“Peacemaker” is actually a big deal

Natalie Larimer, Online Sub-Editor

I hate writing things about myself and my accomplishments, but this isn’t just about me. Last year’s newspaper staff won a Pacemaker award (not Peacemaker, as mentioned in the assembly), which is like the Oscars of newspaper. We are one of the top 40 newspapers in the country. That’s a HUGE deal.

This year we went to a journalism conference in Washington D.C. where six of us won awards for individual competitions and the winners of the Pacemaker (not that medical thing to help your heart, it’s an award) were announced. In case you missed the tweets, we were ecstatic. This is the first Pacemaker that “The Black and White” has ever been nominated for, let alone won.

During the assembly Dec. 9, they did not call down the newspaper staff or even the winners of individual competitions. We were asked to stand for about two seconds until they moved on. The good news is that we got to hear who got 15th in the state golf tournament. Like, props to all you golfers, but honestly 15th in state doesn’t even compare to us being in the top 40 of the country.

What made me especially angry during the assembly is that we were told to be quiet so we could hear and appreciate the athletic awards. Talk all you want through Math Club and other academic achievements, but when it comes to football, you best be listening.

The Pacemaker is a NATIONAL award. We are one of the best high school newspapers in the entire United States. That’s a much bigger deal than athletes achieving 17th or whatever in a state competition. I’m incredibly proud of the staff last year and I feel like we deserved to be recognized.

If newspaper was a sport, we would have a specific pep rally called for this award and people would high five the staff as we walked through the halls. We’d have banners and t-shirts and KCCI would live in the J-Lab. I literally cannot stress enough as to how amazing this award really is.

When we got nominated, our advisor Leslie Shipp made us little “Pacemaker Finalist” crafts to congratulate us. It was crazy to think we were even considered, and then we actually won. If you have last year’s head-editor Laura Scieszinski’s number, please text her a congratulations because it’s insane that we were awarded this.