Update 4/14 9:00pm PST: I am proud to announce The Voice has received the high honor of The Pacemaker. Congrats to my whole staff. I am still in shock this evening in my hotel room. See our press release for details.
What a year. I am amazed about how far The Voice has come in one year.Since its start, the award-winning paper has been advised by teacher Dennis Brown, C.J.E and has been a staple in the Huntley High School culture. When I worked with Brown to take it online, my goals were simple: make the class a real world experience for the students and create a website that is visited by the students. We accomplished both.
After months of work, we are a few days away from the biggest day for The Voice. Brown and I will be traveling Friday evening to Seattle, Washington for the National Scholastic Press Association annual Spring conference where the Pacemaker award ceremony will take place. This award is equivalent to the Puiltzer Prize for high schoolers.
Although I designed the site and helped to organize it, I don’t take very much credit. Most of it should go to the staff and editorial board. I know this is cheezy, but I have to make sure people realize how amazing my staff is.
I first have to give credit to Brown. He is a my mentor and is an amazing journalism advisor. He probably would hate me for publishing this, but he didn’t know anything about going online. For him to take the leap and jump on board and help was amazing.
My current editors are the ones who make it happen. My current managing editor, Joe Cristo has been the driving force for the website. Almost every article you read Joe has edited or assisted in some way. He knows more about what is happening content wise on the site than anyone else. He has been a life saver for me and has been one of the biggest assets to The Voice’s success this year.
My associate editors Holly Baldacci, Yazmin Domingez, and Kierra Renwick have stayed up all night preparing the articles you read. They go through and read, edit, fact check, edit photos and format the story to fit on the site. They also provide the ideas for the writers and provide them guidance to find sources for their stories.
The online editorial board wasn’t started until second semester. Beforehand the website was a disaster (whether you could tell or not), but these people helped me to get it running especially Marek Makowski and Brendon Urban who helped shape the way we cover news and sports. Ashley Knipp for defining the guidelines in social media. Bailey Poczos for attempted to launch our blogging program and Mitch Urban, Sydney Hellgeth, Tommy Heagney and Hannah Sturtecky.
The amazing Voice staff has also provided the content, photos and videos to populate the site and if it wasn’t for them, I am not sure we could have accomplished what we did.
To launch the program online involved a lot of people including Marissa Burkhart, Director of Educational Technology, Dr. John Burkey, Superintendent of Consolidated School District 158, Mike Moan, Chief Academic Officer and most of all our principal Dave Johnson who has been a huge supporter of the program and our goals to go online.
It has been a collective effort to bring this program where it is and I couldn’t do it without my amazing staff, Mr. Brown and the readers. This Saturday I hope that Mr. Brown and I come home with a Pacemaker plaque in our luggage, but if we don’t I am so proud of the staff of The Voice. We have accomplished so much in our first year online. It can only go up from here.
Editor in Chief