Juniors Garman Xu, Samhita Kumar, Simone DeBerry (from left to right) and Adam Akins, not pictured, take over for graduating seniors as The Octagon Editors-in-Chief. (Photo by Arijit Trivedi)

Student organizations replace leaders

The 2021-22 school year is coming to a close, and with the exit of the senior class, The Octagon, Medallion and Student Council have selected new leaders for next year.

For The Octagon, the school’s newspaper, juniors Adam Akins and Samhita Kumar are the new online editors-in-chief while Garman Xu and Simone DeBerry have assumed the print editor-in-chief roles for 2022-23. They are taking the places of the online editors-in-chief graduating seniors Arijit Trivedi and Ethan Monasa and print editors-in-chief Sanjana Anand and Arikta Trivedi. Adviser Bonnie Stewart will continue to oversee The Octagon.

As for the Medallion, the student-led organization responsible for creating the yearbook, juniors Amaya Anguiano and Jackson Fox are now the new editors-in-chief taking over for graduating seniors Vanessa Escobar and Lilah Shorey.

In addition, the Student Council, which organizes the high school’s events, assigned the President and Vice President positions to juniors Jonah Angelo David and Callister Misquitta. They are replacing graduating senior, President Dylan Margolis, and Co-Vice Presidents Arikta Trivedi and Miles Morrow.

For the new leaders, there are a multitude of qualities that are essential for success. First off, dedication is a must-have for any person in a leadership position, Arijit said. There also needs to be a drive to help incoming members learn what to do in their respective positions as well as the ability to act independently and self-sufficiently, Arikta said.

Junior Adam Akins will assume the role of a co-online-editor-in-chief for The Octagon during the 2022-23 school year. (Photo by Arijit Trivedi)

Student Council adviser Patricia Jacobsen said that leadership means incorporating the ideas of all members of the group.

“I personally was looking for a lot of passion and all of them have that,” Arijit said in reference to the new Octagon EICs.

“In addition to that, you need to have experience, independence, curiosity and a drive to make changes to The Octagon because it won’t get any better by doing the same thing over and over again.”

Arikta said each new Octagon EIC was chosen for their unique abilities. For DeBerry, her best quality is her determination in learning, and rather than giving up, figuring stuff out on her own, Arikta said. Xu excelled at page design and consistently offered great story ideas. Kumar’s most outstanding quality was her timeliness as well as her strong work ethic. Lastly, Akins, despite it being his first year, was passionate about the Octagon which is an important quality for any EIC.

As for adding changes to The Octagon, Xu hopes to revive the video sector of The Octagon. For next year, he plans to teach video editing to new staffers to bring back
the YouTube channel. Before, the YouTube channel featured videos ranging from teachers, podcasts to cooking videos. In doing so, he intends to increase viewership.
Similarly, Xu’s co-print editor-in-chief, DeBerry, hopes to also increase readership by increasing community involvement.

Akins also has plans to change the online section of The Octagon.

“I want to change how we do arts and opinion pieces and give people a platform where they can talk passionately about something,” Akins said. “I think what online is for is to support things that are a little bit more weird or offbeat. Maybe something that doesn’t make it into a standard print story, but something that’s interesting or something that someone is passionate about.”

Arijit said he believes that the new EICs will continue to improve The Octagon and
remain dedicated to it. “I believe The Octagon’s in great hands,” Arijit said. “The new EICs were chosen because they deserved it, and we truly think that they’re going to make good changes to The Octagon.”

For the Medallion, the seniors are not the only ones leaving the elective. Adviser
of the elective, Liz Leavy, is handing off the position to librarian Melissa Strong.

“While I will still be around to help, she will be the adviser, and I have absolute faith in her,” Leavy said.

As for Strong, she is excited to be taking
up the position.

“It’s a big undertaking because we have to record the history of the whole school year, but I like graphic design and working with everyone, so it’ll be fun,” Strong said.

Anguiano too is excited to take on a new position, one that she has worked toward
since freshman year.

“I’m really glad. It took a lot of work, but it was worth it because I’m really looking forward to designing and creating a book,” she said. “The idea of creating something that the entire school will see is really cool.”

Her co-editor-in-chief, Fox, joined the Medallion this year and is nervous but also ready to take on new responsibilities.

“I’m a little intimidated by the work, but I think it’ll be fun,” Fox said. “What I want to do is have it so that creating the yearbook is less of a last-minute thing. It needs to be spread out more evenly throughout the year.”

Escobar said they chose the right people to be the next EICs for the Medallion and is confident that everything will work out.

“Amaya will be a good EIC because she’s been working hard this year, and Jackson, even though he’s new to the yearbook, has been really good in copy. Overall, I think it’ll be good next year,” Escobar said.

The Student Council also looks forward to next year. Margolis has faith in the new President and Vice President Jonah Angelo David and Callister Misquitta.

“They have both worked really hard this year,” Margolis said. “I trust Callister and Jonah to do a great job next year, and I think that they will make me proud.”

With all the new leaders from each organization receiving worthy praise from the graduating seniors, next year is bound to have a smooth and successful transition.

— By Emily Cook

Originally published in the May 24 edition of the Octagon.

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