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Renton High magazine wins national award

Renton High School's newsmagazine, Arrow, was recently honored with a national diversity award.

This spring, the Journalism Education Association will honor Renton High with its Diversity Award on April 13 at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Diego.

Renton's newsmagazine staff is being honored for promoting diversity in the scholastic media arena and taking steps to break down walls of misunderstanding and ignorance in their issue "Perfect Language."

Student editor Vanessa Abenojar and Ksenia Ivanova, student managing editor, have been credited with using the newsmagazine to share the stories of English Language Learners, or ELL students, at the school. Arrow staff interviewed ELL students and their stories appeared in print and on CD, through a project with KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio.

Renton High School's student body reflects an ethnic, racial and religious diversity where 87 languages are spoken within the district. Arrow, advised by teacher Derek Smith, won the JEA Diversity Award in 2012.

"Winning the diversity award again for Arrow is exciting," said Abenojar via email. "Arrow has always tried to involve all ethnicities and cultures so that we can hear different voices from the high school. The school has students of many different cultural backgrounds but it's still hard to talk to someone who's first language isn't english so that was a challenge for us."

Ivanova echoed the same sentiments:

"As for myself, I’m very happy that we won the award, but even more so, I’m glad that the voices of those featured in our issue were heard. Since this issue was a collective effort, it really showcased the strength of our community, and the diversity in it," she said.

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