The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Dateline Alumni: Where Are They Now?

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Previous Dateline contributors are now doing unique things. (Graphic by Leonardo Sarzi Braga)

Since its establishment in 2014, WIS’s student-run newspaper, International Dateline, has had numerous contributors whose efforts have shaped the newspaper into what it is today. The strenuous workload of juggling schoolwork, IB deadlines, the social aspect of high school and an active school newspaper has the potential to be overwhelming, but Dateline’s alumni believe being a part of the newspaper is worth the effort. Even though every alum has their own unique experiences, they agree that participating in Dateline provided them with important skills that help them at college and beyond.

 

Rebeka Tatham (2021-22 Co-Managing Editor)

Rebeka Tatham following her interests in international relations at The Paris Institute of Political Studies. (Courtesy of Rebeka Tatham)

Class of 2022 alumna and Dateline’s 2021-22 co-Managing Editor Rebeka Tatham is now in her second year at the Columbia University and Sciences Po Dual Degree Program. Tatham became involved with Dateline during her freshman year at WIS as a staff writer. She then became Opinion Editor, Publications Editor and, finally, a Managing Editor in her senior year. During her time at Dateline, Tatham wrote numerous articles, covering topics like the then new COVID-19 hybrid learning model and various activism efforts around D.C. 

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In Tatham’s first year at Sciences Po, she obtained a position as a Foreign Affairs Editor at the Sundial Press, the student-led newspaper at the university’s Reims campus. Even though the publication is larger than Dateline, having been a part of Dateline in high school was beneficial to Tatham. 

 

“Because I had done Dateline I had quite a lot of experience to give to the [Sundial Press] in terms of editing procedure, etc.” Tatham said. 

 

At Sciences Po, Tatham has discovered that her scholarly passion is not necessarily journalism but another form of writing. She is focusing on in-depth research on foreign affairs, with her biggest extra-curricular activity being Model United Nations. 

 

“Even though journalism isn’t my main focus in college, Dateline was a huge part in creating the skills that I now use in college all the time,” Tatham said. 

 

Looking back on her experiences in high school, being a member of a student-run newspaper brought many valuable memories and life lessons. 

 

“Discussing current affairs regarding what was happening at WIS is a really ingrained memory that I have from high school,” she said. 

 

Participating in Dateline was instrumental in clarifying Tatham’s path forward and igniting Tatham’s passion for understanding current global events and communicating that with people. 

 

During her tenure at the newspaper, Tatham found particular resonance in covering two pivotal events: President Biden’s historic electoral win and the Black Lives Matter protests. These experiences stood out as defining moments in her journalistic career, making the most of living in Washington D.C. 

 

“For people in France, the idea of being able to photograph the presidential elections and being able to go down to the White House and see the action firsthand is crazy,” Tatham said. 

 

Rose Boehm (2021-22 Co-Managing Editor)

Rose Boehm, a previous managing editor, is now studying journalism at Syracuse University. (Courtesy of Rose Boehm)

Class of 2022 alumna and Dateline’s other 2021-22 co-Managing Editor Rose Boehm began writing articles her freshman year of high school, which allowed her to become Food Editor, Middle School News Advisor and, eventually, Managing Editor. Now studying Communications and Journalism at Syracuse University, Boehm values her time at WIS and the preparation that Dateline gave her. 

 

“Skills like learning how to work with people and [managing] staff, along with having that general foundation in journalism was super helpful,” she said. 

 

Boehm currently works at Syracuse University’s main independent newspaper, The Daily Orange, as the Culture section copy editor, where she writes and fact-checks articles. The Daily Orange is a considerably larger publication than Dateline that has a very consistent pace and is extremely deadline-focused, requiring Boehm to write many articles. 

 

“My senior year I wrote three or so articles [in Dateline], whereas I [had] already written eight stories just two months into school,” she said. 

 

Transitioning from a high school newspaper to a professional publication in college, Boehm reflects on the profound impact of early exposure to journalism and the management behind a publication. 

 

“When I was a new writer [at The Daily Orange], I already knew how to work with the editors and understand that any form of criticism helps me improve,” Boehm said. “Having that role in Dateline of offering the criticism has made me more comfortable receiving it myself now.” 

 

For now, Boehm believes that she will continue to pursue a career in journalism and is enjoying the change of pace at Syracuse. 

 

“I love making [journalistic] work and Syracuse is such an interesting area where I have been able to write stories by just socializing with people,” Boehm said.

 

Anders Westermann (2020-21 Co-Managing Editor)

Former Dateline managing editor Anders Westermann is now working on entrepreneurial projects at Vanderbilt University. (Courtesy of Anders Westermann)

Although class of 2021 alumnus and Dateline’s 2020-21 Co-Managing Editor Anders Westermann wrote articles for Dateline, he joined the publication as a media manager. In his senior year of high school, Westermann became a Managing Editor. That year proved to be an influential period for Westermann and Dateline as a whole. 

 

“Senior year during COVID-19 was tough, but at the same time it brought about a lot of opportunities to make Dateline better,” Westermann said.

 

With the goal of improving Dateline’s coverage, Westermann began to attend events around Washington D.C., taking photos and videos to publish on the newspaper’s social media accounts. Amid the tumultuous 2020 election period and the widespread discord around the nation, he focused heavily on staying objective in his journalism to ensure that the WIS community received an unfiltered view of the unfolding events.

 

Eventually, Westermann’s persistence led to Dateline covering a significant moment in American history.

 

“On January 6th of 2021, I went downtown because at the time I had heard there were a lot of Trump supporters, not knowing it would amount to the insurrection of the Capitol,” Westermann said. “When I look back on it, I took Dateline’s audience…to see such a monumental event in our nation’s history.” 

 

Westermann is currently attending Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is studying Human and Organizational Development and pursuing minors in Spanish and Business. In his freshman year, Westermann wrote for the Vanderbilt Hustler, the university newspaper, as a news writer and published articles about campus events.  

 

He is also focusing on the Vanderbilt Fusion Project, a student-driven interdisciplinary initiative that is designing and constructing a miniature nuclear fusion reactor. Westermann was brought on to oversee fundraising and the strategic direction of the project. 

 

Though Westermann has moved on from journalism at the moment, being involved in Dateline has still proven helpful. 

 

“The lessons I took away from journalism still continue to this day,” Westermann said. “Especially, the sense of trying to have very strong writing yet concise at the same time.” 

 

Celeste Bloom  (2019-20 Co-Managing Editor)

Celeste Bloom, who contributed to Dateline as a managing editor, is now following her passion for teaching and education. (Courtesy of Celeste Bloom)

Class of 2020 alumna Celeste Bloom’s trajectory from her roles at Dateline to her current pursuits in college showcases her interest in journalism and a blossoming passion for creative writing. Starting as  Arts Editor in her freshman year, Bloom later became WIS News Editor, Middle School News Advisor, and eventually a Managing Editor. 

 

Dateline was very new when Bloom began getting involved with the newspaper. 

 

“When I first started out, Dateline only had 40 followers [on Instagram],” Bloom said. 

 

Aspiring to broaden the reach of the newspaper’s audience, Bloom’s eagerness to cover different and controversial topics had a major impact on Dateline’s growth. Now, Dateline has over 600 followers on Instagram.

 

“I wrote an investigative piece on e-cigarette and JUUL usage on campus, which was the first time I had to deal with anonymous sources,” Bloom said. “I think that was the time that Dateline got a lot of new attention.” 

 

She has been involved with multiple media and writing opportunities at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, where she is studying English. Bloom was recently hired for a podcast called What’s Up Bryn Mawr, through the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Center.  

 

“At the moment, I do all the background work, editing audio, doing transcripts and brainstorming for new subjects,” Bloom said. “In the spring, I will be the host of the podcast.” 

 

In terms of her future career possibilities, Bloom believes she will move into education. This could entail publishing for young adults,teaching or becoming a professor. 

 

Saul Pink (2020-21 Editor-in-Chief)

WIS alum Saul Pink, from Dateline to Print Managing Editor at the Daily Northwestern, credits Dateline for sparking his journalism passion and career. (Courtesy of Saul Pink)

Class of 2021 alumnus Saul Pink joined Dateline in eighth grade. For both his freshman and sophomore years at WIS, Pink was the Sports Editor. Later, he became the newspaper’s Publications Editor and, finally, the Editor-in-Chief in his senior year. 

 

A fond memory of Pink’s time at Dateline is from his sophomore year, when he heard the news about a team leaving the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference (PVAC) due to political reasons. 

 

​“My first big story was about how Grace Brethren [Christian School] left the PVAC because the conference issued a policy that they would allow student-athletes to participate with whatever gender they identified with regardless of their biological gender at birth,” Pink said. 

 

This story raised a lot of attention towards Grace Brethren’s decision and the Washington Post even contacted Pink to gain more information on the topic, eventually using his quotes in their article on the matter. 

 

Throughout Pink’s time as Editor-in-Chief, he managed leading the publication during the COVID-19 pandemic. This proved difficult but allowed Pink to focus on improving the newspaper. 

 

“Trying to keep Dateline operational through COVID-19 was definitely a fond memory of mine,” he said. “I remember just sitting in my room on InDesign, trying to figure out how to layout print editions.”

 

Even during hybrid school, under Pink’s leadership, Dateline was able to mail out print edition copies once a semester to WIS community members’ homes. Additionally, Dateline helped Pink tackle the difficulties of high school and the IB Diploma Program, even though it required extra work. 

 

“When I worked at Dateline, I felt like I was actually doing something that was interesting to me and doing something real, in contrast to doing well in class,” Pink said. “Ever since I was working with Dateline, reporting and writing never felt much like work, and more [like] fun, and that feeling has continued into college” 

 

Currently attending Northwestern University, Pink has relished the opportunity to immerse himself in a vibrant community and explore the dynamic city of Chicago. The chance to meet new people and engage with diverse perspectives has been a highlight of his time at the university, along with attending the Medill School of Journalism, one of the most prestigious journalism programs in the country.  

 

Pink’s journey at the Daily Northwestern has been transformative. Beginning as a frequent writer during freshman year, he swiftly advanced to roles like Assistant City Editor, Newsletter Editor, and, currently, Print Managing Editor. This quarter, his responsibilities entail overseeing print content and assisting the Editor-in-Chief in managing all print-related facets.

 

“[The Daily Northwestern] is definitely a much bigger publication [than Dateline],” Pink said. “At Dateline we would probably publish a few stories a week, while at the Daily Northwestern we put out around 50 stories a week.” 

 

Pink is grateful for Dateline, as it  introduced him to one of his passions, and possibly his future career. 

 

“I’m really glad Dateline existed during my time at WIS, because who knows if I would have discovered that I really like [journalism] if I did not work with Dateline,” he said. 

 

Dateline has left an indelible mark on the lives of its alumni, shaping their paths in diverse ways. Although not all of them are pursuing journalism and media studies, their time spent in high school contributing to Dateline has left them equipped with invaluable skills and enduring memories.

 

“It all started with Dateline,” Pink said. 

 

By Derin Kirtman

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Derin Kirtman, Print Publications Editor/MS News Adviser

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