The Tom Tom has been around for almost a century. In the past six years alone, we’ve written over 5 thousand stories, taken more than 10 thousand pictures, published 55 magazines, and had 192 different people on staff. Over our history we’ve told countless stories, and in all that time we’ve always struggled with finding new ways to tell those stories. In this magazine we’ve tried to find topics we talk a lot about: stressed-out students, pets, politics and death, but find a new way to tell those stories or a new aspect of those topics to talk about.
As a staff this year, we’re focused on taking our recent failures and using them to better ourselves; we want to come out of the tunnel and into the light. A major part of that is shaking things up and finding fresh perspectives within our community. We’ve strived to find new rocks to turn over in our pursuit to write innovatively. And when we couldn’t find new stories, we instead found new ways to tell them.
For example, instead of writing a typical profile of a football player, Content Editor Bridget Nauman focused on starting wide receiver Dino Kaliakmanis’ less-discussed love of dance. Instead of talking about how pets change their owners’ lives, Content Editor Julia Hackeloer decided to change it up and talk about how the owner can change the pets’ lives. In our features section we’ve taken death, a topic which has been covered to exhaustion, and wondered what people’s “lasts” would be. Content Editor Grace Acello asked what people would say if they had one more conversation with a departed loved one; Content Editor Lena De Vore answered what people want from their final breaths; staffer Charlie Bongratz talks about what people want from their last days alive. In a rare double appearance in this magazine, Bongratz also discusses a disconnect between the students and administration within CHSD 117. We also decided to take a look at the current political landscape in Feather Managing Editor Madison McBride’s “One More Call,” a recap of recent events with President Donald Trump at the center of an impeachment hearing.
Finally, we decided to spotlight our very own hometown-hero: Charlie Smith. Smith is the recently named IHSA men’s cross country state champion. He graces our cover, as well as a spread of pages at the end. We’d like to congratulate him on his new title, while also highlighting all of the hard work he put into becoming the best of the best.
Read up, we hope you enjoy.