Page and Epistle

The student-run newspaper of The St. Paul's Schools

Four St. Paul's students standing in front of the podium
  • News


Four St. Paul's students standing in front of the podium

Many know Wednesday, January 18, 2023, as the day that Wes Moore and Aruna Miller were inaugurated as Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Maryland. However, our two classmates and we know it as the day when we saw history being made merely feet away from us.

Our day started with the commute that led us to the state capital in Annapolis. It was then that the realization hit us of how big and how important this event was to be. As we filed out of the Lowe House Office Building, following a meeting with Delegate Michele Guyton, there were hundreds of people around waiting eagerly for a glimpse of Wes Moore or Aruna Miller.

After some negotiation, we obtained media passes that allowed us access to the media pool right below the Inauguration platform. Surrounded by media covering the event, my classmates and I kept our heads up as we marched through with our notebooks and phones, ready to report on this monumental day. We squeezed our way with the media to a spot just under the balcony that served as the platform, where we saw various politicians and celebrities appear from the State House, including our two U.S. Senators, Oprah Winfrey, and Chelsea Clinton. (The Maryland State House is the oldest state house in continuous legislative use.)

The energy in the capital reflected what Maryland is all about. From the Morgan State University choir singing ‘God Bless America’ to the student marching band of Bowie High School, merely inches from us at times, the music and performances reflected the youth of Maryland and the new history that it is embarking on. 

Throughout the ceremony, each speaker left the audience and my fellow classmates captivated, and by the time Gov. Wes Moore took the stage, it was clear that he was the leader many Marylanders had been so excited about (he had taken the oath of office just before, in front of the state legislature, so he was officially the governor when he appeared on the platform). Even the weather was perfect: despite rain and wind the days before and after the ceremony, Moore gave his address in Annapolis with the sun beaming down and no clouds in sight. “It’s the Moore Magic,” some speakers ad-libbed, but regardless of coincidence or charm, the blue skies and sun represented the near-ethereal charisma Moore brings to many across the state. 

The inclusion of youth in the ceremony capped off the lively energy of the day. Moore’s son James even recited the Pledge of Allegiance as his classmates from Calvert school watched from the audience. More than just youthful charm, James’ smile reflected that of his father’s, exuding genuine pride and joy in the people of his state. In addition to the choir and marching band, Parijita Bastola, a high schooler from Anne Arundel County, sang the Star-Spangled Banner: a reflection of the Moore-Miller campaign’s faith in and commitment to Maryland youth. “We will ensure that every student knows their state loves and needs them,” Moore pledged in his Inaugural address, and judging from the thunderous applause, it’s a promise Marylanders are desperately seeking. As the wave of mental health crises hits kids across the nation, Miller and Moore provide an anchor of hope around which they hope to structure their administration. Their plans to implement a service year option for high school graduates will, Moore stated, “give our young people greater ownership of our future.” 

The theme of collective ownership was repeated throughout the entire Inauguration Ceremony. Aruna Miller’s daughters attested that they were honored to “share [their mom] with Maryland,” solidifying the identity of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor as family- and community-oriented.  Oprah Winfrey, who introduced Governor Moore, credited Maryland as the source of her identity, having started her career as a cub reporter for WJZ-TV: “In Maryland, I found myself.”

Moore and Miller essentially became the entirety of Maryland for those few ceremonial hours: it was as if they were the sole factors helping Oprah find herself, as if they were not just people but figures exuding the values of service and love. “Let us march on until victory is won,” Moore exclaimed, prompting another round of cheers. These collective pronouns – “us,” “we,” “our” – allowed the people of Maryland to see their Governor as one of them, and themselves as leaders of their community. 

Through his identity and his values, Wes Moore has reshaped the narrative of success. The first Black Governor of Maryland, he also earned the most votes for Governor in MD’s history. In an unprinted part of his address, Moore spoke to the toxic partisanship that plagues both Maryland and America. “If we are divided, we can’t win. But if we are united, we can’t lose.” Moore credited his victory to the bipartisan unity he sought and hopes to make a cornerstone of his administration. His promise to govern “for all Marylanders” and “build uncommon coalitions” was another example of the distinction of the Moore-Miller leadership from past administrations. During the Inauguration, the exchange of affection was commonplace. Miller’s daughter Meena tried not to cry while introducing her mother, and there was lots of hugging and hand-holding between families, both on and off the podium. This language of love was common for the Moore and Miller, families and put smiles on the audience’s faces as they watched their elected officials accept their offices with genuine joy and a powerful community standing with them. We have a unique opportunity to “lead with love,” Moore said, while Miller nodded behind him. The placement of this line – mere sentences before the end of the address – closed the ceremony with an attitude of happiness and connection that was associated with the pair’s campaign and now their administration. 

Regardless of political affiliation, gender, race, or other identity, the message that many took away from the ceremony was that the Moore-Miller administration will be anything but ordinary. (Photos by Charley Mitchell ’73)

Big building in the evening time with the lights on inside.
  • Opinion

In the life of a student, there are hardly any changes that are bigger and more important than moving from middle to high school. The only change that is even more momentous is to graduate high school after your senior year. Having moved up to Upper School as a ninth grader a few months ago, I can attest to the relevance of such significant transitions. The "rite of passage” into Upper School comes in many forms and covers different aspects of school life. One of them is to walk through the large cement arches while entering the Upper School through one of the four glass entry doors, reminds me every day of this transition. For ninth graders, walking through these doors signifies a big step as it comes with many firsts and plenty of changes. Although some of the aspects of high school are similar to middle school, the overall environment of high school is completely new and different. So, you may ask, what are some of these differences that I now experience in the Upper School?

I left behind the more regimented class schedules in Middle School that were mostly pre-determined and the same for everyone and replaced them with individualized and flexible class choices. The choices are broader, than in Middle School, and more tailored to my specific curiosities and needs. The class offerings in the Upper School symbolize the spacious entry doors. As I walk through these doors, I can expect a new freedom in my education, a wide array of classes, and an improved ability to learn. The Upper School classes allow me to dive deep into subjects that interest me and that I want to know more about. I can honestly say that you will receive a challenging academic experience, some of which will push you beyond your comfort zone. School is about studying academic topics that you have not experienced or conquered yet, finding out where your limits are, and then pushing yourself beyond those artificial limits, growing as a person and scholar.

Students entering Upper School are often concerned about the increased workload because teachers will state that students need to prepare better for this transition. As you can imagine, high school courses are more challenging and will require you to spend considerably more time studying and doing homework. However, the teachers at St. Paul’s Upper School make the transition easier by having a welcoming space, the lounges, that I can visit between classes. In addition, the Oriel is a space on the third floor of the Upper School to receive academic help from teachers.

Areas outside of academics are changing as well. If you felt that school uniforms in Middle School were limiting and did not give you enough room for personal fashion expression, the Upper School allows for more individualized appearances, while still setting some general dress boundaries. In the Upper School, boys are required to wear shirts, ties, and khakis. You can complement your look by wearing a quarter zip or St. Paul’s hoodie. Say goodbye to wearing sneakers and say hello to dress shoes. On Chapel days, all boys are required to wear a sports coat. I can say that my personal tie collection is steadily growing, and I am amazed by the coordination of shirt-tie options that you can come up with!

Self-expression is also evident in your personal choices of student clubs. The number of clubs in Upper School is almost overwhelming, and I am hard pressed to decide which of the many exciting clubs to attend during any given week. Currently, I am giving the Page and the Epistle a try, our Upper School newspaper, which is why you are reading this article. Before the end of the school year, I plan to write several articles for the newspaper covering exciting events happening around the world based on my interests. This is another great prospect offered by the Upper School; one that pushes me to write for a wider audience than the one teacher who reads my homework. Potentially, I will receive feedback from you, the reader, both positive and negative, which might even tell me something about future career choices. Feel free to send your thoughts and ideas to me at

The Upper School offers opportunities in the arts. I have participated in two theatrical productions since I entered the Upper School: Curtains and Tartuffe. It has been a lot of fun! Getting involved in such productions has allowed me to interact not only with other students from all grades in the Boy’s Upper School, but with students from SPSG as well. It is wonderful to see how cast and crew members encourage each other during the many, many rehearsals, and especially during shows! By engaging students from both schools, the theater productions allow me and others to practice daily how to connect and make SP a truly unified school. In addition, the choral arts allow me to travel locally, nationally, and internationally which gives students more chances to perform in front of new audiences and to showcase their vocal talents. For example, in early February of this year, choral arts students in the Upper Schools went to the Washington National Cathedral to enjoy a day of singing (Choral Evensong) together with students from other schools that are part of the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal School Association.

Additionally, as an Upper School student, I am required to fulfill service hours in the community. This is such a great idea because it connects me with various service organizations in the area. My first service hours were spent as a crew leader at a church camp for elementary school children during the summer. I loved the interactions that I had with younger kids and got a sense of what it is like to be a teacher and mentor and how I could make a positive contribution to their lives.

As I walk through the glass doors of the Upper School and attend classes every day in this magnificent new building I call my home, I am experiencing the transition from the lower school days to my new life as a high schooler. I can observe from the outside what is going on inside of the Upper School, everything from language classes, math classes, history classes, to hands-on physics projects, to name only a few. As I glance out from the safety of the school into the unknown world of colleges and potential jobs that await me, I know that I will be prepared for my next journey. In that sense, the transition to Upper School is just a welcome prelude to the big transition to college and beyond. As I move through high school, I grow more independent, which will prepare me for the challenges ahead. I look forward to the next three and a half years as I walk through the doors of the Upper School every day, and through the many doors that St. Paul’s has opened for me.

A blue and white edited photo of Taylor Swift, representing her new album Midnights, is in the foreground, while other photos
  • Arts

Do not fear if you were unable to grab tickets for Taylor Swift’s infamous Eras Tour in November that broke the internet. To the dismay of countless fans worldwide, Ticketmaster, the site responsible for selling Swift’s tour tickets, crashed. Ticketmaster is now facing a handful of lawsuits targeting its alleged monopoly on ticket sales. Despite tears streaming down your face for an hour or thirteen, you can still entertain yourself with reruns of her performances on YouTube. Below is a list below with the perfect album to blare in your room for each season.


Winter: December – March

Are you ready for it…In honor of the new year, new you, and new beginnings, “Reputation” is the album for winter. Kick off the year with “New Year’s Day” and then turn a corner and start your resolutions with the upbeat edgy songs that fill Swift’s fiery album that broke records for the best-selling album by a female artist, selling 4.5 million copies. While this album is widely known as a darker one, Swift still incorporates a handful of love songs with a twist that will fulfill the wishes of all Valentine’s Day lovers, whether single or taken.


Spring: April – May

When you have those “nearly summer” jitters and just cannot sit still, blast “Fearless” on your way to school, in the shower, and even in your earbuds during a free period. This classic album tells a story of the conflicting feelings of simultaneously being angry with someone but desperately needing, an unfortunate experience many high school students feel during these awkward, sluggish months. Everyone is annoyed that time seems to be moving in slow motion, with summer just around the corner. But Fearless is also perfect for cherishing the last few months in school with your best friends.


Summer: June – August

Finally, the days everyone has been waiting for since the start of school are here. “1989,” Swift’s hit pop album she named after her birth year, symbolizes the rebirth of her new image and new era, which is often the case for many during the summer. Everyone’s mentality towards life changes as soon as they hand in their last exam and officially begin summer break: endless days soaking up the sun, beach trips with your friends, and seemingly unlimited time to hang out with loved ones. You can finally shake off the stress school caused. So, roll the windows down, drive to the beach, and scream your favorite “1989” track with your friends.


Fall: September – November

As you grapple with the loss of summer and your tan fades away, Swift’s album “Red” will be there to help you navigate the first few months of school. The collective excitement for the new school year, mixed with the grief of summertime’s end, needs an album filled with intense emotion. “Red” will accompany you in this “miserable and magical” time of year that is the back-to-school season. So, annoy Mr. Bianco with incessant humming and singing of “Red” to remember your summertime memories “All Too Well.”


Even if you will be viewing Ms. Swift from a screen, I hope you will have 2023 filled with all of these albums and many others. And to those of you who will be lucky enough to squeeze into one of her 52 shows starting March 17: I am not sure you are ready for it.


Brown dog sleeping under blanket
  • Feature

People are not the only ones who may get grumpy without a healthy amount of sleep; dogs need rest too. Dogs, like humans, require an adequate amount of sleep to function properly, in addition to physical activity. While many studies have been conducted on how sleep affects humans (specifically its effect on behavior), the same is not true for our canine companions. Although some owners use physical activity as a way to combat problem behaviors in dogs, a recent study suggests sleep may also play a contributing role in behavioral response. 

The survey study, “Sleep Characteristics in Dogs; Effect on Caregiver-Reported Problem Behaviors”, examined the duration and quality of dogs’ sleep relative to their behavioral responses. Around 1,330 caregivers responded to the questionnaire, so even though some inaccuracy is expected due to human error and judgement, the large sample lens confidence in the resulting findings of the study. The survey was designed to acquire information on their dog’s estimated duration of sleep (both at night and during the day), the dog’s typical response to different stimuli, the severity of their dog’s problem behaviors, and how easily their dog is disturbed from sleep.  

The study found that 50% of dogs slept between six to eight hours during the night and around 55% slept between four to eight hours during the day. It states that no correlation was found between the problem behaviors and dog age, sex, neuter status, caregiver observation of REM sleep, or breed. However, according to their guardian, dogs who slept less than eight to ten hours (at night) were found to have an increased severity of problematic behaviors. In addition, it was found that there is a relationship between sleep disturbance (while the caregiver is out of bed), and the reported severity of their dog’s problem behaviors.  

Although multiple correlations have been found within the data, behavioral problems reported in dogs could also be normal behavior perceived as a problem by the dog’s caregiver. It is also possible that longer periods of sleep lead to lack of appropriate mental stimulation which could result in problematic behaviors. Therefore, it is certain that future research is required in this area as current knowledge regarding canine sleep is insufficient to determine the optimal duration of sleep for dogs. 

In conclusion, although increasing the activity level of your dog may seem like a clever way to tire them out and eradicate problem behaviors, this is not always the case. The study “Sleep Characteristics in Dogs; Effect on Caregiver-Reported Problem Behaviors” shows that like humans, dogs need sleep in order to be able to function optimally. Even though we lack information to determine the target amount of sleep for dogs, it is safe to say that high-quality and a consistent duration of sleep is just as important to dogs as it is to humans. 

A group of people in western clothing smiling for a photo onstage

A Belated Curtains Call NEWS: A Day Late, The Curtain Rose on Curtains

The father of a St. Paul’s student recently asked him for five numbers to play for the Powerball and one for the quick pick. This student, as a part of the joint upper school production of Curtains, gave his father the five dates of their performances and the number 12 for the quick pick.

Twelve, because 12 students, out of a cast of about 30, were out sick the day before opening. This 12 does not include the missing crew members or the cast members who were there but holding on by a thread health-wise. The week of opening night, a mysterious illness plagued the cast. Someone was missing from every rehearsal, but it was not until the all-important tech week that multiple cast members were missing at once. (Tech week includes the first rehearsals where the cast, crew, and musicians run the show fully before their opening.)

Since many actors were out on opening night, the show had to be canceled, an excruciating decision for theatre director MrsChristina Kemmerer. For the cast, though it was discouraging, the decision was not surprising, as there had been whispers of cancellation since that morning when the choreographer neglected to mention the opening date for ticket purchasers.

More heartbreaking was that the cast received this information ten minutes before performing a preview for the lower school. One of three that daypreviews are used to get the St. Paul’s community excited for the joint upper school production. The green room was never in such a somber mood as it was that day. Only the dabbing of makeup and the clanging of hangers on the metal racks interrupted the silence.

A few members of the cast offered their perspective on the decision. “Putting on the lower school performance was difficult knowing that afterward, we all...had to go home instead of doing the performance we all had looked forward to for months,” said McKenzie Hughes ’24. Though dispirited, the remaining cast “went on stage cherishing that last performance of the day,” said McKenzie Hughes ‘24.

The cast was instructed to rest for their new opening night, on Saturday. They were forbidden to go to that night’s football game against St. Paul’s biggest rival, Boys’ Latin, decision the cast begrudgingly accepted.

During the rehearsal before their original opening night, four understudies filled in for major roles. Lauren Dockman ‘24 understudied two roles that night, as well as fulfilled the tasks she was assigned as an ensemble member.

“It was stressful to wake up each morning not knowing if I would be playing one or three roles in the show that night,” she said. “My overstudies left incredibly high heels to fill so close to the show…but the entire cast was beyond supportive helping each other do our best to keep Curtains going.”  The intense support was a common theme among the cast.

“The entire cast and crew were very supportive of one another. During the week, more than any other, we gave our all because the show was nearing its end,” said ensemble member Henry Horst ’24.  From those who were fighting through sickness and trying to heal to the talented understudies who covered for them, one thing that can be said is that every cast member gave the show everything they had.

But it is not just cast members who put in immense effort for this production. The show would not exist if not for the hard work of the tech crew. The crew, who also had to bear the load of tech week with the cast and battled through whatever illness was going around, were just as devastated about the cancellation of opening night. At that point, the next day’s show was still up in the air. Maddy Reno ’24, the show’s audio engineer, says, “I was sad that we would not get the normal opening night that we all worked so hard for. I understood why [Mrs. Kemmerer] canceled, but still felt disappointed. Many were worried the show wouldn’t open that week at all.”

 At 5 pm on Saturday, the cast and crew trickled into the theater to prepare for their new opening night. Most of the twelve cast members who’d been sick were back in action. Finally, the company had their belated opening night. Even though the tradition of going to Nautilus Diner after opening night was interrupted this year, opening night was a success, thanks to the diligent and adaptable theater community. “In the end, we were lucky to have the majority of our cast back onstage to experience the opening night we had all worked so hard for,” said Lauren Dockman.

A man saluting for an American flag
  • Opinion


A silhouette of a man saluting an American flag

Photo by Brett Sayles:

We hear it proclaimed in patriotic slogans: America, the “Home of the free, because of the brave.”  But who are these “brave” who have secured and defended the land we call home?  They are our veterans, to whom we owe not only an unpayable debt and the highest level of respect, but also whose importance reaches back through our past and leads us into the future.  From the first patriots, who fought valiantly for freedom and liberty, to the veterans of the modern day.  These selfless and brave individuals defended the United States and have performed countless acts of service throughout the world.  Veterans’ acts of courage have buoyed our nation forward.  As defenders of American freedom and democracy, our veterans exemplify a life of higher purpose and American ideals.

The courage of veterans throughout history has provided the blanket of freedom under which we live.  Had the Minutemen at the bridge in Lexington decided to turn back, had fathers and brothers decided not to leave their homes to stand against the greatest military power in the world, had George Washington and his men decided the snow was too deep and the cost too great, perhaps the United States would never have existed.  We would not know government for the people, by the people.  We would not know of the Bill of Rights, nor the freedom to pursue happiness and fulfill our dreams without government interference.  Veterans secured the independence of their young nation, kept the embattled flag waving at Fort McHenry in 1814, and remained by her side through a Civil War that threatened to tear our country apart.  From the early days of independence to fighting back against cowardly acts of terrorism on our own soil, veterans have stood ready to defend and protect the United States of America.

Not only are veterans responsible for the protection of the United States, but they have also defended freedom and democracy throughout the world.  In August 1940, as World War II raged on, Winston Churchill proclaimed, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”.  Again, our veterans came to the rescue as the United States military helped secure a victory for the Allies over Germany, Italy, and Japan during a war that threatened the lives and freedom of people around the world.  Our veterans have intervened in areas oppressed by dictators, helped provide life-saving provisions and medical care for poor and diseased populations, and fought to protect human rights in nations around the world.  Without U.S. veterans, the already ragged course of world history could be tragically different.

Perhaps most importantly, the character of veterans acts as a guideline on how to preserve our country for the future.  Veterans serve as inspiring examples of how to live in a way that prospers our country and improves the world.  Serving with honor, veterans have shown us how to be courageous in the face of adversity. Their examples embolden us to meet today's challenges with the determination to do what needs to be done for ourselves, our neighbors, and our country. They show others how to stand up against evil, how to serve one another, and how to dedicate oneself to principles of honor and loyalty.

Veterans demonstrate a genuine love of their country that encourages us to lift our country up instead of tearing it down.  They stand up for what they believe in and never quit, showing hard work and perseverance through difficult times.  President Calvin Coolidge understood the significance of veterans to the continuation of the United States.  Coolidge said, “a nation who forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.”  Forgetting our veterans means forgetting what is important.  We can never forget the extraordinary achievements of our veterans, or else we will forget what it takes to maintain our freedom. As citizens of what is arguably the most marvelous nation on Earth, we cannot forget to be grateful for our lives, or overlook the truly great people that walk among us. Veterans connect us to the values that have shaped this country and should not be taken for granted.  They have served, protected, and defended the United States, and we should remember their importance every day.

A digital art rendition of a group of young, racially diverse people holding up a "Vote" sticker
  • Opinion


A digital art rendition of a group of young, racially diverse people holding up a "Vote" sticker

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pixabay

“Get off your phone!”

It’s not difficult for the parents of today’s teens to remember the last time they said this phrase. Most don’t have to think back more than a few days. At best, the phrase is an occasional reminder; at worst, it’s a constant nag. Because of their constant reminders, parents assume that their teens lack important life skills. Delegation and drive in their kids, they suppose, are a thing of the past.

Characterized by pessimists for being lazy and disrespectful, Generation Z is burdened by the stereotype of youth, not uncommon but somewhat more aggressive than in the past. Generation Z (also called Gen Z), those born between 1995 and 2009, makes up almost thirty percent of the world’s population. The global youth population has historically been looked down upon, but criticisms have grown into full-blown accusations of incompetence and lack of effort. Gen Z has grown up with technology at their fingertips – literally, as smartphone touchscreens were invented in 2007, allowing the oldest Gen Z-ers access, at age 12, to overwhelmingly become the most frequent users of social media.

The popularity of apps such as Instagram and TikTok has skyrocketed, doubling as entertainment as well as news sources for many,  allowing young voters to stay informed in ways that are engaging and effective for them. Democratic politicians such as U.S. Senator-elect John Fetterman (D-PA) and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) use social media regularly and in personal ways, mimicking Gen Z and appealing to their desire for truth and connection. Much like their increased participation in protests and public activism, young people seek authenticity in the people they vote for. Despite the skepticism of older generations, news outlets are shifting their focus to social media with much success. The New York Times, for example, has more than sixteen million followers on Instagram.

Due to the direct effect of many laws on teens and young adults, Gen Z voters are taking political stances on various issues that decide the future of themselves and their peers. For instance, anti-transgender legislation affects kids as young as the age of three, and restrictions on abortion are relevant for most females starting at puberty. With political polarization on the rise, Gen Z places careful attention on their relationships, discussing previously sensitive topics such as mental health with their peers. Gen Z is also normalizing the conversation around politics, straying away from the cautious attitude around partisan issues, and diving into them instead.

Most importantly, Gen Z’s interest in social issues is at the foundation of how they vote. The Republican “red wave” predicted in the recent mid-term elections did not materialize, thanks to a huge turnout of Democratic voters, particularly those under the age of 30. President Joe Biden’s low approval rating was a particular focus for pollsters and pundits. However, exit polls indicated that young voters, motivated by issues such as abortion and the environment, cast their votes for Democratic candidates whom they believed to be more supportive of their views. Gen Z’s support of such candidates helped thwart a “red wave” in a mid-term election that defied the historical trend in which the president’s party suffers heavy losses. Of course, Gen Z alone did not decide the election. But their turnout, the second highest in thirty years, indicates that they are very concerned about the state of their country and the world. In Florida, “even amid a Democratic wipeout,” voters elected the first Gen-Z member of Congress, 25-year-old Maxwell Frost (Time).

Despite their impact, negative assumptions of Gen Z are still widespread, even among their caregivers. Many parents worry about the amount of time that their kids spend on screens, wasting their potential by misusing technology. While not untrue, this stereotype does not encompass the many positive traits of today’s youth. The number of young voters who showed up for the midterm elections this month is astonishing and proves that despite their attachment to their phones – perhaps because of their presence on social media – Gen Z showed up ready to make their views known.

Though Gen Zers are sometimes accused of being overly concerned about their image, they are at the forefront of destigmatizing mental health. And though they're nagged for being on their phones, they use them in a most effective way: to seek truth.

The next time you doubt a Gen Z-er for being uptight, or vain, or distracted, whether you’re younger, older, or perhaps one yourself, think twice, because they’re already thinking about tomorrow.

Students and teachers standing in front of church smiling
  • Feature
Students and teachers standing in front of church smiling

Movember is a month-long event to grow awareness for men’s mental and physical health. The topic of men’s health is often neglected, primarily due to society’s enforcement of negative stereotypes. These stereotypes include the belief that “men don’t cry” and stem from toxic masculinity that is very prominent today. However, regardless of these stereotypes, mental and physical health issues that men face are serious and deserve validation and attention. In the month of November, many people grow out their mustaches to spread awareness for this cause since it is often not talked about.

Here at St. Paul’s, many students, teachers, faculty, and staff are participating in Movember by growing out their mustaches. One of the leaders of this event is senior George Bezhanishvili. I had the privilege to speak to him about this event and how everyone can get involved. George explains that “men’s mental health is underlooked,” even as the dialogue around mental health expands, “and it is just seen as not important, so I thought that [participating in Movember was] a good way for me to show that I cared about I did it every year.”

Along with encouraging students to grow out their mustaches in November, St. Paul’s also has a mental health awareness club. George explains, “I’m actually one of the co-founders of it. We started that club our sophomore year, when we were on virtual [Microsoft] Teams, and it was literally me, a senior, [and] my friend James, and it was [us] three and Miss Villet, our guidance counselor, in a meeting…just talking about these kinds of issues that were just important.” Since his sophomore year, the club has grown into one of the most popular clubs at SP, with new members at every meeting. “Every week,” George says, “we just talk about an issue or just ask how people’s days are going. It’s very wholesome, to be honest.” The club normalizes the conversation about mental health for men by having these simple conversations. By talking casually with one another and opening up about issues and topics of concern, SP Students connect on a deeper level.

In addition to growing a mustache, walks and runs are also common events to spread awareness for Movember. By participating in Movember, you can become a “Mo-Sister” or “Mo-Bro.” Anyone can spread awareness by bringing up these difficult conversations by simply asking someone how they are doing. There are organizations such as Movember, Heads Up Guys, and Active Minds, that raise money to grow funding for testicular cancer, suicide prevention, and other mental health issues. Suicide is the seventh leading cause of death in mean, and four times as many men die from suicide than women. Therefore, it is important to raise awareness and money for these causes and organizations around Men’s mental and physical health.

Here at St. Paul’s, we need to keep in mind the mental and physical health of our friends, family, teachers, and staff and bring up the topics of mental and physical health to normalize the conversation. By doing so, we can start to dispel the stigma around this sometimes uncomfortable, but ever-important, topic, and make everyone in our community feel more heard and loved.


Organizations and Helpful Websites

Movember Organization

Heads Up Guys Organization

Active Minds Organization

The editors stand by Page and the Epistle club poster

Dear Readers,

The editors and staff of The Page & The Epistle are delighted to introduce our first issue of the 2022-2023 school year! As SP and SPSG’s joint upper school newspaper, The Page & The Epistle strives to empower student voices and writing and inform The St. Paul's Schools community about a variety of topics.

We are honored to serve as the Editors-in-Chief this year. Following our arrival at SPSG in ninth grade, we have appreciated the guidance and admired the expertise of previous editors and are ecstatic to continue to foster students' voices. Between us, we have published articles on a wide range of topics, from President Clark Wight’s office to Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the United States Supreme Court. Our prior experience as staff writers at The Page and the Epistle has solidified our passion for writing and more than prepared us for our role.

Our staff this year is quite talented, and we are excited to help share their ideas with the larger community. We also plan to deliver news and features via podcasts and video this year. We invite students interested in our work to contact us, and we encourage everyone to read and interact with this year’s articles!


Natalie Kim ’24 ( and Erin Verch ’24 (

Co-Editors in Chief of The Page and the Epistle

Faculty Advisors: Mr. Brooks Binau & Mr. Charley Mitchell ‘73

Two girls stand by newspaper club poster
  • News

On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwestern Florida. In the blink of an eye, millions of lives were changed forever.  

This massive storm qualified as a rare Category 4 and came close to Category 5. A Category 4 storm must have sustained winds of at least 130 miles per hour and capping at 156. In comparison, Hurricanes Irene and Sandy ranked as Category 3 storms. They also cause catastrophic damage, often destroying well-built structures such as houses and office buildings. Ian was, unfortunately, a perfect example of this. 

Sanibel Island, a small vacation town, suffered a devastating blow.  Sanibel, while beautiful, is isolated. With one highway connecting the residential areas to mainland Florida, residents fear the threats of hurricanes.  Interstate 75, the highway in question, was ravaged. For hours, winds surpassing 120 miles per hour slammed the bridges and beaches while surges upward of seven feet flooded the roads.  A shell of an island with an unsalvageable exit was all that remained.  

Other vacation hotspots such as Charleston, Fort Myers, and Naples found their streets flooded with several feet of water. In Naples alone, 55,000 buildings were severely water-damaged and left uninhabitable. Alligators swarmed the streets, confining terrified residents to their dismantled homes. 

Ian struck Cuba as a slightly less fearsome Category 3, though power lines were destroyed, causing millions to lose electricity. Homes were flattened and streets were erased. Many residents, caught off guard, were unprepared for such ferociousness. For days, residents Cuba struggled alongside Americans as the floodwaters rose as one question loomed: what would come next? 

It would be easy to ignore the situation in Florida, but community and hope can prevail. Below is a list of foundations/organizations who are helping on the frontlines. Whether you decide to make a contribution or spread the word, remember that anything helps. 


  1. The Gulf Coast Community Foundation: The GCC directly supports and aids the victims of Ian, providing medical care and hospitality to those most in need. 


  1. Red Cross: The Red Cross has sent out thousands of supply kits with plans to send thousands more to families with no access to food or clean water.  


  1. Collier Community Foundation: CCF is a nonprofit organization acting immediately after disasters, sending ambulances, food, and aid to  those affected. 


silhouette of girl running at sunset on a beach
  • Sports

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay 

In our fast-paced world of pressure, competition, and a never-ending news cycle, chronic stress can overtake even the best of us. According to the National Library of Medicine, stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension caused by events or thoughts that make you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Not having a plan to cope with stress can lead to muscle tension, headaches, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, a weakened immune system, difficulty sleeping, and depression.  Yet rather than become victims of the stressful world around us, we can combat stress by fortifying our bodies and spirit with fitness and faith. 

The Harvard Health Letter cites many benefits of exercise to increase our resistance to stress (  Exercise reduces stress hormones and increases production of endorphins that are the chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators.  Getting your heart rate up changes the brain’s chemistry by increasing anti-anxiety neurochemicals such as serotonin, and it activates both the frontal regions of the brain responsible for organization and the amygdala, which enables us to react to threats to our survival. In addition, fitness leads to improvements in strength, endurance, and energy, which have the secondary benefit of improved self-image.  

In our search for sense and stability in a chaotic world, faith can help ground us by creating meaning and purpose.  The Mayo Clinic, in its column entitled “Mindfulness,” explains that the practice of some religion or spirituality can aid in stress management.  It can help you cope with many perplexing and distressing questions that surround the meaning of existence. As religion focuses us on values of love and kindness, it lessens stress-producing feelings of anger and aggression. 

Faith can provide hope and acceptance, and it encourages a sense of optimism and hopefulness, which teaches us to accept what does not work out and what we cannot control.  Faith unites us with others; belonging to a religious organization can put you in contact with others who are less fortunate.  This allows you to play a helping role, which shifts the focus from your own stresses to someone else’s.  Finally, prayer and contemplation can result in a range of physical changes that reduce stress. 

Standing strong against the many worries and stresses that block our way can seem impossible.  But if we take that first step in the right direction, we can begin to feel some small amount of control over our response to stress. 

Take active charge of your life and make a plan of action.  We cannot control the events and demands around us, but we can be optimistic about the fact that moving our bodies can unlock positive brain chemistry, improve well-being, and increase energy.  We can also turn to our faith to help us remember what is important and guide us toward peace.  Take a breath, say a prayer, and focus on something beautiful.  The burden is not ours alone.  “In this world you will have trouble; but take heart, I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 


A protester holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini during a demonstration in support of Amini, a young Iranian woman who died after being arrested in Tehran by the Islamic Republic's morality police.
  • News

The Protests  

On September 13th, 2022, a 22-year-old young woman in Iran, Mahsa Amini, was arrested for wearing her hijab incorrectly. The Iranian government has a strict policy requiring women to wear headscarves or hijabs, which symbolize modesty, morality, and privacy. The rule states that women must wear a head covering in public starting at the age of nine. The Morality Police—the widely feared enforcers of Iran’s veiling laws—arrested Amini, stating that she was improperly dressed. Amini subsequently died in police custody.

According to government standards, this could have meant Amini had a single strand of hair peeking out of her hijab. Amini was taken to a center where she would be “re-educated” on how to properly wear the hijab. However, three days later, she was found dead after being admitted into a local hospital in a coma. According to some witnesses, Amini was tortured and abused prior to her death. Since this event was popularized by the media, mass public protests have occurred throughout Iran, where women are burning headscarves, chanting phrases such as “Death to the dictator,” and cutting their hair, while some of their male counterparts join the protests by providing consistent support. This has created conflict with Iran’s traditional mindset that is rooted in fundamental religious customs of modesty versus Iranian female citizens begging for an ounce of freedom.  

The Morality Police  

The Morality Police are a segment of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces that enforces standards set by Islamic Sharia Law. The five main goals of this law are to protect the peace of religious practice, life, sanity, family, and communal wealth, although the Morality Police will also ensure that women are dressed appropriately in public to respect and honor their male counterparts as well as Allah. Not only must women wear hijabs in public, but the hijab must cover all hair, not be loose, and worn traditionally.  

Results of the Protests  

The protests in Iran have become violent. Security forces have reacted aggressively, using shotguns, assault rifles, and handguns to kill and injure hundreds of protesters, including many women, daily. As of this writing, sixteen videos showing graphic images of police openly firing at groups of women cutting their hair have been released. As many as 400 deaths have been confirmed, 23 of which were girls under the age of ten. Claiming fear of foreign influence, Iranian authorities have cut off citizens’ access to social media and the internet, to prevent the news of protests from spreading.  

Image by Shima Abedinzade from Pixabay

The Truth  

Although the fight for freedom in Iran has been brought to our attention recently, the truth is that Iranian women have been fighting for freedom for 150 years. Protests have been taking place for decades, as more than half of Iran's population disagrees with the strict religious laws. Many are fed up with women's lack of liberty. With anger and rage, the women of Iran are demanding change. During this time, Americans should stand with Iran as thousands of individuals risk their lives daily to finally be free. 

A digital art rendition of a group of racially diverse people looking in different directions
  • News
  • Opinion

Most people are expected to follow the norm. Because humans are social creatures by nature, we adapt to what most people around us do and believe. Our slang, music, food, clothes, and how we carry ourselves are affected by the people we are around. Thus, stereotypes are born.

If you have a certain amount of money, you are associated with a particular group. If you walk a certain way, talk a certain way, and even look a certain way, you are categorized. This tendency to categorize people in separate groups because of our “first impression” of them causes us to focus on one characteristic about that person and ignore others that make that person unique.

Color Association as a Predictor of Gender  

Imagine Ryan, a boy who is attending his first day at middle school. During art class, the teacher tells the students to draw a knight, but only using one color to do so. When Ryan chooses pink because that is his favorite color, he is questioned by some students as to why his favorite color is pink instead of a “boyish” color like green or brown. Ryan replies, “I don’t know, I just like pink better.” When his classmates asked the question, they'd associated color with gender, though color is no indication of gender.

An investigation by Claudia Hammond depicted differences in women’s treatment of babies. When given “the exact same babies,” women treated them differently, “depending on whether they were dressed in pink or blue. If the clothes were blue, they assumed it was a boy, played more physical games with them...whereas they would gently soothe the baby dressed in pink.”

The reason we associate color with gender might not just be a social one, but a psychological one. Many Americans want to know the gender of their baby before they’re born, and once they do, they buy things for the baby in colors that we associate as “boyish” or “girlish." This cycle continues with the generation after, causing a social bias about what we think is “boyish” or “girlish.”

Once we realize that color doesn't have any correlation with gender, we can eliminate the harmful effect of stereotypes, such as people forcing themselves to like certain colors to make themselves appear more masculine or feminine.

 Name and Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

In a recent study, the National Bureau of Economic Studies found that stereotypically Black-sounding names reduced the probability of employment by 2.1 percent compared to white-sounding names. Some of these gaps were worse depending on the company. For example, this study found that in firms with the most racial discrimination, half of the Black applicants with stereotypical Black-sounding names didn't receive a call for employment from the firm during the experiment. Likewise, when it came to gender, depending on whether the firm favors male or female applicants, there was a 2.7 percent difference in the probability of employment.

A Canadian research report found that applicants with Asian-sounding names and foreign educations were 29.7 percent less likely to get employed on first calls compared to applicants with Anglicized names. If the Asian applicant had a mix of Canadian and foreign experience, then they were 46.1 percent less likely. If the Asian applicant only had foreign experience, then they were 62.5 percent less likely.

Thus, you could have the same qualifications, or better, as someone else but have a lower chance of being offered a job because of your name. For example, a man named Bill would most likely have a better chance of employment than a man named Jamal. This bias not only causes emotional damage to the applicant; it can have a long-term negative effect on a company’s productivity and success. Companies most susceptible to gender and racial bias won't improve since an applicant’s potential is overridden by the perception of their name.

Color association with gender and name discrimination have affected many cultures for far too long. Knowing that these biases will limit the diversity of cultures which strive for improvement and growth in their communities, it is best that we tackle this bias sooner rather than later. Success will help our workplace culture and businesses thrive.

  • Feature

By  Taylor V. ‘25

Kiera Thomas ‘25 has reached the ranking of a “national kickboxer.” This is an impressive achievement for a woman, especially at just 14. I recently spoke with this nationally recognized athlete to learn more about her experience with the sport and how she got to be where she is now. 

Kiera was a club lacrosse player until her father, Brandon Thomas, showed her a UFC match on television. Kiera fell in love with the sport first as a viewer and then decided to try it. She began her kickboxing career toward the end of 2020 as she started training at “American Muay Thai,” a gym in Parkville, Maryland. 

Kickboxing is a form of martial art that has Asian origins as it developed from Japanese, full-contact karate, and can be traced back to Thailand and the art of Muay Thai Boxing as well. It is effectively a combination of the two martial arts that has risen in popularity in the U.S. in recent years. It is defined as a highly competitive sport where two fighters battle to receive a higher number of points before the round ends. Some ways to gain a point are landing a kick, punch, jab, or sweep on your opponent without it being blocked. 

Kiera works out at the gym three to five days a week for 2-2 ½ hours per session. She notes that running, weightlifting, and biking have helped her endurance and strength in the gym. These long hours of training and perfecting skills have gotten her to the competitive level she is at today.  

Kiera also shared that kickboxing has helped her gain extreme amounts of confidence: “It has helped me to find who I am and to be an all-around better person,” Kiera says. “I feel that I have grown into a much calmer and relaxed person by being able to take my anger or other emotions out. This sport has taught me that you can have lifelong friends and support systems, but that it is also okay to be alone. Sometimes you just need the comfort of yourself.”  

Kiera has shared that the stereotypes of boxers as angry people are untrue, claiming she has met some of the kindest and smartest people at the gym. She has found that everyone is open-minded and looking for the positive in each situation—which has really stuck with Kiera. “I believe this sport will always be a part of my life, it has influenced my personality and has profoundly changed my life forever,” she noted. “I have made friends that will always affect my life, and I have bonds with my coaches that are truly incredible. I would love to continue the sport in the future, but I want to see where my life will take me.”  

Kiera also spoke on one of her proudest moments, a victory after a long and challenging match: “My proudest moment is when I won my second fight—it was an extremely emotional moment. It was one of the first victories for my gym since we had been on a losing streak. I gave her [Keira’s opponent] a bloody nose, which was something to be proud of because of my power and skill. The judges awarded me a unanimous decision. It was a moment where all the challenging work, the long days, and the horrendous diet were worth it. It felt like I was finally at peace, like I was doing something that was worth it.” This was one of her two wins in 2021.  

The SPSG community is behind Kiera, and we are excited to see where her summer matches take her as the school year comes to a close! 

A picture of an article written in The Page 1993
  • Feature

By Davis B. ’25


* Editor’s Note: This is the second of two articles on the history of The Page and the Epistle student run paper. The first article, documenting the origins of The Page and its original history as The Monitor, can be found on our website. 

Welcome to the second part of “Behind The Page,” a feature on the history of the St. Paul’s school newspaper, which dates to the 1940s.   

The Monitor, the predecessor to the modern-day school paper, The Page and the Epistle, featured news, sports, advertisements, gossip, and more. This paper highlights the evolution of a small journalism group that managed to become an integral part of the school community.  

But, The Monitor is only a part of the history of St. Paul’s student newspaper. I interviewed former Page faculty advisor Michal Makarovich to gain answers and insight into The Page and its history. Why was The Monitor discontinued? What came before it? How did it become The Page? And what is the legacy of this nearly one hundred-year-old newspaper? 

To pick up where I left off, The Monitor had eventually transformed into a literary magazine, focusing on short stories and writings, rather than news and reporting. However, this changed when Michal Makarovich became its advisor in 1973. Michal suggested to the editors, who wished to publish news alongside the regular contents of The Monitor, that they go forward with this desire and include an article or two surrounding the news in each publication, dubbing it The Monitor Page.  

The editor of volume 1 of The Monitor Page was Andy Cohen, and it was published in October of 1976. While Andy lost interest in it shortly after, another editor, Ed Weber, picked it up in May of the same year, shortening the paper name to “The Page.” Ed continued The Page, gaining new editors to work on the project, and, eventually, The Monitor disappeared entirely in favor of an exclusively journalism-based publication, opting to document events and news, rather than stories and other types of content.  

The Page increased in popularity by the day and even won more awards than The Monitor in its prime. It also sold more ads in its pages. In addition, the paper included the discussion of more topical issues, such as music and gaming. This made the paper quite unique as other local school newspapers, such as those of the Gilman and Boys’ Latin schools, were focusing exclusively on global issues and sports. This popularity led many to wonder what The Page’s secret to success was. The answer was simple: The Page covered topics that appealed to students.  

Of course, other schools already had newspapers of their own, mostly reporting on various happenings on and around their school campuses. Yet, The Page was different. Every other school newspaper in the area wrote about sports or generic news. School administrations decided what was written and what wasn’t; thus, any sort of criticism or controversy surrounding the articles published was nowhere to be found. The student writers of The Page staff, on the other hand, wrote what they wanted to write. Articles like “Public vs. Private,” with pictures of a St. Paul’s student and a Dulaney student arguing and calling each other snobs and dirt bags were published (pictured below). The Page garnered major public attention as its student staff dared to broach many untouched topics, like pieces reviewing albums, video games, and other modern media, as well as critiquing school policies like the demerit system.  

The issues of The Page were not only controversial and full of hot topics, but were also very local, focusing on the St. Paul’s community, rather than just musing over global issues. This paid off immensely as The Page became incredibly popular. Many alumni at the time talked about how The Page was vital to the school atmosphere, so much so that each new issue would bring a crowd to pick up paper copies.  

Of course, simple doesn’t mean easy. While The Page’s approach to journalism may have resulted in massive success and acclaim, it also caused constant struggles between the staff and school administration about the issue of censorship when it came to difficult topics. The St. Paul’s administration didn’t approve of many of the articles featured in The Page as various student writers discussed controversial topics and would often direct criticism toward members of the St. Paul’s faculty and administration itself.  

However, The Page’s faculty advisor, Michal Mccarovich, was there to keep the peace between the administration and the students. Michal’s philosophy as the advisor was that the students wrote what they wanted to write, although he did believe in the importance of respecting the boundaries of the school faculty and staff. This created a kind of truce between the two parties, and allowed for a compromise between them, maintaining the position of The Page as the citadel for student run and student written opinions and thoughts.  

This legacy of the golden age of The Page is still remembered today as the paper has taken on a digital format. It also merged with SPSG’s newspaper, The Epistle, becoming a single body later in its life, as it is today. Despite this, many of the articles written during the 80s and 90s were more topical and related to school issues than those published now, and it could be argued that The Page was more popular back then than it is currently. Nevertheless, looking back at the paper’s complex and turbulent history and realizing the success it gained while enduring these challenges and shifts brings inspiration to the current staff to continue to speak their minds and write articles that pull readers to the website by catering to student interests. 


After doing a bit of digging in the archives with Mr. Mitchell, we discovered something: an article written in 1929 under the name of The Goldbug, stated to be the very first publication of a St. Paul’s newspaper. The Goldbug didn’t last long as the printer went up in flames after a few issues, causing its death almost as soon as the paper started. That issue of the Goldbug is probably the oldest piece of journalism in St. Paul’s history. This should’ve been in the first article, but it wasn’t discovered until after it was published, so I’m inserting it here. Thanks, Mr. Mitchell.  

A picture of an article written in The Page by Chad Offutt, written in 1993.