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Posted on Mon, Oct 12, 2009 : 5:58 a.m.

Community High School newspaper up for Pulitzer Prize of student publications

By David Jesse

All morning, Tracy Rosewarne dropped hints to her journalism students that she was going to deliver big news during that afternoon’s class.

Then during class time on a recent school day, the Community High School teacher pulled up the list of National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Award winners for this year.

She slowly scrolled down the list, and when she reached the listing for overall quality for news magazines, she slowed down even more.

Casually, she pointed out one listing - The Communicator, Community’s newspaper.

The student-run paper is one of seven news magazines from across the nation up for the award, which is considered the Pulitzer Prize of high school journalism.

About 20 Community High students will travel to Washington, D.C. in November to see if they win the award.

It’s the first time the newspaper has been named a finalist, even though a blackboard in Rosewarne’s room is covered with awards from the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association.

The difference from last year’s product?

Staffers say it had a lot to do with a redesign of the paper, which worked at reflecting the mood and energy of Community High, an alternative school in Ann Arbor.

“We wanted to find the design and content that would reflect what it meant to Community," said Kayla Stoler, this year’s co-editor-in-chief.

Other staffers agreed.

“What we do really well is reflect (our school) and we’re always improving. Each edition is better,” said Austin Hughes, this year’s managing editor.

Everyone on staff at the paper writes for each edition, then the students go through a process of deciding what makes it to print. They’re quick to point out that neither Rosewarne nor the school’s administration does any prior review on the paper.

Another advantage the Communicator has is the school has other means of communicating general news, like when Curriculum Night is, the students said. That leaves them free to write stories that dig into Community’s culture and students.

David Jesse covers K-12 education for He can be reached at or at 734-623-2534.



Tue, Oct 13, 2009 : 5:50 p.m.

I am so blown away by this newspaper and the comment by the managing editor. What well spoken words from such a young person. The entire staff have my Kudos for the excellent school newspaper and prestigious award. There are too many young people who have nothing to make them desire or feel as if they can do positive things to make a difference not only in their school, but in the community. I am from Atlanta, Ga and a friend emailed this to me. This schools staff and students are phenomenal. I have subscribed to the Communicator and will pass the good news.


Mon, Oct 12, 2009 : 7:57 p.m.

Maybe it's just me...but I miss Tom Dodd's Communicator.


Mon, Oct 12, 2009 : 10:58 a.m.

Good job Community!! Ann Arbor school districts red headed step child continues to shine without support from the school board...they would shutter it in a heartbeat if it didn't turn out such great self sufficient students who are not lemmings!!

Peggy Lampman

Mon, Oct 12, 2009 : 8:15 a.m.

Zan and I send congratulations (and a warm greeting) to all of the superior staff at Community High! Great memories of a benchmark school whose paper well-deserves these accolades!

Linda Diane Feldt

Mon, Oct 12, 2009 : 7:57 a.m.

Tracy and all of the students past and present deserve this recognition. The Communicator is all about Journalism - the technology, innovation, quality articles, presentation, and seems to have a great balance of controversy while remaining accessible. Their coverage of Ann Arbor issues has often surpassed our main stream media. CHS Journalism is a part of my past as well, but with actual paste ups and mimeographs. Long ago. Many alumni wonder if CHS still has that special something that we helped create over 37 years ago. Absolutely. And this is yet another example of what makes CHS a great alternative school for Ann Arbor. Congratulations!

Rod Johnson

Mon, Oct 12, 2009 : 7:43 a.m.

Tracy is just an infectiously energetic person. Add her to a talented mix of students and it's not a huge surprise they're doing well. I can't think of too many other high school publications I would willingly read.


Mon, Oct 12, 2009 : 7:17 a.m.

My son graduated from Community--another example of why we love this school. I'm delighted to see the paper up for this well-deserved honor.Just to be named a finalist is a feather in their cap!

David Jesse

Mon, Oct 12, 2009 : 7:14 a.m.

A quick note on the link to the Communicator's Web site. When I visited them last week, the staff told me they are in the process of redesigning and launching a new Web site, hopefully soon.

Jennifer Shikes Haines

Mon, Oct 12, 2009 : 6:58 a.m.

One other thing is that anyone can subscribe to the Communicator, and it's really a wonderful newspaper in terms of in-depth stories of interest to the Community community and beyond. This is fabulous news, indeed!


Mon, Oct 12, 2009 : 6:47 a.m.

could you have shown a pic of the newspaper in this article?


Mon, Oct 12, 2009 : 5:53 a.m.

Congrats to Community's editors and teachers/advisors and the past editors as well. They all play a part in a remarkable paper!