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2011 Summer

Special Student Edition

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Digital Media
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Pennsylvania School Welcom
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Press Association www.p

Tales of a message: DO NOT GIVE UP. (Yes, it was

Caps Lock worthy.) For many teachers and
Dwindling Staff advisers, when student enrollment is low, they
Story by: Rae Holly are faced with the decision to drop the class,
Features Editor, The Trumpet ultimately dropping the paper. In the economic
Parkland High School times we’re facing, with budget cuts left and
Sometimes, you have to play the
hand you’re dealt. I am not much of a math
right, in understaffed papers there may be a
tad more pressure for the funding to be cut and While we
brain—any teacher I have previously had for
high school mathematics will be the first to
redistributed elsewhere.
I speak as a plea to help keep the voices invite you to
tell you that. For some reason unbeknownst
to me, my analytical side just cannot seem to
of youth in schools. The paper is a medium
written by students, for students—in many read this issue, .
function long enough to grasp the concepts. I schools, the last opportunity of its kind. Papers
need to be embraced by faculty, made a part we strongly
suggest that
was always good at ratios, though.
I am currently a junior and the features of daily curriculum. Ceasing to print will be
silencing the voices of an entire generation of
you hand it
editor on our high school’s newspaper staff, the
Parkland High School Trumpet. Currently, I writers and readers. There is no way around
over to your
am one of 15 on staff for the 2010-2011 school
year. Of those 15, 3 of us are juniors. That is As I look ahead to my senior year, I would
most definitely say I am up for the challenge.
chief editor.
a 1:5 ratio. Next year, when we bid adieu to
three-fifths of our entire staff, unless a miracle Leading a staff of 7 is just as pivotal as leading
a staff of 65. We—the few, the proud, the
This edition
occurs, about seven of us are left.
Parkland High School, located in Allentown, upperclassmen—are here to educate the next
generation of reporters and editors to continue
is for the
is the second largest high school in the Lehigh
Valley, with Allentown ranking as the third- the tradition for years to come. In small staffs,
the editors may need to wear a few different
largest city in the state, behind Philadelphia
and Pittsburgh. Parkland currently comprises hats to keep the cycle running smoothly—a students, by the
3,176 students from grades 9 through 12. Once daunting yet necessary task for those willing to
you begin to play a numbers game like that, take on responsibility.
suddenly it all becomes ratios. Currently, we Maybe I know a little bit more about math
are at a 15 to 3,176 ratio, with a few of us left than I thought after all; if schools subtract the
to accurately represent the entire voice of a newspaper, there is simply no solution.
student body. Next year, it will only get harder.
Please, do not get me wrong. The Trumpet’s Story by: Luke Rafferty
staff was not always this tiny—no sir, at one Production Editor, The
point we were as strong in numbers as we were
in diversified opinions. The paper was one of
PSPA Gives Voice to Students Conestoga High School
the most prestigious institutions, even up until Among the PSPA offerings is the annual students thinking outside
my freshman year. It’s no secret the school student journalism conference. Hundreds of the box and looking to other
feels this way too—the high school website high school students from across the state publications for ideas.
still has the newspaper’s photo from the staff come to the conference, including those The people you’ll meet at these conferences
of three years ago. who write for their newspaper, work for the are quite remarkable. From students with
This year, our editors were faced with a yearbook or perform in TV broadcasting. fascinating stories to professional journalists
nearly impossible task: take what we have in Regardless of their background, they all come with years of experience, everyone at the
quality and make it manageable. Condensing together, share ideas and celebrate student conference shares the same passion for
the number of pages, which consequently journalism. journalism. The professionals are some of the
reduced the number of articles being printed, is My experiences at the conferences have kindest people you’ll meet, and love to talk
like a blow to the heart. But hard decisions had only been positive. Sure, when I attended my about their work experience and answer any
to be made. first one, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. questions you might have. Getting to know
I share my anecdote as a representative for After a few minutes of shyness, I realized that them is truly inspiring, as you look forward to
a problem that many schools across the state the conference was simply students coming a career in journalism. The conference also has
share with mine: a dwindling newspaper staff. together to sharing their papers and ideas, and a keynote speaker who addresses on the group
Some may say it is a sign of the times, later meeting with professionals and other on an important journalism topic. This past
with the switch from hard copies to online student journalists. The exchange of ideas at year’s keynote speaker was Frank LoMonte,
media, but interest in student run publications the conference is really remarkable, and it from the Student Press Law Center, who spoke
now more than ever are taking a puzzling infuses students with new ideas to take back to about the importance of student press rights.
dip. What once was a blossoming institution their publications. The PSPA conference is a rare opportunity
is almost forgotten in the background of other The main attraction of the convention is for students to get out, meet fellow student
opportunities and activities—before you know the seminars series. Dozens of seminars are journalists, and pick up some new ideas to
it, you are left with a 7 to 3,200 ratio and a presented by qualified professionals—and improve their newspapers, yearbooks and TV
staff who are desperately trying to captivate occasionally students—who demonstrate new programs.
and educate their peers. technologies and skills that students can take
As an editor on a dwindling staff, I would back and use to improve their publications
like to extend the utmost urgency on this and productions. This is an exciting way to get
Giving a Voice to Our Rights
Story by: Laura Weiss
News Editor, The Spoke
Conestoga High School organization, its work and the importance First Amendment, you create an atmosphere
of an uncorrupted voice in our community, I for them to advocate for themselves if the
came to understand why she is so passionate unfortunate situation ever arises.
As the school year comes about fighting censorship. Now, I am honored Working with 45words, I have heard of
to a close, publications are to be a 45words Student Partner, and this only cases of censorship that break my heart. Often,
shifting with graduations and the encourages my belief in vocalizing press rights. these situations are not preventable, but their
conclusion of the year. For me, this means No matter what the situation at hand, consequences can be fought. So, let your
new staff members and editors, and sadly we should always protect our future staff students, staff or fellow editors know that they
accepting that some of my editors--my friends and ourselves by talking about press rights, can protect their rights. Remind them to pass
and role models for the past three years--are particularly as older editors graduate and staffs on the word that what they write matters, and
graduating. Out of all that they have taught me, transition for next year. By continuing to talk its clarion medium is key. Do not let press
the most important things that they helped me about your rights, you will remember to keep rights get lost in the shuffle of deadlines and
realize are my rights as a student journalist. their importance at the forefront. yearly staff changes.
Thanks to my editors, I learned about Even if censorship is not a problem for When I see the class full of student
ethics, legality and press rights in journalism. your school at the moment, your rights are journalists around me, I know that I am lucky
Now, I will never forget these rights, and just as necessary to learn and talk about. In a to work on a publication that does not face
more importantly, I will advocate for them as few years, current freshmen will need to be censorship. But I feel even luckier that I can
a student journalist. My fellow PSPA Board aware of their rights so that they can protect look at my staff and see plenty of students
Member and co-editor-in-chief of The Spoke, the integrity of your publication. Using time who know their rights, and who will have the
Meghan Morris, became a student partner for together to speak about press rights is an strength to stand behind them even when I am
the national press rights group 45words last investment in your publication’s future. By gone.
year. Because Meghan was vocal about the educating your staff and fellow editors on the
. .
Why We Fight a responsibility, to reach kids in a way that

F ast
parents and educators cannot. When a Spoke
Story by: Meghan Morris
survey reveals that 22 percent of our students I need a
Co-editor-in-chief, The have been cyberbullied and 64 percent think
Spoke Formspring encourages it, though most
Conestoga High School teachers have never heard of Formspring, there
is an opportunity to educate. And when there Judith Frost Stark, a first grade school
I introduced myself to my are a group of students who dumpster dive
AP Literature teacher on the teacher, gave her students the beginning
for library books, there is an opportunity to of cliches and asked them to finish the
second day of school as a way to warn her: “Hi, entertain…with consultation from the SPLC
I’m Meghan Morris from third period, and I’m thought. Here is a sampling of what
about the legality of dumpster diving, of they wrote...
the co-editor-in-chief of The Spoke.” I had to course.
tell her up front what topped my priority list But what happens when our, and perhaps
this year, and it did not include “Hamlet” or - People who live in glass houses
your, unique opportunity is threatened–by shouldn’t... undress.
“Jane Eyre.” school administrators’ censorship, or even self-
But the instant I mentioned The Spoke, censorship? It’s up to you to fight back.
something incredible happened. My seventy- - If you lie down with dogs... you stink
Take advantage of your resources through in the morning.
something teacher, normally prone to waxing PSPA: reach out to the student and adult
poetic about the smell of classic literature, boards. There are people on both boards who
began to tear up during my brief introduction. - When the cat’s away... no pooh!
have fought censorship successfully and
As she shook my hand, and, after a few can help with your situation. We’re here for
minutes, finally let it go, she started to talk - A penny saved is... not much.
you—for every adviser and student journalist
about her fascination with what she called “the in Pennsylvania, whether you’ve been fighting
one real thing left at Conestoga High School.” - Opportunity only knocks when... she
prior restraint for years or are just beginning a can’t reach the doorbell.
She described how, after thirty years, she publication—so begin a dialogue to change the
still loved to watch Distribution Days, when status quo.
our publication is distributed in the hallway.
Students literally race each other to the stacks
of papers at the end of the halls, and almost
everyone in free period has a copy open. Board Enhanced by Student Representation
But what sets The Spoke apart from, say, Story by: Jane Blystone, MJE
President of PSPA You can also nominate your principal for
the yearly yearbook distribution? And what Administrator of the Year by submitting the
made it so important that my former editors Mercyhurst College
form that will be posted to our PSPA website:
fought to save it from censorship a year and a Student journalists, as you before the end of April.
half ago? can see from the great articles in As we approach the end of the school year,
My Lit teacher called it “Spoke magic:” A this issue, we have some top of we anticipate your great publication entries.
magic that unites the school, a place where the line student board members Later this month, you will find updated entry
state championship soccer fan buses are from across the state at PSPA. With the forms and rubrics for the spring submissions to
canceled due to lack of interest and the Student exception of this and one more article, this the PSPA annual critique. We have seen some
Council president nearly begs students to go to entire issue is written by students. very innovative journalism this year from our
the Homecoming pep rally. We hope you consider running for a student student board members. We know there is a
A quick glance around the cafeteria, where board position because you get to do some great deal more out in your schools, so start
students sit much like the seating chart great things like help run a state convention, preparing your entries now for both overall
in “Mean Girls” shows the Spoke magic of write for our PSPA blog and share your critique and individual entries. All-State
Distribution Day. Though students may make expertise as a student journalist with other winners will be announced at the convention
fun of our cover art, or declare death to our students across Pennsylvania. The application on November 11, 2011. Let us showcase your
for student board is enclosed. outstanding work.
photographer for an emotional back photo of a Speaking of the convention, our theme for
boys’ soccer loss, nearly every kid–jock, geek, While you are filing out your application for
student board, copy the back of the form and the convention is “Techstravganza” and will
cheerleader, band kid, insert-high school- nominate your adviser for PSPA Journalism be packed with state-of-the-art sessions, so put
stereotype-here, is looking at the same 24 Teacher of the Year. The winning adviser will November 11, 2011 on your calendar and plan
pages as the 2,000 others in the school. represent Pennsylvania as the Journalism to bring your whole staff to this student-driven
That means we have a power, and thus Teacher of the Year for 2011-2012. convention.
Story by: Joey Brown
PSPA Conference, a A True American Invention Writer, Paw Print
Gift Worth Giving I am not a prophet. I cannot comfortably
Big Spring High School

Story by: Liz Bravacos predict if 2012 will contain the end of the and federal government, and
Co-editor-in-chief, The Spoke world, if the sequel of “The Dark Knight” will the legislative branch broken up
Conestoga High School
be the best movie ever made, or even if the into two houses and by state and
Philadelphia Eagles will ever win The Super federal government.
Bowl (no, yes, and no if I was forced to guess, The founding fathers saw
As a PSPA student board though). But what I can say, with absolute even this as too much power, and gave
member, I helped distribute gift cards to certainty, is that The United States of America the citizens the ultimate trump card: press
speakers at the annual fall conference in will be remembered. freedom. Press freedom is more than just
Harrisburg this past November as tokens of We will be remembered in classroom supposedly witty political cartoons (seriously,
appreciation. I wore comfortable shoes and textbooks of the future not because of our does anybody truly like those?); it is the
learned the layout of the hotel ahead of time invention of hamburgers (actually invented in power to keep tabs on the government. If
so that I could easily deliver the envelopes Europe during the 15th century), our national our government was founded on checks and
following each session. It was the kind of work pastime, baseball (a plagiarized form of balances, this is checkmate.
that I was glad to do but didn’t expect to learn cricket), or even plastic surgery (India beat “By, of, and for the people” means that
anything from. Fortunately, I was mistaken. us to it) but because of the true American the people need to know what is happening.
Each speaker that I visited struck up a invention: the 1st Amendment. Freedom of speech is a glorious light used by
conversation, asking my name, my publication, Never before had a country been truly journalists to enlighten the world otherwise
my position, my interests, my favorite ice founded for, by, and of the people, while also hidden in the shadow of ignorance. If it
cream flavor (okay, no one asked me that last granting them the rights to form, speak, and weren’t for journalism, the entire west
one, but you get the idea). Engaged and eager, defend their beliefs. Even today people are coast would have no clue there was even a
. those adults greeted me warmly and inspired forced to go without these important rights. controversial healthcare law being debated for .
me thoroughly. With each handshake I became Don’t believe me? Go ahead and try running months. That’s not to say that the west coast
less and less nervous, learning a new face and down the streets of North Korea yelling isn’t clueless now, but who am I to say? I
name, gaining a new contact or story. I learned obscenities about Kim Jong Il. You’ll be only know of it from Katy Perry’s catchy tune
so much from those brief conversations with thrown in jail faster than Windows can get a “California Gurls.”
the professionals at the conference that I can virus. When people ask me what I want to do with
only imagine what their prepared lessons must It is almost silly to call these American my life, and I tell them I want to be a broadcast
have taught my fellow student journalists. guarantees rights, because in reality, they are journalist, they assume I’m a narcissistic man
Therein lies the best part of PSPA: the duties. It’s no secret that The United States was who would love to see myself on TV. Little
people. Every adult at the conference was formed on a system of checks and balances. do they know I have the noblest intentions of
welcoming and curious, willing to discuss Our government is split into three different them all: preserving our nation and democracy.
their careers and share their insights. I may branches, the judicial being split again by state And hey, I do look good on TV.
have been carrying around gift cards, but I’m
certain that the speakers’ kindness was not
solely due to the Thank You presents. PSPA Reflections from a YB Editor-in-Chief,
allows students to create relationships with
professionals in their area of interest. Those Secrets to Success
kinds of connections helped me to discover Story by: Sarah Rozewicz
specific goals for myself as I enter college and Editor-in-chief, Campus YB
over the course of a few months. Hence, give
a career in the coming years. Where else can Kiski Area High School
your staff a week or two to wallow in the
students get such guidance tailored directly to
success of a completed book, and then start the
their extra-curricular interests?
It seems it was only yesterday brainstorming process for the year to follow.
The adults at PSPA want to be there.
that I first applied for the Kiski Additionally, a well-chosen staff composed
They’re enthusiastic, insightful and excited.
Area Campus yearbook reporting staff as of different individuals allows for more diverse
Their attitude is contagious. Last fall when
a sophomore searching for my niche. Now ideas. At Kiski, we do not have the privilege
I was scrambling to work on my paper’s
over two years later, I hold the position of of a yearbook class and thus we complete
first issues, starting college applications and
the 2010-2011 Editor-in-chief. When asked the entire book during study hall time and
completing schoolwork, I was not thinking
to take the position, I knew that serving as hours spent after school. Also, most of the
about my potential career in journalism. The
Editor-in-chief would be time-consuming, and time, the staff members have to work in the
speakers at PSPA’s fall conference switched
very demanding. However, without another yearbook room without our adviser in close
my focus and reminded me that journalism
moment of consideration, I gratefully accepted, proximity. Therefore, when choosing staff
is still very much alive. This community of
and took on the challenge of creating another members, we have to always base our choices
educated, interested individuals is one that all
award-winning yearbook. on ability, motivation, and commitment. This
student journalists and their advisers should
Merely days after our 2009-2010 book was has become both a challenge and a blessing,
join. I know that my time working for this
finished, last year’s editors-in-chief and staff as it has resulted in an extremely friendly and
organization is far from over, even if my job on
began developing a theme for this year. My close staff. Certainly, I can without a doubt
conference days was merely handing out gift
staff, adviser, and I also got together over the recognize our efficiency of work as the most
summer at a conference held here at our school. important part of Kiski’s recent yearbook
We shared ideas, sketched spreads by hand, success.
and worked with Taylor/Balfour Publishing Even though our adviser spent the majority
Nominate your adviser for in creating a cover design. The books that we of his school days teaching math in class, he
produce would never be possible without this consciously made time to guide us through the
Adviser of the Year and/or head start. entire process. Without his help and dedication
apply for a student position One of the major contributors to a we would be nowhere near where we are today.
on the PSPA Board! See successful yearbook directly involves the time
and effort put into the task. Surely, the book
Never deny yourselves the opportunity to
learn and improve your work, and use all of
the enclosed applications. shaped over the span of a year contains much your tools wisely to create an amazing book
more thought and creativity than one fashioned that recognizes your capabilities.
at Wyoming Valley West High School; and
PSPA Takes on Mentees
Tony Reid at The Hill School in Pottstown.
Story by: Janice Hatfield Mrs. Zweibel has won numerous awards in
PSPA Newspaper the field of journalism education, including
Coordinator Pennsylvania Journalism Teacher of the Year Get Your Story
and DJNF National High School Journalism Published/Known
Teacher of the Year. In the southwestern part
From the Jersey shore to of the state near Pittsburgh, Janice Hatfield, PSPA wants your story! How has
the Bay Bridge—all across who advised both the award-winning literary newspaper, lit mag, broadcasting, or
the country—33 experienced magazine and the newspaper at West Greene yearbook affected your life? Do you wish to
publication advisers, most of whom High School and is newspaper coordinator for
PSPA, now mentors Naomi Beres at Thomas send out props and thanks to your adviser?
are retired, now mentor new or inexperienced Did you overcome incredible obstacles to
advisers. Jefferson High School in Jefferson Hills and
Dawn Begor at Mt. Lebanon High School. get your issue out? Do you have strong
Seventy mentees, who enjoy a two-year views about censorship or other issues?
relationship with their mentors, have already Speaking of her experience as a mentee,
exited the JEA sponsored program, which has Mrs. Beres says, “I feel that the expertise that Here’s your chance. Send your stories to
been active for four years. Janice Hatfield brings to the table as my mentor PSPA and we will post them on our website
In Pennsylvania, where the program is is so worth the small contribution of time that for the whole state to read. Some might
sponsored jointly by PSPA and JEA, two is required of me. I have learned much more even make it to this newsletter. Email all
mentors are working with six advisers. about the craft of teaching journalism during submissions to:
In the northeast, Kathy Zwiebel, who our few months together . . .”
recently retired from Pottsville High School, is If you are interested in working with a Put “PSPA Student Story” in the subject
working with four mentees: Bridget Freiler at mentor, please contact Janice at hatfieldj@ field. We can’t wait to receive your opinions
Pottsville Area High School; Andrea Marterella or Kathy at pubadviser@ and stories.
at Pine Grove High School; Cathy Podolak

. .
P. O. Box 1092
Carlisle, PA 17013

Are you a new adviser of a school publication in the state of Pennsylvania? Or maybe you’re a seasoned adviser that truly wants to bring your students’ work
to the next level. Look here for the answers from Pennsylvania’s ONLY official journalistic association. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SO MANY FREEBIES!

New Newsletter
re atest uick Enjoy these little
tidbits of wisdom...
e g
“Th st of
Sarah Rozewicz
PSPA debuted this newsletter for
o r m o Editor-in-Chief, Campus
Kiski Area HS
dange t that our
several reasons. First, we wanted to
provide PA schools with knowledge of Decide on next year’s theme as early
us is n high and
opportunities that they would not have as possible. On distribution day, while
realized otherwise. everyone receives books, have polls and
Second, it’s truly our hope that this
too questions ready to get a head start on the
quarterly publication might feature
students and advisers who deserve aim is it, but that following year for students sitting in HRs
or classes.
we mi low and we
Third, and most importantly, we simply Attend summer workshops to bond as
it is to ch it.”
had to inform and remind schools that a staff and to work out details that will
PSPA is the only official journalistic forum enhance your theme.
that governs all PA publications. We are rea elo
here and so willing to help you!
elan g Make sure your school secretaries
If you have ideas or suggestions for this know all the details about your
publication, send them to Paul Fantaski at: distribution. They can answer
many questions before they become messages in your voice mailbox.