Meet the new editors of the Pelham Examiner as it begins sixth year of publication

Dear Readers:

Clockwise from top left, Executive Editor Gabby Ahitow, Managing Editor Hannah Steinberg, and Assistant Managing Editors Phoebe Schwarz, Charlotte Cohn, Kiran Schwaderer and Matt Michailoff.

This time of year is both a happy and a sad one for me. Sad because five of the six editors who have run the paper for the past year—and worked on it longer, through crisis and turmoil—are heading toward graduation, college and all those great big adventures. More on them in a sec.

First, the happy. On June 1, the following staff members took over the job of editing the Pelham Examiner. Among them, they already have experience serving as an assistant managing editor, editing sections, developing story ideas, covering beats and writing a wide range of news stories and features. Gabby Ahitow, the new executive editor, was one of the 17 people who founded the paper five years ago, and so is the only founder to go from sixth grade reporter to top editor. Her colleagues on the masthead—assistant managing editor and higher on the list below—all have two or more years of experience with the paper. Add in the department editors, contributing editors and beat reporters, and the paper has a great group of leaders in charge. I can’t wait to see what they will do in the next year. As they run the paper, I know they will continue publishing the incredible journalism the Examiner has provided to Pelham for the past five years.

Executive Editor: Gabby Ahitow

Managing Editor: Hannah Steinberg

Assistant Managing Editor: Charlotte Cohn

Assistant Managing Editor: Matt Michailoff

Assistant Managing Editor: Kiran Schwaderer

Assistant Managing Editor: Phoebe Schwarz (Phoebe also covers the Village of Pelham Manor Board of Trustees)

Sports Editor: Nicolas Flores

Features Editor: Kate Gristina

Business Editor: Kira Findikyan

Entertainment Editor: Oliver Lavallee

Social Media Editor: Will Knickerbocker

Assistant Sports Editor: Jack Boyce

Contributing Editor/Village of Pelham Board of Trustees reporter: Gillian Ho

Contributing Editor: Laura Shelton

Pelham Board of Education reporter: Annika Halvorson

Contributing Editor: Julia Findikyan

Contributing Editor: Lark Martin

As always, if you have news, story ideas, letters to the editor, opinion pieces, press releases, corrections, questions or anything else, email [email protected]. Editors are always monitoring that account.

Each group of editors that has served on our masthead has done amazing work publishing this paper. There’s no attempt at equivalency in this. If the top editors hadn’t accomplished that very thing in their year in charge, the Pelham Examiner wouldn’t be the news-breaking, award-winning paper it is today. And each team has had specific challenges and incredible successes. The five now-former masthead editors who are graduating—Executive Editor Cristina Stefanizzi, Managing Editor Bella Caruso and Assistant Managing Editors Leila Brady, Ava Paolucci and Audrey Levenson—all joined the paper in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, some of them in its earliest months. Hard enough to take on a newspaper job—it is a job!—in such a dark period. They helped the paper define itself as the news source for Pelham with its coverage of the health crisis and everything else going on at that time.

Among them, they wrote stories that won awards from state and national media organizations, served for two years on the masthead and worked as section editors, covered the school board and village board beats, produced top class journalism throughout their time with the paper and came up with too many great ideas to list. And they ran this newspaper. A year of that, let alone two, is real and hard work. I am sad to see them leave. But if there’s one thing this job has taught me, the wheel of time must turn. Thank you to all five of them, as well as graduating department editors and staff reporters Tobey D’Amore, Ava Knickerbocker, Anna Gambone, Amina Pucci, Teddy Dunn and Owen Cuomo. I know their adventures are going to be quite special because the work they did here was quite special.

Congratulations in advance to all the graduates! And off we go with year six of this singular newspaper.

Best regards,

Rich Zahradnik

Executive Director

The Hudson Valley Local News Lab: Publisher of the Pelham Examiner