The Future of The Accolade

The Future of The Accolade

Logan Busbee, Editor in Chief

As all things have a beginning, so to do all things have an end. This article marks the end of my tenure on The Accolade, but it doesn’t have to mark the end of The Accolade itself. The staff for the 2020-2021 school year was just me, and as such once I graduate, there won’t be any writers left on the team. However, in my time I’ve seen multiple changes in staff and even medium, so I know that a dedicated team will be able to bring The Accolade to higher points than its ever been.

When I started on The Accolade back in 2018, it was still a physical newspaper that we published bimonthly and because of that there were some major restrictions on what we could do. We needed a much higher budget to print even a single paper, none of our articles could be very timely due to the lengthy printing process, and the format had to be incredibly tight for every word and picture you had. In spite of that, as a team we made it work. We did it all, even when we saw the papers we handed out at lunch get thrown away without even a quick glance or used as a napkin. But it didn’t matter, because just getting the paper out there was something to be proud of. Towards the end of the second semester we had started to set the website that you’re reading now, but it was largely just us getting our foot in the door. 

So when the 2019-2020 school year came around I was co-editor in chief and we had a lot of new talent coming in. This is where we all got more knowledge with the website, started publishing more consistently and in a style we could never have done with physical newspapers. We even forayed into a whole different medium with The Accolade Moviecast which published movie discussions weekly.

However, as you’ll hear in any retrospective that includes the year 2020, the pandemic caused things to drastically change. The team was able to finish up the year as we switched to virtual schooling in the quarantine. When the school year ended we were all unsure of what would happen next, both in the world and with The Accolade, as our teacher-sponsor and essentially manager Ms. Wolfe was retiring. She was the architect behind The Accolade and worked with every single team member throughout the years to keep the paper as quality as possible. Her influence can’t be overstated as The Accolade wouldn’t exist without her.

When this year, my senior year started, I wanted to make sure The Accolade was still around. The only problem was that while I had become Editor in Chief, I was also the only person on the staff. Not to mention there was no longer a teacher-sponsor or a budget, so it definitely derailed my motivation. Well, that and the continuing global pandemic.

While throughout both years I managed to put out a decent amount of stories, I won’t lie and say I couldn’t have done more. However I didn’t just want to disappear from what has been my home at Centennial without writing one last article. I’m in the last month of my last semester of high school, and I am incredibly stressed. But even though there’s no certain future for The Accolade, I know that it will persevere, so I’m okay with saying good-bye to it. 

Let’s face it, longform writing and news has nowhere near the same amount of sway as it used to. But the ideas aren’t gone, more so just shifted into different formats. News is now delivered more concisely and rapidly through social media like TikTok and Twitter. YouTube has become a viable platform for deep think pieces and video essays. There are so many different ways to write and be creative nowadays, and The Accolade is still here to adapt to those forms, it just needs new writers to do it. 

Right now, this is the end of The Accolade, but also a new beginning. Much like how a phoenix dies in one form and rises in another, my departure is the end of one era of The Accolade, the last one who pushed the paper out in print form. But the next staff will be able to shine even more brightly and take this school paper to greater heights and with fresh new stories to do it. It’s sad to be typing out my last words for this wonderful website I have been with since it first began, but it’s also exciting that soon I’ll get to be a reader and see how the next generation of Accolade writers will tackle the stories of the future. Just as Centennial says about its students, the same holds true for The Accolade, “our best days are ahead, go Knights!”