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Yearbook programs honored with national awards from Columbia University

Carlie McCrillis and Clara Krause, co-editor-in-chief's of the Rocky Heights yearbook

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-chief's of the Rocky Heights yearbook, now on the Rock Canyon High School yearbook staff, continue their yearbook experience.

April 7, 2015 | By SCPaulsen | Category: District, Middle School Education

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glowing purple lights hover over trays of seedlings in a dark room

It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.