Technical Advisor’s Note:

By Jason Agress
Published: June 2010

You may not realize that you’re reading something quite special. While in one sense this is just another graduation issue of Denebola, it is also the 50th time this newspaper has published such an edition.

For the past 50 years, Denebola has done something extraordinary. Through all of the changes that Newton South and the world around it have gone through, this newspaper has continuously published each month of the academic year for 50 years.

Now there must be a key to this success, for how else has this newspaper’s annually changing staff and leadership team managed to accomplish what they have?

Much, as one can imagine, has changed over 50 years: students, teachers, principals, and advisors. But what has remained constant is the set of traditions that Denebola‘s changing leadership have regarded so dearly – a collection of ideas about what it means to be scholastic journalists at Newton South, centering on a dual responsibility to the paper’s readers and contributors.

But fulfilling this responsibility is a tricky thing to do – just ask any of the 400+ senior editors who have sought to do so over the last half-century. It’s not always easy to balance the needs of the paper with the needs of its contributors or its readers.

It is in perpetually trying to fulfill this responsibility that Denebola‘s editors engage in experiential learning. This is learning through doing, trying things out, and making mistakes – discussing, analyzing, and solving problems as they arise. It is this never-ending process that keeps editors engaged with their work, driving them to move right along and, not only make a paper, but also build community within and outside of the walls of 9202.

In my humble opinion, it is this commitment to responsibility – and, consequently, experiential learning – that has fueled the newspaper’s staff and senior editors for the last 50 years. Each volume, diverse in both composition and style, has found a way to work together – with their staff and the larger community – to accomplish a wide array of personal, social, professional, academic, and journalistic goals.

It’s all because of learning, something we often associate with classrooms and whiteboards. But on Denebola – like with athletics, theatre, and other activities – it’s different; it’s about learning who you are and what you want to do, figuring out how you fit into the extended community that is the world around us.

This is what has kept this newspaper going for 50 years and will continue to in the future; the students who choose to participate do so much more than make a newspaper – Denebola is, above all, a didactic vehicle for exploration. No one student has the same journey, but each comes out having experienced a number of lifelong lessons.

So remember, we’re all learning¦just some more than others.

Read more

Like it? Share it!


Copyright © Denebola | The Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School | 140 Brandeis Road, Newton, MA 02459.
Site designed by Chenzhe Cao.