Hawk Eye student newspaper celebrates 10 years

Since 2011, the newspaper staff has grown and improved, now includes yearbook production

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Mr. Allemang

The newspaper and yearbook staff interview each other for their Staff Profile features for the online newspaper.

Just over 10 years ago, the student newspaper of BPHS went completely online and has continued to grow ever since.

The BPHS student newspaper, Hawk Eye, was restored in 2011 when a new teacher Mr. John Allemang stepped up as the advisor.

“When I got hired, the newspaper was struggling and didn’t have an advisor, and they were looking for one,” said Mr. Allemang. “I was newly hired and wanted to make an impression, so I raised my hand for it.”

The newspaper had no advisor and was dormant for years. The old name was the Black Hawk Voice.

Before coming to Bethel, Mr. Allemang taught at Seton-LaSalle High School and drew inspiration from them.

“They had an online newspaper called the Rebel Report and that’s where I got the idea from. I thought it was really cool,” Mr. Allemang said. “So when I took over the newspaper, I said we’re going solely online. It’s the way to go now.”

The school also allowed Mr. Allemang to teach a class newly named Scholastic Journalism Workshop: Online Newspaper.

The class had a curriculum but was no longer an active class because there was no teacher to teach it.

The class consisted of the newspaper staff and was a work-based class. Students wrote articles about all of the happenings at BPHS and also walked around the school and took pictures of spirit days and fun activities going on.

While Mr. Allemang started advising the newspaper right when he arrived, he did not start advising the yearbook until 2018.

“Since I had already been advising the newspaper and my students were going around school taking pictures of things and interviewing people, it just kind of made sense,” Mr. Allemang said with a laugh.

Since then he has made five yearbooks. The first yearbook was published in 1930, making this year’s the 93rd edition.

Seeing [my students] participate in the process of [journalism] and seeing their final product, all their work come to fruition, how accomplished they feel when they see their article published or the yearbook in print. It’s a good feeling. I know I appreciate all the work that has gone into that.”

— Mr. Allemang

“I enjoy keeping up with what’s happening around the school and telling people about what’s happening around the school,” stated Mr. Allemang. “Even though I can’t do that personally because I’m not a student, I enjoy doing that through my students. Seeing them participate in the process of that and seeing their final product, all their work come to fruition, how accomplished they feel when they see their article published or the yearbook in print. It’s a good feeling. I know I appreciate all the work that has gone into that.”

Not only can students get the satisfaction of seeing their hard work published, but they can also be awarded for it.

Student writers have the opportunity to submit their work to the Best of SNO website.

SNO (Student News Online) is an online news source for journalism students around the world.

Best of SNO showcases the best student journalists and rewards them by posting their articles in the SNO newspaper for the whole world to see.

Last year was the first time a student won a Best of SNO award.

Editor-In-Chief Meghan Krapp won the school’s first award for her article titled “ASL language can bridge the communication gap.”

Meghan Krapp proudly displays her Best of SNO plaque. (Mr. Allemang)

After one win, it started a chain reaction.

Krapp won two more, Meghan DeHaven won one, and Ana Winowich won one.

[Meghan’s winning a Best of SNO] was just a euphoric experience. I can’t quite put words on how to describe that. It was special for sure. A very proud moment for me.”

— Mr. Allemang

“When a student wins a Best of SNO, that’s just the icing on the cake. It is a very proud moment for me,” said Mr. Allemang. “Nothing beats when we won our first Best of SNO, won by the great Meghan Krapp. That was the moment that will forever stay with me for sure because we have been working so hard for years to get one. I couldn’t crack the code or figure out just how to do it. We’ve tried and tried and tried and then finally we broke through and did it. It was just a euphoric experience. I can’t quite put words on how to describe that. It was special for sure. A very proud moment for me. I will never forget.”

The Hawk Eye staff celebrates Meghan Krapp’s Best of SNO award for her article “ASL language elective can bridge communication gap.” (Hawk Eye staff)

Not only can writers win a Best of SNO, students can also win for a bunch of other media-related topics.

Two years ago, the Hawk Eye staff also won the Audience Engagement badge for their eminent social media pages.

“We have been trying for years to build our social media presence,” Mr. Allemang stated. “We hit 1,000 followers between our Twitter and Instagram accounts. That was a big deal and the hardest thing to do. We needed to post every day on each platform for a month straight. That took a lot of work. That year I had a strong group of kids who were good with social media and they definitely helped. We made it happen and got the Best of SNO audience engagement badge. We celebrated a lot.”

This year, Mr. Allemang decided to change the name of the class to Scholastic Publications and also add yearbook to the class.

“I’ve been wanting to add yearbook to the class because my yearbook staff has been pretty slim over the years,” Mr. Allemang said. “I haven’t had a whole lot of help on it, except last year. Last year was the most help I’ve had. I didn’t really have a staff. I remember doing a lot of the work myself which isn’t how it should be because it’s supposed to be student work, but if there aren’t any students to work with, then I had no choice. It is my responsibility to put out a yearbook.”

After COVID hit, Mr. Allemang was forced to complete the yearbook by himself and had to fill the holes of an almost empty school year.

“We were already behind on the yearbook as it was and once we went home in March and couldn’t come back, I couldn’t work with my staff at all, so I had to work on the whole yearbook on my own and I still needed a bunch of stuff,” said Mr. Allemang. “It was really hard to get what I needed but I did it somehow.”

He thought the best way to get more students involved in creating the yearbook was to have them in class with him and because the newspaper staff was already going around taking the majority of the pictures that go in the yearbook, he just decided to add the yearbook aspect to the class to make it easier on everyone.

“I’m eager to see what happens. We have some pretty motivated students and they seem to be here for the right reasons. I hope they’ll produce and help me out so we can put out a good yearbook and I won’t have to carry most of the burden,” Mr. Allemang said with a laugh.

This year, the 2022-2023 newspaper/yearbook staff is bigger and better than ever.

The class consists of 21 students. A pretty good number compared to the 10 students in the class last year.

The seniors in the class are Dinari Clacks, Sydney Edwards, Helena Gable, Meghan Krapp, and David Lindsey.

The juniors include Shawn Davis, Meghan DeHaven, Jack Edner, Emma Frazee, Taylor Garland, Stephanie Hanania, Nicholas Howrylak, Connor Karabinos, Benjamin Lentz, Rael Majetich, Camryn Priddy, Nicholas Whalen, and Ana Winowich.

The sophomore is Tacey Typrus.

And the freshmen taking the class are Catherine Carberry and Emma Whalen.

“Last year I really enjoyed writing for the newspaper and it brought me accomplishments that make me feel good,” said second year staff member/Features Editor Ana Winowich. “I have made friends who have the same interest in writing and media as me. It also helped me decide what I want for my future. I can’t wait for this year and hope to improve my writing even more and I can’t wait to see what writing this school year brings for me.”

Mr. Allemang wishes that the newspaper staff will be writing more opinion articles this year.

“Students aren’t always eager to share their opinions with others,” he said. “As long as we keep a balance. I don’t want our newspaper to be biased towards any certain view. If it’s a controversial topic I would like to have both sides of the topic addressed so it doesn’t seem like our newspaper is picking a side.”

Mr. Allemang also shared his hopes of adding more media to the newspaper and more journalism to the yearbook.

“In the past, we’ve had people have their own shows and interview students on set in the TV studio,” he said. “I’d like to bring that back. It was a huge hit and people enjoyed seeing that. As far as the yearbook, I’d like to add more journalism to it. Not just rosters and pictures. Interviews with students and staff, summaries of things, sports scores, etc.”

Mr. Allemang believes that all students should take Scholastic Publications because it teaches them life skills.

“I hope they gain confidence in themselves and their abilities to write and communicate with people,” Mr. Allemang said. “I’d like them to develop the skills that they need to be productive members of society. Basically language skills. Listening, speaking, communicating, writing, reading, researching, that kind of thing.”

“I took the class on a whim just because I needed a class to fill an empty period, and I’m so glad that I had to do that,” said second-year staff member/Social Media Manager Meghan DeHaven. “This class helped me realize what I want to pursue as a career. I enjoy that this class offers working on the newspaper, working on the yearbook, posting on social media, and taking pictures. Mr. Allemang is an awesome advisor. He helped me win a Best of SNO last year. I couldn’t imagine having another teacher for this class.”

The Hawk Eye staff is excited to enter their new school year and to keep the residents of Bethel Park in the know of all the happenings around them!

Make sure to follow all of the Hawk Eye social media accounts to stay up to date!

Instagram: @hawkeyebphs
Twitter: @hawkeyebphs
TikTok: @hawkeyebphs