The Southerner

About Us

With a staff of about 17 students, The Southerner is a student-run publication committed to covering the events of Great Neck South High School and the surrounding community. Although The Southerner is not currently publishing print issues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, new articles and videos are being released weekly on the website. The publication was named Columbia Scholastic Press Association Silver Medalist in 2011 and Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Medalist in 2012 and 2014.



Lori Cresci, Faculty Advisor
Jennifer Hastings, Faculty Advisor

Editorial Board

Casey Choung
Print Editor-in-Chief


In his senior year at Great Neck South, Casey Choung looks forward to working on The Southerner as Editor-in-Chief and having more time to work on his pathetic YouTube channel. Other than these things, Casey enjoys shooting hoops, playing video games, and watching cooking shows.


Nate Cohen
Print Editor-in-Chief


Nate Cohen is a senior at South High School and a print Editor-In-Chief of The Southerner. He first joined the paper sophomore year and has since written stories on topics ranging from cycling trails to class participation. Outside of The Southerner, Nate is president of Students Putting an End to Cancer and a member of Theatre South. In his free time, Nate loves to study maps and history as well as partake in outdoorsy activities such as biking, hiking, and skiing.


David Wang
Web Editor-in-Chief



David Wang is a senior at GNSHS and the Web Editor-in-Chief of The Southerner. He most enjoys writing feature articles—appreciating them for their storytelling capacities. In his spare time, he can be found strumming on his electric guitar or reading John Steinbeck novels.


Jolie Lenga
Print Managing Editor


Jolie Lenga is a senior at South High School and a Managing Editor of The Southerner. Since joining the paper in freshman year, she has written stories on all-things entertainment—from restaurants, to seasonal recreation, to film. When she’s not writing, Jolie enjoys learning languages, listening to music, and leading as president of the History Club.


Nicole Yip
Print Managing Editor


Nicole Yip is a senior at South High School. She joined The Southerner as a freshman and is now a managing editor.  Outside the paper, Nicole is the president of the history club and a member of Rebels Connect. During her free time, she likes to cook, ice skate, and listen to music.


Kathryn Lee
Web Managing Editor


Kathryn Lee is the Web Managing Editor of The Southerner and has been writing articles for two years. Outside of the newspaper, Kathryn enjoys debate, Quiz Bowl, and the Oxford comma.

General Staff


Daniel Niu, Section Editor

Daniel Niu is a junior at Great Neck South High School and is currently the news section editor on The Southerner. Outside of the paper, Daniel participates in debate and plays volleyball.


Alexander Voses, Section Editor

Alexander Voses is in his third year on The Southerner and enjoys writing about food, entertainment, and Armenia. Outside of The Southerner you can find him sitting in his chair on a Zoom call or playing on his Nintendo Switch. When COVID wasn’t around he enjoyed going sailing and watching movies in theaters


Ruisong Lan, Section Editor

Ruisong Lan is a junior at Great Neck South High School and a member of The Southerner. This is his first year writing for the paper and he looks forward to contributing as much as he can. Outside of school, he volunteers at his local art center. In his free time, Ruisong enjoys reading, walking in the park, and playing with his brother.


Farah Daredia, Section Editor


Farah is a junior and a member of The Southerner. She enjoys writing, especially about socio-political issues. She’s interested in political organizing and social impact, and in her free time, she enjoys reading and watches a little too much CNN.


Louie Chung, Section Editor

Louie Chung is a junior at South High School and is a Section Editor of The Southerner. He enjoys writing highly relatable articles inspired by his personal experiences. Besides being part of the newspaper, Louie is also Vice President of DECA, Co-President of Christian Seekers Club, and Secretary of the Asian Culture Club. In his downtime, Louie can be found playing soccer and volleyball with his friends.

Cari Raphael, Section Editor

This is Cari’s first year on The Southerner, but her second year in the journalism class. Cari hopes to pursue a career in sports journalism. Her favorite topics to write about are human interest, sports, and history. She spends her free time playing with her dog, Rocky, participating in sports, or watching Netflix. At the moment, her favorite shows are How I Met Your Mother, Gilmore Girls, and Cobra Kai.

Special Features

Grace Fong, Section Editor

Grace Fong, a junior at South High School, and is a  special features section editor of The Southerner. She first joined the paper freshman year and has enjoyed immersing herself in the various types of journalism. Besides being part of the paper, Grace is also a member of the school’s badminton team and student government. If Grace isn’t writing or reading in her spare time, she enjoys watching thriller movies that take place on mobile vehicles, playing badminton, or watching “what I eat in a week” youtube videos.
Melanie Ranieri, Section Editor

Melanie Ranieri is a sophomore at South High School and a Special Features Editor of The Southerner. She enjoys creating Special Feature layouts and writing articles about inspiring entrepreneurs and influencers. Melanie thrives off the challenge of finding the coolest and trendiest places to go in NYC and beyond. Additionally, she plays clarinet in the school band, helps run the Facebook for Aware Club and SADD, plays softball and swims.

Staff Writers

Amy Susnea

Amy Susnea is a sophomore at South High School and a staff writer for The Southerner. This is her first year on the paper, and she is very excited to be a part of it. Her favorite stories to write are the ones that have heart at the center of them and ones that focus on community. When outside of school, she likes to spend her time playing video games, drawing, writing creatively, hiking, and generally messing about in the woods.
Elena Zhang

Elena (A.K.A. Leona) Zhang is a staff writer on The Southerner. They are genderfluid and accept any pronouns, but they go by they/them as a default. They love writing, and started journalism in their sophomore year. Outside of Journalism, they are an Editor in the school literary magazine Exit 33, Co-Editor of the yearbook, and secretary of the Art Club. Besides writing and editing, they are passionate about identity, LGBTQ rights, and series like Genshin Impact and Ensemble Stars.

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