Student Council, the Octagon and Medallion have chosen their new leaders for 2018-19. The Glass Knife literary magazine positions will be announced in the fall.
Junior Monique Lonergan will be taking office next year as student-body president. Her vice presidents will be juniors Blake Lincoln and Luca Procida.
Adviser Patricia Jacobsen and current student-body president Nina Dym chose these three.
“Each has a lot of experience with student leadership on campus,” Jacobsen said.
Lonergan has been on Student Council for the past two years, and Lincoln has been on Student Council for two years.
“Monique has done a really great job of organizing things and planning events,” Jacobsen said.
Jacobsen added that Lonergan shows a lot of initiative and commitment, which is why Dym chose her.
“I chose (Procida and Lincoln) to be vice presidents because they have great leadership skills, but they are also very different from each other,” Jacobsen said.
“Blake is very detail oriented, and that goes really well with Luca’s tendency to be very big-picture oriented,” Jacobsen said.
“For example, if we are planning a dance, Luca will do a very good job of getting the arrangements made to get the photo booth set up.
“But in terms of remembering things like extension cords, tape and decorations, that’s more for Blake’s personality.”
Procida and Lonergan agreed that Student Council already has a solid list of events throughout the year.
However, there are some minor changes to events that they want to make, including improving the location and DJ-ing of dances.
“We have heard some complaints about the dances, so we want to make sure that more people are active and have fun,” Lincoln said.
Lincoln said that Student Council wants to emphasize class bonding next year too.
Lonergan said she also wants to get more students involved in activities.
“One of the plans I put on my application was to implement a fun activity on the last Friday of every month of the school year,” Lonergan said.
“I also want to create more school spirit for all our sports.”
Like the yearbook, the Octagon will change its organization next year.
There will no longer be strictly print and online editors-in-chief. Instead, each editor-in-chief will be responsible for editing their own section across both the print and online editions.
Juniors Jack Christian and Allison Zhang will manage sports and news; junior Chardonnay Needler will manage feature; junior Mohini Rye will manage opinion; and junior Mehdi Lacombe will manage the audio-visual elements and social media.
All five editors will hold the title of editor-in-chief.
“You need to have a marriage between print and online,” Rye said.
Rye said she learned this from one of the judges at the National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco in April.
“The most important reason to have a group of editors-in-chief is for cohesion,” adviser Patricia Fels said.
“The two publications should be seen as one rather than as the greater print and the lesser online.”
Fels said the editors were chosen because they have “a diverse group of talents,” are “excellent writers” and “show initiative even if they are sick.”
“Some even email a to-do list of what needs to be done in class that day when they are gone,” Fels said.
As the editor-in-chief for audio and visual, Lacombe wants to work more with the photographers.
Lacombe wants to make sure that everyone knows what pictures need to be taken and when so that pictures with better quality can be taken ahead of time.
All five editors and Fels agreed that the online and print newspapers can be improved.
“In the online edition, we are going to try to incorporate additional media with stories that previously ran in the print edition,” Lacombe said.
“This was one of the recommendations of the judges at the convention.”
Christian added that the editors are also going to work throughout the summer to update the designs of both the print and online editions.
The editors will also work with the younger page editors to become more proficient in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, according to Christian.
But new staff and organization aren’t the only change the Octagon will see next year; a new adviser has been hired to replace Fels following her retirement.
Fels, who has been the adviser all but one year since 1977, said the staff will experience a “big change” next year when sixth grade teacher Emily Eustace takes over.
Juniors Yanele Ledesma, Michaela Chen and Kyra LaFitte will share the role of editor-in-chief.
They were chosen by current editors-in-chief, seniors Smita Sikaria and Nina Dym, according to adviser Tom Wroten.
Sikaria said that the editors-in-chief were chosen based on whether they showed initiative, prioritized yearbook over other extracurriculars and had potential for leadership.
“(Ledesma, Chen and LaFitte always) completed their work on time with the best quality possible, were respectful and were the people that reached out the most,” Dym said.
“They always took on more than what was assigned to them,” Sikaria said.
Dym said that Ledesma, who has been working with her for two years, will manage most of the design of the yearbook.
“She stepped up this year by taking on more spreads, and she is a quick learner,” Dym said.
“Chen, who has a natural artistic sense, stepped up in design this year as well.”
Dym said that Chen’s initiative and great class attendance led her to choose Chen as editor-in-chief, even though they did not consider her at the beginning of the year.
“Rockstar” LaFitte’s willingness to redo work was also an important factor in choosing her, Dym said.
“She is the epitome of what a perfect staffer would be,” Dym said.“I really wanted to reward her for her great work.”
“(She is also) a mediator in between the two other editors. I know that new staffers will respect and work well with her.”
Both LaFitte and Chen said that they want to improve organization to make the staff more efficient and cohesive, preventing the yearbook from finishing too close to their deadline.
Ledesma said the organization of the yearbook will change as staffers will be sectioned off.
For example, there will be a copy section of the staff, whose entire job is to simply write and correct copy.
“Last year (2017-18), all students would gather the information and write their own copy,” Ledesma said.
New staffers will now be the ones to do interviews, take pictures and gather all the information for copy. The copy staff will write the stories.
“(We also plan on) adding definite deadlines and establishing a point system to prevent disorganization,” Chen said.
Originally published in the June 6 edition of the Octagon.
—By Keshav Anand