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Edmond's high school newspaper wins top honors

The three Edmond high schools work together to produce Ruff Draft, which won top honors in a state competition.
By Steve Gust, For The Oklahoman Published: April 18, 2014

High school print journalism is not only alive but thriving in Edmond, where the district’s student newspaper, Ruff Draft, won top honors in a state competition.

Edmond competed against several other student publications in the competition held at the University of Oklahoma and sponsored by the Oklahoma Scholastic Media/Interscholastic Press Association, said Christy Nieves, Ruff Draft coordinator and English teacher.

When it was over, Ruff Draft was awarded Highest Honors, All-Oklahoman and the Sweepstakes Award, making it the top newspaper in Class 5A and Class 6A, she said.

“I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of these students,” Nieves said.

For the past 20 years, Ruff Draft has been a collaborative effort from all three Edmond high schools — Memorial, Santa Fe and North.

It’s a 28-page monthly publication for the community as well as the schools. The Edmond Sun newspaper sells advertising and distributes the product.

Nine pages are dedicated for each school, and the back page is advertising.

The schools alternate with the cover article. With editors, reporters, photographers and layout talent, there are about 15 students involved at each school.

“We have students from sports, DECA, student council and other organizations,” Nieves said. “Once they come here and see what we do, they want to be a part of it.”

Career prep for some

Some of the students envision journalism as a career.

Aaron VanSteinberg, a junior at Memorial who is the newspaper’s copy editor, said he is right at home checking copy for accuracy and syntax.

“I’m better at the mechanics than reporting, and besides, I like to read,” he said.

He eventually would like to work at a publishing company.

VanSteinberg was elected president of the student journalism organization for the state against four other candidates.

Lauren Chattos is the senior editor for Ruff Draft. She commends her staff and notes it never “gets too stressful.” She’s been on board Ruff Draft since her sophomore year.

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