While the newspaper extensively covered and will continue to cover the renovation and construction that will continue through this year, we were ourselves in the process of transformation. Physically, you may not notice much of a difference between the paper you’re holding now and one from last year or the year before. Under the hood, though, we’ve made some rather radical changes.

Just as the inside of the school was updated to fit modern standards, so we too finally were lifted out of an early-2000’s technological rut. While asbestos was being torn out of the ceilings and walls of the older parts of the building, we finally got rid of old, slow computers and updated to the latest design software. Our room, too, now has four real walls (as opposed to one being a flimsy wooden divider). Personally, I believe we’ve made real progress.

One of our biggest transitions, though, was a shift to focus more on our online presence. We have implemented major changes to our editing process, making it more flexible by saving everything online. In addition, we are actively updating our website whenever a story is completed; in many cases, the stories on the website include a lot more information than we have room to include in the physical paper.

It’s with excitement that I look at the school around us, and reflect on how much has changed since my freshman year. I remember the mouse scares in the history halls, the perpetual pipe leaks in my biology room, how half of the gas nozzles to fuel Bunsen burners didn’t work. I remember how windows wouldn’t open, how radiators died, how it took 20 minutes to turn on the computers in the journalism room.

This school year is the first year that I’ve felt like I’m part of a school that stands at the forefront of the nation, in both academic and physical respects. We’ve become a place that I am intensely proud of, and my vision for this year’s Rank & File is to embrace that newfound pride in appearance.

As a newspaper and as a school, we are exploring the possibilities of our new respective environments. It’s now our job to collectively make the most of what we’ve been given.

Helena Patterson