23. Hahah i escaped Juju’s dictatorship by 1 year…the hair on my chinny chin chin

  24. “Suess”?

  25. I’ve never been skiing 😭😭😭

    Wish I have tho