Albany teens won numerous awards in the Northwest Scholastic Press Association Student Media Olympics this spring.
The Whirlwind, West Albany High School’s student news magazine, won nine awards in its first year back in publication in more than a decade.
“This is the first year. Just the fact it exists is a reward. … They’re just happy to see it in print every time it comes out and hold it in their hands. This was a nice surprise for them,” said staff adviser Michelle Balmeo.
Students with the Sentry, South Albany High School’s student newspaper, won 14 writing or photo awards, the most ever for the school, said publications adviser Trisha Farver.
“I was extremely proud of their writing, as I’ve seen their growth over the years,” Farver added.
Twenty-three Oregon schools competed in the Student Media Olympics this spring. Journalism students submitted their published articles and other work for review by professional journalists, other advisors and professors to critique.
The students were given feedback on what they did well and how they could improve. The contest included 480 entries.
The Whirlwind, formerly a student newspaper, dates back to at least 1916. It went out of print 10 years ago, however, when the recession prompted budget reductions throughout the Greater Albany Public Schools system.
“It’s exciting to have it come back and be embraced by the kids,” Balmeo said.
About 30 teens were in the journalism class that created the Whirlwind this school year. Next year, there are 40 students registered for the class, as well as a wait list, Balmeo added.
Here’s a list of the winners for West Albany: Ruth Nash, best of category for sports news; the Whirlwind staff, superior for single print issue; Curtis Allen, superior for opinion; Chase LaPerle, superior for news feature; Jordan Douglas, superior for photo; Allen, LaPerle, Kate Looney and Will Randall, superior for front page layout; Malachi Murphy and Patrick Spence, excellent for art infographic; Hayley-Mae Harlan, honorable mention for single column; and Jordan Andreas and Jaden Rodriguez, honorable mention for inside page layout.
Here’s a list of the winners for South Albany: Madeline Helenihi, best of category for column; Ramon Hernandez, excellent for review and honorable mention for human interest; Amanjot Sidhu, excellent for news; Jazzy Villemyer, honorable mention for sports news and sports feature; Daisy Hooley, honorable mention for sports news and for column; Autumn Vandehey, honorable mention for news and sports news; Samantha Cavarria, honorable mention for art; Faith DeVyldere, honorable mention for news feature; Elisabeth Chilcote, honorable mention for news feature; and Logan Thomas, honorable mention for opinion review.