The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
|The FCHS newspaper wins VHSL first-place award|
Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston:
Staff members of The Eagle participate in a group meeting to discuss the layout of their next edition. Above, from left, are Hannah Dowdy, Taylor Brabson, Meredith Brubaker, Kendall McMullen, Jeffrey Thomason, Cassity Wilson, Heather Loberger, Claire Mitzel, Breon Starling, Ty’Juan Moorman and Kelsey Leary. Looking on is class advisor Dave Campbell.
Monday, October 21, 2013
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
The Eagle, Franklin County High School's newspaper, is again tops in the state.
The publication received a first-place award in the Virginia High School League's (VHSL) annual state high school competition for the second consecutive year.
The award was presented to the school's journalism program on Oct. 9.
"I'm really proud of this group of students," said faculty advisor Dave Campbell. "Not only are they interested in producing a professional product, they are also genuinely excited about journalism."
"Each year, we lose a good half of our staff due to graduation, schedule conflicts and attrition," he added. "Every year is a rebuilding year, so it is especially satisfying to see the students jump in with such enthusiasm and a 'want' to make this a top-notch publication."
In the spring, the newspaper staff submitted three issues from the 2012-13 school year, including December 2012, March 2013 and May 2013.
"It's great to see how all the staff came together to bring out some great newspapers," said Meredith Brubaker, editor of The Eagle. "It's nice to be able to take our product somewhere and see that it ranks up there with other schools."
Journalists from around the country, hired by the VHSL, critiqued and evaluated the submitted pieces and presented the first-place award and certificate to FCHS.
The newspaper, which publishes six to eight issues during a school year, will submit editions this spring for next year's competition.
"We found things we need to improve upon, but it's great to have proof that we got better this year," said Brubaker, who was the assistant editor last year.
The newspaper was awarded national second place honors in May for the submission of its Homecoming edition to the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) annual contest. Campbell said it was the first time the newspaper had been entered into the national competition since 2000.
"The main reason we enter the contests is to get the critiques from the judges," said Campbell. "We use those to better ourselves and our publication."
"But there are also much larger lessons the students are learning," he added. "Sure, they are learning how to write, edit, shoot pictures and design pages, but they are also learning how to approach community members, how to speak to adults, how to accurately record information and how to effectively question. These are skills that can't be measured on standardized tests. Having a check in the win column is a by-product."
Campbell attributes much of the recent success to the support of the Franklin County High School administration, West Campus administrator Robbie Dooley and superintendent Dr. Mark Church, who visited and congratulated the class after its win.
"It's not just budgetary support, but a daily emotional support that validates and buoys the students," said Campbell. "That kind of gesture (the visit from Church) goes a long way to fueling the students' enthusiasm."
Another local group receiving an award in the competition was the Franklin County High School yearbook, The Animo, which brought home second-place honors.
In addition to Brubaker, other staff members of The Eagle are assistant editor Hannah Dowdy, assistant editor Taylor Brabson, Kendall McMullen, Jeffrey Thomason, Cassity Wilson, Heather Loberger, Claire Mitzel, Breon Starling, Ty'Juan Moorman, advertising manager Kelsey Leary and Josie Willeford.