Writing made me fall in love with journalism. No matter how demanding my role on staff becomes, I always carve out time to keep writing, whether it is a breaking news story, investigative feature piece, or book review. 

In-depth coverage

These are stories with multiple stories and intensive background research. I am particularly proud of my article on the school's response to the conflict in Israel and Gaza because it required a lot of consultation with off-the-record sources and meticulous writing to ensure that it was as unbiased as possible.

Social Justice Council, Administration respond to escalating violence between Israel, Gaza

The Social Justice Council hosted a forum for High School students Oct. 12 to discuss the impact of the ongoing conflict in Israel and Palestine.

SJC Co-President Jemma Granite (’25), who helped organize the event, said she wanted to create a space for students to come together and share their thoughts.

“The first step in dealing with a conflict like this, especially in a school environment, is to just have compassion for people,” Granite said. “Understand people’s different perspectives, and

Texas school shooting spurs discourse on gun control

Over 1,000 students ages 5 through 18 walk onto the ASL campus every day. When doing so, students file past numerous security guards and bulletproof glass that surrounds the entrance. For 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, May 24 was the last day they walked into Robb Elementary School, per The New York Times.

Head of School Coreen Hester said she turns on the news channel BBC Four every morning, which is how she learned about the shooting in Texas. She said she was “heartsick about

Unprecedented: One year with the virus

From whipped coffee and TikTok dances to patchwork denim and Disney+, the last year has been a whirlwind of novel experiences. It’s been a whole year where it’s seemed as though the media just couldn’t escape using the term “unprecedented times.”

“This school year will probably be the one in my career that I remember as the year like no other,” Head of School Robin Appleby said.

Looking back on the decision to close campus, Appleby said the limited information known about the virus caused a so

Daily Northwestern Personal Narrative

During my time at the Medill summer program, we had the opportunity to participate in a writing workshop for a couple of hours, submit what we had written, and later hear from the Daily Northwestern editors if they wanted to develop the piece. Mine was one of two that was chosen, and I worked with the Daily Northwestern editors to craft a satirical and more vulnerable angle than I had been going for in my original draft. "The extended working draft of my college essay" explores the complexity of my identity and perception of the world as I navigated the college process:

Stories from Iowa

Based on my reporting experience in Iowa, I wrote these two stories to capture everything I saw and heard while I was there. I wrote the bulk of the news piece about Ramaswamy after midnight on caucus night, addressing edits while I was in line at airport security the next day so it could be published as soon as possible. The opinion article "On the trail and in trial'" took more time to piece together as there were so many moving parts, and I really tried to unpack the those of the Republican party and specifically, Trump supporters.


Inspired by the incredible members of my vibrant, global school community – and overconsumption of the New Yorker – I dove into profile writing last year. I love sitting down with a lengthy transcript and parsing through information, thinking about what makes a person tick. What motivates them, what worries them, what they hope to achieve, how they got to where they are; these are all things I was thinking about when I profiled Raymond Antrobus. I only had 15 minutes with him because of his schedule, but I think the final result reflects a deep understanding of what drives him to write, and a general sense of what it is like to be in his presence.

Poet Raymond Antrobus inspires students “to be living as well as reading”

Poet Raymond Antrobus’s first ever story was a tale of persecution. He wrote a series of stories as a kid about a pony living as an outsider in a world of horses.

“So much of those stories came out of, like, the kind of conflict that was going on at my home and my siblings and my family,” he said. “But of course, like I’m only saying that retrospectively. At the time, I felt like it was something I was just writing.”

Antrobus’s work is listed in the Poetry elective syllabus, British GCSE sylla

John O’Toole mourns Queen Elizabeth II after 45 years of correspondence

The final time K2 Teacher John O’Toole saw Queen Elizabeth II, she waved from the Buckingham Palace balcony in 2022. O’Toole said he had camped the night before in hopes of seeing the queen during her Platinum Jubilee “Trooping the Colour” procession to celebrate 70 years on the throne.

“I had to fight back the crowd going down just to get a tiny glimpse of her on the balcony,” he said.

O’Toole said his love for the queen first began with an electronic encyclopedia articles about the royal fam

Vicar of destroyed church has yet to grieve as restoration process begins

The Victorian walls are 175 years old and have been enclosed since Jan. 27 with metal barricades. The church has continued worshiping services under a tent in the garden and is beginning to restart social gatherings that had regularly been held in the church, such as comedy nights and Paint & Sip sessions.

Harrison has been the church’s vicar for nearly five years, although she said she has now become a part of a startling new community.

“I’ve joined this exclusive club that I never wanted to

Alumnus Peter Stevenson reflects on career highlights at The Washington Post

The day of Jan. 6, 2021, Peter Stevenson, a senior political producer for The Washington Post and alumnus, was a mile away from the Capitol in Washington, D.C. As Trump supporters began to invade the Capitol, Stevenson said he was “watching all of the feeds come in about a mile away in increasing horror.”

“This was the city we lived in essentially coming under attack,” Stevenson said. “But that’s not the story. The story is, you know, what happened at the Capitol that day and the effect that it

Dexter James’ scientific passion inspires transition to US Air Force Academy

“All my friends and my parents were kind of making fun of me for this, for saying that I can do anything as long as I’m convinced there’s a test for it,” he said.

That determination earned Dexter James (’23) a place in the United States Air Force Academy for the Class of 2027.

James said a source of inspiration to train as a cadet came from his family’s history in the military; his grandfather was a surgeon in the Navy, and his father served in the military. In addition, he said the influence

Jennifer Abastillas works to diversify world of education

Abastillas teaches first grade in 2009-2010, including current Grade 12 students Emily Forgash (’21) and Eric Henrikson (’21). Abastillas started teaching at the school in 2008, and has since taken her influence beyond the classroom and into the realm of diversity, equity and inclusion work at ASL.

Although Jennifer Abastillas is currently teaching Grade 1, she has impacted the entire school community through her diversity, equity and inclusion work since her arrival in 2008.

Abastillas contri

Local news

London is a vibrant place to live, and I enjoy getting out of the school bubble and interviewing locals and officials.

Local Victorian church burns down

A fire broke out inside St. Mark’s Church on Hamilton Terrace starting at 11 p.m. Jan. 26, according to Police Constable Luke Leballeur. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Leballeur said electrical engineers are scheduled to inspect the water system inside the church today, and “the footpaths will hopefully be open tomorrow.”

Naomi Kuagben, a local resident, said she attended Sunday mass at St. Mark’s Jan. 22, as she has done regularly since Christmas. She said she noticed the churc

Death of Queen Elizabeth II ripples through community

As a child, Assistant Principal Natalie Jaworski said she viewed England as a “magical place.” Jaworski’s perception of the country was largely shaped by stories of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign that were passed down from her grandmother, a London resident who lived through World War II until 1947. Jaworski said she still carries a pin from the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, which was initially in the possession of her grandmother. This week, Jaworski held the same emblem in mourning.

After 70 years

Murder of Sarah Everard, UN survey result spark conversation around sexual harassment

After the murder of Sarah Everard and recently surveyed statistic about sexual harassment was released, female students are more concerned for their safety on the street. A commonly suggested method for self defense is to keep a key held between your fingers in order to have more impact if an offender were to become violent. Photo illustration by Clara Martinez.

Around 9 p.m. March 3, 33-year-old Sarah Everard went missing in South London. The Metropolitan Police confirmed that bodily remains d

School news

Some news is more light hearted than others. I loved writing about a falling ceiling tile because it created such a buzz in the High School and students cited it as something they were really interested in learning about.

Two High School Pod ceiling tiles fall, one hits student

Two ceiling tiles fell within two hours in the High School Pod Jan. 12. While one tile fell in the print and supply closet, another fell in Bottom O and hit Gabrielle Yurin (’23), who was eating lunch.

“I was sitting with my back to the wall, and then I just saw the faces of everyone around me like, completely shocked,” Yurin said. “And then I just felt something fall on me.”

While she said she was not directly hit by the tile, Yurin said an injury was only nearly avoided.

“I didn’t get hurt

Bottom O cubby regulation divides Grade 12 students

Tucked underneath the central staircase to the High School, Bottom O is a shared space for all members of the Grade 12 class. Since the beginning of the school year, disagreement has risen over assignments for the 45 available cubbies in Bottom O to a Grade 12 class with 136 members.

Student Council President Darren Morris (’23) said sticky notes with student names began appearing on cubbies the first day of school, motivating others to quickly claim the remaining spaces.

“There was this sort

StuCo posts Instagram Cameos to encourage “Not Spirit Week” participation

In an email sent to the school community Feb. 11, the Student Council announced the postponement of Spirit Week to May 23-27 “due to ASL’s guidelines.”

Instead of traditional Spirit Week activities, such as games and competitions held during a High School assembly, StuCo members adapted the week of Feb. 14 into “Not Spirit Week.” Throughout this week, students had the opportunity to earn spirit points for their grade, according to StuCo Vice President Maddie Wilkin (’22).

As a result of the po

Students elect StuCo representatives with over 80% voter turnout

New representatives for the Student Council were announced Sept. 24. Candidate speeches were filmed in the School Center rather than delivered live to students. After a four day voting period via a Google Form, 317 students cast a virtual ballot in Grades 9, 10 and 11. Ballots roughly constituted 80% voter turnout, per StuCo President Adnan Bseisu (’22). Grade 12 did not carry out an election as there were enough spaces to accomodate all applicants.

Each grade selects five representatives, but


I maintained a book review column for a couple of years called #BookTok Bookshelf where I, as an avid reader of Hemingway and Orwell, would dive into Young Adult romance fiction novels. Since discontinuing the column to write about a wider variety of books, I have written a book review for every print issue. My review of "Stoner" is a favorite because with the layout of the page, I had to keep the word count low and was proud of the final piece after this exercise in brevity. 

#BookTok Review: ‘My Year of Rest and Relaxation’ questions material happiness, privilege

Welcome back to a new year of #Booktok Bookshelf, where I, a self-proclaimed Hemingway and Fitzgerald enthusiast, review the novels trending among young people so you do not have to. “My Year of Rest and Relaxation” by Ottessa Moshfegh made its rounds this summer with over 50 million views under #MyYearOfRestAndRelaxation on TikTok, despite its original publication in 2018.

The unnamed narrator is tall, pretty and a self-proclaimed person of privilege living in an inherited apartment on the Upp

#BookTok Review: ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ narrates heartbreaking reality of misogyny

To close out the BookTok bookshelf for the year, I read a novel that has been on my reading list far longer than its popularity on the TikTok For You page. “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini is a widely acclaimed book that has recently gained attention from the teenage audience in conjunction with Hosseini’s debut novel “The Kite Runner.”

The novel begins in the 1960s, when Mariam is 15-years-old, shortly after the Soviets invade Afghanistan. She has been betrothed to a much older ma

#BookTok Review: ‘The Secret History’ draws in readers yearning for prestige

Welcome to my fifth review of viral books circulating the TikTok For You page. This week’s installment dives into “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt. Typically, novels publicized online gain popularity soon after being placed on store bookshelves. However, published in 1992, this novel immediately caught my eye as one of the oldest books trending on the platform. Under #thesecrethistory on TikTok, the book has amassed 48 million views under videos characterized by the dark academia subculture.

#BookTok Review: ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ introduces sophistication to fantasy genre

As my column enters its second month of life and hence, my second month of searching for novels on BookTok, I could no longer ignore the videos most frequently popping up on my For You page. Thus, I quickly became overwhelmed by the flood of reviews, fan art and point-of-view videos for one book in particular.

“A Court of Thorns and Roses,” referred to by fans as “ACOTAR,” has amassed one of the biggest fan bases on TikTok: 1.9 billion views under #acotar. Truly outstanding in its widespread re

#BookTok Review: ‘All the Bright Places’ sheds light on teenage mental struggles

One book often appears in TikTok videos captioning themes of sorrow – “books that will break your heart” or “standalones that made me sob until dawn” chief among them. The infamous novel “All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven unearths the pitfalls of high school.

Theodore Finch, a high school senior, is obsessed with death. Whether it be famous suicides or his own methods, Finch constantly shifts between personalities to avoid facing himself. Despite carefully calculated plans to escape his

#BookTok Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Hello, readers! This book review kicks off my “#BookTok Bookshelf” column, where I, a seasoned reader of Emily Brontë and F. Scott Fitzgerald, dive into the frightening depths of reading recommendations found on social media.

“BookTok” rose to popularity in 2021 as a subsection of TikTok, an app intended for short videos ranging from dances to advice to lip syncing. Books recommended by popular creators went viral, and the hashtag “BookTok” was born. It currently has almost 20 billion views.


#BookTok Review: ‘One of Us is Lying’ makes up for stereotypical characters with captivating plot

One phrase continually used is the claim that “the book was better than the movie.” As I only compelled myself to experience this story through literature, I cannot be sure whether this rings true for “One of Us is Lying” by Karen M. McManus. But, the television adaptation’s premiere in October 2021 undoubtedly brought new popularity to the book as it gained over 265 million views under #OneofUsisLying on TikTok, despite being published in 2017.

Chapter one begins with five high school seniors