Hot Off The Press

Students make News for first time in decades


Payson High School teacher Tim Fruth and the students in his computer applications class revived a Payson High School tradition last week that had been dead for18 years.

The first issue of The Longhorn News rolled hot off the Payson Roundup's press Friday and onto a high school campus that hadn't produced a school newspaper in nearly two decades.

For now, The Longhorn News is a working title. The staff of the paper is holding a Name-the-School-Newspaper Contest. The winner will receive two free dinners at Macky's Grill and $50 cash from the Payson Roundup.

Although the high school staff wasn't prepared or equipped to produce a newspaper, the faculty fully supported the student-driven project.

"None of us come from a newspaper or journalism background," Fruth said. "But we still had this dream and we were trying to make it work."

The class raised money for computer newspaper programs through food and soda sales, and Fruth called on Roundup Publisher Richard Haddad for technical assistance.

"When we first started a month ago, we didn't know it would be so much work," Fruth said.

"With Mr. Haddad helping, I think we actually have a quality newspaper."

The project gave sophomore Diane Hanna a chance to try her hand at reporting. She wrote an article on the school prom for the first issue and is preparing an article about finals for the next issue.

"I like writing," she said, "but not the reporting part. It's not something I want to do."

Hanna said she didn't have any trouble meeting the deadlines that reporters normally dread, but, she admitted, she did have two weeks to write her story.

Alexis Gwanzon is co-editor of the newspaper, along with Ryan Lodge.

"I didn't realize how much work putting out a newspaper would be," Gwanzon said. "I didn't realize the editing process, the layout, how you have to appeal to the readers. It was complicated, but I enjoyed it.

"One paper is out," she said. "I'm very happy with it." The second issue will be printed in a few weeks.

Gwanzon was particularly proud of the editorial she wrote for the first issue.

"I wrote about monopolies in school fund-raisers," she said. "I'm in student government, too, and the editorial was basically what I thought about the policy of fund-raisers -- that fund-raisers shouldn't be just traditional events. They should be based on good ideas."

Gwanzon said she enjoys writing, but she plans to use her writing skills in business. She plans to go into corporate management.

Cheylla Butterfield, a sophomore, is the newspaper's sports writer.

"It was fun," she said. "I wrote about coach (Jim) Beall retiring. We also interviewed coach (Mike) Wheelis. Both interviews were fun, but I'm not doing anything with writing for newspapers or magazines. This is as far as I go. I'm going into marine biology."

The first issue of the school's newspaper is available at the high school bookstore. Anyone who would like to suggest a name for the newspaper can call Fruth at 474-2233, ext. 2049.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.