The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

Stony Brook students write a new chapter with student-run newspaper

Anushka Tekade
Stony Secrets’ founders, Kali Kong, Henry Esposito, and Caitlin Korchev pose with their advisor, Sandra Femino.

Sixth grader Kali Kong walked into her first year at the Stony Brook School, both nervous and excited. With so many clubs and new opportunities available, she was prepared to get involved. As the first weeks of school progressed, her friends began joining communities like theater, art club, speech and debate, and more. Hopeful, she asked around about a certain club she had been looking forward to joining, but soon discovered that it did not exist. At least, not yet.

At the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year, Kong and her fellow sixth grade peers Henry Esposito and Caitlin Korchev worked together to found a student newspaper for Stony Brook School, advised by English teacher Sandra Femino. The publication is partially inspired by the WA Ghostwriter, and hopes to release articles to enlighten the student body about what is happening around them.

After witnessing the wide variety of clubs that both Stony Brook and Westford Academy had in common, Kong was surprised when she realized that the newspaper wasn’t one of them.

“I was so confused, because why would WA have a newspaper club, but Stony wouldn’t? Especially when there are so many clubs that [both schools] have,” Kong said.

While the task of founding a group may seem daunting for a trio of sixth graders, this was nothing that Esposito, Korchev, and Kong had not faced before. Although Abbot School did not officially establish clubs, the three decided to form one on their own terms. They wrote stories about small but funny moments that had happened around the school, such as when the students got to play with slime in class.

Once they entered their new school, the three got to work figuring out what it took to create a club. The first thing they did was meet with Stony Brook’s current principal, Alison Hammer, who immediately approved the idea. Next, they were tasked with establishing a club advisor. Because of her insight to writing, they turned to Femino, who readily agreed to help them.

“For some reason, their determination inspired me. They were going to make this happen no matter what,” Femino said.

Towards the beginning of the founding of the paper, dubbed Stony Secrets, Esposito, Kong, and Korchev ran the meetings, explaining what their vision for the paper was and how to come up with ideas for stories. However, meetings soon became more collaborative as students worked together to publish stories.

“Someone gets an idea, they assign roles, and then it magically gets done,” Femino said.

In an attempt to recruit more students to the club, the three put up posters and made an announcement to the school. At first, it was just the founders who were attending the meetings, but soon an increasing number of students began to join from different grade levels.

As a club, they came up with the idea to create a suggestion box. The box, located in the main office, is meant to be a place for all Stony Brook students to enter story ideas. The amount of entries in the box has consistently grown as the year progresses and more students hear about Stony Secrets, building the connection between the publication and the student body.

The members who join are divided into groups, based on the type of story they want to write. The categories that the paper currently has are school news, town news, and world news. On top of these, there are subcategories, such as certain clubs, celebrity birthdays, and theatrical performances.

The original founders often go out to conduct interviews, with Korchev asking questions and Kong recording the responses. The information gathered from the interviews are then passed to someone who wants to pursue the story. Once the story is written, Femino functions as an editor, making sure there are no grammatical errors.

In addition to stories, the publication includes a section for jokes, riddles, and comics. Once all the pieces are put together, everything is added onto a slideshow, which is then printed, stapled into packets, and distributed to the student body during advisory every other month.

Esposito, Kong, and Korchev have high hopes for the future of Stony Secrets and are constantly looking for ways for it to improve.

“We noticed that the Ghostwriter is really good at getting stories out as soon as something interesting happens, and we really want to have a schedule system to help us with that,” Kong said.

In order to take steps towards achieving this goal, the club members decided to put deadlines on certain stories depending on how long they are relevant.

The time spent working on the paper is more than just what happens during the club meetings, according to Femino. Time management may seem like an obstacle to some, but Korchev thinks that coming up with ideas for editorials is even more difficult.

Stony Secrets has also collaborated with Stony Brook’s Environmental Club, working to make their publication more eco-friendly.

“The environmental club [suggested] that we should try to use less ink and less paper,” Esposito said. “So we’re trying to fit multiple [stories] on one slide instead of just one.”

On top of mimicking the appearance of an everyday print newspaper with several stories on one side, the two clubs came up with the idea of making the packets double-sided. With the combined impact of both of these solutions, the sustainability of Stony Secrets has increased.

Although a large majority of Stony Secrets‘ writers are sixth and seventh graders, they are interested in joining the Ghostwriter after they graduate from Stony. Overall, many of the club’s current members believe that Stony Secrets will help them prepare for a position on the WA Ghostwriter and develop their writing skills.

“I think a really big part of why I’m doing this club is because I want to join the Ghostwriter when I’m in high school,” club member and seventh grader Ivy Cao said. “I’ve always liked to write, and I have really cool ideas that I want to share. I’m really excited to see where this club goes.”

View Comments (3)
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Aarshia Bhattacharyya
Aarshia Bhattacharyya, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Aarshia Bhattacharyya, and I’m a freshman staff writer for the WA Ghostwriter! This is my first year on the Ghostwriter, and I’m so excited to be able to use my love for writing to contribute to the paper! I joined the newspaper because I love writing about stories I care about and am interested in. In my free time, I love baking, reading, writing, spending time with my friends, painting, and listening to music. Outside of school, I do dance and swim, two of my favorite sports! 
Anushka Tekade, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Anushka Tekade and I’m a freshman. I’m a staff writer for the Ghostwriter club and am excited to take photos this year! I hope to document special moments this school year through photos. I enjoy all forms of art including, drawing, painting, music, and photography. 

Comments (3)

All WA Ghostwriter Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • S

    Shayaan ImranMar 4, 2024 at 11:09 am

    I’m in the club too. I actually was the one that came up with the name.

    • C

      CaitlinMar 29, 2024 at 2:13 pm

      No Henry did?

  • M

    Mary BowesFeb 15, 2024 at 2:46 pm

    I love that these students are doing a great service to the school and its students. I am so proud of these kids looking forward to seeing them as they grow into journalists as adults❣️