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Whitney High yearbook wins top national award for sixth consecutive year

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The awards wall in Room C-2 at Whitney High School has been out of space for some time now, but the students involved with Details yearbook don?t seem to mind. For each competition, they keep entering, and they keep winning. On April 20, students learned the 2011 yearbook was named a Pacemaker by the National Scholastic Press Association. Results for the prestigious award were announced at the Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle. This is the sixth consecutive Pacemaker award for the WHS yearbook staff, led by Publications teacher Sarah Nichols. The book?s theme was ?Whitney High School: where amazing happens? and the 244 color pages featured highlights and accomplishments of the school year by focusing on who, what, when and where. Editors-in-chief Amanda Peterson, Katie Rogers and Lauren Roudebush led the student staff to determine the book?s theme as well as plan and produce each aspect of the reporting, writing, editing, photography, design and marketing. Earlier this spring, the book also was awarded a Gold Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in New York. Students were able to accept the award in person as delegates at the annual spring convention at Columbia University. The Gold Crown award is the highest form of recognition given to student media for excellence in all areas, often referred to as ?the Pulitzer Prize of high school journalism.? Only 10 high schools in the country received both awards this year, showing the continued excellence of the WHS Publications Program. The student staff spends about 10 months producing the yearbook for the student body, focusing on creating a book their peers will enjoy as a way to tell the year?s stories. Their focus is on readers rather than awards or competition, but the Details staff members do take pride in their national accomplishment. Fourth-year Publications student Kelsey Capik said, ?Finding out that we won a Pacemaker means a lot because last year?s staff was fantastic and I know each one of us worked our best to produce an amazing yearbook for our readers. Being recognized for it is the icing on the cake.? The 2012 book was finished this month and will be released to students in May at the annual Yearbook Signing Party.