From the Editors: Goodbye


By Avery Maslowsky and Justin Huang, Co-Editors-in-Chief

Dear readers,

Another year goes by, and another set of editors leave. But even as the names on our staff change, our appreciation for our readers stays constant. We’d like to extend our gratitude to all of you, both inside and outside of school, that pick up The Spoke. Without you, there wouldn’t be a paper. Thank you for your continued support.

As co-editors-in-chief, we’ve spent the majority of our time in high school working for the newspaper. Our friends put their time into sports, academic competitions, peer mediation or student council. We chose to spend our time at ’Stoga in 280A, laying out pages, editing articles, designing graphics and editing more articles. The time commitment manifested in late nights, our desks littered with empty coffee cups and papers bleeding red pen.

You’d hope that we’d learn something from all of that time, and you’d be right.

Our brief administration has suffered a handful of tough situations, starting from last June. We’ve repeatedly been tested with the danger of a single story — the requirement to look at a story from multiple perspectives to get the full picture. In an era of “instant gratification” from digital sources, we have a responsibility to look at each story and each social media post with a healthy dose of skepticism, all the while committing to seek the truth and report it.

The experience of making those decisions, along with developing writing and interpersonal skills, makes journalism in high school as valuable as ever, despite falling media literacy.

Even though the adjective “student” is attached to our journalistic title, our work doesn’t stop at the school gate. To protect the freedoms of all student journalists, we’ve worked with the Student Press Law Center and different high school journalism programs on Pennsylvania New Voices, a campaign for protecting the rights of student journalists. We spoke with Senator Andrew Dinniman to sponsor our bill and worked with his office to create a draft for our ideas, which includes protections for our advisers and limits on prior review for all schools in Pennsylvania. Although we are grateful to Conestoga for its fair treatment of reporters, many schools lack the same protections we enjoy. When the time comes, we hope that our readers will support New Voices so that other schools can create publications like our own.

But enough about us. It’s time for a new generation of editors to lead The Spoke into the future. We hope you’ll join us in wishing Audrey Kim and Claire Guo, the new co-editors-in-chief, the best of luck as they assume our mantle after we leave this week. You can expect great things from them: improvements in our content, social media presence, web presence — the goals all student journalists strive to accomplish.

Once again, thank you for your time and the opportunity to write for something greater than just the two of us.

Sincerely, Justin and Avery