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RCHS newspaper and yearbook earn top ten recognition at national convention

The students who attended the NSPA/JEA national convention in San Francisco, pictured left to right,: Rylee Portman, Michael Shapiro, Andrew Bohren, Julia Henning, Lauren Payne, Syd Charvat, andBrooke Bell.

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Kristi Rathbun

A group of seven students representing Rock Canyon High School’s (RCHS) newspaper and yearbook staff attended the National Scholastic Press Association/Journalism Education Association’s national convention in San Francisco April 25 through 28. Both publications, The Rock newspaper and the Black & Gold yearbook, received top ten national ranking in the Best of Show competition.

The Rock newspaper earned ninth place Best of Show in the news magazine category, one of two Colorado newspapers represented. Michael Shapiro, a junior, said the highlight of the convention for him was, “to see all the work we’ve done over this year pay off into something tangible and show ourselves and the school how good a publication we really are.”

The Black & Gold yearbook earned tenth place Best of Show, one of two Colorado yearbooks recognized in this competition. Julia Henning, a junior on the yearbook staff, said, “I was inspired and got ideas for next year. We’re going to take all our experiences from this year and place above tenth next year.”

Kristi Rathbun, advisor for both publications said, “The students are very motivated after attending the convention. They had a chance to see what it takes to be tops in the nation and the kids want that. They are excited to rebuild the online newspaper, Rock Media, and to make the printed version with more in-depth stories and photography, and now they have a clearer direction.”

Syd Charvat, editor of The Rock newspaper, loved being in San Francisco and said, “We listened to great speakers, engaged in workshops and gained knowledge and skills we can take with us to college media.”

Through book sales and advertising, the students earned money that helped pay for a part of the convention fees. Rathbun explains, “They are running a business-managing budgets and deadlines, marketing, writing, taking photographs. It’s their work; I just advise.” Charvat adds, “Our advisor is actually a pretty big deal; she recently won Colorado school advisor of the year and is the state director of the Colorado Journalism Education Association.” Now the students can claim they’re a pretty big deal too. Keep up the good work RCHS newspaper and yearbook staff!

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