First student paper for Shelter Island debuts

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Teacher Devon Treharne and student Chandler Olinkiewicz in the Reporter’s newsroom Thursday afternoon with one of the first copies of their pride and joy.

The Inlet, Shelter Island School’s first newspaper, was distributed to students and staff Thursday, hot off the press. It’s the product of 15 journalism students who worked under the direction of teacher Devon Treharne.

The idea started with Superintendent Michael Hynes who asked Ms. Treharne to teach the elective journalism course that’s divided into two sections with students in grades nine through 12 participating. His vision from the outset was that the students would produce a school paper, Ms. Treharne said.

“I’m thrilled,” she said, looking at the 12-page issue in the Reporter’s newsroom early Thursday afternoon. The Inlet contains stories on the loss of study halls in student schedules, the value of advisories — early morning small group sessions designed to set the tone for the day ahead — introductory profiles of new staff and students, sports and entertainment. In her 10 years of teaching at Shelter Island, Ms. Treharne said the school has never had a paper.

“It was a little daunting to take it on,” she said. But early in the process that started in September, she enlisted help from former Reporter Editor Peter Boody to meet with the students to share some basic tenets of journalism.

Ideas for stories and their development were student driven, Ms. Treharne said. While she had to veto an idea or two that the students proposed, she expressed pride in how well they tackled the job of coming up with story ideas and developing them for the paper.

Just before Christmas break, copy written by students on The Inlet’s staff arrived at the Reporter office where graphics designer Barbara Pfanz tackled page layout, just as she does for the the Island’s community paper.

Students chose the name “Inlet” as a metaphor for the publication because it emanates from an interior piece of the Island, Ms. Treharne said.

Besides distributing it throughout the school, she was planning on putting copies at the library so residents could see it.

“Hopefully people will appreciate it and won’t be too critical,” she said.

The students expect to publish two more editions, one in March and the second before school ends in June, Ms. Treharne said.