The Shakerite has been named a Gold Crown recipient by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for its online and print news coverage during the 2018-2019 school year.
“CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925, whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs,” according to their website.
Each year, Crown Awards, considered one of the highest honors in scholastic journalism, are given to student publications that enter the annual competition. The Shakerite was awarded a Gold Crown for Hybrid News coverage today via an online CSPA announcement. The awards are presented at the CSPA’s annual Scholastic Convention at Columbia University in New York. However, the convention was canceled March 6 for only the second time in its 96-year history in keeping with guidance about stemming the spread of COVID-19.
By entering the publication in the hybrid category, The Shakerite was evaluated on its year-round coverage through shakerite.com and its quarterly news magazine, The Shakerite.
“Crown Awards are judged at Columbia by panels of invited judges, working in groups to review all entries,” according to the CSPA. This year 1,145 publications were eligible for an award. In the Hybrid News Category, 25 schools were awarded gold crowns and 35 were awarded silver crowns. The Shakerite was one of two schools from Ohio to be awarded a crown in any category this year.
The 2018-2019 Shakerite was led by Editor in Chief Astrid Braun (’19), Print Managing Editor Emet Celeste-Cohen (’19), Web Managing Editors Ellie Vahey (‘19) and Mae Nagusky (’20) and Executive Managing Editor Emilie Evans (’19).
Under their leadership, The Shakerite covered controversial actions by two athletic coaches; the heated Nov. 8 community meeting; the successful SHTA due process grievance on behalf of English teacher Jody Podl; the hiring and fate of former Principal Jonathan Kuehnle; development of the Van Aken District; and the Fernway Elementary School fire.
The award is The Shakerite’s sixth crown in the last seven years. Previously, The Shakerite earned silver crowns in 2015, 2017 and 2019 and gold crowns in 2014 and 2016.
The Shakerite and shakerite.com are advised by Natalie Sekicky, who assumed the role in 1997.