The Circle Voice

A Letter from Your Former Editors

Annie+and+Christian+read+The+Circle+Voice.
Annie and Christian read The Circle Voice.

Annie and Christian read The Circle Voice.

Eliza Turner '20

Eliza Turner '20

Annie and Christian read The Circle Voice.

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At first glance, it’s hard to figure out why anyone would want to be editor-in-chief of The Circle Voice. Editors spend the last year of their bucolic days at Groton herding thirty-odd people, dedicating hours and hours to reading over every section for typos, and playing lengthy matches of article ping-pong with writers and editors to clarify a factual error or two. And then it’s publication day, when – in theory – the weeks of hard work should pay off. But when you walk into the Schoolhouse, the first people who approach you all want to point out typos. At times, “thankless” seems an understatement.

But it’s Prize Day now, and we have on our faces the rose-tinted glasses that come with departures. In hindsight, we can look back on our tenures as editors of The Circle Voice and evaluate them. When we were named as editors a year ago, we were both excited to manage the paper. We’d both worked on the paper in some capacity since our third form years, and finally had a chance to effect change. Excited by the journalistic freedom granted to us, we eagerly devised an ambitious list of all the changes we wanted to implement.

Our predecessors, Jack McLaughlin and Hadley Callaway ’17, told us was that we needed to be realistic about the scope of things we hoped to update, and that sometimes, you just have to produce a good paper. While we initially balked and set out to upend the paper, we quickly realized that they were correct. We came into the year hoping to revolutionize many things about the way The Circle Voice worked, but our hopes were retrenched by the realities of being students at Groton. We realized that we would have a spate of half-baked ideas and nothing substantive to show for it unless we gave ourselves a focus. To twist a phrase from essayist Bill Deresiewicz, the choice we had to make wasn’t between changing something and changing everything – it was between changing something and changing nothing.

So we chose specific things to work on and improve. We’re immensely proud of the Style Guide, a proprietary document that takes a first step towards enforcing uniform style in Circle Voice articles. While it’s comparatively small at 5,700 words, we hope that it will continue to grow and become the definitive reference we set out to make. We are also proud of the topics that we have drawn the School’s attention to this year, whether that be environmentalism or new busts in the Schoolhouse. Setting the discourse of the Groton community, if only for ten minutes while everyone reads the paper, is a very unique and fulfilling opportunity. It’s also been rewarding to see improvements in the paper’s quality as a result of changes we made. Most importantly, we are proud of the entire editorial board, in that we worked together to produce a paper with integrity and without the motivation of a grade. The Circle Voice is unique in that it is not produced in a journalism class, nor has the guidance of a journalism teacher. The fact that the paper is student-run, and meets on a club basis, makes the job all the more fulfilling.

The year was not without bumps, however. Due to a change in ownership of our usual printers, the ones Ethan Woo and Varsha Harish ’16 moved The Circle Voice to, we had to find a new printer this year. After a week or so of calling and emailing what seemed to be every printing press in New England, we finally came upon one that worked for our needs. We also had some issues with articles we ran or hoped to run that necessitated much work on our behalf, and on the behalves of the articles’ writers to fix whatever had gone wrong.

But it has been worth it to work together on and push out a newspaper we are proud of. As we close and shelve our own Groton experiences, we will remember and cherish all the times it seemed impossible to get through the nine issues on each editorial board’s slate, all the late nights in the Circle Voice room, and all the hours spent chasing after article writers. We will also, of course, enjoy the memories of walking into the Schoolroom to see people buzzing about an article that we’d run (or, perhaps more likely, about the Humor section). It has been a privilege to join the rest of the newspaper staff in coming together and producing what we think to be a fine high-school newspaper. Thanks to the 48th Editorial Board and to all other people who came together to make this year possible and successful.

Lily and Marianne – good luck! You’ve got a long road ahead of you, and we wish you all the best of luck in continuing and refining The Circle Voice.

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