Yearbook winners are “Sigma” from Eastern Lebanon County High School in Myerstown, PA, and “Daedalus” from Northeastern High School in Manchester, PA. “Pulp” from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School received the award for literary magazines. Newspaper winners are “The Spoke” from Conestoga High School in Berwyn, PA and “The Voice” from Perkiomen Valley High School in Collegeville, PA.
Publications were evaluated based on their 2017-2018 editions. All newspapers, yearbooks, and literary magazines receiving gold ratings in PSPA summer critiques are automatically considered for the annual Keystone Awards. These publications are sent on to a new judge, where these are evaluated alongside other gold-ranked publications to determine the Keystone All-State Awardees.
Keystone judges offered extensive feedback for this year’s award-winning publications. In the yearbook category, judges highlighted specific design elements and reporting strengths.
“The Sigma staff pulled off a great theme and a great yearbook, and their 2018 offering was a clear winner,” the judge noted. “When you see quotes like, ‘My parents were concerned I was bringing home a skull,’ on page 92, you know that the staff is working to get the good, interesting information and not just filling space.”
“Another consistently designed yearbook with a modern theme and solid content throughout,” the judge described in the evaluation of Eastern Lebanon County High School’s “Daedalus.” “While some spreads have minimal content, opting for big, eye-catching photo and limited copy, the Daedalus staff is not afraid to change it up on the next spread with a large number of pictures and deep-digging content to give the reader more than expected.”
The literary magazine winner, “Pulp” from Lincoln Park Performing Arts High School, was a sensory delight, according to the Keystone judge. “Beginning with the cover, the magazine simply overwhelms the senses. The coordination of visual elements used to complement the exceptional writing make this a vivid and vibrant publication.”
In the newspaper category, the judge acknowledged Keystone Awardees directly for contributing to the overall importance of scholastic journalism.
“After reading the issues, I felt like I could visit your school and have a sense of the ‘pulse’ of what was happening there and what students were thinking about—and that I could carry on a conversation about some of these issues moderately well due to the reporting,” the judge wrote to students and advisers at “The Spoke” of Conestoga High School. “In a time when newspapers are being challenged in every corner of this nation, it is vital that high school journalists keep their eyes and their pens focused on their community and keep bringing strong coverage to their readers. Your staff should be commended for its hard work and earnest hearts.”
Perkiomen Valley High School re-launched a print edition of "The Voice" in 2017-2018 for the first time since 2013. “You deserve immediate commendation for re-starting a newspaper that has lain dormant and quieted. There is no more important time in recent American history for newspapers to be present, so thank you to the committed adviser and staff who are re-igniting one of the most important parts of a student campus: its ‘town square,’” the judge stated.
The Clyde F. Lytle Keystone All-State Award was named in 2012 for PSPA’s first president, Clyde F. Lytle, professor at The Keystone Normal School, now known as Kutztown University. One of the buildings on the Kutztown campus is named for Dr. Lytle. He became the first president of PSPA in December of 1925. Besides being remembered for his work in education, he is known for his collection of inspirational verse, “Leaves of Gold.”
The Pennsylvania School Press Association originated in 1925 and stands as one of the oldest scholastic journalistic organizations in the country. PSPA recognizes and support student journalism programs in Pennsylvania through journalism competitions, summer critiques, awards and recognition, mentorship for advisers, and other resources.
Learn more about PSPA’s summer critique process here.