Just over 10 years ago, the BPHS student newspaper went fully online and has been growing ever since.
The BPHS student newspaper, Hawk Eye, was restored in 2011 when a new teacher, Mr John Allemang, became the advisor.
“When I was hired, the newspaper was struggling and didn’t have an adviser, and they were looking for one,” Allemang said. “I was newly hired and wanted to make a good impression, so I raised my hand for it.”
The paper had no adviser and had been dormant for years. The old name was the Black Hawk Voice.
Before coming to Bethel, Mr. Allemang taught at Seton-LaSalle High School and was inspired by it.
“They had an online journal called The Rebel Report and that’s where I got the idea. I thought that was really cool,” Mr. Allemang said. “So when I took over the paper, I said we were going online only. That’s the way to go now.
The school also allowed Mr. Allemang to teach a newly named class Scholastic Journalism Workshop: Online Newspaper.
The class had a program but was no longer an active class because there was no teacher to teach it.
The class was made up of newspaper staff and was a work-based class. The students wrote about all the events at BPHS and also walked around the school and took pictures of the spiritual days and fun activities going on.
While Mr. Allemang began advising the newspaper upon his arrival, he only began advising the yearbook in 2018.
“Since I had already advised the newspaper and my students were walking around the school taking pictures of things and interviewing people, it made sense,” Mr. Allemang said with a laugh.
Since then, he has produced five directories. The first yearbook was published in 1930, making that year the 93rd edition.
Seeing [my students] participate in the process of [journalism] and seeing their final product, all their hard work coming to fruition, how accomplished they feel when they see their article published or the yearbook printed. It’s a good feeling. I know I appreciate all the work that has gone into this.
— Mr German
“I like to follow what is happening around the school and let people know what is happening around the school,” Mr. Allemang said. “Even though I can’t do it personally because I’m not a student, I like to do it through my students. Seeing them participate in the process and seeing their end product, all their work come to fruition, how accomplished they feel when they see their article published or the yearbook printed. It’s a good feeling. I know I appreciate all the work that has gone into this.
Not only can students have the satisfaction of having their hard work published, but they can also be rewarded for it.
Student writers have the opportunity to submit their work to the Best of SNO website.
SNO (Student News Online) is an online source of news for journalism students around the world.
Best of SNO showcases the best student journalists and rewards them by publishing their stories in SNO Journal for the 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 top prize for her article, “ASL Language Can Bridge the Communication Gap.”
After a victory, 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 into words how to describe this. It was special for sure. A very proud moment for me.
— Mr German
“When a student wins a Best of SNO, it’s just the icing on the cake. This is a very proud moment for me,” Mr. Allemang said. “Nothing beats when we won our first Best of SNO, won by the great Meghan Krapp. It was the moment that will forever stay with me for sure because we worked so hard for years to get one. I couldn’t crack the code or figure out how to do it. We 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 to it. the way to describe it. It was special for sure. A very proud moment for me. I will never forget.”
Not only can writers win a Best of SNO, but students can win for a slew of other media-related topics as well.
Two years ago, Hawk Eye staff also won the Audience Engagement badge for its prominent social media pages.
“We’ve been trying for years to build our social media presence,” Allemang said. “We reached 1,000 followers between our Twitter and Instagram accounts. It was a big deal and the hardest thing to do. We had to post every day on every platform for a month straight. It 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 did and earned the Best of SNO Audience Engagement Badge. We celebrated a lot.
This year, Mr. Allemang decided to change the name of the class to School Publications and also add the yearbook to the class.
“I wanted to add the yearbook to the class because my yearbook staff has been pretty small over the years,” Allemang said. “I haven’t had a lot of help on that, except for last year. Last year I had the most help. I didn’t really have any staff. I remember doing a lot of the work myself, which isn’t what it should be because it’s supposed to be student work, but if there aren’t any students who to work with, so I had no choice. It is my responsibility to publish a directory.
After the COVID hit, Mr. Allemang was forced to fill in the yearbook himself and had to fill in the gaps from a nearly empty school year.
“We were already behind the yearbook as it was and once we got home in March and couldn’t come back, I couldn’t work with my staff at all, so I had to working on the whole yearbook by myself and I still needed a lot of stuff,” Mr. Allemang said. “It was really hard to get what I needed, but I got it. done one way or another.”
He thought the best way to involve more students in creating the yearbook was to have them in class with him and because the newspaper staff were already taking the majority of the photos that go into the yearbook, he just decided to add the aspect directory to the class to make it easier for everyone.
“I can’t wait to see what happens. We have quite motivated students and they seem to be here for the right reasons. I hope they will produce and help me so that we can publish a good yearbook and I won’t have to bear most of the burden,” Allemang said with a laugh.
This year, the 2022-2023 Journal/Yearbook staff is bigger and better than ever.
The class is made up of 21 students. A fairly 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.
Juniors include Shawn Davis, Meghan DeHaven, Jack Edner, Emma Frazee, Taylor Garland, Stephanie Hanania, Nicholas Howrylak, Connor Karabinos, Benjamin Lentz, Rael Majetich, Camryn Priddy and Nicholas Whalen.
The second 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 feel good to me,” said Ana Winowich, second-year staff member and editor. “I made friends who have the same interest as me in writing and the media. It also helped me decide what I want for my future. I can’t wait for this year and I hope to improve my writing even more and I can’t wait to see what writing will bring me this school year.
Mr. Allemang wants the newspaper team to write more opinion pieces 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 by a certain opinion. If this is a controversial topic, I would like both sides of the topic to be addressed so that it doesn’t seem like our newspaper is choosing sides.
Mr. Allemang also shared his hopes of adding more media to the newspaper and more journalism to the yearbook.
“In the past, we had people who had their own shows and interviewed students on the TV studio set,” he said. “I would like to bring that back. It was a huge hit and people loved seeing it. As for the yearbook, I would like to add more journalism to it. Not just lists and photos. Interviews with students and staff, summaries of things, sports results, etc.
Mr. Allemang thinks all students should follow school publications because it teaches them life skills.
“I hope they will gain confidence in themselves and their abilities to write and communicate with people,” Allemang said. “I would like them to develop the skills they need to be productive members of society. Mainly language skills. Listening, speaking, communicating, writing, reading, researching, that sort of thing.
“I took the course on a whim just because I needed a course to fill a gap, and I’m so glad I had to,” staff member Meghan DeHaven said. sophomore and social media manager. “This course has helped me achieve what I want to pursue as a career. I appreciate that this course offers newspaper work, yearbook work, social media posting and photo taking. M Allemang is a wonderful advisor, he helped me win a Best of SNO last year, I couldn’t imagine having another teacher for this class.
Hawk Eye staff are excited to enter their new school year and keep Bethel Park residents up to date with everything that’s happening around them!
Be sure to follow all Hawk Eye social media accounts to stay up to date!