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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor
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Feather wins gold

The Feather print edition recently received a recognition that has eluded the staff for 10 years. Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) of New York City awarded The Feather a gold medal on Nov. 28 for the 2005-06 issues. Judges gave the paper 984 points out of a possible 1000.

?I enjoyed reading your paper,? the CSPA judge said. “I was impressed by its clean, engaging layout. Every page looks fresh. You package your information well.?

According to the CSPA website, “From its beginnings in 1925, the CSPA sponsored annual contests to seek out and publicize the best practices in student writing, editing and publishing.

“The critique is a teaching tool to provide detailed guidance on how well a student print or online media is currently progressing, and how it could improve during the following year.”

After eight years of silver medals, adviser Greg Stobbe was pleased with the score.

?I couldn?t be happier for last year?s staff,? Stobbe said. ?Many reporters and editors logged long hours over two or three years and this recognition is a testament to their commitment to excellence.?

Retired editors comment

Publishing a quality newspaper requires determination and hard work and retired print edition Editor-in chief, Gary Darakjian, ?06, believes he gained more than just an award during his three years in journalism.

?Even if I didn?t win, I would still be just as satisfied because of the skills I learned and the relationships I developed,? Darakjian said. ?While not all hard work was recognized, I?m very pleased to see that mine was and is recognized. It?s rewarding to sit back for a moment and know that for a brief time, I was among the best in the country at what I did.?

Darakjian says he did not know anything about awards when he began publications class three years ago. He claims he was just trying to please adviser Stobbe.

?Even during my senior year, I didn?t give much thought to winning awards,? Darakjian said. ?I was just doing my job as editor. A newspaper had to be published and if I didn?t do it, no one would.?

Under Darakjian?s leadership, the 2005-06 print editions were also recognized by other national critique agencies. The National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) awarded The Feather its top award: First Class with marks of distinction. Additionally, Quill and Scroll International named the newspaper an International First Place winner.

“While the hard copy was largely my project, it could not have been nearly as good as it was without the help of the staff,” Darakjian added. “They deserve much recognition. Their words were the spirit of the paper; all I did was make it look good.”

Retired online Editor-in-chief, Brianna Stobbe, ?06, agreed with Darakjian and said team participation was the key for a successful newspaper.

?Winning the gold medal from Columbia took dedication from all sides of the staff,? Brianna said. ?Through a joint commitment to excellence from staff writers and editors alike, we were able to reach beyond various expectations and even our own dreams.?

Current staff set new goals

While all but five Feather staff remain from last year’s team, current Editor-in-chief, Mary Kneefel, remains commited to writing and teaching new reporters and setting a goal for the 2006-07 year.

“Instead of focusing on the past critique, I will continue to look ahead, and strive for another medal,” Kneefel said who is serving in her third year on staff.

?I?m very proud that our efforts for last year were recognized,? Kneefel said, ?but this year we know what to expect. Despite a young staff, I think we have potential to win another gold.?

The Feather annually receives critiques from CSPA, Quill and Scroll, and NSPA. Judges at both CSPA and Quill and Scroll claim The Feather projects a lively, enterprising personality and shows clean, easy-to-read layouts, while NSPA named The Feather Online one of their top three Pacemakers awards, as the best Internet high school newspapers in the United States. A Pacemaker is the high school equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize.

For more information on The Feather Online winning a Pacemaker, read Julianne Erkenbrecher’s April 27, 2006, article, “NSPA names Feather a Pacemaker”.

The Feather continues to produce online and print editions of the newspaper, and past editions of both are available online at The Feather Online Archives.

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