The SNO Report: Best of Best of SNO

It’s May, plants are finally blooming in Minnesota, promposals are yesterday’s news, and “Wrap it Up!” is flashing on the teleprompter out in front of us. So, this week we’re handing out some end of the year Best of SNO superlatives. And what a year it was for student journalism. Not unlike the national media, students had a lot to cover from all the people and events at your school to national movements that had especially local footprints this year. You crushed it.

Of the hundreds of great stories told this year, here’s a sampling of our favorites:

Best Strange But Still News Story
“Wild hawk spotted devouring squirrel on quad,” by Claire Furse, St. John’s School

Best In The Classroom Story
“Freshman English classes participate in privilege walk activity,” by Hadley Hudson, Vandegrift High School

Most Inventive Analysis 
“Anatomy of a teen movie,” by Blythe Terry, Starr’s Mill High School

Best Enterprise Reporting
“College-bound students weigh how far to fly the coop,” by Hannah Jannol, Shalhevet High School

Best College Edition Story
“Go big or go home: Colleges fight waning enrollment,” by the Jetstream Staff, Simpson College 

Best Sports Story
“A day in the life of a Whitman pom,” by Eva Herscowitz, Walt Whitman High School

Biggest Viral Hit
“Tesla’s Women Engineers,” with 10,450 views since March, by Ajooni Grewal, Day Creek Intermediate School

Best Unpopular Opinion
“Trump robbed of ‘Person of the Year’ award,” by Yianni Sarris, Mayfield High School

Best Editorial
“Commentary: Why I walked out of our ‘walkout’,” by Maya Wernick, The Archer School for Girls

Best Review
“This is what makes us girls: a ‘Sour Heart’ review,” by Luke Reynolds, Iowa City West High School

Best Exploratory Reporting
“Students torn over controversial net neutrality repeal,” by Mohini Rye, Sacramento Country Day School

Best Hurricane Coverage
“Surviving the storm,” by Katie Felton, Lovejoy High School, and “‘Life is definitely going to be different now’,” by Katelyn Spivey, Canyon High School

Best Localized #MeToo Story
“Not just Hollywood: The culture of harassment in schools,” by Julia Radhakrushnan, Abby Wheatley, Rebecca Chapman, Hannah Chambliss and Peyton Humphreys, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Best Video Feature
“Carnegie Hall awaits junior violinist,” video by Divya Murali and Neha Perumalla with story by Brooke Colombo, Liberty High School

There’s so much more excellent work to check out. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading it all as much as we have.

The SNO Report: Going in-depth on graduation gowns, private schools, startups and more: last month on Best of SNO

October was a loaded month for Best of SNO. While the other kids at school were out trick-or-treating, student journalists were going deep on interesting topics. The investigative team at Simpson College looked into the enrollment challenges of private schools. A change in graduation traditions caused a stir, original thinkers started projects of their own, and our Assignment Desk topic, Protests in Sports, yielded interesting returns. These are some of the best stories of October, written and submitted by students just like yours:

Go big or go home: Private colleges fight waning enrollment, Jetstream Staff, Simpson College
“The competition is stiff, and we’re all competing for a shrinking slice of the pie.”

Cam High to change more than 50 years of tradition with graduation gownsChloe Schicker, Adolfo Camarillo High School
“It is not about gender equality as much as it is about being respectful to everybody’s choice to select a gender or not select a gender, and we have students who choose not to.”

Senior creates community service projectEliza Benyaminova, Mayfield High School
“Haircuts for Care provides women and children in shelters with a way to feel confident and empowered.”

Let’s talk business: Student starts fashion companyNeelansh Bute, Marquette High School
“He created his fashion apparel company, Maestro, in October 2016, in the comfort of his own home, while sick with the flu.”

Standing up — or sitting or kneeling — for what’s rightStaff Reports, Watertown High School
“They are standing up for the right that people have died for, but as long as they don’t turn their back, I have no issue with it.”

Read more great stories like these on the Best of SNO high school and collegeeditions.

Assignment Desk: Everyone’s writing articles, and Best of SNO’s here to recognize the good ones. But this year, we want to see who’s doing more than that and still doing great work. Consider this our first push.

This month’s topic: Multimedia. Send us your best video stories and photo galleries, all of which should align with our requirements for the SNO Distinguished Sites Multimedia Badge. (That’s our primary requirement). These should be interesting. Videos shouldn’t be news broadcasts or two minutes of raw footage spliced together. They should be interview based… multiple camera angles… B-roll… you know the drill. Photos shouldn’t be blurry or pixelated, they should have captions and credits. Also, don’t send us any gallery larger than 15 photos.

We know these will be different to submit than a story. For videos, there’s your usual area for the embed code. For galleries, paste your link in the Body Text space. For both, attach a Featured Image and give it a headline and byline.

Any submission without all these elements, will not be considered.

And, as always, categorize it as Assignment Desk in the dropdown menu of the form.

Good luck!

Hurricane coverage, a car, a hawk and the moon: last month on Best of SNO

The first month for Best of SNO submissions has been rampant. Without question, reporters were ready to write as soon as the school year opened — and they’ve produced some great stuff. This month, our first Assignment Desk, calling for your coverage of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, was a big success. Also, students and teachers watched the solar eclipse, a student at Lovejoy High School wrote about her connection to a 1989 Chevy pickup truck, and a wild hawk invaded the St. John’s School quad. These are some of the best stories of September, written and submitted by students just like yours.

GBHS grad reports live from Hurricane HarveyBrayden Johnk, Granite Bay High School
“Watching kids go through this — seeing the fear in these kids of not knowing if they’ll ever be able to go home again … is pretty awful.”

Harvey hits HoustonKeegan Williams, Liberty High School
“I knew things were about to get bad and I didn’t want to be stuck in my dorm room in the middle of a hurricane.”

Wild hawk spotted devouring squirrel on QuadClaire Furse, St. John’s School
“It was one of those weird times where something is gross but also really interesting, so you can’t take your eyes away.”

Students watch eclipse outside of schoolMahika Mushini, Marquette High School
“About 20 minutes before totality, we noticed how weird the lighting looked. It looked as if someone had put a gray transparent blanket over the earth.”

The 1989 Chevy PickupMary Catherine Wells, Lovejoy High School
“In my earliest memory of the car, I sit on those Mexican blanket seats in between Pappy and Dylan, driving up to the Sonic drive-in to get a root beer float.”

Read more great stories like these on the Best of SNO high school and collegeeditions.

Assignment Desk: In recent weeks, professional athletes have taken a firm stance (or, rather, a knee) in response to a thread of tweets by President Donald Trump. Their actions have had a ripple effect. Have you felt it in your local community?

This month’s topic: Protests in Sports. What are you writing (what could you be writing) about local athletes and local teams responding to the president’s tweets and the pro sports reaction? Are your athletes also taking a knee or making a different kind of protest? Why? Or maybe they aren’t. Why not? What has happened in your school and community, as a result of this? What do those within your athletic department (players, coaches, administration) think about it? What about everyone else? Find out.

Also, send us your opinion pieces. What are you saying about it? What’s your take?

And finally, when you’re submitting your stories to us, please tag them with the “Assignment Desk” category.


Good luck!

The SNO Report: New wrinkles to Best of SNO

Starting today, it’s open season for Best of SNOsubmissions.

Wait! Stop! Don’t leave!

Before we lose 98 percent of you rushing to the site we’re promoting from that opening sentence alone, let us first warn you — you’re going to notice some big changes.

The first will occur to you as soon as you get there. isn’t the catch-all site it used to be. It’s something better — a shiny new launch pad to take you to one of two Best of SNO sites now accepting new content.

Best of SNO H.S. Edition is the site you’ve always known, though with a slick makeover. (Pause, while I pat myself on the back).

Best of SNO College Edition operates all the same, except for one obvious difference: the name. Best of SNO U is the new and exclusive club for student journalists at colleges and universities to submit work that will be judged against other reporters, photographers, and videographers at their level.

This year, we really wanted to bring all of those non-writers into the equation like never before. So, we’re encouraging students across the entire SNO realm to submit exceptional individual photos and videos as well, showcasing the great multimedia work you’re doing.

Finally, a challenge. Each month, we’ll be putting out a bat signal for submissions relating to a specific topic or theme (coverage of the solar eclipse, for example). You send us a story you’ve already written about that month’s topic or theme, or maybe you use it as a story prompt to write something new, and we’ll collect the best content and feature it in on the Best of SNO homepage. We’re calling it the Assignment Desk.

This month’s topic: Hurricane Coverage.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have affected millions of people in communities all across the country. For weeks, journalists have been on the ground sharing stories about everything that happened before, during and after the devastating weather events. Share with us your coverage about your community, and come back at the end of the month to see a sampling of the great work student journalists have done.

The SNO Report: Best of Best of SNO

Oh man, we’re already in the homestretch of the 2016/17 academic year. That means that even though the breezes are getting warmer, you’re probably just trying not to pull your hair out as finals bring the school year to a close. And, it means we’ve got nine full months of killer Best of SNO publications to look back on. So what better time than now to share some of our favorite Best of SNO stories from this year? To the Best of Best writers and staff mentioned below: a huge bravo. To any reader using this email as a welcome distraction from studying/grading/stress eating: you’re welcome. To those of you who were published in Best of SNO this year, but don’t see your name on the list: don’t worry, we love your work, but we’d have you here for days if we listed ALL the stories that stand out.

So, without further delay, we present the 2016-2017 Best of Best of SNO.

Best Local Coverage:
Kearsley students from Flint still struggle with their water – Katelyn Elumbaugh, Kearsley High School

Best Human Interest Story:
Student project gives homeless a chance to show their world  – Ma’ayan Waldman, Shalhevet High School 

Best Continuous Coverage:

Best Localized News Coverage:
EpiPen Cost Inflation Causes Conflict Among Consumers – Izza Choudhry  Southern Lehigh High School

Best Breaking Coverage:
Day after encampment sweep, refugees return to central Paris – Allegra Knox and Tailor Liedtke, American School of Paris

Best Niche Interest Story:
Tautology Club bonds over one quirky interest – Manar Ansari, St. John’s School

Best Students Are People Too Story:
The affected – Katie Judd, Kirkwood High School

Best Teachers Are People Too Story:
The story of a miracle – Fenna Semken, Iowa City West High School

Most Likely To Make An Adult SNO Employee Go “Huh”:
REALITY CHECK: So-called ‘finsta’ accounts bring a different view of teen life to Instagram –Hannah Jannol, Shalhevet High School

Best Local Health Coverage:
Battling Cancer: Three students share journeys – Pearl Sun Walt Whitman High School

Best Niche Sports Coverage:
Art and fun in the form of parkour Arman Antonyan, Anderson W. Clark Magnet High School

Best National Health Coverage:
Three viruses, one mosquito – Harsimran Makkad, Sycamore High School

Best Political Coverage:
Presidential election sparks a week of mixed reactions from BSM students – Leo Driessen and Grace Gyolai, Benilde-St. Margaret’s

Best Killer-Creative Topic:
T-Shirt Epidemic – Amelia Vanyo, Coppell High School

Best Story About Writing:
On the Way to 50K: Discover the author inside yourself during NaNoWriMo –Elizabeth Anderson, Linganore High School

Best Community Editorial:
Column: Mental health in the South Asian community – Nimat Hossain, Lewisville High School  

Best Student Profile:
In the Middle: A Refugee’s Journey From Congo to Iowa – Molly Liu and Nova Meurice, City High School

Best Local Entertainment Profile:
Rock Stars of K-Park Emily Humble, Sarah Martell, Kylee Wing, Kingwood Park High School

Most Heartwarming Story:
Community helps senior reunite with mother – Grace Mottley and Caroline Cooney, The John Carroll School

We hope you enjoy reading the Best of the Best of SNO stories as much as we did. And hey! We’re still reading, so keep sending us your stuff. We can’t wait to read it.

Standing with her, a four-peat, and a hard goodbye: this week on Best of SNO

At SNO, we’ve been reviewing tons of Best of SNO submissions this week as staffs rush to get published before the end of the school year. This week, a student at Carlsbad High School fights a scary illness with a little help from her friends, a fourth championship is a little more special for the Canyon High School girls basketball team, and a Kearsley High School student hangs up her pom-poms. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

Sana Fights with a Smile – Brooke Wasson, Carlsbad High School
“The scariest side effect was waking up and not being able to feel my arms or legs when I woke up. I felt paralyzed. An emergency group had to come and pick me up and I was just crying out of fear since I couldn’t move anything.”

Fourpeat #4Tatum – Erin Sheffield & Codi Bradstreet, Canyon High School
“When you’re down, your heart starts racing because you know you have to get back in the game, but at the end of the game, when you know you’re about to win, it’s one of the best feelings.”

Alburtus says goodbye to cheer but looks forward to her future – Makalia Jenkins, Kearsley High School
“I will never be able to step on the mats as a high school cheerleader again, and that is most definitely my hardest goodbye.”

Technical Center becomes a starting point for success – Demi Nicole Manglona, Borah High School
“We just try to get them on the right path to be a valuable employee for someone down the road.”

Award winning Northampton Community College provides accessible and quality education for all – Alefiyah Vahanvaty, Stroudsburg High School
“You never really grow and learn from those experiences, unless you actually experience it yourself.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Founding Futures, Learning Languages, and Killin’ Kayak Football: this week on Best of SNO

At SNO headquarters, we’re trying to remind ourselves that lots of rain is a good thing (even if we’re pretty sure it’s NEVER GOING TO STOP). But, we don’t need any reminders that Best of SNO is a great thing–– submissions remind us every day. This week, Ann Bailey profiles a mentorship program for young men, Abington High kids talk about learning English, and Elea Levin introduces the kids doing the coolest hybrid sport, maybe ever: kayak football. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

Lowcountry organization shapes futures for young men – Ann Bailey, Summerville High School
“The most difficult part about being a mentor is creating appropriate boundaries. Once you have spent a considerable amount of time with the mentees, you become really close. You have to remind yourself that you’re there to help guide them and not make decisions for them, no matter how much you care.”

New School, New Language – Brianna Medeiros, Abington High School
“I like the different method of teaching, because here, the teacher interacts with the student and I didn’t have that in Brazil.”

Veterans and students unite for Team River Runner’s kayak football tournament – Elea Levin, Walt Whitman High School
“Kayaking builds upper body strength, it helps with balance, and it gives veterans back sense of camaraderie and adventure.”

Alumni Spotlight: Winter on the Last Frontier – Taylor Hoover, Tyrone Area High School
“To catch a whale, you must have a good striker at the front of the boat and a good boat captain driving to get you close enough to the whale. It also takes a bit of luck to spot a whale in the first place.”

Feminism Club: A Place Where Everyone’s Welcome – Nikki Schobert, Peninsula High School
“Every gender, whatever you identify as, needs to be represented.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Laureates, Life After, and Ukuleles: this week on Best of SNO

It’s officially spring, and we’re celebrating with some excellent Best of SNO stories. This week, Borah High School welcomes a Poet Laureate, Mekayla Phan profiles a peer’s life after the tsunami, and North Hall High gets acquainted with the girl with the uke. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, connects with high school students by sharing poems – Demi Nicole Manglona, Borah High School
“Poetry is like music, sometimes you have to listen to it before you can understand it.”

Living After the Tsunami – Mekayla Phan, Sahuaro High School
“I think the most amazing part is that everybody in Japan was able to help out each other no matter what. They didn’t stand still and grieve over what happened.”

The Girl Behind the Ukulele – Destiny Mobley, North Hall High
“I like to make people happy, and to some, it usually makes them smile. I hope to brighten their day.”

Ethan Thompson’s Self Expression – Nathan Johnson, Peninsula High School
“When we were travelling I would always watch Youtube channels and I would think, ‘Hey, that would be pretty fun’.”

The Snow Hill Quartet – Erin Hogge, Kettle Run High School
“Being in a quartet presents challenges that are not in the typical orchestra class. You as an individual represent your part in the group.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Concussions, Competitions, and Killin’ It: this week on Best of SNO

Up north, we’ve firmly settled into the new season (it might not even snow again!), and we’re totally digging the high quality Best of SNO submissions that have been rolling in. This week, a Wayzata High student talks concussion awareness, Marquette High students make their mark in a short film competition, and Cortney Chow profiles as peer who absolutely kills it, no matter what. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

Concussion Controversy: All About Recognition – Elisabeth Oster, Wayzata High School
“I think we are really starting to think about how we can protect our youth, athletes, pro-sport athletes, and people in general so that they can return to what they want to do.”

Students Succeed in Short-Film Competition – Neelansh Bute and Abhijit Srirangam, Marquette High School
“I learned how to work with difficult people,” Shah said. “I also learned how to better film and edit a video.”

Hailey Markus: a battle on wheels – Cortney Chow, Portage Northern High School
“Just ’cause I’m in a wheelchair doesn’t mean I’m any different.”

Geoffrey Wang: It’s hard to get better if you don’t practice – Nathan Zhao, Wayland High School
“People who really want to progress and get better practice a lot. My father always says, ‘If you practice forever, you can learn any trick.’”

The Arambula sisters miss family in Mexico but enjoy life in the U.S. – Autumn Prescott, Kearsley High School
“My sister and I are going to school, getting our education, and learning life lessons. As long as the four of us are together, things are good and, hopefully, continue to be.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Perfection, Pulling it Together, and Plural Pastimes: this week on Best of SNO

It’s almost spring, and that makes it hard to concentrate on pretty much anything. But Best of SNO submissions are killer lately, and they’re really giving the extra sun a run for it’s money. This week, Adler Bowman profiles a peer who has struggled with an eating disorder, a Peninsula High student has his pick of colleges after pulling his life together, and Ethan McGee discusses the risks of athlete over-specialization. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

Starving for perfection – Adler Bowman, Kirkwood High School
“Every single time I stepped on the scale it felt like an accomplishment.”

From Suspended to Accepted: Tacoda Anker is College-Bound – Natalie Svinth, Peninsula High School
“Anker came from a place of calling suspension “free vacation” to being a semester away from earning all the credits he needs to graduate.”

Is over-specializing overdoing? – Ethan McGee, Bellwood-Antis High School
“Specializing athletes put so much effort into their sport every day that they often become tired of the work they’ve put in.”

Seniors enter business world with entrepreneurial endeavors – Roba Abousaway, Cinco Ranch High School
“I believe that I am able to accomplish anything I set my mind to, but I sometimes become apathetic about the company which leads to a reduction in sales.”

Ohio Education Board President visits Mayfield Schools – Alex Tramontano, Mayfield High School
“Ultimately, at the end of the day, we have to react and we have to change our course per the legislatures of what bills come out of there and how they direct us to what our most important thing is.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!