As the end of May approaches, it is hard for us to believe that our four years at the Register Forum are coming to an end. For both of us, this paper has been “The Thing” we spent hours on, met hundreds of people through, and dedicated practically all 180 days plus entire summers to for all of high school. For better or worse, “I’m at the RF” was our most frequent text message.
There are so many people to thank for the past four years, and especially this past year. Grace Ramsdell, last year’s Editor-in-Chief, managed to do, on her own, what the two of us could barely manage together. Her relentless dedication to edits and layout, along with her pioneering role in launching registerforum.org, was the best example of what to strive for as Editors-in-Chief.
We knew we were taking a risk this year by creating a number of new editorial positions, but this year’s editors have gone above and beyond to make the paper more accessible and efficient. To the Around School, Metro, Arts & Entertainment, Opinion, Sports, Photo, and Illustration Editors, as well as Head Copyeditors, we cannot express enough gratitude for the work you’ve put in this year.
Our Layout Designers, Miriam Alvarez-Rosenbloom ’19, Honor O’Shaughnessy ’19, and William Reed ’19 saved us countless hours after school by fitting too-short and too-long articles onto a single page, even when the task seemed impossible.
Our Managing Editors, Isabelle Agee-Jacobson ’20 and Vera Targoff ’19, have, like us, been part of the RF practically every day since they came to CRLS. They have been essential to growing our website, reach, and staff. Committing to something as involved as the RF is a lot to ask, but their devotion to the paper kept us up and running, even when it felt like we would need a miracle to meet the 4 PM deadlines.
It is hard to imagine a person more fit for the role of Editor-in-Chief than Isabelle. Not only has she committed more hours to the paper than anyone else (ourselves included), but she is truly a journalist. We have each gotten the privilege to work on articles with her; to see her interview subjects and write pieces in unbelievably short amounts of time feels like shadowing a New York Times reporter. We are both so excited to see how she grows the RF next year.
And, of course—we have to thank the Man, the Myth, the Legend: Mr. Matteo! Though the transition from room 2309 to 3401 was nerve-racking, his advice, printer, and puns have been indispensable to our work this year. Even as anxious freshmen and exhausted juniors, Mr. Matteo’s unwavering faith in us has allowed the paper to grow from its students, as every student publication should.
In fact, for both of us, that has been the biggest lesson we have gained from our time at the RF. We have been so fortunate to have had a true leadership experience in high school. The success of our ever-growing staff has shown to us that students, no matter their previous experience or age, are capable of doing anything if they are passionate about it. Everyone who touched the RF—from us to the editors to the writers—were committed to producing a high-quality paper.
For nine months a year, a group of fifty-some students work to produce a 20-page, 10,000-word paper that is then distributed both around the school and online to an audience of well over 1,000 people. It is rarely easy, and there is no direct reward for contributing, but the Register Forum itself is the incentive for all of us. That level of dedication can be replicated all over the school if there are opportunities for students to experiment, make mistakes, and succeed on their own. Currently, there are not enough opportunities for that.
We don’t know what the RF will become in the coming years, but we know that our freshmen selves could not have imagined that the RF would become what it is today.
The Register Forum is truly an extension of CRLS students. As the school inevitably changes, so will the paper. We were so lucky to enter room 2309 when we did in September of 2015. And although we’re now in a different room with entirely different staff (and Mr. Matteo has a different beard), we’re confident that whoever enters room 3401 will be as lucky as us. It’s just too bad we have to leave it.
This piece also appears in our May 2019 print edition.