Goodbye for now to our advisor extraordinaire

When we senior editors at The Vanguard sat down to write our send-off to our faculty advisor, English Teacher Allison Kornet, we thought it would be a breeze. After all, we produce a 20-page paper each month.

When tasked with fitting Ms. Kornet’s impact into words— and thus facing the fact she would be out next year—we experienced a collective writers’ block. Even after all she’s taught us about concision, 600 words were simply not enough to cover everything she has meant to us over the past year.

We were wrong.

We wanted to say something profound, something earth- shattering, because Ms. Kornet deserves it. In journalism, though, Ms. Kornet has taught us that specificity trumps abstraction and no unsupported claims have ever shattered the earth. With that in mind, we thought we’d take you into a few of the countless moments this spring in which Ms. Kornet has made us better journalists, students, and people.

When our production manager was too caught up in getting pages done, Ms. Kornet reminded her to tune into her creative side and have fun with it.

When our photo editor was still learning the ropes of captioning photos, Ms. Kornet took the time to walk her through what makes a great cutline.

When our opinions editor could barely find 10 words to cut from a column, Ms. Kornet tightened it by over 100.

When our media editor was taking the SAT, he got a grammar question right because Ms. Kornet had taught him the rule.

When our projects editor had to take down our Dr. Seuss survey in the middle of the night to avoid an unanticipated pitfall, Ms. Kornet was there, walking him through every word.

When our editorials editor had trouble centralizing his point within a piece, Ms. Kornet helped him think critically about what the board really wanted to say.

When the managing editor met for a morning Zoom after a late night of work, Ms. Kornet noticed her exhausted state and went out of her way to private chat with her, checking if she was alright.

When our editor-in-chief sent close to 50 texts a day about what to put on a page, how to handle a complicated article, and if there was precedent for an idea, Ms. Kornet answered each one thoughtfully and without hesitation. And then reminded her to take a break.

When we senior editors wanted to get a fish, she responded to our crazy idea, simply: “LOVE IT.” When we were unable to attend the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Convention over spring break, Ms. Kornet welcomed us onto her front porch for three days. And when we needed a pick-me-up in the middle of a production day, she brought her dog, Harry, whom we had spent those three days gushing over.

For the creativity, the thoughtful guidance, the concision prowess, the grammar help, the midnight meetings, the eloquent encouragement, the caring check-ins, and the unwavering commitment, for all of the whens, what- nows, and what-ifs, thank you. You have been an incredible inspiration and mentor and built a community we would not trade for the world. Thank you.

—Mary Randolph, Maya Benjamin, David Min, Augie Hawk, Dylan Higgins, Eli Waisburd, Saffron Patel, and Michelle Barrocas (all ’22)