By Janet Goetze
For the Hollywood Star News
The Portland City Council has honored award-winning Grant High School students who received national recognition in journalism and knowledge of the United States Constitution.
The City Council issued separate proclamations in May for members of the school’s Constitution Team, which was judged first in the nation in the “We the People” contest, and student journalists who produce Grant Magazine, which received the Gold Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
The Gold Crown, the association’s highest honor, recognizes the best student publications in the nation, based on design, photography, concept and online coverage. Grant Magazine is the only Oregon publication ever to receive a Gold Crown award, according to a city council news release.
The 36-page magazine is produced by more than 20 students, including top editors Eliza Kamerling-Brown, Hunter Stewart, Koji Wieber and Bella Rideau, the lead designer. Sawyer Montgomery is multimedia/online content editor.
Other staff members include Janelle Arnold, Rowena Balasubramani, Jessica Barr, Amber Burkhart, Sarah Hamilton, Sophie Hauth, Finn Hawley-Blue, Cassie Hill, Taylor Ishida, Rennie Kendrick, Cade May, Molly Metz, Blu Midyett, Amelia Morrison, Cassius Pettit, Jackie Rath, Max Tapogna, Lael Tate and Tess Waxman.
The Constitution Team placed first among 56 high school teams in the “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” contest in Washington, D.C. Grant’s team also won the national title two years ago.
This is the fourth year in a row that a team from Portland Public Schools has taken the national title, said Superintendent Carole Smith. In addition to Grant’s two wins, Lincoln High has won five national titles. Madison and Franklin high schools also have constitution teams.
Madison’s team is taught by Amanda Alonso, named the 2014-15 Civic Educator of the Year by the Classroom Law Project, the Portland non-profit that sponsors the state conference and other civic and law-related education programs.
The Grant team includes Ketchura Antoine, Olivia Berry, Ian Michael, Mia Ring, Eddie Tellez, Parker Brown, Abby Diebold, Fiona Gredvig, Emily Highkin, Alec Mouser, Caleb Walcott, Camille Bales and Meredith Datena.
Team members also include Connor Johnson, Vivy Kaye-Diamond, Amelia Morrison, Chandler Willison, Amber Burkhart, Mitchell Doebke, Cassie Hill, Sasha Jenkins, Gunnar Olson, Hannah Posey-Scholl and Mia Bacher.
Additional team members are Jake Faha, Brianna Hayes, Ally Jeidy, Sofia Penrose, Adam Bruns, Tivoli Di Grazia, Grace Dunbar, Libby Kokes, Charlotte Strange and Savannah Turner.
Constitution Team students study the U.S. Constitution and are coached by civics teachers and volunteer attorneys. The volunteers assess how well teams understand the Constitution, Smith said. The students participate in mock Congressional hearings and answer questions posed by judges and lawyers in mock hearings.
“The winning streak speaks volumes about our civics education,” said Smith. Portland has won more national titles than any other in-city school district, the superintendent added.