With all the uncertainty that the coronavirus has brought, the WHS journalism department has still been working hard on its most exciting new addition. Over many Google Meet calls and GroupMe conversations, the staff of 2020-2021 has ushered in a brand new magazine for the Westfield community. From logo creations and color scheme choices, the idea of this new publication has been in the works for years.
Supervisor of English Language Arts, K-12 Dr. Tiffany Jacobson said, “As far back as the 2013-2014 school year, Warren Hynes started to see the numbers in the journalism program steadily climb, and he worked with my predecessor to develop this magazine journalism course.”
“I think when I wrote the curriculum for the magazine class, the main point behind it was a sort of hopefulness that the number of kids in Journalism II would go up at some point, which is what happened,” said former Journalism Teacher and current Assistant Principal Warren Hynes. “I wrote it when I knew I had the time, so I knew it would be there and ready should we reach that point.”
With the steady increase of journalism students over the past few years, the course was adopted by the curriculum committee in 2015 and had “pretty much been sitting on a shelf waiting for the prime time to be implemented,” said Jacobson. Due to the doubling in journalism students during the 2019-2020 school year, it was necessary to implement the magazine curriculum.
Thus, during quarantine, Optic magazine was officially created. Amid the chaos of the pandemic, the development of Optic has been especially difficult. Yet, with patience, the staff of 17 students have been able to communicate and begin to piece together a beautiful publication.
First edition Editor in Chief of Optic Sophia Rossetti said, “Building a brand-new magazine from the ground up hasn’t been easy during quarantine, but I’m incredibly proud of it and confident in the progress our team has made so far.”
The group chose the name Optic to complement Hi’s Eye and follow a certain theme. “I think the move to link the names and play on the imagery of the eye was brilliant so I’m just so impressed, I’m constantly so impressed by how creative [WHS journalism students] are and just the different ways in which [they] think these through and connect these dots,” said Jacobson.
Editor In Chief and Arts Editor of Optic, Jacob Wendler, who designed the logo for the magazine, said, “The logo we decided on really just represents Optic in every way possible, with a look that is a perfect mix of clean and abstract and simple but complex. I would say that the logo has proven to be a great choice due to its versatility, as we’re able to modify the color scheme and intricate designs while maintaining the overall look.”
Through all of the uncertainty during this time, one thing is for sure: Optic Magazine is coming to you in the 2020-2021 school year! As for this new publication, more in-depth and lengthier pieces on an extended range of topics as well as an edgier, more open vibe can be expected.
Optic Adviser Shawn McDonald said, “I am beyond excited about how this whole thing has come together. This was a big idea that came to fruition in a short amount of time. With support from administration and the passion of the students, this project has become a reality.”