Shield staff wins nine Columbia Gold Circle Awards

Mac journalists win national first place awards for cultural feature, sports news story, headline writing


Gabby Sherwood

SPEAKING FOR THE TEAM: Girls basketball team captain Ruby Del Valle reads a prepared statement to Austin ISD associate superintendent of high schools Dr. Craig Shapiro at the meeting in the gym. The meeting addressed the recent controversy over the district’s decision to remove the basketball banners from the large gym on Jan. 10. The controversy centered around the hand symbol that a referee makes to indicate that a shot attempt is beyond the 3-point arc. District officials ordered the removal of the banners because of concern that the gesture has more recently been associated with white supremacy. Del Valle acknowledged that the gesture may cause hurt because of its recent “hateful use” toward minority groups but she argued that well-intentioned people should reclaim the symbol’s meaning because it has been used to indicate three points in basketball long before it took on a more sinister meaning.

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association announced the winners from its 37th Gold Circle Awards program on Wednesday. This year, the contest elicited 5,194 news and magazine entries submitted in 86 categories.

Nine entries from The Shield were named among the total 629 winners for print news and magazines that judges awarded either First, Second or Third Place or for Certificates of Merit.

McCallum journalists earned the only first place awards in the nation in these categories: sports news story, cultural feature and headline writing.

Ellen Fox and Julia Kay Smith won first place in sports news for their Feb. 13 story, “Banners Installed, Removed, Replaced.”

Angus Sewell McCann also earned first place in the cultural feature category for his Dec. 13, 2019, story, “This film is ‘Rotten’ but not rotten.”

Bella Russo and Samantha Powers earned first place in the Headline Writing category which required the submission of four headlines and their related stories.

Attacking the fire from the side, the LBJ Fire Academy seniors inch their way closer and closer to the propane tank with the hopes of turning off the gas nozzle feeding the flames during their live fire exercise on Oct. 12. Currently, seven McCallum students are enrolled in the academy, a student sharing program open to all AISD students interested in fire science and emergency medical training. The drills were held at the Austin Fire Academy, where the city of Austin and Austin Community College also train fire fighters. (Bella Russo)

Russo also earned a second place award in the Photo Portfolio category, which required the submission of six images published throughout the year, and a third place award in the Photo Story category for her Nov. 1, 2019, centerspread photo story, “A trial by fire.”

Other third place winners included Anna McClellan in informational graphics for “The Principal Selection Process,” and Grace Nugent in news page design for “House impeaches, Senate acquits.”

Anna McClellan

Certificate of merit winners included 2019-2020 co-editor in chief Janssen Transier in cultural feature for “It took Vega four years to make ‘Decade,’” sophomore Olive Embry in single sports photograph for “Can you dig it?” and 2020 Knight seniors editor Gabby Sherwood in photography portfolio of work.

McCallum’s 2020 Print Newspaper Columbia Gold Circle Award winner

Sports News (Includes season summaries and game stories)     

          FIRST PLACE: Ellen Fox and Julia Kay Smith, “Banners Installed, Removed, Replaced.” 

Cultural feature     

          FIRST PLACE: Angus Sewell McCann, “This Film is ‘Rotten’ but not Rotten.” 

CERTIFICATE OF MERIT: Janssen Transier, “It took Vega Four Years to Make ‘Decade.’”

Headline writing     

FIRST PLACE: Samantha Powers and Bella Russo.

Photo story      

THIRD PLACE: Bella Russo, “Trial by Fire.”

Single sports photograph     

CERTIFICATE OF MERIT: Olive Embry, “Can You Dig It?”

Photography Portfolio of work     

SECOND PLACE: Bella Russo.


Informational graphics     

THIRD PLACE: Anna McClellan, “The Principal Selection Process.”

News Page Design     

THIRD PLACE: Grace Nugent, “House Impeaches, Senate Acquits.”