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Gadsden High's Student Paper Takes National First-Place Honors

One man and six women smile and stand in front of a projection of a newspaper article.
courtesy of
John Nogowski
Gadsden High Gazette Winners

The paper had captured a second-place finish the previous year.

Gadsden High School's student newspaper has won national first-place honors from the American Scholastic Press Association. The students got to celebrate the win in person on the day before the Friday, June 18th graduation ceremonies.

The paper's adviser, English and Journalism Teacher John Nogowski said it was a festive gathering.

"You could just see how satisfied and happy they were. They just felt like they'd really accomplished something."

What made the Gadsden County Gazette the first-place finisher out of hundreds of other papers, many from much larger and more affluent schools? Nogowski said his students were eager to tackle any topic.

"If it's interesting, gets you engaged and makes you want to write, think, or talk about it, why not do it?"

That included such timely issues as analyses of current political events, as well as lighter fare such as, "How long can you live without looking at your phone?"

Making the victory even sweeter, the students had to figure out a way to convert the publication from paper to digital this past year because of the pandemic and lack of school funding.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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