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Yearbook programs honored with national awards from Columbia University

Co-editor-in-chiefs, RHMS yearbook

NEW YORK – Columbia University is well known for honoring excellence in journalism with the annual Pulitzer Prizes.  Middle and high school journalism students across the country earn similar honors through the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA).
Gold and Silver Crown awards are announced annually by the CSPA, recognizing the top journalism work in the nation. These awards are the highest acclaim bestowed by the CSPA, and this year, two schools from Douglas County were among the recipients at the CSPA spring convention, held March 20 in New York City.
Sierra Middle School received a Silver Crown for its 2014 yearbook, Eagle Eye View and a CSPA Gold Medal Critique. This topped off another successful year for the powerhouse program led by adviser Jed Palmer, whose staff has won a crown award for the past five consecutive years. 

This year, Sierra has also earned a National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) All-American, a Colorado High School Press Association (CHSPA) All-Colorado, and captured first Place in the Best of Show at the fall Journalism Education Association (JEA)/NSPA national convention. Sierra Middle School produced the only middle school yearbook in the country to earn a CSPA Gold Circle award for 2014 yearbooks, and Sierra’s editor-in-chief, Bree Hunter, was named the 2014 JEA Aspiring Young Journalist. 

“The best part of yearbook for me is always delivery day. It is a special moment every year when we open the first box and students are able to hold the book that they spent more than 9 months creating. The awards are always secondary to that sense of accomplishment,” said Palmer.
Relative newcomer Rocky Heights Middle School received its first Silver Crown for the 2014 yearbook, The Nighthawk. The staff also earned a Gold Medal Critique through CSPA, and a CHSPA All-Colorado. 

“It shows that hard work really pays off in the end.  Carlie McCrillis (co-editor-in-chief) and I are so proud of our entire team,” said co-editor-in-chief Clara Krause.

Pictured: Carlie McCrillis and Clara Krause, co-editor-in-chiefs of the Rocky Heights yearbook, now on the Rock Canyon High School yearbook staff, continue their yearbook experience. 

April 6, 2015 | By SCPaulsen | Category: District, High School Education, Middle School Education

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.