Dear St. Paul’s School Community,
I am writing to you for the first time as the Editor-in-Chief of The Pelican, and I would like to say how honored and excited I am to fill this role in 2016. As many of you know, my sister Courtney was in this position a few years ago, and my oldest sister Molly was the Editor-in-Chief during her time at St. Paul’s, as well. Anyone who has worked with them on the paper knows how dedicated and efficient they were as editors, and the wonderful work they produced. I certainly know it. And, quite frankly, this knowledge terrifies me. One could say the pressure is on. The two of them are very difficult acts to follow, and I have foolishly jumped in after them, giving my parents and everyone else an easy way to compare me to them. Basically, if I do not perform as well in this job, I will literally be the worst child.
But with those intimidating thoughts aside, I am completely ready to take on the challenge and enjoy myself as well. Being a Senior Editor last year was a genuinely positive experience, and the Steering Committee and Staff that we have this year gives me plenty to look forward to. We are passionate about The Pelican and will do everything in our power to connect our community through this publication, both by spreading school news and opinions about campus life and by keeping connected with the larger world community.
As The Pelican’s Mission Statement for this year alludes to, it is undeniable that this has been a difficult time for St. Paul’s School. That is why it is my goal to increase conversations between students and faculty alike through a larger amount of opinion pieces specifically geared towards issues and events in the SPS community. While it is easy for some of us to scoff at the idea of “dialogue” curing everything and bringing us to a semblance of world peace, it is my unshakable belief that it is a start. In most cases, it is the start, and looking at certain initiatives that have been taken this year and the conversations around them—such as the Anti-Violence Pledge and the boundary-training exercises for the Upper-Formers—it appears to be the case.
We students at St. Paul’s, while relatively mature and competent for our age, are still very young people who have a lot to learn. This does not mean that we should put up with heavy levels of condescension, but rather know how much we have left to learn. In this time in the School’s history, this is an especially important lesson. Many of us have seen our school portrayed in ways we do not like or understand, and might have shot off an angry response to a comment on Facebook or sent rants to our friends or complete strangers on social media. These reactions are natural and human—but rarely helpful. That’s why we need to come together more than ever to learn how to express our opinions in a way that is clear but also constructive. This goal will be my central mission while leading The Pelican.
I will openly admit to you all that I have a lot to learn. It’s easy to pretend I have all the answers, especially knowing how successful both of my sisters were when they were in this position, but this would help no one. I also hardly think they knew all the answers when they were just starting out either. The point is that they learned, as we all do, and as I plan to do myself. I am ready to humbly face this challenge, and I hope you will choose to join me. Thank you.