Echo named Online Pacemaker winner

Website among top 16 in the nation


Emily Ziessman

Juniors Ben Sanford and Sophie Livingston and seniors Tennam Gyaldatsang and Maggie Klaers edit a page during Echo’s late night Feb. 25. Echo was recently awarded fifth in the Online Best of Show and Print Tabloid Best of Show categories, as well as named one of 16 to win the National Scholastic Press Association’s Online Pacemaker.

Sofia Seewald

Echo was recently recognized for its work this past year during the National Scholastic Press Association’s National High School Journalism virtual award ceremony April 17.

Echo was named a 2020 Online Pacemaker winner by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). Echo also won fifth place for NSPA Best of Show in two categories: Print Tabloid and Online (small high school website/enrollment fewer than 1,500).

According to senior and Editor-in-Chief Marta Hill, the Online Pacemaker is a very competitive award and the staff should celebrate their achievements.

“It was a great surprise to have today. I didn’t expect it because if you’re on the Pacemaker finalist list that’s a huge achievement,” Hill said. “Even if we hadn’t gotten the Pacemaker today, I would have been super proud of our staff because we still have an excellent website, whether or not the awards show that.”

Echo was one of 28 publications recognized as Online Pacemaker finalists, and one of 16 recipients of the award. According to NSPA, all Pacemaker entries are judged based on coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership, design, photography and graphics. Echo previously received an Online Pacemaker in 2018 and 2019.

With all that is going on in the world right now, Hill said winning the Online Pacemaker was an uplifting recognition.

“It truly shows how hard we work to have good content, especially because we have continued to do that during this pandemic,” Hill said. “I think it’s a really nice nod to all the hard work we put in all year.”

This year’s NSPA convention was supposed to be in Nashville, Tennessee and only the high schools that attend the convention participate in the Best of Show awards. This year, however, the award ceremony was virtual, allowing more schools to participate, according to Hill.

“Winning these Best of Shows was really cool for me because they opened it up to the whole country,” Hill said. “It’s really cool we can be in the top 10 of such a wide range of schools from across the country.”