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Westport Student Wins Top State Journalism Honor

WESTPORT, Conn. – Staples High School senior Julian Clarke, one of the managing editors of the school’s student-run newspaper Inklings, was named the 2012 Connecticut Student Journalist of the Year by the Journalism Education Association .

A committee that reviewed a portfolio of Clarke’s work cited his “leadership, tenacity and, most of all, stellar writing skills” as reasons why he was selected for the honor, according to a statement from the association.

"Julian's journalism delivers a level of sophistication well beyond his years, particularly his skilled and appealing writing style," the committee said in a statement. "His talents and work are very impressive and should trigger a bright future."

As one of the newspaper’s managing editors, Clarke was also cited for helping Inklings win Gold and Silver Crown Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for both its print and web editions and an All-American Award from the National Scholastic Press Association.

Clarke has been involved with Inklings since his freshman year. Staples Principal John Dodig commended Clarke’s work with the publication, especially his ability to responsibly handle sensitive issues, such as the possible elimination of honors and Advanced Placement classes.

"In a school such as ours where student expectations for college are so high and high stakes, the mere discussion of eliminating AP and honors classes divides people into two very vocal and passionate groups," Dodig said in the statement. "The article was informative, held no punches and was well received by the staff and student body."

Clarke will now represent the state in the National High School Journalist of the Year competition.

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