Our final letter from the Editors-in-Chief

Grace Burwell

More stories from Grace Burwell

Mary Ma

More stories from Mary Ma

Eileen Zhang

More stories from Eileen Zhang


Graphic by Valerie Wang

This new school year year presents its own set of challenges amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Newspaper graphic designed by Valerie Wang.

Dear Tide readers,

Since our last letter to you in March, so many things in the RM community and Montgomery County have changed. Firstly, students are back in school, in person. It has been over a year since every MCPS student was learning in a real-life classroom, but things are slowly starting to return to normal, with important COVID-safe changes.

With these new developments, Tide editors and writers reported collaboratively on an in-depth story focusing on the effects of the pandemic one year after it began. When the first COVID-19 cases were reported in Maryland, last year’s Tide staff reported on what we didn’t know at the time were the beginnings of a global pandemic. Working together as an entire class of student journalists helped us not only refine our writing skills, but also work as a team, which became more important than ever this year.

Many of our hardworking student journalists have continued to be featured on Best of SNO, including stories on local environmental advocates, controversy surrounding school resource officers and the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. A wide variety of student voices have been recognized, including a review of “Minari”, an opinion piece on cancel culture and Dr. Seuss, a student’s perspective on Islamophobia, and more. Despite the chaos of this past year, we are proud to say that we have continued to produce insightful, thought-provoking stories that exemplify quality student reporting and address issues of national importance.

As Editors-in-Chief of the Tide, we have seen many changes happen at RM and at our newspaper over the past year, and it doesn’t feel like very long ago that we were watching last year’s editors graduate virtually. From monthly in-person layout sessions to virtual weekly editor’s meetings, our schedule and the content that we produce have been considerably altered due to our current circumstances.

Most notably, the absence of our typical print issues this year has been tough, but we have created an alternative solution. Our Best of Tide 2020-21 special edition print paper will be published this month, featuring meaningful stories from throughout the school year. The challenge of organizing, editing, and refining this paper in a virtual medium has been difficult, and we are so grateful for all of the hard work our editors have put into it. We hope that you find it as meaningful as we do.

With this abnormal school year rapidly coming to a close, Tide editors are also preparing many stories to honor RM seniors and members of the community who are leaving this year. We recognize how challenging this year has been for teachers as well, who have had to adapt to a new learning environment. Not only will we be saying goodbye to the seniors, but also one of RM’s most dedicated educators, Ms. Shay, who is retiring after 35 years of teaching.

Despite the atypical challenges this year has presented, the Tide is committed to continue our annual traditions, such as senior wills, class of 2021 commitments, Tide staff reflections and more, which will be published within the coming month. We hope that our seniors’ stories will impart some needed wisdom to our incoming underclassmen, many of whom haven’t even set foot in a high school classroom before.

Growing up and leaving high school is bittersweet. We were all told in freshman year that it would be over in the blink of an eye, but we didn’t know just how fast it would fly by. This last letter is a goodbye to all of you, but also a goodbye to our high school experience. All of the awkward, joyous and difficult moments of high school will soon be memories of the past. If there’s one piece of advice for our fellow classmates, it’s that you should treasure these moments and value their importance. Talk to your friends, classmates and teachers. Participate in RM events and join the clubs and sports you’re passionate about, because it won’t be long until it’s all over.

As we move on from RM and to college, we will miss our time as your Editors-in-Chief greatly, but take pride in knowing that the future of the Tide is in good hands. Our editors and writers have worked hard over the past year to keep producing the newspaper you know and love, and we know they will continue the legacy of the Tide with the utmost dedication and creativity.

For the final time,

Eileen, Grace and Mary

Your Editors-in-Chief