PHS wins State Convention Spirit Award

Published 4:14 pm Thursday, February 15, 2018

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“The 2018 ASPA Winner of the State Convention Spirit Award is … Pelham High School!” announced Meredith Cummings, University of Alabama Professor and Executive Director of the Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA). Winning the State Convention Spirit award was a first for PHS—and it united three staffs as one team.

All day—from 7 a.m. arrival until well after 4 p.m. in Tuscaloosa—I’ve been impressed with PHS Communication. Yearbook Adviser Kim Hinds, who also teaches art and photography, was texting me before 7 to be sure that I had documents to travel with a student we share with health issues. Broadcast Adviser Melissa Brown met her students even earlier to issue cameras for onsite competition beginning once we arrived at the University of Alabama.

Indeed, the preparation for a state convention begins months in advance. In last year’s awards ceremony, PHS yearbook students were taking note of yearbook competition categories and winning entries. On the return bus trip, Hinds said, “We’ll compete next year with the yearbook we’re publishing this spring.”

When I messaged Hinds in December to remind her of the ASPA yearbook competition mailing deadline, her response was, “Already sent it off. Thanks for the reminder!”

Knowing that Brown’s Broadcast crew was in its infancy and sending large video packages in December would be impossible, I suggested onsite and carry-in competitions. “We’re working on the carry-in and we want to do the onsite,” she shared. “We’ve been on the website and studied the categories.”

Both advisers were one step ahead of me even though these two strong teachers have only been working with their groups a couple of years and a few months respectively. Session leaders weigh in on the spirit award identifying students who are most excited about their communication work—and PHS kids emerged victorious.

While the Lit Mag shines a light on the arts, the yearbook documents every school group and broadcast captures the school year in motion. Clear communication and effective documentation remind us of our strengths and propel us into the future—prepared to celebrate Pelham High School.