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Foothill Technology High School (FTHS), part of the Ventura Unified School District, has achieved a remarkable feat by winning three major national high school journalism awards. The FTHS journalism program stands out as the sole High School program in California to accomplish this achievement this year, possibly since the inception of the of all three awards in 2016. The FTHS Dragons were honored with the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) Crown Award, the SNO Distinguished Sites Award, and the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Pacemaker Finalist Award for 2024, recognizing the excellence of The Foothill Dragon Press.

The NSPA Pacemaker Finalist Award is bestowed upon the cream of the crop in high school journalism programs across the United States, with only 24 high schools earning this prestigious recognition this year.  The CSPA Crown Award acknowledges overall excellence in either print or digital student publications.

“I am constantly amazed at my student journalists and how they operate in a professional manner, but also their togetherness and family vibes in the classroom is what sets them apart from other programs. Journalism here is student-run, and their success is student-earned; my hope is that they have learned that we are better as a society when we work together, when we learn together, and when we strive to understand each other,” stated Journalism Adviser Yiu Hung Li.

Established in 2009, Foothill Dragon Press is an online-only publication committed to providing the Foothill community with accurate, responsible, thought-provoking, and timely journalism.

“Clear communication and collaboration played a major role in our publication’s success this year. Everyone in the publication puts in an equal amount of work: the staffers always come up with stories to portray, the editors oversee and send those stories to the editors-in-chief, and the editors-in-chief publish the stories for everyone to see. If our journalism program did not function in this process, our journalism program would not have achieved such recognition,” stated Isheeta Pal, Student Writing Section Assignment Editor.  

“To all aspiring journalism students, let your voice be heard! Whether through art, photography, writing, or even videography, journalism is a platform to express yourself and make an impact on thousands of people around the world,” stated Co-Editor-In Chief, Olivia Mowad.

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