Palo Alto High School's school newspaper, The Campanile, took home the general excellence award at the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club’s high school journalism awards ceremony Monday evening.
The Paly Voice, the school's daily online paper, was recognized for its website content (first place) and website design (third). Gunn High School's The Oracle came in second for general excellence and won first for layout and design.
The awards ceremony, held at the Ralston Hall Mansion in Belmont, honored 10 Peninsula high schools and 50 students. In all, 15 Peninsula high schools participated in the competition, which drew 459 entries in 12 categories from 221 students, a 40 percent increase in entries since last year.
“It is very exciting for me to see the students recognized for the excellent work that they do,” said Esther Wojcicki, journalism program founder.
When Wojcicki started at Paly in 1984, there were only 19 students in the journalism program. Since then, she has founded five publications: The Campanile (monthly newspaper), Paly Voice (online daily), Verde (magazine), In Focus (broadcast) and The Viking (sports magazine).
Today, 72 students run The Campanile, with six editors-in-chief, and there are more than 200 advanced journalism students in all at Paly, said Paul Kandell, Paly Voice adviser. Kandell won the national “Journalism Teacher of the Year” award from the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund in 2009.
“We have a lot of things going in our favor—tremendously supportive administration, committed core of advisers, outstanding students," said Kandell. "... California press law as relates to scholastic journalism is the strongest in the country, and Paly makes it easy for students to take electives."
Junior Lauren Wong, 16, a staff writer for The Campanile, said, “We put a lot of hard work into this.” She won an honorable mention in the feature writing category.
From , The Oracle adviser Kristy Blackburn is proud of her students' achievement, which also included a second place for website content and an honorable mention for reporter Jessie Klein.
“We have a fabulous staff of graphic students and photographers, which is part of the reason why our design and layout is so strong,” said Blackburn of her 60-students-strong staff and their first-place layout and design award.
“The issue that the Press Club chose to feature was one of our most unique front pages this year, because it included a variety of very detailed, hand-drawn graphics illustrating the various science projects our Intel semi-finalists have been working on,” said Blackburn.
Oracle Editor-in-Chief Linda Yu organizes the layout and design of the student paper. "With layout, there is always the challenge of coming up with creative designs during the cycle, and having a quick turnaround in coming up with solutions during production," said Yu.
"Working with The Oracle has definitely helped me become more well-rounded, so I’ll be looking to take what I’ve learned this past year into whatever I do in the future," said Yu.
Hannah Kim of The Paly Voice took home the Best News Story award after besting 87 other entries in the night's second most-competitive category.
As a result of winning the general excellence award, members of The Campanile will attend the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club professional awards ceremony on May 21.
Other Paly and Gunn awardees included:
First: Hannah Kim, The Paly Voice, Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto
Second: Tiffany Hu and Annie Shuey, The Oracle, Gunn High School, Palo Alto
First: Michael Cullen, The Viking, Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto
First: Mary Albertolle and Mark Raftrey, The Viking, Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto
Third: Aaron Zelinger, The Paly Voice, Palo Alto High School
Second: Nathan Norimoto, John Dickerson and Mariah Philips, The Viking, Palo Alto High School
Honorable Mention: Maytal Mark and Scott Kleckner, Verde, Palo Alto High School
First: Brandon Dukovic, The Viking, Palo Alto High School