The Paper Lion: A Brief History

The+Paper+Lion%3A+A+Brief+History

Rebecca Williamson, Editor-in-Chief

Imagine a bunch of high schoolers eagerly awaiting the warm, freshly printed paper that will spill the latest updates. The staff had spent hours working on each page until the entire paper was perfect. This was what is was like back then, in the time before online newspapers and computers that made our lives so much easier. However, these students loved what they did, and every month or so a new Daler Skyline was released.

Right now, each person is probably pausing and thinking to himself did I read that right? The answer is yes. Before the Paper Lion became what it is today, Farmingdale High School’s student newspaper was known as the Daler Skyline. During the late 1960’s, the Daler Skyline was just like today’s paper, with articles covering school news, current events, and pop culture. In one of the 1966 issues, there was even an article that covered the high school’s move from the middle school to its current location. Scattered throughout the 1960s papers there were the occasional mini comic section, which has been brought back, and plenty of advertisements. There was even an issue dedicated to satirical articles written about current events and other topics. However, just like today, the paper staff encouraged students to read the paper .“The Daler Skyline is designed with two objectives in mind; first, to inform the students of school events and other facets of school life; second, to stimulate individual thinking on vital issues of the day……The Skyline is your newspaper….. Support your paper,” the October 13, 1966 issue of the Daler Skyline stated.

Although it is not stated in any old yearbook or newspapers why the name change occurred in 1970, it did and this meant the Paper Lion was on its journey to becoming what it is today. The sudden change could have been a result of Farmingdale High School’s new location to Lincoln Street where it stands today. Just like the staff has changed over time, the advisors have changed too. Our current co-advisor, Mr. Osborn, has been on the staff for only four years. “The Journalism class that is connected to The Paper Lion was previously taught by Mrs. Nilufer Kelly. She is still a co-adviser for the The Paper Lion. Before that, the adviser was Mrs. Mazza-Shaw. I took over teaching the class and became adviser three years ago. I decided to take the class for several reasons. I was the adviser for the Farmingdale High School yearbook for six years, then took a break from school publications for a couple of years. Since I am completely out of my mind, I kind of missed the work that goes into a school publication! Most of all, I missed being able to work with my students in a setting other than a required English class. Teaching this kind of elective is a different experience, and one that I value. I jumped at the opportunity to become the adviser of The Paper Lion when it became available,” Mr. Osborn says. Although his time with the paper has been short, he has made many changes that have made The Paper Lion more popular today.

The Paper Lion has been keeping up with the times, or more specifically, the use of the internet. Mr. Osborn says, “For the past few years, I’ve tried to move The Paper Lion in a digital direction. I do not ever want to phase out the printed copies of the newspaper, but it is important to continue to evolve. I want to continue to develop our new website, as well as continue to find creative ways to use social media to get our student writing out there. That reminds me, don’t forget to go to our website, paperlion.org, as well as follow us on Twitter @FHS_PaperLion!” Under the direction of Mr. Osborn, the paper launched its own website. The paper previously had an online blog, but it wasn’t that well known. The new website gives students more opportunities to write and be featured. The Paper Lion has taken advantage of the internet and has made the paper more popular than ever.

Being a part of The Paper Lion is more than just an addition to your resume. Each student has gained rewarding experiences from his or her time on the staff. “The best aspect of The Paper Lion is embracing the sense of home and comfort in our high school, especially since it’s my senior year. Having been a fellow editor and writer for the school newspaper, I’ve become more socially involved, ambitious to learn about the different clubs and activities, beyond those I’ve gravitated towards the past few years in these hallways. It was probably one of the best experiences I can reflect on after I graduate,” says Editor Allie Jorge, a senior. The Paper Lion gives students opportunities they don’t get in a regular English class. Sports Editor Jack Rosen, who is also a senior, says, “The best part about writing for the paper is actually writing about what I love. Throughout the school day, I have to write about Shakespeare, economics, and things like that. However, in The Paper Lion I have the freedom to talk about whatever topic I choose.” Writing for the school paper gives new ways for students to get involved. “I’ve enjoyed getting a new perspective and appreciation for the school and the people in it. I’ve made new friends in the process, and been much more involved in the school,” says Co-Editor-in-Chief Alecia Sclafani, also graduating this year. Even Mr. Osborn feels the newspaper is so much more than a way to share news. “This sounds like a cliche answer, but too bad, because it’s true. Working with some of the amazing students on the staff is by far the most rewarding experience of this job. I am often absolutely amazed by the talent of these students. It’s a pretty awesome experience to be able to witness some of the work that students can create, and even more amazing to help guide them in some way to help them become even better. Sometimes, it is just a matter of giving students the freedom they need to thrive,” Mr. Osborn says.

If you find Journalism interesting and love to write, take the Journalism elective and write for The Paper Lion. If this does not sound like you, continue to read the newspaper and stay updated on the latest school news, current events, and more! Support your fellow students and the school by reading The Paper Lion.