Central Digest Named Best Overall Website Through THSPA; Individual Awards Received


Gregory Cantrell

DIGEST NAMED BEST IN STATE — The Digest staff stands on the steps of the agora. Back (left to right): Grayson Catlett, Blake Catlett, Luke Keown, Haroun Ghazi. Middle (left to right): Kendra Jones, Karleigh Schwarzl, Zoey Greene, Amber Burchfield, Bailey Moore. Bottom (left to right): Bailey Brantingham, Sarah Katheron Latham. (Not all staff members are pictured.)

Blake Catlett, Editor

The Tennessee High School Press Association (THSPA) is an organization comprised of some of the best student publications in the state. Every year, the THSPA, based out of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, awards student publications in several categories. The 2021 awards were presented via livestream on Monday, March 1.

During the livestream, it was revealed that the Central Digest had been named the best overall website in Tennessee by the THSPA.

“I was actually shocked that we were named best in the state. We are always up against so many good publications and private schools that have advantages that we don’t have as a public school, so it’s a challenging contest. What makes this year’s award so special to me is that all of us have lived through a pandemic for the past year and faced numerous obstacles…Somehow, this year’s staff was able to figure out how to make things work and the result was this award,” said Gregory Cantrell, the Central Digest’s advisor.

Several other individual awards were won by Digest staff members. Sarah Katheron Latham won second in the editorial category for her article, “Uncertainty is Certain, so Keep Looking Forward.” Kendra Jones won third in the same category for “Editorial: Is Zoom Fatigue Real?” Karleigh Schwarzl’s article, “Central Football Hoping for Growth in Off-Season,” won third in the sports category. The Central Digest also had two photo essays take home prizes: “Photo Gallery: Homecoming 2020” by Amber Burchfield, Sarah Katheron Latham, and Karleigh Schwarzl won first and “Photo Gallery: Central Football, Cheerleading, and Student Section for 2020-21 Season” by Karleigh Schwarzl and Amber Burchfield won third.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that people considered my editorial one of the best pieces in the state, especially since it was my first year on the Central Digest,” shared Junior Kendra Jones.

The awards cap off an unusual school year filled with countless obstacles, whether it be a pandemic, inclement weather, or just everyday surprises. The Digest staff has found a way to overcome each and every hardship they face.

“To this year’s staff, I say ‘thank you.’ You have been able to accomplish a goal and an expectation the staff has had for many years. Thank you for your hard work and for representing our school in such a positive way. I couldn’t be any prouder of you,” expressed Cantrell.

Moving forward, the Digest staff is working on qualifications for SNO’s National Website of Distinction. The staff has earned four of the required six badges thus far, and they are looking to receive the recognition for the fifth year in a row. The Central Digest is beyond happy with its success, and it plans to continue such into the future.

“Future Digest members should know that, regardless of the awards you may or may not win, the best part about being on the Digest is writing what you enjoy. When you focus on that, good things, like awards, come when you least expect it,” said Jones.

The Central Digest could not accomplish this feat without you, our readers. You are what gives our work meaning and purpose. We will always be thankful for those who read up about what is happening on Highway 58.