Following its the trip to the College Media Association convention in New York, the Castleton Spartan staff was recognized with a 2022 David L. Adams Apple Award – third place in the competition for best newspaper at a four-year college with under 5,000 students.
Ahead of Castleton were Rice University and Pacific Union College.
“It was really cool to see our name up there with, like, big schools. Like we were up there with Temple,” said Web Editor Hannah Williams.
Faculty advisor Dave Blow agrees.
“Sometimes we’re in pretty crazy company – Auburn and Rice – and, you know, Castleton seemingly doesn’t fit in that group. But we’re in that group, and I think that’s pretty cool,” Blow said.
For Sports Editor Jake McCarthy, it’s especially meaningful coming from such a small school.
“You know, it’s not really a big staff. There’s only really three editors and a handful reporters … Getting some kind of national recognition is just pretty cool,” McCarthy said.
Managing Editor Sophia Buckley-Clement appreciated the recognition for the small staff as well.
“We really do have a really talented group of writers and it’s nice for other people to recognize that and not kind of just feel like we’re putting things out into the void sometimes,” Buckley-Clement said.
During the fall, the Spartan was awarded with an honorable mention in the CMA Pinnacle Awards, making this spring’s award placement even more important to staff, and to Editor-in-Chief Aris Sherwood.
“I think it shows the staff’s hard work, and how careful and present we are when it comes to designing and writing stories and everything like that, and I think we’ve really improved since last school year,” Sherwood said. “I think we all have proved ourselves in that we can create something that’s so special to so many people and get an award for it, get the recognition we deserve.”
Graduating seniors are proud to be leaving this legacy behind, and Spartan staff that will be here next year are prepared to keep this momentum going.
“I think that this is going to continue, you know. I don’t see us not being this good next semester. So, I’m just hopeful that people still have the passion and this award kind of proves to them that it’s worth it to have that passion,” Buckley-Clement said.
Williams has that passion, determined to make the Spartan “the best it can be” next year.
“We have to absolutely step up our game. I think we took the critique to heart and we’re actually going to apply those critiques,” Williams said.
Pearl Bellomo, a first-year reporter for the Spartan, said that it feels “very inspiring” to see the Spartan win this kind of award, despite the fact that staff will be graduating in the spring.
“We have good people on our team to keep propelling us forward… I’m really excited to keep continuing the legacy,” Bellomo said.