Baker launches student newspaper

Extra! Extra! Before the December holiday break, Baker High School launched a new school newspaper, The Bakery. The paper's catchy motto, "News fresh out of the oven," is a promise to readers that the news will be current and on trend with what's happening at the high school. The inaugural edition featured information on a gamut of topics, including the district's 2011-12 budget, music and arts, current events, and an advice column.

The paper is student-created and student-directed.

"It's important to have a forum in the school for students," said Editor-in-Chief Hannah Onderdonk, a junior. The paper focuses on information students want to know and need to know, she said.

Onderdonk wanted to take a journalism class at the high school, but none are offered. When she realized that there were several other students interested in journalism and in starting a school newspaper, she approached Principal Joseph DeBarbieri about starting one. He said the school hasn't had a student paper in about 13 years due to lack of student interest.

Besides Onderdonk, the paper has two other student editors, Lauren Micale and Matthew Noll, who work under the direction of advisors Joanne Keim, a chemistry teacher, and Robert Dice, a teaching assistant in the school library. Onderdonk said about 12 students attend regular newspaper meetings and are contributing their time and talent in some way to the paper, including writing, graphics and layout.

"After the first issue, we picked up a sports editor and a college and life editor," she said.

Onderdonk expects more students to jump on board as they continue publishing.

"Everybody can do something they are interested in," she said.

She noted that staff members have been receptive to the newspaper, and several have asked to have their subject area highlighted in a future edition and have offered ideas for future articles.

Onderdonk said the next step for the paper is to create a web site to host it to "save money and trees."

Currently the paper has a limited run and is placed in strategic areas of the building including the library, the main office and the guidance office. A web presence would give The Bakery greater exposure and allow greater access to students and staff members.

Onderdonk said the newspaper staff hopes to make the web version interactive with polls, videos and a comment and feedback feature. Stay tuned.

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