CHHS newspaper labeled ‘superior’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Staff Writer

March 14, 2000 10 PM

The staff of Charles Henderson High School’sTrojan Myths is reaping the benefits of hard work.

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This past weekend the school newspaper received a "superior" ranking at the Alabama Scholastic Press Association state convention held at the University of Alabama.

"We are very proud of our achievement," said Darlene Jennings, faculty advisor for the student paper.

Jennings said the students do everything themselves, including selling advertisements, layout and design and, of course, writing the stories.

"This is a totally student-produced newspaper," Jennings said of the publications that come out every five to six weeks.

"It’s not just a class to them," Jennings said of the journalism students. "They take it like a job."

The two editions submitted for judging were the Oct. 29 and Dec. 15 editions done this academic year. Those two papers ­ bearing the front-page headlines "Cell phone usage more harmful than imagined" and "Off campus web pages create legal arena for issue of free speech" were critiqued by judges across the nation and CHHS was one of four Alabama schools to get a "superior" ranking.

Last year, the Trojan Myths received an "excellent" ranking, meaning the school took a step up under the leadership of editor Stephanie Boling.

Boling said she anticipated a "superior" ranking once the "excellent" winners were all announced.

The two papers selected for submission were chosen because "I felt they had a better content" and "represented the staff a little bit better" than the Homecoming issue.

"With the staff we had this year, I thought we had a good chance of being ‘superior,’" Boling said.

A three-year veteran on the staff, Boling has enjoyed working under Jennings’ leadership and will miss her title once she begins all over again at Troy State University next year. Her experiences on the CHHS paper have made her realize she does want to seek a career in journalism and she plans to major in journalism at TSU.

Virginia Radford will step into Boling’s shoes next year.

In addition to the excitement of winning "superior" honors at the ASPA conference, Radford learned things she would like to apply to the Trojan Myths when she is editor.

"I already have a list of ideas for next year," Radford said.

But, Boling and Radford aren’t the only two who have benefitted from being on the newspaper staff.

Senior Vernon Shank has enjoyed working with the other staffers while he improved his writing skills.

"When I first came in, I wasn’t advanced in my writing skills," he said minutes after giving other writers ideas of how to improve their stories.

Shank is considering pursuit of a degree in education and a minor in journalism. One day, he may be the newspaper sponsor at a school.

The ASPA is sponsored by the University of Alabama. Since 1937, the association has had a mission to empower high school newspapers, yearbooks, news magazines, literary magazines and broadcast stations.