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Cape High newspaper wins National Scholastic Press Association honor

By Staff | Aug 30, 2010

The Cape Coral High School newspaper, Seahawk’s Eye, received its second consecutive award from the National Scholastic Press Association for the 2009-2010 school year.
Advisor Aaron Smoly said the school newspaper has been in publication since the school was founded 31 years ago.
“Historically we have been receiving awards since 1985,” Smoly said, which is the oldest award hanging on his wall.
He said there is an evaluation process where you receive a certain amount of points for everything you do right in order to be considered for the National Scholastic Press.
Smoly said his students received an amount of points that was quite sizeable over the needed points to receive the first place award.
“I am really happy about winning the reward and really excited about the score and level that we got,” Editor-in-Chief and Cape Coral High School senior Taylor Welling said Monday. “A lot of the time we can’t necessarily do what our readers ask us to do because of restrictions, so it is very nice to see that someone is appreciating the work that we do.”
Welling joined the newspaper staff as a staff writer when she was a freshman at Cape Coral High School. She was promoted to managing editor her sophomore year and became the editor-in-chief her junior year. As a senior she shares the position of editor-in-chief with her fellow student Meagan Coakley.
Coakley said she joined the newspaper staff when she was a sophomore and became the co-editor-in-chief her junior year.
She said she is really excited about winning the award.
“I hope we can improve on where it is needed and see where we can take it from there,” Coakley said. “We definitely deserve this award because the amount of time we put into it.”
In addition to receiving the Scholastic Press Association award, the Seahawk’s Eye also received 14 awards from the Florida Scholastic Press Association, Quill and Scroll, NSPA and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association last year. The publication also took two sweepstakes honors for advertising design from Quill and Scroll among those awards.
“It makes me feel great,” Smoly said about receiving the awards. “I am very proud of the students.”
He said the students put their heart and soul into the newspaper and spent endless hours putting the paper together. Sometimes the students are at school until 9 p.m. trying to meet their deadlines.
“They take it very seriously,” Smoly said. “It gives me a lot to be proud of.”
Welling said Seahawk’s Eye caters to the needs of the readers and contest judges.
“I really love being on the newspaper staff because I get to write and I love writing,” Welling said. “I get to expand my knowledge about what is going on around the school and help others write their stories.”
Coakley said she enjoys the atmosphere of the newspaper because she can be herself as a writer and photographer, along with having the opportunity to run the newspaper.
The Seahawk’s Eye still prints a paper copy for the student body, which is published once a month to every month and a half. Smoly said they usually print between eight to 10 issues a year.
“Last year we printed nine,” he said.
The publication is also posted online at www.seahawkseye.com. The website is currently being updated and should be re-launched by Sept. 5.
Smoly said the Web edition carries the same content as the printed version of Seahawk’s Eye, with the addition of activities and sports. He said there are also more photographs online, to provide the photo journalists with the opportunity to showcase their skills.
The newspaper team consisted of 35 students last year and 25 this year, Smoly said.
“I’m really excited about entering other competitions to win more awards,” Welling said.
“We both put the time and effort into what is needed,” Coakley said. “I hope we can keep up our good work.”