The Central Times, Naperville Central High School’s national award-winning student newspaper, was recently nominated for the Newspaper Pacemaker Award, the highest honor for scholastic journalism awarded by the National Scholastic Press Association, a national organization for high school journalism.
The award is referred to by many as the high school equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize.
This is the second consecutive year that the Central Times has been nominated for this award, bringing its total number of nominations to 14, with 11 previous wins, including in 2011.
According to the NSPA website, 322 entries from across the nation were evaluated on the following criteria: coverage and content; quality of writing and reporting; leadership on the opinion page; evidence of in-depth reporting; layout and design; and photography, art and graphics.
In addition to the overall Pacemaker nomination recognizing the efforts of the entire 2011-2012 staff, three individual students received honorable mention recognition in NSPA Story of the Year contests and will be awarded at the NSPA Fall Convention in San Antonio on Nov. 17.
Recipients of individual recognition
• Hannah Madonia, a current senior at Central, in the Diversity Story of the Year category for a column she wrote on Naperville Central’s annual culture show
• Mike Palmer, now a freshman journalism major at the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou), in the Sports Story of the Year category for a sports feature story on Central’s pep club, the “Redhawk Rowdies”
• Yasmin Gentry, now a freshman journalism major at Boston College, in the Editorial/Opinion Story of the Year category, for her editorial on the concerns of the growing heroin problem in Naperville.
Links to these individually nominated pieces can be found on the NSPA website: http://studentpress.org/nspa/winners/story12.html
This year, 55 high school publications received Newspaper Pacemaker Award nominations in five categories. The Central Times is nominated in the Newspaper Broadsheet 9-16 pages category and is, along with the Evanstonian of Evanston Township High School, the only publication nominated from the state of Illinois.
NSPA Fall Convention is Nov. 15-18
Winners will be announced at an awards assembly held at the end of the NSPA Fall Convention in San Antonio on Nov. 17.
Student staff members of the Central Times and their faculty advisers will attend the convention from Nov. 15-18.
The editor-in-chief of the nominated Central Time s staff is Christin Tang, currently a freshman journalism major at the University of Missouri-Columbia. This year’s Central Times editor-in-chief is senior Ariana Guerra.
The first issue of the 2012-13 Central Times will be published on Tuesday, Sept. 25. In addition, original student-generated content appears regularly on the companion website, centraltimes.org.
Central journalists are advised by Communication Arts instructors Keith Carlson and Taryen Belasich, both members of the Journalism Education Association.
Submitted by Keith Carlson