After spending countless hours working to perfect Panther Prints online, the staff was recently awarded one of the highest awards from Columbia Scholastic Press Association in New York by receiving one of the 15 Silver Crowns awarded to high school publications across America.
“We have been working very hard to develop our site into a site that reaches our community of readers,” publications advisor James Rich said. “Covering our school community well is what makes winning this contest come about.”
The silver crown award is given annually to any schools that are determined to be deserving according to various standards set by Columbia University. In February Panther Prints entered the contest along with 180 other publications, not really knowing what was ahead. Publications were judged on writing/editing, design, content, concept, photography, art and graphics. In the end just over 20 publications were awarded gold or silver crown awards out of the 18 that entered.
“I hoped to go far in the competition,” editor-in-chief Tatiana Marceleno said, “but I didn’t expect such a high honor.”
After more than a month of waiting patiently for the judges, the results were finally announced. Out of the very few honors distributed, Panther Prints became one of only four schools in the state of Texas to receive a crown leaving staff members excited about being honored with this award.
“For me personally, I am very excited about winning this award,” editor-in-chief Allison Peregory said. “When I’m applying to colleges it will look really good for me to say I was an editor on this staff when we won this award.”
Thinking about what could possibly be ahead is what is on the minds of the staff at this point. Marceleno said although she is a senior she hopes there are more awards in the future.
“Everyone on staff participated in earning this award from the seniors down to the sophomores on staff,” Marceleno said. “I hope winning this award inspires and encourages future staffs to work hard to achieve an even higher level.”
Peregory agrees with her fellow editor as she is looking for more awards in the future.
“I think we will continue to produce a great newspaper and website,” Peregory said.
Knowing there is always room to improve, Mr. Rich said he will work with the staff to continue improving the overall coverage of the online newspaper.
“We just have one main goal and that is to cover our school,” Rich said. “If we continue to get better at this we will win a gold crown in the future.”