Acalanes Blueprint Sweeps Awards for 2014-15 School Year

Acalanes High School’s Blueprint Newspaper recently was honored with numerous awards from three different highly respected institutions for excellence in journalism.

“This may be our biggest haul [of awards] in the last twenty years,” Marshall Grodin, Blueprint’s volunteer advisor, said. “This is clearly a big day for Blueprint and for Acalanes.”

Quill and Scroll, an organization which honors individuals with national-level awards in a variety of different categories, awarded eight Acalanes Blueprint journalists with awards recognizing their top standing in the country.

There were over 2,000 entries into the Quill and Scroll awards, and out of around 260 winners, 7 of them were members of the Acalanes Blueprint.

The Dean Lesher Scholastic Journalism Awards, which celebrate student journalistic talent in Contra Costa County, awarded Blueprint its top award of First Place in “Overall Excellence,” recognizing Blueprint as the best high school journalistic entity in the County.

For a number of years, California High School’s The Californian has consistently won the first place ranking. This is the first time Blueprint has been honored with the “Overall Excellence” first place award in several years.

“The drought is over,” Larry Freeman, Blueprint’s teacher advisor, said. “This is really a significant award. We were seen by the Lesher Award judges this year to be the best of the best.”

In the 2015 Lesher Awards, The Californian placed second to Blueprint.

Lesher also awarded Blueprint eleven individual awards, including the most prestigious individual award, “First Place Contra Costa Journalist of the Year,” to Blueprint Print Editor-in-Chief Megan Yee. The Journalist of the Year award was accompanied by a $1000 scholarship.

“I was very grateful and honored to receive the Journalist of the Year scholarship,” Yee said. “It is nice to see that my work over the last three years has paid off.”

Yee is attending Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism this fall to study journalism.

In addition, the American Scholastic Press Association in its 2014-2015 Annual Newspaper Review and Contest ranked Acalanes High School’s Blueprint in its “First Place” category, recognizing Blueprint as among the top high school newspapers in the country. The ASPA’s awards are distributed based on points earned in various categories. Although in previous years Blueprint has won a higher ASPA ranking, this year Blueprint maintained its streak of being given full points in the “Content Coverage” category, demonstrating its dedication to the most important element of journalism.

These awards show not only how academically advanced Blueprint’s members are, but also how highly the Acalanes newspaper is regarded by students, teachers, and the community.

“It’s an excellent nationally award winning newspaper which provides informative articles on a wide range of topics that are relevant to the school” said parent and Parent’s Club President, Ann Baer.

Lastly, but certainly not least, 11 Blueprint members received the Overall Excellence award for LPIE, distinguishing how Blueprint is the best high school journalism paper in the country.

Blueprint is a high powered program and a high quality publication,” Freeman said. “We cannot turn complacent and be satisfied with having done this well this year. We need to look at how well we’ve done and say, ‘What is it we need to do next year to do better?’”


American Scholastic Press Association 2014-2015 Annual Newspaper Review and Contest


“First Place” Ranking

Total: 905 points/1000 possible


(included in total score count):

Content Coverage: 330 points/330 possible

Editing: 125 points/125 possible

Quill and Scroll Awards

  • Editorial Cartoon
    • Arianna Ninh “Don’t Shoot”
    • Alex Shimotake “Selma Cartoon”
  • Editorial Writing
    • Danny Ennis “Comprehensive Sex Education”
  • Sports Writing
    • Megan Yee “Mistaken Call Crushes Dons’ Championship Run”
    • Michael Ney “The Statistical Dilemma of Sports”
  • In Depth/Team Reporting
    • Sam Fraser “ “Study Drugs”.”
    • Adam Blake “ “Study Drugs”.”
  • Photo Illustration
    • Jess Mould “Study Drugs Cover”


Lesher Awards


  • Overall Excellence
    • First Place- Acalanes Blueprint
  • 2015 Contra Costa Journalist of the Year
    • First Place- Megan Yee, $1000 scholarship
  • Column Writing
    • First Place- Sam Fraser
    • Second Place- Lia White
  • Editorial Writing
    • First Place- Danny Ennis
    • Third Place- Danny Ennis
  • Design and Layout
    • First Place- Arianna Ninh
  • Feature or Profile Writing
    • First Place- Megan Yee
    • Third Place- Megan Yee
  • Sports Writing
    • Second Place- Michael Ney
  • Best Photography
    • Second Place- Jess Mould


LPIE Awards

  • Journalism Awards
  • First Place-Megan Yee
  • Second Place-Adam Blake
  • Third Place-Bennett Baker
  • Honorable Mention-Julian O’Donnell

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