Michaela Adam starts the school year with a new job, no staff and a big task ahead. The Grade 12 student at Sacred Heart High School inherited the editor’s desk of The Sacred Heart Beat from Caitlin Woloschuk who led the student newspaper to a prestigious award last year.
The Best Overall Newspaper award went to the Beat for the second year running in the Annual School Newspaper Competition co-sponsored by the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation (STF), the Regina Leader-Post and the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. Will Chaburn, the Leader-Post columnist who served as judge for last year’s competition said he had no hesitation once again awarding first place to The Beat.
“More than most high school newspapers The Beat ‘gets’ what it should be: a smorgasbord of news and feature stories, fiction, poetry and photography.”
Chaburn singled out the former editor. “Particularly strong are the columns written by Caitlin Woloschuk who mixes a fine sense of humour with strong writing and plenty of imagination,” he wrote.
Greg Digout, the English teacher who has served as staff advisor to the paper for 16 years also gives top marks to Woloschuk.
“She was very enthusiastic and very prolific,” he said. “She was an excellent person to have on staff.
Digout says he also has confidence in Adam who has worked on the paper since Grade 10.
“She’s been on the paper for three years and she’s been submitting articles and has written editorials as a younger student, so hopefully she can step right in.”
She takes over under challenging circumstances, however. Except for Adam, the entire Beat staff graduated last year leaving Adam to start from scratch. She has been actively recruiting and hopes the first meeting of the paper will turn up a good crop of new reporters.
She doesn’t have any concrete plans to put her own stamp on the paper yet, but hopes it will evolve as they get rolling with the first editorial meeting this week
For the most part, she will be sticking with the winning formula.
“Last year we had Caitlin Woloschuk and since she’s been on the paper, she’s had “fun facts” and those have always been one of top things people have enjoyed, so we’re going to try to keep that,” she said. “I like to do reviews; I’m pretty good with the reviews of movies and music.”
And that bodes well for this year’s prospects because it is one of the things Chaburn specifically mentioned in his comments.
Digout is humble about his own part in the success of the paper, but Adam sees it a little differently.
Mr. Digout is awesome,” she said.