About Us


We’re a group of 15 kids, who all have a passion for journalism. We are the NEHSJC Class of 2015.

The theme of the program this year is Trendsetters, and we appropriately titled our paper Zephyr, which derives from Greek and means “a light wind.” Trendsetters bring newness to the table – wind, or a breath of fresh air. We, as the Zephyr staff, take in trends wholeheartedly. Trends and change are primarily positive, as trends are up and coming; so are we as student journalists.

In a world where everything’s been done before, it’s hard to come up with something new. Everyone is brainstorming new ideas. Staring at the stark white paper, raging at the inability to come up with one semi-original thought is a common occurrence these days. It is those with the not just good, but great ideas who have the power to execute them successfully. Those are the Trendsetters. As we look toward our futures, we all work towards being Trendsetters, and creating a breath of fresh air.

A lot of people want to be Trendsetters, but not everyone can do it. Trendsetters don’t follow the rules. Trendsetters lead and have others follow. Trendsetters don’t look around to see what everyone else is doing, or Google “how to come up with a good idea.”

We, as a staff, reported on some Trendsetters with inventive and innovative ideas. From new technology, to food innovation, to bringing art to the masses –  from landscaping with goats to gender-neutral bathrooms, there are plenty of Trendsetters in the Boston area.

Zephyr commonly refers to “a soft, gentle breeze,” which we bring. But together we are taking the world by storm.

— Sarah Mayotte

NEHSJC 2015 Roster


Jumayar Ahmed, Boston International School

Dakota Antelman, Hudson High School

Hailey Bryant, Gorham High School

Emma DemersGroton- Dunstable Regional High School

Tiffany Lu, Westford Academy

Tyler Maheu, Newport Middle High School

Marzia Maliha, Lynn English High School

Sarah Mayotte, Innovation Academy Charter School

Catherine MonroyRevere High School

Anna PengBoston Latin School

Hillarie Pilier, Boston International High School

Alexandra Schley, Hudson High School

Gabrielle Silva, Saugus High School

Monica Stack, Montrose School

Jonathan Zou, Boston Latin School

Residential Advisers:

Paige Yurek, Regis College

Alex Paduch, Lyndon State College

Baylee Wright, Assistant, Saugus High School

Tia DiSalvo, Assistant, Saugus High School

Professional Staff:

Leah Lamson, Newspaper Manager, former Worcester Telegram Editor

Milton Valencia, The Boston Globe, Reporter, NEHSJC Support Staff

Christine Vo, TripAdvisor, Print Edition, Program alumn

Michelle Johnson, Professor, Journalism, Boston University, Web Production

Writing Coaches:

Jim O’Sullivan, The Boston Globe

Mike Carraggi, The Boston Globe

Cristella Guerra, The Boston Globe

Nicole Dungca, The Boston Globe

Paula Bouknight, The Boston Globe

Paul Makishima, The Boston Globe

Patricia Wen, The Boston Globe

Andrew Ryan, The Boston Globe

Meghan Irons, The Boston Globe

Colleen Malachowski, Regis College

Lara Salahi, Regis College

Stephanie Venachio, Regis College

Michelle Johnson, Boston University

Boston Globe Lunch Speakers:

Maria Cramer, Reporter

Stephen A. Kurkjian, Senior Editor and Reporter

Janelle Nanos, Editor of BetaBoston

Cynthia Needham, Assistant Business Editor

Mike Bello, Assistant Metro Editor, The Boston Globe

Martin Finucane, Reporter, The Boston Globe

Program Speakers:

Corey Allen, NEHSJC Alumni

Helen Smith, New England Scholastic Press Association Executive Director

Keith Bedford, The Boston Globe, Photographer

Michelle Johnson, Professor, Journalism, Boston University

Ruth Weiner, Freelance Writer and Teacher

Tony Simollardes, Editorial Page Editor, Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Bob Holmes, The Boston Globe, High School Sports Editor

Special Thanks:

  • The Carole Remick Foundation
  • The Boston Globe
  • Regis College
  • Write Boston

Tips From The Pros

Throughout the creating of The Zephyr, the 15 NEHSJC student journalists were mentored by professional reporters throughout the week. Here is what the pros had to say:

“The most important skill to have as a journalist is curiosity.” — Cynthia Needham

“As a journalist, you have to be skeptical.” — Janelle Nanos

“Be known in your reporting for fairness as much as for thoroughness.” — Stephen A. Kurkjian

“Have a determination to get things right and to be fair.” — Mark Murrow

“Stick to good writing and focus on that. Be curious, if you have a question, go after it.” —Maria Cramer

“You can be the best writer in the world but if you don’t have reporting, the facts to support that; you have nothing.” — Mike Bello

“Read everything. Reading while others are writing sparks ideas.” — Cynthia Needham

“Anything you witness is a chance to ask questions.” — Janelle Nanos

“Break the rules but follow the guidelines.” — Leah Lamson

“Don’t self-censor.” — Helen Smith

“Make yourself in demand.” — Keith Bedford

“Be the filter.” — Michelle Johnson

“Do your research.” — Ruth Weiner

“The best writing emulates speech.” — Tony Simollardes

“As a journalist we’re not supposed to have an agenda- but everyone else does.” — Cynthia Needham

“Use the First Amendment to persuade people that there’s a better way.” — Stephen Kurkjian

“There is nothing that beats original reporting.” — Paula Bouknight