During all four years at Atlantic Community High School, I have written on The Squall, and while I changed positions often (from staff writer to Arts and Entertainment Editor to Junior Editor to Editor-in-Chief), there was more change than just that. I have experienced countless new staff writers, three completely different newspaper regimes, and even an entirely new format for The Squall.
At the beginning of my tenure, I didn’t realize how far I would go with the newspaper and how much it would change my life, as cliché as that sounds. When I first entered the class, I had no actual emotion about journalism; I was indifferent towards the course and was only taking it because it involved writing.
However, I began to actually enjoy it. I started writing movie reviews, realizing that was the type of writing I wanted to continue doing. So when I was offered the editor position for the arts and entertainment pages, I gracefully accepted, and was placed in charge of ensuring that the layout of those pages were organized correctly.
I think this was probably one of the most important steps for me during high school. Had I not experienced what editing was like and found the type of writing that I actually loved, I would not have kept up with the course. This was important during the next few years, when I followed The Squall around, through its numerous new teachers and classrooms.
Last year, we brought home an Honorable Mention from The Palm Beach Post for General Excellence in a Print Newspaper. To me and the other members of The Squall, especially Mr. Swart, who had supported the newspaper even when the class wasn’t even on his roster, this award held significant meaning and represented the perseverance that the newspaper had during all of its struggles.
As a result, I think it’s a bittersweet feeling to officially leave The Squall. The newspaper has been connected with all four years of my high school attendance, and it would be hard – practically impossible – to disassociate the two. The newspaper told me how to be a leader, how to be persistent, and how to work with others. For that, I want to thank the school and, most importantly, the three newspaper advisors that have taught me: Ms. Radic, Ms. Walls, and Mr. Swart. The Squall will always have a special place in my heart and I hope it means the same to the next Editor-in-Chief.