Newsroom by the Bay’s 2012 Sharkie awards honor student journalists’ work

Each summer, we give our Sharkie award to the student journalist who best captures the essence of our newsroom — someone who moves constantly, is driven by curiosity, dives into work and won’t let go until the story is finished.

This year, we gave out not one but three awards, reflecting the growth in our program and the increasingly important role of our team leaders, who guide and mentor students in small teams during their afternoon reporting, writing and editing activities. Sharkies were selected by team leaders with input from program directors Paul Kandell and Beatrice Motamedi.

The recipients were: Collin Baker, who is in his senior year at Bellarmine Preparatory High School in San Jose, Calif.; Clare Mathias, who is a junior this year at the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C.; and Olivia Tan, now a junior at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, Ill. Recipients were announced at our closing multimedia showcase on June 30.

Left to right: Collin Baker, Clare Mathias and Olivia Tan accept their Sharkie awards along with team leader Leah Yeung, who mentored The Zephyr web news team.

“This year’s Sharkies took student journalism to a whole new level,” said Motamedi. “In his or her own way, each of these students demonstrated not only enthusiasm and initiative but a willingness to try new things. From Collin’s persistence in finding Stanford athletes to interview, to Clare’s leadership in producing video for her news team, to Olivia’s determination to learn iPad publishing and to take her school’s publication online, these students showed us what young journalists can do when they really believe in what they do.”

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