About the Colony

Budding journalists hard at work

I love looking at student-produced newspapers. I remember how important my school newspaper was at Selma High School (The Clarion) and especially Atascadero High School’s Hilltop News.

I was adviser to the school newspaper at Atascadero High for a brief period. I know how hard it is to put together a newspaper in a classroom setting. During my short tenure with the Hilltop News, it changed formats (from tabloid to mimeographed copies) several times.

The current writers and student editor Brianna Yancheshon up on high school hill have reason to be proud of their newspaper, the most current issue being 12 pages of campus news, photos and commentary in a tabloid format.

The newspaper has done nothing but gotten better under the direction of its current adviser, English teacher Sheri Harrison. Harrison worked for me for a few years at the Atascadero News.

She was a sharp reporter and one of the few journalists I had who would beat me to a crime scene or a fire, or run me off the road trying. I’m glad her love of print journalism resulted in her taking over the newspaper.

Putting out the Hilltop News is more than just a special English class. Harrison’s program is a part of the Regional Occupation Program, wherein the entire curriculum is involved in training students for jobs in the world of print journalism.

In a time where newspapers are shrinking, I’m so glad this student publication continues to evolve in content and newspaper makeup.

The students do it all. Some write the stories while others take the pictures or are responsible for dropping those galleys of type into columns using a computer program, probably much like the one that’s used to publish The Tribune seven days a week.

The paper is inserted into the Atascadero News, distributed to the classrooms and available for reading by going to http://sloblogs.thetribunenews.com/ahs in an agreement with this newspaper.

Currently the students aren’t involved in selling the advertising to keep their newspaper financially solvent. I can remember how difficult that was for my students, and for me to remind them we needed advertising to pay for the publication of our newspaper. That lesson will come at a later date.

Some of the writers featured in the latest edition include Jackie Fleming, Jacque Salinas Sanchez, Dylan Chambless, Lauren Austin, Jennifer Belcher, Valentine Soto, Sidney Waymire, Brianna Yancheshon, Olivia Dobbs and Catherine Gayaldo.

The latest edition features photos by Emmy Callens, Lauren Austin, Catherine Gavaldo, Olivia Dobbs and Hunter Carranza. I love Austin’s picture of Casey Nero taking the ball down court in a recent basketball game.

There’s lots to like about the Greyhounds’ official campus newspaper that dates back a half-century or more.

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