Trapeze, the student newspaper of Oak Park and River Forest High School, won first place overall in the Chicago Headline Club High School Journalism Awards, according to a school statement.

“I’m immensely proud of the entire Trapeze staff for their hard work this year,” said OPRF English teacher and Trapeze advisor Toni Milak in the statement. “These awards are an acknowledgement of what I already knew: these students are doing great journalism.”

The Trapeze staff also received the most individual awards of all schools competing in this year’s contest, the largest of its kind in Illinois, including competitors from Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, and other metro area counties. This year, 50 out of 300 eligible schools submitted 200 student entries.

Individual OPRF awards were: first place: Alex McLeese, feature writing?#34;Marine recruiting; Chris McCole, sports writing?#34;Athletes going to college; and Jim Parker, photography?#34;Protest at Calvary Church; second place: Tom Connolly, art?#34;God: Keeping the balance; fourth place: Peter Ribic, feature writing?#34;Alan Keyes interview; honorable mentions: Ben Meyerson, feature writing, Student flies; Lindsay Kral, in-depth reporting, Intensity on the field; and Rachel Meade, in-depth reporting, The Whoop.

Milak said that judges noted the Trapeze’s willingness to take on difficult and controversial stories, including ones that analyzed or even criticized the school administration. 

“I have to commend Dr. Bridge and the rest of the administration for being so supportive of the student press,” Milak said. “We are very grateful for the free-press opportunity that exists here.”

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