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Vashon High School newspaper garners top honors

Vashon High School’s student newspaper was recently named one of the top student publications in the country.

The Riptide, which enters the American Scholastic Press Association’s contest for high school newspapers each year, has taken the “first place with special merit” award five times in the last 12 years.

This year, though, it was also named the best newspaper at a high school with 500 to 1,000 students.

VHS newspaper adviser Greg McElroy said he and the Riptide staff were surprised and excited to win the award.

In the contest, judges examine two issues of the paper, which advisers and staff select, to determine the awards. Papers are judged on content, page design, art, advertising, editing and creativity and given points in each category. The Riptide received 975 out of 1,000 points. 

McElroy credits that paper’s strong staff this year — including editors-in-chief Hanna Ferguson and Phaedra Powell-Zecher — with producing a quality publication that caught judges’ eyes.

“I think they are one of the reasons that the paper has been a good paper this year, along with the whole staff,” he said.

The staff of about 50 students, McElroy said, has worked hard this year and seems to understand the role of the student press.

“They understand the importance of the school newspaper and that it is not something to put out there for kids to get a laugh out of,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for their voices to be heard not just in the school but beyond that out in the community. And they take that responsibility seriously.”

 

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