YDR Insider

Part of the USA Today Network

Not your mother’s high school newspapers

There are lots of perks to being a journalist. The name recognition, the groupies, the undying love of local public officials.

OK, not really. But there is one awesome perk to working in the newsroom — first look access for some of York County’s finest high school papers.

In addition to printing the York Daily Record, York Dispatch and Hanover Evening Sun every day in our Loucks Road office, we also print various smaller publications including student newspapers for several local high schools.

As a courtesy to our education reporter, Angie Mason, single copies of these papers are hand delivered to her desk by the printing staff — presumably so she can keep an eye on what is going on in the schools. As a courtesy to the reporters who sit around her, she shares them.

If you haven’t ever read one of these local gems, I highly recommend it. These aren’t your mother’s student newspapers.

Sure, they have the usual reports on cafeteria food and special prom previews, but there are some seriously creative kids out there in York County.

Case in point: the May/June issue of The Paw Print, West York Area High School’s student newspaper, has a story with the headline “Volker Von V-neck Kampbell: the man behind the shirts.” Included are various pictures of one male student mugging in the v-necks that are presumably his trademark. They appear to have been shot in a high school bathroom.

The attached story is a Q&A. Here are a few excerpts:

Q: Why do you wear V-necks?
A: To show off my manhood and it doesn’t mess up the ‘do. My hair ‘do that is.

Q: Is there a purpose to wearing them
A: Makes my tat look sweet.

Q: What’s your favorite outfit?
A: Manpris, deep V, and matching TOMS.

Information overload! So many more questions. V-necks are cool? What the heck are manpris? A high schooler with a tattoo?? This story arrived on my desk with a sticky note that said “A must read!”

The newsroom also has a sweet spot for the Rocket Star, Spring Grove Area High School’s student newspaper – and not just because yours truly is an alum.

The Rocket Star has a monthly car feature that profiles one student and his or her sweet ride. Usually this is a kid whose parents were loaded enough to buy him a 2012 Mustang, but one profile of a beloved car known as Goldie was a hit in the newsroom. Another student had a van with a name that hinted strongly at the possibility of illegal activities going on inside. And we also particularly enjoyed a Star profile about a student who planned to share a car with his girlfriend when they went to college together.

Um, yeah. We hope that worked out.

Our love for the student publications isn’t all at the student’s expense. Most of us were staffers at our own high school papers back in the day, so perusing the pages comes with a strong sense of nostalgia. I remember when the Rocket Star was printed on 8.5” x 11” copy paper and stapled together like a newsletter. It’s come a long way.

Reading the papers is also a fun way to spot talent. By far, our favorite student personality is beauty columnist and Spring Grove student Alexander Harrington. Known as Stylishly Alexander in the Star, Harrington does his best to make sure the kids in the Grove are looking good.

But also, that kid can write. Better than most high schoolers we’ve seen. We’re all looking forward to seeing where it takes him.