Insider On Dial: Meet the Team

Peek into how the staff of The Dial work, from first draft to final publishing.

Olivia, Fernanda, and Kayce ’25 focus on writing their articles. Staff writers sit with their friends, allowing for a collaborative and fun work period.

As you near the far end of the library and peek through the clear doors of the G201 computer lab, you may catch a glimpse of an uncommon array of 24 students from 10th to 12th grade. You’ll observe them as they work closely together in busily brainstorming and writing. What class has this kind of collaborative and lively atmosphere? This adjacency of grades? This freedom?

 Welcome to the Dial.

What most notably sets The Dial apart from other classes is the unique dynamic of students self-governing in all of the tasks related to publishing stories through their assumed leadership positions.  Readers of the Dial may not realize the thought, attention to detail, and time Dial writers give to producing just one article. Becoming a member of The Dial class is different than choosing another class; for most writers and editors it is a commitment not just to themselves but to the Hackley community.

The staff, advised by Upper School History teacher Michael Bass and Upper School Computer Science teacher Anne Budlong, bolster a voice for the student body, producing accurate, relevant, and interesting articles – and doing so in a timely manner. 

Quick turnaround when producing an article is critical, so members must develop good time management skills.  Most students take the prerequisite course taught by Ms. Budlong titled “Electronic Publishing” (EPUBS) freshman year and continue to become staff writers during their sophomore year. For staff writers, The Dial is a minor class, meeting three times a cycle.  Junior year, students can elect to take Dial as a major (meeting four times a cycle) and can apply to become editors and take on other leadership positions.  

Dial editors write their own articles and edit those written by their peers. One editor may be juggling more than five pieces at one time. The net result is a prolific

The Dial staff gathers in the G201 computer lab at the end of the library in Goodhue, allowing them access to the desktop computers. Students are responsible for coming up with article ideas, taking/finding photos, conducting interviews, and gathering information necessary to form a timely and interesting article. The classroom is airy, spacious, and bright, allowing for a creative atmosphere inspiring each student.

class that produces multiple articles a term. So far – only midway through the first trimester – the team has published over 35 articles to their website and sent out two fall newsletters.  

Who are these committed students who work tirelessly to bring the Hackley student and faculty timely and important news about their community? Meet the team.

“I enjoy all the freedom I have,” staff writer sophomore Olivia Houck said. “I think it is important to inform people on the ongoing topics and issues that our community deals with.”

Staff writers spend class periods writing articles, which are then submitted to the hands of the next stage of publishing; the section editors. 

Meet the Section Editors: Maura McGlarry, Opinion Editor; Ashley Currie, News Editor; Caleb Bae and Enya Walsh, Events Editors; Annabel Hardart and Akshi Khowala, Features Editors. Section editors have been on The Dial for at least two years, and are the second layer of revision that all articles go through. They are responsible for both editing and writing articles.

Maura, as an Opinion Editor, spends her class periods writing articles, editing articles, helping on the editorial board, and encouraging students (both on as well as off the Dial) to articulate their angles. Angles meaning their specific takes on pressing topics confronted by Hackley students and faculty. She enjoys writing articles to be published, as well as the connections she has made in the process. 

“I really love The Dial staff, and that has definitely been a factor in my continuing to take this class for three years,” she said. “ I love being able to have the creativity to choose what to write about, and writing about things that

Editors and staff writers brainstorm together in the computer lab. When a writer needs a new article idea, the class comes together to help find a new topic to explore.

suit my interests.”

Editors in Chief, seniors Chloe Yancovich, Emily Koch, Sami Rowbottom, and Bella Wasserman guide the staff, write their own articles, and are the final layer of review all articles go through.  

Emily works mainly on design. “I’m going to be working a lot more when the magazine is starting to come out,” she said.

She is in charge of ensuring all pieces have graphics or photos and overseeing the artistic aspects of The Dial’s issues.

“Everyone kind of runs their own show in Dial,” Chloe said, “we’re here to be mentors and keep it all in line.” They organize the flow of production of the pieces and synchronously bring the team closer together.

“My favorite part about working on the Dial is, honestly, just working with the whole group. I like being able to help the staff writers come up with ideas and working with the editors,” Sami said. She also enjoys editing articles. “I like getting to see them before they are published and giving constructive feedback.” 

This fall, the staff attended the CSPA Annual Fall Conference at Columbia University, where they had the opportunity to develop their skills as journalists and collaborate with other school papers.