The Delphi achieves Distinguished Site status


The Delphi Staff

The 2022 Delphi Staff has earned SNO’s Distinguished Site distinction for this school year.

At the beginning of Del Val’s school year, The Delphi journalism students made it their goal to strive for the Distinguished Site status within the nationally-recognized School Newspapers Online platform. On May 5, 2022, The Delphi received news that it was now a SNO Distinguished Site after months of hard work and determination.

In order to receive this prestigious honor, newspapers must show excellence in six categories: Excellence in Writing, the staff must write three Best of SNO winning articles; Audience Engagement, marketing and social media; Multimedia, podcast, photo, and broadcast journalism; Story Page Excellence, story layout/formatting; Continuous Coverage, long-term and rapid news coverage; and Site Excellence, website design.

Almost two months into the school year, on October 27, 2021, The Delphi received its first SNO badge, Site Excellence. For this badge, The Delphi needed to create a well-designed homepage for its digital newspaper. This achievement made The Delphi staff determined for more.

The following day, on October 28, Delphi Editor, Avery Fitz, was awarded Best of SNO for her article “Del Val girls soccer team donates contest winnings to Manville team’s Ida relief.” This award showcases the best forms of student journalism, which makes it incredibly difficult to achieve.

On October 29, The Delphi completed the Audience Engagement badge, which required a great deal of planning for the staff. They needed to carefully outline daily social media posts and brainstorm ways to best market The Delphi to the public. In the span of just three days, The Delphi was awarded two SNO badges and one Best of SNO award.

The Delphi contributing writer, Nic Barbadora, was awarded the second Best of SNO achievement on November 4, 2021, for his article “Afghanistan: a permanent reminder of America’s imperialism.” To round out the month of November, The Delphi was awarded its third badge on November 22, which was the Story Page Excellence badge.

At the end of 2021, The Delphi staff reflected on everything it had accomplished thus far and recommitted to working towards the Distinguished Site status. Going into the new year, The Delphi students recognized the importance that their teamwork and dedication had played in their success so far; they made sure to keep that mindset in place for the rest of the school year.

“With hard work and teamwork, anything can get done,” said The Delphi editor Millie Mead.

On February 10, 2022, The Delphi writer, Julia Burchill, received the third Best of SNO award for her article “Del Val theatre program challenges cultural insensitivity in Peter Pan,” helping The Delphi achieve the Excellence in Writing badge. There have been over 15,000 articles submitted to Best of SNO from around the world so far this year, and only about 1,900 articles have been selected for the Best of SNO distinction. Three of those articles were written by The Delphi staff.

The next badge the paper received was the Continuous Coverage badge on March 28, 2022. This was another badge that required coordinated teamwork and communication amongst The Delphi staff; the team needed to come up with a schedule for the publication of articles that would meet the requirements of the Continuous Coverage badge.

The Delphi only had one more badge to check off their list before becoming a SNO Distinguished Site, and that was the Multimedia badge. In order to receive the Multimedia badge, the staff needed to challenge themselves by learning more about different forms of journalism, such as podcast, broadcast and photojournalism, which they had not previously explored.

“I feel that I have learned so many new things this year, such as improving video journalism, which was exciting,” said The Delphi writer Sara Matthews.

On May 5, 2022, The Delphi received the news that they had achieved the Multimedia Badge, making The Delphi a SNO Distinguished Site.

The Delphi Advisor, Brian Smith, praises his staff for the hard work and dedication that they put towards achieving this prestigious award.

“It is so easy to give up halfway through, but this group kept on pushing right through to the end, and it is absolutely the dedication of the students that made this come true,” said Smith.

This was a historic achievement for the staff of Del Val’s news organization. Although they had attempted this milestone in the past, it was never fully accomplished until this year.

Currently, The Delphi is the only school paper in New Jersey to reach the Distinguished Site status, and out of the 518 schools competing around the globe, The Delphi was only the 40th school to achieve this honor.

By receiving Distinguished Site status, The Delphi staff will forever remember the power of their dedication and passion. They made a goal at the beginning of the year, and in the end, they accomplished that goal and learned so much during that process. The Delphi staff has already begun brainstorming ways in which they can improve for next year.

“We, as a team, as The Delphi staff, have really excelled this year and accomplished all our goals, and that’s something to really be proud of, especially during a time where journalism is so important,” said The Delphi writer Julia Burchill.