The Foothill Dragon Press

Dragon Press staff earns 14 awards at Ventura County Star’s annual competition

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Dragon Press staff earns 14 awards at Ventura County Star’s annual competition

Glenda Marshall

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The Foothill Dragon Press was recognized by Ventura County Star with 14 awards Thursday night. Top, from left: junior Felicia Perez, senior Anaika Miller, junior Molly Roberts, freshman Claire Stockdill. Bottom, from left: sophomore Aysen Tan, senior Kevin Kunes, sophomore Glenda Marshall, and sophomore Kienna Kulzer. Credit: Melissa Wantz/The Foothill Dragon Press.

The Foothill Dragon Press was recognized by Ventura County Star with 14 awards Thursday night. Top, from left: junior Felicia Perez, senior Anaika Miller, junior Molly Roberts, freshman Claire Stockdill. Bottom, from left: sophomore Aysen Tan, senior Kevin Kunes, sophomore Glenda Marshall, and sophomore Kienna Kulzer. Credit: Melissa Wantz/The Foothill Dragon Press.

High school journalists, photographers, and videographers alike gathered at the Ventura County Star headquarters Thursday afternoon for the Best of High School Journalism and Internet Awards 2012.

With a total of 14 awards, The Foothill Dragon Press received the most awards out of the eleven schools honored at the ceremony. Of the 15 categories it entered, the Dragon Press placed in 12 of them. The paper received the following first place awards:

Staffers Rachel Crane, Emma Huebner, Kienna Kulzer, Glenda Marshall, Aysen Tan, Claire Stockdill, and Kevin Kunes also received recognition for their work.

Across the county, high school newspapers submitted their strongest articles, photos, and videos to be judged by the Ventura County Star staff. The best entries were ranked first through third place and presented by Ventura County Star Editor-in-Chief John Moore. Occasionally, an honorable mention was also awarded.

Prior to the ceremony, newspaper staffs were notified of the names of students who had won an award. However, it was not until the awards ceremony that what they won for and how they placed was revealed.

“They told us the names of the winners ahead of time, but we didn’t know what we actually won,” Miller said. “I am very impressed and very proud.”

Miller was particularly happy the paper placed first in the Website category. Second place was awarded to the Calabasas Courier of Calabasas High School and the Panther Prowler of Newbury Park High School received third.

“Foothill Dragon Press is a stellar website. Every single facet of the site pushes beyond what is expected, is polished and engaging,” the judges said.

She was also grateful to place second in the General Excellence category. The Panther Prowler of Newbury Park High School and The Lancer of Thousand Oaks High School received first and third place, respectively.

“I’m really proud we got second in General Excellence because it just shows that we compete with schools with print papers that have actual editions. It proves that we are turning out content, and good content, on a regular basis,” she said.

The judges were impressed with the Occupy Ventura package entered in the series category.

“An outstanding overview of the Occupy movement here… Excellent job providing national context for a local story. Clear, strong writing,” the judges said.

Sophomore Aysen Tan and junior Molly Roberts also gave short speeches on the First Amendment and the Free to Tweet competition they won this past March.

“As a photographer, I really try to find a way to give a voice to all the people I am taking pictures of and, really, what the five things in the first amendment boil down to is all about having a voice,” Tan said.

Journalism advisor Melissa Wantz believes that this experience is important for the Dragon Press staff.

“This particular competition is valuable for Dragon Press staffers because their work is judged by professionals in the field. The Ventura County Star Competition is very competitive and it gives staff a good idea of their accomplishments and also areas where there is room to grow,” she said.

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Dragon Press staff earns 14 awards at Ventura County Star’s annual competition