Juniors Ethan Monasa, Arikta Trivedi, Arijit Trivedi and Sanjana Anand (from left to right) will be co-editors-in-chief of the Octagon next school year. Arikta will be new to the position, succeeding senior Ming Zhu as print co-editor-in-chief. (Photo by Vanessa Escobar)
The Octagon, Medallion leaders announced for 2021-22 school year
Two of Country Day’s student-led publications and the Student Council have named their new leadership teams for the 2021-22 school year.
The Student Council serves as a voice for the student body and organizes events and other activities. The Medallion is responsible for creating the school’s yearbook, and The Octagon is the school’s print and online newspaper.
Junior Dylan Margolis will be stepping into the role of student body president, following the graduation of senior Bri Davies.
Juniors Arikta Trivedi and Miles Morrow will be co-vice presidents.
Co-editors-in-chief of the Medallion seniors Layla Mohey Eldin and Hana Lee are graduating and juniors Lilah Shorey and Vanessa Escobar will step into those leadership roles.
Junior Tina Huang will be the design editor and sophomore Amaya Anguiano will be the photography editor, the positions that Shorey and Escobar previously held. Sophomore Athenea Godinez will be the copy editor.
Yearbook adviser Liz Leavy, Lee, and Mohey Eldin were in charge of choosing the new leaders.
“Our editors-in-chief set the tone for the staff. They mentor, inspire, and challenge the rest of the team and are ultimately responsible for every aspect of a 240-page publication,” Leavy said.
Leavy narrowed the criteria down to three main factors: confidence in taking charge, commitment to excellence in their work on the Medallion, and earning the respect of the staff.
Escobar and Shorey have both been at Country Day since Lower School, and their familiarity with the other divisions will be very helpful in creating the yearbook, she said.
Escobar’s wealth of experience on the yearbook and as a member of the editorial staff also contributed to her selection.
Escobar hopes to increase engagement with the yearbook among the Lower School by including pages that are interactive.
“For example, there could be a section that is dedicated to ‘my favorite things’ and the students would be able to fill it out on the page,” Escobar said.
She also wants to improve organization and communication within the yearbook, as they were two of the many struggles the staff faced this year due to COVID-19.
Shorey has also started planning how to improve the yearbook.
“I want to make sure the staff has helpful resources and people to come to if they need help, so everyone can work at a manageable pace and not be overly stressed at any point,” she said.
Shorey aims to keep the Medallion staff on track to finish the yearbook by the beginning of April, which has been the deadline in previous years.
Like Escobar, she aims to improve the organization of how assignments and responsibilities are doled out.
Three of the four editors-in-chief of The Octagon will remain in their positions: junior Sanjana Anand as print co-editor-in-chief and juniors Ethan Monasa and Arijit Trivedi as online co-editors-in-chief.
The fourth leader, senior Ming Zhu, will pass on his role as a print co-editor-in-chief to junior Arikta Trivedi. She will also continue her role as the social media editor.
“This year, it was a really tough decision because we had several highly qualified staff members,” said Bonnie Stewart, The Octagon’s adviser.
Stewart and the current editors-in-chief selected Arikta as the new leader.
Anand said The Octagon was looking for someone with a strong work ethic, dedication to the publication, and leadership skills.
“Arikta stood out because of her ideas on how to improve the publication and how she would lead the staff,” Stewart said.
Arikta has already been successfully running The Octagon’s social media accounts and has ideas on how to boost the publication’s following, improve photography, and increase story output and timeliness.
She also has experience in many different positions and can use her knowledge and skills to “build up all those aspects of the Octagon,” Zhu said.
Arikta shared her goals as an editor-in-chief for next year.
“I want to make the Octagon more cohesive and disperse the responsibilities of the staff more evenly. Everyone should be able to develop multiple skills without having the complete burden of being a media staffer or photographer,” she said.
Over the summer, Stewart plans to meet with all four editors-in-chief to discuss next year’s plans and organize the publication’s summer staff bootcamp to enrich the journalism skills of the staff.