BluePrint named top PA newspaper again


Mikala McCracken

The BluePrint was named the top high school news website for the second straight year in the Keystone Press Awards.

Brooke Beichler, Staff Writer

The BA BluePrint proved once again that they are the best in the state.

The voice of the Belwood-Antis student body learned on Wednesday that it won first place in the Pennsylvania Media Association Keystone Press Awards for best online school newspaper.

The BluePrint won first place last year, as well, and second place the year before.

North Allegheny took second with its publication The Uproar, while Emmaus High School was honorable mention with The Stinger.

“This is a tremendous honor, and it’s not easy to do two years in a row,” said advisor Mr. Kerry Naylor. “When we started on the first day of school we said we won this award last year, and it will be kind of a step backwards if we don’t do it again, and that’s a lot of pressure. But all of the kids in class accepted the challenge and continued to produce. Especially considering we are a staff of 12 students who have BluePrint every day as a class, plus about six independent study students who work on BluePrint in their free time, it’s amazing. The school that took second was North Allegheny, which is an enormous school in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. This really shows that we can hang with just about anyone where school news in concerned.”

Ever since I started writing for this website, I knew that we had real talent.

— Kaelynn Behrens

The staff was not surprised that they won again, and couldn’t be more happy about it.

“I had a gut instinct about this competition from the beginning,” said Kaelynn Behrens, the BluePrint multimedia editor. “Ever since I started writing for this website, I knew that we had real talent. We have an amazing team led by Mr. Naylor. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s hard work.”

Editor in chief Sidney Patterson said the staff was the key.

“In the back of my mind I knew we would have to win this honor again,” said Sidney. “Seeing the stories we’ve put out, how big our team has become this year and how much effort we put into top notch coverage, it was no question where we were headed I am genuinely grateful and proud of my fellow staff members.”

The Keystone Awards are given out annually to the best high school, college, and professional publications.

Editors from the BluePrint will now go to the awards ceremony on March 14 in Hershey, PA.

Other awards that were won this year were Jake Miller with a second place sports story, Jenna Bartlett was in the honorable mention column, and Julie Bauer won third place in the It Can Wait contest.

“To see that we have several other award winners on an individual basis is satisfying,” said Mr. Naylor. “I’m happy that they can see their hard work pay off, because the stories that are contest worthy are also the ones that take the most work in editing and revising. For Jenna, she takes the class as an independent study, so those are blogs she is writing all on her own. It’s nice to see her get some recognition for it.”