Denebola 50 Years

Deneb 50th Press Release

Newton, MA Student Newspaper Denebola Celebrates 50th

Award-winning Newspaper Publishes 64-page Issue

Denebola, Newton South High School’s official school newspaper, will publish a 64 page commemorative issue 15 February 2011 celebrating the suburban Boston school’s 50 years and its own half century of continuous publication. Recipient of many awards, the newspaper’s size and complexity are unique in American secondary school journalism.

Regarded as one of the nation’s most challenging public high schools, Newton South’s history—and that of its community— is vividly documented in color and black and white reprints as well as specially commissioned articles and interviews with former students and administrators that span the turbulent Sixties, 9.11, and beyond. The newspaper has been published on the web the past decade, and Web Exclusive materials will be uploaded over the next two months.

Sensational Sex, drugs, and Rock & Roll accounts are printed alongside those of Columbine and “hidden cameras.” Denebola’s 50th pages contain common and extraordinary achievements that have appeared in News, Edits, Features, Sports, Arts & Entertainment a Global Education sections. A Centerfold features in-depth treatment of single subjects or individuals, and the last two decades the paper has carried a Student/Teacher book review on everything from Harry Potter to Paul Robeson. The broadsheet publication, done afternoons, evenings and weekends, is written, edited and composed by forty students ranging from 9th to 12th grades and supported entirely by advertisements.

Students worked six full weeks, after school and weekends, reviewing their history and deciding what was relevant for today’s audience. Using the newer media and technology, they enlisted the opinions of past Editors and Staff, and using email and their Facebook network, solicited articles and reflections.

Since the current “wisdom” is that public schools are falling apart, students are not engaged and teachers are failing them, this 50th edition of Denebola provides an alternate perspective and evidence relevant to otherwise superficial notions of “ed reform.” Possibly significant is the fact that the five principals featured from 1960 to 2010 consider themselves heirs to John Dewey’s progressive education where children are active learners, learning by “doing” rather than passively gearing up for “standardized” tests.

Denebola editors and writers have long been part of the nation’s media corps. They have worked or are part of The New York Times, Vanity Fair, New Yorker, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and National Public Radio. Students from the newspaper are in publishing around the country as well as highest levels of medicine, finance, science, social policy and the arts. Some 1200 alumni will gather at Newton South April 29/30 for a two-day series of panels, workshops and celebrations.

Mark Leibovich ’83 of the New York Times will keynote the 30th dinner.

For additional information, consult

And the newspaper’s Advisor,

George Abbott White
History & Literature, Global Education, and Journalism

Denebola: 1960 - 2011. Thank you.