"The Tiger" Arrives: Online Student Publication Makes Debut at EPHS

The home page of The Tiger, EPHS's new online student newspaper.

The Tiger, an online student newspaper, debuted at Elmwood Park High School this week. Founded by English teacher and curriculum leader Mr. David Parolin, the student-produced publication uses Google Sites as its publishing platform.

A new student publication debuted at Elmwood Park High School this week — and the District Technology Initiative can take at least partial credit for the launch. 

The publication is called The Tiger, an online newspaper that features opinion pieces, first-person essays, poetry, artwork and even a bit of student-produced video.

"The goal of the paper is to give all students a voice and a means of expressing creativity," said Mr. David Parolin, English curriculum leader at EPHS and founder of the publication. "This will not be a bulletin but rather a reflection of student ideas and experiences."

This can be seen, for example, in the three articles that make up the sports section of the first issue. Instead of presenting straightforward recaps of EPHS athletic events, the articles offer student perspectives on what it's like to be, respectively, a volleyball player, a football offensive lineman and a cheerleader.

Other items in the first issue include opinion pieces on transgender rights and "fake news," a personal essay about experiencing the EPHS lockdown earlier this semester and a video interview with Principal Mr. Douglas Wildes.    

"One-hundred percent of the material is produced by students," said Mr. Parolin, who teaches AP English courses. "A variety of pieces were taken directly from my classes; however, my hope is to get many more 'freelance' authors to join the paper.

"Some of the material was also provided by various, talented members of the Spectrum Club and our art classes. A little-known fact about me is that I love student artwork; my classroom is full of it. I intend on having a much larger section of art being displayed in the next issue."

Mr. David Parolin and his students work on the next issue of The Tiger.

PHOTO: English teacher Mr. David Parolin talks with his AP English Language and Composition students as they work on articles and essays for the next issue of The Tiger, the new EPHS student publication. District 401 photo by Dave Porreca (click image for larger view). 

An Outgrowth of the Technology Initiative

So where does the District Technology Initiative fit into this?

The Tiger uses Google Sites as its publishing platform. Google Sites is one of the many G Suite for Education tools that District faculty members have been trained in for the past two years by Director for Instructional Technology Ms. Jessica Iovinelli

Mr. Parolin is quick to point out that this training gave him the background knowledge and experience to feel comfortable creating an online publication.

The fact that Google Sites is free, cloud-based and designed to be used by multiple collaborators made it the logical choice once Mr. Parolin decided that EPHS could benefit from the introduction of a student digital newspaper.

"The truth is I was sitting at home thinking about ways to incorporate technology in a reinvented fashion, and it occurred to me that we haven't had a newspaper it quite some time," he said.

"Initially, The Tiger began as a way for me to display my students' work; however, I soon realized that there are many students in the building who have a lot to say, and they needed a voice as well."

Mr. Parolin's students are already at work on pieces for the next issue, which he hopes will come out before winter break begins in late December. He encourages students outside of his classes to submit items for publication as well.

In the meantime, congratulations to everyone who made the first issue of The Tiger such a success! For links to each page of the issue, scroll down and click on each screenshot.

The Tiger, Issue 1

The Tiger, Issue 1, Page 1

The Tiger, Issue 1, Page 2

The Tiger, Issue 1, Page 3

The Tiger, Issue 1, Page 4

The Tiger, Issue 1, Page 5

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