Octagon, Student Council, Medallion introduce new positions for 2017-18 school year

(Graphic by Chardonnay Needler)

The Octagon

A triumvirate has returned to the Octagon for the first time since 2013-14, with next year’s print editors-in-chief being juniors Annya and Katia Dahmani and Sonja Hansen.

And next year there will be two online editors-in-chief – junior Sahej Claire and sophomore Chardonnay Needler.

According to adviser Patricia Fels, the workload for the online edition has surpassed what one person can handle.

“(Current online editor-in-chief Sonja Hansen and I) would be reading stories until late at night or early in the morning since we’re now publishing three to four (stories) per day,” Fels said.

“It was too much for a single person.”

Fels and the current print editors-in-chief, seniors Adam Dean and Marigot Fackenthal, also created some new positions.

Sophomores Mohini Rye and Allison Zhang will be design editors in charge of making sure each issue is aesthetically cohesive.

Another new position is media/broadcast editor, which will be filled by Jake Longoria. His assistants will be junior Bryce Longoria and freshman David Situ.

Fels and the editors-in-chief created the media/broadcast editor to enhance and expand the multimedia on the Octagon website.

According to Fels, adding “something extra” to online stories – even those that run in the print – was one of the critiquer’s major suggestions at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in April.

“We want to increase the audio and video online because that’s where news is going,” Fels said.

The new print editors-in-chief will be dividing the work and writing more stories, Hansen said.

Annya added that one of their main goals will be to make the process of running the print and online easier for the adviser who replaces Fels after she retires.

To accomplish this, all five editors-in-chief and Fels will give lessons in the elective to the underclassmen, rotating every class.

(Graphic by Chardonnay Needler)

Student Council 

As for Student Council, junior Nina Dym will be the president, and junior Harkirat Lally will be the vice president.

And this year, unlike years previous, class representatives will have more responsibilities, Dym said.

At the top of Dym’s priority list is an idea she and adviser Patricia Jacobsen thought of early this year – having a fun event every other Friday.

The leaders of these activities, ranging from group games to free hot chocolate, will be senior class representatives Jake Longoria and Nico Burns; junior class representatives Luca Procida and Tori Van Vleck; sophomore class representatives Jackson Margolis, Garrett Shonkwiler and Rebecca Waterson; and the freshman class representatives, who will be chosen in the fall.

Student Council is also replacing the events chair position with a new dance chair position, which sophomore Monique Lonergan will fill.

Jacobsen said Lonergan’s skillsets led to the creation of the new chair.

“(Lonergan) is wonderful at planning events, but I didn’t want her to be events chair since she has so many other things (Sacramento Children’s Chorus, ballet, professional theater) going on,” Jacobsen said.

She said the events chair used to be in charge of all dances; now that job is big enough to have its own chair.

“(Lonergan) will be in charge of booking the venue and the DJ and planning the dance,” Dym said.

Dym said that she and Lally will plan the other events, like the Ancil Hoffman picnic and Rocktoberfest.

All other operations carried out by Student Council will be through the spirit chair (freshman Monet Cook), communications chair (freshman Briana Davies) and finance chair (sophomore Blake Lincoln).

(Graphic by Chardonnay Needler)


Next year’s editors-in-chief of Medallion, juniors Nina Dym and Smita Sikaria, will bring two major changes.

For one, they’ll stop using the yearbook-specific publishing company Walsworth and instead use Friesens, which will allow them to have fewer deadlines and better sports coverage.

“With Walsworth we had five deadlines, with sports’ deadlines being before the sport’s end,” Dym said.

Having the deadlines closer to the end of the year will translate into better sports coverage, Dym said.

Dym and adviser Tom Wroten saw Friesens, half the price of Walsworth, at the JEA/NSPA convention.

Their contract with Friesens will also end their use of Walsworth’s online design program, which prevented Medallion from using the more versatile Adobe InDesign.

Next year, Medallion will use Google Drive and InDesign, with the InDesign files stored on a hard drive.

In addition, the organizational structure will change.

The underclassman staffers will be assigned to a department leader, either for design, (Dym and sophomore Yanele Ledesma), managing (junior Esme Bruce-Romo), copy (junior Nico Burns), Photoshop (Carlos Nuñez) or photography (Dym).

There will also be a new illustrator position intended for those interested in expanding the Medallion’s art.

“We need something more than just photos in the yearbook,” Dym said. “(Sophomore) Michaela (Chen) wanted to go into AP Art; we wanted her to use her drawing abilities.”

As the illustrator, Chen will be in charge of creating graphics in Adobe Illustrator to add non-photo elements to the yearbook.

By Chardonnay Needler

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