Peabody Press sets school records in the Tennessee High School Press Association’s annual awards. Also congratulations to Reid Murray ’22, Sarah Joffe ’21, Zoe Rosenblum ’21, William Grobmyer ’22, and Halle Greenbaum ’21 for earning honors for their articles.
By Sierra Smith, Communications Specialist
On Monday, March 1 the Tennessee High School Press Association announced its annual awards for the top high school newspapers, news magazines, yearbooks, literary magazines, and broadcast staffs across the state. THSPA named The Peabody Press
Editor-in-Chief Esha Karam ’21 the 2021 H.L. Hall Outstanding Student Journalist, making Esha USN’s first student journalist to receive the honor.
“Winning the award was exciting and surprising. It was an honor to be recognized for my role as an editor and writer for The Peabody Press,” Esha said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to work on The Peabody Press, which has allowed me to share unique perspectives and learn about a variety of issues. I’m also thankful for [HS Dean of Student Life & Journalism Teacher Justin] Karpinos’s guidance and the hard work and dedication of all the other editors and writers on the staff.”
Esha has been a staff writer on The Peabody Press every semester since her freshman year and is in her second year as Editor-in-Chief. She is involved in every step of the newspaper publication process: writing news stories, columns, features, and film reviews; copy editing; conducting individual writer conferences with new staff; and managing the majority of the InDesign layout work for the paper’s physical format, which is published at least once monthly.
In her junior year, Esha diplomatically led The Peabody Press’s largest staff, and when the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, she was instrumental in the staff’s transition to a strictly online workflow. In her senior year, Esha has written pieces that have illuminated some key elements of school life in a pandemic — a saliva COVID-19 testing program that USN has piloted, the school’s policy on travel during holiday breaks, a feature on traditions that the Class of 2021 have foregone or postponed — as well as stories that speak to the current racial reckoning in America.
“Esha has also leaned into, and been a voice of reason in, our class discussions and activities about First Amendment rights, the role of journalism in democracy, and how social media has transformed our sense of truth,”Karpinos said. “Her fingerprints in the newsroom, and on our campus, will be felt even when she’s gone.”
Under Esha’s leadership, The Peabody Press has continued the paper’s frequency of publication despite the altered schedules and remote learning days caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, Esha is setting the paper up for long term success through her work to train and recruit younger students to take up the reins when she graduates.