My first article for The Vanguard covered the 2013 winter musical. After an hour-long interview with Mr. Lindberg, I bought the Assassins album, watched the Upper School’s production of it twice, and joined his drama class. From day one, this publication got me pretty excited.
Day two, I wrote a 1000-word application to be a junior editor. I pounced on every opportunity to write an article—especially front page—salivating at the idea of one day becoming editor-in-chief. I wrote about Abina Nepal ’15 aiding Nepalese citizens during the 2016 earthquakes, the United Nations Bureau Chief for Talk Media News Luke Vargas ’08 returning to school, and maintenance staff member Noelia Santos retiring from it. And a 2000-word whopper on the school’s first student-run Community Day.
Getting acquainted with student and campus life on such an intimate level was what made me love journalism. I wish that during my year as editor-in-chief I had more time to write more stories myself. There is something raw about reporting that can’t be replicated through editing, and I am itching to do more of it again in college.
But in my tenure as this paper’s head, I did get to enjoy the school community through journalism in a way other than writing: by leading the folks who did write.
At first, the editorial board struggled a lot together. I remember at the beginning of our volume, I would wince at the condition of the articles the juniors would send me. In frustration, I would often rewrite the entire piece myself or send it back with 30+ passive-aggressive comments. We were new to our positions, thrown in together with just a foggy idea of what to do. We were all learning.
Before the Changing of the Guard party last year, the seniors bought Nerf guns for the then-rising editorial board. We fantasized about engaging in legendary battles with the other editors throughout the empty school during breaks at paste-up. But as we headed into hour 10 of the all-day event a month later, Ms. Kornet was the only one unloading foam bullets into the Vanguard Office. And there were no breaks. Shooting for a 20-pager for our first issue was probably not the best idea. My bad.
We published on time, which I suppose is all that matters in the end. And as I matured along with the rest of The Vanguard team, each month we reached that deadline a little more easily than the time before. And I am proud of that.
Just a few weeks ago, Rachel sent me an article that I couldn’t add anything to, and I almost felt like crying. Then Alia sent me her best piece to date, and Delila quietly managed well over her required amount of writers. Jiho sent “Scoreboard” in on time, and Sophia just kept being ahead of the game as usual. The juniors are ready to lead now, and I am so excited for them.
As the chaos of our transition begins, I hope this team remembers what we’ve done together. We met with Boston Globe Spotlight Reporter Mike Rezendes and Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. We tackled issues like sexual impropriety and academic dishonesty. We covered events like the 2016 presidential election and the Women’s March this January.
We were curious. We knew this newspaper would require a lot of work, maybe more than we signed up for, but we wanted to make it ours. If you are going to dedicate so much time to this publication, it might as well be done well.
And we did it. The guys: Andrew, my irritating yet amazingly dependable number two, and Vishnu, the provocative Double Truck alpha. The gals: Brita, the discreet powerhouse of a columns editor; Angela, the silly and savvy Media Editor; Mary, the multifaceted, mono-stricken editorials manager; Sophie, the kindhearted and absurdly organized photo editor. And, of course, my darling Cecelia. No one could have navigated the pressures of production better.
Despite my excitement for the end of Volume 45 and the start of Volume 46, I am a little afraid of going cold turkey with my Vanguard responsibilities. Not pestering Vishnu for his article or dumping another onto AKP doesn’t seem right. Not running our twice-weekly meetings or emailing Ms. Upham for article ideas or responding to a bajillion Vanguard-related texts will be a huge change of habit. The paper has become so embedded in my daily routine that not heading it seems unnatural.
So, yes, I am sad this will be the last time Jack Flahive scans Volume 45 for grammatical errors or Ari Benkler jabs at my paper’s integrity. I am sad I can’t coddle the rising juniors into their editorship. I am sad to disband our little wolf pack. But I am happy to see where the juniors take it. I’m happy to be a writer again, to have a whole lot more free time, and let go. What a wonderful year it has been.
Editor-in-Chief, Volume 45