The Voice of Cactus Shadows High School

The CS Press

Students take on the big apple

Amidst+the+city+lights%2C+Kiera+Riley%2C+a+junior+explores+Times+Square+on+the+last+night+of+the+trip.
Amidst the city lights, Kiera Riley, a junior explores Times Square on the last night of the trip.

Amidst the city lights, Kiera Riley, a junior explores Times Square on the last night of the trip.

Amidst the city lights, Kiera Riley, a junior explores Times Square on the last night of the trip.

Olivia Stickel, food editor

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Students from school publications, attended the 93rd annual Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) journalism conference on March 13-17. The conference is held each year at New York’s Columbia University, welcoming all journalism, yearbook, and literary magazine students to learn new ways to improve their publication.

Columbia University presenters include teachers and students from award winning publications, and well-renowned journalists. There are classes each hour, minus lunch, from early morning and ending at 3:15 p.m. at the latest. Each class presents a different topic, but all relating to either literary magazine, newspaper, or yearbook.

“I really enjoyed  not only the opportunity to learn, but the experience as a whole. Just being in the classroom at Columbia University was a big thrill for me,” said Scott LaVigne, a chaperone for the field trip.

The attendees were free to walk around the campus in between classes, and due to the location of the school, had numerous places to eat at for lunch.

“There’s plenty of choices to eat within the campus, there’s also several markets around with pastas, salads, and more. The campus itself is stunning, it’s difficult to walk in the gates of Columbia and not feel inspired,” said Blake Bradshaw, a sophomore and literature editor.

This year was different for returning students, due to the weather condition in the northeast.

”We had known prior to our flight that it would be snowing in New York, but as soon as we heard our flight was cancelled, we didn’t know if we would even still be able to get to the conference in time,” said Julian Voitek, a junior and an officer of the literary magazine. The field trip attendees had to make a decision on how to get there in time, as the tickets for other flights still going were being taken each second. All of the students decided on taking a red-eye flight, arriving the opening day of the convention.

“All of us had to get ready in the vans to the convention because we had to go from the plane right to the classes,” said Korie Kerr, a senior and a yearbook student.

The literary magazine  was  nominated for a crown award, an award given by the CSPA, and won a silver crown.

“Winning a crown is really cool because, out of the thousands of publications that submit to Columbia, only select few win awards,” said Mia Gilling, a junior and a part of all three student publications. The award was given on Friday, the final day of the convention, where journalism students from across the country came together to celebrate the winners.

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The Voice of Cactus Shadows High School
Students take on the big apple