To congratulate students on their work, both the Southwest Shadow and the Howl have become finalists for Crown Awards, given by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

“Knowing we might win a Gold Crown award, it makes me more excited to go to New York, especially since this is the first time the yearbook has been nominated,” yearbook editor Vanessa Robbins said. “We all worked really hard last year, so to become a finalist is a great pat on the back for all our hard work.“

The Gold Crown Award is the highest recognition given by CSPA. The newspaper and yearbook were judged at Columbia University by numerous judges before being deemed a winner. 

“I was honestly shocked when I heard about the Columbia crown award,” yearbook editor Sandra Amores said. “When it was announced during class, I was too caught up on something to take in the really good news.”

For high schools, there are currently 15 finalists for digital news and 58 finalists for yearbook. 

“I was proud of my team and myself for making a book worthy of the crown,” yearbook editor Jessica Stott said. “I then texted one of the graduated staff members about it and we both freaked out and reminisce about the year we made it.”

The journalism program will find out if they won the Silver or Gold Crown on their trip in March 2020.

“My staff and I worked hard all year to achieve the Crown award,” newspaper editor Kyle Bayudan said. “We’ve taken criticism from previous contests to make our news website the best that it can be while producing quality content for the student body.”