By MILES PREKOSKI
Building a newspaper is a complex process. There’s more to a newspaper than a series of articles and its attached images, and hours of work get put into a single issue of the Carmel Sandpiper. Behind the entire process are three CHS seniors who have put in countless hours making the Sandpiper possible: editors Athena Fosler-Brazil, Ellah Foster and Kylie Yeatman.
Fosler-Brazil, Foster and Yeatman have more than a decade of experience between them and have served as editors for the past two years. As layout editors, the three are responsible for building a template and digitally laying out each page of every edition, ensuring that all stories end up in the right place at the right time. Consequently, editors often take on the responsibility of revising writing that needs work, taking on last-minute pieces or advising younger reporters regarding how they can improve their own articles.
“I mainly describe being an editor as working on layout and being ‘in charge,’” says Ellah Foster, who rotates the chief editor position monthly with Fosler-Brazil and Yeatman.
Prior to the school’s closure for quarantine, the three editors kicked off each month creating templates and aiding students, building an almost entirely new newspaper from the ground up every month. As weeks pass by, work ramps up, and oftentimes when there’s only a week before the newspaper is printed, editors won’t stop assembling the paper until 7 or 8 p.m.
“Basically, there is just more weight on our shoulders at the end of the day. All three of us care a lot, even too much sometimes,” comments Foster, who began her career in reporting when she had a regular column in a local paper the summer before her freshman year, which motivated Foster to join the class. She intends to attend a four-year college to study journalism after high school.
Unlike Foster, Athena Fosler-Brazil joined the Sandpiper staff in 2017 as a sophomore after transferring to CUSD. Now in her third year in the class, she serves a dual role as Newspaper Club president after being elected by the class.
“I wasn’t sure if I had any intention of staying when I signed up sophomore year, but it really quickly became a lot more than me just trying something out,” comments Fosler-Brazil, who on top of her love for writing has also built a strong bond with teacher and newspaper adviser Mike Palshaw.
“The support I’ve gotten from him has been a really important part of my life, especially during senior year,” adds the senior, who will double major in journalism and environmental science next year. “He makes it clear that he cares about the three of us, and he’s there pretty much all the time. I complain about him a lot, but I wouldn’t trade that relationship for anything.”
The Sandpiper contains an amalgamation of students who likely wouldn’t have met without a Newspaper class. This is true for the third of these three editors, Kylie Yeatman, who enrolled in the class her freshman year after wanting to write more. After emerging as an established writer her sophomore year, Yeatman became an editor her junior year and finds joy in the trickiness of fitting stories into layout.
“It has definitely become something of an obligation over the years, but it’s an obligation that I really cherish,” Yeatman says. Like Fosler-Brazil, Yeatman didn’t originally set out to take Newspaper for four years, but realized it would be necessary for her to continue taking the course.
“I learned a lot more about myself and the importance of communication skills from this course,” Yeatman says. “Plus it’s a place where I feel valued.”
While Yeatman doesn’t plan to study journalism in college, she will continue to pursue journalism indirectly as an extracurricular activity.
Foster, Fosler-Brazil and Yeatman admit that it can be difficult to share a leadership position among them, but over the years they’ve learned each of them has different skills they can hone in on. The three have prioritized listening to each other, working together and, most importantly, putting out a professional paper by the end of each month.
“The countless hours they’ve spent on the paper is so clear to me because of how they’ve taught me,” says junior Alicia Krueger, who has been in training with the current editors for the past several months in preparation of becoming next year’s editor-in-chief. “They were beyond patient when they were teaching me, and they somehow mesh perfectly together, enabling them to create an environment where students can feel like a family and work hard at the same time.”
It’s safe to say that the Carmel Sandpiper wouldn’t be possible without the work of these three women.