The Glen Echo staff awarded prestigious honors

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Photo Credit: Troy Kroft

Mr. Jason Toncic with members of The Glen Echo at the Garden State Scholastic Press Association’s Student Press Day in October. Toncic and The Glen Echo were recently awarded the highest possible marks from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

by Olivia Lorenzo, Senior Staff Writer

The Glen Echo online newspaper has been awarded a gold medal and All-Columbian honors from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association is an international student press association founded in 1925. The main goal of this association is to unite students and staff of school newspapers together through different conferences and awards.

At the end of last year, The Glen Echo redesigned its website, implementing changes the CSPA had suggested the previous year. This school year also has seen the initiation of an organizational Google cloud, a mobile app currently in development, a proposal for new social media, and the launch of Shorthand based stories.

“Last year was the first year we had a critique so this year we knew what we had to improve on,” said Lilia Wood, a senior and the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief. 

“It feels good to win and be apart of something that has become such a success.””

— Julia Blando, sophomore

One subtle change that has helped the journalism program this year was moving to a new classroom, room S-119.

The new room has a center conference table, enabling group meetings to discuss the publication. On the outside surrounding the table are computers so that the students can work on their articles that are due. The change was requested by the Journalism teacher.  

Mr. Jason Toncic, The Glen Echo‘s adviser/teacher and English teacher, said that changing the classroom was just one small part in his initiative to constantly innovate new journalism platforms.  

Overall, The Glen Echo received 956 out of a total 1,000 possible points. More importantly, according to Toncic, the newspaper received All-Columbian Honors in every category: Essentials, Verbal, and Visual.

The Journalism students shared in Toncic’s excitement over the recognition.

“I’m actually really proud even though none of my specific articles were mentioned,” said Julia Blando, a sophomore. “It feels good to win and be apart of something that has become such a success.”

Mia Ramdayal, a sophomore, said it was “awesome to win.”

Toncic was also particularly proud of the first place awards won by two of his writers at the recent Garden State Scholastic Press Association’s Student Press Day at Rutgers University, where two of his students won first place in writing at a state level.

“As an English teacher, it means a lot to me when I see my students winning awards as writers,” he said. “We’ve added a lot of new features this year, but it ultimately boils down to students becoming better at expressing themselves and writing coherently.”

Following the reward, Toncic was invited to speak at Columbia University in March at the CSPA’s 92nd Spring Convention. At this point, he has not committed to present.