Marshfield school newspaper wins national award

COOS BAY, Ore. -- The school newspaper at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay won several awards in Boston over the weekend.

The Pacemaker Award is the highest award a high school journalism program can receive.

It is given to the the school publishing nothing short of excellence.

Heather Whitty, the Editor-in-Chief, says she was very excited. "They call our names and I just couldn't believe it, I jumped up and was screaming, it was awesome," said Whitty.

The last school from Oregon to win a Pacemaker was back in 2005.

Catherine Hampton, the newspaper adviser says students run the paper completely on their own. "Really setting high expectations for them and then allowing them the room to rise to those expectations," she said.

The #1 thing that set Marshfield apart from the competition was content, according to Natalia Taylor, copy editor. "We're not afraid to do any story that comes into our mind, that we feel is an issue or is popular that we need to address," she said.

Of course, a clean design doesn't hurt either. "It becomes a really nice collaborative piece where you get to see other people doing their thing," said Joseph Nielson, a copy editor and webmaster. "You're doing your thing and it all just collides and turns into something that wins a national award."

10 students will graduate this year, and more than half will pick up the reigns and try to compete next year.