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December 22, 2013

Students, teachers, parents can read all about their school in The Franklin Flyer

NORTH ANDOVER — When Franklin School Principal Mary Lou McCarthy recently announced her retirement, three young journalists got right on the story.

Deran Hazarvartian, Rachelle Zinland-Pukhovitsky and Genna Ferres, all fifth-graders, put their heads together and came up with several questions, including a hard one: “Why can’t we sit wherever we want in the cafeteria at lunch?”

The trio then asked McCarthy for an interview, which they recorded in a question-and-answer format. They got their principal to reveal what she plans to do during her retirement. She told them she hopes to sleep and travel more.

Regarding cafeteria seating arrangements, McCarthy summed it up in one word: Behavior. Students sit in assigned seats so that behavior and loudness can be kept under control, she explained.

The story made the front page of The Franklin Flyer, the school’s newspaper, which has published its winter edition. Deran, Rachelle and Genna are the editors of this publication, whose latest edition boasts 20 pages of news, features and photos.

The Franklin Flyer has been around for about eight years, according to fourth-grade teacher Abby Gilbert. After the paper went through a dormant stretch, Melissa Gray, mother of two sons at Franklin, got inspired to revive it.

A number of students asked about resurrecting the newspaper, she said.

“I had a lot of help,” she added.

Gray and three other mothers of students, Shephali Ghelani, Kim Cooperstein and Beth Hassanein, organized 20 or so aspiring young newspaper people, who began searching their school for stories. Gilbert said she serves as a “liaison” between the parent advisers and McCarthy.

David Naggar, father of one of the newspaper’s reporters, Dominic Naggar, takes care of layout and photo reproduction for The Franklin Flyer. Dover Press printed 475 copies of the paper.

Arjun Ghelani, a fourth-grader, interviewed his friend David Cooperstein, who celebrates Christmas by serving food to homeless people at Haven from Hunger in Peabody.

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