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Pioneer newspaper, yearbook win state press association awards

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Pioneer High School’s student newspaper, The Pioneer Optimist, and yearbook, Pioneer Omega, won a combined 29 awards — including three first place awards —at the annual Michigan Interscholastic Press Association spring awards ceremony Monday, April 23, in Lansing.

Both newspaper and yearbook students won first place awards in the statewide competition.

  • Sophomore Lia Bergin won first place in the news analysis category for an article for The Pioneer Optimist on the rising costs of Advanced Placement testing.
  • Sophomore Mac VanRenterghem won first place in the human interest feature category for an article for The Pioneer Optimist about an Iraqi refugee attending Pioneer High School.
  • 2017 Pioneer graduate Annie Else took home first place honors in the business advertisements category for several ads she designed for the 2017 Pioneer Omega

The Pioneer student newspaper also won two second place and two third place awards.

  • Winning second place awards were senior Robert Dong in the comic strip category, and the Pioneer Optimist staff including Editor in Chief Bess Markel in the alternative story form category for a “Pioneer Class of 2017 by the Numbers” full-page spread.
  • Third place awards went to sophomore Saffia Tiba in the online breaking news category for a story on changes to the Pioneer fall final exam schedule, and senior Moira Dayton in the diversity coverage category for a story on Pioneer seniors who plan to attend historically black colleges.

The Pioneer Omega yearbook staff took home a third place prize in the cover design category for its 2017 cover.

The Pioneer newspaper and yearbook also collected several Honorable Mentions in the competition.

Newspaper honorable mentions were:

  • front page design, senior Bess Markel
  • News story and in-depth coverage, senior Sam Dupree
  • News brief, sophomore Gabi Chen
  • News analysis, junior Natalie Prestegaard
  • Feature columnist and sport feature story, junior Adam Richards
  • Sports feature photo, sophomore Mac VanRenterghem

Yearbook honorable mentions were:

  • Academic spread, 2017graduates Annie Else and Sofia Robinson
  • Proud parent advertisement, portrait/personality photo, and school spirit categories, sophomore Alaysha Boone
  • Portrait/personality photo, 2017 graduates Sofia Robinson and Beatriz Esquival
  • School spirit photo, 2017 graduate Beatriz Esquival
  • Theme development, end sheets, and division page, Pioneer Omega staff

Pioneer competes in MIPA’s Division 1, which includes the largest high schools in Michigan with enrollments ranging from 6,155 to 1,688. This year, there were nearly 651 total submissions in the Division 1 newspaper competition and 317 in the yearbook competition.

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