William Y., Editor in Chief

Photos courtesy of students

William Y., Editor in Chief

Attending Vanderbilt University

As I stepped through the gates of Commack High School, I marveled at the possibilities that awaited me. When I walked past the plaques lining the hallways leading to the south gym, I envisioned a plaque of my own on its walls, celebrating my numerous county and state titles as a varsity swimmer. When I walked past the research rooms,  I envisioned a banner with my photo on it plastered on its walls, commemorating my numerous first place finishes at science fairs and published papers. When I walked past the publishing suite, I looked out the windows lining the walls opposite of the suite, admired the weather outside, and kept walking. 

Among other things, including committing to a college in the deep south and surviving a global pandemic, I never envisioned myself joining The Courant by the end of senior year, let alone hold a position on the editorial board. With that being said, writing for The Courant has been one of the defining features of the latter half of my high school career. 

Prior to joining The Courant, I did not believe that I had much to offer to journalism as a whole. I was not interested in regurgitating stories that have been run into the ground by major media outlets, nor was I interested in writing in a style that I labeled as dry and restricting. However, looking back at the kinds of stories that I have covered throughout my journalistic career at Commack, I am happy to say that my experiences as a writer and editor for The Courant have decisively shattered these ignorant paradigms. 

For me, journalism is an exciting and effective medium for storytelling. At a time when everyone was exposed to an endless barrage of COVID-related news during the early stages of the pandemic, my coverage of the outlet involved chronicling the struggles of a family that endured the brunt of this health crisis when every member was infected by the disease. While representation in the film industry is a hot topic that is getting a significant amount of coverage, I had the privilege of interviewing a Commack graduate who went on to secure a starring role in a major network drama and was able to detail his experiences as an Asian American actor in Hollywood. On a smaller scale, I was able to speak with a teacher who was thrust into the role of the voice behind the daily dismissals and was able to use her platform to brighten the days of students and faculty alike. While the subject matter of my stories weren’t groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination, the most meaningful and important aspect of writing for The Courant for me is bringing out the humanity in the topics that I cover. 

Before I advance to the next stage of my educational career down in Nashville, I would like to take some time to acknowledge those who have been a part of my journalistic journey.

To my fellow staffers and editors: Your efforts are what maintain the high quality and quantity of stories that is to be expected from writers of The Courant. While I would have liked to establish a closer connection with each one of you if it weren’t the current circumstances, I enjoyed reading through your stories and exposing myself to the diverse perspectives that you all bring to the table during the editing process. Regardless of whether you are planning on going off to college next year, returning to the staff of The Courant, or hanging up your colloquial pens for goods, I wish you all the best in your future endeavors

To Mrs. Semple: You are the backbone of the publications at Commack High School and I mean that in the most genuine sense. Without your steadfast leadership and unshakable work ethic, everyone from the Editorial Staff all the way down to the new trainees would aimlessly and cluelessly drift around spewing stories riddled with errors and The Courant would crumple into a disorganized mess. I am grateful for the advice that you have provided me through the years I have been on the staff and I will miss our random conversations in the comfy confines of the Publishing Suite.

To my past interviewees: Thank you for giving me the privilege and opportunity for me to tell your stories. I hope that my stories have done them justice and without your cooperation, I would not be in the position I am today.  🔳