Students from nine Bay Area high schools were commended for outstanding newspaper and yearbook during the 2015 High School Journalism Awards. Sponsored by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club, the awards ceremony took place on May 21 at the San Mateo History Museum in Redwood City. There were 375 entries this year, which ranged from overall excellence to sports stories to opinion pieces and special features. Here are the winners.
“The students’ caliber of writing was exceptional this year,” said San Francisco Peninsula Press Club President Antonia Ehlers. “Our judges had a tough time determining the winners because there were so many in-depth, thought-provoking entries. Our students investigated important topics including medical illnesses, drug use, racial tensions, and the potential of ‘hookup’ social media sites. On behalf of the Press Club Board of Directors, we commend these students for putting their hearts and souls into making a difference through the written word and photo journalism.”
Press Club Vice President Jim Watson spoke to the students about careers in journalism and how to expand their horizons by exploring related industries that hire writers. Executive Director John Ellis stressed the importance of networking with Bay Area journalists to learn from the experts and seek mentorship opportunities.
Carlmont High School in Belmont received the Overall Excellence Award. The group also received a prestigious Pacemaker Award and is ranked in the nation.
"The Bay Area schools have some of the top journalism programs in the nation,” said Carlmont English Department Chair Justin Raisner. “For us to take top honors in this contest is quite an impressive feat. I'm really proud of the effort that my students put into their writing, photography and design. Winning these awards helps students know that they are producing top-level work. When a journalism program wins awards, it raises the status of journalism in the school and the community. Between these awards this year and winning the national Pacemaker last year, I have a lot of support when there's push-back on a sensitive story."