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2021-22 Performance Review

My favorite room, filled with my favorite people. And Ada, staring dead into camera. WTF Ada. Photo by Oliver Fox.

As I sit down to write what will be my final article for the Post, I find myself thinking of my first. In 2019, fresh out of Intro to Journalism, I wrote about a new policy in the student handbook that prohibited skaters from hanging out at the curbs by the cafeteria after school. For my first article, I selected a news article with two interviews—one with skaters, who are a joy, but nonetheless difficult to interview, and one with one of our Vice Principals. I remember being truly terrified at the concept of asking questions about a policy that he likely had a hand in making. Would he be offended? Would he get angry? Would the interview flow like a conversation, like everyone says it should, or would it get weird and awkward? However, none of these things happened, and the interview went fine. I got my quote, and I wrote a decent article. I’m sure if I looked at it now I would hate it, but it represented the beginning of my love for the Post, which is ultimately more important.

Now here I am, two and a half years later, writing as one of the Editors in Chief (EICs). I decided I would look back on this year, as it was our first since lockdown, and was more full of unknowns than usual. We had a staff that, for the most part, had never met in person, never used Adobe InDesign (our page building software and eternal enemy), and never performed their roles. I was in California for the summer, so I didn’t know what kind of decisions were being made while I wasn’t around, and what I would have to learn or catch up on. I showed up on day one of class not knowing the names of our editors. I had only attended four Late Nights before this, now I had to have answers to questions about them, AND attend one that I had no understanding of how to run. I was understandably terrified. Then the year began.

The first sign that this year was going to be exceptional was our new director of marketing, Oscar Ponteri, who you may know from posting INCESSANTLY about Tina Kotek all hours of day and night. As an EIC team, we didn’t really know what to expect from him, and sort of assumed he would be sticking to the example set by prior directors, a mold he instead chose to shatter. We have increased the reach of the Post by a remarkable amount due almost exclusively to his efforts, and he stands out as someone who I cannot thank enough.

Next up on the list are our editors, most of whom had never used InDesign and were scared half to death at the thought of checking in with a writer. The sigh of relief that went through the room when we explained that we weren’t going to publish a physical paper for Issue One was almost troubling. Luckily for us, they stepped up, and before I had even finished learning their names, we had left the second Editors Late Night early, a feat that would not be repeated for the rest of the year. Not long after that, we had to make a call on not publishing physical copies of Issue Four. We sent a text late at night, which was addressed to each of them correctly, regardless of what they might say in the future, asking if they would be okay with canceling that cycle’s Late Nights, and they all responded with concern for our health as an organization, and reassurances that they would be down for whatever we decided. I think this was when it was solidified in my mind that the year might be okay. 

Fast forward to March, and the EIC team had to interview and build next year’s staff, which is jokingly referred to as our one job. While interviewing everyone, we saw excitement and passion that was truly inspiring. Everyone had ideas for how to improve their sections, and everyone seemed excited about the upcoming school year. They saw it as an opportunity to really up their game.

To put a neat little bow on it, this year’s Post staff went above and beyond by almost every metric and measurement. I could not have asked for a better staff to manage, and I could not have asked for better articles to edit. I can honestly say that I am truly happy handing off the reins to this new staff, having already seen them go to work. The only sadness I feel is that I won’t be in the room to see what they do. To all the staff that came before us, I hope we made you proud, and to next year’s staff, I wish you the best of luck, but I know that you will not need it.

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