LION takes Disney

Newspaper places top ten in Best of Show, individuals bring home hardware


Drew Cushing, Online Editor

On a warm sunny weekend in Orlando, Fla., the National Scholastic Press Association Convention was held at the Disney Dolphin Resort from Nov. 12-15. The LION newspaper was represented at this event by 10 seniors and 2 juniors. At the convention, the largest one to date, LION staff members attended seminars and participated in writing competitions along with over 6,000 other journalists from across the country, England and even South Korea.

As a whole, the newspaper staff won eighth place in the Best of Show Broadsheet Category by submitting its Oct. 23 issue and was very pleased with the achievements of individual writers in separate contests.

“I was astounded at the success the LION was able to acquire,” Editor-in-Chief Garrett Ariana ‘16 said. “We are a young staff and we were able to produce such a dominant second issue that presented not only wonderful meat-and-potato type stories but also eye-catching graphical designs at such an early point in the year.”

A total of 2,003 student journalists at the convention competed in the 50 available JEA writing contests. In these events, competitors could win an Honorable Mention, Excellent, or Superior award. The LION had four individuals who placed in these competitions. Gaby Sabatino ‘16 and MelRose Buckler ‘16 received Honorable Mentions in News Writing and News Editing/Headline Writing, respectively. Two LION staffers also received Superiors out of the only 145 awarded. Phil Smith ‘17 was given a Superior award in Editorial Writing and Ceili Doyle ‘16 won a Superior award in Commentary Writing.

“I feel really proud that I won a Superior,” Doyle said. “I got really nervous when they went through the other awards and I wasn’t expecting it. I’m really happy because it makes me feel as though I can definitely pursue journalism as a future career.”

Doyle also won the Best of SNO (Student Newspapers Online) Award earlier this year for her coverage of sophomore Neyla Soriano‘s tragic death.

The collective work of this year’s LION staff will be submitted to the NSPA in June in order to be considered for the Pacemaker award for next year’s convention, which will be held Nov. 10-13 in Indianapolis.