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The Columbia Scholastic Press Association awarded Burges High School two of its top national awards for excellence in student journalism – a feat that’s almost expected year in and year out.
The Hoofbeats yearbook and Stampede newspaper earned Silver Crowns from the association for their 2016-17 editions. The Crown is the highest award the association gives to student publications.
And while Burges’ journalism department has received unprecedented rewards over the years, students and teachers at the school said it’s still an honor to be recognized for their work.
“Getting awarded never gets old,” said Patricia Monroe, Burges’ journalism teacher and the advisor for both publications. “It’s a reflection of the students’ efforts.”
Burges publications have received top national awards several times. Just last year, Hoofbeats received its 14 Pacemaker Award, considered by many to be the Pulitzer Prize of student publications.
Marcela de la Torre, the assistant editor for the Burges publications, said the recognition from Columbia Scholastic Press validates the hard work and priority juggling the staff made over the last nine months.
“All those Saturdays and late nights doing interviews and getting photographs were worth it,” Del la Torre said.
While teamwork is a great part of putting a book this important together, students saw their own individual gains. Senior Victoria Brown has been photographing for Hoofbeats for three years and has seen growth in her skills parallel to that of the yearbook.
“I’ve seen myself improve throughout the years,” Brown said. “This award is validating and shows others see my hard work as well.”
Monroe said her students will have a strong impact on journalism and knows their work is worthy of recognition. She encourages her students to enter their best work into competition.
De la Torre thinks that while the awards bring a sense of pride to the school, the true reward of the process of seeing the printed material finally hit the hands of its intended users: the students and staff at Burges.
“As a group or individually, we create things,” De la Torre said. “We created a book, but when people buy it, it makes us professionals.”