The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

Simon Holland

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief

Simon is one of two Editors-in-Chief, and if you start talking to him about RuPaul’s Drag Race, you’ll never escape that conversation. During the day, Simon can be found holed up in a corner of the library cranking through all his editing in one sitting, and after school, there’s a 99.9% chance he’s in the Black Box Theater, wishing he could see the sun.


  • 2022-23: Style Editor
  • 2023-24: Editor-in-Chief
All content by Simon Holland
CHEERIO, CHIEFS! - Becca and Simon pose with two Beacon editions from their time as Editors-in-Chief. After a tumultuous tenure, the two plan to use the lessons they have learned to their advantage during this next chapter.

Editors-in-Chief say farewell

Becca Green and Simon Holland May 3, 2024

With April showers come May flowers, and with May flowers comes giving up our powers.  As we publish our final edition as chiefs, we wanted to reflect on our time on the Beacon. From humble beginnings...

Beyonce’s country creation: ‘Cowboy Carter’ review

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief May 3, 2024

“Genres are a funny thing, aren’t they?” country legend Linda Martell asks at the start of “Spaghettii,” the twelfth track on singer-songwriter Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s latest album, “Cowboy...

Israel-Gaza War rallies and divides community

Israel-Gaza War rallies and divides community

Simon Holland, Isadora Groves, and Rohini Kieffer February 13, 2024

Jackson-Reed students and staff are dealing with controversy surrounding discussion of the current Israel-Gaza War with accusations of censorship, threats of litigation, and complaints about curriculum. In...

100 word rants: Break, class sizes, tatte

Nicole Dickinson, Eva Solomon, and Simon Holland February 13, 2024

Break Uncontroversial take: I miss winter break. I miss not having school. I miss having no additional work being assigned. I miss having an excuse to stay inside for a week. What do I not miss? Crowded...

Saltburn: a look at the British elite and internet overhyping

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief February 13, 2024

“Saltburn” is a beautifully shot and expertly acted tale of homoeroticism and manipulation. Unfortunately, it’s bogged down by a murky message and overhyping across social media. The movie follows...

Post admissions: the College and Career Center

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief January 24, 2024

Seniors across the nation take a big sigh of relief after their early decision and early action deadlines for college came to a close in November. For most, those admissions letters arrive on their doorstep...

Arab Student Union attempt to show documentary halted

Simon Holland, Isadora Groves, and Rohini Kieffer January 9, 2024

Editor’s Note: To read more about the current climate surrounding the Israel-Hamas War at Jackson-Reed, go here to read an article from our November edition. Jackson-Reed administration halted an...

LGBTQ+ teachers share their experiences

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief December 18, 2023

With abundant Pride flags, an active Gender Sexuality Alliance, posters adorning the halls recognizing known LGBTQ+ figures, and more, Jackson-Reed strives to be a supportive space. As many staff members...

December Spread

December Spread

Dani Ortiz de Prado, Chhaya Deonauth, and Simon Holland December 18, 2023

Click here to read!

Students, teachers struggle to discuss Israel-Hamas war

Simon Holland, Norah Caplan, and Rohini Kieffer November 21, 2023

College campuses across the country are embroiled in debate over the Israel-Hamas war. But at Jackson-Reed, many students and teachers report that they are uncomfortable even engaging in conversations...

STUFFY STAIRWELLS - Along with overcrowded hallways, students had to deal with crowded classrooms. According to administration, much of the overcrowding has been resolved.

School addresses overcrowded classes; problems linger for students and staff

Simon Holland, Isadora Groves, and Gil Leifman October 11, 2023

The beginning of the 2023-24 school year presented teachers and students with challenges from overcrowded classrooms, some containing over 60 students. Despite the issue being resolved in the following...

No Friday Night Lights At Jackson-Reed

Simon Holland and Justin Glenn September 8, 2023

Friday night’s football game against Paul Public Charter School was moved from the Jackson-Reed field after the stadium lights and scoreboard malfunctioned earlier in the week. The game was relocated...

Jackson-Reed Photography Club has work displayed in the Phillips Collection

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief July 15, 2023

  This June, the Jackson-Reed Photography Club had their work featured in the DuPont Circle art gallery, the Phillips Collection, as part of a collection of student work inspired by photographer...

MORNING ROUNDS - Principal Sah Brown pauses on his daily hall walks to chat with a teacher before class one morning.

Reflecting on Principal Brown’s first year

Becca Green and Simon Holland June 21, 2023

In a school this large, forming connections isn’t something that is necessarily easy, so Principal Sah Brown made it a priority to build relationships with students, staff, and community members outside...

Further AP African American Studies changes announced by College Board

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief June 21, 2023

On April 24th, College Board announced that the AP African American Studies framework was to be reevaluated by a board of teachers and scholars due to scrutiny facing the course. This scrutiny arose after...

Photo by Charlotte Comrack

Behind the mic: Myles Bell on the announcements

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief March 25, 2023

Q: When did you start doing the announcements? A: My anniversary is February 28, 2022. I did the announcements for the annual BSU Black History Month door decoration competition. And then Mr. Bargeman...

College Board updates framework for AP African American Studies

Benjamin Chait, Hadley Carr, and Simon Holland March 10, 2023

College Board released an updated framework for the new AP African American Studies course on February 1. Jackson-Reed is one of 60 schools across the U.S. currently running the pilot version of the program.  The...

2022: The best of media

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief March 6, 2023

Every year, it feels like a million and one new movies, shows, albums, podcasts, video games, books, and more come out, a crippling FOMO takes over as you try and figure out what you do and don’t want...

In case you missed it: photos from And Then There Were None

In case you missed it: photos from And Then There Were None

Charlotte Comrack and Simon Holland November 13, 2022

Jackson-Reed Theater's Fall play presents Agatha Christie's darkest and most haunting tale. Considered to be her greatest work, “And Then There Were None” is a twisting and turning thriller that is...

Art vs. Artist: Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling

Art vs. Artist: Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief November 13, 2022

Content Warning: discussions of transphobia and anti-Semitism. I loved the Harry Potter books. I read The Sorcerer's Stone in first grade, and once I’d finished, I had to get my hands on every other...

Fall TV and Movie Favorites

Simon Holland and Joey Schneider November 12, 2022

  Something about the fall season makes you want to cuddle up under a blanket, take a million pictures of the leaves turning orange, and surround yourself with that fall vibe. (Just us?) In addition...

Theater season returns!

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief October 17, 2022

  Due to the Jackson-Reed auditorium undergoing repairs, the theater has relocated to a temporary home: room WB207一the Black Box.   Much smaller than the auditorium, the Black Box serves...

Pride Month Media Feature: “Heartstopper”

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief June 27, 2022

Boy meets boy, and the entire world falls in love. The Netflix series “Heartstopper” centers around high schoolers Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson as they embark on a heartwarming relationship new to...

Jackson-Reed to return to block schedule next year

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief June 24, 2022

After two years with the 4x4 schedule, Jackson-Reed decided to return to the block schedule for the 2022-23 school year. The change follows surveys conducted due to pressure from the school community. Under...

“The Batman” brings Gotham City to life

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief March 30, 2022

With amazing acting, cinematography, and a very clear vision, “The Batman” made for a worthwhile trip to the theater. Unfortunately, inconsistent writing quality detracted from the overall experience. “The...

March 2022 100 word rants

100 words By: Simon Holland I love talking and ranting, so you can imagine my excitement at getting to write a rant! But my enthusiasm quickly deteriorated when I learned I only had 100 words to...

Working brings theater back to Wilson

‘Working’ brings theater back to Wilson

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief December 17, 2021

Wilson theater will be making it’s triumphant return this December with a production of “Working,” a musical following the work lives of ordinary people.  “Working” is the first of three...

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