The Wicket student newspaper received Gold Medalist status from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and First Class distinction from the National Scholastic Press Association this winter, in recognition of their work last academic year.
Last year's staff had just published its last print edition when campus closed last spring. They published an April edition fully online.
Editor-in-chief Evelyn Waddick '21 called the website a "lifesaver," as the staff worked to decide how an extended quarantine and distance learning would affect the paper. The new editorial staff, led by Evelyn, pivoted their use of graphic design software to Apple Pages for the graduation issue in June, which they continued to use this school year.
"I think there was a sense - we just have to get it out," said Isabel Pinnell '21, managing editor. Using Pages has been a learning curve, she noted. The staff typically spent "Work Weekend" in the Computer Lab; now they use group texts and FaceTime to check in with one another while laying out the next edition.
Both Isabel and Evelyn credit last year's editor, Florence Kane '20, with helping to build that collaborative online atmosphere last spring.
Evelyn noted that receiving the honors recognized the incredible work the staff had done pre-pandemic, in a year that felt overshadowed by all that was not or no longer possible. "It motivated me to take the critique and make these last couple issues even better. Getting that rating [this year] would mean a lot," she said.
Evelyn and Isabel shouted-out new staff members, alongside longtime writers and editors, for their hard work this school year. "The quality of the writing has improved," said Evelyn. "With freshmen and new writers on staff, they're putting a lot of effort into it."
Isabel said, "I hope when people read [this year's editions], they think it's the same [quality of] Wicket."