A review from the new adviser for the Eagle Era
It was a year ago, or near to it, that an intrepid soon-to-be editorial staff approached a first-year American High English teacher hoping to establish some rapport for the coming year. Or was it to establish a plan? A clue? Some amoebic sense of purpose drove this group of students to Mr. Savoie’s Flex Period to figure out what the new (sigh) era of the Era would bring. Would he rule with an iron fist, warping what should be the beating heart of student expression at AHS into a propaganda mill for a nefarious cabal of adults? Would he break the bonds of censorship, rocketing the staff to the proverbial edge of journalistic adventurism, whether they were ready or not? As it happened, and as it often seems to happen, the reality was a tempered mixture of the two – though it can hardly be said that it was the adviser that concocted the atmosphere in the newsroom.
Like it did for many students here, the 2018-2019 school year brought me a number of firsts. How do I —? I didn’t learn how to do that last year… could be a refrain to a song rattling in headphones around campus if so many of us weren’t already thinking it. Personally, I like to imagine this (again?) imaginary song as the backing track to Journalism 1 and 2. Before accepting the position as adviser, I had never written a story for any news publication, school-sponsored or otherwise, nor had I ever taken a journalism course, as part of my secondary educator, er, education or otherwise, but I figured, I read some news and I know grammar real good. My can-do attitude and blissful ignorance made a wonderful team. Throughout the year, when faced with an enthusiastic staffer looking for the best way to approach a story, I tried to apply my reader’s knowledge of journalistic principles and match my staffer’s excitement, hoping that these would be enough to equip my student with enough answers to continue their pursuit, if imperfectly, and enough encouragement to feel like they had someone with what appeared to be confidence in their corner, even if that ally wasn’t exactly sure how that story would turn out. Thankfully, the only team better than my foolhardy optimism and lack of relevant experience is the one that put this issue together. I cannot speak highly enough of the individuals on the staff that pushed themselves out of their comfort zones and put themselves into these stories. The hard-boiled investigations, the absurd satire, the erudite (if I do say so myself) commentaries – all of these stories ran red, white, and blue. 100% American made. So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the star-studded staff for putting up with me, the exceedingly skilled editorial staff for also putting up with me but more often, and of course, you, Eagles, for living the stories we here at the Era are privileged to write on your behalf. Eagle Era = 10/10. Would recommend.