The Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), a department of Columbia University in New York City, recently awarded Westhill High School’s (WHS) student-run publication, The Westword, a Silver Crown Award during the 93rd annual Scholastic Convention earlier this month in the category of Hybrid Newspaper.
According to CSPA, publications are judged on design, photography, concept, coverage and writing. The judging process is conducted at Columbia by panels of invited judges who work together to review the entries. Crown Awards demonstrate overall excellence in the entire publication. The Westword was among a combined total of 1,900 newspapers, magazines, yearbooks and digital publications eligible for an award and one of the 56 hybrid news publications to earn a Crown Award.
“The Westword provides students of Westhill a fair, honest and objective news source free of administrative oversight,” said Michael von Wahlde, WHS teacher and The Westword Co-Adviser. “Our student journalists have continuously addressed their job with professionalism, hard work and responsibility. This award is a testament to that hard work and the importance of free student press in schools.”
Twenty eight of the nearly 90-member 2016-2017 staff attended the CSPA convention in New York City, where CSPA Executive Director Edmund J. Sullivan presented the Crown Award to The Westword in honor of its excellence.
The editorial staff includes: Editor-in-Chief Dong Zhi Guo, Print Executive Editor Maddy Cohen, Online Executive Editor Josh Eimbinder, and Managing Editors Caroline Boccuzzi, Maeve Ronan and Nicholas Zarrilli. WHS Teachers and Michael von Wahlde and David Wooley have served as The Westword advisors since 2004 and 2003, respectively.