By Philip Baillargeon
On a brisk September day in 2017, I wrote my very first article for the East Side News. I remember it very clearly; my first article was on the Equifax data breach that year. I remember the curious face of the National Editor as I pitched my idea about emphasizing the importance of data security and credit scores as a freshman writer, but I was supported every step of the way, and there is nothing quite like the feeling of seeing your writing in the newspaper holders all over the school. Today, I write my last article. After a year and a half of digital articles, these words will be going to print for one last time.
I would like to thank, first and foremost, the incredible, dynamic duo of Mr. Huber and Mrs. Lanzone. As a student, writer, and human, I have grown so much over these past four years, and for much of that growth, I have you to thank. You have inspired me to always find the best story by asking the right questions, finding the true motives, and understanding what are the real discussions we need to be having. I would also like to thank Leonardo Yana-Romero, our incredible multimedia master, for convincing me to go in front of the camera for The Bonfire. Forcing me to go outside of my comfort zone and have important conversations to be shared schoolwide has given me the confidence to tackle anything my future has in store for me, and for that, I sincerely thank you.
To my fellow editors: the newspaper is in very good hands. In a year that constantly challenged our faith in humanity, you all rose to the challenge of putting out a full newspaper every other week. You should be proud, and I am very excited to see the future of the East Side News with such kind, talented, and passionate people at the helm.
To my fellow writers: keep writing the good write. I know we are drawn to tragedy, but the best articles are often the intriguing and uplifting stories that do not get published anywhere else (Jonah, that snakes with legs article will haunt me for the rest of my days). Keep writing about your weird and wacky interests. Keep writing about tennis, Seth, even though nobody (and I mean nobody) starts their day and says, “Oh yeah, the tennis game is on at 7! Yippee!”
To all of the members of the East Side News community, thank you for writing with me for all these years. Thank you for all of the debates, brainstorms, and laughs. Thank you especially for the Coffeehouses where I drank lemon-lime soda floats with maple and chocolate syrup because we really needed to finish the ice cream before the night was over. At East, I was many things, but above all, I was a learner. That is why the title of “Editor in Chief” is one that I will hold so near and dear to my heart; I learned so much about the world and the wonderful people in it every day. I wish the best of luck to the next Editor in Chief and our slate of editors in the next school year. If you need a Bay Area correspondent, you have my number.
Best of Luck to You All,
Editor in Chief
Williamsville East High School ‘21, Stanford University ‘25