2017-05-31 / School News

High school students publish school newspaper The Tribe Tribute

by Kate Evans


Berkeley Springs High School English teacher Dusty Jenkins is seen with her newspaper class that published the student newspaper The Tribe Tribute this school year. Berkeley Springs High School English teacher Dusty Jenkins is seen with her newspaper class that published the student newspaper The Tribe Tribute this school year. The Berkeley Springs High School newspaper returned this year after a long break due to the efforts of English teacher Dusty Jenkins and her newspaper class. The student publication The Tribe Tribute began as a monthly newspaper and then was published every two weeks.

Jenkins said Berkeley Springs High School had a school newspaper when she graduated in 2001, but hadn’t had a newspaper class since 2007 when she started teaching. Though Jenkins had never taught journalism before, she wanted to get the school newspaper going again.

Her newspaper class has 10 students-six boys and four girls-and has printed nine school newspaper editions this year, she said. The class covers all journalism content standards.

The Tribe Tribute features stories and updates on school sports, plays, concerts and events. Teens covered such school events as the school’s weather balloon launch, the prom, the Envirothon competition, the School of Hard Knocks and senior mock interviews.

Each edition features a “Faculty Focus” and “Student Spotlight” section with four staff and four students (one from each grade) who are randomly chosen to highlight, Jenkins said. There’s also “College Bound” and “Military Bound” pieces on graduating seniors, a local business feature, cartoons, “Did You Know” trivia and ads in each edition. The newspaper also has the school menu, honor roll, school calendar events and important days in history for the month.

Jenkins said the class creates a master list of articles for the upcoming edition and the teens are each assigned an article or two. Students are required to present a typed rough draft of their articles before their publication date. They revise and edit the rough drafts and start the newspaper layout. Jenkins does the final layout.

Jenkins and her newspaper class toured The Morgan Messenger where editor Kate Shunney showed them the old way of laying out the newspaper on a “master newspaper” and the new electronic way. She told them how the newspaper is no longer printed in house, but is sent out for printing. Kids loved seeing the archived boxes of old Morgan Messenger editions, she said.

The first edition of The Tribe Tribute was published in late October and the class was really excited to see the rewards of their first effort, Jenkins said. Since then they’ve added more features to the newspaper. They generally sell around 100 to 125 newspapers every edition. The money they raise from the sales was going to fund class t-shirts and a camera.

Their last edition was May 11 since seven of the 10 students are graduating seniors. Jenkins hopes to offer the class again next year. She said it’s really helped students learn to write better and that kids have blossomed from the experience.

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