Students bring back school newspaper

KateLynn Slaamot

KateLynn Slaamot

NLJ Correspondent


Newcastle High School hasn’t had a school newspaper for some time, but one group of students sought to establish a new legacy by bringing the school paper back. The new school paper, the first issue of which was included in last week’s News Letter Journal, is called Newc High News.  

Jessica Troftgruben, an NHS English teacher, said she has been wanting to start a newspaper for a while. Eleven students make up her Publications Productions class, the home base for the school paper. They even have a designated workspace in Troftgruben’s classroom, where they can work on their writing.

The students made a few preparations over the summer to get ready for the paper, such as getting sponsors. The paper is now up and running and will be published as a bi-weekly on the school paper’s website, which will be in operation soon. The class has also partnered with the News Letter Journal to have the school paper published with that newspaper once a month. The first monthly issue with the NLJ came out on Sept. 27. Troftgruben also said that printouts from the school paper website will be available for students to buy and read.

The school paper includes many features, according to the student journalists. These include jokes, an advice column and a food column. Senior Kolby Pisciotti writes reviews about restaurants around town, and what they have to offer, for his column. The paper also features sports stories and front-page articles, mainly about the paper’s outreach with the community, but could also feature other topics as well. The students who help organize the paper are in charge of writing the stories and columns, and they all work together on writing stories, editing and photography. Troftgruben acts as the chief editor, while also leading the curriculum for the class.

“We really wanted to share personal stories about some of the athletes,” Troftgruben said. Holly Dollison, a senior, noted that rather than focusing on scoreboards in the sports stories, the students wanted to feature the athletes. 

“I’ve always been really passionate about starting a school newspaper,” Troftgruben said. She said that she thought the paper was a good way for the students to have a voice, and it also promotes positivity in both the school and the community. Involvement in the paper will offer the students valuable real-life experience and promote teamwork and skills necessary for a student’s future, Troftgruben said. She also said that the community will be able to see what’s going on in the school and see the impact that students can have on their community. The experience helps students grow in their social skills, according to Markie Whitney, a junior. 

“So far I’ve really enjoyed it,” said Pisciotti. Other students said they agree. 

“One of our main goals is to try to reach out in the community,” Whitney said. The students also partake in community service, such as STEM projects with the elementary students. Recently, the high-schoolers helped younger students make lava lamps and taught them about density.

Pisciotti said he hoped that the students, as well as community members, will really embrace the school newspaper, and that the paper would be able to grow as time goes on.

The Wyoming High School Student Press Association also has a convention where school newspapers compete for awards. Troftgruben said that although NHS was too late to compete this year, students plan to attend the convention on Nov. 5. They also hope to enter a project and compete next year. 

Both students and Troftgruben say they are enjoying establishing a new legacy, and they all said that they anticipate that the paper will continue for years to come. Troftgruben also said that she is determined to create the best newspaper that they possibly can.

“We’re kind of creating a legacy,” Whitney said. 


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