West Side Story wins Pacemaker: only school in Iowa to win award, 1 of 7 newsmagazines worldwide

West Side Story wins Pacemaker: only school in Iowa to win award, 1 of 7 newsmagazines worldwide

West High’s 2010-2011 West Side Story staff won a Pacemaker at the National Scholastic Press Association’s national high school journalism conference Saturday. West High is the only school in the state to receive this honor and the West Side Story is only one of seven newsmagazines worldwide to receive a Pacemaker this year. Lilli Oetting, 2011 West High graduate and current freshman at Stanford, was the editor-in-chief.

Pacemakers are holistic awards that assess a year’s worth of a newspaper’s publications on coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, layout and design, photography, art and graphics. The West Side Story was previously a finalist for the Pacemaker in 2005 and 2007.

The West Side Story received other awards at the conference as well. West High graduates Elizabeth Lin and Jojo Silverman won third place in the nation for their cover design on bullying in the Design of the Year contest. Eleanor Marshall, senior and current editor-in-chief, won Honorable Mention in the national Diversity Story of the Year contest for her article on students wearing hijabs.

Ashton Duncan (junior), Leah Murray (senior) and Caroline Van Vorrhis (senior) received Honorable Mention for their work in the conference’s Write-Off competitions.

The newspaper’s website was also recognized, winning third place in the national Best of Show large school website contest.