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Communities West Plains Eyewitness to History


Eyewitness to History:

Students Interview Community Elders


The West Plains Middle School newspaper, The Voice of Pride, has much to be proud of after a year full of accomplishments, not least of which is prize-winning journalism. Tops on the list is student Michael Harrington’s first place win in a national Weekly Reader/Current Events magazine Eyewitness to History contest with his skillfully reported interview with baseball legend Elwin "Preacher" Roe. His article, which took first in a field of 700 entries, was also featured on the magazine's cover.

The Eyewitness to History interviews also include Robert Neathery, Bill Virdon, and other West Plains residents talking about a wide range of topics including professional baseball, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Peace Corps.

The Pride news staff also came out winners in competition at the 34th Annual Scholastic Journalism Contests at theUniversity of Missouri-Columbia, coming home with eight honors, including two Show-Me Awards. The Show-Me award is Missouri’s top award for student journalists in middle or high school. The newspaper won an overall state Award of Merit and a Superior for Production.

"That’s not all the paper has to brag about," said Randy Story, the newspaper's sponsor, in a report to the West Plains R-7 School Board. Story said the staff is 11 strong, mostly eighth graders with two seventh graders waiting in the wings for their opportunity in the 2003-04 school year. In this school year alone, he said, the staff has put out seven issues of the newspaper, including two special editions, published two issues of "The People’s Poetry," put out an Eighth Grade Scrapbook, and held memberships in the Journalism Education Association, the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association and the National Elementary and Middle School Press Association – the only Missouri school to hold memberships in all three.

Members of the staff include editor and staff writer Caitlin Frey, winner of a Show-Me award for personality photography; sports editor Harrington; staff writer and cartoonist Logan Ray; fine arts correspondent Jordan Hall; chief photographer Dee Miller, who won Show-Me awards for Center page design and personality photography and a Superior award in the category of Feature Writing; staff writer Sarah Woods, who won Superior awards in feature writing and photography; sports editor Heather Bresee; staff writer Kelsey Marie Morris; People’s Poetry editor and co-founder Tabitha Upton, who took a Superior award for diversity and multi-cultural writing; and seventh grade interns Joe Emerson and Bruce Mason.

The Eyewitness to History Interviews

Preacher Roe

Robert F. Neathery

Bill Virdon

Jack McNevin

Dan Leary

Glenn Frey

  Written by Marideth Sisco for the West Plains Daily Quill