On April 17th in “The Overlook Journal Rises,” I shared the letter I wrote to the Thornton-Donovan School community lauding the young journalists at Thornton-Donovan School.
In continuing this trend, I salute the staff on what has been the most productive, professional year of any I have moderated at T-D:
In the waning days of last year’s summer vacation, I wrote a letter detailing my expectations for The Overlook Journal. In it, I bemoaned the previous year’s failures and reaffirmed my belief in the need for accountability from the editors to the general staff. Honestly, though, I had no idea what the year held for the student journalists at Thornton-Donovan School.
However, I knew what I did have, which was Editor-in-Chief Quincy Campbell ‘19. This young man cut his teeth doing interviews and producing feature pieces on deadline during his freshman year. During this time he proved himself to be a tireless worker who would not cease until the task was complete. I had faith in him early on that he might be a potential candidate for the top-spot at the paper once the seniors padding their college resumes moved on.
My faith in Quincy paid off. From running the meetings to coordinating with copyeditors to working with writers to posting the finished pieces, he oversaw and participated in every facet of the newspaper’s operation. Moreover, through the strength of his own character and his belief in himself, he established a prideful culture at The Overlook Journal. He genuinely cared about what the students wanted to write about, what their interests; furthermore, he was willing to put in the time to help them produce their best work.
Dedication resonates with kids – with most, really – a principal that has not led me astray in my professional career. Quincy’s certainly did, as he drew together students of various interests and skill levels – some returning members; some who wanted to improve their skills; some who didn’t even enjoy writing – to form an eclectic team with even more diverse interests. The most recent of the 65 articles – an all time high – confirms this: a feature on warm-weather fashion, a blood diamond piece, and coverage of Thornton-Donovan School’s Arts House Café performance.
For all of Quincy’s excellence, the staff deserves the ultimate commendation – especially Quincy’s Assistant Editor-in-Chief Cecile McIntosh ’18 – for respecting deadlines (sometimes) and consistently producing quality pieces each and every week (most of the time) with few excuses (again, most of the time). Their effort was unparalleled, and without them there would be no Overlook Journal. I look forward to seeing what more can be accomplished next year, namely a physical newspaper.
While I do not set expectations in an attempt to avoid disappointment, Quincy established a new standard for extra-curricular achievement not seen since Sederick Dawkins ’13 – or “Saint Sederick” as Mr. Fleming endearingly calls him – demanded a better student newspaper at Thornton-Donovan School.
Quincy’s story is still being written, but I do now believe a new saint has ascended at Thornton-Donovan School.
Congratulations on a year that is now the benchmark for success, Overlook Journal staff. Thank you for your commitment to the paper and to each other, and I hope you have a restful and safe summer.
With more gratitude than you can ever imagine,
Middle School English Teacher
The Overlook Journal Moderator