Preparing Boys for Life

The Index earns first Gold Medal since 2013

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) honored The Index, The Haverford School’s student newspaper, with a gold medal at their 2021 Crown Awards for their efforts during the 2019-20 school year. Hundreds of high schools around the nation submit publications to CSPA annually for critique and review.

After silver medals the past few years, The Index earned their first gold medal since 2013. The Index credits their improvement from silver to gold to expanding the staff, redesigning the paper’s layout, and digging into more provocative and interesting issues. Their goal is to be the best newspaper in the state.

“Last year, I was new to Haverford and to The Index, and was immediately impressed by the initiative and independence of the paper's editorial team,” said Upper School English teacher and The Index advisor Emily Harnett. “Our editors decide the scope and angle of our news coverage, shepherd along new writers, layout the print issues and web content, and shape the paper's vision. Last fall, our talented editors spearheaded a complete redesign for the print issue, and when the world shut down in response to the pandemic, The Index kept going. Because of their dedication, the paper was able to chronicle one of those most newsworthy chapters in Haverford's history, documenting all the ways that the pandemic transformed the life of the School. I'm so proud of them, and delighted that CSPA has recognized their accomplishment.”

Last fall, our talented editors spearheaded a complete redesign for the print issue, and when the world shut down in response to the pandemic, The Index kept going. Because of their dedication, the paper was able to chronicle one of those most newsworthy chapters in Haverford's history, documenting all the ways that the pandemic transformed the life of the School.

The team, under the guidance of English department chair Tom Stambaugh ’90 and Harnett, was led by the student Editors-in-Chief Toby Ma ’20, Yan Graf ’20, and Ryan La Rocca ’20. As the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly closed schools and shut down office buildings across the globe last March, the staff continued their exceptional work by featuring Virtual Haverford, the School’s distance learning platform.

“It was amazing to hear that last year's Index had received Gold from CSPA,” explained Ma, a student at Harvard University. “Not only did the 2019–20 editorial team oversee a redesign of the paper and the website, but we also went through the transition to Virtual Haverford and reported the School and student body's experience during an unprecedented spring semester. I was already incredibly proud of what last year's editorial team was able to accomplish, but it is really great to receive recognition for all our time and effort. Winning awards is not The Index's primary aim, but I'm glad that the improvements we made to the paper last year were on the right track. I'm confident that this year's editorial team and future Index editors will continue to maintain and nurture the paper's position as Haverford's student voice.”

CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925, whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques, and award programs. CSPA is owned and operated by Columbia University.