Press association recognizes MVRHS journalists, and The Times

For the third time in six years, the New England Scholastic Press Association (NESPA) awarded its highest honor, the All-New England Award for Excellence in Scholastic Journalism, to the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s student newspaper, the High School View, and the talented students who create it.

NESPA executive director Helen Smith presented the award in Division III at the organization’s 64th annual conference, held at Boston University on May 4, to the newspaper’s editors in chief, seniors EmmaJean Holley and Warren Gowell.

The newspaper also received the Highest Achievement Award in Scholastic Editing and Publishing, a state level accolade. The honors acknowledged the excellence of the entire collection of newspapers published during the 2011-2012 school year and all of the student journalists who produced them.

In addition to these two awards, three students received individual Special Achievement Awards for excellence in scholastic journalism. EmmaJean Holley won for her feature story, Jeff Agnoli Peaces Out. Junior Lily Bick and freshman Everett Monroe won for their online story, The 13th Annual Science Fair.

NESPA also recognized The Martha’s Vineyard Times and its editor, Doug Cabral, for 25 years of support for the High School View.

Since 1987, The Times has published the High School View among its news pages, each week of the academic year, at no cost to the school system but with the regular support of business sponsors in the Island community. For several years, the preparation of their news page by the student journalists took place at The Times office. Students worked with Times staff on the newspaper’s computers, late into each Tuesday evening. Ultimately, the quality and year-to-year consistent student interest led to the creation of a student journalism program at the high school and to the addition of equipment, and the allocation of space reserved for the newspaper.

The award recognized the newspaper’s “continuing encouragement and assistance to students and teachers in this region’s scholastic press. ”

Regional high school English department chairman Dan Sharkovitz is the newspaper’s faculty adviser. Technology teacher Al Mahoney and his web design class continue to work with the print journalists to develop an online version posted on the high school’s homepage.

“It was a very proud moment for The Times and me,” Mr. Cabral said this week about the NESPA award. “It was a terrific day. The High School View folks and Dan, who made the nomination, and the generous account by Ms. Smith of The Times efforts over all these years, on which the award was based, both reflect the commitment of the entire Times organization and its staff to the community.

“If there’s anything to add, it is that the experience has been annually rewarding to us, as we’ve met and worked side by side with the changing roster of student journalists, all wonderfully eager and talented youngsters.”