Winners of the NSPA Pacemaker Contest were announced on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the JEA/NSPA Fall High School Journalism Convention in Boston.
Though nominated as a finalist for the award, The Octagon did not win a Pacemaker for the 2012-13 year.
Often referred to as the “Pulitzer Prize of high school journalism,” the Pacemaker recognizes general excellence and is the highest honor awarded by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA).
The Octagon was one of 18 high- school newspapers nominated for the award in the 9-16 page print newspaper category. Over 300 publications entered the competition.
The Octagon has been nominated for the Pacemaker six times but has won only twice (for the 2001-02 and 2011-12 volumes).
The five issues entered were under the leadership of editors-in-chief Yanni Dahmani, ’13, Madeleine Wright, ’13 and Jeffrey Caves, ’13.
Wright said she was surprised to hear the disappointing news.
“Last year was a big year for the Octagon because we covered so many topics, from LGBT students to athletic supplements, that we had not covered before,” Wright said. “And I thought we had improved from the year before—the year we won a Pacemaker.”
Caves said that it was an honor just to be nominated in one of the toughest Pacemaker categories.
“I think we put out a great paper last year,” he said, “Our writing quality was excellent and the staff’s hard work deserved to be honored to the highest level.”