In Lower School, every student is paired with a member of the Senior Class, for that year wearing the moniker of their senior buddy. When I was in second grade, my senior buddy was a managing editor of The ReMarker, just as I am today. The first time we ever sat down and talked, he told me he worked on the newspaper. I was surprised beyond words. I didn’t even know the school had one. So next time, he brought me one, on the cover an upper-schooler leaning up against a pile of books and “The ReMarker” emblazoned across the top. While I can’t say I remember if ever read it, I was fascinated by it.
In eighth grade, when after lengthy internal dialogue I finally convinced myself to take journalism, I was determined to do what Matt had done, instill the interest in storytelling and creation that has made The ReMarker so successful in everyone I can, no matter where they come from, how old they are or where they think high school will take them.
What I Do
managing editor for The Remarker
Assists editor-in-chief in selection and completion of cover and centerspread stories
Works with 10600 & Culture, Issues, Discoveries, Diversions and Sports editors as a consultant to ensure successful section assignments, story completion and page organization
Works with creative director to achieve consistent design throughout all aspects of the publication
Works with assignments editor to ensure the success of publication’s communications, research, beat system and editing process.
Ensures quality of all sections’ design and content.
Work directly with editors, section editors and reporters in story development, visual communication and other aspects of the newspaper’s cycle
Senior writer for airlinegeeks.com
Helps lead writing team, coordinating with team members to schedule and manage content
Works with editing team to ensure continuity of style
Plans and executes on-boarding process for new writers, tailoring work to experience level of incoming staff member
Photographer for airlinegeeks.com
Runs and creates content for AirlineGeeks social media accounts across a variety of platforms
Provides photos to accompany articles on AirlineGeeks.com and on company social media
Gold Cycle Awards
In academics, many St. Mark’s students thrive off the friendly competition that allows everyone to push themselves to outdo their classmates while still being willing to help their peers.
We were searching for a way to bring that culture to the publications suite, and the Gold Cycle Awards were born. Today, as every cycle begins to wind down, the managing editors and editor-in-chief decide which stories, pages and sections are deserving of specific awards.
While we know nobody begins work on a newspaper looking to win a Gold Cycle, the awards serve as a way to recognize the staff writers and section editors who go the extra mile to find an especially intriguing design or craft a compelling story.
Today, a year after winning my own Gold Cycle Awards as sports editor, I see the Awards as a great way to encourage camaraderie between all members of the ReMarker staff while still pushing everyone to put their best foot forward in every story and page they work on.
Working for Everyone
This year, after making massive changes to the newspaper over the summer, we no longer have sports writers or news writers, as we did when I was a staff writer. Instead, all of our writers have the opportunity to work with every section if they choose to. It’s my job to implement this. It’s not uncommon to, at the end of a cycle, have nearly a dozen conversations with sophomores who want to switch their section. In my eyes, that’s perfect. Through all of those changes, I hope everyone can find the section and subject matter they’re most passionate about, which I was lucky enough to find on my first try in the sports section.
With a staff of nearly 70 people, cultivating relationships with as many people as possible is critical, as each of those connections signifies another student who will ask me a question before continuing on with a story or a design or another person with whom I’m able to speak candidly about which writer pairings work and which don’t.
For the staffs of both The ReMarker and AirlineGeeks.com, communication is critical. With The ReMarker, that comes more easily, as everyone on staff is going to be in the production suite for class at some point during the day. However, keeping over 60 people across all grade levels on the same page can become difficult, so we utilize a Facebook group in order to disseminate large messages to all staff members instantly.
With AirlineGeeks.com, communication becomes a little more tricky. The writers alone live in nearly a dozen different states and over five countries, and the airlines and airports we write on span the world. As a result, we have to make sure we’re always in contact. Streamlining conversations in WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have proven to be huge successes for the site, helping writers, editors and photographers better understand what they need to do to keep the publication running smoothly.
Finally, a bi-weekly staff phone call supplements those groups, allowing us to relay any messages and announcements to the entire U.S.-based staff.
As an online publication with writers in the U.S., South America, Europe and Asia, we can’t all be as connected as I am with the staff of The ReMarker. While we all stay in contact through daily conversations in Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, I have forged my lasting relationships through the lengthy on-boarding process all writers go through before joining staff, a process I oversee as a senior writer.
Below is the document I created that new writers must read before beginning the on-boarding process.
In the Community
When our newspaper is delivered on release day, we take stacks across campus for everyone to enjoy. Some of my most memorable conversations about the paper have been when I drop a bundle in the Lower School, only to have a first- or second-grader come up to me and ask what it’s about. After he has to go back to class a few minutes later, we likely won’t see each other again for weeks. But my only hope is that I’ve planted the same journalistic seed in a young boy that Matt did in me.
ON A GLOBAL SCALE
One advantage that AirlineGeeks has over a typical publication comes from that same reach and spread I discussed earlier. By being one of only a few staff members in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I have the opportunity to interact with the entire community in everything AirlineGeeks does.
Through events like AAviationDay, an event put on in partnership with American Airlines, I spoke to ten very different people about aviation and journalism who, while they are all are a part of the AvGeek community, come from very different walks of life before congregating at the airport.
Additionally, my aviation photography has afforded me the chance to meet hundreds of other plane spotters, many of whom are teenagers like me. While sitting with my camera in the sweltering heat at DFW’s Founder’s Plaza, I’ve had insightful conversations on topics that extend far beyond aviation that I continue to refer back to when I’m searching for wisdom.