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Student First: Mission San Jose High School Newspaper Receives Top Award for Student Media
Posted 5/23/22

photo of smoke signal staff from 2020-21

Click here to view press release.

Mission San Jose High School’s Smoke Signal student newspaper received a Gold Crown Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) for its digital news published during the 2020-21 school year. 

The school, part of the Fremont Unified School District, was among 13 member schools awarded the Gold Crown out of 817 eligible publications submitted by CSPA members. 

“This achievement demonstrates the skills and creativity our students develop and strengthen under the guidance of our world-class educators,” said FUSD Superintendent CJ Cammack. “I send my congratulations to the Smoke Signal for this recognition.”

CSPA awards both Gold and Silver Crown Awards through a panel of Crown Judges who are former student media advisers, professional journalists, or online specialists. CSPA describes the function of Crown Awards as summarizing “overall excellence in the entire publication” and serving as a “view of general excellence.”

The Golden Crown was specifically awarded for the Digital News published in the 2020-21 school year, under Editors-in-Chief Yusuf Rasheed and Sabrina Wu; both of whom have since graduated. The paper moved to an online format to serve its readership while instruction was offered online during distance learning, and the staff transitioned to various online tools to stay connected and produce the newspaper.

The Journalism class that produces the paper is student run, with editors and managers who report to two editors-in-chief who then report to the adviser: Sandra Cohen, a Mission San Jose High School teacher who has worked in FUSD since 2001. 

"Being the Smoke Signal Adviser has been so rewarding and is a natural fit based on my prior 20 year career in advertising and marketing,” said Cohen. “Student journalists have gone on to all kinds of careers but the foundations of the course and the camaraderie keep them in touch with us. It's the legacy that we have created that I'm most proud of. It's truly a privilege to guide students who are so motivated and self directed."

The Smoke Signal, established in 1964, currently publishes its 20-page newspaper every four weeks during the school year. The paper has received 12 awards from the CSPA since 2001. 

Find more information in the Smoke Signal story: Columbia Scholastic Press Association presents The Smoke Signal with the Gold Award.

 

 


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