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Glenwood Springs High School newspaper students learn more than writing and photography

John GardnerPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS The Glenwood Springs High School Brimstone may be a small student newspaper, but the publication has a voice that can be heard throughout Glenwood Springs.The Brimstone, in its 41st year of publication, has a long-standing history at the school. Beside neighboring Roaring Fork High Schools Rampage publication, the Brimstone is one of the few remaining student-run newspapers in the Roaring Fork and Grand Valleys. The Brimstone has grown into a 16-page monthly publication distributing 500 copies within the halls of GSHS, as well as being circulated to Glenwood residents as an insert in the Post Independent.Its changed our audience and its made it more real for the students, said GSHS English teacher and Brimstone advisor, Laura Hardman.The growing circulation spreads the voice of this generation into the living rooms of the community thats raised them. It makes Hardman smile, too.I like that its real, Hardman said. (The students) get to see the product that theyve produced and they get a reaction from it.Hardmans received compliments from neighbors about the Brimstone and the work the students have put into it. The publication is completely assembled by students, from scratching story ideas on a notepad to selling advertising space to pay for printing costs. Hardman is there to lead the way when direction, or inspiration, is scarce. Mostly, its the students.Theres a lot more involved putting it together than I first thought, said Brimstone assistant editor, Lyndsey Wesson.Wesson and Brimstone editor Meghan Moriarty laid out pages for the April issue on the computer, the Beatles softly playing in the background.Its more than just writing, Wesson said. And you learn so much in this class.Hardman agreed that the class teaches more than just writing and interviewing skills. It teaches valuable life and business skills like self confidence, independent work habits, teamwork, how to take constructive criticism, critical thinking, and most importantly how to meet deadlines. All skills that will help develop the students and prepare them for everyday situations down the road.Its like were our own organization, Moriarty said. Were learning to work as a part of a team and that what you do affects the others on the staff.Mornings at the Brimstone closely reflect the atmosphere of a real newsroom. It begins with panic.Has anyone seen the issue of the paper today? Hardman asked to her journalism 2 class Thursday morning.But none had seen the latest, March issue, which was to be stocked at all newsstands around the school. A glitch in distribution turned into another lesson learned on the reality of business and the severity of breakdown. But in the end, the paper will still be delivered.Its different than any other class, Moriarty said. Its flexible enough so you can work to your own pace, and it allows you to be creative and express yourself.Hardman instructs two levels of journalism at GSHS. Journalism 1 is a year-long elective thats a prerequisite for Journalism 2, which focuses on the actual production of the paper. The whole system is project-based learning in action, the future of the press corps in training.But just finding students to fill both classes has proven difficult for Hardman in recent years.Its frustrating. I have a lot of students that come to me who are so excited to take the class, but I never see them again, Hardman said. I have to go and actively seek students for the class.However, she has no complaints about her small, very-capable staff.I tend to get students that are passionate about writing, Hardman said. This class has a lot of English content but it is counted as a communication credit at the college level. Fewer students sign up for it because of that and thats sad.Hardmans had at least one graduating senior interested in pursuing a journalism degree in college in her six years of teaching at GSHS, she said. Thats just enough to keep a smile on her face.We may be small, but we are mighty, Hardman said.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO


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