Introduction to The Panel’s New Staff for Volume 69

Welcome to Volume 69 of The Panel! While it seems bizarre to embark on the next chapter of this publication given the current upheaval of normalcy we experience daily, it is precisely for that reason that we are compelled to continue its legacy and history. This issue is the first published solely online, and we urge you to visit our website to find more articles, videos, and media than you see here. This year’s staff is perhaps the largest in recent memory, but its ranks are filled by talented artists, committed staff writers, and meticulous editors. Some are beginning their first volume, others their second or third, and we are excited about the potential this staff holds. Leading the charge are two Editors-In-Chief, Abe Tolkoff ‘21, and Sreetej Digumarthi ‘21, as well as a diligent Executive Editor, Charlie Wells ‘21. These three, the so-called “Trifecta,” have worked hard in the past six weeks to build this issue without the use of our computer lab or weekend layout sessions. That said, we are extremely proud of the dedication already shown by everyone involved in the publication process.

While the staff looks forward to expanding the online influence of the publication, they have also taken a significant pause to review the history of our storied newspaper. Instrumental in this process have been the editors of Volume 68, as well as the Editors-In-Chief from Volume 66, Will McCormack ‘18, and Ishaan Prasaad ‘18. While neither is still on campus, it became evident to us that they still hold Belmont Hill and specifically The Panel near to their hearts. They certainly serve as an inspiration to us all and have passed along a trove of ideas and suggestions for how to usher in a new age of The Panel. In the next year, we hope to begin a process of gathering and digitally publishing recent volumes of The Panel, invite alumni-editors back to campus, and cement our purpose and mission. 

Our sections are staffed by talented writers and designers; in News: Henry Moses ‘21 and assistant David Cho ‘23; in Opinions: Sammy Jomaa ‘21 and assistant Mac Bobo ‘23; in Sports: Daniel Bittner ‘22 and assistant Cooper Nelson ‘23; and in Arts: Tyler Forg ‘21 and assistant RC Keomurjian ‘22. Backpage editors Paul Vander Vort ‘21, Justin Pare ‘21, and Adam Alto ‘21 are prepared to deliver some fantastic content. We are also excited to welcome three staff writers, Ryan Griffin ‘22, Daniel Cho ‘23, and Daniel Rashes ‘22, to the team. 

As previously mentioned, this year’s staff has seen many firsts and modernizations. On the online front, Howard Huang ‘22 will lead the implementation of a host of goals for the website assisted by Luke Wagner ‘22. Of note, Luke Hogan ‘22 has been assigned a new position, the ‘Digital Media Editor.’ He looks forward to maintaining The Panel Social Media presence, as well as producing video content. Copy Editor Alex Lo ‘23 and assistant Lawrence Tang ‘22 hope to revitalize their positions and bring careful editing to each article before print. Photo Editor Jalen Walker ‘21 leads an impressive team of photography staff including Drew Dummer ‘22, Alex Sousa ‘22, Jack Dyer ‘23, and Jake Kornmehl ‘24. Graphics Editor Kevin Jiang ‘22 also heads a significantly expanded team of artists working with a variety of media, including Daniel Xie ‘24, Luke Trevisan ‘24, Chris Brusie ‘23, and Riley Shafer ‘21. With such a talented list of artists joining our ranks, The Panel is certainly well poised to offer more high-quality graphics and photos in the coming issues. 

The year 2020 provides a fantastic opportunity for news as the nation runs headlong into a decidedly tumultuous election process, continues to respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and ponders questions about scientific and journalistic integrity. In our community at Belmont Hill, there is much on the horizon too. The school continues to surge closer to its centennial celebration, we eagerly await the first school meeting in our newly renovated Hamilton Chapel, and many questions remain about the lasting effects of spending Marking Period 4 online. It is certainly an interesting time for our global community, and we hope to begin to answer some of these questions with you all in the coming weeks and months. 

With so many members of the staff, communication has become the most frequent buzz word in our virtual meetings, and we ask the same of you. This publication remains at its heart an extension of the minds of all in our community, and we hope to continue to provide opportunities for all to participate. Please be vocal about your interests and suggestions to any member of our staff. And so, with great excitement, we extend virtually to you all Volume 69 Issue 1.

 – The Panel Staff 

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