A farewell from the Editors-in-Chief

Charlotte Guy and Joanna Chait

When we walked through Jackson-Reed’s doors as the new Editors-in-Chief of The Beacon, we were unprepared for what lay ahead. Coming out of distance learning and producing PDFs instead of printed papers was a tough transition, but it gave us an invaluable opportunity to rethink The Beacon as a whole. 

This demanded a holistic review of ourselves, our situation, and the institution itself. From our reflection came three goals that guided our tenure as Chiefs: reestablish The Beacon in the school community, build strong systems, and represent the diversity of the student body in both content and staff. 

While we were successful in part, we recognize how much more needs to be done, especially in the area of representation. Our paper does not adequately reflect Jackson-Reed students and in that, we failed. However, we know that next year’s staff will continue to make this a priority. Our quest to elevate student voices was not a job of two. It involved so many people working behind the scenes to keep the paper running. 

We first want to thank our staff. These individuals are some of the most bright, quirky, and hardworking minds we know and we cannot thank you enough. Not only did you stay with us for our frequent tech hiccups, but you entertained our ridiculous icebreakers and silly TikTok ideas, and made those late-night productions tolerable… somehow. 

And we can’t thank our staff without individually thanking our lovely Managing Editor Emily Mulderig, who, if we’re being honest, should be writing this with us. We truly couldn’t have survived without her tireless support, freakishly amazing editing skills, and goofy disposition ;).

But most importantly, we want to thank our advisers past and present. To Mr. Nissly, thank you for preparing us to lead (your 17-page “Guide to The Beacon” is literally the most amazing piece of literature we’ve read). Mr. Welch, our fearless journalism teacher and Ke$ha enthusiast, thank you so much for the endless helpful advice and meaningful conversation… and for putting up with our shenanigans every day. 

Mr. B, we can’t thank you enough. When we came to you last year, pleading for you to become our new adviser, you had no idea what you were getting into (neither did we). But you agreed, tacking it onto the extensive list of extracurriculars you already lead. This in and of itself is a testament to your unwavering devotion to your students. You push us to do better while giving us the agency to be leaders. We’ll be forever grateful for your mentorship and support and the many nights you stayed at school way too late. 

This year we were tasked with covering the painfully bureaucratic name change process, a bumpy return to in-person learning, and disheartening acts of hate. Needless to say, we were handed a tumultuous year to lead The Beacon. 

But as always, interacting with our inspiring peers makes the tough moments worth it: from the greenhouse club to the ice hockey team, state champions to student fashion designers. We’ve ranted in 100 words and doled out (very unhelpful) advice, shared our perspectives on serious and not-so-serious topics, and polled kids in the hall on wacky questions. All in all, being Editors-in-Chief offered us a tremendous learning experience. As writers, leaders, and individuals, we have grown. Thank you Beacon <3 We love you forever; you’re in excellent hands. 

Signing off,

Joanna and Charlotte