PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, October 31, 2016

Laguna Blanca’s Student Magazine Wins Prestigious Crown Award from Columbia

Fifty-six print magazines and fifteen hybrid magazines were chosen as 2017 Crown Finalists for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown Awards. The magazines were published during the 2015-16 academic year, and Laguna Blanca was awarded in the hybrid magazine category. This significant honor comes on the heels of a major format change in fall 2015 when journalism students transformed The Fourth Estate from a newsprint publication to a newsmagazine.

Alumna and pioneers of the newspaper-to-magazine transition Jacqueline Berci ’16 (currently attending Emory University) and Luisa Cameron ’16 (currently attending Art Center College of Design) share their feelings on receiving the honor. “When I heard the news I was so happy. I’m glad the judges appreciated the massive risk we took in our design and format,” says Luisa, former Creative Director. “This honor gives me a little boost of confidence!”

Jacqueline, former Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Estate, adds, “I’m so excited for The Fourth Estate— everyone put so much hard work in last year with the transition from newspaper to magazine, and I’m so happy it has been recognized.”

This is the second time in the 22 years of publication that The Fourth Estate has received this recognition. The first time Laguna took a Silver Crown was in 2012.

“Crown Awards represent the highest recognition for scholastic journalism excellence,” explains Trish McHale, Laguna journalism instructor. “I am so pleased that The Fourth Estate was recognized. Receiving this award is such an amazing honor for our students and our school.”

The Crown Awards honor top student publications chosen from CSPA’s members. Crowns are selected for overall excellence in a head-to-head comparison. Student publishing in news, magazine, yearbook or digital (online) formats are all eligible. During Crown consideration, publications are judged on their excellence as shown by their design, photography, concept, coverage, and writing. A total of 1,100 publications were eligible for judging.

Jacqueline encourages this year’s journalism staff to “take advantage of the opportunity of being able to create the magazine themselves. Luisa and I really wanted to try something different and we so enjoyed the flexibility and new learning experiences that the rebranding offered us.”
Luisa adds, “my advice to the staff [is to] take risks. Don’t rely on the computer to make your graphics. Do the majority of the art by hand! There’s more soul in handmade work than cold computer vectors.”

Crown Finalists are not nominees but actual winners. Some will be announced as Gold Crowns; the rest are Silver Crowns. Final results will be announced and presented in New York City at the CSPA ceremonies in March 2017.

Laguna Blanca School is a not-for-profit EK-12 co-educational, college preparatory day school. Building upon its 80-year tradition of academic excellence with new and innovative teaching methods and programs, Laguna Blanca provides students with a supportive community that promotes deeper learning, and values student balance and well-being. With its thriving experiential learning, LEGO, STEM, and arts programs, competitive athletics, and state-of-the-art athletic facilities, the school offers a variety of ways that students can succeed. For more information, please visit

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