Milton Academy’s Spanish-language newspaper, La Voz, was voted the country’s best high school newspaper in a competition sponsored by Sonoma State University this year. Second and third places went to La Pietra – Hawai’i School for Girls in Honolulu, for Pasaporte, and Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa, California, for El Coyotl.
La Voz was first published at Milton in 1985, and began by reporting on School issues and some world affairs. In 1987, its sophistication was kicked up a notch when Mike Kobb ’88 redesigned it, matching the excellent content with a more modern format. Since then, La Voz has published three (and sometimes four) issues each year, covering politics, arts and, at points, including its own la Tia Tula (Dear Abbey) column. A recent issue included reviews of Spanish and Mexican restaurants, a listing of community service opportunities in Boston’s Latino community and a news story on the status of Latinos taking the MCAS test, a graduation requirement for Massachusetts public school students.
2002-2003 co-editors Georgie Konesky (I) and Parker Rider-Longmaid (II) are experts at the helm: Parker takes Spanish V (A.P.) and Georgie, who is managing editor of an English newspaper, The Milton Measure, enjoys Spanish Film & Social Change, an elective course for advanced students.
“Because my mom teaches Spanish, it has always been part of my life,” Georgie says. “I want to be a journalist. Last summer, my internship was at El Mundo, a Spanish-speaking newspaper in Jamaica Plain [Massachusetts]. I’ve loved working on La Voz because it combines my passions: journalism and Spanish.
“In the past, the paper has been a great way for students to practice their Spanish. Now, it’s also a way to bring Hispanic issues and culture to the student body. In fact, we’ve added an English section to address issues that are relevant beyond the Hispanic or Spanish-speaking community,” Georgie says.
“We’ve done a lot with design this year, too,” says Parker, who will remain a co-editor next academic year. “Designer Kyle Du’s work has been spectacular.” The co-editors also say that the quality and enthusiasm of this year’s staff is reflected in the publication. Next year, Parker says, augmenting original photography will become a priority.
“The greatest strength of La Voz,” says Ana Colbert (modern languages), who co-advises the staff with Jenny Stortz (modern languages), “ is that it is totally student produced. They choose their leaders, plan the articles and lay out and edit the content. All Jenny and I do is give advice, continuity and a final round of editing each issue.”
Bernard Planchon (modern languages chair) applauds the effort. “This is a tremendous honor and a well-deserved tribute to Ana and Jenny’s passion and indefatigable work with students,” Bernard says. “It also confirms the superlative level attained by our Spanish students in recent years.”