Ojai Valley School student journalists once again took top honors at the annual tri-county live writing journalism competition, bringing home three individual trophies and an honorable mention in the sweepstakes category for overall excellence.
The feat was particularly impressive given the small size of the program this year, with only four writers, a photographer and a videographer.
Sophomore Caroline Morrow earned first place in the feature writing category while junior Joy Campbell took third place for editorial writing. The On The Hill website earned third-place honors. All of those wins are given a point value and tabulated to determine sweepstakes winners.
This year, more than 120 students — from 10 high schools in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties — competed in the live writing, photography and layout design contests. The students are unable to receive coaching from teachers or mentors, and writers have about an hour to complete their stories after listening to and asking questions of guest speakers.
This is the fifth consecutive year that the OVS Journalism crew has placed in the Sweepstakes category, a remarkable achievement given that it’s always the smallest high school in attendance and always going up against large public school programs.
“The student journalists at OVS never cease to amaze me — it’s such a small group, but there is so much talent there,” journalism advisor Fred Alvarez said. “They have no fear. Year-after-year they go up against much bigger journalism programs, and year-after-year they prove themselves to be among the best journalists in the region. I couldn’t be prouder.”
To read more from the award-winning journalism crew, visit oth.ovs.org.