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  • David Sipos and Sara Weinrod

Editors-in-Chief Sign Off

2024 Rookery staff poses for a photo / Credits: Naomi Nassar

First, we want to thank everyone who contributed to the paper this year, starting with our writers. Without them, the paper would not exist. We would also like to thank our senior editorial team of Tillie Freed, Rachel Kolko, Josie McCartney, and Charlotte Tama for dealing with our rushed deadlines and last-minute requests. 

Thanks to our dedicated website editor Layla Rethy and thank you to Max Goldberg, our puzzle editor, and to Derek Emons, our first resident artist, for being the only reason most students pick up The Rookery. Finally, we’re grateful for the support of our faculty advisor Mr. Ghazi and the HSA in getting The Rookery published for the eight year running. 

We hope to leave behind more than just a farewell article. We hope Walls students years down the line will continue to enjoy the new Comics section placed strategically next to the crossword. We also have expanded our puzzle offerings with Connections. We look forward to how The Rookery will get even better in the years to come. 

We are excited for next year’s editor-in-chiefs, Zoe Fisher and Zoe Becker, and our new managing editor, Jessie Moss, who will take on the challenge of putting a newspaper together each month. And special congratulations to Zoe Becker, who is the first to attain the status of editor-in-chief as a junior. 

But while we’re confident we’re leaving The Rookery in capable hands, we worry about the new obstacles its next editors will face. 

Since its first edition eight years ago, The Rookery has operated just as any college student newspaper: with editorial freedom to publish what needs to be read and write how we want to write. 

That changed this year, for reasons unclear to us. Walls administrators have required that each edition we produce first be sent to them for approval. Fortunately, the extent of their review was limited. 

However, the specter of censorship threatens The Rookery’s status as the voice of the student body. Throughout the year, the risk of administrative scrutiny has hung over decisions of what we publish. 

We are not the most controversial of papers. But for any piece of student journalism, from criticism of DCPS to staff misconduct to controversial student activism, the independence of the student press is what makes it trustworthy. Our ability to publish unpopular or contentious ideas is what makes us journalists and not glorified newsletter writers. 

For The Rookery’s ninth year, we hope that the paper’s independence is restored. We hope that Walls administrators recognize that the free student press must be a voice of the student body, not of the administration. And we hope that The Rookery never backs down from covering what needs to be covered.

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