Echo wins Online Pacemaker

Website among top 18 in nation


Alejandro Manzano-Gomez

Juniors Kaia Myers and Ruby Stillman work on the features page after late night to post everything on the website May 8. The Echo was awarded the 2019 National Online Pacemaker April 27.

Dani Orloff

Echo received the 2019 National Scholastic Press Association Online Pacemaker Award at the Spring National High School Journalism Convention April 27 in Anaheim, California, according to Echo adviser Lori Keekley.

According to the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), the Echo was one of 44 publications recognized as a finalist in the annual Pacemaker competition and one of 18 recipients of the award.

As she sat at the awards ceremony awaiting the results, Keekley said she did not have high expectations and was surprised to hear Echo had received the award.

“I assumed that because there are only 18 National Pacemakers that Echo would not receive one,” Keekley said.

Following the Pacemaker finalist announcement Jan. 12, judges from the National Scholastic Press Association studied all of the sites named on a frequent basis in order to determine the recipients, according to associate director and coordinator of the Pacemaker competition Gary Lundgren.

According to Keekley, the Online Pacemaker is the highest award NSPA awards to high school publications nationally.

“It really is,” Keekley said. “They list the 18. They don’t rank those. It is a big deal just to be a finalist, so to be a Pacemaker is an even bigger deal.”

The NSPA Pacemaker award has a rich tradition and the association started presenting the award to high school newspapers a few years after the organization was founded in 1921, according to NSPA. Throughout the years, yearbooks, magazines, online sites and broadcast programs were added to the competition.

Keekley said she would have been proud of her students in the publication whether they received the award or not.

“It actually legitimizes a lot of what Echo staffers do. It lends credibility to the program. We don’t do it for the awards but they are nice to get,” Keekley said. “They’re good for college resumes, they’re good for scholarships, all of that.”