Wallingford Elementary School launches student newspaper

Panther Press editors-in-chief met with the papers’ staff


Sylvan Prey-Harbaugh ‘23

The editors-in-chief of the Panther Press pose with the editors of Rusty’s Ramblings: senior Matthew Chen; fifth graders Adrianna Ho, Siona Talekar, Lauren Montague, Isabella Neri, and Carlie Millard; and senior Julia Gray.

Sylvan Prey-Harbaugh '23, Media and Broadcast Editor

On Tuesday, April 11, Panther Press editors-in-chief Matthew Chen and Julia Gray traveled to Wallingford Elementary School to discuss the school’s new student-run newspaper, Rusty’s Ramblings.

The Rusty’s Ramblings’s first issue was written completely by fifth graders and covered a wide range of WES-specific and general topics such as teaching tools, popular brands, nature, sports, and more. The paper also made sure to showcased students’ creative work, dedicating pages to literature, art, poetry, and a 21-question crossword puzzle

After her initial read, Gray was impressed.

“I was honestly amazed by how fifth graders could produce such a well-developed publication,” she said.

Gray reached out to the editor-in-chief of Rusty’s Ramblings, fifth-grader Siona Talekar, to compliment the staff and ask if they needed anything.

“I know that if I was a fifth grader, then I’d probably want that kind of connection with someone. And I thought that, if I could provide it, that would be nice,” Gray said.

The staff of Rusty’s Ramblings and editors-in-chief of The Panther Press traded questions, answers, and advice around a conference table in WES’s main office. The fifth-grade editors took notes as Gray and Chen explained how The Panther Press team goes about laying out the paper, and they eagerly asked questions such as “what made you want to get into journalism?”

“They were taking notes and that really touched me because it made me feel like what I was saying was actually important,” Gray said.

Being at the meeting compelled Chen to compare the students with his own elementary school experience.

“I remember when I was in fifth grade, I was probably the polar opposite of the students I met.” Chen said. “I was kind of that student who is always in the principal’s office and getting in trouble, So when I was interacting with these students, and they were holding such dignified conversations, sharing their experiences, and speaking so professionally, I was extremely blown away.”