The Mountaineer newspaper earns two prestigious awards

Newspaper staff focused on earning Distinguished Site status


Alanna Christman, Editor-in-Chief

The Mountaineer newspaper earned its second Audience Engagement Badge from the Scholastic Newspaper Organization(SNO) this December, and the Site Excellence Badge this January!

The SHS newspaper achieved the prestigious award of Audience Engagement Badge by meeting a minimum traffic threshold, posting on social media on a daily basis, and maintaining more than 1,000 followers combined on two social media accounts.

The Mountaineer’s Instagram and Twitter accounts have more than 1,000 followers combined. In addition, over the past couple of months, on a monthly basis, the Mountaineer has received more than 9,000 unique visitors (the number of new people visiting the Mountaineer) and 29,000 page views (the number of people visiting pages/features/posts on the Mountaineer).

In order to achieve this badge, a newspaper must receive at least 1,000 unique visitors and 5,000 page views on a monthly basis.  As a result of the Mountaineer staff’s hard work and dedication (especially the work of the social media team) But with hard work and dedication from the entire staff, the publication greatly exceeded the required numbers.

To achieve this award, the social media team, composed of junior Taha Vahanvaty, junior Cassie Oppelt, and senior Olivia Heyward, has been posting new stories, features, and content on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on a daily basis.

The newspaper staff members, led by senior Sam Watanabe and junior Justyn Buynak, have created social media posters and have hung them throughout the halls of SHS.  

Each poster contains all of the publication’s important contact information. Students and staff are encouraged to jump on the Mountaineer’s award-winning Audience Engagement Badge bandwagon.

Look for signs in a hallway near you, then follow and share these contacts with as many friends as possible.

App: “Student News Source” found on app store.

Instagram: @shsmountaineer

Twitter: @SHSmountaineer

Facebook: @shsmountaineer

Snapchat: @shsmountaineer

Email:@[email protected]

To obtain the Site Excellence Badge, many of the staff members pulled their brains together to work on making the Mountaineer site as clean, organized, and updated as it can be in order to meet SNO’s expectations of obtaining the Site Excellence Badge.

The main contributor to this was junior Jasmyn Sanchez, who is Co-Editor-in-Chief along with junior Alanna Christman. Sanchez got help from several other staff members. To meet SNO’s standards, they fixed featured images, headlines, the organization of different stories and features the Mountaineer has, and much more.

According to the staff’s hopes, they will achieve the Continuous Coverage and Story Excellence Badges on February 7, and the last two badges, Best of SNO and Multi-Media, on February 13.

“The hardest part of the badge process, I would say, is following and meeting all of the criteria required for meeting all of the badges,” said senior Sam Watanabe, Staff Writer.

In order to achieve these badges, the entire staff is putting in as much work in as they can each week.

The Continuous Coverage Badge means publishing eight stories per week, separated into four different categories. The Story Excellence Badge means detailing, organizing, and designing numerous stories on the school newspaper site to the SNO guidelines. The Best of SNO Badge means obtaining a “Best of SNO” status on at least three recent stories, and the Multi-Media Badge means creating many different videos, podcasts, slideshows, etc. all to SNO’s high standards.

Senior Ivana Karataseva, Video Editor of the Mountaineer, is in charge of the video aspect of this badge.

“My favorite part about working towards the badges is really letting my creativity flow when it comes to video production,” said Ivana.