Mountaineer March Madness hits halls of SHS

Bryanna Morykan, Staff Writer

The Mountaineer newspaper staff is going mad!  A whole month of give-away prizes, special features, and contests.  Who does that?  The answer is our staff. It is our way of saying thank you to the incredible number of students and staff the have visited our site at and followed us on social media.

We are once again hosting a month-long celebration called Mountaineer March Madness.

So what exactly is the Mountaineer’s version of March Madness? Well, during the entire month of March we will be hosting fun contests and giveaways such as a look-alike contest, a social media contest, and you might even catch one of our staff members escorting a giant FIVE  foot tall giraffe through the halls.

The whole point of this promotion is to get as many students and staff to our site as we possibly can to participate in our contests. We have already had a fabulous increase in our social media followers, but we aren’t satisfied. We want more and more people to visit our site. We believe you will be impressed with our awesome student spotlights, spectacular photo galleries, insightful stories, and much more. We also just really like give-aways too, but that’s beside the point.

“This journalism class is an incredibly enthusiastic group of students,” said adviser Mr. Matt Sobrinski. “They set specific goals regarding newspaper excellence and they are achieving them.”

The staff’s first goal was to earn its first-ever Audience Engagement Badge, which essentially means that the staff must get a significant number of people to follow the newspaper on a variety of social media, such as Instagram and Twitter.

In order to achieve an Audience Engagement Badge, a newspaper must be able to boast at least 1,000 unique visitors and 5,000 page views to our site on a monthly basis. This year’s enthusiastic staff shattered those numbers, which means they recently earned that coveted badge.  This is the first time the Mountaineer has been able to make this claim.

Sophomore Alanna Christman is one of the staff members largely responsible for the newspaper’s social media success.  She expressed her feelings about helping in this department: “Social media is super fun to use for promotion because it allows us to get creative and stay up to date with all the articles published,” Christman said.

The Mountaineer staff members are the people who are behind the scenes of all your favorite stories. So how do they feel to be a part of the staff?

“When there are people surrounding you who are so dedicated to writing and showing their interest in being on the newspaper staff, it just creates such a positive environment to learn and work in,” said senior Gabriel Howard. 

The positive staff is also determined to earn other badges.  They are currently working frantically to earn two more.  One of these relates to publishing quality stories daily.  This challenge requires to write, revise, write, revise…

“Having Mr. Sobrinski as a teacher is great because he constantly helps improve my rough drafts and also helps me move forward to become a better writer,” said junior Daniel Dorry.

Students also mentioned the positive environment that the staff creates on a daily basis.

“Everyone has a good attitude and that makes it super fun,” said junior Anthony Cusumano.

Junior Helana Hunter, one of the staff’s experienced photographers, is in her second year of journalism agreed with Cusamano’s sentiments.

“It’s really easy to make friends on the staff because everyone is so friendly,” said Hunter.

We definitely understand the importance of our role as the school’s newspaper.  We take that responsibility quite seriously.  Behind the scenes, though, we are known for all of the fun and quirky activities. contests, and more.  If someone walked into journalism class, they would see staff members researching topics, writing stories, scoring interviews, and planning contests — all while having fun.

“Journalism has opened up some great opportunities for me,” said sophomore Cassandra Oppelt. “Not only is it a great chance to meet people and socialize, but we also have a lot of fun with things such as field trips, fun food Fridays, contests, etc.”

Our staff has been working incredibly hard on writing stories for all of SHS to enjoy, so make sure to listen to Gabe on the morning announcements to keep up with all of our upcoming contests, events, and activities we are hosting for Mountaineer March Madness.