Dear readers of The Roundup,
I think I had to pick a word to describe my involvement in The Roundup, that word would be “atypical.” Unlike the past Chiefs before me, I haven’t served on the student newspaper since my freshman or sophomore year. In fact, the only reason I joined the newspaper junior year was because Dr. Degen asked me to write a piece during our AP Lit class and I was too afraid of being nailed with the soccer ball to say no.
After writing several articles and finally getting a comprehensive understanding of how the newspaper works, suddenly my usual routine was upended. I found myself in the new position of Junior Editor, the task of keeping up a consistent beat and editing articles a new challenge to undertake. Even with the backlog of articles that usually occurs at the end of the year and my relative inexperience, I managed to edit around ten articles per weekend and found myself learning a lot about good and bad writing from observing the work of other staff writers.
When I was selected as Managing Editor, I began my senior year in a state of mild panic, the task of keeping track of over fifty active writers and articles simultaneously leaving me unsure if I could ever succeed at it. I managed to find my stride and flourish in the position through the one thing I confidently excel at: guilt-tripping and pestering people. I reached a point where I had our overdue pieces down to one at most a day, and my coordination with other writers and commitment to memorizing the spreadsheet so great that I could walk down the hall and ask people about their articles even if they had just been assigned yesterday.
But just when I felt comfortable in this position, the universe threw me another curveball and through an unfortunate circumstance I became the Editor-in-Chief. EIC’s have very little in common with Managing Editor, and the creative innovation required to expand a publication of any kind is something that takes time to develop. In addition, I had time against me, because I enjoyed around two months as head of the newspaper before beginning the process of selecting my replacement. Yet all these obstacles, challenges, and difficulties did nothing but increase my appreciation for how much a mere student newspaper can impact the school and everyone within it. Without being a Junior editor, I wouldn’t have the same respect for the people who stay up late at night to ensure content comes out on time the next morning, and being the Managing Editor helped me appreciate the people who essentially make the newspaper run on a daily basis.
Despite all of these challenges, despite the reality that a lot of students don’t even realize we have a newspaper, this year still turned out to be an amazing year for The Roundup. We paid tribute to one of Jesuit’s highest honors the Henrion award, told stories of finding Jesuit in all things like Chandler Stonecipher’s “Finding My Way Back Home,” wrote articles dabbling in controversy like “Reality Check, Beyonce Isn’t Racist,” and profiled outstanding individuals in the Jesuit community and even at the national level like patriot Paul McCormack and NYT Bestselling author Fr. James Martin. We expanded our involvement in series, with extensive coverage of the 2016 political cycle and the innovative series Film & Society detailing how movies impact everyday life. Finally, I took the trip of a lifetime in March to New York City and culminated my 9/11 series with several articles capturing the impact of 9/11 firsthand.
Throughout this amazing journey, there have been several people who have made my time at the newspaper possible. Mr. Nava who turned my crude iPad drawings into a masterful website layout, Will Aberger ’17 who I can always count on to pull through and finish any task that needs completing, and Ryan Schaffler ’16 whose constant humor and devoted energies made our joint series flourish into one of the best in any student newspaper. But, of course, no thanks would be complete without mentioning Dr. Degen, who through hundreds of emails, early morning meetings, and conferences helped mold me into the writer and leader I am today.
Posting this article as “Ready for Editor” feels bizarre, the transition of graduation and moving on to college something that hasn’t really set in. Never again will I pass out The Roundup business cards, interview people about the art museum, or brag about how we manage to be a competitive high school newspaper without a class to rely on.
Graduation also marks the time that I leave the newspaper, my pride and joy I’ve devoted hundreds of hours of my life to, to someone who promises to fill the Editor-in-Chief role even better than I did: Martin Flores. His innate ability to come up with creative innovations and inspire his peers makes me ecstatic to see the amazing things next year’s staff will accomplish.
Thank you to everyone involved with The Roundup for helping make my Jesuit experience life-changing, and thank you to the readers who make everything we do at the newspaper possible. I hope everyone has an amazing summer and comes back next year excited for all the new content The Roundup has in store!