The Texas High School student newspaper was among 29 scholastic publications to receive the National Scholastic Press Association’s prestigious Pacemaker award. The 2021 winners were announced virtually during the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention, presented virtually Nov. 13, 2021.
In October, 66 newspapers, newsmagazines and specialty magazines were named Pacemaker finalists. The finalists represented 18 states and the District of Columbia as well as the United Kingdom. California and Texas set the pace with 12 finalists, followed by Missouri with eight.
“Because last year was full of so much uncertainty, and going into the year, we didn’t know if we were going to be able to publish a print newspaper, this award has a special significance,” publications adviser Rebecca Potter said. “It’s a testament to the dedication and resiliency of the staff, some who were in person and some who were remote.”
In all, 150 student news and specialty publications from 31 states, the District of Columbia, South Korea and the United Kingdom entered the Pacemaker competition. The publications competed against those of similar types — tabloid newspaper, broadsheet newspaper, newsmagazine, specialty magazine and junior high/middle school.
“I cannot express how proud I am of our staff for receiving a Pacemaker,” former editor-in-chief Peyton Sims said. “Despite facing the obvious challenges caused by the pandemic, from having editors who worked remotely or having deadlines unexpectedly pushed back, everyone managed to put their whole heart into every story they wrote, and it showed. I feel like what made our paper so successful was the connection between our staff. We weren’t journalists in a newsroom, we were like a family that learned from each other and grew together.”