The Gator: Students Launch News Site

Alina Fischer

At 7:45 a.m., students launched The Gator, the student news site of Brimmer and May. Replete with not just written content, but also podcasts, videos, photos, live stream, and other interactive content, viewers will enjoy prime access to campus news and events.

The site runs on WordPress, the same platform that powers many of the nation’s major media outlets, including The New York Times, and is run by students in Mr. David Cutler’s new journalism elective.

“I’m extremely excited to work alongside such dedicated and eager students,” says Cutler ’02, who runs his own education blog and writes for Edutopia and The Atlantic. “It’s a real pleasure to bring my passion to the classroom, and to help students have their voices heard using the most cutting-edge communication skills and technologies.”

Cutler hopes The Gator will transform how the community stays informed and involved. The site is entirely responsive, which means that viewers can access content on any computer or mobile device. Students will also localize coverage of important outside events, as well as live stream sports and campus events.

Before coming to Brimmer and May this year, Cutler spent the last six years teaching at Palmer Trinity, a private school in Palmetto Bay, Florida. There, he worked with students to help launch The Falconer. Cutler says he learned a lot from his successes and failures there—and how to help students have an even more successful run with The Gator.

“Journalism is a fantastic class, especially as so few other courses allow teachers and students alike to so effectively learn and collaborate,” Cutler says. “I learned a lot from working on my weaknesses, including how to teach code, writing and live broadcasting. Like my students, I’m constantly growing and evolving, and I’m wicked excited to help Brimmer and May students cultivate something truly extraordinary.”

Journalism students share Cutler’s enthusiasm. Kaitlin Murphy ’17 wants students to be even more informed about electives, activities and sports. “We’ve never had a class like this before,” she says. “It’s great to learn and then apply real-world skills to something tangible.” Sam Marcotte ’16 says, “The Gator will provide a huge service to our wide community, and since it’s online, our coverage will reach everyone—not just teachers and students. Our goal is to make the site one of the best student-lead news sites in New England,”

The administration is supportive of The Gator, with Dean of Students Paul Murray saying,  “If an online news site will help connect our already-close community—its nothing but a good idea.” Upper School Head Joe Iliuanno said, “It needs to be taken seriously, and I hope the Gator has some teeth to it,” he says.