The Hawk soars to national heights

The Hawk soars to national heights
Columbia honors student newspaper with crown award

Student talent, dedication and a desire to address the nation’s biggest issues on a high school level have all contributed to the Hawk being selected as one of only 24 high school newspapers in the country to receive a 2017 Crown Award from Columbia University, a private Ivy League research university in New York City.

Hendrickson High School journalism teacher Kari Reimer said her students worked hard and deserved to receive Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s (CSPA) highest recognition.

“I am so proud, because the kids work so hard, put in so much time and are finally getting that reward,” Reimer said. “You know they get a lot of pats on the back here, but to be recognized at that level is just thrilling.”

Co-editor and Hendrickson junior Illeana Perez was also thrilled.

“I was pretty surprised. I knew our paper was good, but I don’t think I realized how good,” Perez said. “Also, Ms. Reimer lets us write controversial things, and our principal too, he lets us express our opinions.”

Reimer submitted a sampling of six newspapers to CSPA covering issues on voting, gun laws, Islam culture, gender identity, body image and philanthropy. A panel of judges made up of professionals in journalism rated the collection of issues on content, design, coverage, photography and editing.

Co-editor and Hendrickson senior Kylie Ruffino is passionate about providing a medium that educates her peers about important issues.

“These are the issues that are affecting our country and our world and if we are supposed to be the future generation that is supposed to fix these issues, we have to be able to speak about them,” Ruffino said.

This perspective on tackling global issues is just one of the many reasons why Reimer believes her students are “crown-winner” worthy.

“I am really, really lucky because I have some of the best kids that I’ve ever worked with,” Reimer said. “They aren’t afraid to tackle things that would make some people uncomfortable and they are willing to write, re-write, be edited and work with each other. I definitely think it is their dedication that makes them stand out.”

The newspaper team will find out the status of their crown award, gold or silver, in March at the CSPA conference in New York.

Click here to read more “crown-winning” issues by The Hawk.