It’s Our Birthday!

Rebel Express Marks Two Years of Chugging Out Stories

The Rebel Express Staff got a birthday gift on Thursday.

The Rebel Express Staff got a birthday gift on Thursday.

Staff Report

It was born on a regular day in a Multimedia class, Oct. 27, 2020, when a bunch of very talented young people, and a few shy ones, agreed to start a school newspaper. As we were in the early days of Covid protocols, which prohibited the touching and passing of things, we went digital with a website. Then we held a poll to name it.

Some students wanted “The Tea,” as in “spill the…,” but we were fond of one that gave a not-so-subtle nod to the trains that are a regular part of our daily commute as well as the horns that are the soundtrack of our lives here in the River Parishes. Riverside is all about the trains.

And thus, The Rebel Express was born, a simple little SNO site with a handful of reluctant student journalists, a very talented future film maker, a master at digital art, and a “sure-why-not” editor. We did some good work that first year, dissecting our school’s lunch menu, trying to describe what virtual learning was really like, creating a get-well video for our then-principal who fought a tough battle against Covid, taking photos of students wearing masks.


The very first photo posted to The Rebel Express. (Mason Meyer)


We had big dreams, though — a morning news show, a podcast, more videos, in-depth stories, real journalism.

Then we went into quarantine. We did what we could.

We all looked forward to 2021, a year with fewer protocols and restrictions. Masks were optional. Social distancing was just recommended.

Then Hurricane Ida scored a direct hit on our community, our school, all of us. The school was closed for a month as we regrouped, made repairs and tried to find the new normal. Through it all, we continued to grow as a staff and as a site. We covered the rebuilding of our school and let everyone know we would be OK.

And we are.

Today The Rebel Express has a full staff of hard-workers who are cranking out stories, videos and other content. We have a weekly podcast, “Ramblin’ Rebels,” that is getting tremendous feedback from the community.  Soon our readers will meet a second team of podcasters. We have added a weekly “Rebel Roundup,” detailing upcoming events, and offering at least one corny joke, and we’ve just added “The Coach’s Corner,” where we can catch up with our coaches on a regular basis. This Friday we will debut our brand new Rebel Express t-shirts.

And soon we will welcome our 5,000th visitor to our site.

We thank each and every person who has ever stopped by to read a story, watch a video, listen to a podcast or just look at one of our photos. Without saying a word, you are acknowledging their hard work and encouraging them to continue to get better. We hope you will wish a happy birthday and many more to The Rebel Express. 


The First Four Founding Fathers of The Rebel Express, from left Zach Vicknair, Emile Graugnard III, Mason Meyer and Raphael Villereal. October, 2020. And the train.