Farewell from the Editor

By Anthony Lee

The editor of Charter’s student newspaper, The Force File, reflects on his experience and bids farewell. Photo by Anthony Lee.

Four years ago, had someone told me that I would assume this position, I would have responded with incredulity. I did not join the Force File to become editor-in-chief; I joined to become a better writer. (To say that I did not harbor dreams of leadership, however, is to lie.)

When I discovered the newspaper, I was an aimless freshman who had this vague goal of “improving my writing.” From a young age, my parents had inculcated an appreciation for effective communication, and as I strolled through the Activity Fair, I sought clubs where I could exercise these skills. It was within this jungle of posters and overbearing upperclassmen that I found the Force File and my first home.

Like me, the Force File was a freshman at the Charter School of Wilmington in 2016. Started by Grady McPeak and Benjamin Snyder, it too was navigating through first year doubts and uncertainties. Perhaps it was this shared experience that brought us together; perhaps it was fate. Regardless of what introduced me to the Force File, I am certain that the camaraderie within the group persuaded me to stay. At each meeting, I could always feel a warmth and a passion that embraced and connected everyone present. It was this wholesome environment that allowed me to truly feel welcome and wanted at the Charter School of Wilmington.

As I grew more comfortable, my writing also progressed. Under the watchful eye of Editor-in-Chief Snyder and his deputy, Preeti Krishnamani, I explored a variety of written formats that I had only seen on the news. I wrote editorials about issues important to me, covered school events like Homecoming, and conducted interviews with members of the Charter community. (Here’s looking at you, Satalino.) In the process of proofreading draft after draft after draft after draft, I not only learned the mechanics of excellent writing, but I also discovered, or rather developed, my voice. It is my firm belief that this “voice” is the essence of exceptional writing, and I hope that the Force File will strive toward this standard of excellence.

Today, I am proud to say that the Force File has stayed true to its founding principles. The strong bond that connects writers and the editorial board is a testament to the newspaper’s signature camaraderie. The diverse articles that we publish are examples of our commitment to providing an open forum for students to voice their thoughts and exercise their creativity. However, it would not have been possible without the following people:

Grady McPeak, for having the initiative to revive the Force File.

Benjamin Snyder and Preeti Krishnamani, for nurturing the newspaper and its staff, including me, and trusting me to continue their legacy.

Andrew Zhao and Rishima Mall, for providing valuable assistance in the Force File’s logistics. On behalf of the original staff, I entrust the newspaper to you, the next generation.

Nikhil Kanamarla, for establishing our original online publishing website.

Christophoros Kontomaris and Pranav Padmanabhan, for overseeing the transition to our current website.

Ms. Anna Tabah, née Lounsbury, for being our wonderful moderator for the last four years. We sincerely hope that you will remain for the years to come!

Ms. Rose Lounsbury, for allowing us to use her room for meetings.

The administration, especially Ms. Donna Urban, for approving each edition that we publish.

Last, but not certainly least, our writers, current, past, and future. You are the foundation of the Force File; without you, we would and could not exist.

Finally, I would like to close my letter by reiterating the advice of my predecessor, Benjamin Snyder: “the world is your oyster—but it’s up to you to seize its pearl.” As you explore the sea that is the Charter School of Wilmington, may you find that pearl, and most importantly, use it for the benefit of others.

Anthony Lee, Editor-in-Chief

P.S. If you were curious, yes, that last sentence was a reference to John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. Go read it!