Former Spin editor discusses national awardI think I speak on behalf of last year's entire staff when I say the award is incredibly gratifying.
By: By Caitlin Pendleton, Superior Telegram
I think I speak on behalf of last year's entire staff when I say the award is incredibly gratifying. The newspaper has evolved so much over the past four years, and I'm confident that it will continue to be an upward trek. There are incredibly talented students who are returning this year, including the editor-in-chief. I was in a few different clubs with Amanda (Tesarek), and if any person in the school can manage to make the newspaper even better, it is undeniably her. She's ambitious, intelligent, and humble - all characteristics of a great student leader.
On a personal level, earning the all-Columbia award is justification for the student activity that defined my four years at SHS. Last year's staff received one letter to the editor questioning the school district's wisdom in providing funding to a student newspaper during a recession. I firmly believe that if the school district is truly interested in giving its students a competitive advantage upon graduation - whether it's in the job market or the Ivy Leagues - fostering a high-achieving student newspaper is the way to do it. I can speak all day about the intellectual and emotional benefits of working with a school newspaper, but the All-Columbia award is proof that Spartan Spin staff members learn the skills to excel on a national level. Students don't earn awards like this by slacking off. They do it by learning, applying and retaining skills across the board, whether it reflects in excellent writing, organization, dedication, or responsibility. Very few classes, let alone activities, can say they accomplish the same.
One might think that the lack of a grade incentive would hurt a staff's chances at achieving an award like this, but last year's staff recognized that working for grades alone will get you nowhere - not to happiness and certainly not to success. They recognized the value in passionately working toward a goal and the satisfaction that comes with reaching it. I hope the veterans on this year's staff will pass these values to the newcomers as well. And, of course, the Spartan Spin feels like a hectic but tight-knit family by the end of the semester, and very few people want to disappoint their family by underperforming.
Caitlin Pendleton, former editor in chief, Spartan Spin