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Posted: 05/07/14

Seen above is the Romeo High School yearbook staff, which won a Spartan award from the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association. This marks the fourth consecutive year for Romeo High School to earn the top award for its yearbook.

(Photo courtesy of Kim Droope)

RHS yearbook, news site
earn MIPA top awards

Observer Staff Writer
      When it comes to chronicling student life and school spirit, Romeo High School's yearbook and journalism students are among the best in the state.
       On April 22, Romeo High School's news site, "R News," and the yearbook, "The Juliet," both earned the top state honors for design, writing and photography at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) awards in Lansing.
       Both publications were given the highest award, a Spartan ranking, and Romeo students won 23 individual awards for their work. More than 54 schools entered at least 1,400 entries into the yearbook and digital media categories of design, writing and photography.
       Kim Droope, yearbook and newspaper adviser and journalism teacher, said the awards not only benefit the programs, but they recongize the effort put forth by the students.
       "I think it gives them validation for their hard work," she said. "It's just like anything - you want that compliment that you've done a nice job, but I think they are intrinsically motivated."
       The news site earned the Spartan in its inaugural year, publishing stories on a near-daily basis with the help of social media like Twitter.
       Jodie Bosheers, a senior, is the online editor for "R News." She said a big part of making the site successful and earning the award was integrating social media.
       "It's important to make sure that you make it engaging," she said. "What we learned the most was the times when you post makes a big difference."
       Thomas Anderson is a senior and editor-in-chief of "R News." He said the site, established in August, was built from the ground up and continuously tweaked.
       "It's a great honor for our staff to receive the top award in Michigan, especially with us only in our first year," he said.
       Jessica Schram, a senior, serves as editor-in-chief of the yearbook. She said the most important aspect is to find a theme and build upon it throughout the year.
       "You always have to think about what the student body like as well as what will MIPA like as well," she said. "We have to come up with a story, something that encompasses that year."
       Gina Bologna, a senior and photography editor for the yearbook, said the yearbook is about capturing a moment in time and its emotions, so they aim to do that for the students and the community.
       "When I take a picture, I look at it and I say `is this good enough for not only my peers, but does this look like a photo I'd want a judge to see,'" she said.
       Both the yearbook and news site are produced during and after school, leading to some long hours. For instance, the yearbook process begins one year ahead of time, meaning students are working on the 2014-15 book now.
       "I wouldn't change it for the world," said Robert Bilsky, a senior and business manager for the yearbook. "Everything that we have done has been great, it's been a great experience."
       Droope said there is friendly competition between the two groups, so she was glad to see both win the Spartan. This is the fourth consecutive year the yearbook won the award, bringing the total of Spartans to five.
       "I do think that society has a misconception that it's a lazy generation, and that is absolutely not true," she said. "They do what you expect of them and that is part of the appeal, that they want that ownership and ability to express themselves."
       The following are MIPA awards earned by individual students:
       First place awards - Alyssa Pouliot, Graphics; Mallory Atkinson, Sports Action Photo; Madeline Schafer, School Spirit Photo; Anderson, News Writing.
       Second place awards - Justyna Marasco, Organization Spread; Atkinson, Personality Profile; Brittany Losey and Pouliot, Theme Development; Losey, Endsheets; Losey and Pouliot, Opening and Closing.
       Third place awards - Maria Dalal, Schram and Joy Lee, Feature Writing; Anna Rashid, Personality Photo; Pouliot, Student Life Spread; Pouliot, Graphics; Kyle Grzegorzewski, Sports Action Photo.
       Honorable mentions - Pouliot, Cover; Schafer, School Spirit Photo; Emily Bradley, Club Photo; Schafer, Club Photo; Bradley, Academic Photo; Marasco, Organization Spread; Stephanie Leitzel, Sports Reporting; Pouliot, Student Life Spread; Taylor Wilson and Hailey Long, Sidebar Writing; Schram, Organization Writing.

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Retrieved 7/31/2015 at 5:25:18 PM.
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