McIntosh Trail newsmagazine hits the stands

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It was a labor of love a long time in the making, but the finished product was worth the wait. The new-look Trail helped McIntosh High students get ready for the new year as an informative and impressive inaugural newsmagazine.

“We created this to be a tool for new and returning students, so I hope every student learns something but also maybe gets involved with certain clubs or teams because of something we wrote. I want the freshmen to feel a little better about school and join a club, a sophomore to learn more about the new head football coach, have the student body get important MHS Homecoming information, and a senior to feel good about going off to college having done what they wanted in high school,” said Editor-in-Chief Rebekah Bushmire. “This was an amazing project to work on, and it’s beautiful. It is unlike anything we have ever done, and I couldn’t be more happy with our work.”

The magazine is a one-stop-shop for students to learn all about McIntosh.

“The magazine is about various things that we deemed important for the general student body to know at the beginning of this year. Last year, we all collaborated as a staff to determine the highlights of things we had wished we’d known at the beginning of the year,” said news editor Savannah Hayes. “I hope that readers can feel more ‘in the know’ about McIntosh.”

Adviser Shanon Woolf wanted the Trail to transition from a traditional newspaper and into a glossy newsmagazine. Last spring, her editors agreed that creating a ‘back-to-school’ magazine with information in it – ‘for us, by us,’ as they put it – would be way more beneficial than traditional back-to-school information.

Content creation was the staff’s spring semester final exam, and the editors laid it out via Zoom in the weeks leading up to school starting back.

“This magazine is about giving the new kids, whether they be underclassmen or upperclassmen, a leg up in high school. High school is confusing and scary, especially for people who have no idea what to expect,” said opinions editor Marjorie Smedley. “I hope when readers look through the magazine, that they take in the information we’ve provided them through research and experience, and go through high school knowing that we’ve gone through the same experience and came out fine.”

Getting the finished product back from the printers was more a Lord of the Rings journey than a sprint. The plan was to distribute the magazine at orientation, but the shipping company lost three of the four boxes in transit. Each of the boxes looked like they fell off the truck and landed in puddles, so when they finally arrived, every copy was ruined.

“When the editor and I got the third box, two weeks behind schedule, and we saw what was inside, we cried. Literally cried,” said Woolf. “The publisher has been wonderful to work with and immediately overnighted us a reprint – and, we’re happy to say, all 1,300 copies arrived in perfect condition. So it’s not quite ‘back to school,’ it’s what we’re calling ‘back to school adjacent.’”

The staff is already looking forward to making next year’s edition.

“We realized that we had at least 24 pages of information, photographs, and graphics, but we’d budgeted for 16 pages, so we’re excited about how big next year’s magazine has the potential to be,” said Woolf. “McIntosh has an incredible PTSO, and we’re grateful they sponsored this issue and made the kids’ ideas possible.”