GBHS publications win NSPA awards in L.A.

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Each year, the National Scholastic Press Association presents one of the journalist community’s most prestigious and distinguished awards, the Pacemaker, to high school and college publications.

This year, Granite Bay High School’s very own Ursus yearbook was one of the lucky winners. The award honored all of the hardwork and dedication of Ursus Staffers. This is the second Pacemaker in a row for Ursus.

“We were very excited,” yearbook advisor Bernadette Cranmer said. “This year was especially memorable because the editor-in-chief, Ambreen Siddiqui, attended. It’s really rare to have an editor-in-chief more than one year, and it’s nice to have (them) actually be there and see us win the award. Usually (they) graduate and can’t be there to see the team accept the award.”

Siddiqui, a senior, talked of her excitement after winning the award.

“I felt a sense of accomplishment and joy as we received the pacemaker” she said. “The yearbook staff dropped in numbers this year, making the process more difficult, but we all really grew close together, like a family.”

A convention was held in Los Angeles to announce the recipients of the prestigious Pacemaker award, as well as for other awards. Also at the convention, yearbook members were able to attend workshops to better advance their skills.

“We attended a bunch of classes that would benefit us this upcoming year,” said junior Selena De La Torre, a student in the yearbook class who attended the workshop.

Classes ranged from design, photography, writing captions and how-to’s.

Sophomore David Goni said this was his first convention after two years on the Yearbook staff.

“It felt amazing to look up on the big screen and see our yearbook,” Goni said. “I was screaming so loud, it felt so rewarding.”

Not only did Ursus win the Pacemaker, they also won eighth place in Best in Show for its category based on the size of the book.

“Last year’s book was one of the best the school has seen, so I was hoping to receive the Pacemaker,” Siddiqui said. “Best of Show, on the other hand, was a surprise. We beat some schools who are famous for their yearbooks, so it was nice.”

The yearbook staff is extremely proud of their award, as they should be.

“It’s not easy to win those awards, I was speechless,” De La Torre said. “It is such a rewarding feeling to know that our book is the top one percent in the nation.”

However, this win did not come easy.

“Despite the difficulties with production, deadlines and errors with the publishing company, the staff did a phenomenal job,” Cranmer said.

But the staff won’t stop now. Preparation for the 2016-2017 year has already begun.

“I hope to see more cool graphic designs, something that catches the eye with amazement,” De La Torre said. “Something that will relate to our school as a whole, and our students personally.

Cranmer also spoke in regarding the 2016-17 yearbook, saying the staffers will be spending time improving and working on their photography skills, as it is the backbone of the book.

The Gazette, the school’s monthly newspaper, was also honored to receive the National Scholastic Press Association’s award of fourth place in Best of Show from in its category – newspapers with 17 pages and more.

“It was an honor to receive such a prestigious award,” Gazette co-editor-in-chief Hannah Holzer said. “I’m very proud to be a part of a nationally recognized team.”

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