Pictured above is USA Today’s national news reporter, Celina Tebor. Tebor is a Franklin alum and has had an inspiring journey to get to where she is now. Photo via Celina Tebor.

Celina Tebor, a Franklin High School alum and a former member of The Franklin Post, now holds the impressive title of USA Today’s breaking news anchor. Tebor was born and raised in Portland Oregon, starting her education at All Saints, a private K-8 school. She then continued on to Central Catholic where she made the decision to transfer over to Franklin High School for her junior and senior years. While enrolling in classes, Tebor was placed in Intro to Journalism with Ms. Kirsch, which seemed to be a mistake at the time. Before this class, Tebor had no experience or ambition for journalism. Tebor’s very first article ever was about the differences between private and public education. “Eliot Brody, who was the Editor [in Chief] for The Franklin Post, took a chance on me, and put [my] story on the front page of the newspaper,” remarks Tebor. From then on she was hooked. She ended up forecasting for The Franklin Post the next year and quickly became an avid member of the community. 

After graduating from Franklin in 2017, Tebor went on to the University of San Diego to further her education, where she studied political science and communication. During her four years of undergrad, Tebor was an active member of her school newspaper. She states that “[being a part of the newspaper] really connected me with my community and let me help to educate our campus on what was happening every week.” Tebor recommends that any student wanting to pursue journalism gets involved with the school paper due to all the amazing skills and valuable lessons it provides. While in college, Tebor was part of many internships and organizations as well. 

Tebor’s first internship was as a production assistant for OPB. After this experience she realized how much she loved reporting for her own community and came to realize that she wanted to pursue journalism as a career. She then went off to intern at the San Diego Union Tribune, where she wrote and did a lot of immigration and enterprise work. “This was the first time I [felt] like I was able to see how much of an impact I can make in people’s lives. And how important it was for me to tell the stories through journalism,” Tebor states. Throughout this position she worked closely with the chief immigration reporter, and together they investigated the US asylum system to see what worked and what didn’t. One of the biggest eye opening experiences for Tebor was talking one on one with “people who had risked their entire lives to come across the country just to get a shot at a chance of coming to the US.” 

Next on Tebor’s list of impressive accomplishments was getting another internship at The Oregonian through the Asian American Journalist Association. Just like all of her other positions, Tebor had an amazing experience. Seeing as she was working on breaking news in the summer of 2020, there was a lot happening. “There was the pandemic which had started in February, which was in full swing. Before we had vaccines, before we really knew what COVID was. It was also the summer where protests happened every single night in downtown Portland after George Floyd was killed,” she says. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Oregonian at the time was very understaffed. Tebor, as an intern, stepped up and took the role of a full time reporter. She was able to cover lots of groundbreaking events, which was really fundamental work and helped shape her to be the journalist she is today. During Tebor’s last year of college, she then went on to intern for the LA Times where she focused on foreign and national news. This was Tebor’s first position reporting on national topics which helped her dramatically, seeing as she is now covering national news for USA Today. 

In 2021, Tebor graduated from college and was recruited by none other than USA Today. Originally an editor reached out asking Tebor to apply for a fellowship, which is a one year contract that can be renewed at a further date. Now, eight months later, she has been promoted to being a reporter and handles national news. “[You work very closely with your peers.] I’ve been given a lot of really cool opportunities that you can’t get in other careers,” she says. Overall, Tebor is very happy with where she landed and sees herself staying for a while. In a couple years, down the road, she could see herself taking on an editorial role, but as of right now she’s enjoying her role as a reporter.  

Outside of the reporting world, Tebor was an avid member of her Filipino club in college. She says that “it taught me so much about my culture and it gave me incredible new friends.” She really emphasizes how important it was for her to have this outlet. Coming from Portland, where the city is predominately White, it was eye opening to be surrounded by so many people who were similar to her in terms of race. A true Oregonian, Tebor loves spending time outdoors, and sees it as an outlet to get away from her work. As much as she loves journalism, it can get deep and difficult at some points. Being a national news anchor comes with exposure to lots of tragedies. She finds herself on the beach frequently. In high school she was a part of the volleyball team, and still practices her skill on the sandy courts of the LA beaches. 

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