Members of Clarke Central High School’s ODYSSEY Newsmagazine and Iliad Literary-Art Magazine participated in the University of South Carolina’s Southern Interscholastic Press Association’s Courage to Connect Convention in Columbia, S.C. from March 2-4, along with 400 other students from across the country.
Junior Chloe Hargrave gave a speech for SIPA student officer president to open the conference. Stating she would lead by example during her four-minute speech, she ran against three other candidates hailing from across the southeast.
“At first it was pretty nerve racking. Sitting there waiting to go up there, I was just thinking about my speech and was preparing myself for it, but once I got up there and realized how comfortable I really was, I got a lot more comfortable with things,” Hargrave said.
Seniors Annie Jenkins and Carlo Nasisse, both editors of the Iliad, presented the session, “Retire the Old Reliables” with adviser David Ragsdale. The session sought to offer attendees new and different genres of poetry to write and publish. Jenkins, Nasisse and Ragsdale also presented “Eye Appeal is Buy Appeal,” a session advocating for the collaboration of school-based artists and literary magazine editors and advisers.
“It was a really good experience to be able to share what we do with other people and to discuss ways we can better our own magazine by looking at how other students and publications deal with their own. it was very nice to talk about the importance of art in literature in schools,” Nasisse said.
Seniors Caleb Hayes, Emma Kissane and Mollie Sherman, the Odyssey’s senior leadership team, presented the session, “Same Story, Different Lens” with Ragsdale facilitating. The collaborative session allowed the presenters to offer new ways to approach stories presently covered by convention attendees.
“This was actually my second time presenting a conference. I like to help other publications as well as show other publications what we do (at the ODYSSEY) compared to what they do,” Hayes said. “I think it’s good that it’s not coming from a teacher’s perspective, but from someone who’s been in their shoes.”
CCHS’s two Quiz Bowl teams competed in the preliminary round of competition. Senior Alexa Friedman, who teamed with senior Blaine Wooten, junior Chloe Alexander and freshman Robert Walker, captained the Gold Squad. The Red Squad, which went on to compete in the first round, was comprised of sophomore Jenny Alpaugh, juniors Hargrave and Dory MacMillan, and was captained by Hayes.
“I didnt really know what to expect because I had never done quiz bowl before, but I learned a lot about journalism that I didn’t know. But even though we didn’t do so well in the first round, I’m glad I have that knowledge and I hope to go back next year and do better,” Alpaugh said.
Walker later teamed up with junior Hannah Dunn-Grandpre in the Review Writing Competition. Senior Hannah Greenberg worked with sophomores Austin DeFoor, Porter McLeod and Gabrielle Saupe in the Team Onsite Production Competition, in which they interviewed, wrote, photographed and designed an article during a timed work session. Nasisse performed in the second annual SIPA’s Got Talent competition playing his vintage accordion. During Saturday’s award ceremony and formal dinner, he was announced as the first place winner for 2013 and went on to perform a happy birthday ode on his accordion to two student journalists in attendance, including the ODYSSEY’s Rad Brosius.
“At first, I was really stressed out when we got there and I realized that everyone was so much more prepared than we were, but at the same time I got a feeling for what (journalism) is all about,” Greenberg said. “We had to work under pressure.”
At the convention’s closing ceremony and awards banquet, Hargrave was named SIPA’s 2012-13 President–a first for a CCHS student. Along with two other student officers and members of SIPA’s Advisory Board, including Ragsdale, Hargrave will plan the 2013 SIPA spring convention at a meeting in September. She will go on to open, facilitate and close the 2013 convention. Hargrave builds upon the work of Kissane, who served as a 2011-12 Member-at-Large student officer. In addition to her own co-presentation, Kissane facilitated during the 2012 convention and spent extensive time in the planning and implementation of Courage to Connect.
The 2011-12 Iliad was recognized as All-Southern and was declared the Scroggins Award winner, SIPA’s highest honor, for the second consecutive year. In addition to providing a forum for CCHS artists, photographers and writers, the Iliad features works from both Burney-Harris Lyons Middle School and Clarke Middle School students.
The ODYSSEY’s website, ODYSSEY Online, received an All-Southern rating. Named a Pacemaker Finalist (in the running for top honors) by the National Scholastic Press Association earlier in the week, the site is managed and edited by DeFoor and Paola Hilario. The 2011-12 ODYSSEY was recognized as All-Southern and was declared Best Newspaper in Georgia for 2012 by SIPA. This is the seventh consecutive year the ODYSSEY has garnered both titles.