Palo Alto High School's News and Features Publication

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

From the editors: Grief and gratitude


“Let’s just skip the news and acknowledge that the world is a terrible place,” our adviser, Paul Kandell, told us at the beginning of one of our most recent Verde class periods, suggesting we forego our daily habit of listening to the daily news summary on National Public Radio. With the effects of strife and loss, past and present, abroad and close by, the world is a bit of a downer — to put it lightly. But as journalists, we have the unique power not only to tell the stories of the grieving, but to comfort them with our coverage.

We were inspired, not to turn off the depressing nature of the news, to find our way to be useful in the face of it. This issue centers around tragedy — and our ways of coping with it.

Our cover story, “Eyes on Ukraine,” explores how members of our local community are responding to atrocities in Ukraine. Editor-in-Chief Sebastian Bonnard and staff writer Carlota Blanco capture the grief, hope and angst felt by Ukrainian-Americans, activists and the broader community during this time of strife. In a companion photo essay, “Coming together,” Editor-in-Chief Sebastian Bonnard and Photography Director Ines Legrand capture a recent rally in solidarity with Ukraine and its people.

In our editorial, “Support local refugees,” our staff takes a stance in support of those displaced by wars abroad, advocating for action from our readers. We hope our unified call-to-action will inspire you to join us in supporting such a dire cause.

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Though this issue may not be our most uplifting selection of works, it encapsulates the goals of us as editors — to amplify the voices of the silenced and to comfort the afflicted.

Beyond present conflicts, past tragedies continue to haunt many community members, evoking generations of trauma that contribute to unique experiences and perspectives. In “Teaching the Holocaust,” Editorials Editor Andy Robinson and Business Manager Kieran Zajac examine how recent antisemitic hate crimes have led some in the Jewish community to re-evaluate how Jewish history and the Holocaust are taught in schools.

Tragedy and grief is not just felt in the effects of distant wars. The recent passing of two school icons, Ernesto Cruz and Radu Toma, compelled us to include obituaries in our magazine for the first time in recent issues. Managing Editor Merwa Marof, Social Media Manager Ajin Jeong, Design Editor Sofia Antebi and staff writer Gopala Varadarajan capture the spirits of Cruz and Toma in “Commemorating campus legends.” 

Many are working, however, to mitigate the effects of adversity on all members of our community. In “Opening doors to support,” Perspectives Editor Meena Narayanaswami and Multimedia Manager Alexis Chiu investigate the ways in which racial minorities are uniquely affected by mental health struggles, and discuss the ways in which some are amending their practices to serve the unique psychological needs of all.

Though this issue may not be our most uplifting selection of works, it encapsulates the goals of us as editors — to amplify the voices of the silenced and to comfort the afflicted. A hallmark of our time leading Verde has been increasing our equity and reporting on underrepresented communities, telling their stories and using our power as journalists to inspire change. And as we leave you, our readers, with this final issue under our leadership, we hope you feel both comforted and moved by the stories highlighted within this magazine’s pages. 

Verde, it has been an honor.

On the cover

Two Ukrainian protesters sing and speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine at a recent rally in Redwood City. Editor-in-Chief Sebastian Bonnard captures the fear, solidarity and hope the local Ukrainian community is experiencing as the future of their family and homeland remains uncertain.

Find the full PDF of our magazine on Issuu.